Jump to content

Photo

The Adam SD Drive....


125 replies to this topic

#1 else OFFLINE  

else

    Dragonstomper

  • 964 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire (ex-Minnesotan)

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:48 PM

Hi all. Long time Adam lover here -- as you may already know. The Adam was my family's very first computer, which I still have to this day. After watching lots of other old systems get CF and/or SD card solutions (such as the Atari, Commodore, Apple II, etc), I began feeling jealous and sorry for my lowly Adam. And so, after years of waiting and seeing nothing similar emerge for the Adam, I began thinking that it must be so hard to do that only an idiot would try making such a thing. Then I slowly began to realize that I was probably just the idiot to try!

Well, after spending way more time on this then I care to admit, I'm happy to report that I have been quite successful -- way more successful that I even dreamed of when I started working on this (I initially pegged my odds of success at about 1%).

So here's what I have come up with. I call it the Adam SD Drive....

Features:

  • Full Compatibility: Works with all existing Adams. It bridges to the AdamNET protocol to the FAT16/FAT32 file system on the SD Card. This means no software to install on the Adam (or the PC/Mac). Simply plug and play.
  • Big Capacity: With standard SD Cards, it provides up to 32 "disk" pairs (64 "disks" total). Note: it could actually store a lot more disks than this, but I ran out of space for LEDs -- I think 64 disks is probably plenty(?).
  • Small Size: Small enough to mount inside the Adam, if desired.
  • Fast: Programs load and save nearly instantly -- virtually as fast as cartridges do.

More features:

  • Drive Emulation: Acts as Disk Drive #1, Disk Drive #2, both, or none. This is selectable by using a push-button.
  • Disk Pair Selection: Selects which of the 32 "disk" pairs to use (64 "disks" total). This is selectable by using push-buttons.
  • Disk Pair Swap Selection: Each pair of "disks" can be mapped straight to Disk Drive #1 and Disk Drive #2, or this mapping can be swapped (reversed). This feature is necessary because some Adam programs do not behave well (or work well) with Disk Drive #2. This is selectable by using a push-button.

Still more features:

  • Disks are Files (and vice versa): These "disks" are simply files on the SD Card, and can be manipulated as such when the SD card is plugged in to a PC/Mac. The names of these files follow a strict naming convention so that the Adam SD Drive can find them for the Adam (additionally the Adam SD Drive will automatically create a new file whenever an existing one is not found). Some examples of valid file names are:


adam0-a.ddp adam0-b.dsk (disk pair #0)
adam1-a.dsk adam1-b.ddp (disk pair #1)
etc.


  • Existing Disks: Works with .dsk and .ddp images found on the internet. Put the SD Card in a PC/Mac, copy the files on to the SD card, and rename them to follow the naming convention mentioned above. Now put the SD Card in to the Adam SD Drive and go! Or vice versa -- provides a simple and easy way to move Tapes and Disk to a PC/Mac, for backing up and/or sharing Adam data.

Below are some pictures of the Adam SD Drive. The first shows the prototype breadboard I did. The second shows the bare PCB I had made. Finally, the third shows the fully assembled Adam SD Drive. There are a few minor things I'm going to change on the PCB (fix incorrect labeling, add another button, and change the placement of some of the buttons and LEDs).

Anyhow, let me know what you think!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Adam SD Drive Proto.JPG
  • Adam SD Drive PCB.JPG
  • Adam SD Drive Final.JPG

Edited by else, Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:51 PM.


#2 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Fallen Moderator

  • 27,124 posts
  • Location:Dark Places

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:58 PM

Neat! I want one!

Tempest

#3 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 7,733 posts

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:21 PM

Really well made! :thumbsup:


Count me as a buyer! :)

#4 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

Vic George 2K3

    Quadrunner

  • 5,598 posts
  • I was corn this way.
  • Location:Westfield, MA, USA

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:00 PM

Interesting. Too bad I threw away my Adam a few years ago.

#5 Mark_Coleco OFFLINE  

Mark_Coleco

    Chopper Commander

  • 116 posts

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:49 PM

Cool, wish you did a usb thumb drive version tho.

But, great job.

#6 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

Ikrananka

    River Patroller

  • 2,695 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:42 PM

Makes me want to buy an Adam - perhaps I just might.......

#7 desiv OFFLINE  

desiv

    Stargunner

  • 1,746 posts
  • Location:Salem, Oregon

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:01 PM

Does this mean you just killed the resale value for my Adam Floppy drive???

er..

I mean, great!!! Keep us posted!!

;-)

desiv

#8 remowilliams OFFLINE  

remowilliams

    Quadrunner

  • 10,540 posts
  • Location:Detonation Boulevard

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:03 PM

Awesome, would definitely buy one! :cool:

#9 evg2000 OFFLINE  

evg2000

    Stargunner

  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:N. Cal

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:54 PM

I would be interested in one also, looks cool

#10 telengard OFFLINE  

telengard

    Moonsweeper

  • 467 posts
  • Location:Hudson, NH

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:51 PM

Wow, I was wondering when someone was going to attempt this!
I will definitely purchase one.

~telengard

#11 else OFFLINE  

else

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 964 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire (ex-Minnesotan)

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:08 PM

Thanks guys. I am trying to gauge the interest level to decide if I should produce more -- and if so, how many. I need to go back over my bill of materials to figure out exactly how much they will cost. Last I checked I figured it at around $80.00. So they won't be real cheap, unfortunately. I'll post more info in a few days....

#12 jblenkle OFFLINE  

jblenkle

    River Patroller

  • 4,615 posts

Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:22 PM

I am definitely interested in one of these too...please keep us informed!!!

Joe B.

#13 Yurkie OFFLINE  

Yurkie

    Q*bert Champion

  • 4,030 posts
  • Offering mods for ColecoVision and NESRGB
  • Location:Toledo, Ohio

Posted Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:58 AM

Can ColecoVision cartridge binarys be loaded on the SD and played on the ADAM also?

If so I am thinking I need to get an ADAM!

Perhaps make a MINI ADAM with your Module and a power supply integrated into it.

#14 evg2000 OFFLINE  

evg2000

    Stargunner

  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:N. Cal

Posted Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:10 AM

How hard will it be to find or make the adamnet cables? I believe they are like phone jacks, but with six wires I think. Will this be an issue if you actually start selling these?

#15 ed1475 OFFLINE  

ed1475

    Dragonstomper

  • 813 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, Minnesota

Posted Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:38 AM

I am also interested.

#16 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • 727 posts

Posted Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:50 AM

If this device really connects to the ADAM computer and acts like a floppy drive then in theory it would be better then the discontinued Micro Innovations 1.44MB 3.5 inch disk drives for the ADAM. The Micro Innovations drives also allowed up to 4 disk drives to be used with the ADAM for programs like File Manager. Is there any chance you could make the device have a 1,2,3, and 4 position? Then two disk drives could be connected along with your flash memory device.

1. Can one connect two of these device up at the same time? To copy from one SD drive to another SD drive?

2. The Filemanger programs and other programs might need to be modified to see larger disks. 1.44MB 3.5 was the biggest AdamNet drive everymade.

** Let me know when this item is available for purchase, If I like the quality of the unit I may purchase several **

Thanks for spending the time and money researching new items for the Adam. Posted Image


#17 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,059 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:52 AM

Can ColecoVision cartridge binarys be loaded on the SD and played on the ADAM also?

If so I am thinking I need to get an ADAM!

Perhaps make a MINI ADAM with your Module and a power supply integrated into it.


Yurkie,

You would have to have a program called CopyCart+ 2.0 on the ADAM. You would first use the program to format/initialize a disk or ddp with the CopyCart menu, then you plug-in the cartridge you want to copy to disk/ddp in the catridge slot and choose the copy function. Once done, you have self-booting disk/ddp with a menu program and your catridge image. You can put more cartidge images onto this disk/ddp as they will hold.

I think there are a couple CopyCart disk images in the TOSEC archive on the web if you wish to play around with them on an ADAM emulator.

To convert the PC format ROM files back to ADAM disk is another process that requires a DOS to ADAM conversion program like THE ADAM CONNECTION, ADAM<->DOS or one of the available programs on Marcel de Kogel's ADAMem page. It's really not that hard to convert them back to ADAM format after your familiar with the programs. Just to be clear, you cannot just convert the ROM file back to ADAM format and play it, it has to be placed on a CopyCart prepared media. There were a number of other cartridge copy utilities available for ADAM as well, but CopyCart+ 2.0 was the BEST.

Jim N.

Edited by NIAD, Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:56 AM.


#18 else OFFLINE  

else

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 964 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire (ex-Minnesotan)

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:30 AM

Hi Guys. Busy with the kids on the weekend, but I'll try to answer some questions.

1) USB thumb drives -- I considered this instead of SD Cards, but USB mastering requires a more horsepower than the processor I'm using. So it involves a tradeoff, but I felt SD Cards were the better cost/benefit solution.

2) Colecovision ROMs won't work, unless they're part of a disk or tape image. Others have already replied with details, so see those posts for more info.

3) 6-position phone cables are cheaply available from the electronics supplier I'm using for all the other parts (I've already looking in to this). So no problem there.

4) There's no reason why two SD Drives couldn't be used at the same time. Right now, I only have the one unit you see pictured so I haven't actually tested this. But I'm sure there will be no problem.

5) As far as emulating 4 disk drives, that could easily be done. I would just have to add some code to support it. I really don't know much about the other 2 disk drives, other than I know AdamEm supports it. But I personally don't have any programs that support it. Maybe you can PM me and we can discuss more?

One more thing I forgot to mention is that the 64 "disk" I mentioned can be much larger than the standard 256KB tapes or 160KB that Coleco produced. The "disks" automatically grow in size as needed and should be able to grow all the way up to 32MB.

P.S. One thing I can't overstate is the incredible speedup over tapes and disks. I'm sure people who have used similar devices for other 8-bit computers can relate, but when I first got this working it was quite a thrilling to see how fast things booted (actually, it still is quite thrilling)....

Edited by else, Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:32 AM.


#19 desiv OFFLINE  

desiv

    Stargunner

  • 1,746 posts
  • Location:Salem, Oregon

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:49 PM

One more thing I forgot to mention is that the 64 "disk" I mentioned can be much larger than the standard 256KB tapes or 160KB that Coleco produced. The "disks" automatically grow in size as needed and should be able to grow all the way up to 32MB.


Hmmm..
That brings up an interesting theory. Since you can apparently have a disk with ROMs on it, then you might be able to make a really big disk with lots of ROMs....
Of course, that would assume that either the copycart program would happen to work with these larger disks or someone would be able to duplicate what copycart does and make images with lots more ROMs on them...

Well, I have to start saving now...

:-)

p.s. I assume (???) this will work in CP/M mode??

desiv

#20 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,059 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:07 PM

One more thing I forgot to mention is that the 64 "disk" I mentioned can be much larger than the standard 256KB tapes or 160KB that Coleco produced. The "disks" automatically grow in size as needed and should be able to grow all the way up to 32MB.


Hmmm..
That brings up an interesting theory. Since you can apparently have a disk with ROMs on it, then you might be able to make a really big disk with lots of ROMs....
Of course, that would assume that either the copycart program would happen to work with these larger disks or someone would be able to duplicate what copycart does and make images with lots more ROMs on them...

Well, I have to start saving now...

:-)

p.s. I assume (???) this will work in CP/M mode??

desiv


Since it works off the ADAMnet, it will be compatiable with everything, just like a Coleco made Digital Data Drive or Disk Drive. It will work with all EOS program, CP/M 2.2, T-DOS and even the never finished GoDOS.

There were a number of programs that were written to support 4 Disk Drives (they could be 5 1/4" 160K, 320K or 3 1/2" 720K or 1.44Mb - didn't matter), but almost all EOS programs only have options programmed in for up to 2 Digital Data Drives and 2 Disk Drives. Soloman Swift (Digital Express) wrote a small public domain SmartBASIC program that allows for SmartBASIC to have access to 4 disk drives at once, I've used it will good results on Virtual ADAM/ADAMem.

CopyCart would have to be patched to take advantage of the larger, or should I say expandable/every-growing re. else's explanation, size available. The program is coded to support up to a 3 1/2" 720K drive.

ELSE: congrats on your success with the SD Drive, it's an amazing design and looking forward to hearing more about it in the coming days and weeks.

Jim N

#21 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • 727 posts

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:28 PM

One more thing I forgot to mention is that the 64 "disk" I mentioned can be much larger than the standard 256KB tapes or 160KB that Coleco produced. The "disks" automatically grow in size as needed and should be able to grow all the way up to 32MB.


Hmmm..
That brings up an interesting theory. Since you can apparently have a disk with ROMs on it, then you might be able to make a really big disk with lots of ROMs....
Of course, that would assume that either the copycart program would happen to work with these larger disks or someone would be able to duplicate what copycart does and make images with lots more ROMs on them...

Well, I have to start saving now...

:-)

p.s. I assume (???) this will work in CP/M mode??

desiv


Since it works off the ADAMnet, it will be compatiable with everything, just like a Coleco made Digital Data Drive or Disk Drive. It will work with all EOS program, CP/M 2.2, T-DOS and even the never finished GoDOS.

There were a number of programs that were written to support 4 Disk Drives (they could be 5 1/4" 160K, 320K or 3 1/2" 720K or 1.44Mb - didn't matter), but almost all EOS programs only have options programmed in for up to 2 Digital Data Drives and 2 Disk Drives. Soloman Swift (Digital Express) wrote a small public domain SmartBASIC program that allows for SmartBASIC to have access to 4 disk drives at once, I've used it will good results on Virtual ADAM/ADAMem.

CopyCart would have to be patched to take advantage of the larger, or should I say expandable/every-growing re. else's explanation, size available. The program is coded to support up to a 3 1/2" 720K drive.

ELSE: congrats on your success with the SD Drive, it's an amazing design and looking forward to hearing more about it in the coming days and weeks.

Jim N


In the 20th Century Copycart +2.0 was the best product to use to make backup's of most cartridges for the Colecovision/Adam system. Back in the 80's I spoke with the designers of Copycart + 2.0. You can use any size drive with the program. Since the late 80's I have used 1.44MB 3.5 inch disks. Copy Cart + 2.0 allows the user to init any size disk according to the designer. I have been able to use the full 1.44MB space by just entering "1440" when creating a Copycart 2.0 image. It is my understanding that if I had a larger size drive all I would need to do is just type in "32000" or "9999" to use the larger drive for cartridges images.

In the 21st Century the Colecovision 128 in 1 USB Flash Cartridge is a better product when compared to Copycart + 2.0.

BRIEF REVIEW OF ADAM COPYCART + 2.0 PRODUCT COMPARED TO 1...

Edited by HDTV1080P, Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:29 PM.


#22 dooglehead OFFLINE  

dooglehead

    Chopper Commander

  • 151 posts
  • Location:MA

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:33 PM

This makes me wish I had an Adam.

If I had one, I would probably buy one of these.

#23 retroillucid OFFLINE  

retroillucid

    Quadrunner

  • 7,733 posts

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:45 PM

This makes me wish I had an Adam.

If I had one, I would probably buy one of these.


That's the reason you must buy one! ;)

I have no ADAM too, but I'm actually in the process of getting one
If you like playing Colecovision, then you won't be disapointed to be able to play the Adam exclusive games

I would love someday to make an exclusive ADAM game... I dunno wich game though :ponder:

#24 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • 727 posts

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:46 PM

This makes me wish I had an Adam.

If I had one, I would probably buy one of these.


If you want a free virtual Adam you can download it at the following website. It uses a Windows PC to simulate a real Adam. In some ways the program is better then a real Adam since you can run several Virtual Adam windows at the same time from one PC and you can overclock the virtual Adam to make programs run faster.

http://www.sacnews.n.../downloads.html

Edited by HDTV1080P, Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:00 PM.


#25 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • 727 posts

Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:56 PM

Jim at NIAD,

Is there any chance you well start printing the monthly NIAD Adam newsletter again? Then you could start reviewing all the new hardware and software that is being released for the Adam and Colecovision in the 21st century. The new NIAD newsletter could be an electronic version instead of a printed version. I would subscribe to it. Posted Image

Edited by HDTV1080P, Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:57 PM.





1 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users