English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Support > support.Hardware > Hardware mods

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 25 August 2008, 18:44   #1
Stedy
Registered User

Stedy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 41
Posts: 623
PC floppy adaptor for Amiga

Hi,

I've just returned from the workshop after a testing session, this time with a new adaptor board. This board allows you to plug a PC floppy drive into the Amiga with no modifications what so ever, to the drive.

I used a standard PC FDD cable, it is important that it does not have the twist in it that swaps A/B on the PC, unless you plug this adaptor into the untwisted part. My cable only had 1 connector and a twist, which I removed.

Whilst it works with 1.44 MB HD drives, when used with the Amiga they only work as 880K SD drives.

A few pictures of the prototype.

Top side view of the PCB.




Underside of PCB,
I built the PCB 4 months ago but only got around to testing it today.


Connections to the PCB

The lower cable comes from the Amiga, the upper cable goes to the PC FDD. Power comes from an ATX PSU
3.5" power connector.

Connected to a test drive


Finally, testing the drive by loading up Speedball 2



I tested the adaptor with 3 different drives, 1 was the Epson SMD-300 shown, the other two were brands I had never heard off.

All worked fine.

Testing comprised
* Booting Workbench 2.0
* Playing Speedball 2
* Playing F29 retaliator
* Spaceballs 9 fingers demo
* State of the Art Demo
* Copying and formatting of disks using D-Copy 3.1 and Workbench.

My next step is a few tweaks to the PCB then maybe make a few?

Who would be interested in an adaptor PCB?
Like my ATX adaptors, I need interest for about 25 units to make it viable and reasonably priced.

Any features you would like added to the PCB?

My current thoughts are

1) Jumper to counter act PC FDD cables with the twist (drive select crossover) in.
2) Additional 3.5" power connector or a flying lead to the new FDD, ideal for systems running from the stock PSU.
3) Bigger mounting holes for either sticky feet or another fixing
4) Fitting 34 way IDC plugs with polarity cut outs so that you can not insert the cables the wrong way around.

The schematics need a quick tidy up then I will put them online.

Ian

Last edited by Stedy; 04 February 2010 at 23:17.
Stedy is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 18:54   #2
keropi
.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ioannina/Greece
Posts: 5,040
keropi is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 19:18   #3
tonyyeb
Has the Amiga bug again
tonyyeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hull, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 791
Send a message via MSN to tonyyeb
Great stuff!

When will you be ready to take orders? Got a rough idea of cost?

Cheers!
tonyyeb is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 19:19   #4
reanimator
Pass me a bud'
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Rochester, UK
Posts: 23
i'd be interested in one of these
thanks
reanimator is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 19:21   #5
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 12,166
Anything you can do with the form factor? Is it not possible to have it clip directly to the floppy disk drive or directly to the floppy disk connector on the motherboard so that you only need one cable? Similar to the ACard adapter for IDE->SCSI? If you could make it double sided in this style of pass through PCB (similar form factor to the back of the floppy disk drive) that would be great!

Most desktop Amiga's only have one floppy disk drive power connector. If they plug it into this board what will they plug into their floppy drive? Perhaps you could have a built in power cable splitter? Easiest way would be to soldering some short wires (with hot glue to fix them) directly to the PCB and have a floppy disk power at the other end? (I think this is thought 2?)

A silk screen on the PCB with pin 1 on all connectors.


How does it work? It doesn't look that complicated. A single Quad input NAND buffer!?

Does it work with original disks with copy protection? I am sure that someone on this board knows which games were the worst behaved. (i.e. the best to test with)

Last edited by alexh; 25 August 2008 at 20:25.
alexh is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 20:20   #6
Merlin
AmiBay MegaMod
Merlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manchester, UK
Age: 56
Posts: 1,163
Definitely put me down for one please, Stedy....
Merlin is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 21:53   #7
billy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: US / A
Age: 43
Posts: 134
Count me in for one as well Stedy.
billy is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 22:07   #8
Eclipse
Turpentine
Eclipse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Anything you can do with the form factor? Is it not possible to have it clip directly to the floppy disk drive or directly to the floppy disk connector on the motherboard so that you only need one cable? Similar to the ACard adapter for IDE->SCSI? If you could make it double sided in this style of pass through PCB (similar form factor to the back of the floppy disk drive) that would be great!

Most desktop Amiga's only have one floppy disk drive power connector. If they plug it into this board what will they plug into their floppy drive? Perhaps you could have a built in power cable splitter? Easiest way would be to soldering some short wires (with hot glue to fix them) directly to the PCB and have a floppy disk power at the other end? (I think this is thought 2?)

A silk screen on the PCB with pin 1 on all connectors.


How does it work? It doesn't look that complicated. A single Quad input NAND buffer!?

Does it work with original disks with copy protection? I am sure that someone on this board knows which games were the worst behaved. (i.e. the best to test with)
Look at the first picture where the power socket is, there is an extra set of holes that the second power lead goes to. The board splits the power.

It would be ideal to have the IDE connecter plug straight into the drive but you will find different manufacturers place the orientation differently. On one drive it would be one way on another the opposite. It could I suppose be made to fit the motherboard instead. Then a lead to the drive.

Ian, number 3 is a definate I think


Last edited by Eclipse; 25 August 2008 at 22:26.
Eclipse is offline  
Old 25 August 2008, 22:27   #9
AlfaRomeo
A1200 040 SAM440EP 667
AlfaRomeo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lisbon / Portugal
Posts: 793
Great stuff Stedy
AlfaRomeo is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 00:32   #10
TheCorfiot
Amibay Senior Staff
TheCorfiot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cardiff / Wales
Posts: 1,302
Stedy

Excellent stuff oh miggy hardware guru

Agree with Alex totally if we could have a 34 way pcb mounted female socket on one side plugging straight into the FDD (can assume PC floppy drive is set as std to drive 1), with a Male plug on the other side taking the feed straight from the miggys original mobo floppy cable.
The existing power lead could also plug into the board, with a short directly soldered PSU flylead to connect to the floppy drive & supply power to it.

This would allow direct retrofit to an A2000 / A500 / A1200 etc

You can put me down for one of these for sure.

Well done mate appreciate your support & commitment.

TC
TheCorfiot is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 00:37   #11
keropi
.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ioannina/Greece
Posts: 5,040
I would take one too!
keropi is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 02:31   #12
Stedy
Registered User

Stedy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 41
Posts: 623
Hi,

The PCB design will get updated. The existing layout was done for ease of construction using the PCB equipment I have at home.

Alexh's suggestion of connecting it directly to the floppy drive is good. I ahve already modified the layout so it is only a few mm wider then the 34 way IDC cable so it will fit. I did consider plugging into the floppy connector but there is no room on my A600 when the drive is installed in the normal place!

The prototype board should have had 2 power connectors but I put the 2 sets of holes to close together and could not get 2 x Molex KK connectors in. For a final design, a flying lead, soldered to the PCB with 10cm of cable should suffice. Different drives have the power connector in different places.

Rough costing, assembled unit £7-8.

I have found a source of cheap (£1.50) 600 mm FDD cables which could come in handy for tower users.

I don't take pre-orders. When units are available, you can order.

Can anyone suggest any games to try the modified drive/adaptor out with?

I really need to practice with Speedball 2, I lost badly

Have a few more projects in the pipeline. When there are working prototypes I will announce them. A few of them are more complicated than a single TTL device too!
Stedy is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 05:21   #13
Eclipse
Turpentine
Eclipse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 743
Hi Ian,
Just my findings so far:
Random old drive and a new Sony MPF920 both worked.
The following games worked as well:

Sensible World of Soccer 95/96
Trolls AGA
Frontier Elite 2
Premier Manager 2
Speedball (using SKick).

All the above games were original boxed versions.
I'm sure that Lotus 2 was one game that was picky about the floppy drive and maybe Speedball 2. I only have copies so those would be no good.
I will look on ebay for you unless anyone wants to lend some games out or a 1:1 copy (X-Copy and Dongled).
Other than that it has worked with all adf's that I've put to disk.
Eclipse is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 10:12   #14
X-ray
Angry Kid Fan
X-ray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Posts: 230
Stedy, good job: put me down for two of those.
If I had my preferences, the power would be supplied via wires directly soldered to the board, ending in a standard molex plug (like CPU fans). I can then choose how to supply power.
X-ray is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 13:53   #15
twizzle
Registered User
twizzle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: taunton.som.uk
Age: 67
Posts: 681
stedy put me down for 1 aswell , great invention by the way

mmmm just a thought? is it worth applying for a patent ?
before elbox gets wind of it ( ROYALTY`S )
twizzle is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 18:04   #16
cosmicfrog
The 1 who ribbits
cosmicfrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: leek, Staffs, UK
Age: 51
Posts: 3,555
Send a message via MSN to cosmicfrog
great work dude, Looks like I`ll be wanting 1 too

has any1 tried xcopy with it yet ?
cosmicfrog is offline  
Old 26 August 2008, 19:00   #17
Jope
-
Jope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Helsinki / Finland
Age: 38
Posts: 6,920
Try Sanity's Arte.
Jope is offline  
Old 27 August 2008, 01:51   #18
Stedy
Registered User

Stedy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 41
Posts: 623
Hi,

@Jope,

I tried Sanity Arte, it worked with no issues.

From what I remember Pinball Dreams/Fantasies was a tricky one, I know I have the original disks somewhere.

@Cosmicfrog

I used Dcopy 3.1 to nibble copy a few games, no issues encountered.
Will check my 600 disks to see if I have Xcopy.

@thread

Looks like I need to provision a flying lead for the floppy drive power, especially for retro fit to existing units. Will locate the correct connector.

I'll prototype the revised PCB design before mass production, hopefully by 5/6th september.

Here we may hit a scheduling issue. It takes 3 weeks to get the PCBs, so if I order on the 10th September, they arrive October 1st. I go away October 15th for a month Does not leave much time for production/deliveries. See how the time goes.

What other demos and games shall I try?

Another thought, could I add a jumper to counteract the Escom A1200 floppy fix?
This would save soldering the motherboard. Any details around?

Ian
Stedy is offline  
Old 27 August 2008, 02:57   #19
cosmicfrog
The 1 who ribbits
cosmicfrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: leek, Staffs, UK
Age: 51
Posts: 3,555
Send a message via MSN to cosmicfrog
my birthday is 12 oct so could be a nice bday presy for me and the amiga

keep the ideas comin and my the Ribbits be with you
cosmicfrog is offline  
Old 27 August 2008, 03:19   #20
Eclipse
Turpentine
Eclipse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 743
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stedy View Post
What other demos and games shall I try?

Another thought, could I add a jumper to counteract the Escom A1200 floppy fix?
This would save soldering the motherboard. Any details around?

Ian
If it worked with Sanity Arte it will work with most I'd say. That demo is a sure sign it's a winner.
Here's a list of some copy protections and what they were on. I think the ex crackers on here could maybe mention a few good ones.

If you added a jumper to counter-act the Escom "fix" I think you'd become Saint Stedy.
Here's the SPS (CAPS) article. Clicky
Talking of which, it would be good to see how a CAPS dump compares.
Eclipse is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amiga to VGA adaptor Doc Mindie Hardware mods 19 24 January 2013 01:04
USB adaptor for Amiga Joysticks Nono Nano support.Hardware 4 16 April 2011 19:03
CF - IDE44 Adaptor & Amiga D4Ni3L3 support.Hardware 8 15 November 2009 23:29
CD32 with floppy and PS2 adaptor daznic MarketPlace 0 09 September 2009 02:12
Is there any USB-AMIGA joystick adaptor? frikilokooo support.Hardware 12 16 April 2009 01:25

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 12:48.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.11945 seconds with 13 queries