Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

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Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Thu May 08, 2008 10:08 am

I got a Discovery cart today, and after 3 hours of twiddling around I have made *drum roll please* a non working copy of Shadow Dancer. I have two switches that I am not sure how to set, drive normal/option - and program lo/hi. I am using a very nice condition and 314 external drive for drive B. For the record I had it set on hi and normal, since I saw a pic of one set like this. Does anyone out there have any utilities disks for the DC? All the disks I got with mine are a little flaky. Also if there is anything newer than 2.6 backup utilities that might be nice. I am going to bed, it is 3am and I can't take any more fiddling around with this thing! Now I see why some have said the DC is confusing and/or frustrating to use.

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby jd » Thu May 08, 2008 1:49 pm

Software available on Alisons website.

Have answered to a previous post.

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby techie_alison » Thu May 08, 2008 7:39 pm

Ijor is the one with the most *reliable* and up to date software.

Mine is attached straight from the original HCDC floppy;

And then there's this one that I've just lifted from the Atari Age site, but extra files;

The only difference between 2.6 and 2.7, is that 2.7 can handle bigger configuration files (apparently). I seem to remember that that 2.7 from Atari Age has errors or something on it, although I'm not sure.

Further information, circuit diagram etc. here; viewtopic.php?f=15&t=12132&p=102509&hilit=hcdc#p102509
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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Thu May 08, 2008 9:23 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the help! I still wish I knew what the hi/lo switch was though. Maybe I'll just be brave and switch it to see what happens. I always figured the "option" switch was for the extra Mac option so I never messed with it.

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby techie_alison » Thu May 08, 2008 9:46 pm

My guess is that it's prom selection. :-)

Take it apart. Post a picture of the thing.

Code: Select all

DOPTIONS.DOC - DOCUMENTATION REVISION 2.7
(C) 1988 HAPPY COMPUTERS, Inc.

The following is a list of the factory installed option configurations.
The option number is marked in the space provided on the bottom of the
unit.  Refer to the rest of the documentation for a description of what
the options do, if more information is needed.

----------

OPTION 0
No extra factory installed options, nothing below is included.

This unit backs up software and converts disks to and from MACINTOSH
format.

----------

OPTION 1
battery backed up time and date clock
3rd and 4th drive circuitry and connector
3rd drive option switch
ROM/EPROM sockets

The ROM/EPROM sockets can be used with a 64K byte program in ROMS or
EPROMS.  The MACINTOSH 64K ROMS could be used, allowing the MAGIC SAC
software to operate.  A jumper must be added by the user to select the
state of pin 1 on the ROMS or EPROMS.  No ROMS or EPROMS are provided.
The MAGIC SAC software is not included.

A 3rd and 4th floppy drive can be connected, allowing a total of 4
floppy drives to be accessed from the desk top and most other software.

----------

OPTION 2
battery backed up time and date clock
3rd and 4th drive circuitry and connector
3rd drive option switch
ROM/EPROM sockets
ROM/EPROM bank select switch

The ROM/EPROM sockets can be used with a 64K byte program in ROMS or
EPROMS.  The MACINTOSH 64K ROMS could be used, allowing the MAGIC SAC
software to operate.  No jumper is required.  128K byte ROMS could be
used.  The switch selects a bank of 64K which will be enabled at one time.
No ROMS or EPROMS are provided.  The MAGIC SAC software is not included.

A 3rd and 4th floppy drive can be connected, allowing a total of 4
floppy drives to be accessed from the desk top and most other software.

----------

OPTION 3
jack for plugging in a second cartridge

HAPPY COMPUTERS has tested and found that the MAGIC SAC and DESKCART
will operate as a second cartridge with OPTION 3.  Other cartridges
may also work.  The SPECTRE 128 does not work.  Also, see options 5 or 6.
We do not guarantee that any cartridge will work as a second cartridge.
Some L shaped cartridges may not even fit as a second cartridge.

----------

OPTION 4
jack for plugging in a second cartridge
3rd drive option switch
3rd and 4th drive circuitry and connector

HAPPY COMPUTERS has tested and found that the MAGIC SAC and DESKCART
will operate as a second cartridge with OPTION 4.  Other cartridges
may also work.  The SPECTRE 128 does not work.  Also, see options 5 or 6.
We do not guarantee that any cartridge will work as a second cartridge.
Some L shaped cartridges may not even fit as a second cartridge.

A 3rd and 4th floppy drive can be connected, allowing a total of 4
floppy drives to be accessed from the desk top and most other software.

----------

OPTION 5
jack for plugging in a second cartridge
2nd cartridge enable switch
3rd drive option switch
3rd and 4th drive circuitry and connector

HAPPY COMPUTERS has tested and found that the MAGIC SAC and DESKCART
and SPECTRE 128 will operate as a second cartridge with OPTION 5.
Many other cartridges may work with option 5 that do not work with
options 3 or 4.  We do not guarantee that any cartridge will work as
a second cartridge.  Some L shaped cartridges may not even fit as a
second cartridge.  The 2nd cartridge switch allows the user to select
whether the 2nd cartridge or the DISCOVERY CARTRIDGE is enabled.

A 3rd and 4th floppy drive can be connected, allowing a total of 4
floppy drives to be accessed from the desk top and most other software.

----------

OPTION 6
jack for plugging in a second cartridge
2nd cartridge enable switch

HAPPY COMPUTERS has tested and found that the MAGIC SAC and DESKCART
and SPECTRE 128 will operate as a second cartridge with OPTION 6.
Many other cartridges may work with option 6 that do not work with
options 3 or 4.  We do not guarantee that any cartridge will work as
a second cartridge.  Some L shaped cartridges may not even fit as a
second cartridge.  The 2nd cartridge switch allows the user to select
whether the 2nd cartridge or the DISCOVERY CARTRIDGE is enabled.

----------

OPTION 7
battery backed up time and date clock
3rd and 4th drive circuitry and connector
3rd drive option switch
ROM/EPROM sockets
128K ROM/EPROM enable switch

The ROM/EPROM sockets can be used with a 128K byte contiguous program
contained in ROMS or EPROMS.  The MACINTOSH 128K ROMS could be used,
but the SPECTRE 128 software still will not operate without some
additional changes, which are listed in the documentation.  HAPPY
COMPUTERS cannot currently provide a DISCOVERY CARTRIDGE which
allows running the SPECTRE 128 software by simply plugging in the
MACINTOSH 128K ROMS.  No ROMS or EPROMS are included.  No SPECTRE 128
SOFTWARE is included.

A 3rd and 4th floppy drive can be connected, allowing a total of 4
floppy drives to be accessed from the desk top and most other software.

 

If I don't answer or appear to have forgotton then email again, I'm scatty! :)

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Thu May 08, 2008 11:19 pm

Here's some pix, including one pic of the DC in it's natural ecosystem. (it seems to thrive in our backyard full of 5ft tall weeds)

If anyone can tell what this thing has built in to it, let me know. I suspect that a Mac rom (which I don't care about) is one of the "features".
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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Thu May 08, 2008 11:39 pm

oh...and I forgot to mention, the two socketed chips on the board say:

happy spectre u4/u5

on them. -STcomp

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby PaulB » Fri May 09, 2008 7:48 am

It would seem you have a Spectre 128 Mac emulator in the cartridge. Apparently if you connect an 800k floppy to it then the older type Mac disks can be read and written to. People used to buy an Atari and one of these carts because they were untold cheaper than a real Mac.

While not the same cartridge, you can read more here http://www.geocities.com/clu-da-bard/spectre.html

There seems to be software for download here http://www.geocities.com/clu-da-bard/spectreatari.html

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby PaulB » Fri May 09, 2008 7:58 am

An update to the above. Just found a post by Discovery Cartridge guru Ijor on Atariage forums.

There is not much in common between the Spectre and the DC. They are mentioned together many times, because if you own a DC you can use a pirated copy of Magic Sac and (with some limitations) of Spectre 128 as well.

The DC is a device for handling foreign disk formats and copy protections. The Spectre GCR is a Mac emulator with a hardware add-on for accessing Mac GCR disks.


Link to original post

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Sat May 10, 2008 6:16 am

I "discovered" something interesting today. If I use the SAME disk drive to copy to, rather than my 2nd drive, I have better results, perfect results actually, copying heavily protected original games. (I was wondering if that was because it might be picky about even the slightest rotation speed differences of two different drives, whereas if you write with the same drive the disk was read from, it would obviously have the same rotation speed.) The cart works like a dream! I thought it actually *needed* a second drive, like on the Synchro Express where it would copy and write at the same time, but apparently the Discovery Cart doesn't write until it has read the whole disk, so you only need one drive to copy disks. Pretty awesome so far! Thanks for all the info and files guys! (and/or gals as the case may be)

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby Mug UK » Sat May 10, 2008 8:24 am

I sold mine when I got it as part of a big bundle as was never going to use it - hindsight being such a wonderful thing that it is! Anyways, does the DC let you dump the files to an attached h/drive or is it a complete take-over of the system so that all you can do is duplicate protected disks?
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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby STcomp » Sat May 10, 2008 8:37 am

It doesn't hijack anything as far as I can tell, i can even play games with it plugged in. It has its own copier software, for either mac or ST disks, and you just run the software and copy away, either floppy to floppy, or floppy to image file which I assume could be saved to a hard disk. (havent actually done it yet)

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby Mug UK » Sat May 10, 2008 9:06 am

Ah right .. does do image files then. In two minds whether the next software preservation toy I buy is a DC or a Catweasel IV card (which has the added bonus of adding a genuine SID chip to your PC!) :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby techie_alison » Sat May 10, 2008 9:10 am

STcomp wrote:I "discovered" something interesting today. If I use the SAME disk drive to copy to, rather than my 2nd drive, I have better results, perfect results actually, copying heavily protected original games.


Yes I've found that with mine. There are *certain* drives which for some unknown reason it simply doesn't like. Only one of my STFM internals works well (out of a selection of 5 or so), and only one of the external ones (a Cumana I think). If I use the other drives then it'll either fail, or produce a useless disk. For *normal* use however, loading games, reading/writing disks, all of the other drives are fine.

One would think a faulty drive. Except that they're not. HCDC just seems to be really fussy. Dungeon Master and Oids have to be the two most awkward disks I have. They're the benchmark.
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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby Desty » Fri May 16, 2008 10:33 pm

techie_alison wrote:

Code: Select all

The MAGIC SAC software is not included.

...Magic Sac? ROFL! :cheers: Great software title!
tá'n poc ar buile!

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Re: Just got my Discovery cart, but I can't get it to do jack

Postby karlm » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:23 pm

The Spectre 128 is just a cart with the two 128k ROMs (2x64k?) out of a Mac. The Magic Sac was the older type with the 64k ROMs. So a discovery cart with the ROMs in it will work exactly as a Spectre would. Great piece of kit back in the day, nowadays people pay you money to take the old macs away :(


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