! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:10 am

I've had a slightly daft idea that might possibly work if I can't get my head around Omniflop, assuming that the code on the welcome disk does not absolutely have to be loaded in from a disk in the first place...

[clutch at straws]
*Load up the needed programs from the 'Welcome' disk in Beebem
*Press escape
*Save the code to a cassette image
*Convert cassette image to a .WAV with FreeUEF
*Put the .WAV on my MP3 player
*Load into the real BBC
*Format a disk
*Press escape
*Save code to disk
[/clutch at straws]

I'll make the .WAV available in the unlikely event that I can make this happen for anyone else that encounters this hiccup!

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sorvad
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Postby sorvad » Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:48 am

Omniflops OK, just your PC might not be up to the task of writing a Beeb disk. It's a nightmare but some motherboards will work fine, others won't at creating a disk OK for use by a Beeb.

If your PC won't play then I'm not sure you solution will work as the disk command for format runs as Machine Code via a STAR command, i.e. it's on disk as FORM (I think) and you type *FORM to execute it from disk. The OS will look on the disk for this command and execute it. it will also pass the parameters to supply to the routine (i.e. you've to state 40 or 80 track etc. and drive number). I don't think you can pass parameters to tape routines even if you can execute them.

But having said all that I don't really know enough about tape filing systems to know if your idea isn't possible, perhaps with some extra fudging where after *LOAD it into memory as you suggest you can call it with some paramters ?

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:54 pm

If your PC won't play then I'm not sure you solution will work as the disk command for format runs as Machine Code via a STAR command, i.e. it's on disk as FORM (I think) and you type *FORM to execute it from disk.


[lie] I knew that, I was just testing you... [/lie]

Anyway, Omniflop has been a reasonable success - I manged to write the welcome disk contents to a beeb formated Amiga disk, & it loaded up the first part okay on my real BBC. When pressing space to see the demonstration programs it crashed with a "DRIVE FAULT 10" error, likely down to the 15 year old Amiga disk that I haven't looked after properly I'd imagine!

Thanks for guiding me through this Sorvad, there is no way I'd have ever got it working without your help.

Cheers!

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sorvad
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Postby sorvad » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:08 pm

No worries, glad to help. Let us know how you get on with another disk. The Amiga disks are the right density (I think), but if say another couple don't work perhaps think again on whether your PC is doing the disks OK.

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:25 pm

Let us know how you get on with another disk.

Well, I tried another 4 disks (the 880 kB sort) after checking them with a reliable disk diagnostic utility on the amiga; All of them are in perfect physical condition, unlike myself.

Used Omniflop to format them to what it lists as "80/1/10x256 [Acorn BBC DFS 80-track single-sided] 200KB", then wrote .ssd images to them using the same option.

Overall, results are pretty shakey - Boulderdash will put it's loader picture up before stalling with a "bad program error", The welcome disk will sometimes allow me to watch the first demo but refuse to load the second, using *Form80 causes drive errors & refuses to ever format a disk, & vindaloo gives drive errors from the off.

I think tomorrow I'll take both drives apart & clean their heads, as well as swap the PC one for the beeb's to see if it makes any difference. If that doesn't work I guess I'll be building a serial cable.....

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sorvad
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Postby sorvad » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:39 am

That's also the kind of behaviour you can get with a Beeb that has a 8271 disk controller, is it deffo 1770 ?

I can't remember what was on that motherboard I sent you, was that 1770 or 8271 ?

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:05 am

That's also the kind of behaviour you can get with a Beeb that has a 8271 disk controller, is it deffo 1770 ?

I can't remember what was on that motherboard I sent you, was that 1770 or 8271 ?



:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Having now looked at it properly, yes it is an 8271.

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

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sorvad
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Postby sorvad » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:32 am

Ahhh... oh well save you the effort of cleaning the drives. You can make some alts to make the 8271 work. Try these star commands;

*FX255,207,0 then press BREAK
or *FX255,223,0 then press BREAK
or *FX255,239,0 then press BREAK

These alter drive speeds. The above information was taken from Sprows web site, if the above fail on your system then you'll probably need the patched DFS ROM, quite a few people on here could burn this to EPROM for you and the should do the trick if the above Star Commands don't work.

The link to Sprows web page detailing the issues and solutions for the 8271 is here http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/howto.htm#35indisc

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:54 am

Couldn't get it too work with those commands, sadly.
I've emailed some chap up in Scarborough to get a quote for a DFS 1.21 Eprom.

I have no idea about the price yet, but if it's more expensive than, say, the going rate for a Master with a 1770, I'll probably not bother.

Ta

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sorvad
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Postby sorvad » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:58 am

A link from that page I linked to has them for £5, don't know if that includes postage, but wouldn't be much for a EPROM.

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Peter Wood
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Postby Peter Wood » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:12 pm

Just hurridly fitted the DNFS 1.21 Eprom that arrived today into my beeb's internal gubbins, & it has indeed cured the problem.

It seems amazingly quick loading from disk compared to my C64 - As in literally at least twenty times faster!

Thanks again for the advice.

dleh
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3.5" only formats to 40 tracks

Postby dleh » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:26 pm

I got my 3.5" connected up alongside the 5.25" today. Unfortunately it will only format discs to 40 tracks. If I try to format 80 tracks I can hear the drive head being forced past its end point.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

It's connected to a BBC Model B with Watford 1770 DDFS 1.54T.

Thanks, David.

dleh
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Re: 3.5" only formats to 40 tracks

Postby dleh » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:49 pm

dleh wrote:I got my 3.5" connected up alongside the 5.25" today. Unfortunately it will only format discs to 40 tracks. If I try to format 80 tracks I can hear the drive head being forced past its end point.


Panic over. I found that if I issue a *OPT80,1 command first it forces the DDFS to use 80 tracks rather than 40 and the format works. Not sure why it defaults to 40 though. It certainly doesn't do that with the 5.25" drive.

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aferenbach
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3.5" drives for sale for the bbc

Postby aferenbach » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:35 pm

This fella is selling specially adapted 3.5 drives for the beeb and is having a birthday blow-out sale right now

http://www.beebshop.co.uk/#Drives

he also sells groovy self contained sideways ram modules

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topcat96
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Re: 3.5" drives for sale for the bbc

Postby topcat96 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:53 pm

aferenbach wrote:This fella is selling specially adapted 3.5 drives for the beeb and is having a birthday blow-out sale right now


I have these and I'm very impressed with them. They work brilliantly alongside my RAMagic.

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Garrettimus
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby Garrettimus » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:07 am

I´ll try that with my Beeb!

My question is how to copy game images to actual 3.5" floppies...

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retroclinic
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby retroclinic » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:22 pm

Garrettimus wrote:I´ll try that with my Beeb!

My question is how to copy game images to actual 3.5" floppies...


Omniflop is your friend for that:

http://www.omniflop.com/

Mark.

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MartinB
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MartinB » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:32 pm

Garrettimus wrote:My question is how to copy game images to actual 3.5" floppies...
Or spend about 135 Real on the best transfer system ever.... :wink:

RAMagic_manual.zip
(24.83 KiB) Downloaded 200 times


Martin

MurrayCakaMuzer
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MurrayCakaMuzer » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:04 pm

I've tried it myself, it works fine! Thanks!

I just need to get my hands on an AT/ATX power supply now so I don't need to plug in and open up an old computer every time I want to use a floppy disk...

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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MurrayCakaMuzer » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:48 pm

I've now changed the twist in the cable so it works properly as drive 0! However, in doing so I managed to break the connector so I'll have to glue that back together. But it works! And it isn't a 5.25" cable either, so I'll have to see to that some time as well (ie get a new one and do the hack again).

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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MurrayCakaMuzer » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:09 pm

(sorry for triple post)

How does the twisting work anywho? From what I've read, it sounds like the PC twist works because it swaps round the A and B select and motor signals; surely since the drives are the same, you should have to do the same on a beeb? I'm not 100% sure what this twist does but it doesn't sound like it should work (yet it seems to, with only one drive at least)


EDIT: Yeah, if I try to access drive 1 when my drive is connected as drive 0, I hear its motor spin... surely that's not good?



EDIT2: Looking at the pinouts, I've realised that's the only way you can do it.
Last edited by MurrayCakaMuzer on Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MartinB
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MartinB » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:28 pm

No, it's not ideal but it's normal! Acorn didn't implement separate 'motor on' lines so both drives always spin-up but as long as the led is off you're ok :wink:

Martin

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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MurrayCakaMuzer » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:46 pm

So, this doesn't cause problems when copying files between drives then?

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MartinB
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MartinB » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:52 pm

Arguably, it could help because each drive will always be 'at speed' when accessed although in fairness that would be true anyway if the time between accesses is shorter than the motor run-down time.

No, as long as the 'Drive Select n' is inactive, its just the motor spinning and nothing else is going on in the 'unselected' drive. I usually remove any disc from the second drive if I'm not using it (flick the lever open on a 525) because the 'no disc' interlock will inhibit the drive motor.

Martin

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jeggy111
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby jeggy111 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:38 am

You cant use 1.44 MB Disks; or at least I can't.

Working Perfectly with 720 KB Floppys
I can format them with double sided, 80T or 40T They stlill work fine.

EDIT: If you tape up the hole on the bottom right hand corner on 1.44 disks they will format
Last edited by jeggy111 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Why do I keep buying broken stuff?

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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby jgharston » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:00 am

A BASIC disk formatting program short enough to type in without errors and get you started is available here:

Code: Select all

REM Quick Formatter
DIM X% 31,data% 511
Y%=X%DIV256
*FX180,64
INPUT"Drive: "drive%
INPUT"Tracks: "num%
FOR track%=0 TO num%-1
  PRINTCHR$13;"Track ";track%;
  FOR sector%=0 TO 9
    data%!(sector%*4)=track%
    data%?(sector%*4+2)=(sector%+track%*7)MOD10
    data%?(sector%*4+3)=1
  NEXT sector%
  X%?0=drive%
  X%!1=data%
  X%!5=&6305
  X%?7=track%
  X%!8=&10002A10
  A%=127:CALL&FFF1
  IFX%?10:PRINT" error &";~X%?10
NEXT track%:PRINT
FOR A%=0 TO 511 STEP 4:data%!A%=0:NEXT A%
data%?&107=num%*10
data%?&106=num%/25.6
X%?0=drive%
X%!1=data%
X%!5=&4B03
X%!9=&22
A%=127:CALL&FFF1
IFX%?10:PRINT"write error &";~X%?10
OSCLI"FX180,"+STR$(PAGE/256)

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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PitfallJones
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb -no luck.

Postby PitfallJones » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:21 pm

Hi,
I tried connecting a sony and panasonic 3.5 drive from a pc to my master but with no success.
I'm using a standard pc floppy cable and I've tried both positions on it.
The drive's do not have any jumpers so I'm assuming they are always set to b:
I just try typing *Drive 0 or *Drive 1 and then *form 80 or *cat
but the green drive light never comes on and I get no response.
Anybody got any advice ?
Thanks
-PJ

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MartinB
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:46 pm

Assuming your Master and the drives are both serviceable, there's little more to it than you've done. There should be no PC-style twists in the cable between the drive and the Master and, don't be offended, the drives need to be powered! Have you had 5.25" drives working ok on the Master to give some confidence that it isn't faulty?

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PitfallJones
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby PitfallJones » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:50 pm

ha! ha! Yes - I've got it powered with an external molex power brick.
I can hear the drive motor whirring when I type *cat or *form 80 but the light doesn't come on and there's no loud clunking noises. The master did work with a 5.25 drive a few months ago - but I don't have access to that now. The drives also both work with an Amstrad CPC as well, so it's quite strange... I've only got one real 720K disk but the 1.44's work on the Amstrad with the hole covered. I'm using DFS 1770. I was wondering if I had to change the drive jumper to a: (but both drives don't seem to have any jumpers anyway.)
-PJ

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MartinB
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Re: ! ! 3 1/2" PC Drive/s on a beeb ! !

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:17 pm

If the drive motors are spinning up on cue then that's good news - it means that the interface is alive (at least to some extent) and it almost certainly points to a drive id issue. Since you're a bit of a closet hands-on hardware type, can you see any way to remove the covers from one or both drives? If you can, trace inwards on the drive PCB from pins 10 & 12 and you might see some tiny (might even be surface mount) links with which you can change the drive id. I haven't yet found a drive that doesn't even though anecdotally people refer to some drives as jumperless. If you're lucky, there may be some cryptic markings which will give you a clue as to how to alter the id. If you can change the id, you obviously want 0 and 1, they won't be marked as A,B etc.


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