Oric floppy images support

HxC Floppy emulator support for all others computers...
JihemB
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by JihemB » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:19 am

Hi,

I'm a french guy and I have an HxC device that I used to use on my Amstrad CPC 6128.

Now I just got a Microsdisc for my Oric Atmos and would like to conect the HxC and Atmos.
I insert this post to this existing topic (tell me if I'd better create a new one).

Actually I would like to know first if I have to dismount my Microdisc to connect HxC to the controller mainboard or if I can use the supplementary connector on the ribbon between the Oric and the Microdisc ? Else, can I use the supplementary connector at the back of the Microdisc ?

Since there is a pending conversation in this topic about cables, does one of you succedeed in finding the right cabling between HxC and Oric controller ?

Regards,

JihemB

Jeff
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Jeff » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:48 pm

JihemB wrote: (tell me if I'd better create a new one).
Non non c'est bon pas de problème ;).
JihemB wrote: Actually I would like to know first if I have to dismount my Microdisc to connect HxC to the controller mainboard
No. This is a possibility but not the only way.
JihemB wrote: or if I can use the supplementary connector on the ribbon between the Oric and the Microdisc ?
If you are talking about the Oric Bus, No this is not a floppy bus !
JihemB wrote: Else, can I use the supplementary connector at the back of the Microdisc ?
Yes. i have tried this myself some years ago.

Image
JihemB wrote: Since there is a pending conversation in this topic about cables, does one of you succedeed in finding the right cabling between HxC and Oric controller ?
mhhh a classic floppy cable should works without problem.

Godzil
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Godzil » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:31 am

Just be careful with the floppy cable you use, (i.e. if it is with the twisted) because in this configuration the HxC need to be the B drive (C or D), but not A

JihemB
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by JihemB » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Jeff, Godzil, thanks for your answers.
Yes. i have tried this myself some years ago.
Jeff unfortunately on your photo it miss a view at the back of the Microdisc drive.

Should I assume that :
- Oric is connected to the Microdisc using the regular cable (as usual) ?
- HxC (mine is the SD-Card version, by the way) is connected to the Microdisc using the connector at the back of the drive with a standard (untwisted ?) 3,5" 34 pins connector ?
- No modification (on the Microdisc controller) is performed (such as changing some dip-switches). The Microdisc module doesn't need to be opened ?
Just be careful with the floppy cable you use, (i.e. if it is with the twisted) because in this configuration the HxC need to be the B drive (C or D), but not A
Godzil, looking at the HxC documentation (SD-Card version) there are different ways to change the disc drive letter that is emulated by the HxC depending on the target computer (the switches settings are not the same to emulate A: on IBM PC and A: on Amstrad 6128 for instance). Which setting should I use ?

Regards,

Jean-Marc

Jeff
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Jeff » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:38 pm

Should I assume that :
- Oric is connected to the Microdisc using the regular cable (as usual) ?
Yes
- HxC (mine is the SD-Card version, by the way) is connected to the Microdisc using the connector at the back of the drive with a standard (untwisted ?) 3,5" 34 pins connector ?
Yes
- No modification (on the Microdisc controller) is performed (such as changing some dip-switches). The Microdisc module doesn't need to be opened ?
Yes (maybe there are a switch to disable the internal disk drive ?)

Godzil
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Godzil » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:16 am

Jeff wrote:
Should I assume that :
- Oric is connected to the Microdisc using the regular cable (as usual) ?
Yes
- HxC (mine is the SD-Card version, by the way) is connected to the Microdisc using the connector at the back of the drive with a standard (untwisted ?) 3,5" 34 pins connector ?
Yes
- No modification (on the Microdisc controller) is performed (such as changing some dip-switches). The Microdisc module doesn't need to be opened ?
Yes (maybe there are a switch to disable the internal disk drive ?)
Nop there isn't. No switch at all inside the microdisk. If you want to use the HxC as a A drive, you must either:

- Disconnect the internal floppy (and you may replace it with the HxC
- Change the switch settings on the internal floppy to put it to B, C or D and switch the HxC to A (and plug it externally using the connector on the back of the microdisk)

You can use a twisted floppy ribbon, but take it in account, and use the "standard" PC switch to use the HxC.
If you have problem to let the HxC be recognized, be ready to open your microdisk and try to connect the HxC directly on the microdisk mainboard. Mine seems to be broken on the ribbon for external floppy, and I can't have the HxC work in parallel with the normal 3" floppy drive..

JihemB
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by JihemB » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:43 pm

Hi guys,

Thank you all for your advices.

I just got a 34 twisted cable (from an old Dell computer in my company) but it is a keyed cable (avec des détrompeurs") on some pins.

Will try to test this WE and keep you informed.

Regards,

JihemB

Nightbird72
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:24 pm

Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Nightbird72 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:57 pm

Hello,

please find below photos of HxC (drive A) connected with real B and C drives. I need to screw the HxC on the chassis.

The flat 34 pins cable (between controler and floppies) needs - if you do not have jumpers on your floppies - :
1) for drive A : to turn 9 to 13 wires, to cross 10 and 12 wires (9, 11, 13 are ground, so easy to realize).
2) for drive B : no wire to cross.
3) for drive C : to turn 11 to 15 wires, to cross 12 and 14 wires.

Oricordialement,

Thierry
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Nightbird72
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Nightbird72 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:39 am

Hi,

here is a photo of the flat cable to connect Oric Disc Controler to floppy drives (remember, disc drives with no jumpers to setup drive to A, B, ...).
Connectors from left to right :
- Oric disc controler (Microdisc, Cumana2, ...), Drive C, Drive B, Drive A.

Remark: from Oric motherboard to Oric Disc Controler: simple straight flat 34 pin cable (no turn of wire).

Hope that help you :)

Thierry
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jorodr
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by jorodr » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:29 am

Hello,
I just want to tell:
I have tried Hxs + 3 different Microdisc and it don't work at all. It works with Cumana interface with no problem. Thinking about the problem I have thought it is about address buss buffering (Cumana buffers all the buss), but after thinking well I have found that the problem is in 1793 controller. After changing it with MB8877A the microdisc became working with Hxs with no problem. I don't know if any of 1793 don't work well, but my work perfect with floppy drive and no working with Hxs. I hope this info is usable.
Best regards,
George

Jeff
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Jeff » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:40 am

jorodr wrote:Hello,
I just want to tell:
I have tried Hxs + 3 different Microdisc and it don't work at all. It works with Cumana interface with no problem. Thinking about the problem I have thought it is about address buss buffering (Cumana buffers all the buss), but after thinking well I have found that the problem is in 1793 controller. After changing it with MB8877A the microdisc became working with Hxs with no problem. I don't know if any of 1793 don't work well, but my work perfect with floppy drive and no working with Hxs. I hope this info is usable.
Best regards,
George
Which version of the floppy emulator are you using ?


@Nightbird72
Nice setup !
Which FDC are you using ?

JihemB
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by JihemB » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:20 pm

Hi guys,

here is a quick report about what I tested this WE :

Hardware :
- Oric Microdisc (please note I don't still have a long enough screw driver to open it, so I yet can't change anything internally !)
- HxC SD Rev C device
- 34 pins x 3 disc cable. The cable is connected to the "male" 34 pins socket at the back of the Microdisc drive.

Software :
- Oric Dov v1.1 (this is the only disc I get with the Microdisc drive. Fortunately, it boots up correctly but have some bad sectors...).
- HxC v1.6.0.0 firmware
- HxC FLoppy Emulator software v1.6.9.5a (downloaded from this thread !).
- A collection or Oric software in .DSK file format

Results :
- Not good at all :-(

Details :
1) Whatever the connections and the HxC switched positions, Oric can't see my HxC. It seems that connecting everything together is not enough, a special DOS command must be called before having HxC available (see 2).

2) After boot, if I use the Oric Dos "!SYS" command my HxC is reconized as drive 1.
I tried different positions of the 34 pins cable (twisted/untwisted) and the Hxc switches until I get this !

3) Using HxCFloppyEmulator, I created a 40 track/1 side floppy image that I was enable to read/write from Oric (after using "!SYS" command).

4) I was able to read some programs for an Oric DOS v1.13 DSK image file (after using "!SYS command").

5) My purpose was to create "fresh" boot (Oric DOS or Sedoric) disks by copying disc image loaded HxC onto actual 3" disc (since I used to boot on the actual Microdisc drive as drive 0). It was the beginning of my nighmares :
- It seems that Microdisc drive supports by default 3" 40 tracks 1 sided disc (you have to flip manually the disc). Can you confirm ?

- Using the !SYS command I turned my Microdisc into 80 tracks 2 sides disc drive and was able to format such 3" but I think this is fake and even if it says "success", it doubt it really worked since I never was about to copy the Sedoric .DSK onto my actual 3" disc using the "!BACKUP 1 TO 0" command. It seems there is an harware limitation. What do you think ?

- All the .DSK images I get have "exotical" format (30, 42 or 81 tracks, 1 or 2 sides) and since the "!SYS" command only allows me to set up 40/80 tracks, 1 or 2 sides, I was unable to even perform a "!DIR" of 80% of the .DSK i have :-(

- Since most of the .DSK are not 40 track/1 side images, I never be able to copy one of these images of an actual 3" :-(

- Most of the disc image I have showed "SYSTEM.DOS" when performing "!DIR". I guess these sotware only works when placed in drive 0 (boot drive), so I never be able to run those software.

- I was able to perform "!DIR" on "TYRANN" disc and even "!LOAD" from some files on the disc. It loads the BASIC programm OK but when I perform a RUN I get a black "SEDORIC" screen. I guess this is because I didn't boot up on the "TYRANN" disc in drive 0.




So guys, here are very bad results. Any suggestion or feed back about this will be welcome.

Regards,

JihemB
Last edited by JihemB on Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jeff
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Jeff » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:32 pm

So the floppy emulator is working but you can read special dsk files ? right ?

Can you send me some of them ?

EDIT : i dont understand what do you mean at the point 1). Since you can access some disk the oric "see" the floppy emulator ?

EDIT2 : To copy the hxc disk to the real one you need maybe a special program for oric. Maybe someone know one ?

JihemB
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by JihemB » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:12 pm

Jeff,

Yes, HxC works "more or less" with Oric + Microdisc. I'm able to read (only) some .DSK files (I mean listing the contents using !DIR and sometime loading some files).

How can I send you some .DSK files I've got via MP (I can't find the option on the board) ?

I updated point 1 : Without entering the !SYS command (and so declaring the drive 1), the HxC is not seen, I mean no drive 1.

I know there is some tools (writedsk and readdsk running under Win95/Win98 only) that allows you read/write Oric disc format in an actual 3" disc drive directly connected to the PC.
I guessed that .DSK image files come from former actual 3" disc, but how to explain those 30,42,82 tracks images ?
Perhaps they are fully supported by SEDORIC but currently I'm stuck with Oric DOS 1.1.

JihemB

Jeff
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Re: Oric floppy images support

Post by Jeff » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:47 pm

JihemB wrote:Jeff,
How can I send you some .DSK files I've got via MP (I can't find the option on the board) ?
you can find my Email on the project website.
JihemB wrote: I updated point 1 : Without entering the !SYS command (and so declaring the drive 1), the HxC is not seen, I mean no drive 1.
mhh and it isn't the right way ?

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