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ParanoidLittleMan

Cartridge port storage adapter for Ataris

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That's know as CATA - cartridge ATA adapter. Project is described here: http://atari.8bitchip.info/astide.php

Second one. The goal was high speed, and it is achieved, with really special way of working, special SW.

Interest was low, and surely, one of the reasons was low compatibility - basically only for STE. May work on STs, but not guaranteed.

 

Now, I'm thinking about making some update. Keeping fast mode, and adding slower, more compatible mode, so it can work with ST, TT, Falcon too.

Users can select mode with switch on adapter. In case of low quantity producing it is still cheaper than going on 2 separated versions. Price should be little above UltraSatan price, and you getting driver, partitioner SW too, as it needs own drivers.  Autoboot goes via cartridge ROM, btw. , so actually no need to install it. With improved TOS, it can work with 0 extra RAM usage (no need for extra buffers). Partitions up to 1 GB, 30 of them ...

 

2 connectors are possible:  40 pin IDE, or CF socket.  First one seems as better - then can attach not only CF cards (via cheap, passive IDE-CF adapter), but classic hard disks and more interesting:  IDE-SD adapters - that will be maybe most popular considering prices and low availability of CF cards.

 

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Why isn't it possible to make one with SD socket?

It is possible, but that would cost much more - for more than what is price of industrial made IDE-SD adapter.

The reason: IDE is 16-bit as Atari ST bus, it can work in PIO mode - what is good for practically all CPUs of that era. SD cards have serial data lines, and transfer is in DMA mode - mit SCSI protocol. So, some serious conversions would be necessary. No wonder that SD is good for ACSI port - DMA, SCSI protocol.

Btw. Techie Ally and Jookie announced IDE adapter for ACSI port, some 13 years ago - when it was interesting, because IDE hard disks were around, CF cards were more spread than then new SD cards, but both abandoned idea. It's similar case - needs complex conversions.

Btw. #2: I made something like IDE for ACSI port, but only for CF cards, which can work in 8-bit mode, unlike classic hard disks. And that makes it much simpler. It can work in 8-bit PIO mode, but slowly - DMA chip supports not it, so it goes then in single byte CPU controlled access, with extra wait state for DMA chip - which then is only some kind of gate where bytes go thru.

It can work in DMA mode, but only with Sandisk cards, because only they support 8-bit DMA .  And it is something really not much known, and i discovered it practically 'by accident' - better said while worked on stating real maximal transfer rate possible with Atari ST DMA chip.

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