Casio FZ-1 - Technical Issues

Technical Issues

The FZ-1's LCD display had a back-light that burned out quickly. When left unattended it could, in some cases, interrupt the power supply, causing the unit to switch off during operation, or not turn on at all (with an audible whine coming from the back-light). However, the back-lights were easily replaceable as they simply slid out from under the screen. Blue, non-Casio-manufactured back-lights are still available from various websites.

The floppy disk drive in the FZ-1 is also prone to failure. These were difficult to replace as the FZ-1 used a non-standard drive. The drive spun faster than normal IBM drives and it used the shugart bus rather than the PC/AT bus. Replacing the floppy-drive with a normal IBM drive required soldering inside the FZ-1 and rewiring of the ribbon cable so the ready signal of the drive was transmitted for normal operation. It also appears that only certain models of IBM standard floppy drive are compatible with the FZ-1. An FZ-1 with a broken floppy drive drops the price considerably.

However, it has been shown in some cases that the drives may not be burned out at all and all that is needed to render the Diskette drive useful again is to simply add lubricant to the internal cage assembly. The cage assembly is responsible for pushing the diskette downwards, therefore triggering the system's 'Ready' signal to start data access. It is also responsible for allowing the motor assembly to latch onto the bottom of the diskette to start it spinning. It is recommended that all FZ owners attempt this simple repair first before replacement of the old drive.

A further issue with the disk drives on the FZ series was that they would only accept HD ('High Density') 3.5" floppy disks, at a time when this type of disk was considerably more expensive than the DD ('Double Density') type. A somewhat unsatisfactory (through its possible voiding of warranty) workaround for this was the removal from the drive of the small probe that detected the type of any disk inserted into the drive.

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