Parallel port floppy control.

Though floppy drives are not really used anymore, they can be adapted for other purposes. Most web cameras only look in one direction. With the help of a floppy drive and a sort of lazy Susan, you can control the direction of view for the webcam.

The electronic wiring is fairly  simple. You can connect in several ways.


if the jumper from pin 11 to 12 is set and you have the power source connected, the led of the disk drive should be on. If you do not want to use the picture:

A. Connect Pin 11 and 12 with a Jumper on the drive.
B. Connect Pin 18 of the drive with Pin 2 of the parallel port.
C. Connect Pin 20 of the drive with Pin 3 of the parallel port.
D. Connect the rightest pin of the power from the drive to the red wire of the floppy power cable.
E. Connect the pin left of the rightest pin of the power with black wire on the floppy power connector and to the ground to pin 18 of the parallel port. Actually I did not touch the ground wire on the power cable. I took pins 17 and 19 off the drive to pin 18 on the cable.

Probably use a cut off floppy cable connector with some ribbon cable attached. No need to solder directly to the pins, but you will need to connect wires together for pins 11 and 12 on the drive.


Now moving the head:

We need to connect the following:
  • 14: Drive select enables or disables the motor and also the LED. This is useful if you want the LED only to be active when you hear a tone but clearly optional.
  • 20: Step steps the motor by one step by changing it from HIGH to LOW.
  • 18: Dir controls the direction of the motor. You should change it every step so your motor vibrates. Personally, I prefer vibrating over moving up and down as moving is not very loud and doesn't sound very good either

Direction change
x = 0
out 888, 2^x

Step motor
X = 1
out 888, 2^x

out 888, 0

Port 888 can be used to send data to the parallel port. Examples of code can be found at:

  • Direction pin: use on for forward and off for backward.
  • Stepping pin: An on followed by an off will step the drive.
Have fun. 


    Popular posts from this blog

    Linux floppy based serial terminal.

    Slackware web install.