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Old 07 February 2016, 20:41   #1
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X-Copy and Cyclone dongle versions - some questions


I have some originals of X-Copy including the Cyclone hardware dongle.
Now I have been thinking about keeping only the latest version of them, but I got some questions which hopefully someone here can answer:

My latest version is X-Copy TNG from 1995.
Does this version include at least everything which was present in older versions as well ?

I heard there exist at least 2 different versions of the Cyclone hardware dongle.
Is there any way to find out which is which without opening them ? (most of mine are sealed with some sticker, so opening them might not be seen with much joy in some collector's eyes... )

Is there any info which version came with which dongle version (maybe even revision ?)
Ville Jouppi's X-Copy Shrine lists the Cyclone software version included in each X-Copy release, but I cannot find anything about the Cyclone hardware version...?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 07 February 2016, 22:28   #2
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I have numerous copies of the disk and both of the dongles. See below. The latter one is from a box dating from 1990 and has inside updated disks 11.31, 11.35 and 12.01. Note that 11.35 is not on that Shrine list. The dongle shown in the very early version has no plastic outer casing.

Not sure that helps, but given that the plastic cased dongle worked from the 1990 version up to the 12.01 release, I doubt there was a later dongle. But don't quote me on it.



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I am scuzz of commodore amiga retro. Check out my latest blog I have a bigger image of the dongle. If anyone needs a copy of the instructions I can load a pdf onto the website.
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Old 10 February 2016, 09:45   #3
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i have been looking for a sybil or an amia and all my tries have gone unfulfilled, but i was wondering if anyone has either one or perhaps schematics to them?

any help is greatly appreciated!

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Old 16 February 2016, 18:05   #4
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Thanx Scuzz.
I have now checked all my X-Copy originals, and all of them are later versions, which include the dongle in plastic case.
I have April. '93, September '93, and April '95.

Now I have opened 2 of the 3 dongles cases (one is still shrinkwrapped, so I didn't want to open it), and both of them have an identical pcb from 02/02/92, which includes a GAL chip.

Now, my only question is if there may be certain revisions of this GAL chip ? Or are all of them identical ?
From what I know the GAL chip is there so that you can leave the dongle plugged in all the time, also when not copying with Cyclone. But I have also heard that the reason for the GAL chip is some sort of copy-protection, so it cannot be reproduced that easily ?
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Old 16 February 2016, 19:30   #5
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Probably same as the later versions of Syncro Express, the switch just did dongle on/off .
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Old 16 February 2016, 21:47   #6
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These later ones don't have a switch.
I think the GAL automatically detects when Cyclone is run, and switches the dongle on ?
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Old 16 February 2016, 22:01   #7
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Wasn´t these dongles just to make sure both drives use the same spinning speed to make a 1:1 copy ?

Later versions as I remember used a programmable chip to make clones harder to produce ....
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Old 17 February 2016, 00:22   #8
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Yes, basically the dongle only routes the read line of the internal drive to the external drive's write line.
The GAL chip is there to automatically swith the dongle off/on, afaik. (normally, it is switched off, so you can just use the external drive like normal without the need to remove the dongle)
Later Cyclone version will automatically switch on the dongle for copying (and then switch it off again for verifying)

However, my interest is if there is more than one revision of the GAL chip which runs on the 02/02/92 pcb version ?!
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