floppy drive to usb?

Hi all, I am fairly new to programming and the arduino itself, but have always had a playful interest. So, as my first real project with my new arduino uno, i would like to do something helpful. my grandmother owns a custom embroidery business and her machines use a floppy drive to read design files (.dst format if that helps). they are tajima machines and use a tajima stitching and digitizing program to create the necessary files. the machine itself has an internal computer platform with a small lcd screen and floppy reader. this is verryyy slow as one might guess and outdated as well. i would like to modify the floppy reader or create a peripheral using the arduino, that allows designs to be read in through a usb thumb drive instead. once again, i am kind of new to this so any help is much appreciated :).

This is a very difficult project. Make it slightly easer by using an SD card in place of a memory stick because shields exist for that. However you have the problem of making the arduino look like a floppy interface, difficult but not impossible. What I fear is impossible is how you know what sort of filling system the machine is expecting on the floppy. You need to know this before you can attempt to emulate this in software.

thank you for the quick reply, it is much appreciated. i will look into seeing if i can find out what file system the machine is going off of. and i will also see if there is any more info or specs i can dig up. ill also look into the sd instead.

quick update… my grandmother isn’t very technologically inclined but did happen to know what format the floppy was in for the machines to read it. the floppies themselves are double sided, high density 1.44mb, 3.5 inch. they are then reformatted by the tajima program into double density format which is quite outdated. anyone have an idea of how to go about this?

update 2: upon inspection of the machine and more questioning, it seems the machines originally read designs through a direct wire… either a serial or parrallel port on the bottom of the lcd and platform head. will post pics soon

minispot6671:
quick update… my grandmother isn’t very technologically inclined but did happen to know what format the floppy was in for the machines to read it.

That’s not really related to the file system being used, is it?

minispot6671:
update 2: upon inspection of the machine and more questioning, it seems the machines originally read designs through a direct wire… either a serial or parrallel port on the bottom of the lcd and platform head. will post pics soon

Spend some time with a logic analyzer attached and you might be able to decode the signals necessary for emulating the floppy drive.

You really need to get your hands on the technical documentation for the machines.

not to down the sprits of it all but you know they make exactly what your looking for under 50 bucks.

we used one at work to see if our old crappy floppy systems could be updated, I think it cost like 29$ and supported all the normal MFM formats (not 800k DD mac though cause that's a pain in the ...)