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Fingolfin

Please help with connecting SIO2SD v1.3 to real floppy drives

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Hello,

 

I recently purchased v1.3 SIO2SD with loader software v3.5 from Lotharek and need help setting up and operating (and perhaps even modifying) the SIO2SD in trying to connect it to a real Atari floppy drive.

 

I am attempting to make .atr files of some programming software I have on floppy disk that I would like to contribute to atarimania's archive: 1) APX Basic Renumber Utility (RENUM), 2) APX Ultimate Renumber Utility, 3) Hofacker 6502 Program Files disk, 4) Hofacker Games for the Atari Program Files disk and 5) Antic Basic View.

 

Thank you very, very much in advance for your time, help or suggestions. And patience! |:)

Although I am very much still learning to use SIO2SD, I really enjoy SIO2SD and it's many capabilities. It is very cool technology! :thumbsup:
I have both Philsan's instructions and instructions from Lotharek's website for loader v3.5.
I asked Lotharek via email about my issue and I've copied and pasted Lotharek's replies below: his suggestions seem to be a) modifying my SIO2SD SIO connector b) but first trying another Atari 8 bit computer to see if SIO capacitors may be to blame.
As I have very limited modding/hardware modification background, I am hoping to find another possible alternative to modding my SIO2SD SIO connector, though that may not be possible.
I understand how to use the cfg tool and .xex loader and I understand how to work with .atr files loaded onto the SD card. I have made my own blank formatted .atr files in Atari800MacX, loaded them onto the SD card and then used these to make data disks and game disks while using the SIO2SD. For example I have made game disks for Wizard's Crown and Eternal Dagger and a Character Disk for Alternate Reality The City. For what it's worth everything works well when loading and saving games on the SIO2SD: Stunt Car Racer :cool: works perfectly with game progress save ability, best time save ability, etc
I am trying to connect v1.3 SIO2SD with loader software v3.5 with a 130XE and one or both of two real Atari floppy drives, a 1050 Happy Drive and an XF551.
So far I have been unable to figure out how to connect SIO2SD with either real floppy drive and have the SIO2SD and real floppy drive communicate or work with each other: the SIO2SD does not appear to recognize either one of my real floppy drives when they are connected.
I have already asked a couple of AtariAge members who own SIO2SD and they have been very gracious and generous with their time and help.
So far nothing we have come up with has worked. From everything I've read and learned about SIO2SD, this seems like it should be a relatively straight forward process: connecting SIO2SD with real floppy drives for making .atr files from floppy or making real floppies from .atr files.
Over the last 72 hours these steps have been tried
a) 1050 Happy Drive as D2 with SIO2SD as D1 (with cfg setting device = 0) and SIO chain order 130XE, 1050 and then SIO2SD
b) an alternative SIO2SD unix cfg file and a different .xex loader than those that came preloaded and preconfigured from Lotharek
c) SIO2SD with original .xex loader disabled and also removed
e) XF551 in place of 1050; with real drive as D2 with SIO2SD as D1 (with cfg setting device = 0) and SIO chain order 130XE, XF551 and then SIO2SD
f) all three devices connected with SIO2SD as D1, 1050 as D2 and XF551 as D3 and SIO chain order 130XE, 1050, then XF551 and last SIO2SD
g) different cfg options such as loader startup and device number settings on SIO2SD
h) disabling all D and V drives on SIO2SD except D drive being used for either loading .atr files or trying to save .atr files from floppy (though this still hasn't occurred as I'm unable to have the SIO2SD communicate with either floppy drive for that purpose)
i) using SIO2SD only D drives number D1, D2 or D3 depending on what I am trying to do -- load or copy in the different configurations I've tried (with all other SIO2SD D drives and V drives off)
j) completely reversing the process and using the SIO2SD as D2 and real drive as D1 and trying to make floppy disks from .atr files
For me no combination of setups has made any difference. With everything tried so far the SIO2SD device seems to control or take over the SIO chain -- or just ignore it altogether? -- and not recognize the real floppy drive/drives in the chain.
No matter what physical configuration of the different devices and cfg settings on SIO2SD, the result is the same: SIO2SD only recognizes it's own D and V drives on the SD card but no real drive, physical drives.
Here are Lotharek's replies:

 

Lotharek's first reply

 

if sio communication fails, and you have tried all of above, please try with other and / or modfy sio plug

what i presume are:

  • capacitors on data lines of sio port
  • Diode at sio2sd on read line (pin 3)

(please see attached image for schematic provided by Lotharek that followed the text of his first reply)

Lotharek's second reply/update (received while I was typing up this post)
First try with other atari as capacitors on sio port may be flaky...(1% od chance,,)
Please know I really, really appreciate Lotharek replying directly, twice!
I recognize he is very busy with many projects on many platforms.
With regard to Lotharek's second reply and suggestion I will try my other Atari 8 bit computer to see if a flaky capacitor in my 130XE is causing the issue; that will take an hour or two to retrieve from storage, set up and test out but it will be the first thing I do after finishing this post. I will update here immediately with results.
However much I appreciate Lotharek taking the time to reply and offer suggestions and a possible fix (which again I do really, really appreciate), I have no clue what to do with his first response. In the first reply I believe he's talking about substituting or modifying the SIO connector or "plug" on the SIO2SD, but I am uncertain.
If it this is the only way to get my Lotharek's v1.3 SIO2SD to connect with real Atari floppy drives then I will attempt it.
Can anyone help interpret Lotharek's suggested fix in his first reply (the one with the schematic) and how I might go about implementing it?
I am sorry to have to ask but I will need very specific, rudimentary instructions, if anyone has the time and patience for that; again assuming that modifying my SIO2SD connector is the only way to get SIO2SD to recognize and communicate with my real floppy drives.
My 130XE and both of real drives are fully functional and SIO ports on both drives and 130XE are working well when the two real drives are connected together and chained to 130XE.
I have tested the Happy 1050 and XF551 separately and together just to make sure they work properly; alternating, I setup both drives as D1 and then connected and setup both drives as D1 and D2. That is, each drive has been configured as D1 and D2 when connecting the 1050 and XF551 together with the 130XE (without SIO2SD which seems to prevent the chain from working properly for some reason when it is connected, when SIO2SD is last in chain).
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this very lengthy post; please consider replying if you have the time, patience, willingness to help and are able.
Thank you in advance for your patience, time and help.
Best Regards
Fingolfin

post-63405-0-68248300-1522163925.jpg

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Update: I just quickly but thoroughly tested my 800XL after getting it out of storage.

 

No luck with trying SIO2SD with 800XL and real drives; no communication between SIO2SD and either real floppy drive as SIO2SD when using 800XL too.

 

Although SIO2SD v1.3 draws power from SIO chain (whether connected directly to Atari computer or through one or both floppy drives), it appears that it does not recognize the real drives and only recognizes it's own D and V drives. I tried loading DOS 2.5 and DOS XE .atr files from SIO2SD and cannot detect/connect with real drives when I've done so (once again, the SIO2SD only recognizes it's own drives, not real ones).

 

SIO capacitors don't seem to be an issue with the 130XE (unless there's a problem with SIO capacitors on both computers, which, even according to Lotharek's estimation in his second reply, seems very unlikely).

 

So it looks like I am going to need to do some modification of my SIO2SD connector or "plug."

I will ask Lotharek if he can give any more specific instructions for implementing this modification; I will post his reply/replies as soon as I get them.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to read and consider replying to this post.

And thank you very much to anyone reading this: it's a doozy!

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

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Hello,

 

I recently purchased v1.3 SIO2SD with loader software v3.5 from Lotharek and need help setting up and operating (and perhaps even modifying) the SIO2SD in trying to connect it to a real Atari floppy drive.

 

 

 

Did you buy just the unit - or one with half an SIO cable?

I recently bought just the unit - and can't figure out how to wire it up to my SIO plug, since the green terminal header on the SIO2SD is completely void of any markings.

No indication of which pin is pin 1 etc...

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Thank you very much for the suggestion Stefan Both! :thumbsup:

I really like your yellow lab photo. Lab's are usually such mellow, easy going spirits. If I may ask, what is your dog's name?

 

In spite of a really long first post intended to cover everything I've done and tried to get my SIO2SD to communicate with my real drives, I managed not to include this: I don't use any acceleration with the SIO2SD, ever. I have found problems with even the slowest acceleration settings when using SIO2SD with my stock 130XE and working with .atr files.

 

Thank you again for the suggestion!

 

 

 

Calibus,

 

I bought a black SIO2SD that came preassembled with a preloaded and preconfigured SD card.

I just replied to your thread suggesting you email Lotharek directly. lotharek@lotharek.pl

 

I am unable to help you more specifically; it would seem you're much more technically proficient and comfortable with hardware modding than I am.

Best of luck with wiring up your SIO2SD. :thumbsup:

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin

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Really strange indeed...

It is really hard to make a long distance diagnostic.

But difficulty is even with the slowest speed that could

really point to the SIO.

If both disk drives working fine as a stand-alone drive,

I would threw all my attentions to the Sio2Sd.

 

Stefan

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I don't understand what exactly you try to accomplish.

 

The SIO2SD can only emulate disk drives for the Atari and as such must co-exist with real drives.

BUT the SIO2SD will never communicate with your other disk drives directly.

Edited by DjayBee

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DjayBee,

 

"I am trying to connect v1.3 SIO2SD with loader software v3.5 [from Lotharek] with a 130XE and one or both of two real Atari floppy drives, a 1050 Happy Drive and an XF551...[in order to] to make .atr files of some programming software I have on floppy disk that I would like to contribute to atarimania's archive."

 

It is my understanding, limited as that may be, that SIO2SD can connect to and communicate with real Atari floppy drives: when connected and configured properly, SIO2SD can work with real Atari floppy drives in the SIO chain in order to make .atr files from real floppy disks and in order to make real floppy disks from .atr files.

 

If I am wrong about this, I apologize for creating this post in the first place...

 

Also I want to extend sincere apologies if I have been confusing to anyone who's read this post: I try to do my best to triple check my understanding and processes/procedures and try to be as precise, specific and thorough as I can when communicating online.

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

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ATR making procedure:

 

Load software from any SIO device (SIO2SD, disk drive, whatever) into computer memory.

Save software to any SIO device (SIO2SD, disk drive, whatever) from computer memory.

 

SIO devices don't communicate with eachother. A mediator is required, which is the computer.

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Yes you can make ATRs of real floppies but the data copying has to be done/initiated by the Atari.

 

The SIO-bus chaining which you described looks OK: Atari - real drive - SIO2SD.

Try it with only one real drive and the SIO2SD.

 

For a very first test, mount a DOS ATR on the SIO2SD as drive D1, set your real drive to D2 but leave it switched off. Now you should be able to boot the Atari from the ATR.

 

For the floppy to be accessible you have to make sure that the SIO2SD does not also occupy the drive ID D2 of the real drive. A quick test is to list a directory of (the still switched off) D2: from your booted DOS.

If you get the typical timeout-humming then you are fine. But if you hear the beep-beep of a working disk access you must virtually switch off the emulated D2 in the SIO2SD. Only unloading an ATR from the D2-slot might not be enough. Lotharek's documentation should tell you how to do this.

 

If you now switch on your real floppy it should be seen as D2 from the Atari and you can use a sector copier to copy from D2 to D1.

 

Btw.: No need to apologize for asking questions. :)

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SIO devices don't communicate with each other. A mediator is required, which is the computer.

Yes, exactly. The computer is the mediator or go between for the SIO devices.

Using my 130XE as mediator or go between, my SIO2SD does not recognize/connect or communicate with my real floppy drives.

 

Okay. I see my use of "communicate" is confusing here. Sorry for that word choice.

 

All three devices -- computer, SIO2SD and real floppy drives -- should be able to work together using the SIO chain, correct?

 

Maybe use of the term "SIO chain" is confusing too?

 

What I am trying to convey is that all of these machines can be connected and work with one another when connected and configured properly, right?

 

Or am I still failing to understand something here? Or is it a question of my continuing to communicate ineffectively?

 

Edit/addition:

Please let me know if I can clarify anything I've tried to communicate in creating this post.

 

Thank you for your help DjayBee and Fox-1 / mmx!

 

I really appreciate your insights, suggestions and advice. Thanks again!

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin

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Update from Lotharek
In communicating via email, Lotharek seems to understand what I am trying to do and why I cannot do what it is I am trying to do: connect SIO2SD v1.3 with real, physical old Atari floppy drives.
Lotharek's most recent reply (received just now a little before 12:30 MST) is:
"just TRY to put diode on sio conenctor pin 3 before cable goes to sio2sd. any low voltage diode."
I understand the meaning of the words he's written/typed but do not have any idea about how to go about this.
I gather from this reply that I need to obtain any low voltage diode and try to put that diode on SIO connector pin 3 cable [that] goes to SIO2SD.

 

Once again, I am really, really appreciative of Lotharek's help and multiple email replies; I just need some technical help as to how to go about implementing his suggestions/mod fix(es).
If you have the time, patience and understanding for this, I could really use your help.
Best Regards
Fingolfin
Edited by Fingolfin

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Yes you can make ATRs of real floppies but the data copying has to be done/initiated by the Atari.

 

The SIO-bus chaining which you described looks OK: Atari - real drive - SIO2SD.

Try it with only one real drive and the SIO2SD.

 

For a very first test, mount a DOS ATR on the SIO2SD as drive D1, set your real drive to D2 but leave it switched off. Now you should be able to boot the Atari from the ATR.

 

For the floppy to be accessible you have to make sure that the SIO2SD does not also occupy the drive ID D2 of the real drive. A quick test is to list a directory of (the still switched off) D2: from your booted DOS.

If you get the typical timeout-humming then you are fine. But if you hear the beep-beep of a working disk access you must virtually switch off the emulated D2 in the SIO2SD. Only unloading an ATR from the D2-slot might not be enough. Lotharek's documentation should tell you how to do this.

 

If you now switch on your real floppy it should be seen as D2 from the Atari and you can use a sector copier to copy from D2 to D1.

 

Btw.: No need to apologize for asking questions. :)

Thank you very much for your help DjayBee! :)

Thank you for providing very specific instructions for trying to solve this moderately frustrating issue. :thumbsup:

 

Both Happy 1050 and XF551 have been thoroughly tested and work perfectly fine together as D1 and D2 or when each drive is set up as the only drive or D1.

 

All along, I have been careful to turn off all/any unused D drives on the SIO2SD when trying to connect the 130XE, a real floppy drive (either 1050 Happy or XF551) and the SIO2SD v1.3 to make .atr files from real floppy disks. I only use/turn on the D drive appropriate for what I am trying to do: I have used D1, D2 and D3 drives on the SIO2SD depending on what other real drives I am connecting and how I am setting up the SIO series or chain.

 

I know enough to set up the proper order and configurations for trying to make .atr files from floppy disks (and vice versa) in theory; I just have not been successful doing so in reality.

 

DjayBee, I will try your suggestion:

"For a very first test, mount a DOS ATR on the SIO2SD as drive D1, set your real drive to D2 but leave it switched off. Now you should be able to boot the Atari from the ATR."

 

I have not tried this exactly the way you have suggested here; it's worth a shot!

I've booted DOS .atr files on SIO2SD without any issue many times now but I always had the real drive (D2) on at the time.

I'll let you know if this makes any difference.

Thanks again! :thumbsup:

 

In the past whenever I have tested the SIO2SD with a real drive and booted/loaded DOS 2.5 and DOS XE .atr files on the 130XE from the SIO2SD (the real drive is connected to my 130XE first; the real drive has to be first in the series of SIO connections and SIO2SD last in SIO series: SIO2SD terminates the SIO series/chain when connected in this way) and have then tried to use list directory for D2: every time I've done so, DOS only recognizes the SIO2SD drives and never/not the real drive.

 

Whenever I try to check directory for D2: I get a read error 138 Device Timeout: Device did not respond to I/O commands every time when using DOS 2.5 (from .atr file) on SIO2SD and trying to have 130XE mediate between the SIO2SD and real floppy drive.

 

When I have tried to use 1050 Sector Duplicator in a similar way I get a Read A 8 error (or something very close to this).

 

Thank you again to all who have read and replied or considered replying here!

It is frustrating to be unable to use my new SIO2SD as I have described here, but slowly, it seems I am working towards possible solutions!

 

Thank you to all who read this for having patience with me and putting up with my eager pursuit of trying to make these devices work together....

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin

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Thank you very much Fred_M!!! :grin:

 

You nailed it! With the help of your suggestion and the previous AtariAge forum link you provided I just got my SIO2SD to communicate through my 130XE with my XF551 floppy drive!

 

And with no hardware modifications necessary!

 

Yay!!! Turning on SIO2SD SIO high speed worked with the XF551!!!

 

I had not used SIO high speed at all because when I first got the SIO2SD using high speed settings (even the lowest) caused some issues reading several game .atr files when using the SIO2SD alone, connected to the 130XE.

 

I still cannot access my 1050 Happy drive from the SIO2SD (w/ SIO high speed on or off) but just made contact using SIO2SD with SIO high speed set to level 6 using my XF551!!! And for that I am incredibly happy and very, very grateful. Thanks again, Fred_M!

 

As I had done previously numerous times, I used DOS to check the directory for D2: and this time it worked and the XF551 disk light came on: of course this happened, but it is still really, really good to see that after spending about 10 or more total hours over the last 4 days trying many different configurations and permutations for setting up the 130XE, SIO2SD and a floppy drive.

 

I wonder if Happy 1050's have issues with SIO2SD v1.3 or if there is something wrong with my 1050 Happy; it was purchased through an ebay lot with disks and an 800XL (which saw the light of day today for the first time in several years in order to try out one of Lotharek's suggestions -- i.e. try connecting SIO2SD to another 8 bit Atari computer). Up till now I'd always thought of my 1050 Happy drive as a bit of a rock (i.e. reliable, tough and weatherworn but still working well).

 

The XF551, which has always seemed a lot more fragile and touchy than the 1050 Happy drive, was bought new from Best when they still had them in stock (around 2012-2013).

 

Anyway, problem solved! All I wanted was to be able to hook up my 130XE, SIO2SD and one floppy drive in order to make some .atr files from some Atari 8 bit programming disks (mostly BASIC utilities but a couple of 6502 assembly programming book disks as well -- see first post at beginning for specifics).

 

​Thank you very much to all who've read this post and tried to help!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

 

Edit/addition:

For a cryptic quotation conveying how exactly ecstatic I am, I'll quote from "The Fish" by American Poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979):

 

"...until everything

was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!

And I let the fish go." ;)

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin

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I really do enjoy SIO2SD: it is incredible.

 

Edit/addition:

I really like being able to use it to play .atr game software like Stunt Car Racer, SSI titles and war-games, simulations and rpgs in general.

I am only just now, a couple of weeks in to learning how to use it, that I am trying to do more than play games with SIO2SD.

 

I know I expressed some frustration here but that was specific to my inability to use SIO2SD for working with an Atari computer and a real floppy disk drive (and I'd read many descriptions and accounts of this being a fairly easy process). Now I realize I was/am a bit of a dunce :dunce: for trying (just about) everything but SIO2SD SIO high speed settings.

 

And Stefan Both, you're instinct/first reply was correct: it was an issue with SIO high speed: I had it off altogether! :-o

Please give Henry a pat and scratch for me! ;)

 

Thanks again to all who have read or still read this post...I hope it may be of use to others.

 

Best Regards

Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin

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I would like to ask a follow-on question for anyone who may have knowledge or experience with this. I have 2 Indus GT drives, and a 65XE. The SIO2SD powers on when plugged into the 65XE directly, but when daisy-chained as described above, it has no power at all. Has anyone gotten this to work with an Indus, or is that a non-starter due to some design of the Indus' SIO port? Both Induses otherwise work and boot disks when set as Drive 1 and plugged directly into the 65XE. Thank you.

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it sounds to me like broken SIO cable. It might be something in the Indus drives, but it is hard to believe that the PCB in the Indus drive does not have a connection b/w +5V / ready pins.

Try flipping the cables, connecting only one Indus at the time, etc. so we can help to diagnose the problem, but my bet is a broken (or incomplete) SIO cable or something broken in one of the Indus drives that breaks the current going thru the SIO bus.

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it sounds to me like broken SIO cable. It might be something in the Indus drives, but it is hard to believe that the PCB in the Indus drive does not have a connection b/w +5V / ready pins.

Try flipping the cables, connecting only one Indus at the time, etc. so we can help to diagnose the problem, but my bet is a broken (or incomplete) SIO cable or something broken in one of the Indus drives that breaks the current going thru the SIO bus.

I suppose it could be, but I have 2 drives and 3 cables, I cant imagine they are all bad in that specific way when they boot and run fine with the drives otherwise.

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I suppose it could be, but I have 2 drives and 3 cables, I cant imagine they are all bad in that specific way when they boot and run fine with the drives otherwise.

Ok so I now also have acquired a 1050 drive with another data cable, and the SIO2SD still will not work in the chain. All 3 physical drives work on the 2 computers, and the SIO2SD works when directly connected to the computers, but it does not work (doesn't even light up) when connected in any combination of drives, cables or drive# selectors. Unfortunately, this makes the device useless to me as I am developing on the PC and need to be able to transfer the images to real disks to do actual testing. Unless there is some other trick to getting one of these to work with physical drives??

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Does the Indus possibly not pass through the +5V signal?

 

Well.. I just tested an Sdrive max daisy chained through one of my Indus GT's, powered up and worked fine...

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