ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

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ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Bama » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:00 am

I very much want to replace the 1.44 floppy drive in my Falcon with a 2.88 drive. I’ve read this is possible in the documentation for E-Copy. Searching Google, Atari-Forum and the ArariAge forum has not revealed how to accomplish this change. I hope this knowledge is in our Atari community.

Thanks for sharing what you know.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:10 am

It may work if you are lucky, and controller chip work stable at double clock. Beside drive will need ED disks, HD mod in Falcon - what will provide FDC chip with 32 MHz clock.
Possible that nobody did it ever. I really don't see this as good idea. Better get some mass storage - CF card and adapter. That is cheaper, simpler and can put there "little" more than 2.8 MB (with capital letters).
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby frank.lukas » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:32 am

ED Kit 3+ from MW Computer -> http://www.stcarchiv.de/tos1993/02/ed-kit
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby mikro » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:39 am

frank.lukas wrote:ED Kit 3+ from MW Computer -> http://www.stcarchiv.de/tos1993/02/ed-kit

400 DM, holy poo. :D Hardware really was expensive back then.

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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby ctirad » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:51 am

In theory it might be a plug&play. The Ajax chip in Falcon is ED capable and there is a 32MHz clock source for it too. I'm not sure about the SDMA and TOS though.

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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby frank.lukas » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:08 am

I think you need a extra program to format a ED Disk like E-Copy ...
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:25 am

frank.lukas wrote:I think you need a extra program to format a ED Disk like E-Copy ...

Indeed that's needed. But more, actually - need steprate fix for TOS too.
I really don't see this as good idea in 2017. You can use CF cards on Falcon after small investment.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Bama » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:20 am

.
Thank you, Friends. You input is most appreciated and valued!

AtariZoll: I agree that there are much more practical storage media. I already have installed SD for my HDD. :-). 2.88MB remains interesting for me.

frank.lucas: Thank you for the article. I found there is a cookie, _FDC which is aware of ED. http://www.stcarchiv.de/stm1992/01/atarium. I have a copy of E-Copy. I have two ED drives (a Mitsubishi and a Teac). I have five ED diskettes and a source for additional when needed.

ctirade: it is my hope that it is a plug and play situation. Please tell more.

UPDATE: I installed the Mitsubishi drive and was only able to read and format HD (no ED and no DD). There were no Visible Jumpers to Set automatic Density Selection On The Drive Itself. I Had a Small Scare When I Connected The Teac Drive. There was a Rapid Clicking Noise From The Falcons power Supply. Upon Investigation I Learned Teac drive Supplies 5 V to Pin Numbers 7, 9 And 11. I have the Teac jumpers set to Automatically detect diskette density and I am Considering Building a Floppy Cable That Will eliminate Wires 7,9 And 11. Before I Proceed, I Would Like to Get Additional Advice From Those of You With More Hardware Experience.

Thank you for helping!
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:36 am

Bama: I don't think that you read what is written here. ED drive is not enough. You need 32 MHz clock on FDC chip for ED.
Actually, ctirad gave a confusing theory - plug&play - no way :D You need that modul on pic, or to build yourself equivalent.
That means that it will only then work with E-Copy. If make some different way of switching to 32 MHz, E-Copy will not work.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Bama » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:06 pm

I think I understand--- the Ajax needs a 32Mhz signal to switch to ED density when needed. This is not available without modification???
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby frank.lukas » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:10 pm

There are E-Copy English ...
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby dhedberg » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:48 pm

I think proper support for ED drives in E-Copy was not fixed until version 1.71 though (see the file VERSION.TXT in the attached archive). Here's version 1.72. Only in German, sorry...
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Greenious » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Well, the Falcon service manual p.27 mentions switch block u57 pad 5 is used to enable "quad density", and the floppy connector on the F030 got 2 mode select pins. (p.39)
http://dev-docs.atariforge.org/files/At ... _Guide.pdf

So at a glance it does look like the F030 might be prepared for it.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby penguin » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:59 pm

There was a DIY project in ST-Computer 03/93 page 104 that described the modifications necessary to use an ED drive in an Atari (not just Falcon). Me being not a hardware expert, it looked very complicated. I'll probably upload the HTMLized article this weekend to stcarchiv, although I'd suggest you should get the PDF as well (there was a thread about German Atari magazines here). This DIY ED module was for every ST.

It's unlikely that you'll find the commercial ED modules in the wild. ED was never very popular.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby ctirad » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:42 pm

Greenious wrote:Well, the Falcon service manual p.27 mentions switch block u57 pad 5 is used to enable "quad density", and the floppy connector on the F030 got 2 mode select pins. (p.39)


Exactly. In Falcon the base clock for the Ajax is taken from the 32MHz DSP oscillator. This clock goes thru SDMA where is either divided by 2 (16MHz) for the HD or by the 4 (8MHz) for DD or kept undivided for the ED. The solder U57 solder jumper is most probabaly a typo in the manual. It shloud be U47. It is located on the left side of the board between PSU and the enhanced joystick ports.

I allways wanted to try ED drive in the Falcon, but I've never had the ED drive to test. I know it is pretty useles nowdays and probabaly also back then, but I'd like to know anyway, just for the record. ;)

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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Greenious » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:35 pm

Actually, reading a bit more in the service manual, p.24 list the SDMA pins related to the FDC a bit more, and combining it with this PDF relating to the TEAC FD235J ED floppy drive jumper settings, it should be plug and play once you got the floppy configured correctly.
http://floppy.shugart.free.fr/docs/teac ... j_5636.pdf

ED detect is on pin 29, HD detect is on pin 33.
HD mode select should be pin 6, ED mode select pin 2. (might be other way around) But should also work set for the floppy to self configure.

You also need to change ID on the drive and the media change pin etc to match F030 floppy pinout, but theoretically, once done should be a clean swap.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby Greenious » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:45 pm

ctirad wrote:I allways wanted to try ED drive in the Falcon, but I've never had the ED drive to test. I know it is pretty useles nowdays and probabaly also back then, but I'd like to know anyway, just for the record. ;)


ED drives is something I've never even seen IRL... lol SyQuest, Iomega kinda killed it I think, and then came the USB memory. The ED drive was kinda obsolete even before it became available.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby arf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:30 pm

mikro wrote:
frank.lukas wrote:ED Kit 3+ from MW Computer -> http://www.stcarchiv.de/tos1993/02/ed-kit

400 DM, holy poo. :D Hardware really was expensive back then.


Well, that’s ~200€ (without inflation), and it included the AJAX, the kit, a floppy drive, a disk and the software. That’s not that expensive, I’d say.

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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby mikro » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:28 am

arf wrote:Well, that’s ~200€ (without inflation), and it included the AJAX, the kit, a floppy drive, a disk and the software. That’s not that expensive, I’d say.

In 2017, this is worth maybe ~20€, not 200.

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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby wongck » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:19 am

Amazing...
I did a quick ebay to see that there are still available to get.
However, when I did a search for 2.88MB media, it came back with a bunch of 1.44MB medias
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:59 am

I remember seeing ED drives in shops in Munich in late 80-es. Don't remember drive prices, but disks were too expensive to even think about going on such drive. And it was never popular. Not only because prices - it is just that era of CDs begun, there were some replaceable hard drive media solutions like Iomega, and floppies started to be obsolete. That technology could not provide enough capacity improving what was necessary.
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:24 am

So, if it really can work on Falcon without extra board - after not easy setting of all lines properly, and even will properly detect inserted disk type, and change FDC clock according to it, it should work. But not clear what with steprate fix ? Is Falcon TOS ready for ED ? Maybe some proggie from ECOPY172 is for, but I couldn't see it clearly. There is SETSTEP, but that's not for Falcon, and is actually for lowering steprate on Mega STE or TT because default 6mS is too noisy.
Well, good fun in sorting out all this :D
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby joska » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:58 pm

Bama wrote:I very much want to replace the 1.44 floppy drive in my Falcon with a 2.88 drive.


So what happened, did you try this? Sounds like a cool experiment.

AtariZoll wrote:I really don't see this as good idea. Better get some mass storage - CF card and adapter. That is cheaper, simpler and can put there "little" more than 2.8 MB (with capital letters).


Again, you don't seem to understand this hobby :) More than 4Mb RAM - useless. Multitasking on ST - useless.

Please understand - this hobby is not about usefulness or what's cheapest/fastest/most efficient/easiest. Actually, all of those terms are fundamentally incompatible with this hobby. It's all about fun, and if some person finds this ED floppydrive and thinks "hey, would be fun to get this working on my Atari!" then no other reason is needed :D
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby penguin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:11 pm

For those who want to build an ED module:
http://stcarchiv.de/stc1993/03/ed-disketten-fuer-atari

I'm curious to know how widespread those commercial ED solutions where. There were at least two manufacturers of ED modules for the Atari...
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Re: ED (2.88mb) Floppy Upgrade for Falcon

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:25 pm

joska wrote:Again, you don't seem to understand this hobby :) More than 4Mb RAM - useless. Multitasking on ST - useless.
Please understand - this hobby is not about usefulness or what's cheapest/fastest/most efficient/easiest. Actually, all of those terms are fundamentally incompatible with this hobby. It's all about fun, and if some person finds this ED floppydrive and thinks "hey, would be fun to get this working on my Atari!" then no other reason is needed :D

Well, 2 weeks since thread start, and there are no signs of success. I don't see this as fun. Too much effort for almost nothing - maybe that's what happened. By your logic it would be fun to take one Atari ST and connect it to Atari 2600, then you will have that console with keyboard input. Technically not so big deal. Purpose: fun. What about some fun combined with something useful ? We know that people learn best if it is combined with fun. It is really not hard to thinker something what will be useful.
I never said that ED floppy on Atari Falcon will be useless. It's just that it has no perspective. In last 2 years I was in opposite process with now very old Ataris - I removed everything not necessary from them - so no more internal IDE, no more TOS switch, no floppy attached at all, not to mention HD module on STE - why it, when there is ACSI port ? Keeping machines alive is now main goal, and removing unnecessary load helps in it. It is not fun to repair them 5x per year.
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