Everything's Going Wrong

By Tony Boarer

Originally published in EUG #18

I have a couple of problems that some members may be able to profer some advice upon. First I am having an intermittent problem with various keys on my Electron (Not always the same ones!) that register more than once. For example, I get 'ttt' instead of the one 't'. It also happens with the FUNC key help down giving 'MODEMODE' instead of 'MODE'. It also seems worse in some Modes than in others. At the moment I cannot produce the problem but it is particularly annoying when it occurs while using a word processor and one then had to re-edit the text to get rid of all the surplus letters.

The second problem concerns the Pegasus 400 disk drive interface, for that is where I assume the cause resides. This problem is why I noted in a previous letter that I sometimes swapped the interface between the front and rear Rombox+ slots. However, this has only proved to be a temporary solution as it is now occuring in both positions. The problem is that sometimes when I save (although never yet on a load command) a program or some data to disk, I get either of the disk fault messages:

      Disk fault 8 (or 10) on Drv 00 (or 1, 2 and 3 as
      appropriate) at Trk??, Sct??

A disk fault 10 almost always needs the disk to be reformatted. A disk fault 8 at Trk 00 almost always needs the disk to be reformatted, but at higher track numbers the disk can nearly always be recovered after power down and starting again. By a process of trial and error, the fault seems to be with the contact of the interface fingers in the Rombox+ slots; the interface is not such a firm fit in the slot as a ROM cartridge by the nature of the Slogger design. At present I have the interface in the rear slot held in place either side with rubber wedges and this has markedly reduced the problem but not eliminated it.

Any thoughts on permanent solutions? I now have sufficient back-up disks to recover any lost data but it is time I could use to better effect!

Tony Boarer

The problem with your keys sounds like the 'de-bounce' circuit in your Electron is faulty. This circuit is necessary in a computer because one keypress to use mortals may be many to a computer. I may be wrong. If it is this, then you might try changing the ICs on the keyboard. I think there are three though it is some time since I looked. Don't worry which ones, just take a note of the numbers of all and buy replacements. They are very cheap now.

If this doesn't work or is perhaps too difficult then a replacement keyboard may be the thing or perhaps a professional repair. Jafa Systems [Advert in EUG #17] do repair work on the Electron and maybe also have spare keyboards. I have always been satisfied with their service in the past.

I think that Slogger also does repairs but I cannot confirm this as I am still waiting for some advertising from them since first asking last July! Jafa can be reached on 01222 887203. Say hello from me.

The problem with the disk drive sounds tricky. Perhaps you might ask Jafa for an estimate to check out your whole system. It could be worthwhile in the long run. Sometimes one problem which may be relatively minor in itself can have a chain of consequences elsewhere later.

I know the PEGASUS system well and it is good. Do let us know how you get on. If any member can throw more light on these problems than I can, then contact Tony either directly or via EUG. Either way, don't forget to share whatever happens with the rest of us.

I am currently having a problem myself with my main Electron and will be contacting Jafa myself shortly. Certain programs, that work on other machines, are not behaving as expected on it. I suspect that certain addresses have been corrupted by a hardware fault but as they are only called by certain programs, the problem rarely shows itself.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #18