English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > News

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04 March 2007, 13:26   #41
tnt23
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ThEcRoW
And how about that russian guy who managed to get a prototype stage of a drive replacement for his 500 using MMC's. He also used the display of a nokia phone for the track info/listing. was very interesting and the most important, standalone a full drive replacement.
Anyone got any news?
A new design is being worked on:
http://www.amiga.org/modules/myalbum....php?uid=12817

A few comments in original thread:
http://www.amiga.org/modules/newbb/v...=ASC&start=120
 
AdSense AdSense  
Old 13 January 2008, 06:53   #42
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
the Torlus guys have developed a stand-alone floppy drive emulator (for Amiga, Atari, Amstrad, Spectrum, Korg etc.) based on a cheap PIC18F4525 MCU, which uses SD/MMC flash for reading (I don't know if it supports writing yet) and was specifically designed to be easy to make (no surface mounted components - though I'm sure the techies will re-design the circuit board to make it much smaller and utilising SMD components).

specific pics and post:
http://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopic.php?p=318#318

the general website (in French) where the new PCB, MCU code and circuit schematic will be released (as well as more pics and history of the floppy drive emulator project (almost 2 years old now)):
http://jeanfrancoisdelnero.free.fr/f...rive_emulator/
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 13 January 2008, 21:23   #43
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
It is a great achievement.

I do hope that is just a prototype. It's too "over engineered" for a commercial product.

Why has it got an LCD on it? LED's? 3 buttons? Separate PSU?

How come it has such a strange form-factor?
alexh is offline  
Old 13 January 2008, 21:41   #44
Charlie
. . Mouse . .
Charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nowhere
Age: 49
Posts: 1,792
This is fantastic!

...like alexh said.
Charlie is offline  
Old 13 January 2008, 23:15   #45
DrF
Blessed A1200 Of TeH Rat
DrF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bham, UK
Age: 35
Posts: 497
Shame there no longer planning to sell them, that only leaves the commercial alternative of that floppy sim cable thingy and weird software combo thats always on eBay (I posted about it) but that would prob be cheaper anyhow as that relies more on the software and is just a mutalated cable solution.

Good work though
DrF is offline  
Old 14 January 2008, 03:59   #46
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
it's not a commercial project - they released all the info for people to make their own hardware floppy disk emulators. The original surface mounted FPGA was a bit daunting for the average electronics hobbyist, the MCU version though should be a lot easier for the average electronic jockey to make. I'm sure you'll see pre-made units for sale on ebay eventually.

once the schematic and MCU code is released, then there's no stopping you doing a little re-design and losing the LCD etc. if you want (the LCD I'm guessing allows you to see which ADF etc. images you have on your SD card and select the one you want for loading. Similar with the three buttons (eject / load / next maybe?)).
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 14 January 2008, 14:11   #47
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
if you want (the LCD I'm guessing allows you to see which ADF etc. images you have on your SD card and select the one you want for loading. Similar with the three buttons (eject / load / next maybe?)).
It doesn't need an LCD (You've got a TV monitor!)
It doesn't need 3 buttons (You've got a 96 key keyboard and a joystick!)
It doesn't need it's own PSU (You've got the floppy power connector!)

It does need to be the same form factor as a real floppy drive, with screw holes in the right places so it can replace any internal floppy drive.

If they want to work with me to turn it into a commercial product, I am happy to donate time and money to bring it to market for all floppy disk retro platforms. (Amiga, Atari, C64, CPC, Spectrum etc.)

Last edited by alexh; 14 January 2008 at 14:18.
alexh is offline  
Old 14 January 2008, 21:03   #48
Charlie
. . Mouse . .
Charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nowhere
Age: 49
Posts: 1,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
...If they want to work with me to turn it into a commercial product, I am happy to donate time and money to bring it to market for all floppy disk retro platforms. (Amiga, Atari, C64, CPC, Spectrum etc.)


I can think of 'non-retro' uses too.
Charlie is offline  
Old 15 January 2008, 11:49   #49
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
I can think of 'non-retro' uses too.
I cant.
alexh is offline  
Old 15 January 2008, 12:55   #50
Zetr0
Ya' like it Retr0?
Zetr0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 43
Posts: 9,769
an awesome project!
Zetr0 is offline  
Old 16 January 2008, 03:53   #51
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
It doesn't need an LCD (You've got a TV monitor!)
this device appears as a 'dumb' floppy drive to the computer, how do you interface it to a TV? have a video cable from the floppy drive ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
It doesn't need 3 buttons (You've got a 96 key keyboard and a joystick!)
again, this appears as a normal floppy drive to the original computer - how do you tell the computer keyboard to control loading/ejecting/selecting floppy disk images from the original computer (without wiring into the original computer keyboard io)? don't want the LCD? don't include it in the PCB you build


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
It doesn't need it's own PSU (You've got the floppy power connector!)

It does need to be the same form factor as a real floppy drive, with screw holes in the right places so it can replace any internal floppy drive.
the pics released are the prototype - it's larger than a standard floppy drive and has an external psu for easier debugging. When the schematics are released you can always design/produce the PCB to any size you want and use the onboard 5V from the computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
If they want to work with me to turn it into a commercial product, I am happy to donate time and money to bring it to market for all floppy disk retro platforms. (Amiga, Atari, C64, CPC, Spectrum etc.)
the aim these guys had was to design something SIMPLE (and cheap) to make so any electronics handy person could make it. If you want to turn it into a commercial product then I suggest you contact them via their website. I'm happy to make my own, but if the price is right then buying one would also be nice.
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 16 January 2008, 03:56   #52
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
I cant.
there are some older synthesizers which load samples in from floppy disks, industrial milling machines which load patterns in from floppy. There's not a huge market outside of the retro computer scene, but there is potentially a market.
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 16 January 2008, 11:33   #53
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
this device appears as a 'dumb' floppy drive to the computer, how do you interface it to a TV? have a video cable from the floppy drive ?
You dont need a video cable, you've got a direct link from the floppy drive to the TV via the host machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
again, this appears as a normal floppy drive to the original computer - how do you tell the computer keyboard to control loading
An ultra basic disk image stored on the flash card. A menu system that runs on host machine used to select the initial disk(s). 5 minutes to code. Cuts the BOM of the device by perhaps as much as 80%. In the case of ST/Amiga you could even have a dual format disk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
ejecting/selecting floppy disk images
Floppy disk drives usually have only one button (eject). They should have looked into using just one button. Then, when it came to integrating it inside a computer, there would be no extra buttons required, just hijack the eject button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
has an external psu for easier debugging.
What?

Quote:
the aim these guys had was to design something SIMPLE (and cheap) to make so any electronics handy person could make it.
And they made something slightly more complicated than it needed to be and not cheap.

Last edited by alexh; 16 January 2008 at 11:39.
alexh is offline  
Old 17 January 2008, 04:32   #54
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
You dont need a video cable, you've got a direct link from the floppy drive to the TV via the host machine.

An ultra basic disk image stored on the flash card. A menu system that runs on host machine used to select the initial disk(s). 5 minutes to code. Cuts the BOM of the device by perhaps as much as 80%. In the case of ST/Amiga you could even have a dual format disk.
Sounds great! I look forward to seeing your added development for this feature. As the floppy emulator appears as a standard floppy drive to whatever computer it is connected to you'll need to figure out a way to be able to software eject the inserted disk, then select the image you want from the SD and insert it (the same way as if you had a physical floppy disk with a floppy carousel controller - but it's only controlled through standard signals to the floppy I/O).

At least on the Amiga you could do something like tell the MCU if it sees a specific sequence of I/O commands on the floppy port to perform the eject / select / load functions - but that's not a lot of use if you wanted to use the floppy emulator on your CPC, Amstrad, Korg etc. which doesn't have as software controllable floppy interface as the Amiga.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Floppy disk drives usually have only one button (eject). They should have looked into using just one button. Then, when it came to integrating it inside a computer, there would be no extra buttons required, just hijack the eject button.

And they made something slightly more complicated than it needed to be and not cheap.
I guess you could have some extra circuitry so that when you press the floppy eject button it works similar to an action replay, so that it pauses the CPU, passes control to a small ROM which has the code to directly talk to the MCU and eject the current floppy image, list all images on the SD, load the new selected image, notifiy a disk change on the floppy I/O port and then release control back to the host machine. It won't be a generic floppy emulator any more though.

AlexH I can see where you're coming from, but this is a hobbyist project in prototype stage, NOT a commercial project and is aimed to work with ALL computers that used a fairly standard floppy drive. Prototypes usually have extra debug ports or other features which help with debugging and development, which can be omitted from the 'final' PCB design. Think of the pics of the system they have developed as being the equivalent of a Spartan3 (or other FPGA) debug board. Look at the early design of the miniMig on the Spartan3E board, then compare it to the final minimig PCB which was released.
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 29 January 2008, 21:53   #55
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
how can you love disk and loading time ????

I will say as KG. I hate disk and think things are better preserved when on a HD than on a disk
This is ofc true. But ofc anyone could run anything in an emulator without WHDload. Disks are good when "your" demo isn't WHDloaded yet, or when it's just faster to grab a disk and shove it in the drive (carefully ofc).
Photon is offline  
Old 30 January 2008, 03:54   #56
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
A500 floppy replacement looks cool Please make it so a user can put new stuff on the card without opening the Amiga
Photon is offline  
Old 30 January 2008, 10:45   #57
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
you'll need to figure out a way to be able to software eject the inserted disk
The eject button would become a simple touch switch, wired to the floppy disk emulator board. It would be context sensitive as well as responding differently to press and hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
then select the image you want from the SD and insert it (the same way as if you had a physical floppy disk with a floppy carousel controller - but it's only controlled through standard signals to the floppy I/O).
It would have a default floppy disk image (stored in a default location on the SD card) and this image is automatically "inserted" after a power on.

The Amiga (or whatever computer) would boot from this image on power on.

The default image would be many times smaller than a real disk, the "unused" portion of the disk would then be used to pass information to and from the floppy emulator. Information about the disk images stored on the SD card, disk selection etc.

The default disk image would create a simple menu, the user selects the disk image(s), the default disk image then informs the floppy disk emulator of the selection whereby it "inserts" the selected disk.

The user then reboots (either with the reset key(s) or an option in the host application) and the computer boots the selected disk image.

For multi-disk games, pressing the eject button would cycles through the selected disk images.

Press and hold returns the floppy emulator to the reset state, selects the default disk image whereby the user can then reboot and select another disk image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
that's not a lot of use if you wanted to use the floppy emulator on your Amstrad CPC, etc. which doesn't have as software controllable floppy interface as the Amiga.
The Amstard CPC does have a software controllable floppy interface. (i.e. it can send read/write commands) As do all computers AFAIK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmomelb View Post
I guess you could have some extra circuitry so that when you press the floppy eject button it works similar to an action replay
No, as you say that would make the product too specific. Not Generic enough.

It would require help from developers on each platform to create the default images, but they would be very simple and you could open source the developer information. If the price was right for the hardware, the developers would embrace it, writing the applications for you.

Last edited by alexh; 30 January 2008 at 11:04.
alexh is offline  
Old 17 February 2008, 13:40   #58
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
for those of you interested in reading about and possibly building the SDcard floppy disk emulator - the circuit schematics and PCB layout have been posted on the HxC website (firmware to come shortly):

http://jeanfrancoisdelnero.free.fr/f...tor/index.html
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 28 March 2008, 04:33   #59
gizmomelb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: melbourne
Age: 48
Posts: 510
just an update - the FPGA / USB version of the floppy disk drive emulator now supports CAPS / IPF images.
gizmomelb is offline  
Old 28 March 2008, 15:29   #60
r.cade
Registered User
r.cade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 289
Send a message via AIM to r.cade Send a message via MSN to r.cade Send a message via Yahoo to r.cade
I am looking forward to kits being available one day. Neat project.
r.cade is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Floppy emulator OscarBraindeaD Retrogaming General Discussion 16 08 May 2013 03:24
A500 floppy read/write error Hoopz support.Hardware 7 07 April 2013 18:18
USB HxC Floppy emulator and SD HxC Floppy Emulator by Lotharek on ext FDD dirkies Amiga scene 1 03 April 2012 01:08
A500: Floppy Drive . read/write error for every single disk!! iggydix support.Hardware 11 23 August 2008 16:19
Amiga 1200 Floppy read errors. atarisucks support.Hardware 1 18 May 2007 23:27

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:59.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.44650 seconds with 11 queries