Jump to content
Divarin

Understanding the Gotek

Recommended Posts

Recently I acquired a 1040 STF with a Gotek replacement for the floppy drive.  Personally I'd rather have a floppy drive and I have a post in the buy/sell/trade forum looking for one.

In the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to use this gotek.  I've read the docs and they don't seem to be very consistent with how mine works.  

 

First off the file selector program that lets you choose the .st file to "mount" on startup doesn't seem to work properly and I don't much care for it anyway so I'm just trying to figure out how to switch from one .st file to another.

I put about 23 .st files in the root folder, thinking the order might depend on filename I prepended "000-", "001-", "002-", etc... to the file names.  This order also matches the order in which files were added to the USB thumb drive.

 

But when I start up the ST and hit the button on the gotek to advance to a specific number some random .st file is loaded.  At this point there only seems to be two ways to use this thing and neither is very convenient:

1) I can either have only one .st file on the thumb drive (or at least in the root folder) which means switching to another disk image involves putting the thumb drive in a PC, moving files around, then back to the gotek

2) I can have all the files in the root folder but then select a number, see what comes up, and write it down for future reference.

 

Am I missing something?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I'd go with the Gotek drive. Here it would be of interest what software and version runs on the Gotek: The Gotek one, HxC or FlashFloppy? My Gotek's are running the latter, you should visit FlashFloppy's site and reflash your drive according to wiki's instructions there. You'll get a flexible and easy to use "disk drive" then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't used one on the ST, but I go with the FlashFloppy firmware on Amiga Goteks. Adding a small OLED screen too so that filenames can be seen instead of a number will help too. It's a pretty simple modification (can be done without soldering) and the OLED screens are cheap as chips.

 

Edit: Direct link to the OLED modification: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki/Hardware-Mods#oled-display

Edited by Daedalus2097

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not really sure what model of gotek I have since it came installed in the ST already. maybe this weekend I'll pull it out, have a good look at it, find a model #, etc...

The OLED mod sounds promising.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Divarin said:

The OLED mod sounds promising.

I purchased a kit on Ebay with the OLED mod already set up in a 3D printed shell along with a rotary encoder, it clicks onto the top of the ST.

 

I've got my ST files sorted into different folders now, one for games, another for applications, and each of those folders has alphabetical folders from A-Z, with one named 0-9. I can access all of this via the OLED display with ease, no need for a menu program.

 

I'd recommend being careful with old plastic by the way, ended up cracking mine slightly haha.

IMG_20200730_1917310.jpg

IMG_20200730_1916556.jpg

 

EDIT: Forgot to say, getting a USB stick with an LED indicator is a good idea too as it let's you know if it's being accessed or not.

Edited by Frank.Bullitt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2020 at 7:26 AM, Divarin said:

Recently I acquired a 1040 STF with a Gotek replacement for the floppy drive.  Personally I'd rather have a floppy drive and I have a post in the buy/sell/trade forum looking for one.

In the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to use this gotek.  I've read the docs and they don't seem to be very consistent with how mine works.  

 

First off the file selector program that lets you choose the .st file to "mount" on startup doesn't seem to work properly and I don't much care for it anyway so I'm just trying to figure out how to switch from one .st file to another.

I put about 23 .st files in the root folder, thinking the order might depend on filename I prepended "000-", "001-", "002-", etc... to the file names.  This order also matches the order in which files were added to the USB thumb drive.

 

But when I start up the ST and hit the button on the gotek to advance to a specific number some random .st file is loaded.  At this point there only seems to be two ways to use this thing and neither is very convenient:

1) I can either have only one .st file on the thumb drive (or at least in the root folder) which means switching to another disk image involves putting the thumb drive in a PC, moving files around, then back to the gotek

2) I can have all the files in the root folder but then select a number, see what comes up, and write it down for future reference.

 

Am I missing something?

 

 

First of all, the order that the files appear has nothing to do with the files themselves, or their filenames. There is no need to prefix the filenames with any numbers. The numbers that you see on the Gotek's display correspond to "slots" available on the Gotek. The File Selector program allows you to easily search through, find the disk image(s) that you want, and assign them to whichever slots you wish. When you start your ST, you should press the buttons on your Gotek to make certain that slot 000 is selected. This is what allows the file selector app to start. Of course, if you already have Zork III assigned to slot 005, and you know that's what you want to load, you could select slot 005 as you boot your ST and load Zork III. Typically, you have a few seconds after turning the ST on before the disk access actually starts, so you have a few seconds to select the appropriate slot. If you don't have time, you can boot, select the desired slot, then reset. As far as changing disks, let's use my Zork III example. Let's say you have Zork III assigned to slot 005, and a blank disk you use for game saves assigned to slot 006. You'd boot your computer with slot 005 selected to boot Zork III. Later, when you wanted to save a gave, you'd use the Gotek's buttons to select slot 006. This is the same as swapping a real disk. You could then save your game.

 

Your Gotek definitely shouldn't be loading images at random and you most certainly shouldn't have to have each image on a separate flash drive.

 

If your Gotek doesn't appear to be working in this manner, then something is wrong, because the behavior that you've mentioned is definitely not normal.

 

I like to have subdirectories for my disk images organized by genre, and then letter, to make it easier and faster to find what I need. Of course, everyone finds out which system, if they use any system at all, works best for them. I have hundreds upon hundreds of disk images on my flash drive, so dumping them all together in the root directory would be a nightmare for me, but to each their own. While you only have 23 images, it probably isn't too big a deal either way. I suspect you'll probably want to organize them a little better as you put more and more disk images on your flash drive.

 

Do you have AUTOBOOT.HFE in the root directory of your flash drive? You can use the Gotek without it, but I highly recommend using it. It makes your life a lot easier.

 

If you haven't already checked it out, read through this thread at Exxos' forum.

 

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=593

 

It's about setting up a Gotek, but there's a lot of good, useful information there on basic Gotek use as well. It should be required reading for anyone wishing to use a Gotek with an ST.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bfollowell said:

 

First of all, the order that the files appear has nothing to do with the files themselves, or their filenames. There is no need to prefix the filenames with any numbers. The numbers that you see on the Gotek's display correspond to "slots" available on the Gotek. The File Selector program allows you to easily search through, find the disk image(s) that you want, and assign them to whichever slots you wish. When you start your ST, you should press the buttons on your Gotek to make certain that slot 000 is selected. This is what allows the file selector app to start. Of course, if you already have Zork III assigned to slot 005, and you know that's what you want to load, you could select slot 005 as you boot your ST and load Zork III. Typically, you have a few seconds after turning the ST on before the disk access actually starts, so you have a few seconds to select the appropriate slot. If you don't have time, you can boot, select the desired slot, then reset. As far as changing disks, let's use my Zork III example. Let's say you have Zork III assigned to slot 005, and a blank disk you use for game saves assigned to slot 006. You'd boot your computer with slot 005 selected to boot Zork III. Later, when you wanted to save a gave, you'd use the Gotek's buttons to select slot 006. This is the same as swapping a real disk. You could then save your game.

Thanks this is exactly what I was trying to understand.

 

One of the issues I was having is that the file selector program is very difficult for me to read because my setup I am using low/medium resolution cable which is going through a VGA to composite converter and into a 14" CRT television.  Not the most beautiful resolution, I know but my vga monitors don't support the refresh rate needed for this so I can either do this or use a high res/monocrome cable on VGA monitor with no audio but most games need low & medium resolution mode for color.  The 80 column mode of the file selector program renders it very difficult to read in this setup.

 

However I think I got it figured out now with your help, thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent. I'm glad you got it worked out.

 

I know a lot of people, especially retro fans, go in for CRTs and older style monitors. Personally, I want my setup to give the best image possible. For me, that's a modern LCD display. If you're interested in moving to a more modern monitor, I could give you some ideas there. If you plan to stick with an old school style display, you're really better off trying to find an Atari SC1224 RGB monitor rather than using RF or composite or anything along those lines.

 

Good luck!

Edited by bfollowell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bfollowell said:

Excellent. I'm glad you got it worked out.

 

I know a lot of people, especially retro fans, go in for CRTs and older style monitors. Personally, I want my setup to give the best image possible. For me, that's a modern LCD display. If you're interested in moving to a more modern monitor, I could give you some ideas there. If you plan to stick with an old school style display, you're really better off trying to find an Atari SC1224 RGB monitor rather than using RF or composite or anything along those lines.

 

Good luck!

In this case I would like a better looking display.  When I got this ST it came with a high-res VGA adapter and that works fine. I figured once I build the low/medium res adapter cable I can see if any of my monitors will support it.  So far, no :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of the Best Electronics cables and a 15kHz compatible NEC Multisync monitor that will work with all three ST resolutions but, to be completely honest with you, I was never all that thrilled with it. Low res looked pretty good. With a little bit of tweaking, high res looked good. However, medium resolution only ever looked mediocre at best, regardless of how much tweaking I did to the monitor. I purchased an OSSC and fed my VGA signal into that, but it never seemed to help things more than just a little. I'd heard a lot of good things about RGB to SCART cables, so I bought an STE to SCART cable from Cool Novelties in the U.K. and fed that into the SCART input of my OSSC. The difference is night and day. The picture that I get is unbelievably beautiful. I've never seen either of the ST's color modes look so good and clear. My issue may have been the Best Electronics cable all along. I've heard of some others complaining about getting interference when using it. My high and low res modes looked decent with it though.

 

For high resolution, I'm thinking of getting one of those RGB port switches liek exxos and other sell and using a regular VGA cable into my OSSC.

 

An OSSC is an expensive option that not everyone is willing or able to shell out for though. If you wanted to get an ST SCART cable and use it with a much cheaper SCART to HDMI converter/upscaler, I've heard of a lot of users having a lot of luck with them, though I have no personal experience with them myself.

 

The plus side to going this route and using an upscaler is that, chances are, you'll be able to use your ST with just about any modern monitor or TV that you wish, as long as it has an HDMI input.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bfollowell said:

I have one of the Best Electronics cables and a 15kHz compatible NEC Multisync monitor that will work with all three ST resolutions but, to be completely honest with you, I was never all that thrilled with it. Low res looked pretty good. With a little bit of tweaking, high res looked good. However, medium resolution only ever looked mediocre at best, regardless of how much tweaking I did to the monitor. I purchased an OSSC and fed my VGA signal into that, but it never seemed to help things more than just a little. I'd heard a lot of good things about RGB to SCART cables, so I bought an STE to SCART cable from Cool Novelties in the U.K. and fed that into the SCART input of my OSSC. The difference is night and day. The picture that I get is unbelievably beautiful. I've never seen either of the ST's color modes look so good and clear. My issue may have been the Best Electronics cable all along. I've heard of some others complaining about getting interference when using it. My high and low res modes looked decent with it though.

 

For high resolution, I'm thinking of getting one of those RGB port switches liek exxos and other sell and using a regular VGA cable into my OSSC.

 

An OSSC is an expensive option that not everyone is willing or able to shell out for though. If you wanted to get an ST SCART cable and use it with a much cheaper SCART to HDMI converter/upscaler, I've heard of a lot of users having a lot of luck with them, though I have no personal experience with them myself.

 

The plus side to going this route and using an upscaler is that, chances are, you'll be able to use your ST with just about any modern monitor or TV that you wish, as long as it has an HDMI input.
 

The ST is a fickle beast as far as output goes.  The best I have had it look is through either 'native' displays (RGB monitors such as the Atari SC1224 AND 1435, or Commodore 1084S), or SCART to an OSSC.  Actually with the VGA adapter going into the OSSC's VGA input and some tweaks, you can get even high resolution looking great!

For the gotek...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...