Altair 8800b + drive alignment

From: Allison J Parent <>
Date: Wed Feb 4 08:13:26 1998

<1) Can someone explain the process of aligning a disk drive, what is out
<whack, and how tricky it is for a rank electronics amateur like myself

It's tricky as you will need a good scope and the alignment disk and know
how to use both. also getting the alignment disk after so many years will
be a challenge.

<Oh, I forgot to mention, the drive is an 8", the Altair model that has th
<same basic case and look of the Altair itself. This repair is one of the
<suspect) many that will be required to bring the Altair back to life.

Before you align anything check to see if the head is clean and the head
load pad(felt) is there and intact.

<I've managed to get it (almost) firing up during the self-test stage, bu
<one of the address lines doesn't behave (the light doesn't come on on A2
<when I flick the switch that should light all of them, yet the light is
<operational at other stages). I'll get to that one later.

I'd check the switch (may be dirty contacts from age). then follow the
logic as it may be a poor contection or a bad chip.

<Looks like a long, slow process. But worth it, no?

Shouldn't be that bad. the altair 8800B was a later machine and far
better/different than the 8800 or 8800A. Of the Altairs it was the
industrial strength version. What will help your task is having
documentation (a must for any old machine!). It wouldn't hurt if you
have a techie near you that is familiar with old s100 hardware as a
PC kid genius would not have a clue.

Received on Wed Feb 04 1998 - 08:13:26 GMT

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