Acorn Electron storing system

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Papalapa
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Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

I own a just repaired Acorn Electron and at the moment I was planning to use a TZXduino to load the .UEF files on it.

Looking for another quick loading solution I have seen that Gotek emulator and ElkSD requires the Plus-1 Expansion cartridge to work while ElkSD64 don't.

The problem is that I have all my programs in .UEF format so, is there any other interface that allows to load this kind of files from an SD memory card?
Marvin
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Marvin »

Papalapa wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:57 am
I own a just repaired Acorn Electron and at the moment I was planning to use a TZXduino to load the .UEF files on it.

Looking for another quick loading solution I have seen that Gotek emulator and ElkSD requires the Plus-1 Expansion cartridge to work while ElkSD64 don't.

The problem is that I have all my programs in .UEF format so, is there any other interface that allows to load this kind of files from an SD memory card?
Yes the TZXduino... viewtopic.php?t=14732 if you want something faster than the cassette interface then your into one of the many "disc based filing systems" with their relevant pros and cons.

The Gotek and ElkSD allow you to load disc images where as you currently have cassette images

If you want to use the Elk's edge connector then Ramtop's ElkSD64 card device is ideal but you will have to transfer your files from cassette to disc first.

Disclaimer: I have never used any SDcard based storage on my Elk as I prefer to use original hardware but transferring files from tapes to disc isn't that hard to do and original floppy drives are fast enough for my tastes.
Last edited by Marvin on Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Papalapa
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

Marvin wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:25 am
Papalapa wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:57 am
I own a just repaired Acorn Electron and at the moment I was planning to use a TZXduino to load the .UEF files on it.

Looking for another quick loading solution I have seen that Gotek emulator and ElkSD requires the Plus-1 Expansion cartridge to work while ElkSD64 don't.

The problem is that I have all my programs in .UEF format so, is there any other interface that allows to load this kind of files from an SD memory card?
Yes the TZXduino... viewtopic.php?t=14732

The Gotek and ElkSD allow you to load disc images where as you currently have cassette images

If you want to use the Elk's edge connector then I suggest something like Ramtop's MicroSD card device viewtopic.php?t=18055 but you will have to transfer your files from cassette to disc first.
Thank you for your suggestion, I start thinking that maybe is better to find .SSD files instead of try to use my .UEF files...
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Ramtop »

If your UEF files are games then it should not really a problem as there's a huge pre-made collection of games in SSD format on the ElkSD support site at http://ramtop-retro.uk which contains the vast majority of Electron games.

An alternative is the GoSDC card interface from John Kortink, which I believe does handle UEF files, however it's almost twice the cost of an ElkSD64.
http://www.zeridajh.org/hardware/gosdc/index.htm
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Marvin »

Ramtop wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:05 am
An alternative is the GoSDC card interface from John Kortink, which I believe does handle UEF files, however it's almost twice the cost of an ElkSD64.
http://www.zeridajh.org/hardware/gosdc/index.htm
I've just been reading up on GoSDC and yes it does support tape images but it can only load from them you can't save to a tape image.

Some people have had "issues" with both John Kortink and his hardware, I have dealt with him and bought some of his hardware in the past and I have only good things to say about both his hardware, the support he gives and the man himself.
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Papalapa
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

Ramtop wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:05 am
If your UEF files are games then it should not really a problem as there's a huge pre-made collection of games in SSD format on the ElkSD support site at http://ramtop-retro.uk which contains the vast majority of Electron games.

An alternative is the GoSDC card interface from John Kortink, which I believe does handle UEF files, however it's almost twice the cost of an ElkSD64.
http://www.zeridajh.org/hardware/gosdc/index.htm
Many thanks for the information, and yes, most of the files are games. I downloaded the games from Ramtop-retro as do you suggested but it contains an .mmb file instead of .ssd files. After reading the installation instruccions I understood that .mmb file it's a kind of .ssd files compilation. Is it possible to "uncompress" the .ssd files or is better just to copy the .mmb to the SD card?
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Mince
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Mince »

You just copy the BEEB.MMB to the root directory on the SD card. MMFS (built into the ElkSD64 and ElkSD Plus 1) will read that file and show you the list of available discs with *DCAT; you can put a particular virtual disc in the a virtual drive with '*DIN discnum drivenum'.

There are tools available for (e.g. Windows) to manage the files with nice GUIs and things. On macOS and Linux, there is the Perl utility set at https://github.com/sweharris/MMB_Utils

There was an MMFS2 to let you drop individual .SSD files onto the card and select them but it seems to have died now.

Both ElkSD64 and ElkSD Plus1 give you a bank of sideways RAM, which is handy. The ElkSD64 has the added feature of a bank of flash "ROM" you can also overwrite with another sideways ROM but you lose the set of utilities that are there already.

ElkSD Plus1 really only makes sense if you have a Plus 1 (obviously) in that it doesn't offer you anything over the ElkSD64 (in fact, it offers less, as it doesn't have the extra flash ROM bank) but it can do more if you stick it in a Plus 1 with some other things in there (like an Tube interface or RAM-backed memory in the other slot, or change the ROM in the Plus 1 for one with extra utilities).

The ElkSD64 is really a no-brainer in that it just fits straight in and works: no fiddling inside, no mucking about with extra power supplies. You also effectively have 512 DFS floppy discs in a library on tap, which is more flexible than a tape drive (real or virtual), I think.
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Papalapa
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

Mince wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:28 pm
You just copy the BEEB.MMB to the root directory on the SD card. MMFS (built into the ElkSD64 and ElkSD Plus 1) will read that file and show you the list of available discs with *DCAT; you can put a particular virtual disc in the a virtual drive with '*DIN discnum drivenum'.

There are tools available for (e.g. Windows) to manage the files with nice GUIs and things. On macOS and Linux, there is the Perl utility set at https://github.com/sweharris/MMB_Utils

There was an MMFS2 to let you drop individual .SSD files onto the card and select them but it seems to have died now.

Both ElkSD64 and ElkSD Plus1 give you a bank of sideways RAM, which is handy. The ElkSD64 has the added feature of a bank of flash "ROM" you can also overwrite with another sideways ROM but you lose the set of utilities that are there already.

ElkSD Plus1 really only makes sense if you have a Plus 1 (obviously) in that it doesn't offer you anything over the ElkSD64 (in fact, it offers less, as it doesn't have the extra flash ROM bank) but it can do more if you stick it in a Plus 1 with some other things in there (like an Tube interface or RAM-backed memory in the other slot, or change the ROM in the Plus 1 for one with extra utilities).

The ElkSD64 is really a no-brainer in that it just fits straight in and works: no fiddling inside, no mucking about with extra power supplies. You also effectively have 512 DFS floppy discs in a library on tap, which is more flexible than a tape drive (real or virtual), I think.
Wow! Thank you for the complet explanation about this stuff, it's very useful for me.
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Mince
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Mince »

Oh, sorry — one other thing.

The MMFS in both ElkSD64 and ElkSD Plus1 is the type that uses the sideways area for the filing system workspace, so it doesn't raise PAGE from &E00 to &1900, as a normal DFS would do. So you can generally run all the same software that you would on tape, without having to worry about losing any memory.
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Papalapa
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

Well, finally I already selected the .SSD games&programs that I want for the Acorn Electron and put them together in an .MMB file so, I'm happy with this. It took some time because I tested around 700 programs and I found that some of them do not work on the ElkSD64 and however they work if I load the .UEF file using the TZXduino.

On the other hand I created an "empty disc" into the .MMB in order to save the BASIC programs typed on the Acorn but when I try to save a program the message "Ready Only Unit" is shown. Is there some way to change the attributes of the disc to make it read&write capable?
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Ramtop »

*DOP U will remove write protection from a disk image.

If you find games that work from UEF file but not on the ElkSD, try *UNPLUG F and hit BREAK. That disables the Plus 1 ROM, which can cause issues with some games.
Gary
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Papalapa
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Re: Acorn Electron storing system

Post by Papalapa »

Ramtop wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:41 pm
*DOP U will remove write protection from a disk image.

If you find games that work from UEF file but not on the ElkSD, try *UNPLUG F and hit BREAK. That disables the Plus 1 ROM, which can cause issues with some games.
Many thanks, it has worked in both cases =D>
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