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Happy 1050 Drive Chip

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I've only just discovered that Atari max do a happy 1050 chip.

Are these any good , I remember my dad had one back in the 80s with a switch, he could turn it on happy or off.

As really tempted to order, just wanted some feedback off people that had fitted these . Does it have any issues loading floppies.

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Hi!

 

I was wondering the same. I asked Steven Tucker about the PCB, and it turns out there is not a physical switch possibility to enable/disable the happy. I'm also not sure whether this was possible with the original Happy. I am sure it was possible with the happy software to set the drive to unhappy. Certain titles do want a non-happy setting.

 

But before you start buying anything. Did you consider the Speedy. Check my other thread http://atariage.com/forums/topic/257715-ah-finally-i-got-myself-a-mini-speedy/ about the Speedy. I read that tf_hh is producing new speedy which will be available soon in Abbuc shop.

 

Since 2 weeks or so I have a speedy in my 1050, and I am VERY pleased with it. It works excellent.

It does not have all the features the happy has. The happy has some features where you can copy protected disks etc. I'm not sure if that is something you need/want.

I don't... I was just needing a simple upgrade that would give me double density (180K) and high speed I/O.

 

The speedy simply does that, and VERY well I must say.

Give it a thought...

Edited by ProWizard

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Are there any English docs available for the Mini-Speedy (or will become available)? The OP is in Australia, so he may not read German. Google Translate is an alternative, but not a very good one.

 

Quite a few folks here have indicated that they have bought the AtariMax Happy clone. I have one and it works just like the original. $39.95 and free shipping (but probably not to Australia).

 

No, unless you have the optional Happy Controller mini-board/switches (or a clone), you cannot boot the Happy in slow mode. You must use the menu from the software to set the options -- "unHappy mode." A lesser-known feature of the Happy is that it can become an Archiver drive using the Kiwi Happy Archiver software.

 

You have likely seen this, but here is a link to more info and the Happy Docs.

 

http://www.atarimax.com/sio2pc/documentation/

 

-Larry

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Thanks, Marius. I missed that originally and ended up with German docs, I think at the Atari Wiki.

 

-Larry

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I have the Atarimax Happy 1050 board. It does not include a switch, neither did the original Happy 1050, a switch mod to the original Happy board was offered as a separate upgrade. A guy was selling replacement 6502 chips with a switch attached on eBay for the AtariMax (and presumably original or other clones) Happy, but after being nudged into releasing his schematics, IIRC, someone pointed out that it could cause problems under certain conditions or operations.

 

In any case, the Atarimax Happy upgrade comes with Happy rev. 7 software on disk and you can put it in normal 1050 or "unhappy" mode through the menu of that program and it will remain that way until a power cycle is done. This is the way the original Happy worked without the switch upgrade too.

 

Have no fear about the Atarimax version, it is a good clone of the original that works exactly as it should and comes with the original software. A switch would be nice, but it only takes ten seconds to load the software and put the 1050 in unhappy mode and then swap disks with the standard 1050 floppy and reboot. The switch is a luxury not a necessity.

 

English documentation is also down loadable from the Atarimax site, the kit comes with an exact address to the site page, I don't know if there are links to it on the site itself to find it or if you have to type in the exact page address. I just did the latter when I got the kit.

Edited by Gunstar
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I have the Atarimax Happy 1050 board. It does not include a switch, neither did the original Happy 1050, a switch mod to the original Happy board was offered as a separate upgrade. A guy was selling replacement 6502 chips with a switch attached on eBay for the AtariMax (and presumably original or other clones) Happy, but after being nudged into releasing his schematics, IIRC, someone pointed out that it could cause problems under certain conditions or operations.

 

In any case, the Atarimax Happy upgrade comes with Happy rev. 7 software on disk and you can put it in normal 1050 or "unhappy" mode through the menu of that program and it will remain that way until a power cycle is done. This is the way the original Happy worked without the switch upgrade too.

 

Have no fear about the Atarimax version, it is a good clone of the original that works exactly as it should and comes with the original software. A switch would be nice, but it only takes ten seconds to load the software and put the 1050 in unhappy mode and then swap disks with the standard 1050 floppy and reboot. The switch is a luxury not a necessity.

 

English documentation is also down loadable from the Atarimax site, the kit comes with an exact address to the site page, I don't know if there are links to it on the site itself to find it or if you have to type in the exact page address. I just did the latter when I got the kit.

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I have the Atarimax Happy 1050 board. It does not include a switch, neither did the original Happy 1050, a switch mod to the original Happy board was offered as a separate upgrade. A guy was selling replacement 6502 chips with a switch attached on eBay for the AtariMax (and presumably original or other clones) Happy, but after being nudged into releasing his schematics, IIRC, someone pointed out that it could cause problems under certain conditions or operations.

 

In any case, the Atarimax Happy upgrade comes with Happy rev. 7 software on disk and you can put it in normal 1050 or "unhappy" mode through the menu of that program and it will remain that way until a power cycle is done. This is the way the original Happy worked without the switch upgrade too.

 

Have no fear about the Atarimax version, it is a good clone of the original that works exactly as it should and comes with the original software. A switch would be nice, but it only takes ten seconds to load the software and put the 1050 in unhappy mode and then swap disks with the standard 1050 floppy and reboot. The switch is a luxury not a necessity.

 

English documentation is also down loadable from the Atarimax site, the kit comes with an exact address to the site page, I don't know if there are links to it on the site itself to find it or if you have to type in the exact page address. I just did the latter when I got the kit.

Thanks for that I'll order a couple now wasn't sure how it worked.

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If you're not afraid of a bit of soldering get a MegaSpeedy instead of a Happy.

 

It works just like a Happy and also like ALL other hardware upgrades there ever were for the 1050.

 

The biggest advantage is the Speedy mode which boasts track buffers large enough to make your 1050 fly.

 

Also has multiple "fake" drives that you can program with f.i, your favorite DOS and Sector copier programs. These are loaded from the internal memory of the MegaSpeedy so extremely fast.

Be sure to run a modded OS to get the best SIO performance.

 

I still,do have another 1050 with Atarimax Happy and it does work fine.

 

The Happy has two advantages over the MegaSpeedy:

It's cheaper and there is no soldering required.

 

But IMHO the extra money and effort is definitely worth it if you like using your 1050 a lot :)

Edited by Level42
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Hi Level42-

 

Can you still purchase a MegaSpeedy? I thought that sales were over at least for the foreseeable future. If still available, I might get an extra.

 

-Larry

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I'm considering either an Atarimax Happy or a US Doubler for my 1050. I know the feature set of each, but I'm wondering how they compare in DD format used. Are DD disks produced with the USD readable on the Happy, and vice versa? Is one format inherently more robust than the other?

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The formats of both are readable by the other upgrade. The big difference is that the track buffer in the Happy can speed up all floppy access, while the US Doubler requires a special sector skew to achieve higher speeds.

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Thanks for the feedback. The Happy upgrade does sound like the way to go, but I think I'll do a homebrew USD. I already have an 810 Archiver and an 810 Happy, which handle all my floppy backup needs. I can pick up the needed ram chip for $5 and reprogram the existing EPROM for the USD. I'll probably do the Happy mod when I pick up another 1050 in the future.

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