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Wilheim

Creating ATX images on RespeQT.

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Hi, everyone!

 

I have some copy protected floppy disks that I want to preserve, but I don’t want ok spend money on using kryoflux or stuff like that. I also have a BitWriter on a 1050 drive, so I can duplicate any disk.

 

Is it possible to create an ATX image from a floppy disk by using the Super Archiver software. If so, how can I do that. If not, is it possible to add this feature?

 

Thanks and regards!

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4 hours ago, Wilheim said:

Is it possible to create an ATX image from a floppy disk by using the Super Archiver software. If so, how can I do that. If not, is it possible to add this feature?

Yes it is possible!

The limitation is that, if Super Archiver can not make a working copy, then RespeQt won't be able to make a working ATX.

As of today, RespeQt does not emulate BitWriter but it emulates quite well Super Archiver. This will come one day but right now I have other active projects.

 

The way to do that is very easy.

In the following explanation, I assume that you have your real BitWriter drive as D1:

1) Make sure you have the latest RespeQt version 5.3.

2) Load Super Archiver in your Atari (using either RespeQt or the BitWriter drive).

3) In Super Archiver, change destination drive to D2:

4) In RespeQt, create a new disk image (menu Disk) . Move this disk to slot 2 if it was created in another slot.

5) Save the disk image using an ATX extension.

6) Still in RespeQt, make sure that the Super Archiver button is ON in the D2: slot toolbar.

7) Put your source disk in your real BitWriter drive.

8) Start the copy.

Edited by ebiguy
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1 hour ago, ebiguy said:

Yes it is possible!

The limitation is that, if Super Archiver can not make a working copy, then RespeQt won't be able to make a working ATX.

As of today, RespeQt does not emulate BitWriter but it emulates quite well Super Archiver. This will come one day but right now I have other active projects.

 

The way to do that is very easy.

In the following explanation, I assume that you have your real BitWriter drive as D1:

1) Make sure you have the latest RespeQt version 5.3.

2) Load Super Archiver in your Atari (using either RespeQt or the BitWriter drive).

3) In Super Archiver, change destination drive to D2:

4) In RespeQt, create a new disk image (menu Disk) . Move this disk to slot 2 if it was created in another slot.

5) Save the disk image using an ATX extension.

6) Still in RespeQt, make sure that the Super Archiver button is ON in the D2: slot toolbar.

7) Put your source disk in your real BitWriter drive.

8) Start the copy.

Thnxx Eric,

 

Will it all so works with megaspeedy 1050 (speedy,happy etc or super archiver ?) i have 2 drivers with megaspeedy and 1 mini speedy 1050 1990-92(hss sector copier and bibodos) and a happy clone and several originals and a sdrive max and off course old rs 232 with usb to rs232 converter cable,a usb version a other 600xl and i have 3x los pcb board ft232 for use RespeQT.

 

Gr. Marco

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A SuperArchiver, or Happy or similar enhancements, are not really suitable for preservation. It won't work with all titles, and for those it will, it won't be very precise. It is ok if for some reason you want to make your private copies of your own disks. It is also acceptable, even for preservation, if you have some really ultra rare stuff (because any kind of dump is better than nothing) and you live on the moon where you can't contact somebody nearby to get those disks preserved properly with a SCP, Kryoflux, or other low level solution.

 

I don't want to discourage you to make digital copies of your disks. Certainly not, after all I also started with a Happy many years ago. It might be even fun. Just be aware that this is not the best preservation method to say the least.

 

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22 hours ago, marcokitt2000 said:

Will it all so works with megaspeedy 1050 (speedy,happy etc or super archiver ?)

Yes if you put your MegaSpeedy in Super Archiver mode.

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23 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

bitwriter/sa is the best of the lot just below scp/kryo correct?

 

The SuperArchiver (standalone) and the BitWriter work at completely different levels. I don't have much experience with the BitWriter. Yes, it works at a lower level than enhancements like the SA or the Happy that sill depend on the FDC capabilities and limitations. The BitWriter is not a flux transition level device but it bypasses the FDC. I'm not sure how reliable it is, though. And because it uses a standard 1050 mechanism it still lacks the accurate index position.

 

Note that there are (or were) a few other flux level devices, like the Happy Discovery Cartridge for the ST. And btw, there is a new device that is DIY and completely open source:

 

https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle/wiki

 

I'm not sure if somebody tried it with 8-bit disks, and I don't know if it supports the modded drives to easily read the flippy side. Writing might be problematic, but besides the flippy issue it should work for reading, at least with most drives. And if you build it yourself it is probably very cheap so not much harm is done trying.

 

One more thing about imaging original disks with 1050 enhancements. As noted in may other threads, please be careful as some originals are extremely fragile and they might even tear off apart when attempting to read them. This could happen also when using a SCP or a Kryoflux. But it is worse, in this sense, with 1050 enhancements because it needs more revolutions per track, which means the fragile surface is "suffering" the friction even longer.

Edited by ijor

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hmmm greaseweazle to displace catweazle :)

Yeah I found double headed drive without the rabbit pad work way better on disk recovery/archiving/preservation... keep them clean and smooth...

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1 hour ago, _The Doctor__ said:

hmmm greaseweazle to displace catweazle :)

 

Yeah :) Don't know if it's a coincidence or not. What I can tell you is that they are certainly developed by different people.

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On 6/3/2020 at 4:42 PM, ijor said:

A SuperArchiver, or Happy or similar enhancements, are not really suitable for preservation. It won't work with all titles, and for those it will, it won't be very precise. It is ok if for some reason you want to make your private copies of your own disks. It is also acceptable, even for preservation, if you have some really ultra rare stuff (because any kind of dump is better than nothing) and you live on the moon where you can't contact somebody nearby to get those disks preserved properly with a SCP, Kryoflux, or other low level solution.

 

I don't want to discourage you to make digital copies of your disks. Certainly not, after all I also started with a Happy many years ago. It might be even fun. Just be aware that this is not the best preservation method to say the least.

 

Certainly a Super Archiver/BitWriter will not be the best option, but I prefer this method rather than buying more hardware. Besides, the disks I want to preserve are not that complicated in their protection scheme. I can crack them, but I prefer to keep it that way.

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21 hours ago, ijor said:

Note that there are (or were) a few other flux level devices, like the Happy Discovery Cartridge for the ST. And btw, there is a new device that is DIY and completely open source:

 

https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle/wiki

Very interesting but what about the output of the software. Does it produce Kryoflux or SCP files?

If we have no option to convert the image files to ATX, it is useless...until phaeron supports the greaseweazle file format.

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18 hours ago, DjayBee said:

https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle/wiki/Read-Write

Greaseweazle reads and writes SCP and HFE image files.

 

Just a bit of a warning about the Greaseweazle. One thing I don't like too much is that the floppy interface, at least in the original version, is completely unbuffered which is not very robust. With very old drives it might not work and it might even damage the MCU (the main processor chip). That won't be the end of the world anyway because the Blue Pill that comes with the MCU is so cheap. It shouldn't be much concern as long as you use a not so old, 5.25 " HD 80-tracks drive.

 

Just double checked in case this was fixed ... There is somebody that sells a "plus" version that adds buffers and ESD protection. But then the cost is no so cheap anymore:

 

https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/greaseweazle-f7-plus-usb-floppy-interface-flux-tool-usb-_b-43881

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A little more expensive than before, but still considerably cheaper than Kryoflux.

 

Luckily, I got my Kryoflux a little cheaper through ebay from someone who bought I directly from Kryoflux, but then never used it. It was still easily over double the price listed for this buffered Greaseweazle though.

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On 6/6/2020 at 10:50 AM, bfollowell said:

A little more expensive than before, but still considerably cheaper than Kryoflux.

 

I thought we were already hijacking this thread too much and I opened a new thread on the main subforum. Yeah, it is still cheaper than the Kryoflux or the SCP. Part of the extra cost is probably that uses a different MCU that is much more powerful. It uses the STM32 F7 variant that, IMHO, is completely overkill (~500MHZ DMIPS plus FPU).

 

 

 

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I have successfully made several atx images of  protected originals using RespeQt +  Happy. But is it possible to write those images out to a real disk using RespeQt 4.3 or 5.3 + Super Archiver or Happy?  Or is that only possible using Supercard Pro (or Kryoflux) + a8rawconv or the SCP or Kryoflux software.  Is the internal description of the atx copy protection "standard" regardless of what device the image is made on? (So if the atx was made using a Super Archiver, could it be written to disk using a8rawconv)?

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You can write images to a real disk using RespeQt 5.3 if you have an ATX image.

If you have a raw dump (.scp, or .raw files), then you either convert them to ATX using a8rawconv before writing them with RespeQt or use the corresponding hardware (Kryoflux, Supercard Pro) to write the image.

There is no copy protection description in an ATX but only a track layout which can be "special".

This track layout is interpreted as a protection by the Atari software.

The answer to your last question is yes: an ATX mabe with Super Archiver and RespeQt can be written back to disk using a8rawconv to a Supercard Pro if you have one.

 

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Well, finally I dug up my 1050 with Super Archiver and BitWriter replica. And I can say that:

 

1. It's possible to create an ATX file from a protectedt disk, emulating the CHIP. However, some "fuzzy sectors" (phantom, weak) doesn't write properly. For example, AR: The Dungeon the fuzzy sector is detected like that but it's written as a CRC error sector.

2. For some reason, I have a conflict between the emulated drives without a disk image and real hardware. For some reason, Respeqt doesn't put the virtual drives with no image file as "unused". Not sure if there's a SIO2PC issue or something with RespeQT.

 

Anyway, I could create a Dungeon ATX image by connecting and desconnecting each device as it they were D1:. I think it works.

 

Regards!

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