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fibrewire

Corvus Interface & ADS Integrater

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Just remember where you got the original units from and when you make the reproductions, remember who gets the first one (after you of course) :)

Aye capt!

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Hi fibrewire!

 

Just discovered this topic. I, also, would be very interested in reproductions of both the Corvus HD interface and the ADS Integrator board.

 

Personally, I'd love to be able to use Corvus 8" DS/DD external floppy disk drives with my Atari 8-bits, as well! Perhaps someone could duplicate/integrate the functionality of the Apple II Corvus FDD interface board into an Atari interface...

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Small error in the first board. I've made the correction and new one should be ready after Christmas. Updates soon to follow.

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So you aren't doing the David Small ADS Integrater?

Never could find one. David told me how the integrater worked for both revisions, as the second revision is a rom for the Newell ramrod. If you ever locate one, a rom dump would be appreciated!

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Never could find one. David told me how the integrater worked for both revisions, as the second revision is a rom for the Newell ramrod. If you ever locate one, a rom dump would be appreciated!

Didnt Curt say he had one?

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Didnt Curt say he had one?

Curt has everything, but he is WAY too swamped to look for the thing. I don't think he would mind making a dump of the rom if it was sitting in his desk, but LOOKING for the dang thing is half a nightmare in itself.

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If the firmware can't be reflashed on the disk system, then a format is required. From the manual:

 

Formatting the Drive and Replacing the Firmware

Formatting a drive is a drastic measure and should only be performed under extreme circumstances. If,however, it does become necessary to reformat the drive (due to inability to write firmware, bad tracks, etc.), some precautions should be taken. If important data is on the disk, some attempt should be made to recover it, as the reformatting process destroys it. If possible, the spare track table should be written down as this may contain some difficult to locate media errors which will cause trouble later if they are not caught by the CRC/Format check.

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Still making progress with the interface boards, but I got really excited when I found -> THIS <-

 

It's an emulator in C for the Corvus Disk System! Maybe this will show up in Altirra someday.

 

http://mamedev.org/source/src/mess/machine/corvushd.c

http://mamedev.org/source/src/mess/includes/corvushd.h

Edited by fibrewire

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Found a few links from a mirror of the Atari Historical Society from the turn of the millennia - there's so much from the old site that just isn't available today. Now if i can find an ADS Integrator board, we will be all set.

 

http://firewi.com/ahs/400800.html

Edited by fibrewire
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Took a look at the ADS Integrator on the old AHS mirror site today and noticed it's version 2 of the board. Version 2 was the better version and nothing more than a modified Newell Ramrod board with some sort of EPROM inverter at the top right of the board. The SIO vector is directly modified in the Atari ROMs then jumps to the Integrator software on the EPROM. The inverter exists because the Atari OS ROM that was patched was a masked ROM, and the EPROM insisted on being turned on one way (low), and the masked ROM insisted on the other (high). Integrator software had a configuration menu, supports booting from the Corvus Disk System and loads support for the Axlon 128K board.

 

Sure would be nice to get a dump of that Integrator ROM, but now it's just a matter of finding that SIO vector and sticking the boot loader for the Corvus Disk System in a custom ROM for the Newell Ramrod. I wish i could've seen screenshots of the Integrator's config menu...

Edited by fibrewire
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Finally found a good shot of the Corvus Multiplexer in the wild. I'm getting closer to making a Corvus powered BBS a dream come true!

post-27823-0-07122500-1404285534_thumb.jpg

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Just wanted to let you know that with the addition of a Corvus Systems Constellation you can run 64 computers on one hard drive system at the same time.

 

This can also be accomplished by having 8 multiplexers hooked up to one Corvus Systems as each multiplexer will manage 8 computers. This has been used in several schools.

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I "think" i have the constellation config software - it's part of the diagnostic program. Unfortunately I don't see any extra software packages for the Atari (like CP/M or Pascal) that came with the Apple II, TRS-80, or the Zenith Z-89 / Heath H-89.

 

The only redeeming quality is that all the corvus software on the disks and in this thread are written in Atari Basic :)

Edited by fibrewire

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Took a look at the ADS Integrator on the old AHS mirror site today and noticed it's version 2 of the board. Version 2 was the better version and nothing more than a modified Newell Ramrod board with some sort of EPROM inverter at the top right of the board. The SIO vector is directly modified in the Atari ROMs then jumps to the Integrator software on the EPROM. The inverter exists because the Atari OS ROM that was patched was a masked ROM, and the EPROM insisted on being turned on one way (low), and the masked ROM insisted on the other (high). Integrator software had a configuration menu, supports booting from the Corvus Disk System and loads support for the Axlon 128K board.

 

Sure would be nice to get a dump of that Integrator ROM, but now it's just a matter of finding that SIO vector and sticking the boot loader for the Corvus Disk System in a custom ROM for the Newell Ramrod. I wish i could've seen screenshots of the Integrator's config menu...

 

 

I noticed that also about the Newell board.

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Wow, this is fascinating. I never new about these Corvus drives "back in the day", but I imagine they were stupid expensive. How many of them are still known to exist?

 

..Al

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The corvus setup was fairly popular on apple and early PC. What was not popular was the crappy ass-rig of an "interface" that they made as an afterthought to cater to the 3 or 4 Atari people out there who had the money to buy the corvus system, and were crazy enough to waste it by hooking it up to the Atari. The functionality is absolutely laughable compared to anything you'd think could be marketed as useable.

 

Worked really well on Apple II "workgroups" though.. Was pretty popular for school computer labs, and "electronic card catalogue" applications in Libraries. The Corvus integrator cards they made for the apple (like an NIC card to put the apple on the Corvus network) were a pretty extensive piece of engineering for their day.. Unfortunately, the ATARI interface for corvus was an absolute kludge and wasn't even remotely comparable..

Edited by MEtalGuy66

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Unfortunately, the ATARI interface for corvus was an absolute kludge and wasn't even remotely comparable..

 

The interface and software for the Atari was a creative solution. At the time it was released it was compatible with all existing software on Atari DOS 2.D and made space addressable as 180K DD disks. To access a sector from DOS one would have to specify the mount table position instead of something more conventional like FAT. Transfer speeds are comparable to any PBI attached device as the interface is 8-bit parallel right through the joystick ports to PIA Port B.

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How many of them are still known to exist?

 

Ricortes, Chris A, Curt V, and myself are the only ones I know with original Atari Interfaces. There are probably many disk drives still floating around, as I have had nearly 20 in my possession at one time. I only have four of the disk systems now, two of which are in use on my current system :)

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Will the Corvus interface talk to drives that weren't produced by Corvus?

 

No, but it's pretty similar to the MyIDE for the 800.

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Yeah, the "Interface" is just an 8-bit bus interface, much like the first XT IDE interfaces. The Corvus disks had an IMI hard disk, attached to an intelligent controller, with a Z80 on it, some firmware, some RAM, and the controller hardware, making it an intelligent device, with its own command set.

 

-Thom

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