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DIY SIO2USB

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Then there is free sio male cable end which you can 3D print yourself.

The pins that work can be atx power supply pins on a wire to insert or

Molex part # 08-50-0105

 

https://www.thingive...m/thing:1831769

Someone on the Facebook side pointed me in the right direction.

 

I used the three STI files to have a friend at work print one on a very nice 3-D printer. The end result looks good and fits the female SIO jack extremely well.

The only problem is that the mini-USB FTDI board I bought from the TinySine store on Amazon may not fit in the housing. It came with a soldered on pin header that make the board just a bit too long to fit nicely in the shell. I'm thinking about removing the pin header to wire directly to the board, but the pin header came in very handy for testing. I was able to buy a ten-pack of male to female jumper wires from DIGI-Key when I bought a hundred of the Molex pins. The jumpers let me connect the FTDI board directly to the SIO pins and the board worked great! I was booting my 800XL directly from disk images on my laptop using the Respeqt software.

 

The FTDI drivers were auto-loaded by Windows 7 on the first insertion of the usb cable (I used the mini-USB cable from my phone charger, minus the cigar lighter adapter, of course) and I used a freeware terminal program on the laptop after looping the Tx and Rx pins. Everything I typed appeared in the terminal program and the activity lights blinked so I was encouraged to try the full package. I jumper wired from the pin header to the SIO pins on the 800XL using the diagram on the first page of this thread. I hooked up Tx, Rx, Gnd, and CTS as shown on the diagram and then set up the Respeqt software to use serial port #4 (that's what the device manager reported as the USB port ID).

 

I loaded up a DOS XE image on the laptop and powered on the Atari and the cable worked right away. After a few moments of SIO noise and flashing lights, the DOS XE menu appeared on the screen. Success!

 

Now for the noob questions...

I read somewhere that the SIO2PC cable cannot work at the same time with an actual Atari Disk Drive plugged in, I also read that it's possible to transfer files from a disk image on the PC to a real floppy (not 10502PC I believe). How can both of these statements be true? Can the SIO2PC work with a drive set to an unused drive number? Or, do I need a 10502PC to make this happen.

 

I intend to try to build a 10502PC with another of the FTDI boards and use ALIBPC to create a DOS XE disk on an XF551, but if I can load DOS XE from the laptop with the XF551 as D2: I should be able to format a disk on the XF551 and write DOS XE to it, no?

 

I just wanted to add that you don't need to won a 3-D printer or have a friend with one, you can get the item printed directly from the web page and have it shipped to you. Sorry, I don't know the cost. All I know is that it took 6 hours to print all 3 pieces on my friend's printer, which is not nearly as impressive as the appearance of the part. I you decide to go that route, let us know how it turned out for you (and the cost, of course). I'd suggest getting it printed in clear plastic so that the lights can be seen through the shell.

 

I'm also thinking about trying my hand at editing the design to change the internal structure so that it holds the board in place, and replace the post for the screw with external snaps to hold the shell together.

Edited by Geister
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Now for the noob questions...

 

I intend to try to build a 10502PC with another of the FTDI boards and use ALIBPC to create a DOS XE disk on an XF551, but if I can load DOS XE from the laptop with the XF551 as D2: I should be able to format a disk on the XF551 and write DOS XE to it, no?

 

I just wanted to add that you don't need to won a 3-D printer or have a friend with one, you can get the item printed directly from the web page and have it shipped to you. Sorry, I don't know the cost. All I know is that it took 6 hours to print all 3 pieces on my friend's printer, which is not nearly as impressive as the appearance of the part. I you decide to go that route, let us know how it turned out for you (and the cost, of course). I'd suggest getting it printed in clear plastic so that the lights can be seen through the shell.

 

I'm also thinking about trying my hand at editing the design to change the internal structure so that it holds the board in place, and replace the post for the screw with external snaps to hold the shell together.

Sorry for the delay the flu bug bagged both my girlfriend and me.

 

Yes, you can use other physical disk drives mounted as D2: if you want to in tandem with the SIO2PC as D1: running RespeQt.

 

You can also boot from the sio2pc on D1: , then turn on your disk drive as D1: and use it on the 8bit. You can even mount a new blank image as D2-8: on the RespeQT software and write to it from DOS XE running on your 8bit.

 

I think you need a 10502pc or APE to write floppy disks directly with the SIO2PC RespeQT cable. Anyone tried it?

 

Right now I will just order some 3d printed cable ends. When I get some time, I am ordering some sio cable shells printed.

I am still tempted to get with the future and start CADing up some prototype parts for a machine I have in mind. (Like a year from now).

 

Cheers.

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I discovered some RFI interference that bleeds into the Atari 800 video display circuit from when I have the SIO2PC cable plugged in.

It's an AC ripple leaking into the display. I think a protection cap from RT/.TX to ground and possible a diode forward biased from the Atari to the 800 to the PC on the ground side might be in order.
If I unplug the SIO2PC cable while the Atari is running, the ripple goes away.

I am going to do some more probing and testing to figure out where the rogue signal is coming from.

It affects both of the SIO2PC cables I made with either a female or male plug in on the Atari end.

Then again the shitty RFI that radiates from the power panels on the other side of my apartment wall might be cause. There are a bunch of breaker panels and transformers less than 6ft from the machine/analog monitor.

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I think I may know why I was unable to write to the drive with the SIO2PC cable attached. I had the command line connected to CTS, but when I first started playing with respeqt software I set it up with no handshaking (not recommended by the software). It worked that way for booting images on the Atari, so I never thought about it again until recently.

I am still doing the equivalent of bread-boarding the interface together when I play with it using jumper wires directly from the SIO pins to the FTDI board. Having to tear everything down and put it back together every time I try something is definitely slowing me down. I need to make a place where this can be set up permanently (or at least more permanent than now).

 

I think I know that both drives are working as I ordered 50 new(ish) floppies from floppydisks.com and was able to format one single density on the XF551. The 1050 is not formatting now and gives a 10K error, whatever THAT is. I believe the head is just crapped up from trying to format disintegrating floppies. I'll worry about that later. When I get time to play with it next, I'll get the Respeqt software set up correctly, permanently wire up the SIO connector, and see if I can finally create a DOS XE or Sparta DOS boot disk (on new disks).

 

This weekend, however, is going to be dedicated to replacing my son's car which got wrecked last weekend. It's always something.

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I tested it today. I was right. It was the lack of handshaking that was causing problems.

I set everything up today; still using jumper wires to connect the FTDI to the SIO port. I connected to the second port on the XF551 with it set up as drive 2 and fired it up. I loaded DOS XE into memory and attempted to format a new disk as DS-DD and it failed. When I tried to format as SS-DD, it succeeded and I was able to write files from D1 (on the PC) to D2 (the XF551. Everything copied and the disk is readable, but I was horrified to see the disk surface looked like a 45 record after it was done. Something needs a good cleaning!

 

So I call it a partial success anyway.

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If the disk looks like a 45 toss it, the xf needs a decent wet dry cleaning cycle. Make sure the top heads metal shielding 'hat' isn't off inside the drive somewhere digging in to your disks...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I had my XF apart to clean it the other day. Looking at the heads, I could see the white ceramic with a black line across it that appeared to be raised above the rest of the head. This was visible on both heads. Is this normal or has something built up on the head that I'm mistaking for the pick-up?

I swabbed both heads with ISO alcohol until they squeaked and nothing came off the head. Could the pickups have eroded out of the ceramic? The heads don't look anything like the head on the 1050 which is much larger and much glossier.

The cover over the upper head is loose, but not touching the disk surface, so I don't think it's what's causing the visible grooves in the disk.

I'm going to try a last cleaning cycle using a damp (water) swab to see if the build up is water soluble. If I have no luck with that I'll start a new thread and try to include some pictures of the heads.

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That cover that is loose will fall off it needs to be re secured. Different production runs used different material to make that stick, some are secure forever. some fall apart, it's loose so it should be dealt with before it become a real problem.

 

I used a wet dry disk on the XF, it's always done a spectacular job. I think the drive will be perfectly fine, the black line would not protrude from wear. though I've seen some heads with a groove in them. So long as the head is not damaging disks, and it reads and writes, there's no issue. You can rest easily, nothing lurking there. It's good you caught the loose cover.

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I wonder if you could print from a Mac (or PC) to an Atari printer using this solution ?

 

Should be possible to manually install a vanilla/generic printer using serial ?

 

Would be fun to drive a 1020 from a modern Mac (or PC).....

Edited by Level42

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So - I just got my "Moyina" FTDI USB 6 wire cable per a previous post with a link to an amazon item.

If I want APE to work properly; what was the final design/pinout/solution? I got a little confused reading the entire thread.

 

TIA

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Posted (edited)
On 9/23/2017 at 2:57 PM, redman said:

I got a cable on eBay for $6.26 - free shipping.
I used a little project box that was laying around so I could mount a switch for changing handshaking options

cable info:
on eBay search on - "6P FTDI FT232RL USB to Serial adapter module USB TO TTL RS232 Cable F/Arduino 5v"

It has these connections:
Red wire: 5V
Black wire: GND
White wire: RXD
Green wire: TXD
Yellow wire: RTS
Blue wire: CTS
FTDI based USB to TTL Serial Cable are designed using the the standard FT232RL chipset.

To connect to Atari:
Pin on cable goes to Pin on Atari
------------ ------------
GND 4 or 6
RXD 5
TXD 3
CTS 7

Looking ahead, I switched command 7 between CTS and RTS thinking that maybe in the
future some software will use RTS plus I have a lot of switches sitting around doing
nothing:) Currently, RespeQt can use CTS but not RTS.

Connect to a SPDT switch like this:

RTS---+

+------ Atari command pin 7

CTS---+
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The SIO connector pin-out looking at the pins on the computer:

1 1
2 4 6 8 0 2
-----------
/o o o o o o\
/o o o o o o o\
-----------------
1 3 5 7 9 1 1
1 3

1 clock in (to computer)
2 clock out
3 data in
4 GND
5 data out
6 GND
7 command (active low)
8 cassette motor control
9 proceed (active low)
10 +5V/ready
11 audio in
12 +12V (400/800)
13 interrupt (active low)

 

 

Check these out on ebay now they are like $1 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-FT232RL-3-3V-5-5V-FTDI-USB-to-TTL-Serial-Adapter-Module-for-Arduino-Mini/401776875000
Isn't basically this the same thing?
 

edit - In hindsight that's a female plug would still need a male to male USB cable.  This one is $4 and has male plug and some custom 6 pin wire included with free ship.
Figure it would work?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-USB-2-0-to-TTL-UART-5PIN-Module-Serial-Converter-CP2102-STC-PRGMR-Free-cable/113797411080


https://www.ebay.com/itm/CP2102-FTDI-USB-3-3V-5-5V-to-TTL-Serial-Adapter-w-cables-for-Arduino-USA-Seller/133321753393

 

Edited by Ray Gillman
new info cheaper

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