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-   -   Analogic's CD32 disk drive expander unit mini review. (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=33303)

Paul_s 23 November 2007 15:14

Analogic's CD32 disk drive expander unit mini review.
 
I found these the other night on fleabay (still some left :D )

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=180181356684

So, it arrived today.. :D

The unit itself is basically a Sony FDD unit housed in a cream coloured plastic (pretty sturdy). Manufactured by Index Information.

Slots straight into the back port on the CD32 and is a good fit - there is also a RTC (real time clock) which is contained on a seperate PCB (see pics).

Other ports housed on the unit are a Printer Parallel port, 15-pin port (god knows what for - PC joystick?) and a PSU socket by the looks of it on the side, although non supplied - worked fine without one :confused It also has a hole slot so you can fix the unit in place permanetly to your CD32.

Loading times from floppy is as quick as a 1200 - when you insert a disk in the CD32 blanks the screen and then takes around 3 seconds to pick the disk up and start loading whatever's on it.

There's no special keys to press to enable the unit, CD's are loaded as before.

To sum up:

Pros:

Excellent if you only play a few AGA-only games which were not ported to the CD32 format.
Loads pretty fast.
Must be quite rare as I've never seen them before :sad
Floppy disk clicking sound :cheese
You pretty much have a basic no-frills 1200 (adding keyboard of course to the mini-din slot on the side) but without RGB/Serial ports - although you could probably rig something up for the RGB if you were fussy enough ;)

Cons:

Would be better colour coded to the CD32!
No manual supplied although do you really need one for something this simple? :cheese
Not an SX1 or SX32 by a long shot :crazy

Pics;

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/9553/fitted.jpg
http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/4409/rear.jpg
http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/6208/psu.jpg
http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/1411/slotm.jpg
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/4287/rtc.jpg

Charlie 23 November 2007 16:13

Neat-O :cool

Almost tempted to get one for my CD32, esp as it gets far more use than either of my A1200's. (I just seem to take them to bits, add stuff & put back together again)

As you say, shame so little attention was given to the appearance. Would have been a whole lot more tempting in black & shaped like a +3 for the Acorn Electron. (should that ring any bells here)

I would be sold if it had an IDE header - CD32 with internal IDE and floppy drive...

Zetr0 23 November 2007 16:15

@Paul s

Awesome review my friend.. looks great :D

(i will be finished with your memory adapter this weekend my solder mop finally arrived!!!)

BippyM 23 November 2007 16:16

Paul send it to Zetr0 so he can cheaply manufacture some more :cheese

Charlie 23 November 2007 16:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by bippym (Post 373310)
Paul send it to Zetr0 so he can cheaply manufacture some more :cheese

Great idea! He would do it properly too. ;)

BippyM 23 November 2007 16:51

Yup and get Binox to have the case made in that transparent blue :D

cane 23 November 2007 19:07

Thanks for the review Paul_s :great, I'm tempted to buy one - I'd buy one if it's a bit cheaper.

It would be awesome if the battery clock could be replaced with some home made ram expansion.

Zetr0 23 November 2007 19:58

has anyone got pinout / schematics on the cd32 port?

if so it might be easy to adapt an A500 8mb Fast ram project from Aminet.

narmi 23 November 2007 21:15

I suspect the pinout would be similar to the expansion port of the A1200. It might be easier to make an adapter board to allow A1200 accelerators to be attached.

Zetr0 23 November 2007 21:33

here we go :)

CD32 expansion bus
http://www.technick.net/public/code/...cd32_expansion

A1200 expansion bus

http://pinouts.ru/Slots/A1200CPU_pinout.shtml

very close indeed :)

If its possible to handle the bus correctly then i believe it would be simple to build a port interface.... hmmm still need an ide or scsi interface....

Charlie 24 November 2007 00:18

CD32 expansion bus
TBH I've not taken a look but pins 1-7 may be connected :)

Agent 88 & 68030 ;)
Agent 88...

Would I pull the Blizzard '060 + SCSI out of my A1200 to connect to my CD32 if I could?
Hell - Yes!

Paul_s 24 November 2007 00:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlie (Post 373308)
I would be sold if it had an IDE header - CD32 with internal IDE and floppy drive...

Yea tis a shame but I do like the simplicity of CDs for loading stuff... the disc drive will help me play those odd A1200 games I've been missing :bowdown

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zetr0 (Post 373309)
@Paul s

Awesome review my friend.. looks great :D

(i will be finished with your memory adapter this weekend my solder mop finally arrived!!!)

Excellmental - ta very much my love. :cheese Can't wait to try the ram upgrade thingy :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by bippym (Post 373310)
Paul send it to Zetr0 so he can cheaply manufacture some more :cheese

:lol He'll probably turn it into a SX-32++++++++++++++

Quote:

Originally Posted by bippym (Post 373330)
Yup and get Binox to have the case made in that transparent blue :D

:bowdownThat would be cool to re-case it... really needs it though for the 32.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlie (Post 373442)
CD32 expansion bus
TBH I've not taken a look but pins 1-7 may be connected :)

Agent 88 & 68030 ;)
Agent 88...

Would I pull the Blizzard '060 + SCSI out of my A1200 to connect to my CD32 if I could?
Hell - Yes!

Oh god, that would be awesome! The official 030 accelerator for the CD32 never did happen... Would be one powerful beasty with a card like that inside... would probably fit pretty well too :)

nujack 24 November 2007 19:13

@Paul_s: Could I use a FMV-card in the 2nd slot or only the battery-clock-card? Will the disk-drive work when I have plugged a FMV-card to this slot?

TheBoss 25 November 2007 10:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul_s (Post 373450)
Oh god, that would be awesome! The official 030 accelerator for the CD32 never did happen... Would be one powerful beasty with a card like that inside... would probably fit pretty well too :)

At least we managed to get the SX32 Pro, full 68030 (+MMU) 50Mhz but I wish for 040/060 versions too ;)
check sig for how it looks if interested.

alexh 25 November 2007 23:05

It would be very easy to add fastram using one of these, the realtime clock board could easily be replaced with a different card with extra features.

I made an internal fast-ram interface for the CD32 a long time ago.

Nice find. £40 is too expensive though.

Paul_s 27 November 2007 00:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by nujack (Post 373552)
@Paul_s: Could I use a FMV-card in the 2nd slot or only the battery-clock-card? Will the disk-drive work when I have plugged a FMV-card to this slot?

I don't see why not tbh, but I couldn't say for sure as I don't own a FMV card :(

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexh (Post 373807)
It would be very easy to add fastram using one of these, the realtime clock board could easily be replaced with a different card with extra features.

I made an internal fast-ram interface for the CD32 a long time ago.

Nice find. £40 is too expensive though.

Yea, £40 was a bit OTT and they are not new either. Would be cool with a fastram upgrade - think that's what I might look at using :D

kolla 27 November 2007 02:50

My wish list for a CD32 upgrade card:

* more RAM somehow
* a megabyte or two of flash ram for kickstart modules etc
* battery backed clock

And then either:
* clock port, for subway, poseidon kickstart modules on the flash memory
* USB-disk or USB flash memory, USB memory card driver to boot from
* USB-ethernet stick that works with Poseidon's sana2 driver :-)

or (the harder way, I think)

* buildt in memory card reader (CF or SD) to boot from
* buildt in ethernet controller (and a sana2 device driver)

Ofcourse a CPU upgrade as well would be nice, even only a empty socket for those of us who already have spare 030/882? Maybe it will be possible to do CPU upgrades using FPGA in not a too distant future :-)

Zetr0 27 November 2007 04:30

@kolla

Hello there,

Welcome to the EAB, i am sure you will like it here, there is plenty of mischief to get up to :).

I believe there are some open source plans for clock ports on an A500 68k socket so arguably since the CD32 has a full pin out on its expansion bus, it would be quite simple to convert the existing project. IDE would need some level controll though, but again, there are plans on aminet that adds SCSI to an a500 68000 socket so... easy to re-implement....

imma working on the memory ;) :D

Philski 30 November 2007 20:33

CD32 Floppy drive
 
Hi there,

having been reading these boards for however many years I thought I would finally join the party.

I just had a query about this CD32 floppy drive. Is it only compatible with AGA software or do older games work on it to?

Cheers

Phil

Zetr0 30 November 2007 20:55

@Philski

Hello there,

Weclome to the EAB :D

as you have read .... theres plenty of mischief to get upto :D

the floppy drive, i belive can be booted from too... as the cd32 is an AGA machine it should play AGA games..

depending on the drive mechanism however it may limmit some overly protected games,

but it should all be good :D


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