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ATR-8000 (and other) CP/M System disks here

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1 hour ago, moonlight_mile said:

SUCCESS! The new 1797 brought the drives to life!

Now it does not like to play nice with spartados 3.2d. But I did get the drive to format in Atari dos 2.0. So it is clearly working.

Sadly all the blanks I got a few years ago are starting to flake out. Probably tired of me running them through all my Percom drives. I found some ds/hd disks but those don’t want to format. I am guessing the hd disks just aren’t compat with regular 180/360/720k drives. I’ll have to look for some new old stock ds/dd disks.

Did the ATR ever work properly with spartados 3.2d? I did play around with it in mydos 4.x.

So now I am going to have to decide what kinda of drives I want to use. I gotta find ones that work as I have 4 full height paperweights.

OH!  Word to the wise.  The ATR8000 is a really outstanding device in all respects but one, very important one:

 

It will trash your disk every time you power on or off with the disk loaded in the drive.  It is vitally important to eject all media before powering on or powering off the ATR8000.  This does not apply to the use of its RESET button, only to the POWER switch.  You have been warned.

 

The ATR is IDEAL for spartados, so I am surprised you are having trouble.  What is happening when you try to use it with SD3.2d?  Now, in order to use double-sided disks with it, you need to program the ATR to know that the disks are double-sided.  This is accomplished when you use XINIT.COM to format a disk in double-sided mode.  Once you have done so, the ATR will remember that setting as long as it remains on and you do not press its reset button.  So, if you format a disk in DS/DD and copy dos to it and make it bootable, then boot the disk, it will work fine,  Now reset the ATR8000 and you may find the disk will not boot afterwards and wonder why.  This is because when you copied it along with all the other files, the X32d.DOS file landed wholely or partly on the second side of the disk and when the ATR was reset, it no longer knows that the disk is double-sided and gives an error whenever you try to access anything that goes past the highest numbered sector on the first side.  Thus, it is important with double-sided media to make sure that if you want the disk to be bootable no matter the state of the ATR8000, you copy the x32d.dos file to the disk first, before anything else, or at least make sure that lands wholely on the first side of the disk, usually below sector 720.  This way you can boot, and in the startup.bat file have a program execute that tells the percom control block that this is a double-sided disk.  There's a utility of recent vintage called PBSET.COM https://github.com/tschak909/percom-tools/releases/download/Percom-Tools-v1.0/pbtools.atr that will do this in the batch file.  All you have to do is supply the particulars and go.

 

Remember that to make a spartados disk bootable after copying the x32d.dos file to a disk is to issue a "BOOT drive #:X32D.DOS"  Example:

 

COPY D1:X32D.DOS D2:X32D.DOS

BOOT D2:X32D.DOS

 

Now you can swap the disk from d2 into d1 and it will boot just like it should.

 

I should mention that ALL drives that can handle double-sided media for the Atari are like this.  There's no 'sided smartness' like there is 'density smartness'.  So your ATR8000 will automatically sense single or double-density and configure itself without your intervention, it cannot do the same with single or double-sidedness.  None of the others can either, Percom, ATR8000, XF551.  I don't recall if my Black Box Floppy board could or not, Maybe it could.  If so, that would be the only exception.  I don't have it anymore so I can't test, but I bet not.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
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Reading these ATR8000 related threads made me pull mine out, hook it up with the 3.5" drive and the small stack of 3.5" floppies I wrote with it.

 

It works still !

 

Hums like it always did (60 Hz transformer bolted directly to the sheet metal shell).

 

I'll have to try to get CP/M up and running sometime.

 

One thing I don't recall experiencing in the past, is it somehow drags down and muddies the 800XLs audio !  I can boot a game, sound is low and sucks, pull out the SIO cable, and beutiful audio returns.

Did perhaps the ATR use a SIO cable with fewer conductors originally ?  and something is now connected that shouldn't be ?

 

Anyone else experience this ?  Have a solution ?

 

 

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I am going to do some more playing around. I am only testing it with my Percom tandon 100-1a. It is set as ds1. (I am too lazy to tear apart my other percoms. Lol) So I am either booting from the sio2sd or my xf551. I think late last night I got it to attempt to format but I was trying it with the hd disks which it didn’t like.

Is there any way to use ds/hd disks? I already ordered some ds/dd disks.

While on the subject. I apologize if this was covered, I did read this whole thread but didn’t really see the info I was looking for. Can I write the cp/m .td0 with the atr and Atari? I don’t have an old pc with a floppy controller so I can’t use that.

Thanks.

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8 hours ago, cwilbar said:

Reading these ATR8000 related threads made me pull mine out, hook it up with the 3.5" drive and the small stack of 3.5" floppies I wrote with it.

 

It works still !

 

Hums like it always did (60 Hz transformer bolted directly to the sheet metal shell).

 

I'll have to try to get CP/M up and running sometime.

 

One thing I don't recall experiencing in the past, is it somehow drags down and muddies the 800XLs audio !  I can boot a game, sound is low and sucks, pull out the SIO cable, and beutiful audio returns.

Did perhaps the ATR use a SIO cable with fewer conductors originally ?  and something is now connected that shouldn't be ?

 

Anyone else experience this ?  Have a solution ?

 

 

That sounds kinda funky.  I'd look into bridges or some fault.  No, the ATR uses standard SIO cables.  You may have a bad one?

 

Yeah, ATR hum.  It is mostly from the interface between the top and bottom shells.  You can ameliorate it by putting padding between the top and bottom shells at the long edges where the bottom of the top meets the edges of the front and back of the bottom of the case.  It is here that there is a rattle.  Can't get rid of it entirely though. I actually put double-face mounting tape between the transformer and the case and it still hums.  I've owned a half-dozen of these machines in my time and they all sang a bit.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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11 minutes ago, moonlight_mile said:

I am going to do some more playing around. I am only testing it with my Percom tandon 100-1a. It is set as ds1. (I am too lazy to tear apart my other percoms. Lol) So I am either booting from the sio2sd or my xf551. I think late last night I got it to attempt to format but I was trying it with the hd disks which it didn’t like.

Is there any way to use ds/hd disks? I already ordered some ds/dd disks.

While on the subject. I apologize if this was covered, I did read this whole thread but didn’t really see the info I was looking for. Can I write the cp/m .td0 with the atr and Atari? I don’t have an old pc with a floppy controller so I can’t use that.

Thanks.

You can use HD disks in low-density drives if you completely degauss them first.  You can do this with a powerful magnet, placed on the jacket and swirled around to cover the whole media, reverse the disk and do the other side, and go to town.  The problem is not the media, it is that these disks cannot have been formatted/written to by an HD DRIVE prior to use with your low-density unit.  The HD drives have a more powerful write signal that the lower density drives cannot overwrite, they don't have the ASS to erase the HD data.  So if you blank the media thoroughly, it will work like a peach for you.

 

As for CP/M disks, a fellow here came up with an ingenious way to make CP/M disks from a downloadable file set.  All you need to do is follow the instructions in the readme and you are in clover.  Remember to use thoroghly blank media, or, format the disk on BOTH SIDES as a single-sided disk, a flippy, on a 1050 or other Atari drive, prior to following the readme.  If you try to use a disk you've used as a double-sided disk before without blanking it thoroughly, it will confuse the ATR's CP/M and you will be able to boot, but won't be able to run anything on the disk.  I discovered this recently.  So make sure you use a blank disk, or format BOTH SIDES as single-sided before following the distructions.  Here's the file: ATR8000 boot.zip

 

Also, REMEMBER, DO NOT cycle power on the ATR8000 with disks in the drives (with drives doors closed).  It will fry your data whereever the heads happen to be at on the disk when you cycle power.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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14 hours ago, cwilbar said:

Reading these ATR8000 related threads made me pull mine out, hook it up with the 3.5" drive and the small stack of 3.5" floppies I wrote with it.

 

It works still !

 

Hums like it always did (60 Hz transformer bolted directly to the sheet metal shell).

 

I'll have to try to get CP/M up and running sometime.

 

One thing I don't recall experiencing in the past, is it somehow drags down and muddies the 800XLs audio !  I can boot a game, sound is low and sucks, pull out the SIO cable, and beutiful audio returns.

Did perhaps the ATR use a SIO cable with fewer conductors originally ?  and something is now connected that shouldn't be ?

 

Anyone else experience this ?  Have a solution ?

 

 

What 3.5" drive are you using?

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18 hours ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

It will trash your disk every time you power on or off with the disk loaded in the drive.  It is vitally important to eject all media before powering on or powering off the ATR8000.

IIRC the Atari 810 drive suffers from the same/similar issue, and the floppy should be ejected before shutting off the power switch.

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6 hours ago, Frankie said:

What 3.5" drive are you using?

I'd have to pull it apart, but it was a 720K floppy drive I bought at a (PC) computer show back in the early 90s.  Might be a panasonic?

 

I believe it is set to second drive ID and used with a PC flippy cable I think so that is responds as if it was set to first ID.

 

 

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5 hours ago, BillC said:

IIRC the Atari 810 drive suffers from the same/similar issue, and the floppy should be ejected before shutting off the power switch.

Yup, I can confirm this.... learned that the hard way many years ago 🙂

 

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I wish some ATR-8000 owner who is fluent in Z80 Assembly would look at the Indus GT UltraSpeed code. They are both 4 MHz Z80 bitbanging devices. They use memory addresses, like the 6502 instead of the normal instructions to access a Port. This should be easy, almost copy/paste with some address changes, I would think.

 

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20 hours ago, Kyle22 said:

I wish some ATR-8000 owner who is fluent in Z80 Assembly would look at the Indus GT UltraSpeed code. They are both 4 MHz Z80 bitbanging devices. They use memory addresses, like the 6502 instead of the normal instructions to access a Port. This should be easy, almost copy/paste with some address changes, I would think.

 

That would be MrMartian.  MrMartian!  Calling MrMartian!  🙂

 

Jeff

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I just got an email from the State of Texas regarding SWP. 

 

Here is the email:

 

Good afternoon,

 

I found 2 different entities out of Arlington by the name SOFTWARE PUBLISHERS, INC. The first was filed October 2, 1981 but went into tax forfeiture December 2, 1985.

Reinstated January 15, 1986, this corporation changed its name to JOHN D. MCFARLEN, INC. before ending up in tax forfeiture again January 9, 1989. 

The last registered agent listed was John D McFarlen and the last registered office address was 1208 Sugar Mill Arlington, TX USA (file # 58055400).

 

The second corporation by that name that I found was filed November 9, 1982 and was voluntarily dissolved November 27, 1985. The last registered agent listed was John 

D Mcfarlen and the last registered office address was 1208 Sugar Mill Arlington, TX (file # 62932000).

 

Please see screenshots below. If you would like, it is still possible to order copies of the documents we have on file for these entities, but because of the age of the filings, 

they would need to be ordered from archives. You may call our office Monday through Friday from 8:00-5:00 CST and ask to speak with a representative on the Certifications Team.

Tell the person you speak with it cannot be ordered online, since they are legacy filings. 512-463-555

 

the screenshots only show what she indicated above. I can upload those if you all want them. 

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You can use high-density 1.2 and 1.44 meg drives on the ATR8000.  1.2's will generally work as 720k drives.  You just set the jumper on it to rotate at 300 rpm and it just works.  The 1.44 drives are a little iffier, but will often work without any special jumpering, as they have a media detect switch to detect if you are using 1.44 or 720k media, this is the second hole opposite the write protect hole on a 1.44 meg disk.  Another REALLY COOL feature of many older 1.44 meg mechs is a '3mode' option.  When selected by jumper(s), 3mode will make the drive operate as a 77track 8" drive, storing 1meg in Spartados/Mydos, and 1.35 meg in CP/M, which is really cool.  Just select 77track double-sided, double-density in the format menu and go to town.

 

Jeff

 

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You can use a 1.2M drive as a direct replacement for an 8" drive, the drive nominally runs at the same rate, and thus the ATR8000 will see it as an 8" drive... you lose a little bit of space up top (190K roughly), but that's okay. Just specify 77 tracks. You can also of course, force the PERCOM block to 80 tracks, with the same # of sectors per track as 8" disks, and it will just work.

 

-Thom

 

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Been playing around with the atr. Got the old 3.5 drive from my st running nicely and the other drives I hook up run nice.

 

Now the issue. It seems as though if I try to read/write/format in double density it chokes. I only discovered this because I was trying to create cp/m disks. But it appears any sector copier I try it needs to write the disks in double density. I was able to write them with the xf551 but it never seems to work with any of the drives connected to the atr.

 

Is there a jumper on the atr I am missing? Seems really weird that it does everything in single density but it chokes in DD.

 

I have the terminator in the drive, I try to index a double density disk, nada.

 

Any ideas?

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6 hours ago, moonlight_mile said:

Been playing around with the atr. Got the old 3.5 drive from my st running nicely and the other drives I hook up run nice.

 

Now the issue. It seems as though if I try to read/write/format in double density it chokes. I only discovered this because I was trying to create cp/m disks. But it appears any sector copier I try it needs to write the disks in double density. I was able to write them with the xf551 but it never seems to work with any of the drives connected to the atr.

 

Is there a jumper on the atr I am missing? Seems really weird that it does everything in single density but it chokes in DD.

 

I have the terminator in the drive, I try to index a double density disk, nada.

 

Any ideas?

I'm fuzzy on what you mean.  What dos are you using?  Are you formatting the disks DD first before doing the sector copy?  It should not give you trouble, but I CAN say that the ATR8000 is broken for Spartados X.  You need to read a disk just once in some other dos, or attempt to boot from the ATR8000's disk 1, before loading SDX or the drives won't be accessible.  It is kinda strange.  That is the only wart on it I'm aware of.

 

Oh, if you are using the HSIO drivers, disable them for drive id's the ATR is running.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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On 8/24/2020 at 7:59 PM, Jeffrey Worley said:

You can use high-density 1.2 and 1.44 meg drives on the ATR8000.  1.2's will generally work as 720k drives.  You just set the jumper on it to rotate at 300 rpm and it just works.  The 1.44 drives are a little iffier, but will often work without any special jumpering, as they have a media detect switch to detect if you are using 1.44 or 720k media, this is the second hole opposite the write protect hole on a 1.44 meg disk.  Another REALLY COOL feature of many older 1.44 meg mechs is a '3mode' option.  When selected by jumper(s), 3mode will make the drive operate as a 77track 8" drive, storing 1meg in Spartados/Mydos, and 1.35 meg in CP/M, which is really cool.  Just select 77track double-sided, double-density in the format menu and go to town.

 

Jeff

 

This 3rd mode worked great.  well, maybe not quite "great".  The Chinon FZ-357 drive (as D2:) did not register when I attempted 77 track config.  However, if I covered the HD hole and formatted the diskette as an 80 track disk and then went back and changed the config to 77 track (using MyDOS, btw) it finally allowed me to format it and write the disk. 

 

SDX chkdsk confirmed that it indeed formatted as a 1.0 MB disk.  I filled much of the space to convince myself.

 

Jeff, thanks for this tip!

 

-SteveS

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I'm fuzzy on what you mean.  What dos are you using?  Are you formatting the disks DD first before doing the sector copy?  It should not give you trouble, but I CAN say that the ATR8000 is broken for Spartados X.  You need to read a disk just once in some other dos, or attempt to boot from the ATR8000's disk 1, before loading SDX or the drives won't be accessible.  It is kinda strange.  That is the only wart on it I'm aware of.
 
Oh, if you are using the HSIO drivers, disable them for drive id's the ATR is running.
 
Best,
 
Jeff

Hmmm. Maybe that is it.

It will not read any double density disks. I have been able to get mydos loaded and tried to format the 5.25 drive in double density and it just sits there and eventually errors out. Now. I only tried to format the 3.5 disk in dd in Sparta dos. I will have to try to make a mydos disk and try to format the 3.5 in double density. See what happens.

Low and behold I found out the new tandon 100-2a I got, the top head broke off it’s mount and was just dangling there. Ugh. Gonna try to return it.

I am so close to finishing this project. Lol!

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Nope, no dice.

I am not overly familiar with Mydos but I think I got it.

I originally formatted a disk. At the top it indicated “1S-“. Formatted fine. I used the P command to change the density. I keyed in 1,D. After this the top indicated “1D-“. Won’t format. Just times out. I can hear the head moving once every 15 seconds but then it times out.

Any ideas?

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The density indicators in MyDOS are populated from the returned status byte 2 values.

 

You need to use (O)Configure Drive to do a PERCOM BLOCK write for the desired drive parameters...the problem here is that MyDOS does not allow you to specify sectors per track if done this way... it's a bit of a mess.

 

-Thom

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The density indicators in MyDOS are populated from the returned status byte 2 values.
 
You need to use (O)Configure Drive to do a PERCOM BLOCK write for the desired drive parameters...the problem here is that MyDOS does not allow you to specify sectors per track if done this way... it's a bit of a mess.
 
-Thom

I did play a little with the config. How would I tell mydos/drive to use the Percom block?

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2 hours ago, tschak909 said:

just use an external tool to set it. e.g. my pbtools. 

https://github.com/tschak909/percom-tools

 

There's a new toy called PBSet and PBget. For all dos's, but for Sparta particularly.  it will let you change your Percom control block to whatever is required.  Of course, formatting a disk in Spartados does the change too, when you select the format it sends the control block to the drive as a part of the process.https://atariage.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=717332

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
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just use an external tool to set it. e.g. my pbtools. 
https://github.com/tschak909/percom-tools
 

Gave it a shot. Tried all kinds of different combinations. (Sparta 3.2d) but it always refused to format DD. SD it was fine. But never DD. It would just sit there with any drive I through at it.

I tried swapping out the drive controller chip and the z80. All the same result. There is only one other socketed chip I haven’t swapped (I don’t have any spares). The only other thing I could think of is maybe my rom is corrupted? Is that possible? Would it affect the drive controllers? I have spare EPROMs but not gonna bother is yaw’ll don’t think that is the problem.

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44 minutes ago, moonlight_mile said:


Gave it a shot. Tried all kinds of different combinations. (Sparta 3.2d) but it always refused to format DD. SD it was fine. But never DD. It would just sit there with any drive I through at it.

I tried swapping out the drive controller chip and the z80. All the same result. There is only one other socketed chip I haven’t swapped (I don’t have any spares). The only other thing I could think of is maybe my rom is corrupted? Is that possible? Would it affect the drive controllers? I have spare EPROMs but not gonna bother is yaw’ll don’t think that is the problem.

Anything is possible.  This is a weird error.

 

Best,

 

jeff

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