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Atari 1050 Disk Drive

An Atari 1050 Disk Drive is used to record information onto a floppy disk. These were made famous since the dawn of cassette recorders, which also could store media from the computer, but ran at a much slower rate. Therefore the invention of the disk drive has escalated this further ahead and allowed programs to be saved and loaded at a faster rate. 

Although the earlier Atari 810 disk drive could only manage single density, the Atari 1050 disk drive was revamped and allowed dual density, which extended the data recording range from 88K up to 127K, K standing for kilobytes.

Demands for better storage format

The ability to save your programs to an Atari 1050 Disk Drive over a cassette recorder are obvious since it can transfer data faster. However, the beginning stages in Atari’s history was focused on the cassette recorder since tape recorders were very common at the time.

Yet as time moved forward and programming started taking an interest among a few select individuals (mostly kids), Atari set the standard and introduced the disk drive for the first time.

A disk drive requires a floppy diskette to record the information. However, before you can perform this the disk must be formatted, which will erase the contents and secure a proper stage for it. So Atari created a DOS (Disk Operating System) environment that served just that purpose.

The DOS environment is entered by first inserting a DOS disk into the disk drive (after powering up the computer), and allowing it to boot from the drive. We will save a review of the DOS system environment for another session, but once you have a disk successfully formatted, you can then begin to save programs to it and load them from it later.

Back of Atari 1050 Disk Drive

When you examine the back of the Atari 1050 disk drive you will see several ports. First you have the drive select switch. This is used to select the current device you are connected to since drives can be daisy chained together.

Next you will see the I/O Connectors. Here is where you use a serial I/O cable to plug your drive drive into your Atari 65xe/8-bit computer. You could also hook up a second disk drive here and other devices.

The last port is used to plug an 120 volt power supply. See the area below for more information.

To plug the disk drive into your Atari personal computer you will need to own an SIO Cable. This cable contains 13 i/o (input/output) pins. Examine the photograph to ensure you have the correct cable or else it may not fit.

The Atari 1050 Disk Drive requires a very special type of power supply to get your disk drive working.

I have included a photograph here for better clarity for newbies just in case you purchased a disk drive without a power supply on eBay or somewhere. Listed below are the specifications for my device.

There is a chance if you use the wrong power supply you could likely damage your unit.

Power Supply

Part No C017945

Input: 120 V: 60Hz: 50 W

Output: 9 VAC: 31 VA

Made in Taiwan