Overview Features Instructions Performance Forum Downloads Products OrderV4 Reseller Contact

Welcome to the Apollo Forum

This forum is for people interested in the APOLLO CPU.
Please read the forum usage manual.



All TopicsNewsPerformanceGamesDemosApolloVampireAROSWorkbenchATARIReleases
Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Floppy Drive for V4?

Mike Kopack

Posts 268
29 Aug 2019 02:26


So, since we were discussing the expansion ports on the V4, it got me thinking about the expansion ports SPI interface and wondering how we could get classic floppy drive (and/or GoTek) support working...

That got me hunting around a bit and I ran across this:

EXTERNAL LINK  and
EXTERNAL LINK 
I only did a quick cursory read but it seems like he's made an Arduino that acts as an Amiga floppy drive controller on one side, and talks to a Windows application on the other end. We would have to change that side to talk SPI to the Vampire and then have code on the Amiga to provide the "pseudoFloppy" controller to direct all floppy operations to the SPI port.

Or is there an easier way to deal with this inside the V4's FPGA itself? Something still has to convert SPI into what the floppy drives expect and talk....
Thoughts?


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4790
29 Aug 2019 06:37


Connecting and talking to the floppy drive is not such a problem.
The real problem is Where to buy new drivers.




Stefano Briccolani

Posts 486
29 Aug 2019 07:01


Some amiga stores refurbish amiga floppy drives or convert old pc drives for amiga use.
  EXTERNAL LINK  But maybe there are other sources (the ARMiga have a drive so somehow there's a chance to source them).
Some people have huge software collection on floppy or like to collect old software on ebay. If v4 aims to be "the cadillac of amigas" the ability to connect a real floppy is a must (my opinion)
 


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4790
29 Aug 2019 08:08


Stefano Briccolani wrote:

Some people have huge software collection on floppy or like to collect old software on ebay. If v4 aims to be "the cadillac of amigas" the ability to connect a real floppy is a must (my opinion)

You are right. Some people have huge amounts of floppies.
I have several cloth baskets full of floppies.
But frankly many of my disk not work anymore.

For some old school people an expansion card with Floppy is planned as option.
But not for all people in terested in V4.
And the simple reason is that floppy drives become rare,
at some point they will be more rare than ivory and fairy dust.

The Vampire4 has the potential to be sold at Dixie, Wallmart and MediaMarkt. There are not enough floppy drives for this.

For the some old school tinkerer there are - and for them a tinker solution can be done.



Mike Kopack

Posts 268
29 Aug 2019 12:38


Totally get where you are coming from Gunnar.  Never said it was something I expected to be in the V4SA. I know you had mentioned it as something that could maybe be done over the expansion ports in the future.  I was just thinking about how it could maybe be done is all.
 
  As it is on my A500 over replaced the floppy with a Gotek. But I do still have an external floppy drive that works for that rare occasion when I need to use the real thing (like a driver disk that comes with a piece of hardware or whatever.).
 
  Like is said this was more just an academic mental exercise to think about how it could be done, and maybe get the ball rolling with some folks on building the support without taking resources away from the vampire team.

Also, just a quick check on Amazon shows at least a few new 3.5 internal Pc floppy drives available. Seems like there are a number of usb external ones (being able to somehow use those would also be a nice option but that would certainly require some sort of driver support.)


Stefano Briccolani

Posts 486
29 Aug 2019 14:32


@BigGun
  Having a floppy adaptor as an add-on "Option" is perfectly right for me. Obviously this could be a selling point only for amiga software collectors but generally speaking it will "reinforce" the feeling that a V4 is a real Amiga


Markus B

Posts 188
29 Aug 2019 15:23


Can Pamela be enhanced to operate a standard PC floppy drive, both 880/1760k? Or needs the controller to be implemented on the expansion as well?


Mike Kopack

Posts 268
29 Aug 2019 15:26


Markus B wrote:

Can Pamela be enhanced to operate a standard PC floppy drive, both 880/1760k? Or needs the controller to be implemented on the expansion as well?

Well I think the issue would be that the expansion interface only gives SPI so there needs to be some way to convert that SPI into something the floppy drive itself is expecting in terms of signaling... Even if Pamela did support it, there's no lines to give the signaling to the drive.


Roy Gillotti

Posts 416
29 Aug 2019 15:39


I could settle for a USB Floppy image (.adf file) loading loading method, but the prospect of an actual real drive would be kind of cool.


Juan Jose

Posts 17
29 Aug 2019 15:47


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Connecting and talking to the floppy drive is not such a problem.
  The real problem is Where to buy new drivers.
 
 

Like everything, they can be purchased on Aliexpress.

EXTERNAL LINK


Adam A

Posts 97
29 Aug 2019 16:46


you can even buy it from amigastore.eu 

I'd love to have a floppy drive on the Amiga v4, i know its not
convenient anymore, but floppy drives/disks are still getting sold on  amazon.com and its easy to modifying a PC drive to works inside an Amiga

in my opinion,  think the majority on this forum will like the idea of having a floppy option on their v4



Ian Parsons

Posts 217
29 Aug 2019 17:00


Mike Kopack wrote:
Also, just a quick check on Amazon shows at least a few new 3.5 internal Pc floppy drives available. Seems like there are a number of usb external ones (being able to somehow use those would also be a nice option but that would certainly require some sort of driver support.)
I think I've read that the controllers on USB floppy drives can't read Amiga floppies (probably for the same reasons you need a Catweasel to read Amiga floppins on a PC), so a driver on the Vampire could only read PC format disks unless a custom USB drive that supported Amiga floppies was designed.
 
  I'm sure the wizards in the Apollo team could come up with a suitable floppy control to interface with the Vampire and support all Amiga and other disk types but there are probably much higher priority projects.


Stefano Briccolani

Posts 486
29 Aug 2019 17:43


I point another thing that would be very appreciated on V4. MIDI capabilities


Mike Kopack

Posts 268
29 Aug 2019 18:57


Midi being a serial type interface SHOULD be doable through SPI. Certianly a number of Arduino projects doing that. A driver would need to be written to give the OS to see the SPI as midi ports though.


Alan Haynes

Posts 139
13 Oct 2019 07:40


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Stefano Briccolani wrote:

  Some people have huge software collection on floppy or like to collect old software on ebay. If v4 aims to be "the cadillac of amigas" the ability to connect a real floppy is a must (my opinion)
 

 
  You are right. Some people have huge amounts of floppies.
  I have several cloth baskets full of floppies.
  But frankly many of my disk not work anymore.
 
  For some old school people an expansion card with Floppy is planned as option.
  But not for all people in terested in V4.
  And the simple reason is that floppy drives become rare,
  at some point they will be more rare than ivory and fairy dust.
 
  The Vampire4 has the potential to be sold at Dixie, Wallmart and MediaMarkt. There are not enough floppy drives for this.
 
  For the some old school tinkerer there are - and for them a tinker solution can be done.
 

Put me down for 1 tinker solution please Gunnar. I have several Sony drives that I can convert to Amiga drives and also a Gotek that can be used and I am sure many Amiga users have Gotek drives.

Cheers from Oz


Ian Parsons

Posts 217
14 Oct 2019 01:57


I wonder if there is potential for a USB floppy solution with a custom Amiga USB Floppy controller like the one being developed at EXTERNAL LINK 
It would need extra logic to handle translation between the Amiga floppy registers and the USB interface to make it look like the old interface. Currently the ports are dedicated to mouse and keyboard I believe so it would need some evolution and add a lot of complexity to the vampire USB hardware. At the end of the day converting floppies to images using other systems and then transferring the images to the SD card may be the simpler option.

posts 16