Two Hacked Floppy Disk Drives Playing Star Wars' Imperial March [Video]

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Remember floppy disk drives? Those things that read disks that each contained 1.44 megabytes of your adolescent poetry and multiple computer games? You know, that thing you paid nine dollars for the last time you built a computer because, hey, it was only nine dollars? Well, better than sitting in your custom gaming rig and doing nothing, these two floppy disk drives are hacked to make music — specifically, the iconic Imperial March from Star Wars.

The noises used to generate the music is made by a magnetic head moved by a stepper motor. One can make specific sounds when the head is moved at an appropriate corresponding frequency.

To move the head you need to activate the drive by pulling the DRVSB0 or 1 (depends on the cable you have and the connector – notice the crossover on the FDD ribbon cable) pin low and then falling edge on STEP pin makes the head move one step in direction dependent on DIR pin state.

An ATMega microcontroller is generating those frequencies and it makes the drives play music.

I guess it is only a matter of time before these floppy drives are included in some synth band.

(Silent.it.cx via reddit)


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