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Using Lotharek's SIO2SD

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I have been trying to learn how to use Lotharek's SIO2SD disk drive emulator. I have had limited success. The drive came with a card that has about a zillion games on it. I have been able to load a few and I have been unable to load some of the others. I downloaded Syncalc and loaded it one time. The next time I tried to load, it would not. Many of the games would appear to load and then nothing but colorful garbage on the screen. I tried with holding down option, I tried without holding option and I tried multiple times with each game that was unsuccessful. I figure it might have something to do with what shows up on the LCD screen of the drive but I have not been able to figure out any repeatable sequence of key strokes or anything that will give repeated success. I am about ready to sell it (BUYER BEWARE).

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Few days ago you had problems with SDrive2 and criticized it:

Frankly the absence of comprehensive instructions makes this thing way too much trouble; maybe I can sell it on eBay. I was hoping to get a device that could be used like a super large disk drive but this is not really worth the frustration.

 

Now you criticize Lotharek's SIO2SD, a device hundreds of people use.

I am about ready to sell it (BUYER BEWARE)

 

We are happy to help you but please don't criticize severely the devices if you're unable to use them.

 

Anyway, here are basic instructions:

SETUP (firmware v3.1)

Format an SD card (FAT 12, 16 or 32 file system)

Copy into it sio2sdv35.xex that you find into SIO2SD website inside Configurator_3.5.zip and rename it sio2sd.xex

Make a folder named Atari

Put into that folder your ATR or XEX files

Insert SD card into SIO2SD

Turn on computer

On SIO2SD double press SHIFT button (grey button on SIO2SD Micro/PC Combo)

"CFG TOOL mode" will appear on the LCD display

Press K1 button (Drive button on SIO2SD Micro) to enter "cfgtool mode:"

With K2 button (File button on SIO2SD Micro) select "every startup"

Press K3 button (ESC button on SIO2SD Micro)

Press K1 button (Drive button on SIO2SD Micro) to go to "topdrive mode"

With K2 button (File button on SIO2SD Micro) set it to "off"

Turn off computer

Turn on computer

In this way every time you turn on your Atari the on-screen menu will be loaded.

To have SD card files sorted, use DriveSort, a nice Windows application.

 

ON-SCREEN LOADER INSTRUCTIONS (v3.5)

ARROWS/JOYSTICK select file .xex or disk image .atr

KEYS 1-8 mount selected file/image into drives 1-8

CTRL+T lets you toggle between real drives / virtual drives

ESC climb directory tree

X (long press) restart computer with selected images

RETURN/FIRE enter directory/load file/disk image

While loading programs that don't need Basic, keep pressed OPTION key for a few seconds

When you leave on-screen loader, you can swap disk images from real drives to virtual drives pressing SIO2SD's SHIFT button + K3 button (grey button + Esc button on SIO2SD Micro).

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Although I agree about the fact that one should give it some time and not judge too soon about a device... I also think devices need better documentation.

 

When you want to enjoy the features of a device it should come with decent English instructions. I can not remember I received any instructions with my sio2sd so I can imagine it is hard for people who might be less experienced.

 

Abbuc-raf did an excellent job with their Sio2USB interface. It came with an outstanding manual.

 

Abbuc did a fabulous job with their Trubo Freezer 2011. The manual was as good as the device.

 

Mr. Atari and Atarimax created the amazing MyIDE ][ interface. Mr. Atari wrote a very detailed manual with screenshots and step by step configuration. It is a very helpful documentation that guides you through all the features so your experience will be positive.

 

Sio2SD with all it's different firmware should come with a real manual too. I know one can find enough about it on the internet but still... it's a bloody shame compared to the devices mentioned above.

Edited by ProWizard
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Hi Philsan!

 

My point is that I doubt that those simple instructions are helpful for a novice user.

 

When I referred to the other devices and their documentation, I meant that the documentation of those devices is so good with normal txt and explanation of all the bells and whistles.

 

I am convinced that some new users need that and just a quick guide with the keycombinations is for us very clear but I can imagine that some people think: what?

 

The strength of the docs of Turbo Freezer Abbuc Sio2USB and Myide is that they talk to the user and explain why these features are made and they explain with step by step guides how to use them. They also include some kind of troubleshoot guide and finally for the more advanced users there is info too yes.

 

I think Lotharek should invest in decent documentation. The Sio2SD is expensive enough. It is a powerful and great device and it deserves a good manual.

 

I agree with you that topicstarter judges too soon about the devices he purchased but I can put myself in his position. Perhaps the device is not the first choice for his type of user?

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I was working on an English translation of "CONFIGURATOR for SIO2SD by PAJERO (Paul Nowak) / Madteam © 2008-2012Updated: v35". I have it in MS Word format. But some parts are still in other language.

Didnt have time to finish it. Anyone wants it ? IM me.

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Time has nothing to do with the issue, there just isn't adequate documentation. The instructions above give me more info than I have had since my purchase. This is the first time I have seen any info concerning the use of the sio2sd keys. I am not critical of the device. If it had good documentation that made it easy to use, I would recommend them to every Atari user. They are cheaper than mechanical disk drives and should last a lot longer.

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There is a link to the online wiki on Lothareks site unless you look at the SIO2SD starter kit page. For some reason, the link does not exist there.

 

With that said, I agree with Prowizard that SIO2SD could use a real manual. Unfortunately, I doubt Lotharek is interested in creating it since his interest is in building hardware.

 

I had to do a lot of trial and error in order to understand some of the more advanced features of the product. I finally figured out how to use virtual drives to do a quick disk swap.

 

I still have not figured out how to save a permanent configuration in the boot up SIO2SD XEX. I also do not understand all three modes that you see when you press Control-T.

 

As to simply using Google Translate to translate the Polish manuals, I tried that with limited success. While Translate is an amazing tool, it is no replacement for someone who knows Polish and English doing a real translation. However, I realize that takes time.

 

Bob C

Edited by darwinmac

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I also spent a lot of time trying to understand the device. First, my sio2sd was still in an old firmware, so some instructions I got from internet did not work. Then several hours trying to update the firmware, sd card not recognized, sd association formatter, tried several cards, finally I got it.

Then trying to understand the virtual drive thing, finally the Ctrl-T feature made sense to me. And that it, I stopped there once I got the UnoCart.

But I am still wondering how to use the filter, search, the high speed thing, I printed out the polish manual to tried different option and key combinations, etc. When I have some little time I'll continue since it is an amazing piece of hardware.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed all the journey, but I understand the frustration of someone who just want to use the sio2sd to load a game, fast.

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yeah it vould be better from usability point of view but I have 2 devices... on Lotharek's its sometimes hard to remember "k1" k2" etc which key is up a folder or select file?

 

but I had similar issues with the ABBUC device... even that had different keys... to be honest... it still remains a pain on a 1 line LCD display to browse through 8000 games sorted in different folders under letters... doesnt matter which sio2sd device imho.

 

root --> games --> M --> m.... til you reach MULE

 

 

in a perfect world maybe similar like Ultimate1541? that booting you get on the Atari side a file selector with trees etc... that would be nice...

Edited by Heaven/TQA

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yeah it vould be better from usability point of view but I have 2 devices... on Lotharek's its sometimes hard to remember "k1" k2" etc which key is up a folder or select file?

 

but I had similar issues with the ABBUC device... even that had different keys... to be honest... it still remains a pain on a 1 line LCD display to browse through 8000 games sorted in different folders under letters... doesnt matter which sio2sd device imho.

 

root --> games --> M --> m.... til you reach MULE

 

 

in a perfect world maybe similar like Ultimate1541? that booting you get on the Atari side a file selector with trees etc... that would be nice...

When I turn on my Atari connected to SIO2SD I get an on-screen menu with file selector, trees etc.

SIO2USB doesn't have an on-screen menu too?

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I'm surprised a scrolling text feature for filenames that can't fit the display hasn't been implemented in the firmware. Especially when there are multiple versions of the same program and the difference is only marked at the end of the filename. Which you can't see in almost every case.

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When I turn on my Atari connected to SIO2SD I get an on-screen menu with file selector, trees etc.

SIO2USB doesn't have an on-screen menu too?

On the Atari screen? I dont mean on the LCD of the device...

 

If so... how can I do that with lotharek device?

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On the Atari screen? I dont mean on the LCD of the device...

 

If so... how can I do that with lotharek device?

See post #2.

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What about the second screen you get after Ctrl-T?.

What is all about?

There is also a *.* which I assume is some kind of filter. How to use that?

Sio2sd is amazing, I really like that it "remember " the last disk configuration and the way you can browse through files with the joystick.

UnoCart lack that functionality.

But UnoCart has a fast search feature I use a lot.

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Thanks to Philsan I configured my sio2sd to more usability with the file selector/loader.

 

But one question remains. The config tool is loaded with high speed but after mounting file in the tool and rebooting/loading with X of RETURN my highspeed is gone similar to then highspeed selector appearing while booting and then pressing RESET to load with standard speed...

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Guys

 

I do not own one of these, but I gave it a shot translating the manual the best I could (Google translation) and formatted to look like the German manual. I did NOT provide ANY screenshots because, as stated, I do not own one of these. So if someone wants to use this as a template and add screenshots with English translations, that would be great.

 

Let me know if this would work for you and you guys can take it from here! I will need to email the original *.docx to you though since this is a *.pdf version attached.

 

SIO2SD 3.pdf

 

I agree.
I hope one of our German friends translates it in English.

 

 

Damn, that is really a good manual. It was certainly a lot of work...
Thank you for the link.

Stefan

 

 

That does look nice, maybe an english version will come soon.

 

 

I found a version in German: http://sio2sd.gucio.pl/wiki/KeyboardDoc_de?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=Anleitung_35.pdf

 

if you don’t speak German, I believe this translates better through Google than the Polish version.

 

 

Did anyone ever finish translating the manual?

 

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