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DaynaFILE SCSI Floppy Disk Drive (5.25″: 360k, 1.2M, 3.5″: 720k, 1.44M)

In the late 90s I picked up a DaynaFile, a SCSI attached floppy drive, with a 360k floppy that someone had thrown out at my work. It sat neglected in a drawer for years until I finally got a power supply to get it working again. Looking around the internet I was able to find a copy of the 2.2 enabler, the 4.1 enabler, a copy of the 5th edition (1989) of the manual, and a brochure (1987), but limited technical information. As usual, I’m using my blog to document what I’ve found and pieced it together so I don’t forget, and to hopefully help others.

  1. What is a DaynaFile?
  2. History
  3. Supported drives and settings
  4. DaynaFile settings
  5. DaynaFile power supply
  6. Using your DaynaFile
  7. Advertisements and articles

What is a DaynaFile

The DaynaFile is an external SCSI enclosure that lets you connect IBM PC 5.25″ 360k, 5.25″ 1.2MB, 3.5″ 720k, and 3.5″ 1.44MB floppy drives to your SCSI enabled Macintosh, NeXT system, and possibly SCSI enabled PC systems running BSD (unconfirmed). I have only tested mine by connecting it to my Macintosh systems.

History

1987: Dayna refines the technology behind MacCharlie into a product called DaynaFILE, an external disk drive that allows Macintosh computers to exchange files with IBM PC- compatibles on floppy disk. DaynaFILE quickly becomes a successful product and remains the company’s mainstay until the product lines are extended into the LAN market three years later.

Dayna’s About page cached in November 1996 by the WayBack Machine

According to an article I found online by Inc Magazine from July 1998, Dayna Communications first developed their MacCharlie in 1985 (an addon for the Mac Plus that would let you run dos programs and load files from a 360k floppy), when that didn’t sell as expected (leading the company to almost go bankrupt), Dayna re-used some of the technology to release the FT 100 in 1986, a product that reused MacCharlie’s case but reduced it’s functionality to just the 360k floppy drive with a program to move files to and from the floppy as a way to share files between the IBM PC and the Macintosh. The FT 100 was then quickly replaced by the DaynaFILE in mid-1987 which according to the Inc Magazine article sold well and helped Dayna Communications become profitable again. In 1991 the DyanaFile II was released as a single drive device as a cost reduced design according to a discussion I had through LinkedIn with Lynn Alley Dayna’s CTO at the time. In 1997 Dayna Communications was acquired by Intel with Intel focusing on Dayna’s networking hardware and ending support for the DaynaFile with ROM 4.1 and Enabler 4.1. In 1988 Dayna’s website was updated to state that their product line had been discontinued, and there is no longer any mention of the DaynaFile as a product.

1988: Dayna does indeed look like a business that is just getting under way, and, in one sense, it is. Its product, DaynaFile, came out only a year ago. The device, which allows users to share data between Macs and IBM personal computers, has won glowing reviews in trade publications and shared Product of the Year honors with the Macintosh II at MacWorld. Monthly sales have been brisk, passing the $92,000 mark in March, far ahead of schedule.

Article about how Dayna Communications was almost bankrupted by the MacCharlie: July 1988 Inc. magazine

1991: Dayna also introduced the DAYNAFILE II. It has been repackaged in a smaller case, and the external power supply is now smaller. The original DaynaFILE was available in eight single and dual-drive configurations, but the new version has been consolidated into three single-drive models. Two new 5.25-inch drives read and write 360k and 1.2MB disk, and the 1.2MB model can also read and write 360k disks. The 3.5-inch drive reads and writes 1.4MB disks as well as 1.4MB Macintosh disks. This makes it a perfect external SuperDrive for older Macintoshes. Dayna is also bundling DOS Mounter 2.0 with all models of the DaynaFILE II.

1991-04 Computer Monthly page 136

The original DaynaFile had two bays and a larger external power supply.  DaynaFile II was really a cost -and space-reducing measure with just a single drive bay and smaller supply.

Lynn Alley Dayna’s CTO, as part of a discussion through linkedIn when I asked what was different about the DaynaFile II

Supported Floppy Drives

One document referenced in both the copy of the 5th edition (1989) of the manual, and the brochure (1987), is the “DaynaFile Recommended Drive List”, I had given up hope of finding anything like that, when I found a past ebay sale that includes a low resolution photo of a document called “DaynaFile Approved Floppy Disk Drives Revision 1.6”, this is the only copy I’ve found so far of that document. I’m assuming the document either came with DaynaFile systems, or was at one point available from Dayna Communications, perhaps on their FTP site. What’s not clear is if the version of board and/or ROM in the Daynafile impacts what drives are or are not compatible. I’ve attempted to transcribe what I can read from the image in to the table below. Please let me know in the comments if you find a newer version, or if you find any errors:

Below is a list of drives which will function properly with the DaynaFile. If the drive to be installed is not on this list, contact Dayna Communications Customer Service (obviously not an option anymore). Before installing a second drive in the DaynaFile, be sure that the drive jumpers are set correctly, and that the terminator has been removed or disabled (when possible). If the drive has a resistor pack that is socketed, it can be removed with a small screwdriver or long-nosed pliers. If the drive has a termination jumper, remove it. To save a jumper, plug it onto one of the two pins from which it was removed, with one end of the jumper hanging free. If a 3.5″ drive requires a 5.25″ adapter, follow the instructions with the adapter to install the drive in the adapter. When installing a drive in either slot of the DaynaFile verify that the top drive (J2) has a terminator installed (or enabled), and the bottom drive (J3) has it’s terminator removed (or disabled) when possible.

BrandSizeModelsDrive Jumpers RequiredTermination
Chinon5.25″ 360KbF-502II, F-502LIIJ1-3Jumper at J1-1
Fujitsu5.25″ 360KbM2441A08DS1, ROYResistor pack
Matushita5.25″ 360KbJA551-045DS1, DS, MM, DA, +WP, RYResistor pack
Misubushi5.25″ 360KbMF501A-3DS1, MMResistor pack
Panasonic5.25″ 360KbJU455-5DS1, DS, MM, +WPResistor pack
Shugart5.25″ 360KbSA455-3DS1, DS, MM, +WPResistor pack
Teac5.25″ 360KbFD-55BR-500D1, RY, U1, FGResistor pack
Teac5.25″ 360KbFD-55BR-578D1, RY, U1, FGNot removable
Teac5.25″ 360KbFD-558VDS1, RY, FGResistor pack
Chinon5.25″ 1.2MbF-506II, LIIJ1-2, J1-6, J1-8, J1-10, J2-1Jumper at J1-1
Panasonic5.25″ 1.2MbJU475-2AEGDS1, DS, DA, MM, AT, CX, ROYJumper at TM
Panasonic5.25″ 1.2MbJU475-2AGGDS1, DS, DA, MM, AT, CX, ROYJumper at TM
Teac5.25″ 1.2MbFD-SSGFRD1, U1, RY, II, FGResistor pack
Teac5.25″ 1.2MbFD-SSGFVDS1, RY, II, FGResistor pack
Teac3.5″ 720KbFD-35FN-23D1, MO, FG, S2, S2, S3Not removable
Teac3.5″ 720KbFD-133FB-802, 806, 892, 896D1, RY, DC, FG, ST on adapterNot removable
Toshiba3.5″ 720KbFDD440BACK12 (plus adapter)None (see Toshiba mod sheet)Not removable
Teac3.5″ 1.44MbFD-135HFN-801, 809, 891D1, RY, OC, FG, ST on adapterNot removable
Sony*3.5″ 1.44MbMFD120? ?
My attempt to transcribe the text from the photo and additional drives* I found info on online

DaynaFile Settings

The following table is based on the table posted by Philip Spencer on his site, photos I’ve found online showing additional jumper settings and an advertisement from Macworld July 1990 listing available drive combinations for sale for the DaynaFile.

A question mark (?) indicates I don’t yet have the settings for the specified drive configuration. The two connectors for the drives on the DaynaFile’s circuit board are labeled J2 (terminated) and J3 (not terminated), the remaining jumpers are also clearly labeled on the circuit board:

J2 (top)J3 (bottom)J4 (jump these pins)J5J6 (jump)J9J10Source
360kN/A3-5,4-6,7-9,8-10,11-12None17JumpedMine, Lesca’s, Idr’s and Tales of Weird stuff.

1.2MBN/A3-5,4-6,7-9,8-10,11-12None07JumpedPhilip’s Table, and Paul B Powers
720kN/A?
1.44MBN/A3-5,4-6,7-9,8-10,11-12None1,27JumpedPhilip’s Table
360k1.2MB1-3,4-6,7-9,8-10,11-12None1,2,37JumpedPhilip’s Table, Recycled goods
360k720k?Worthpoint
360k1.44MB?Worthpoint
1.2MB1.44MB3-5,4-6,7-9,8-10,11-12None0,2,37NOT JumpedPhilip’s Table, Foone’s twitter post, Mercari
Settings for the DaynaFile found online

DaynaFile Power Supply

The DaynaFile requires a WM220-1 ELPAC power supply, which are no longer being manufactured, and are becoming expensive on eBay. I’ve yet to find a guide on how to make a modern version.

Using your DaynaFile

To do, I will likely create a separate post with my experiments with my DaynaFile to work, e.g. I’d like to experiment with using a GoTek or eqivalent, and using my EPSON SD-800 dual floppy disk drive (essentially two drives on the J2 or J3 connector) . For now, you can read the copy of the 5th edition (1989) of the manual, and use either the the 2.2 enabler, or the 4.1 enabler. Note, you may need to have the 3.0 ROM or newer to use the 4.1 enabler. I’m currently experimenting with my 2.1 and the 3.1 ROMs on my 2.0 board for my DaynaFile, and I’m looking for the 4.1 ROM. Also want to play with the different versions of Dos Mounter (95), vs. PC exchange, vs. AccessPC.

Version 3.1 of the software is free of charge, and requires no ROM upgrade. Version 4.1 is not free of charge and requires a ROM upgrade.

Taken from a partial Read Me file (wish I had the whole thing)
 EPSON SD-800/SD-880 DUAL FLOPPY DISK DRIVE
                                            3.5"     5.25"
                      Slot   Connector SS1  (1.44Mb)  (1.2Mb)
    Configuration 1:  Upper   Drive A   A       A        B
    Configuration 2:  Upper   Drive A   B       B        A
    Configuration 3:  Lower   Drive B   A       B        A
    Configuration 4:  Lower   Drive B   H       A        B

Advertisements and Articles

This is a subset of the articles and advertisements I’ve found mainly on the internet archive, as I read through them any key articles or ads will be added to this list:

The Computer Chronicles Season 7 (1989–90) episode 11 DOS to Mac and Back
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