Thursday 19 October 2006

Website opened

19 10 2006

This webiste is dedicated to the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator project. If you don't know what it is, please go to the About section to learn more about it.

The project is currently in a prototype stage : it means that most of the stuff works (both hardware and software), but that it is still not ready to be delivered to the public. We are now planning to have ready-to-use boards manufactured and sell them at a reasonable price.

However, many options can be considered for this purpose, depending mostly on the desired features, that will condition the hardware parts we will use. What we want to do with this website is to get some feedback for people that would be interested in such a system.

If you are interested in such a project, and might consider to buy such a board, please register to the forum. The e-mail address provided during registration will be used to contact you afterwards, to keep you informed, or ask you to take surveys about features you would like to see, price range, etc. Please don't worry about this process, your e-mail address will be used solely for this purpose.

HxC Floppy Drive Emulator

19 10 2006

The HxC Floppy Drive Emulator is a software and hardware system created by jfdn aka Jeff, that emulates the behaviour of a floppy drive. It currently works for Amiga and 16-bits Atari computers.

If you wonder what a "Floppy drive emulator" can be, just have a look at this slideshow...

HxCFloppyDriveEmulator
As you can see, the floppy drive has been replaced by some piece of hardware. This piece of hardware features an USB connection to a PC. On the PC side, just run the Floppy drive emulator software and drag/drop your favorite disk image file. Then just use your beloved computer as usual (no hardware of software modification of any kind, apart from the floppy drive replacement is needed), and feel the magic !

It means that you can run all your Atari and Amiga software on the real machines, without the hassle of keeping your old floppy disks, and experience floppy drives failures.

Here is basically how it works : the PC software loads the disk image files (.ST, .MSA, .ADF, .DMS...), and convert track data to MFM format (the physical way the data is stored on a floppy disk). Then the hardware part decodes the floppy drive logic, and retrieves from the PC the MFM flow into SRAM buffers. Those buffers are then sent to the target computer.

The first version of the system used 74-series chips and SRAM, and the parallel port of the PC. On the second version, most of the logic has been replaced by an Altera CPLD, and a FTDI USB module has been used to replace the parallel port.

For more information, I suggest that you go to Jeff's pages about his project (Warning, those pages are in French language).

Contact us

19 10 2006

For any question or inquiry about the project, please have a look at the forum first, as you may already find answers.

If you want to receive information and updates about this project, please register to the forum. The e-mail address provided during registration will be used to contact you afterwards, to keep you informed (and solely for this purpose).