How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

HxC Floppy Emulator on Atari ST support
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6BQ5
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:27 pm

How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by 6BQ5 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:53 pm

I recently bought a SF314 external drive off of eBay in as-is, untested condition. The drive can format floppies, write to them, and read them back. Unfortunately, none of the disks from this drive can be read by my internal floppy drive or by my Win 10 PC. When I insert the floppy from the external drive into my internal drive I can still see the previous directory structure. I think the heads in the SF314, while in allowable range, must be misaligned.

I'm looking for something I can do to salvage this drive without needing to rip apart or modify my STe. One idea that crossed my mind is to install a solid state, flash memory based floppy drive emulator. I've been trying to figure out if this is possible and what would it take to make it happen. Is it really as simple as buying a floppy emulator from Lotharek and setting the jumpers on the emulator to function as drive B? I don't want to remove or replace my internal floppy drive. It still works and I don't want to modify my case for fitting the emulator.

I don't mind hacking up the busted SF314 to make the emulator fit and work.

One possible emulator I was thinking of is the Rev F - HxC SD Emulator shown here :

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=27

Can anyone offer some help and insights on this? What kind of limitations or "gotcha!" scenarios would I face? Likewise, what kind of new capabilities would I have? Could I have a virtual floppy images exceeding 720 kB? I would love to have a several-MB (10? 20?) floppy! :)

Thanks!

-=- Boris

Jeff
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Re: How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by Jeff » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:36 pm

>How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Sure this is possible. Just replace the old drive in the external case by the emulator.

6BQ5
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by 6BQ5 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:44 am

Jeff wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:36 pm
>How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Sure this is possible. Just replace the old drive in the external case by the emulator.
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your reply!

For some reason I thought using a HxC drive was only designed to replace the internal drive ... and, using it inside a SF314 enclosure as drive B would not be possible.

I know I can be a little dense :P so just to be clear for myself:

1) Open SF314 enclosure and remove the non-working drive mechanism.
2) Install the Rev F - HxC SD Emulator inside the enclosure. Twist the floppy cable to ensure pin 1 lines up. Connect power.
3) Prepare SD card by populating with HFE disk images
4) Power on STe. No disk in internal drive A. Computer boots from drive C:
5) Use screen and three buttons on Rev F - HxC SD Emulator swap active HFE disk image, as if I eject a floppy and insert a new one.

Done, yes? :)

Now after thinking about it a little I am guessing I leave the jumpers and DIP switches to make this Drive A since I am not using it to emulate two drives.

Jeff
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Re: How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by Jeff » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:06 pm

6BQ5 wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:44 am
Jeff wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:36 pm
>How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Sure this is possible. Just replace the old drive in the external case by the emulator.
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your reply!

For some reason I thought using a HxC drive was only designed to replace the internal drive ... and, using it inside a SF314 enclosure as drive B would not be possible.

I know I can be a little dense :P so just to be clear for myself:

1) Open SF314 enclosure and remove the non-working drive mechanism.
2) Install the Rev F - HxC SD Emulator inside the enclosure. Twist the floppy cable to ensure pin 1 lines up. Connect power.
3) Prepare SD card by populating with HFE disk images
4) Power on STe. No disk in internal drive A. Computer boots from drive C:
5) Use screen and three buttons on Rev F - HxC SD Emulator swap active HFE disk image, as if I eject a floppy and insert a new one.

Done, yes? :)
yes.
6BQ5 wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:44 am
Now after thinking about it a little I am guessing I leave the jumpers and DIP switches to make this Drive A since I am not using it to emulate two drives.
Not sure if the external floppy port allows this on Atari ST.

6BQ5
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by 6BQ5 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:20 pm

Jeff wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:06 pm
6BQ5 wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:44 am
Now after thinking about it a little I am guessing I leave the jumpers and DIP switches to make this Drive A since I am not using it to emulate two drives.
Not sure if the external floppy port allows this on Atari ST.
This is where the hang-up occurs, I think. Looking at the product manual, section 2.3.1, sheet 9, I see jumper setting descriptions. The options are configuring the emulator as drive A or drive A and drive B together. I wonder if the external drive mechanism itself is configured as drive A and the second drive setting for TOS is done via cabling and the small PCB.

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: How to use floppy emulator as external drive B? Possible?

Post by tzok » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:49 pm

Any drive for Atari ST should be configured as drive 0.Internal drive has both D0SEL and D1SEL signal routed, external FDD usually has only D1SEL signal available (except the "short" ST models). On the STE you have jumpers to route both signal to the external FDD connector. Yet these jumpers don't alter the internal drive configuration, and you can't have 2 drive 0. So you need to switch both - jumpers on the M/B, and jumpers on the internal FDD. Most frequent solution is to swap the D0SEL and D1SEL signal near their origination - on the YM chip pins. This is crossing just 2 pins.

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