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Lotharek - SD Card Floppy Emulator / DSK1 replacement

TI-99/4A Lotharek HARDWARE

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#1 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:34 AM

How many of you have one of these stuffed into your TI's P-Box?

 

Do you have any insights or experiences that you would think a Newbie should know about?  If so, I'd love to hear about them.

I'm considering upgrading my DSK1 with one of these.  I'm thinking an HDX/Lotharek combo would kick some serious azz!   :)

 

gallery_35324_1027_52175.jpg



#2 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:51 AM

Oh yeah, one more question.... CAN YOU TURN OFF THE SOUND?

From the demo's I've seen on YouTube,  the sounds it makes during file access would drive me nuts.



#3 aftyde OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 AM

Yep - here is what they look like installed.  Highly recommended. 

.

 

Attached File  20140728_013437.jpg   836.14KB   29 downloads

Attached File  20140728_013422.jpg   538.12KB   19 downloads



#4 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:13 PM

Yep - here is what they look like installed.  Highly recommended. 

.

 

attachicon.gif20140728_013437.jpg

attachicon.gif20140728_013422.jpg

 

Oh GAWD I'm in love!  It appears to be the best of both worlds massive storage, but with 100% compatibility with all software since it's running on a Real Iron.   "Swapping" diskettes by a push of a button, love it!  I notice he takes Pay Pal too!

 

I Posted a related message about the TI-FDC in relation to the Lotharek device << HERE >>


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#5 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:01 PM

I Have the previous version, not as Disk Drive but as a card and LCD display... so i have customized my PEB ;) ... 
 
Attached File  DSC_0106.jpg   137.69KB   10 downloads
 
http://www.ti99iuc.i...14/DSC_0106.jpg  
 
(others Pictures)
 
this is the Lotharek card i used:
 
http://www.lotharek....duct.php?pid=13

Edited by ti99userclub, Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:53 AM.


#6 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:39 AM

Which one do you guys think looks better? 

 

001_s.jpg

                                                                                      - or -

 

001_s.jpg


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#7 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:43 AM

Hmm, never thought about it before but I wonder if the Gotek floppy emulator would work with the TI FDC...



#8 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:01 PM

Hmm, never thought about it before but I wonder if the Gotek floppy emulator would work with the TI FDC...

 

 It would be a cheaper alternative for sure, but I think I read somewhere that it's incompatible with the TI-FDC for a couple of reasons.  The first is that it's only comes as a 1.44 (not 720K) and and it somehow does not recognize TI formats.  

 

Aftyde told me the Lotharek works great with the TI-FDC, plays well with the HDX and you can still use TI99Dir on it's images.

He apparently sets up a number of what he calls 'scratch disks' on the Lotharek in various formats.  He can then use DSK2PC and copy images directly from his PC to his TI's Lotharek drive.  

 

Also if you look at the display on the pictures he posted, you can see the names of the active disk on the display... THAT is freaking nice!  Try doing that on a Nano-PEB!

 

gallery_35324_1027_1077.jpg

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

Now all I have to do is figure out if I want the plain model without advertising that would blend in better or the cooler looking one that has advertising.



#9 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:29 PM

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!

gallery_35324_1027_37520.jpg

 

If... and this is a big if, the same routine that makes the 80 track modification possible on the TI-FDC could be pushed to 255 tracks... that would give the TI 1,147.5KB per virtual disk, with only a TI floppy drive controller running at DSSD.  If you had a Myarc or CorComp DSDD controller that would be a massive 2,295KB per virtual diskette!   Now THAT opens up some amazing potential!  :)



#10 Gazoo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:58 PM

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!

gallery_35324_1027_37520.jpg

 

If... and this is a big if, the same routine that makes the 80 track modification possible on the TI-FDC could be pushed to 255 tracks... that would give the TI 1,147.5KB per virtual disk, with only a TI floppy drive controller running at DSSD.  If you had a Myarc or CorComp DSDD controller that would be a massive 2,295KB per virtual diskette!   Now THAT opens up some amazing potential!  :)

 

 

The Disk Controller DSR(s) would need to be re-written to adjust the bitmap to allow the desired capacities. Not at all a small undertaking, as the DSR space would need to be expanded. DSR banking would need to be added (more chips and board modification) to fit the additional code in addition to the code being modified the bitmap for the additional tracks. Good luck finding someone up to the task.

 

Perhaps an easier project would be to build a Flash-Harddrive-on-a-card. Put a 256m flash chip on a card and have it respond in the usual manner as WDS1. or SCS1.   

 

Gazoo



#11 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:09 PM

 

 

The Disk Controller DSR(s) would need to be re-written to adjust the bitmap to allow the desired capacities. Not at all a small undertaking, as the DSR space would need to be expanded. DSR banking would need to be added (more chips and board modification) to fit the additional code in addition to the code being modified the bitmap for the additional tracks. Good luck finding someone up to the task.

 

Perhaps an easier project would be to build a Flash-Harddrive-on-a-card. Put a 256m flash chip on a card and have it respond in the usual manner as WDS1. or SCS1.   

 

 

 

Bummer!  I'm glad there are guys like you around that know more about all this stuff than I do.  I was really starting to get excited at the possibilities.  Either way, I'm going to get one next month.  It's calling to me don't ya know!

 

Oh well it'll give me a few months before the boredom meter starts climbing again.  Anyway thanks for the heads up on the technical issues.



#12 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 9:39 PM

I went and bought one of these :) can't wait to get it. Hopefully the old lady don't get to upset for me spending so much lol at least i only bought 1 :P

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 9:59 PM

I went and bought one of these :) can't wait to get it. Hopefully the old lady don't get to upset for me spending so much lol at least i only bought 1 :P

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

You are simply going to LOVE that thing.  I could never bring myself to go back to diskettes after using it.

The time it takes to download an image floppy and run it through the automatic converter can be measured in mere seconds.

After conversion, which is almost instantaneous, you just DRAG & DROP the converted file on to the SD card, take it out of the PC, pop it into the TI, select the image and viola, your off to the races... maybe Road Hunter?  ;)

 

Were you using the standard TI 90K SSSD drive?  If so, you'll now be able to make your virtual disks as DSSD for twice the space (180K) as you are used to.  Later, if you get the 80 track modification, you'll be able to have twice that or 360K on each virtual diskette. 



#14 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 10:05 PM

:) yeah I had the standard TI drive. Is there any programs that actually need a 360k disk on the TI?

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 10:17 PM

:) yeah I had the standard TI drive. Is there any programs that actually need a 360k disk on the TI?

 

 It depends on what your definition of NEED is!  :)

 It sure comes in handy to have all of the Rasmus games on one disk, or all your utilities on another.  If you use Telco, it's nice to have all the modules on disk and available.  If you run a data base program it'll give you extra space to save more data.  Trust me, once you get that extra space, you'll find a way to fill it.



#16 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 10:36 PM

Lol true :P

#17 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 7, 2014 3:35 PM

Just got confirmation my package is on its way from Poland :D can't wait to install this thing and start using it :)

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Posted Tue Oct 7, 2014 4:40 PM

Just got confirmation my package is on its way from Poland :D can't wait to install this thing and start using it :)

 

Cool!  Would you like me to make up a few DSSD images of some goodies in the .hfe format for you to just drop on the SD card so you can be instantly up and running,  or have you, as I suspect, already made a few of those up yourself in anticipation  of your babies pending arrival?

 

You already have a SuperCart . so I can drop 4A/DOS on it too if you like.  Just let me know.  I can post the images either here or in the BLOG section if you like.



#19 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 7, 2014 4:44 PM

Sweet :) that would be cool, I been playing with the software but haven't done much yet :)

#20 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 7, 2014 4:52 PM

Sweet :) that would be cool, I been playing with the software but haven't done much yet :)

 

Cool, I'll have a few things posted here in a couple of days.  I'm in the middle of a soldering project at the moment, so I better get back to it before something else comes up.  I'll be popping in and out tonight though...  L8R.



#21 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:23 AM

Getting excited :D tracking says it's left new York and past new jersey :D its getting closer =D

#22 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:30 AM

Getting excited :D tracking says it's left new York and past new jersey :D its getting closer =D

 

Damn, I better get on the ball and make those DSSD/40 track .DSK images for you soon.  I got called into work today though, so all my plans got flushed.  I'll TRY to get you set up in the next couple of days.  Sorry. 



#23 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:15 PM

Iwantgames:),

 

Here's one image to get you started....

(More can come later if you want)

 

A couple of quirks about the HxC:

 

1) The first image you put on the SD card will ALWAYS be the first one in the menu when powering up.

     The Lotharek offers them in the order they were put on the SD card, not in alphabetical order.

 

        So, put your THREE favorite images on as 1,2 and LAST (that way you can use the left button to

        access them quickly with the left and right buttons.

 

2) If you want to reorder them, you'll have to delete them all, and put them back on in the order of 

    preference.  I keep a folder on my PC of all my .HFE images.

 

3) Remember to push the center button!  When you see the numbers on the second row, you'll know

    that the disk image is "loaded" and ready to go.

 

You'll enjoy the hell out of it!

 

I'm guessing your next purchase will be the 80 track modification, so you can DOUBLE your image storage space.  :grin:

 

Oh, on that PALEA5 program included on the image, I'm not sure if it will run on a non-F18A console.  Try it out, if it doesn't, just save it until you get one.  I love that program!  I use it every time I turn on the TI to run anything other than games.

Attached Files



#24 Iwantgames:) ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:31 PM

Awesome :) thx. Yeah thinking of the 80 track mod, just gotta read up on it. Probably not something I can do myself lol.

#25 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:43 PM

Awesome :) thx. Yeah thinking of the 80 track mod, just gotta read up on it. Probably not something I can do myself lol.

 

<< LINK >>  I believe it might have been Gazoo that told me quite a while back that the wires and switch added to that mod are not recommended.  If you can get the chips from someone here on the board, and remove the old chips yourself, or find someone local to remove them and put in the sockets, you can insert the chips yourself.

 

I do remember one thing quite plainly that Gazoo told me once about 3.5" drives, because it bugged me for days.  He said,"If you are using 3.5 inch drives on the TI, you're WASTING 1/2 the space without this mod".   The same applies to the Lotharek HxC too.

 

Now, this is one of the cheaper upgrades, and you already dropped a wad on the Lotharek, so you might as well take full advantage of it.... right?  ;-)







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