I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

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Vato
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I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Vato » Sat May 30, 2015 8:37 pm

I got the HXC SD floppy emulator from Lotharek today, and it was worth every penny.
I just formatted the SD card, ran the PC software to convert the disk images, unplugged my floppy, plugged in the HxC, inserted the SD card, and voila! It's like having a harddisk on the Dragon.
So now I have Tormods uDW, Lothareks HxC, and both 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drives that can be connected. Just waiting for Rolo to start making a new batch of his multicart, and I feel that my setup is complete. Well, maybe I should try to get my old Brother HR-5 Thermal Transfer printer working ;-)

I really have enjoyed the last couple of months, when I have been playing around with my Dragons. All those new, modern gadgets that people make for the old beast have made the experience so much better.

I thank you all for your efforts!
Tom

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Stig
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Stig » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:18 am

Hi, congrats on getting your floppy emulator, I hope to purchase one in the near future. Caould you provide more info on getting a 3.5" drive working on the dragon ? I have a original doscart and a lafumat controller. Is there something specific I need to do to get a 3.5" floppy drive to work with these ?

Thanks for any help or tips

John

pser1
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by pser1 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:05 am

Hi John,
I have a Lafumat controller too and works flawlessly with 2 floppies 3,5" (capable of 1,44Mb)
Of course I just can use them at 720k, but accept formatting at 180k as well as 360k and 720k

I remember I had a lot of problems with 5,25" floppies 1,2Mb, so I finally gave up and used these small ones.
Clearly the 360k kind seem to work right, but I have no tested these ones.

Just have a ribbon connecting the controller to the disks. As they were not configurable, I had to modify
two wires (switching them) so that each unit has a different number assigned.
In case you get errors when sending a DIR command, the cap trimmer will most likely solve them.

And just a comment, I decided not to buy an HDC controller, it seemed to me very expensive and you must convert
all your files to their format.
I finally bought a CoCo-SDC board from Darren Atkinson. Great stuff!
It's true it is for CoCo, but by now, with his invaluable help (and routines), I can use the SDC-card with my Dragon64
to put there the VDK files I use for Drivewire (I mean header 256 bytes length) and it works like a charm.
I can create VDKs any size, load, save programs as with floppies ... all DOS commands work!
I have implemented some commands to mimic what I could do with any CoCo but all of them right now. Still working!
Besides, now I can flash with my Dragon the SDC banks, so no more dependency on having a CoCo to do that task!

cheers
pere

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Stig
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Stig » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:08 pm

Thanks for the reply Pere.

That all sounds pretty easy. If I am just connecting one 3.5" drive (for now) can I just use my normal "unmodified" ribbon cable ?

I will definitely give this a try :)

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robcfg
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by robcfg » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:35 pm

You can, but it will be drive 2 unless you modify the cable or the drive.

This may cause programs that look always on drive 1 for their data not to work.

You can also modify a flat ribbon cable, or a PC floppy cable quite easily, check the diagram here.

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Stig
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Stig » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:13 pm

Well I've been messing about with this for well over an hour now and I am at a loss.

I have a single 3.5" PC floppy drive connected to the dragon and using a straight (untwisted) ribbon cable.

I am getting CC and RF errors when trying to formate the disk and cannot find a sweet spot while adjusting the potentiometers on my dos controller.

A couple of times it completed the format and returned the OK message but when I then type the DIR command I get the IV error

Weird. Don't know what the problem is really

pser1
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by pser1 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:30 pm

HI,

I remember that the two pots don't help solving these two errors.
Only with the adjustable capacitor you will be able to find a zone that works properly.

I am attaching here two images.
One of the controller I am using daily in my working set, and another of another controller used when testing other Dragons

cheers
pere

Ps. You better download the images to have a look at the position of pots and trimmer
My standard set has this controller with two 3,5" floppies
Attachments
P1040222x.jpg
P1040222x.jpg (522.63 KiB) Viewed 809 times
P1040221x.jpg
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Stig
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Stig » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:26 am

Thank you very much Pere !

That helped me to get it working ! I set the pots and capacitor to match that of your first picture and have now got it working :)

Much appreciated

John

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Stig
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by Stig » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:44 am

OK I apologise for my ignorance. When I format the disks in the 3.5" drive I am getting 175104 bytes free. Can I format them to 720k and how do I go about doing that ? Thanks for your continued help :)

P.S. I am using Dos 4.1

John

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robcfg
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Re: I got the HxC SD Card Floppy Emulator today

Post by robcfg » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:26 am

Assuming your drive number is 1, it's as easy as DSKINIT 1,2,80.

That tells DragonDOS to format drive 1 with 2 sides and 80 tracks, 720KB.

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