BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi - New Batch In

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JasonStonier
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BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi - New Batch In

Post by JasonStonier »

I recently discovered this project: https://github.com/picosonic/bbc-fdc

It's an open-source floppy controller for Raspberry Pi. I ordered a PCB for myself and it turned out the same price to get 10 PCBs, so I have a few spare.

With the permission of the creator, I'm posting here in case anyone wants one. I'm going to build them all up fully so they will be ready to go - no need to do the soldering yourself ;-)

All I need to do is recover my costs, so the price will be £8.50 for a fully-populated board, plus postage.

Please post here if you want one and we can make a plan! Thanks.
Last edited by JasonStonier on Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Diminished
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Diminished »

Looks neat. The README doesn't mention any write capability, which is a shame, but I assume this can be used to perform reads in a fashion similar to a Greaseweazle.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Remklep »

I’m in.
I mean, I would like one please.
BBC Model B+ 64K, 128K Memory Mod, RetroClinic External PiDirect with Raspberry Pi 3B.
BBC Master 128, RetroClinic Internal PiDirect with Raspberry Zero, TurboSPI MMC, RobC's VideoNuLa, Gotek Floppy Emulator.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by JasonStonier »

Yeah, it does just read - I'm intending to use it for archiving. The author has added support for BBC, C64, Amiga, Atari ST...and others I forget. The hardware and code is really elegant, so I have high hopes. Once I have made up the boards I'll post on here and we can work out how to do the orders. I'll let the creator know this thread is here in case he wants to drop in - he's a member of Stardot.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by flaxcottage »

This looks brilliant. :D

One of the things I do is port BBC educational stuff to the Pi. This should make life so much easier. May I put my name down for one, please?
- John

Check out the Educational Software Archive at www.flaxcottage.com
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by wjmclaughlin »

I would be interested in one of these as well, please.
BBC B, BBC Master 128, Acorn A4000, TI99/4a, Tatung Einstein TC01, Apple II Europlus, IIe, IIc, Compukit UK101, Atari 520STFM.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by DaveLecky »

Hi there, this sound promising,

Could you put me down for one too please.

Dave
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danielj
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by danielj »

Diminished wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:30 pm
Looks neat. The README doesn't mention any write capability, which is a shame, but I assume this can be used to perform reads in a fashion similar to a Greaseweazle.
It does indeed seem to perform the same function as a Greasweazle and introduces yet another file format for fluxes #-o
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by sjo03 »

Can you put me down for one also please ?

Thank you! Johan
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by picosonic »

Diminished wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:30 pm
Looks neat. The README doesn't mention any write capability, which is a shame, but I assume this can be used to perform reads in a fashion similar to a Greaseweazle.
Hi,

The main purpose of the board and project was to do archive my old Beeb disks before they crumbled.

I had a Raspberry Pi and a working disk drive, but my Beeb was in need of repair (still is), which is why I started this project.

The board is wired up to be capable of writing to disks, but this isn't something wanted to do.

It does capture the raw flux transitions coming from the disk drive so in that regard it's similar to a other devices available.

Somebody has compiled a list of the known floppy capture devices here ..

http://floppy.foone.org/w/Floppy_Controllers

Cheers

Jasper
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by picosonic »

danielj wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:59 am
It does indeed seem to perform the same function as a Greasweazle and introduces yet another file format for fluxes #-o
Yes it does have it's own file format for flux data, it's as bare to the metal as I could get with just a tiny bit of meta data.

I do intend to support other common flux formats, and have an open "issue" on GitHub for possible ones I could support.
Any feedback welcome as to the next format I should concentrate on.

https://github.com/picosonic/bbc-fdc/issues/4
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by BigEd »

(Welcome! Nice project too. And thanks for the link to foone.org.)
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flaxcottage
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by flaxcottage »

Ah .. do I infer from this thread that this board can read discs just to a proprietary format but not load the files onto the Raspberry Pi? :(
- John

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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Diminished »

Are there not Linux tools which can do flux -> .SSD -> individual files, though?

Can't at least the final step be done by mmb_utils?

Should be no big deal to script the process if the tools exist, although I guess the flux format is proprietary for now.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by picosonic »

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:03 pm
Ah .. do I infer from this thread that this board can read discs just to a proprietary format but not load the files onto the Raspberry Pi? :(
The way I use it is to read the flux data from the disks and store that as a .RFI format flux image.
I can then use the included bbcfdc-nopi program to convert these .RFI images into .SSD / .DSD for Beeb e.t.c.

It can write straight to .SSD and skip the .RFI file if preferred, but you potentially loose data stored outside of sectors including things like copy protection.

It can already write to Bill Carr's .FSD format which supports some copy protected disks.
I put in support for .DFI (DiskFerret) but haven't been able to fully test it, a generic .IMG format for standard FM and MFM dumps, and .TD0 (Teledisk format).

It can also recognise and catalogue the contents of disks such as :

DFS
ADFS S/M/L/D/E/F/G
MS-DOS
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by JasonStonier »

That's exactly my plan BBC-FDC > .rfi on the Pi > scripted conversion to whatever format > squirt into emulator.

I believe Picosonic wrote a FUSE driver which allows you to read the .rfi as a native file format in Linux.

Once you've got the data on the Pi, it's pretty simple to do whatever you want with it.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by picosonic »

Diminished wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:32 pm
Are there not Linux tools which can do flux -> .SSD -> individual files, though?

Can't at least the final step be done by mmb_utils?

Should be no big deal to script the process if the tools exist, although I guess the flux format is proprietary for now.
There are quite a few existing tools to go from .SSD to individual files.

I've written a FUSE utility to mount Acorn format .SSD files under Linux and extract the files, it's included in the project too.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by danielj »

picosonic wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:30 am
Yes it does have it's own file format for flux data, it's as bare to the metal as I could get with just a tiny bit of meta data.

I do intend to support other common flux formats, and have an open "issue" on GitHub for possible ones I could support.

https://github.com/picosonic/bbc-fdc/issues/4
I think SCP seems to be the one that the most tool chains will support. If it meets your needs, that is!
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Diminished »

picosonic wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:17 pm
FUSE utility
That's a very cool idea; I would never have thought of doing that.

I don't actually have much use for one of these since I have zero old BBC formatted discs. If the hardware supports writing, then in theory I could have ported over the software from the Disc Toaster for writing SSD images back out, but I wrote all of that code in ARMv4 assembler to run on an LPC2214, so it would likely be better done from scratch.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by JasonStonier »

Meh, that's just showing off... ;-)
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Diminished »

JasonStonier wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:52 pm
Meh, that's just showing off... ;-)
A little. >_>

Actually I never did figure out how to get C up and running on that microcontroller. :/
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by simontaylor »

Can you put me down for one please.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by JasonStonier »

Well, I just built and tested a couple of boards and they work perfectly - so far I've only tried a PC 3.5" drive and used it to rip Amiga disks to .adf, but the signs are all good. At the moment I don't have a 5.25" drive to test, but I've no doubt it will work.

Photo:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/m4SLchGXFbZ6enNP7

I've been in regular contact with another member here who is taking my second board to evaluate - when I post his board I'll be able to tell you the cost of postage.

So far I've got requests from:
simontaylor
sjo03
DaveLecky
wjmclaughlin
flaxcottage
Remklep
[edit] Colday

How does everyone feel about Paypal? - obviously I'm just some random guy on the internet so how do you want to establish trust before you part with money? :D

I'm also happy to share a Pi 3B+ img which has Picosonic's code already compiled with all the dependencies, which makes it a bit easier to get going with it. Let me know if you want that too.

Cheers!
Last edited by JasonStonier on Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by flaxcottage »

PayPal is good for me, thanks.

We trust you - you are a forum member. :wink:
- John

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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by DaveLecky »

PayPal is good for me, thanks.

Dave
Electron Plus 3 and plus 1, AP6 and Home made MMFS PP SD interface
Electron Plus 1 Pres AP3/4
Beeb issue 7 with IFEL 16 socket Rom/Ram board
Master 128, BooBip multi OS,IFEL SD card
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JasonStonier
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by JasonStonier »

flaxcottage wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:44 pm
PayPal is good for me, thanks.

We trust you - you are a forum member. :wink:
I'm also a forum member of AtariAge.com...are you sure I can be trusted? :shock:

The board I just posted was £1.15, so adding a bit in there for the packaging, postage is £1.50 - is everyone happy with a straight £10? being completely transparent I do actually make about a quid on that once I've covered the costs (I'm not charging for my time), and I figure it takes me half an hour to build a board, and I can drink half a pint in half an hour, so I'll commit to putting the extra into a few beers of an evening.

I'll make the rest of the boards up next week and post on here to let you know.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by simontaylor »

PayPal and £10 is fine for me.
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by flaxcottage »

Yes, £10 is OK for me too. It is good to find someone else who computes/makes with a fine ale as a companion. :lol:
- John

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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by Colday »

Hi, I would also like one please.

£10 is fine.
BBC B's... I now have 6!
I also have 1 boxed with manuals, unmolested model A.
And also an unmolested model B. (but not boxed sadly)
12x floppy drives (only 1x currently works I think)...
Learning to repair and refurb keyboards next! No more sticky keys!
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Re: BBC-FDC floppy controller for Raspberry Pi

Post by wjmclaughlin »

I'm happy with that.
BBC B, BBC Master 128, Acorn A4000, TI99/4a, Tatung Einstein TC01, Apple II Europlus, IIe, IIc, Compukit UK101, Atari 520STFM.
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