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Idea:External Atari ST drive transformed to 8-bit (XF551 internals)


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#26 SoulBuster OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:20 PM

How much more difficult is it to make them work with 1.44 disk drives?



#27 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:05 PM

By all means, repurpose every damn SF354 drive you find into an XF351, please! That's the way it should've been from the start, err, STart.  :)



#28 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:30 PM

I don't know about the newer 3.5" 1.44MB mechanisms, but the older ones should work at 720KB as long as the discs have the punch-out to indicate they are DD rather than HD.

I have a CSS XF551 dual drive upgrade that came with a Sony 1.44MB drive.

 

IIRC the only interface for the Atsri 8-bit capable of 1.44MB is the floppy board for the CSS Black Box. Even the ST series needed a special version of the 1772 to be 1.44MB capable



#29 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:30 PM

 

Looks like you could mount that board in an old SX212 case.

 

I very much like this idea because the SX212 and 1030 modem cases are nearly identical in size and shape, and those of us with the XL line could have 3.5" floppies in cases that match our computers too! I think I just gave myself a new project! 3.5" XL drive baby!

 

Too bad it wasn't called the 1035, then the badge number would work too, but I guess it still falls in line with the 1050; 1050=5.5" drive, 1030=3.5" drive! 


Edited by Gunstar, Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:35 PM.


#30 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:31 PM

 

Looks like you could mount that board in an old SX212 case.

 

I very much like this idea because the SX212 and 1030 modem cases are nearly identical in size and shape, and those of us with the XL line could have 3.5" floppies in cases that match our computers too!



#31 manterola OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:53 PM

Do you mean mod a 1030 case to take a 3.5 floppy or just the hold the conversion board? I like to think on that idea also, I would like to see some dark faceplate 3.5 floppy with a XL styled case (maybe a 3d printed one)... Like a mini 1050

#32 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:45 PM

My intention is if Dropcheck's XF551 board will fit, to do exactly what this thread has been discussing, but yes, in a 1030 case with the 3.5" drive in it as well. It has two SIO ports and power port ready to use, I may even be able cut out just the modem part of the board and wire up the XF551 board to the power circuit (switch and outlet part with whatever voltage the board Dropcheck XF551 board needs) on the board and directly to the SIO ports there. Then like you said, just find a drive with a dark face plate and hopefully do a respectable job of cutting a spot for it in the 1030 face plate that looks good Or find someone to print up a new 1030 faceplate made to fit a 3.5" drive.

 

After all, 5.25" floppies are getting rarer and more expensive, and are older old stock than most 3.5" floppies that can still be had probably for cheaper. I haven't priced lately, but I have a couple hundred 3.5" disks in storage from old IBM PC's and leftover blanks from when I had an Amiga and ST. I'm running out of good 5.25" to write new disks with, so maybe it's time to start using 3.5" floppies for ATR's, assuming I can still format disks to just 90K still...I'm assuming the XF551 board is capable of that still, even if it is to 3.5" instead of 5.25"? If not, at least I can still use it for my own data, on 360K floppies, the equivalent of 180Kx2 flippies I use now. Or can an XF551 board handle 720K mechanisms? Someone mentioned this already, right?


Edited by Gunstar, Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:08 PM.


#33 tf_hh OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:01 AM

How much more difficult is it to make them work with 1.44 disk drives?

 

This isn´t easy when using the XF551 circuit as a most compatible base. You will need twice base frequency (16 MHz instead of 8.333 MHz) for the FDC, an AJAX FDC or one of the selected 1772-02-02 variants (they work flawless with overclocking) and at last complete new firmware which runs flawless at higher CPU (8040/8050) speed, too. And the firmware must be enabled for switched HD/DD.

 

IMHO this ongoing project shall be a simple just-replace-the-PCB-and-do-two-little-things solution for not dozens of bucks, specially the today useless single sided SF354 is offered anywhere for a few USD/Euros at eBay etc., most Atari ST users have also a bunch of it in the basement :)

 

When asking for HD and "more modern" solutions, I think, it´s better to buy a Karin Maxi Drive or similar solution. Or anybody try to re-create the HDI from ABBUC (no... myself hasn´t any time for such a job, my desk is full with other projects!).



#34 DaveMacBlack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:10 AM

For XL enthusiasts, this 3D version of the case could be interesting:

 

6b22fb9c82f53b532f9f0f0530beac62_preview

 

I discovered it a few days ago at the thingiverse.com server: https://www.thingive...m/thing:3287420

 

At Christmas my Prusa mk2s will not idle :-)



#35 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:32 AM

For XL enthusiasts, this 3D version of the case could be interesting:

 

6b22fb9c82f53b532f9f0f0530beac62_preview

 

I discovered it a few days ago at the thingiverse.com server: https://www.thingive...m/thing:3287420

 

At Christmas my Prusa mk2s will not idle :-)

Yep, better than using a 1030 case if they are available. It looks like someone in the community would have to print some up for people like me. It looks like the data to do it is all there. That Kryoflux floppy board looks interesting too, but it would be much easier to use the re-imaged XF551 board and real SIO ports, etc. But, would Dropcheck's board even fit in this case? I'm sure it would fit in a 1030, whether or not the board and 3.5" drive will both fit in the shallow 1030 case is another question too though. (or an SX212 case for that matter)

 

Below is the picture I edited for extreme exposure so the face-plate can be seen.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6b22fb9c82f53b532f9f0f0530beac62_preview_featured.jpg

Edited by Gunstar, Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:45 AM.


#36 SoulBuster OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:32 AM

 

This isn´t easy when using the XF551 circuit as a most compatible base. You will need twice base frequency (16 MHz instead of 8.333 MHz) for the FDC, an AJAX FDC or one of the selected 1772-02-02 variants (they work flawless with overclocking) and at last complete new firmware which runs flawless at higher CPU (8040/8050) speed, too. And the firmware must be enabled for switched HD/DD.

 

IMHO this ongoing project shall be a simple just-replace-the-PCB-and-do-two-little-things solution for not dozens of bucks, specially the today useless single sided SF354 is offered anywhere for a few USD/Euros at eBay etc., most Atari ST users have also a bunch of it in the basement :)

 

When asking for HD and "more modern" solutions, I think, it´s better to buy a Karin Maxi Drive or similar solution. Or anybody try to re-create the HDI from ABBUC (no... myself hasn´t any time for such a job, my desk is full with other projects!).

 

I asked about 1.44s because 720k disks are becoming rare.  Using a 1.44 disk as a 720k disk risks loss of data.

 

I have at least 1,000 1.44s and only about 20 720k disks that I keep reusing to move stuff on my STs.



#37 adam242 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:14 PM

Yep, better than using a 1030 case if they are available. It looks like someone in the community would have to print some up for people like me. It looks like the data to do it is all there. That Kryoflux floppy board looks interesting too, but it would be much easier to use the re-imaged XF551 board and real SIO ports, etc. But, would Dropcheck's board even fit in this case? I'm sure it would fit in a 1030, whether or not the board and 3.5" drive will both fit in the shallow 1030 case is another question too though. (or an SX212 case for that matter)

 

Below is the picture I edited for extreme exposure so the face-plate can be seen.

 

Even if Dropcheck's board doesn't fit, It'd be cool to have a pair of these sitting on top of an ATR8000.



#38 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:46 AM

 

I asked about 1.44s because 720k disks are becoming rare.  Using a 1.44 disk as a 720k disk risks loss of data.

 

I have at least 1,000 1.44s and only about 20 720k disks that I keep reusing to move stuff on my STs.

 

If you search around here or internet, I'm sure you will find sources.  At last check, they weren't terribly expensive.  You still find them on eBay, and occasionally for reasonably sane prices. If you want some (NOS or used), send me a PM -- I should have some spares that I can sell.  At last check there was an outfit in Europe (IIRC) that was still manufacturing and selling new ones -- Athana, I think). 

 

OTOH, although I have not used a 1.44 HD XF551 (obviously), I have used a floppy board with HD 1.44's and a C64 CMD HD 1.44 drive.  Neither system was completely reliable -- I would typically lose maybe one or two files after a few months/years -- I would say maybe 98% reliable(?).  A 720K drive/disks have been the most reliable combination that I've found -- at least as reliable as good SS/SD disks - which are amazingly reliable.  I also have a Karin Maxi Drive, but it is not compatible with XF's or Floppy Boards. (It maps the tracks differently.)

 

I wonder..... a big issue would be solved if just the write current could be safely doubled on an XF.  Maybe with some type of switching mechanism (auto or manual) to select the correct write current for DD or HD disks.  That would allow use of the still common 1.44's.  And last -- there are other drawbacks to using 1.44's such as compatibility.  ATR's have virtually no compatibility nor reliability issues, so why not just use ATR's with digital media?

 

-Larry



#39 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:15 PM

 
If you search around here or internet, I'm sure you will find sources.  At last check, they weren't terribly expensive.  You still find them on eBay, and occasionally for reasonably sane prices. If you want some (NOS or used), send me a PM -- I should have some spares that I can sell.  At last check there was an outfit in Europe (IIRC) that was still manufacturing and selling new ones -- Athana, I think). 

I bought two 10packs of 720K DSDD disks this morning on eBay for a little over $20. I have a Sony HD mech in my XF which has the drive select jumpered to drive zero and the DD/HD switch set to DD only. 1.44M disks work, but they are not reliable as 720K disks. My drive also has problems formatting at 720K if the disk has previously been formatted at 1.44M.

Edited by Brentarian, Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:30 PM.


#40 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:17 PM

I'm almost to the point of sending XF314 proto boards to the board house.  In prep I am trying to collect 3 1/2" compatible BIOS files.  

I believe there are two, Hyper+XF and I believe another from Bob Woolley. But I have neither one. Can someone with a modified 3 1/2" XF551 upload their bin file or point me to a download link?



#41 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:44 PM

I'm almost to the point of sending XF314 proto boards to the board house.  In prep I am trying to collect 3 1/2" compatible BIOS files.  

I believe there are two, Hyper+XF and I believe another from Bob Woolley. But I have neither one. Can someone with a modified 3 1/2" XF551 upload their bin file or point me to a download link?

 

Here you go:

 

http://atariage.com/...oses/?p=1314823

 

Very excited to see an XF351 in action!



#42 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:18 AM

I'm almost to the point of sending XF314 proto boards to the board house.  In prep I am trying to collect 3 1/2" compatible BIOS files.  

I believe there are two, Hyper+XF and I believe another from Bob Woolley. But I have neither one. Can someone with a modified 3 1/2" XF551 upload their bin file or point me to a download link?

Cool! I plan on doing some XL style case version, but the smaller the board, the less worry about it fitting in any case I may use in the end!



#43 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 6:16 AM

I'm very much interested in this also. Although I do have an XF314 or XF354 (I forget which) stored away, that XL style mini 1050 case looks great and would be nice along side my modified 600XL, I have a spare 720 drive mech that I could use.



#44 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 7:31 AM

Adding this here because there doesn't really seem to be a better thread for it.

 

The XF351 was sold in tiny numbers - in Ireland.  I can remember seeing them in Peat's of Parnell Street (the main Atari retailers in the Dublin area) c.1987.

 

One was attached to a 130XE for demonstration, and there were a few boxed units for sale out on the floor.  This was around the time that I was getting into the ST, and was interested in it right up to the point where I discovered that despite using the same disk media, filesystem compatibility between the ST and 8-bit was still nonexistent.  At that point, I just stuck with whatever the package was that copied data over the joystick port of the 8-bit to the ST.



#45 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 5:13 PM

Does someone have a working ST SF314 power supply that I can borrow for testing?



#46 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 5:42 PM

Does someone have a working ST SF314 power supply that I can borrow for testing?

 

It's just a simple +5V/+12V/GND deal - you can use any PC Peripheral power supply and either jump it straight to the SF314 controller board - or I just made a short dongle to change one plug design to the other.

 

Still PM me with your address and I will ship you my SF314 power brick on loan.


Edited by oracle_jedi, Wed Jan 2, 2019 5:42 PM.


#47 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 4:15 PM

Hello Lenore

 

The XF551 can read PC disks (as in: formatted on a PC for use with Windows).  Will the XF314 be able to do so too?  Or maybe even write files to them?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy



#48 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 5:27 PM

Hello Lenore

 

The XF551 can read PC disks (as in: formatted on a PC for use with Windows).  Will the XF314 be able to do so too?  Or maybe even write files to them?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

Basically the way I am looking at this, is that I am redesigning the contents of the original XF551 pcb to fit a SF314 case.  I will be using the original SF314 power brick, power connector and switch, L1 and L2 AC filters, and I hope the internal power and data cables.  The two external data connectors I am planning on replacing with easier to get CUI DIN connectors and plug for a custom SIO cable.  That may change based on how the connectors line up with the rear openings on the case. 

 

I hope to use the original drive mech if for no other reason than almost no modification is needed on the front case. Now if you don't have a working SF314 drive mech, then you will most likely have to modify the drive mech, front of case and possibly drive mech mounting constraints.  The new board outline may very well fit the SF354 case as well, but I doubt you will be able to use the original drive mech.  That may cause issues with the replacement drive fit on some versions of the SF354. 

 

I will be testing the two known roms compatible with 3.5" drives for Atari use.  Whether it will read or write PC formatted files is beyond the scope of the project.  I'm not saying it won't, but it's not a high priority.  At least not at this stage.  :(

 

The proto board files went to the board house a couple of days ago.  Should have them arrive in a week or so.  Here's a pic of the first version.

 

XF314v2.jpg



#49 manterola OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 6:12 PM

So a related question is: can the xf551 (5.25 inch) read and/or write PC formatted diskettes using an Atari 8 bits computer?

Edited by manterola, Thu Jan 3, 2019 6:12 PM.


#50 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 6:27 PM

So a related question is: can the xf551 (5.25 inch) read and/or write PC formatted diskettes using an Atari 8 bits computer?


The hardware technically capable of doing so, and the Hyper XF firmware has support for it, but noones written the software to do so. (Yet!)




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