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Old 14 May 2015, 02:54   #1
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Amiga Floppy Question

Hi All This may be a daft question, but me and a friend were just talking about ways to get some of his Amiga floppies onto the PC. I know there are solutions around like CatWeasel and the like, but we were speculating if it may be possible to use an Arduino to translate the signals. Essentially, if it were somehow possible to grab from WinUAE, the actual logic states of the output pins on the floppy hardware interface, this information could be sent to the Arduino over USB which could then set the relevant states on a physical drive which was wired up to the IO ports on the Arduino, it would also read the input pins and transmit this information back to WinUAE which should essentially allow WinUAE to work with a physical drive. Viable or not do you think? Cheers Bolt
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Old 15 May 2015, 09:57   #2
Toni Wilen
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Same problem: Emulation does not run in real time. Realtime hardware does not work very well with software, even with some buffering. Emulation can't control the speed/state of floppy drive without data loss = emulator would need to sync its timing to floppy drive state, not its internal (or external in vsync) clock.

Practically you would need to buffer whole track but it causes other problems, copy protections that need multiple revolutions still don't work, emulation needs to pause until whole track has been retrieved (many loaders timeout very quickly if data does not come fast enough). It is easier to create adf first.

Catweasel worked because it uses Amiga-side custom driver. It does not need to emulate all Paula features and driver knows all hardware requirements, it can wait as long as needed before returning errors. IMO this is the only method that can work reliably. (But won't be compatible with any track loading programs)

(I think I have replied to similar question previously)
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Old 15 May 2015, 14:25   #3
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Thanks Toni

Maybe it could be possible to directly drive the Amiga floppy from the Arduino, essentially making a sketch that controls and reads the floppy tracks, this data could then be sent over USB to a PC which compiles a disk image? Copy protection isn't an issue for what we want to do. Sorry for the repeat question but forum search systems are notoriously bad.

Last edited by Boltar; 15 May 2015 at 14:30.
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Old 15 May 2015, 14:43   #4
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What you suggest more or less matches a Kryoflux.

I won't say it's impossible to do with an Arduino, but I would imagine that you can't get enough speed and precision with the usual I/O libraries. You'd need to program the AVR directly. In any case it's a lot of effort to save very little money (you can always sell the Kryoflux afterwards if you have a limited number of floppies to image).
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Old 15 May 2015, 15:48   #5
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Practicality and cost are not normally an issue with us, we do stuff just to do it. Not everything has to have a point.

I'd have to disagree that digitalRead and digitalWrite won't be fast enough with the AVR running at 16MHz although I'd almost certainly be banging the registers directly anyway. Currently I have absolutely no idea how to interface to a floppy drive so I have some research to do before anything else.
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