Tube podule (BBC <--> Archimedes/RISCPC)

for bbc micro/electron hardware, peripherals & programming issues (NOT emulators!)
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IanB
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Tube podule (BBC <--> Archimedes/RISCPC)

Post by IanB » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:43 pm

As some of you are probably aware, when Acorn were developing the Archimedes they used a "Tube Podule" (A podule interface card with a Tube ULA) to connect to the BBC/Master and make use of BBC hard drives and floppies before the Archimedes filing systems were written. The Archimedes side software was referred to as the "Host Filing System" or HostFS and could be used to access any filing system on the BBC side but it only worked with the Arthur OS.

In the late 80s I borrowed one of these cards, drew the circuit and built one for myself and a friend of mine patched the HostFS software to work with RISCOS 2 and also added a desktop filer. Since then I have updated HostFS myself, first to work with RISCOS 3, then the RISC PC and finally with the StrongARM.

The upshot of all this is that you can call up and manage/copy BBC hard drives on the RISCOS desktop and this feature has saved a lot of my source code which would otherwise have been lost as 3 out of my 6 BBC hard drives have failed in storage. Fortunately, before putting them away 15+ years ago I used HostFS to make backups on my Risc PC's Hard drives.

If anyone want's to build one, let me know and I'll post the circuit diagram and HostFS software module. Note that you will need a Ferranti Tube ULA or one of the ReTuLa remakes. The AMI CMOS Tube ULA should work but will need the protection components added.

IanB

station240
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Re: Tube podule (BBC <--> Archimedes/RISCPC)

Post by station240 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:11 am

O.o yes please.

Oh and give a copy of everything to a certain webmaster :wink:
http://mdfs.net/Software/Tube/

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IanB
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Re: Tube podule (BBC <--> Archimedes/RISCPC)

Post by IanB » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:16 pm

As promised, attached is a zip with the HostFS stuff. Note this is a RISCOS zip so the files should be correctly filetyped but they can be viewed on a PC as well (although the text files will be messed up due to CR/LF differences).

Contents:
Tubepodule.gif - a scan of my circuit for the tube podule
HostFS0-51 - The RISCOS driver software
Readme1st - setup notes
TubeDoc - more detailed functional description

Whilst it is mostly a technical curiosity, it does have the one useful function (as mentioned above) of giving you the ability to manage BBC hard drives (presumably including IDE drives) from a RISCOS desktop.

I haven't tried it with RISCOS 4 but I have the source for the driver so should be able to fix it if needed.

Here's a pic of my home made board:
tubepod.jpg
tubepod.jpg (185.63 KiB) Viewed 745 times
IanB
Attachments
HostFS.zip
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