Connecting a Floppy Drive

Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby Fergy100 » Jun Sun 28, 2015 3:13 pm

Has anyone thought of hooking a floppy drive to this bad boy? I have just finished hooking one up to my real Superboard and am eyeing the Superboard III now.

SB2 Floppy.jpg
SB2 Floppy.jpg (87.79 KiB) Viewed 14563 times


SB2 Screen.jpg
SB2 Screen.jpg (73.58 KiB) Viewed 14563 times


/Jeff
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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby vbriel » Jun Mon 29, 2015 2:43 pm

Hey Jeff,

I thought of making an 3.3V <--> 5V connection with the 610 options onboard with the option of disabling the onboard 32K RAM so the board could be used by both Superboard III and OSI 600 Superboard II users. Do you have info or a page on how you connected the 610 to your disk drive and how you got the disk images onto disk?

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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby djones60 » Jul Thu 02, 2015 9:06 am

I've love to be able to hook one up to my original Superboard or if I ever order one a Superboard III. One thing I thought about in the meantime was interfacing a VDip1 to it using a propeller to do the heavy lifting. I.e. map some memory and firmware for the Superboard to use to access the thumb drive. It's not a floppy but it would let me store things to a thumb drive in a fat file system.

How did you interface your floppy drive?
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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby vbriel » Jul Thu 02, 2015 2:06 pm

If you look at the propeller on the Superboard III you will notice it is connected to the bus. I use the Prop for video RAM and the 6502's system ROM. It would be easy to make a board that connects a propeller to the expansion port with SD card access to act as a drive. You would be able to read/write to a file directly byte by byte. I plan to do this on another project to act as a virtual disk drive and disk images would be stored on the SD card. Might even be possible to emulate the entire 610 board and floppy disk setup like this but I just have NO free time. It is on my bucket list :)

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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby djones60 » Jul Thu 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Yep, I sort of looked into doing a SD card interface too. Like you said, no time. Plus I have too many hobbies like Ham SDR. Emulating the 610 interface would be good so we could run the original software. But for actual use, we could probably do better.

Sort of looking forward to eventually retiring just so I can catch up on or dig into all of my interests :)
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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby jac_goudsmit » Jul Fri 03, 2015 3:43 am

While Vince and I were working on the Superboard, I had some ideas about changing the address decoder so that it would be possible for the Propeller on the board to decode the memory areas that would normally be taken up by the floppy controller. In theory it would have been possible to let the Propeller on the Superboard emulate the ACIAs of the serial port as well as the one on the floppy controller. But there are already no pins available for an SD card, so the EEPROM would have to be used as storage device, and Vince would have had to add another chip or two to the design.

Making a floppy controller emulator using a Propeller and an SD card on the expansion bus shouldn't be too hard. Maybe I'll get to it too, sometime, but I have the same problem: chronic lack of spare time.

===Jac
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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby Fergy100 » Jul Sat 04, 2015 11:10 am

Here is the schematic of a data separator originally published in Peek [65] Vol7 Issue #9. A friend of mine made the circuit board and added the jumpers to accommodate many different types of drives. I have been able to hook up 360K, 720K, 1.2M, and 1.44M drives. My friend has hooked up 8" drives to it as well. We have been able to hookup and use dual sided drives as well as dual drives.

Klyball D13 Schematic.pdf.zip
(53.27 KiB) Downloaded 691 times


In some configurations a modification is required to the floppy drive cable.
FDC Cable.jpg
FDC Cable.jpg (64.82 KiB) Viewed 14502 times


Of course this was all connected to the floppy drive connector on the 610 board, so some hardware, either a PIA and an ACIA or something to emulate them would be necessary.

I found the OS65D images online bundled with emulators and wrote a program to split them into track and sector files which I then transferred to the superboard over a serial port. I hacked together Track 0 and 1 and sent it to the superboard to use to write the track and sector files to the disk, essentially building it one track/sector at a time. That is the short story.

While an SD card setup would be ideal, and probably way more reliable, there is something special about hearing a floppy drive chuck-chuck-chuck its way through tracks on a disk while it boots.

/Jeff
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Re: Connecting a Floppy Drive

Postby djones60 » Nov Wed 04, 2015 10:08 am

Well in all of my "spare" time, I've been slowly looking over what it would take to do some kind of floppy interface but using disk images instead of a real floppy. So far, its been digging through the ROM's floppy boot code, documenting it ( that part is done ), and now started on HexDos's I/O routines. I'm still thinking about doing a propeller based emulation. The PIA and ACIA part looks pretty easy. I'm just not sure yet how closely I would need to emulate the behavior of a floppy and it's timing.

If anyone is interested. Here is part of the HexDos code. It's just the boot track. I'm still looking for an image of a boot disk so I can get the basic routines.
https://github.com/osiweb/HEXDOS

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