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new666uk

Gotek. Share with Amiga?

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Hi all.

 

I have a 520 STFM and a couple of Amigas (600 and 1200).

 

I wondered if it was feasible to install the wiring for a Gotek but leave the wires exposed as if connecting an external device.

 

Could the gotek then be swopped between Atari and Amiga? I assume I'd need a seperate flash drive for both.

 

Is there a better altenative to gotek? I have WHDload on the 1200 but to be honest I'm disappointed as I need a RAM expansion to run most games I want due to WHD's overhead requirement.

 

I have plenty of retro stuff up and running - NES, Snes, Megadrive/Genesis, PS2, original xbox and 360. I'd love to get my ST running but trying to avoid a huge pile of disks taking up space.

 

Thanks

Paul

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Using a Gotek or an encased HxC "externally", switching between ST and Amiga with respective floppy ribbon and power cable hanging out of the original floppy opening, could be a solution yes.

This would probably require cable/ribbon replacement, with a longer one, or an extension.

Edited by dma

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Using a Gotek or an encased HxC "externally", switching between ST and Amiga with respective floppy ribbon and power cable hanging out of the original floppy opening, could be a solution yes.

This would probably require cable/ribbon replacement, with a longer one, or an extension.

 

Thanks dma, I figured I'd need to order 2 lots of cables but hadn't thought about the length.

 

Are there any solutions for the ST other than gotek? Something with a desktop or menu frontend?

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It's nice to have frontend, image selector running on Atari self, but be prepared that it will not work from most of games, and there is many of them where will need to change disks, so images. I would care more about how good that menu on HW floppy emulator is.

 

And, watching that video reminded me how slow depacking is usually with menu disks, and original SW too.

 

There are many games adapted for mass storage (hard disks, Flash card based adapters) - there no need to care about disk swap, and all goes faster.

http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd2.php

I can say with confidence that practically all quality Atari ST games are already adapted (patched).

But you will need min 1 MB RAM for that pleasure.

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If i understand the device correctly, the configured floppies images are assigned to slots which can switched in the emulated drives with a button on the device front interface.

The selector program is used to select which floppy you want to put in each swap-able slot.

Edited by dma

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Just get 2 Gotek drives, very cheap, and flash it yourself, then leave them in the computers instead swapping them.

You can also do the LCD mod, so you can see the floppy disk names, very easy to do also.

 

Here are my pics:

 

 

post-24138-0-99619100-1547226032_thumb.jpg

post-24138-0-51760400-1547226169_thumb.jpg

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Thanks all. So it's fundamentally possible but the key thing is I need to have 1meg or greater. If I remember correctly 520s only had half that?

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A 520 STfm basically got half a meg yes.

Memory can be extended, but with some add-on / modification (not as simply as upgrading a STe model where you just need to plug some RAM module on the mainboard).

 

Why do you talk about 1meg here now, in this discussion about drive emulators, as a requirement?

Sure thing is that some games requires 1meg, and won't work with only half a meg, even with a real original floppy drive. :)

Edited by dma

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A 520 STfm basically got half a meg yes.

Memory can be extended, but with some add-on / modification (not as simply as upgrading a STe model where you just need to plug some RAM module on the mainboard).

 

Why do you talk about 1meg here now, in this discussion about drive emulators, as a requirement?

Sure thing is that some games requires 1meg, and won't work with only half a meg, even with a real original floppy drive. :)

I was who mentioned that 1 MB is needed for gaming from mass storage, hard disk type - like UltraSatan.

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Ah, required for Peter's game adaptations running from hard drive or other mass storage type, yes.

And those are a comfortable way to run games indeed.

 

With Gotek or HxC, games requirement are the same as running those on original floppies, so many runs on half a meg.

 

1meg upgrade still surely is a really recommended one anyway. :)

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HxC can be used with a menu software on ST (and also exists on Amiga), to switch inserted/configured virtual floppies (and change some other settings on the device it seems).

 

But also Gotek, when used with a specific firmware developed by the man behind HxC, can offer the same functionality.

 

 

 

How much ST RAM does the HxC software occupy, or is it running off the drive's own memory?

 

 

Goteks are definitely cool. I'm surprised people haven't sampled the sounds of a real Atari disc drive to add to it so it plays them when the drive is accessed through the optional external speaker...

 

On second view, the load time on that seems slow. Then again, that hardware is from 2010. I guess the more modern Goteks are faster than the earlier HxC hardware...

Edited by Lynxpro

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The HxC software doesn't really use any resident memory, that menu selector sets up the slots, then reboots the machine. You then use either buttons or a rotary encoder to select the image you want.

 

I'd suggest using the FlashFloppy firmware, works with both the Amiga and Atari, is free, and uses the HxC selector application.

 

I'd go with the micro goteks this guy sells: https://www.sellmyretro.com/user/profile/zaxon

 

He sells a model for the Atari and one for the Amiga, that plug into the back of the existing floppy, and are switchable A/B on ST, 0/1 on Amiga. I have one in my MegaSTE and it works great.

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How much ST RAM does the HxC software occupy, or is it running off the drive's own memory?

Goteks are definitely cool. I'm surprised people haven't sampled the sounds of a real Atari disc drive to add to it so it plays them when the drive is accessed through the optional external speaker...

On second view, the load time on that seems slow. Then again, that hardware is from 2010. I guess the more modern Goteks are faster than the earlier HxC hardware...

 

The Gotek/HxC is completely transparent to the computer. The software is used only for configuration and selection. No HxC software at all is running on the computer when the actual disk loads.

 

The load time doesn't depend on the hardware version, it is slow because it works exactly like a real floppy drive.

 

I'd suggest using the FlashFloppy firmware, works with both the Amiga and Atari, is free, and uses the HxC selector application.

 

The FlashFloppy firmware is fine. But I actually recommend using the "original" HxC firmware. It is not free, but it is affordable, and it's usually superior. Also later versions of the HxC software have some kind of protection and refuse to run on non HxC firmware.

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The FlashFloppy firmware is fine. But I actually recommend using the "original" HxC firmware. It is not free, but it is affordable, and it's usually superior. Also later versions of the HxC software have some kind of protection and refuse to run on non HxC firmware.

 

I would argue that superior statement. Flashfloppy works just as well on the Amiga and ST as does the HxC firmware. The dev is extremely active in his support of the software (he's constantly adding new formats and has added quite a lot of machine support for many esoteric retro PC's), and it has a very active community on Facebook. As far as the HxC loader software, there is a version packaged with the Flashfloppy firmware that works just fine, and while it's not the latest loader, everything appears to work fine (at least with my experience on the ST, there have been a few bumps but they were addressed quickly). It's got OLED support built in, support for a 'beeper' so you can get the stepper motor noises, Keir has added support for SD in place of USB (requires a special gotek board). He's also just announced auto-swap for certain games on the Amiga, for multi-disk games (doesn't help us ST folks though, lol). After his 1.0 release, he's also going to be adding multi-drive support in one gotek (emulate 2 drives in one box).

 

The only feature I'm aware of that Flashfloppy doesn't support (yet), is the loading of STX protected disk images (which if I remember correctly is still considered beta on HxC). I may give it a look again at some point, but that will require ANOTHER purchase from them, as I don't even have the OEM gotek that I had loaded it on initially anymore..

 

I'm not even sure the goteks I have would even support installing HxC at this point, they're all completely custom boards..

Edited by David Hefner

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I would argue that superior statement. Flashfloppy works just as well on the Amiga and ST as does the HxC firmware.

 

Working "just as well" doesn't mean HxC is not superior. It is. May be the difference is not huge. May be the difference and the extra features are not important for you. Still that doesn't mean HxC is not superior.

 

I have both, and indeed Flashfloppy works "just fine". But HxC timing is more accurate, among other things. Again, you might not care. I didn't say that FF doesn't work or is bad. It's a fine development, and I do actually like the firmware being open source. And that's one of the main reasons I have one. But still, I prefer to use the one with HxC firmware most of the time.

 

As far as the HxC loader software, there is a version packaged with the Flashfloppy firmware that works just fine, and while it's not the latest loader, everything appears to work fine (at least with my experience on the ST, there have been a few bumps but they were addressed quickly).

 

 

Yes, there are versions that work just fine, but not the latest ones. So again, HxC is superior. Is it very important? Probably not unless you need the extra and new features of the HxC software.

 

But even if all versions would work, it is a bit of a rip off, isn't it? HxC developed the software for its own product investing countless hours. And it's not just the loader but the main software that converts among multiple formats to the native HFE one. FlashFloppy benefits from that development, and while it is not ilegal, and might not be necessary incorrect to use HxC software by itself, at the very least it should give credit to HxC. And for the same reason, users as well should support HxC if possible.

 

The only feature I'm aware of that Flashfloppy doesn't support (yet), is the loading of STX protected disk images (which if I remember correctly is still considered beta on HxC) ...

 

STX is just one file format of copy protected disk images. HxC supports most of them.

 

... I may give it a look again at some point, but that will require ANOTHER purchase from them, as I don't even have the OEM gotek that I had loaded it on initially anymore..

I'm not even sure the goteks I have would even support installing HxC at this point, they're all completely custom boards..

 

Jeff (HxC developer) is very reasonable. Probably he would not require you to pay a full extra license if you lost your original gotek.

 

I don't see why a custom Gotek board would not support installing HxC. You can even install HxC on top of FlashFloppy firmware using the same procedure to update FF bootloader.

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Why would it be superior for me, where what I have works? 'Superior' is objective really. While you may think it's superior, I do not. If there's a non-cracked game I want to play, I can always get the .scp files and write it to floppy with my supercard, so while it won't do it native in the Gotek, I can still get the job done... On both my ST's, I'm able to swap drives between the internal floppy and internal gotek with a switch, so using physical media isn't a big deal. Keir also doesn't hide the fact that he uses the HxC loader, it's not like he's taken it, and called it his own. He forked the github and modified it to work with his firmware. That comes with the territory of using the GPL license. Keir posts his fixes/changes on his github repo, so it's all 'legal'.

 

I'm not here to argue which is better, Flashfloppy works for me, and doesn't cost me for each device I install it on, so that's the way I go. Although 9 or 10 Euro isn't a huge amount, when you have to buy it for say 5 or 6 devices, it starts getting expensive..

 

Believe me I get it, some people are going to prefer HxC2001 on their goteks, some Flashfloppy.

 

As far as for the original poster, get the gotek, wire both machines so it can be used externally by plugging it in externally, and either of the firmwares will most likely work for you. You'd be better off in my opinion just getting multiple devices, one for each machine, but there's also the cost consideration in that route..

 

 

 

 


Working "just as well" doesn't mean HxC is not superior. It is. May be the difference is not huge. May be the difference and the extra features are not important for you. Still that doesn't mean HxC is not superior.

I have both, and indeed Flashfloppy works "just fine". But HxC timing is more accurate, among other things. Again, you might not care. I didn't say that FF doesn't work or is bad. It's a fine development, and I do actually like the firmware being open source. And that's one of the main reasons I have one. But still, I prefer to use the one with HxC firmware most of the time.

 

 

Yes, there are versions that work just fine, but not the latest ones. So again, HxC is superior. Is it very important? Probably not unless you need the extra and new features of the HxC software.

 

But even if all versions would work, it is a bit of a rip off, isn't it? HxC developed the software for its own product investing countless hours. And it's not just the loader but the main software that converts among multiple formats to the native HFE one. FlashFloppy benefits from that development, and while it is not ilegal, and might not be necessary incorrect to use HxC software by itself, at the very least it should give credit to HxC. And for the same reason, users as well should support HxC if possible.

 

 

STX is just one file format of copy protected disk images. HxC supports most of them.

 

 

Jeff (HxC developer) is very reasonable. Probably he would not require you to pay a full extra license if you lost your original gotek.

 

I don't see why a custom Gotek board would not support installing HxC. You can even install HxC on top of FlashFloppy firmware using the same procedure to update FF bootloader.

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Why would it be superior for me, where what I have works? 'Superior' is objective really. While you may think it's superior, I do not.

As I said, you might not need or not care about HxC features and then FlashFloppy might be perfect for you. Thanks fine.

 

If there's a non-cracked game I want to play, I can always get the .scp files and write it to floppy with my supercard, so while it won't do it native in the Gotek, I can still get the job done...

That might be fine for you. Most people don't have a Supercard board. And many don't even have a physical drive at all. But again, for your specific case you might not care.

 

Although 9 or 10 Euro isn't a huge amount, when you have to buy it for say 5 or 6 devices, it starts getting expensive..

That is a very valid reason. FlashFloppy is free and open fully source. As I said, I have one myself.

 

Keir also doesn't hide the fact that he uses the HxC loader, it's not like he's taken it, and called it his own. He forked the github and modified it to work with his firmware. That comes with the territory of using the GPL license. Keir posts his fixes/changes on his github repo, so it's all 'legal'.

Yes, it is fully legal. I said so already. But his entire project is a clone of HxC. The idea, the configuration files, the native HFE files and the main software, are all an HxC development. There is nothing wrong with that. But, IMHO, it is correct to give credit where credit is due.

 

Note that I'm not exactly a close friend of Jeff of HxC. I just have some contact and respect his work. And I respect FlashFloppy work as well.

Edited by ijor

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