Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

HxC Floppy Emulator on Atari ST support
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tzok
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Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by tzok » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm

Before I spend my next 12€ I'd like to know what features are supported on Gotek HxC version.
- does HxCmount work?
- does folder-mode work?
- what is the read/write performance on .ST images compared to a real floppy drive?
- is there any convenient method to edit the config file options on PC?
- is Atari ST specific disk change signalling supported?

Jeff
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Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by Jeff » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:02 pm

tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
Before I spend my next 12€ I'd like to know what features are supported on Gotek HxC version.
- does HxCmount work?
Yes. HxCmount was designed for the HxC firmwares.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
- does folder-mode work?
what do you call "folder-mode" ? You mean the normal mode ? If so yes it is supported.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
- what is the read/write performance on .ST images compared to a real floppy drive?
Very dependent on the firmware version and still work-in-progress stuff. On the latest versions the usb stick is not read/write directly to avoid usb latency. I still have some room to improve the write performances.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
- is there any convenient method to edit the config file options on PC?
The HxC software. But you can modify most parameters can be changed on the emulator itself.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:57 pm
- is Atari ST specific disk change signalling supported?
yes.

tzok
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by tzok » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 pm

By folder mode I meant a virtual floppy created "on the fly" from files put in a folder on the USB stick. I've read somewhere on this forum or A-F about such mode. Somewhat similar to the HxC mount, but with files directly on a stick, and not in a special image.

As to HxC mount... I wasn't sure if it is supported also on the STM32 version. Are there currently PIC version specific features, or everything that was supported on the original SD based HxC is supported on STM32/Gotek version?

I've also fount two options in the menu, which I didn't find any description for - Interface CFG and System. What do they affect, and why they are two separate options? I was setting them to Atari ST DD and Atari ST (or something like that - as you may remember I had this firmware for about an hour).

Actually I have already bought the second license, and hope it doesn't have any "use before" period. I'll probably wait for my second ordered Gotek unit to come to me from China, before flashing HxC. Hope this time I'll have more luck and/or patience ;)

Jeff
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Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by Jeff » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:39 pm

tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 pm
By folder mode I meant a virtual floppy created "on the fly" from files put in a folder on the USB stick. I've read somewhere on this forum or A-F about such mode. Somewhat similar to the HxC mount, but with files directly on a stick, and not in a special image.
No, this feature is not supported by the firmware directly. But there is some tools available helping a lot.
Try this one :
http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_driv ... rowser.zip
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 pm
As to HxC mount... I wasn't sure if it is supported also on the STM32 version. Are there currently PIC version specific features, or everything that was supported on the original SD based HxC is supported on STM32/Gotek version?
Both STM32 and PIC version use the same HxC Direct access protocol. Hxcmount is working fine with the STM32.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 pm
I've also fount two options in the menu, which I didn't find any description for - Interface CFG and System. What do they affect, and why they are two separate options?
"System" is a very recent sub menu : this help the firmware to choose the right raw format during the raw file format detection. Plus it select the right interface mode. Once this feature will be completed, the drive setup for a particular machine will be simple.
tzok wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 pm
Actually I have already bought the second license, and hope it doesn't have any "use before" period. I'll probably wait for my second ordered Gotek unit to come to me from China, before flashing HxC. Hope this time I'll have more luck and/or patience ;)
No "use before" period !
:D

tzok
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by tzok » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:08 am

Two more questions
- does the HxC Mount completely disable floppy access? I know it disables the HxC emulated floppy, but what if I have an internal floppy configured as drive B:?
- what read/write speeds I may expect from this emulated hard disk? FDC is in theory capable of 250kbps (~31kB/s).

Sadly the HxC mount is a dead project now - first an only release was in 2011.

Jeff
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Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by Jeff » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:11 pm

tzok wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:08 am
Two more questions
- does the HxC Mount completely disable floppy access? I know it disables the HxC emulated floppy, but what if I have an internal floppy configured as drive B:?
no, hxcmount take completely the control of the the fdc. so no other floppy drive can be accessed.
tzok wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:08 am
- what read/write speeds I may expect from this emulated hard disk? FDC is in theory capable of 250kbps (~31kB/s).
I think that the speed is more around ~20kB/s. But Gilles have made an very efficient driver and it is pretty usable for simple tasks.

(btw how can you get 32kB/s with a 250kbps MFM stream ?)

the sources are available on github :

https://github.com/gbouthenot/hxcmount

tzok
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: Gotek HxC STM32 - what is supported, and what not?

Post by tzok » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:32 pm

Jeff wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:11 pm
(btw how can you get 32kB/s with a 250kbps MFM stream ?)
Apparently I haven't done my research good enough. I've found a value of 250kbps (which is 31kB/s), but without info if this is a raw MFM or a decoded bitstream. I've should have calculate it in other way - lets say an effective track length is 5,5kB (11 sectors * 512 Bytes), disc rotates at 300 rpm, so 1 track is transferred within 200ms. That gives a value of 27kB/s. Yet most controllers won't do 11 sectors without interleave, and thus require 2 revs to read all sectors, which would give an average transfer rate of ~14kB/s. So I should say 25kB/s for 10 sector disk is a realistic value. I was hoping, that FDC is somehow tolerant to reducing all the overhead signals (inter-sector and inter-track gaps), which are required for a mechanical drive, but may be reduced when feeding digital signal with precise timings.

My Megafile 60 has an RLL 2,7 encoded disk, which spins at 3600rpm, and this results in a transfer rate of about 500kB/s. These drives don't differ much from floppy disks. The reduction on rotational speed would be 30/360 and due to MFM (RLL 1,3) encoding instead of RLL 2,7 would be 17/26, resulting in transfer rate of ~27kB/s... but on 3,5" MFM hard disk, there are 17 sectors per track, while on floppy 11 in best case, which would give 18kB/s. The reason is - MFM/RLL drives use sector interleave.

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