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IDE Plus 2.0 - new IDE host adapter


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#1 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:09 PM

Hi

For some time there have been some ongoing works on a new PBI interface allowing to attach an IDE device to an 8-bit Atari. Previous solutions of this type - KMK/JŻ IDE and IDEa - had the disadavantage of being rather large, being limited to XE computers only (this is KMK/JŻ IDE), and having problems to cooperate with certain computers due to the well known problems with the PHI2 signal not being generated the same across various Atari XL and XE motherboard revisions, and across computers with different hardware extensions installed.

These problems have been addressed. The new interface:

1) is not much greater than a 2,5-inch IDE disk

2) does not require an external power-supply

3) contains an XE (CART+ECI) connector, an XL (PBI) connector, a cartridge port, and a connector for a 2,5-inch IDE disk

4) contains 96 KB ISP Flash ROM and 32 KB RAM available to the internal PBI BIOS and flashable from the Atari

5) contains 512 KB or 1024 KB ISP Flash ROM for SpartaDOS X (or any other cartridge of such type), flashable from the Atari. This ROM can be physically disabled using a dedicated switch. The switch is not installed in the device shown on photos below.

6) contains a real time clock circuitry to be used with SpartaDOS X. If someone doesn't want to use it, the module is anyway fully compatible with an external R-Time 8 or internally mounted ARC.

7) last, but not least, it also contains a LED flashing during the I/O :)

Five prototypes exist, one of them was presented on the Forever party 2011 in Slovakia, few days ago (to those who came to our desk and asked what it was). A larger production batch is being perpared, a subscription topic will be opened as soon as the final price is calculated and (of course), if anyone wants the device.

Photos:

Posted Image
1) Top view, with the disk dismounted. CART+ECI plug at the left, cartridge port at the right.

Posted Image
2) Bottom view, PBI connector visible on the far end

Posted Image
3) The same stuff at different angle.

Posted Image
4) Top view with the disk mounted.

The PCB has holes for 2,5-inch disks, either "old" or "new" type (e.g. 2 GB Toshiba MK2103 or 30 GB Toshiba MK3018). You can see that one of the holes is misplaced on the prototype PCB :) It is most visible on the first photo. This obviously will be corrected in the final batch.

Estimated price apiece of the final batch is, according to the hardware designer, "not much more than 200 PLN" (plus shipping). It may get a bit lower or higher depending on the quantity of the batch and the final price asked by the factory guys for the PCBs and assembly (coz it will not be assembled manually, but at a regular electronic factory instead).

A PLN (Polish złoty) exchange rates are approximately these:

1 USD = ~2,8 PLN
1 EUR = ~4 PLN

Edited by drac030, Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:23 PM.


#2 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:13 PM

Nice: been waiting for a few days for this topic to appear. ;)

#3 thgill OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:15 PM

Hot damn. Want!

#4 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:25 PM

Nice: been waiting for a few days for this topic to appear. ;)


I guess you already saw it on the AtariArea. :) Sorry for the delay, I have been a very busy man lately :/

#5 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:33 PM

Nice: been waiting for a few days for this topic to appear. ;)


I guess you already saw it on the AtariArea. :) Sorry for the delay, I have been a very busy man lately :/

Indeed so. I was worried that sales were going to be confined to Poland only. :)

#6 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:59 PM

One bone of contention. The orientation of the XL PBI connector... This was the same with the old style KMK/IDEa... If you use it on an XL it sticks up behind the machine which is both impratical and ugly... Could there not be a right angled connector? or a crimp on ribbon connector?

#7 sloopy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:02 PM

yeah i still have a tab open in atariarea in FF with drool all over it :')

sloopy.

#8 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:02 PM

Or the simplest solution: XE connector on one side of the unit, XL connector at the other?

Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:02 PM.


#9 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:33 PM

Outstanding!!!

-Larry

#10 FULS OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:48 PM

Great!! I would buy one.

#11 19Echo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:52 PM

Does it have better hard drive support than the myide? (those got expensive trying to replace after awhile) If so, ill take one.

#12 danwinslow OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:14 PM

I'll definitely buy a couple of these.

#13 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:17 PM

Awesome - I love all these new toys!

#14 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:41 PM

Hello Drac030

Does it support ATASPI? (Read more about ATASPI on my (AT)ASPI page)

sincerely

Mathy

#15 spookt OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:08 PM

I would be interested in one or two at that price. Looks like a neat bit of kit.

#16 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:08 PM

I could use two :)

#17 ctirad OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:09 PM

Nice. Where did you found the proper cart connectors?

#18 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:23 PM

@orpheuswaking: as about the PBI connector: I do not have an XL myself, so I have no opinion on that. Maybe it could be done better, I hope that the hw designer will take it into account, if possible. I only can say that yes, on XLs it sticks up, but not so badly, because the device is nearly two times smaller than IDEa's PCB. So I don't think it sticks much more than an average cartridge inserted to an 800XL. As I said, I can't even check it out now :)

@19echo: I believe that anything has better hard drive support than MyIDE (except, of course, FJC's MyIDE driver for SDX), if you mean the possibility to use just any disk you like. But in fact, the device so far has only provisional firmware (the same as IDEa), because there was no time to write anything new before the party.

@mathy: certainly it can support ATASPI (even via SIOV, without softloaded driver), if you explain what are the practical advantages of it.

I also feel I must add what I forgot to write in the first post: the estimated price is for the adapter only, the disk is not included. I feel pretty assured, though, that any 2,5-inch IDE disk should work with this device.

Edited by drac030, Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:28 PM.


#19 thgill OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:45 PM

If you use it on an XL it sticks up behind the machine which is both impratical and ugly...



You mean you like the C64 PCB-sticking-up-out-the-back-like-a-wing look?


Makes cars faster, maybe 8 bit computers too!
;)

#20 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:12 PM

@orpheuswaking: as about the PBI connector: I do not have an XL myself, so I have no opinion on that. Maybe it could be done better, I hope that the hw designer will take it into account, if possible. I only can say that yes, on XLs it sticks up, but not so badly, because the device is nearly two times smaller than IDEa's PCB. So I don't think it sticks much more than an average cartridge inserted to an 800XL. As I said, I can't even check it out now :)


Well it's not only the fact it sticks out, but that balanced on it's edge like that it only takes the slightest of knocks to dislodge it or cause data issues. With it laying flat behind a XE at least it's stable... I just don't think it's the best design for the XL series.

#21 svenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:21 PM

Interested in 1 maybe 2. Looks very good. Agree with Orpheus though, if it could be designed to lay flat behind the XL that would be a lot better.

#22 bf2k+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:28 PM

I want one... but I also agree that the PBI connector should allow the device to lay flat for better stability.

#23 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:30 PM

Hello Drac030

@mathy: certainly it can support ATASPI (even via SIOV, without softloaded driver), if you explain what are the practical advantages of it.

Supporting ATASPI would mean that tools written for other ATASPI supporting hardware can be used on the IDE Plus 2.0 and vice versa. I've written software to play music CD's and for looking at data-CD's and DVD's. The last one still needs a lot of work. But you could also write a tool that will verify a (hard, compact, ZIP) disk (via direct hardware access, not thru DOS) or whatever you'ld like. At the moment the only ATASPI-driver I'm aware of is the ATASPI driver for the BlackBox. But the more ATASPI drivers are written (or even included in the firmware of a device) the more tools will be written for it. I wrote my tools in Turbo-BASIC, so you (or anybody else) don't have to use assembler to write tools.

Sincerely

Mathy

#24 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:45 PM

So, replace the PBI connector with a header and use a flat cable to hook up to your system.

How does this work with no external supply?

Bob

I want one... but I also agree that the PBI connector should allow the device to lay flat for better stability.



#25 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:10 PM

Thats just begging for an XL or XE styled plastic case to be made for it ;-)


Hi

For some time there have been some ongoing works on a new PBI interface allowing to attach an IDE device to an 8-bit Atari. Previous solutions of this type - KMK/JŻ IDE and IDEa - had the disadavantage of being rather large, being limited to XE computers only (this is KMK/JŻ IDE), and having problems to cooperate with certain computers due to the well known problems with the PHI2 signal not being generated the same across various Atari XL and XE motherboard revisions, and across computers with different hardware extensions installed.

These problems have been addressed. The new interface:

1) is not much greater than a 2,5-inch IDE disk

2) does not require an external power-supply

3) contains an XE (CART+ECI) connector, an XL (PBI) connector, a cartridge port, and a connector for a 2,5-inch IDE disk

4) contains 96 KB ISP Flash ROM and 32 KB RAM available to the internal PBI BIOS and flashable from the Atari

5) contains 512 KB or 1024 KB ISP Flash ROM for SpartaDOS X (or any other cartridge of such type), flashable from the Atari. This ROM can be physically disabled using a dedicated switch. The switch is not installed in the device shown on photos below.

6) contains a real time clock circuitry to be used with SpartaDOS X. If someone doesn't want to use it, the module is anyway fully compatible with an external R-Time 8 or internally mounted ARC.

7) last, but not least, it also contains a LED flashing during the I/O :)

Five prototypes exist, one of them was presented on the Forever party 2011 in Slovakia, few days ago (to those who came to our desk and asked what it was). A larger production batch is being perpared, a subscription topic will be opened as soon as the final price is calculated and (of course), if anyone wants the device.

Photos:

Posted Image
1) Top view, with the disk dismounted. CART+ECI plug at the left, cartridge port at the right.

Posted Image
2) Bottom view, PBI connector visible on the far end

Posted Image
3) The same stuff at different angle.

Posted Image
4) Top view with the disk mounted.

The PCB has holes for 2,5-inch disks, either "old" or "new" type (e.g. 2 GB Toshiba MK2103 or 30 GB Toshiba MK3018). You can see that one of the holes is misplaced on the prototype PCB :) It is most visible on the first photo. This obviously will be corrected in the final batch.

Estimated price apiece of the final batch is, according to the hardware designer, "not much more than 200 PLN" (plus shipping). It may get a bit lower or higher depending on the quantity of the batch and the final price asked by the factory guys for the PCBs and assembly (coz it will not be assembled manually, but at a regular electronic factory instead).

A PLN (Polish złoty) exchange rates are approximately these:

1 USD = ~2,8 PLN
1 EUR = ~4 PLN






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