'030 Cube -- How do I manually eject a OD?

Started by ErikTheHack, May 15, 2006, 10:45:19 PM

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ErikTheHack

The subject says it all.  Apparently my MO Drive has finally given up the ghost.  Either that or the disk I put in has gone extremely south.  Anyway, when I put the sucker in it froze my poor cube and upon forcing a reboot I now get panics whenever I try and boot.  Odd, though I think it's trying to boot from the OD.

Anyway, I can't recall how to manually eject a MO Disk.  I imagine there must be a paperclip hole or some such thing.  I don't believe that I've even had to do this.  I googled around some and couldn't find any info.  I was hoping someone here held the arcane knowledge in their cranium.

Thanks in advance.
ND \'040 NeXTcube [SN: ABA0004306], NeXTStation Turbo Color ADB, HP PA-RISC 712/80, HP PA-RISC 712/100, Sun SPARCSTATION 5, Sun SPARCSTATION 20

idylukewild

ErikTheHack

I had a simular problem. Luckily I have the NeXT user's reference, which reads on pp.250-251:

"1. Press the Power key to turn off the computer (if it's not already off).

Warning: You must turn off the computer before removing the disk: otherwise, you might damage the optical drive. (Also, don't insert a disk when the computer isn't on.)

2. Insert the NeXT hex wrench (included in the Starting Point box that came with the computer) into the hole next to the opening of the drive, and push hard. The disk will pop out.

3. Press the Power key to turn the computer back on."

This process worked for me. I kept trying to manually eject the disk while the computer was on. Nothing was damaged. Hope your drive and cube are o.k.

Luke

gtnicol

The other way is to type eject at the ROM monitor. Unless the drive is really hosed, it will eject the media.

ErikTheHack

Thanks very much for the info guys!

The good news is that I was able to eject the OD with the NeXT wrench.

The bad news:  The first thing I tried was jumping into the ROM monitor and using the "ej" command.  What happened?  Well it reminds me of a song parody a couple of buddies and I came up with way back when.  Sung to "Smoke on the Water".  The chorus went like this:

Smoke from the monitor
And fire in the drive

Well, in this case I heard a distinct sizzle and then a puff of white smoke came gushing out of the MO drive immediately followed by the system shutting down hard.

Anyone want to place bets on what went "sizzle-pop"?  VLSI chip?  Power supply?  NeXTBus?  CPU?

Whatever it was it reminds me of something another friend of mine told me years ago about electronics.  He said electronics were magic and contained magic smoke that caused them to work.  He said that he knew this because if you let the smoke out they wouldn't work anymore.  I definitely let the smoke out of something.

Anyway, I guess I'll open the sucker tonight when I get home and see what popped -- then hope that I can replace it.

-E
ND \'040 NeXTcube [SN: ABA0004306], NeXTStation Turbo Color ADB, HP PA-RISC 712/80, HP PA-RISC 712/100, Sun SPARCSTATION 5, Sun SPARCSTATION 20

brams

WTF, I'd be seriously disconnecting that MO before trying to start up again.
NeXTcube Turbo Dimension, NeXTstation Turbo Color, MP2100, Q840av, Q650, WS G4 500, Pismo G4 550, SGI Octane R12K MXE, BeBox 133.

ErikTheHack

Well guys, I expected to find something obviously toasted when I opened the cube up.   Unfortunately I haven't.  Nothing really sticks out.  The motherboard in fact is quite clean even.  Not much in the way of dust on it even.  Overall there is only a moderate amount of dust inside the system.  Nowhere near what I had expected to find.

I guess there are two "black box" (pardon the pun) elements to consider at this point.  The power supply and the optical drive.

I'm leaning in the direction of both I guess.  It seems unlikely that the ODrive all by itself would keep the cube from powering up at all -- seems like the fan would kick in or something.  I could be wrong though.  Does anyone know for sure?

Of course a shot power supply would explain the problem.  I suspect though that if it is shot then the ODrive is shot too.  Probably a short and a cascade failure.  Again, this seems plausible but I don't know if this is possible.  Anyone with an opinion on this?

Thanks.
ND \'040 NeXTcube [SN: ABA0004306], NeXTStation Turbo Color ADB, HP PA-RISC 712/80, HP PA-RISC 712/100, Sun SPARCSTATION 5, Sun SPARCSTATION 20

Sound Consulting

Check for a blown fuse.

That doesn't explain the smoke, though, so I second the recommendation above to disconnect the optical drive before powering up. The optical is probably toast anyway, so no need to risk the rest of your hardware.

The next fuse you insert may allow something more expensive to burn, so don't use the wrong fuse.

ErikTheHack

Yeah, just disconnecting the blown OD got the old girl back up and running.  Anyone know where I can get a replacement?   Yeah, yeah, fat chance, I know.  But it never hurts to ask!
ND \'040 NeXTcube [SN: ABA0004306], NeXTStation Turbo Color ADB, HP PA-RISC 712/80, HP PA-RISC 712/100, Sun SPARCSTATION 5, Sun SPARCSTATION 20

Andreas

Quote from: "ErikTheHack"Yeah, just disconnecting the blown OD got the old girl back up and running.  Anyone know where I can get a replacement?

the problem should be to get a running one. Even new sealed drives like Ron Fronberg has selled doesn't run for the most people.

ErikTheHack

Quotethe problem should be to get a running one. Even new sealed drives like Ron Fronberg has selled doesn't run for the most people.
I've heard this.  Does anyone know what the weak component in these drives was?  Motor, some sort of belt or bearings?  You are the second person to mention Ron Fronberg as a possible source.  Anyone know his contact info?
ND \'040 NeXTcube [SN: ABA0004306], NeXTStation Turbo Color ADB, HP PA-RISC 712/80, HP PA-RISC 712/100, Sun SPARCSTATION 5, Sun SPARCSTATION 20

Andreas

Quote from: "ErikTheHack"
Quotethe problem should be to get a running one. Even new sealed drives like Ron Fronberg has selled doesn't run for the most people.
I've heard this.  Does anyone know what the weak component in these drives was?
I assuming something with the optical system, that the lenses and classes there tarnished, muddy? (don't know the exact english word for this) even if you don't do something with the drive.
Quote
You are the second person to mention Ron Fronberg as a possible source.  Anyone know his contact info?

You could try eBay:
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZronfronberg

idylukewild

I've always read the drives failed with use due to dust infiltration. I haven't heard that drive can degrade in storage. Here is a bit from http://www.channelu.com/NeXT/Black/N3000/N3000_1.html:

"It was discovered that many of the Optical Drives were failing due to incredible amounts of dust that would have a tendency to be sucked into the front of the drive. The dust reduced airflow and increased the operating temperature - as well as coating the optics. To address this problem NeXT encouraged all owners to reverse the fan orientation to cause air to flow from the back to the front of the case. Also NeXT sold a Optical Drive Filter shown on the left to reduce the amount of dust entering the drive."

I was lucky to get a cube with a working MO drive from ebay. The drive was equipped with a dust filter and the dust filter was visually very clean. I've only used the drive to read one disk and haven't ever used it to write. I haven't used the drive since the one trial since I don't really have any use for it (other than for 'authenticity'). If it appears that something in the optics degrade with time even when the drive is not used 4 phenomena come to mind:

1) Some optics contain aluminized first-surface mirrors that loose reflectivity while in storage (Newtonian telescopes need to be re-coated every few years because of this). I don't know if there are any such mirrors in the MO drive.

2) Outgassing from some components may condense on otherwise transparent surfaces and make them 'blurry'. If this is a problem with the MO drive it should be fairly simple to clean the blurry optics.

3) Some lubricants polymerize with age. Gummy lubricants can keep mechanical parts from moving at specification. This may or may not be a problem with MO drives.

4) Some rubber parts (such as o-rings and friction pads) deteriorate with age. I had a calculator with a card reader wheel that turned to a gummy hunk of goo. Are there any rubber parts in NeXT MO drives?

I'm not going to take my working MO drive apart to look for the sorts of parts mentioned. If I ever acquire a non-functioning drive, I'll report back on what I find. This 'broken MO drive' thing seems to be pretty common.

Sound Consulting

I recall that the NeXT MO had positioning problems because a thin metal piece had microscopic dots in it that became filled with dust over time. Never made sense to me, because it seems like compressed air or some solvent should be able to clear the holes so they would work. But I never read or even heard of a solution for repairing these drives. Strange design. I believe it was the first mass-produced MO technology...

idylukewild

Thanks Sound Consulting, that explains alot. If I ever get ahold of a non-working drive I'll know what to look for and might be able to work out a fix.

Of course, ErikTheHack's "sizzle-pop" and puff of white smoke sound like they would be due to something a little different than dust in microscopic holes. Maybe the thing sucked in so much dust there was a short somewhere.

pentium

QuoteSome rubber parts (such as o-rings and friction pads) deteriorate with age. I had a calculator with a card reader wheel that turned to a gummy hunk of goo.

The same thing to my apple scsi tape drive. I almost lost a brand new copy of apple unix!

-NeXT 68040 Cube with NS 3.3 and 64Mb ram