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AuthorTopic: New SD Floppy Emulator  (Read 7903 times)

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Offline ozkano

New SD Floppy Emulator
« on: July 11, 2010, 07:42:57 AM »
http://retromaster.wordpress.com/ufe/

UFE is an SD/MMC floppy drive emulator for old computers. It connects to the floppy drive port of the host computer and behaves like a real floppy drive, except that the data comes from the SD/MMC card instead of real media.

Features

Read/Write access for Commodore AMIGA, Atari ST and Amstrad CPC computers.
On-board support for ADF, DSK, ST and MSA images. No conversion on PC necessary.
Standard IDC 34-pin floppy connector.
Can emulate two floppy drives.
Video overlay user interface: 72 columns by 30 lines text mode.
Allows use of host system keyboard to control user interface.
Buzzer for emulating head stepping ticks.
Can co-exist with other floppy drives on the same bus (not tested).
Full FAT32 support (incl. long file names and directories) for the SD Card. SDHC support.
Firmware updates can be made through SD Card.
PIC32 MCU @80Mhz, 16Mb SDRAM. Double-sided PCB.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 06:37:21 PM by ozkano »
http://www.retrocu.com
A500,A500+,A600,A1000,A1200,A2000,A3000,A4000,CDTV,CD32,A1
 

Offline MaximvsPayne

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 12:21:28 PM »
nice idea
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Offline amigean

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 01:42:08 PM »
'nice idea' doesn't even begin to describe just how good this is.

Very, very elegant implementation, this should bring flash based storage to all amigas and breathe new life to mothballed A500s.

A more general version bring an end the inflationary pressures on HD FDDs (I've been looking for one for my A3000 for ages but I might settle for something like this instead).
 

Offline Darrin

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Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 05:34:40 PM »
Brilliant!  Read & Write access and 2 emulated floppies!

A great way of salvaging a stock A1200 or A500 and turning them into a games machine with no HDLoad or hard drive needed.
A2000, A3000, 2 x A1200T, A1200, A4000Tower & Mediator, CD32, VIC-20, C64, C128, C128D, PET 8032, Minimig & ARM, C-One, FPGA Arcade... and AmigaOne X1000.
 

Offline Pyromania

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 06:57:27 PM »
Very nice news.


:)
 

Offline motorollin

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 09:07:57 PM »
Excellent! This is the first floppy emulator which has tempted me. Any ideas yet whether it's going to be commercially available?

--
moto
Code: [Select]
10  IT\'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
20  FOR C = 1 TO 2
30     DA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAA DA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAA
40     DA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAA DA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAAA
50  NEXT C
60  NA-NA-NAAAA
70  NA-NA NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAA NAAA-NAAAAAAAAAAA
80  GOTO 10
 

Offline amigean

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 10:50:24 AM »
the author says he has no plans to commercialise it himself, but would be open to receiving offers from interested companies. The question is what company could have an interest in this? Jens et al. or maybe even AmigaKit?

There's no clue as to what the ultimate cost of that might be, which would ultimately determine the size of the market. I expect the keyboard interface and video overlay circuitry don't come cheap. A generalised version could be made to appeal to all sorts of scenarios where floppies used to dominate (music synths, embedded PCs, retro computers) and then one is talking business...
 

Offline retromaster

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 06:26:13 PM »
Hi everyone... As my nickname would suggest, I am the guy who designed and developed this floppy emulator :)
 
Contrary to what one might imagine, the keyboard interface and video overlay circuitry are not expensive at all. The video overlay circuitry basically consists of a 74lv244 which costs about $0.5 (single) and the heart of the A500 keyboard daughterboard is a PIC24F04, which costs about $2.5 (single). The keyboard daughterboard is just a single-sided PCB, which also helps reduce costs.
 
The most expensive component on the main board is the PIC32MX575 microcontroller, which costs about $10 (single). As with most homebrew, low-volume projects, I would expect the PCB cost to be the highest value in the equation, but that also depends on the volume. There are a few hidden costs such as the wiring harnesses and cabling but I would not expect those to add a lot.
 
So, I guess, in the hands of the right people, this project could be manufactured and sold for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I do not think I am the right person, because of two main reasons: First, I do not have enough time to devote to a commercialization effort (as this is mainly a hobby project for me), and second, I have no experience in that area.
 
Anyway, now that I am here, I would be glad to answer any questions any of you might have... :)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 06:26:45 PM by retromaster »
 

Offline amigean

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2010, 10:52:37 PM »
Hi retromania,

thanks for writing here - and welcome to a.org!

Congratulations on a fantastic job - I very much hope someone with the required skills and experience will help you commercialise this - like I said above the market is potentially much greater than a few amiga nostalgics: Floppies are being phased out, but the ability to convert a FDD controller to a SD-card reader, together with a fancy interface overlayed over RGB is no trivial matter and a good number of people would be willing to pay handsomely for such.

Granted, the response here in a.org has been a bit underwhelming - the place is a shadow of its former self. Have you advertised this in other forums too? Try Amibay, Amigaworld.net, EAB - and what about non-amiga forums? I'll try to spread the word too.

Well done again - and please stick around.
 

Offline retromaster

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2010, 11:12:35 PM »
Amigean, thank you for your kind words, I am really glad you like my work.
 
I guess part of the reason why you might call the response here "underwhelming" is probably because perhaps people are not really that impressed by yet another floppy emulator, which is something I can understand :)
 
Nevertheless, I really appreciate your support to spread the word. Thanks again.
 

Offline aperez

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2010, 11:37:07 PM »
Nice project. I really would love to see this commercialized, and am willing to put my money where my mouth is. PM sent.
 

Offline Methuselas

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 03:06:08 AM »
Yeah, I hate to say it, but I'd love this. Especially for my now mothballed 500. This would do a lot to get me to drag the old girl out and stop using UAE for a while.
\'Using no way as way. Having no limitation as limitation.\' - Bruce Lee

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Offline JLPedro

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 02:11:32 PM »
Just awesome!!  This would make a perfect Amiga 500!! Just can't wait to see it commercialized, i would take one or two in the blink of an eye!

@retromaster

Thanks for a great work!! Really hope to further development on this.
1 x A500, 1 x A600, 1 x A1200 1230 IV 64MB Indivision AGA 4GB CF Squirell Plextor 40Tsi
 

Offline x56h34

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 04:15:40 PM »
Amazing. I want one. :-)
 

Offline Retro_71

Re: New SD Floppy Emulator
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 12:24:15 AM »
WOW great work i want 1 or 2 (if i can use them in my A2000,A3000,A4000 and A1200 i would take another 4 or 5). I hope someone picks this up and makes it available for us to buy.
Nice work keep it up.
A Chameleon and 1541 II ultimate II
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A1000, 2 x A2000 (GVP 040 + SCSI combo + indivision), A3000 GVP IV24 & Emplant
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