Amiga computer related discussion => Amiga Desktop Audio and Video => Topic started by: videofx on April 24, 2020, 06:14:49 PM

Title: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: videofx on April 24, 2020, 06:14:49 PM
Anyone have their flyer running with CF or SD cards?

If so please let me what you are using

Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Matt_H on April 24, 2020, 06:40:21 PM
I remember Pyromania talking about this some years back. He'd be the one to know.

Broadly, though, I think there's 3 options:
-One of the traditional ACard adapters (
-A rev 5 SCSI2SD
-A rev 6 SCSI2SD (

I suspect the rev 5 SCSI2SD would be too slow.
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Pgovotsos on April 24, 2020, 07:31:32 PM
Both versions of SCSI2SD are way too slow. You need at least 4.5 Mb/s for HQ5 and they are much slower. The Acard SCSI2 to IDE adapter, IDE to CF adapter, and CF card works very well. Instead of the small cards dangling on cables in the case I use the one that is built into a 3.5" drive frame. There are plenty of bays to mount 3 of them for front access which is convenient to swap cards without having to open the case.

You don't need huge cards. 32GB cards for the video "drives" will give you several hours. The audio "drive" can be much smaller since the files are so much smaller than the video.

I have only used the PATA versions of the cards. I'm not sure if the newer types work with these simple adapters or not - never tried it. I discovered that P2 cards work well too when I had one lying around and tried it.

Compact flash cards would be better than SD cards for this application. There can be so much rewriting over time and CF cards handle it better.
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: F1Lupo on April 25, 2020, 12:04:52 AM
@ Pgovotsos
I can confirm that the scsi2sd board at least version I have (red board) from few years ago is quite slow in my CS-MKII controller which powered my original SCSI drivesd at lightning fast speed only gives me 1.22 MB/s with the my scs2sd board. For less heat/noise/space in your big box Amiga I would recommend the scs2sd as its been reliable for me but don't get one if speed is main concern for you.
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Mediasig on July 16, 2020, 06:44:12 AM
I finally got something that works by trial and error.  I'm no expert at Amiga workings - was always a user and not much of a tinkering kind when I first had one.  Now I tinker during the long wet winters here in Vancouver, BC.

I picked up an A4000 with a VT4000 and Flyer Card - had always wanted one and got a good deal on it.  I started with this SCSI2SSD card, but found it was too slow for the video media drives.  It IS fast enough to use as the Audio Drive (C or I think SCSI 2 on the board).


I then purchased 2 x SCSI2SSD V6 and installed them as the A and B drive chains on SCSI 0 an 1 of the Flyer board.


I had okay success with these as I could get them to consistently work in the Extended record mode, but rarely got Standard to work, not to mention HQ5.  I was puzzled and tried different settings for the SCSI2SD board bios and even tried to format them differently using the Flyer Drive utility.  Nothing seemed to work.  I was thinking I needed to go the SCSI to IDE to CF car route.

Then, I realized something.  I had bought really cheap SD cards thinking "this should be plenty fast".  I saw some 16gig SanDisk Extreme PLUS SD cards on sale and decided to grab a pair to give a try.


That seemed to fix it!  I could now record HQ5 and consistently.  In fact (I'll have to go back and check), but I was able to get the SCSI2SD bios back to defaults and all worked fine.  So it seems like the ability of the SD card was holding me back.  I'm super happy with it and glad to have a working flyer with no external drive stacks and cables!!

I've included a few shots of how I've placed everything inside my machine.  I literally wrapped the cards in the excess scsi ribbon cable to shield them from shorting out on anything else.  I'll probably do a little more to tidy up at some point, but this thing doesn't move around and I try to keep the lid on it as much as possible!  :)



Well, I hope this gives some insight into my ups and downs with Flyer drives!  Once you get through that mess, then the creative fun begins.
I guess my question would be, do any of you have a Flyer board capable of HQ6?  I completely forgot NewTek developed it, but learned only later revisions of the boards could handle HQ6.  Unfortunately, while playing with a script that attempted to capture at HQ6, it proved mine cannot capture that high.  No worries, as HQ5 has been looking pretty stellar for Standard Def video.


Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Matt_H on July 16, 2020, 05:52:27 PM
Thanks for this write-up! Good into to have. I'd love to get rid of the Octopus cable that's essentially taking up a Zorro slot and make my Flyer drives internal. Glad to see it's possible.

I wasn't previously aware of an HQ6 mode. I suspect my board isn't capable of it but is there a way to test?
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Mediasig on July 17, 2020, 04:29:42 AM
My only guess would be to see if it shows up as an option in your record panel.  Otherwise, I'm not sure how to identify it on the actual card.
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: tonyvdb on August 12, 2020, 10:25:25 PM
Very good info, Im over in Edmonton and have never tried to go the SSD way on the actual Flyer drives. Ive got my 4000 running an SD drive for the OS and that helps a bit with loading times. Kind of old school video editing though sad to say. Im spending way more time on my PC using Speed Edit2 by Newtek and even thats gotten long in the tooth.
A great idea though and may play around with this in the winter
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Pgovotsos on August 13, 2020, 01:05:41 AM
Very good info, Im over in Edmonton and have never tried to go the SSD way on the actual Flyer drives.

TL;dr SSD is not the same thing as CF card.

Just to be clear, unless it is an SSD that has load balancing built into the controller to support classic machines that don't have it built into the operating system, you should NOT use it. The Flyer really thrashes a drive with constant writing, deleting, and moving data that a typical SSD designed with Windows, Mac, or Linux in mind will die quickly. Those operating systems have load balancing built in so they manage it themselves. Just attaching one of these drives with an interface adapter like IDE to SCSI 2 won't address the issue.

Operating systems like Amiga OS, or more accurately the Flyer's OS, does not know anything about load balancing so parts of the "drive" will be repeatedly rewritten. Eventually elements will no longer hold data. That is why SSDs have a little extra memory to pad out for that loss. Load balancing does just what the name says - it spreads operations across the whole device so no one part wears out significantly sooner than the rest.

Drives like some OWB models are designed for classic operating systems that don't know anything about load balancing. The drive has load balancing routines built into its controller. As far as the operating system is concerned, it looks like a regular hard drive that sequentially writes sectors to it while the drive is actually scattering them around to balance the wear.

Besides drives like the OWB ones, Compact Flash cards have this built in. They were originally designed for digital cameras which do a lot of rewriting so the engineers did a smart thing that really paid off later as they were used as primary drives by including the load balancing in them.

This may have been a totally unnecessary discussion but wanted to make sure that we were talking about the same thing. You said SSD in your reply. You may have just used it as a general term that I includes all solid state drives. Unfortunately, in a couple of features like this, CF cards are quite different from an SSD that is typically used as a primary drive.

Those SSD drives like the OWBs are frightfully expensive - hundreds of dollars for just 120 GB. Several times more expensive than the "regular" SSDs. A similarly sized CF card is less than 20 dollars. It's better to put some of that money into a quality adapter. You can use the SD to SCSI adapters but as I originally mentioned they have a transfer speed that is half of what is required for HQ5. To use as a Flyer video drive, you really do need to use a CF card with a quality adapter like the Acard that supports at least 5 MB/s or blow a wad of cash for 2 or 3 OWB drives. Any less and it will drop frames. The audio drive doesn't require the transfer speed that the video drives do so you can fudge it a bit with it.

Also remember that whatever adapter you use, it has to have SCSI 2 on the side that plugs into the Flyer and has to have SCSI termination built into it or you will have to use a termination pack.

Sorry if this is basic stuff that you already know. As I said, just wanted to make sure that our assumptions were the same :)
Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: Mediasig on August 17, 2020, 08:09:35 AM
Thanks for the explanation regarding the CF solution.

I'll probably stick with the SD card setup for now.  I'm easily capturing HQ5 with them and my source captures are only 3-4 minutes at most.  I'll get a hiccup from time to time, but that's been rare in capturing.  This is a hobby and the stuff I'm making is for 1990's throwbacks and nostalgia.

I'm happy to give further insight if anyone is looking for it.

Title: Re: 4000T Flyer with CF or SD cards
Post by: magnetic on September 19, 2020, 08:21:56 AM
Great thread guys. Thank you!