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Old 16 July 2016, 20:33   #1
Zetr0
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Hack@Home: 16GB mSATA SSD to Amiga IDE - for about £10

Hello my fellow EAB'ers!

I have been so busy over the last couple of weeks I have ached to post this here. So today was the day I finally got some time with my Amiga's over the last week - and now I can post results for you guys, whom hold a special place in my retro-heart!


So what is all this about, well absolutely YONKS ago (please note that is an official unit of time ) I posted a small series on here and on AmiBay a Hack@Home article if you will, just simple cheap (pocket money) projects you can do at home, I tried to do a couple a month, from upgrading CHIP RAM to ATX power supply conversion, however work, family and to be fair FTL / Grimrock managed to get in the way.

Anyway - got some time today - so here goes

Hack@Home (Season 2, Episode 1 - Part 1)

"How to make a 16/32GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for your IDE equipped Amiga"

Note:
While this "write up" will provide links, it does assumes that you know how to set up an Amiga emulating environment as well setting up an Amiga OS.
I am not affiliated in anyway with any sale item linked in this post, other than the fact it what I bought. If you find a supplier cheaper - please post it for our fellow forumites!
This post is made with 100% recycled bits



Components Required: (Fear not you can get it all from eBay)

[1] £8.23 - 16GB mSATA SanDisk SSD

I am not affiliated with this sale


[2] £2.25 - mSATA SSD to 44 pin IDE (5 volt version!)

I am not affiliated with this sale

CAUTION: Ensure that you purchase the 5 volt version, as this has a 3.3v LDO regulator (U1) on board. If you hook up the wrong one you will possibly set fire to the IDE cable and SSD Card.


You will also need an Amiga with an IDE device - I decided to use my V2 equipped A600 - because its just pr0n!

See, told you!


Recipe Details
Open up the packaging (enjoy that Christmas / Birthday feeling), here is the IDE-mSATA adaptor



And then the mSATA SSD



So, after this we attach the mSATA SSD device to the IDE adaptor -

I found lining up the mSATA SSD in the slot, pushing in and then adding the retaining screws, while it was perpendicular was easiest way to fasten it down.



Once this fiddly bit is done, we gently tighten the retaining screws -



As a few of my fellow Europeans would say - En Eoilà



I then paired this with a USB to 44 pin IDE adaptor to begin hooking up to the PC -


Which if you don't have handy you can find a solution on eBay -

[3] £1.89 - USB 2.0 to 44 pin IDE / 40 Pin IDE and SATA

I am not affiliated with this sale

Caution: Please note these are USB 2.0, ensure that what ever device you attach to these adaptor they do not use more that 0.5 amps at +5 (2.5 watts) - quite a lot of older 2.5" drives will use close to 1amp on the +5v which is just too much for USB2.0 and you run the risk of damaging your computer, USB port, adaptor and or Hard Disk Device.

Creating Partitions and Large Disk Support
This topic has been covered by many good threads, and I will put some links here, one of my favourite guides is from our fellow EAB'er Fitzsteve (steve, we love you steve) - he has a cracking tutorial on how to prepare and set up a large hard disk under WinUAE - so if you need to learn how to prepare and create hard disk devices under emulation - [ Show youtube player ]

Excellent, your back - So you have settled on an OS build and all the trimmings for your Amiga, time to put it in to the host.



Note the red-stripe on the IDE cable and the position of the IDE-mSATA adaptor in relation to pin 1 - you don't want to mess this up otherwise you will send 5 volts of power down the wrong wire - gets kinda hot, smokey and generally is bad news bears from that point onward. If unsure always ask for help =)
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Old 16 July 2016, 20:34   #2
Zetr0
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Hack@Home (Season 2, Episode 1 - Part 2)

"How to make a 16/32GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for your IDE equipped Amiga"



Booting Up (Early Start / Post Menu)
Holding down both mouse buttons on boot up / power cycle will present you the Post Menu - in here we can check to see if the Amiga can see the SSD device and any partitions or data on it.



Why hello there SDH0,1 and 2 - Excellent the Amiga can see the mSATA/IDE adaptor assembly and (using PFS3) we are now booting to a Classic Workbench 3.5 - so what kinda speed do we have here, well there are limitations on PIO mode 0 IDE and the Amiga, technically it would have a maximum throughput of 3.2MBytes per second - however that does require a very fast CPU, not to mention there is always an overhead of the system, so if we can get 3MBytes per second - this is clearly a bonus -



Wow, 3.276 MBytes! - admittedly this is SysInfo 3.24 and its not that accurate - yet thats blisteringly quick for stock-native IDE! I will try this with RSCP test and an 060 equipped A1200 later for some comparisons (from my experience the 060 will struggle to get more than 2,1MBytes - but we shall see)

Update : SysSpeed Results

Raw Read : 2.83
Raw Write : 2.33


Please note this is with default buffers and PFS3 running on a Vampire 2 : A080 - SILVER 7 Core.


That is a sustained data rate. Interesting thing I have noticed here is that if I run the test 3 times in succession the system locks up and requires a reboot. Obviously I was curious to ensure that this isn't a strange feature so I copied a 180MB archive file from one partition to another other - unpacked it, tested it, then packed it back up and copied over to the other partition. All in all its quite normal except for the peculiar lock up issue with SysSpeed.


Lets click CPU test - always brings a smile -



yesss sooon my plans for world domination will be complete!

I will say, if you are getting a Vampire CPU, do it - its just amazing! - also budget for one of these (under £10)

And the software to flash it (should you need to) is free!

Now, in terms of speed the PC via USB-IDE-mSATA chain was able to sustain under WinUAE nearly 20MBytes per second - and I was able to do this OS build in less than a 5th the time it had taken me to prepare a 40GB 2.5" IDE Hitachi Deskstar.


Alternative Components

Want to take it up a notch? - how about a 32GB mSATA SSD ?

Please note I have only tried SanDisk, I am unaware how the other brands might work with the 44 pin IDE adaptor.

[1] £13.95 - 32GB mSATA SanDisk Solid State Drive (SSD)

I am not affiliated with this sale



Conclusions

I found that this adaptor assembly turned out quite "plug and play" however there are a couple of caveats to this. The most concerning is the fact you need to ensure the 44 pin IDE to mSATA adaptor is the 5 volt version, sadly to add confusion in the market there exists 3.3v 44pin IDE. Getting these connectors from Asia takes time, while the SSD and another adaptor arrived quite quickly, I was waiting for the 5 volt version of the 44pin IDE -> mSATA adaptor for nearly 5 weeks!.

Another little point to note is the Activity LED, both on the USB adaptor and the Amiga -

Here it is Inactive

As you can see its very low output - but still alight.

Here it is Active


It is a tad annoying, I suspect its the way the transistor is wired on the 44pin IDE to mSATA adaptor, I will look into this a bit more, it is a little niggle.

Lastly I want to thank my cat "Ashiee Catamoto" for helping me with the guitar chords in the office earlier -


Last edited by Zetr0; 01 August 2016 at 12:17.
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Old 17 July 2016, 01:44   #3
Retro1234
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reverse the ide 2 usb and get usb on Amiga - ok it wont work but why no USB2IDE adapters?
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Old 17 July 2016, 09:06   #4
TuKo
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Nice thread, thanks for the infos.

About SysInfo, these numbers are not accurate, I sometimes get exactly the same when the benchmark is not ran.

Could you please run SysSpeed and show us results ?
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Old 17 July 2016, 11:06   #5
Havie
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This looks really good and I have wanted to upgrade my 1gb CF in my 1200 for ages!

To avoid the long wait - is one of these the correct one? The model numbers seem to match from your picture and the one on Amazon?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/JaneDream-M...+IDE+Converter

Last edited by Havie; 17 July 2016 at 11:17.
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Old 17 July 2016, 11:33   #6
Bastich
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I have an old ssd from an eee. It was terrible in that due to its speed however on an Amiga it will probably be fine. Must give this a go
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Old 17 July 2016, 11:51   #7
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Nice write up MR Z
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Old 17 July 2016, 15:12   #8
Acill
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For those in the US needing these and noticed the listing on ebay UK wont ship here.

Laptop mSata to 44 Pin: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-5-Inch-For...8AAOSw~gRVtaMq

SanDisk 16GB mSATA Drive: http://www.ebay.com/itm/For-SanDisk-...IAAOSwr7ZW34yQ

mSata USB Adapter: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-sale-USB...oAAOSw3ydVzg3T
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Old 17 July 2016, 19:30   #9
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A little hot in the workshop is it?

Great write-up. I think this is 1/3 what I paid for my CF setup a few years back.
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Old 17 July 2016, 20:22   #10
Zetr0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adolescent View Post
A little hot in the workshop is it?
LOL, Sadly I was melting - that office/workshop/conservatory is an oven in the summer - I am just glad I covered up my nipples - or the facebook police might have me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adolescent View Post
Great write-up. I think this is 1/3 what I paid for my CF setup a few years back.
Thanks I hope its useful! =)
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Old 17 July 2016, 20:48   #11
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Zetr0, great thread, look forward to the next episode.

PS your humour/banter tickles me everytime.
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Old 17 July 2016, 23:53   #12
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Mega thanks Zetr0!!!!
Sadly, all Ebay items are Out of Stock :-(
(except the links supplied by Acill)

[UPDATE] "SSD" item is now available! Yeah!

Last edited by LTAC; 18 July 2016 at 11:15.
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Old 18 July 2016, 11:12   #13
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Excellent tutorial Zetr0 ! I am tempted to do this to my A1200 as altho CF cards are a great way to add a hdd (of sorts) they can be a bit slow in reading/writing. I may even do a video of me putting it all in.
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Old 18 July 2016, 12:01   #14
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About the USB Blaster, this is a Xilinx one, not an Altera. Beware
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Old 01 August 2016, 12:11   #15
Zetr0
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Something I forgot to add - some tests

Please note this is with default buffers and PFS3 running on a Vampire 2 : A080 - SILVER 7 Core.



That is a sustained data rate. Interesting thing I have noticed here is that if I run the test 3 times in succession the system locks up and requires a reboot. Obviously I was curious to ensure that this isn't a strange feature so I copied a 180MB archive file from one partition to another other - unpacked it, tested it, then packed it back up and copied over to the other partition. All in all its quite normal except for the peculiar lock up issue with SysSpeed.
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Old 01 August 2016, 15:40   #16
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What is the speed difference between CF card and SSD?

I get RawRead 2.05 and WriteFile 1.43 in SysSpeed v2.6 on CF with FFS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuKo View Post
About the USB Blaster, this is a Xilinx one, not an Altera. Beware
I thought Vampire 2 was using standard JTAG interface.
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Old 02 August 2016, 09:44   #17
Zetr0
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@modrobert
You can gain a bit of extra speed if you use PFS3 or SFS instead of FFS. In the case of SFS's a minimum of 20% faster - although you do need a minimum 020 CPU

RE: Xilinx branded programmer - some Xilinx programmers are not recognized with Altera software (Quartus / ISE) -
mine does \o/\O/ YAY \O/\o/ - to be fair I should of mentioned it to be honest - just didn't think - thought it would make a good shot =)


@TuKo
I use Quartus / Quartus II / ISE - works with that, I also have a couple of Altera USB blasters floating about too - and I have forgotten how many parallel JTAG programmers I have - I swear they are breeding!

Anyway its good to always be prepared! =D

Last edited by Zetr0; 02 August 2016 at 09:50.
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Old 05 August 2016, 21:24   #18
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Inspired by this I thought I would try something similar with my A4000.

I bought one of these which lets me mount the mSATA drive in a zorro slot (£17.90): https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00J3XT7E0

It seems to work well and HDToolBox recognised is straight away.
There is no master/slave jumper, it only works as a master. No biggie.

I'm using a KingSpec mSATAIII 32GB drive (£12.99): https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HMD6JIE

I'm going to need a molex power extension as power doesn't reach the zorro area well.


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Old 05 August 2016, 22:27   #19
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Any advantage to using an mSATA unit instead of an IDE disk-on-module or SSD?
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Old 06 August 2016, 07:51   #20
mfilos
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I don't see any tbh.
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