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The Imperial March on Floppy Disc


(YouTube link)

OK, I don’t know how it’s done and I can’t find any technical information behind it, but apparently you can play music on a floppy disc with a stepper motor. I found a link to this post in the comments at VideoSift that might makes some sense to those who have more expertise than I do. -via VideoSift

Every floppy (and hard) drive uses a voice coil to move the head arm in and out. It's a little different from a speaker voice coil, and usually has a different impedance, but uses the exact same principle. You can drive a disk drive's coil from any audio power amplifier, provided the impedance is in the range the amp needs to see for a load. Very simple. That guy who did a remake of Radiohead's "Nude" did the same thing with those 8 hard drives. All he did was take the covers off, and wire the head voice coils together (probably in parallel), then drive them from an audio amp. It sounds awful, of course.
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@ericbarbour: I've pulled a few FDDs apart, and they don't use a voice coil. because of the small slot, the head moves in a straight line, using a motor and a worm gear (which is part of the reason they are so slow).

If you listen to 'Nude' again ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmfHHLfbjNQ )you'll hear that this sounds more like the printer or the scanner (both of which use stepper motors) than the HDD array.
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this is ringing bells with me, I seem to remember a game on the amstrad cpc that used the built in tape motor to make sound effects. Although it was a good two decades ago and it may actually have been the disc drive I had attached to it
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Ugh. What's with the advertising links in the comments? having the spam in the article is bad enough, without making us feel like spammers.
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They just software "twiddle" the step/dir lines on the floppy controller with software, with pulses equating the frequency they need, but they cannot get to high a frequency.

In the scanner, its stepper motor is directly driven by the micro (with a driver IC of course), and can directly pout any frequency it wants on the motor.
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Darth Vader lives! And he's in floppy disc format! This is what i love about sites like these. You log on every day and find the coolest, weirdest stuff you can't find anywhere else.
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