The 512GB Floppy Disk - Micro SD Storage

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Introduction: The 512GB Floppy Disk - Micro SD Storage

About: I love to hack products do something they shouldn't be able to do.

Floppy disks can't store much, but what if they could?

I thought it would be really interesting to add storage space to an old storage media that no one will use any more. I had some floppies lying around and thought I'd give it a try! My goal was to make it look as original and unmodified as possible.

Supplies

Here are a few things you'll need for this project:

  1. 3.5" floppy disk - https://amzn.to/3Q3No8B
  2. Magnets 1x6mm - https://amzn.to/3vgtLlt
  3. Heavy cardstock - https://amzn.to/3Q0ykbC
  4. Micro SD cards - https://amzn.to/3vmNctc
  5. Cellophane tape - https://amzn.to/3betclG
  6. Super glue - https://amzn.to/3bclpEU
  7. Adhesive vinyl - https://amzn.to/3S5sszP


Some tools I used:

  1. Cricut explore air 2 - https://amzn.to/3PU9slQ
  2. Milling machine - https://amzn.to/3PHKhDi
  3. Dremel - https://amzn.to/3S3qgc1
  4. Hobby razor blade - https://amzn.to/3vjiHnM

Note: I may earn a commission from the links above. If you do buy something, that helps me out and I greatly appreciate it!

Step 1: Take Apart Floppy Disk

The first step is to take the floppy disk apart:

  1. Remove the metal slider at the bottom - be careful to keep the front side undamaged
  2. There is a spring inside pushing the slider shut - you won't need that any longer
  3. The actual floppy disk itself isn't needed

Step 2: Cut the Metal Slider

To be able to open and close the floppy disk, you'll need to remove the back half of the metal slider

  1. I used a Dremel and carefully cut along the bottom of the slider, and kept the front of the slider
  2. After this, I glued the metal slider back onto the front housing of the floppy disk.

Step 3: Remove Raised Features Inside Floppy

In my floppy, there were a few raised features on the inside of the 3.5" circular area (on the plastic housing). I machined those to be flush with the main surface of the housing, but you could use a dremel or similar tool to make it flat.

Step 4: Install Magnets Inside Floppy

I machined pockets in the corners of the lower housing to get the magnets to sit flush with each other once both halves of the housing were closed. The magnets were glued into place. On the upper housing, I didn't machine any pockets.

The pocket depth was trial and error. I machined and tested several times. Make sure to go slowly and avoid breaking through the plastic housing!

To install:

With the magnets glued to the lower housing (in the pockets), I put the upper magnets directly onto the lower ones, added some glue to the top of the exposed top of the upper magnets, and then put the floppy together - easy alignment. Give it a few minutes for the glue to dry.

Step 5: Cut the Internal Divider Parts

There are two main parts that hold the micro SD cards:

  1. The dividers (heavy cardstock)
  2. The vinyl adhesive backer

I cut 4 identical dividers (total thickness should be 0.040-0.050") on my cricut, and then aligned, stacked and glued them together using the disk alignment plate (3d printed) and super glue. The disk alignment plate is removed once the dividers are aligned and glue is on them.

I used a few books to smash the dividers flat during gluing. Find something heavy and flat to use, otherwise the dividers may not sit flat and might not let the floppy disk close all the way.

Once they're glued together, you can add the vinyl adhesive backer (sticky side up) to the divider stack. Then, that entire assembly can be glue into the bottom housing of the floppy disk.

Step 6: Add a Hinge

I used a lo-fi method for a hinge - cellophane tape.

With the floppy disk assembled:

  1. I added tape in the upper area - wrapping from the front, over the top and to the back - making sure it was wider the the recess in the back
  2. Next, I trimmed the tape with a hobby razor, to be flush with that recess in the back. It gave it a nice clean appearance.

Step 7: Impress Your Friends

Now, instead of having the same micro sd card holder that everyone has, you have a very unique way to store your cards!

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1 Person Made This Project!

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41 Comments

0
dennis.jewitt
dennis.jewitt

2 hours ago

Sony did make a floppy that held a memory card and I recall a couple of flat cell batteries. It could be read on a regular drive. Just found mine Sony memory Stick / Floppy Disk Adaptor MSAC-FD2M
Yours is a good project though !

0
amysherrick
amysherrick

10 days ago

I’ve always heard to keep magnets away from computer storage devices. Is that risky to put them that close to the SD cards?

0
Doktor Jones
Doktor Jones

Reply 9 days ago

That only applies to magnetic media; SD cards aren't magnetic storage, so they don't really care. You could sandwich an SD card between two rare earth magnets, and as long as the magnets don't physically destroy it, the SD card would be perfectly fine.

0
amysherrick
amysherrick

Reply 9 days ago

Wow! I had no idea they weren’t magnetic. I’ve always worried about that because I have some kind of magnet fetish and always have some in my purse. So I was always careful to make there weren’t any in the pocket where I put my SD cards and such. Good info! Thanks.

0
kPlusPlus
kPlusPlus

Reply 9 days ago

Thats true. All material or buy 1tb HDD.

0
fred_dot_u
fred_dot_u

9 days ago

After completing my diskette card caddy, I realized that one could once find self-adhesive diskette labels that wrapped completely around the diskette, and could be used in place of the tape. I don't think it would be an easy matter to find those labels, though.

0
sirjason132
sirjason132

Reply 9 days ago

Great idea!

0
AprilM89
AprilM89

10 days ago on Introduction

That's really a cool idea👍😎 Very creative!!!
I would like to make some but, I don't have a cricut or a milling machine - do you have any ideas for making this without those 2 tools?
(Disabled vet - no money to buy tools.)

0
sirjason132
sirjason132

Best Answer 9 days ago

Hi AprilM89!

Thank you, I appreciate it!

You could print the dxf file out on paper, and cut it out by hand. (I would use a hobby razor).
To remove the extra plastic on the floppy disk, you could use a razor blade or dremel.
You might be able to use some thinner magnets and not machine a pocket in the housing.

I hope this helps you!

0
AprilM89
AprilM89

Answer 9 days ago

Thank you!

0
Zero2019
Zero2019

10 days ago

this would be grate if only you could use it as a active storeag device.

0
Doktor Jones
Doktor Jones

Reply 9 days ago

I wish I had the time and space to make this. I could see organizing 6-8 micro SD cards in a circular tray (or maybe 4 regular size SD cards?) attached to the spindle, then put the reader in the floppy drive along with a microcontroller that manipulates the servo to select the desired SD card.

0
Zero2019
Zero2019

Reply 9 days ago

ya. its not running as a bach reader just one.

0
sirjason132
sirjason132

Reply 9 days ago

I agree with you. I think I know what my next project will be :)

0
AndrewA167
AndrewA167

Reply 10 days ago

Search around - there's a youtube video or something out there (I forget) where the person took a floppy drive, and modified it to add an SD card reader, then modded the floppy to leave the contacts of the SD card behind the slider. Did a mod to the LED as well (I think hooking it up to the access LED of the reader). Insert the floppy, contacts connect to the "hidden" SD card, and there you go. In fact, when I first saw this 'able - I thought it was going to be a recreation of that particular method...

0
wallace54
wallace54

10 days ago on Introduction

In terms of RAW MATERIALS Cost, what is the replacement price of all those little micro sd's when someone cleans off your desktop and throws out those OLD, Obsolete Floppy Discs?
And how many hours of Make It Over Again Time will be spent in recovering all the File Contents contained on them - if you can remember what was on each of the micro sd's.

0
Doktor Jones
Doktor Jones

Reply 9 days ago

WTF is *someone else* doing "cleaning off" *your* desktop in the first place? Even if you have a shared workspace, labeling the disks as yours should be sufficient to keep others from tossing your stuff without asking you; if your coworkers can't respect your property, you should find somewhere else to work. Heck, my *wife* respects me enough, even after all we've been through, to ask me before throwing out *literal garbage* from my desk, let alone something that might have some sort of value to me.

0
JGDean
JGDean

10 days ago

Interesting idea, but it's just storage for micro-SD cards - and a lot of work for what is just a fancy storage box. I prefer the hidden flash drive by MatiasMamo that lets you hide an operating flash drive out in plain sight - in an obsolete USB cable. The cost is a free old USB cable and whatever size flash drive you choose, which you probably have already. — https://www.instructables.com/Secret-Flash-Drive-inside-an-USB-cable/

0
sirjason132
sirjason132

Reply 9 days ago

Yes, it was a fair amount of work. Nice - that's a great idea for a project!