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Old 11 October 2021, 19:21   #1
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Floppy disk Writing to Floppy Disk and Cyclone or Synchro Express hardware emulation


I am a HUGE fan! Back to the early 2000's. Some threads before Kryoflux was developed you had expressed an interest in a newer Cyclone 20 card. This was eventually to become the Kryoflux. Originally, that would allow real-time reading of floppy disks in Winuae, but it never came to fruition. Now in 2021, with DrawBridge from Rob Smith (https://amiga.robsmithdev.co.uk/) reading and writing from Winuae (beta) is a confirmed reality. And now that this is the case, would it be possible to add some of the functionality that the Synchro Express III hardware or the Cyclone hardware provided into Winuae? This way it would happen between the IPF and the DrawBridge and should, in theory (my hypothesis really) work. It would allow folks with legitimate copies of their owned games (or abandoned commercial games) to take the IPF or extended ADF and write it back using only the DrawBridge to a Floppy disk. This is pure retro of course. Not 'needed' because it's so much faster to just use the ADF/extended ADF/IPF. But for some without the Kryoflux, GreaseWeazle, or Super Card Pro, they could just use Winuae and an Arduino kit they made at home (assuming they don't buy the slim USB kit from Rob which btw is very cool!) and re-create a working floppy disk using Synchro Express or Cyclone or whatever software / hardware combination is easiest to emulate in software.

I have a Kryoflux and GreaseWeazle as well. So I don't need this, personally. But for all the folks wanting to play around, this would give them a taste of what it was like in the 90's copying games like crazy. I mean, back then it was all a 'problem' and may have had a major hand in the demise of the Amiga actually. But now in 2021, all the disks are released on Archive.org so I think about 99% are in abandoned status licensing-wise, other than any Psygnosis or Phase 5 games most notably.

What do you think? Would it be possible to code in that swap of pins for the Floppy that the Cyclone used for the external drives to sync with the index and dump flux straight to the external drive in-synch? In this case the DF1 would be the DrawBridge running in Winuae. Some of that hardware used no chips at all. In fact the chips used later were just to allow the drive to work with the device permanently installed. But really, it would just require a tick-box in maybe the floppy tab of Winuae that would enable this Cyclone or Synchro express (or other) hardware to be emulated and make the corresponding pin-swaps so that the Cyclone or Synchro Express software would recognize it as 'installed' in Winuae.

No matter what, I thank you for the decades of work on Winuae and everything you have done for the Amiga community!


Kung-Fu aka Dave Walz
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Old 16 October 2021, 17:58   #2
Toni Wilen
WinUAE developer
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hämeenlinna/Finland
Age: 47
Posts: 25,364
Cyclone copy is basically "analog" and I think they also used some quick motor on/off pulses to attempt to synchronize drive motor angular positions. Emulating this is not trivial.

It would be much easier to write native program that writes directly from ipf image. It would be much more accurate and compatible and even programs that Cyclone can't copy would work.
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