HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Everything related to using the HxC Floppy Emulator hardware on your Atari.

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galax
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HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby galax » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:02 pm

This isn't particularly difficult to do, but I couldn't see any instructions or photos of one anywhere, so I made up my own ST Floppy <-> 34 way connector. Haven't closed it up yet. I based it on the one on the wiki, with a couple of (possibly unimportant) errors fixed. I'll protect the wires when I have finished thoroughly testing it. I could build these if anyone is interested.

Image Image

Here's the pinout:

Code: Select all

34 Way Connector on HxC  = 14 Pin DIN Atari ST Floppy Connector
------------------------   ---------------------------------------
2  Density Select        = 
4  Reserved              = 
6  Reserved              = 
8  Index                 =  4     Index Pulse     (yellow)
10 Motor Enable A        =  8*    Motor On        (dkbrown*)
12 Drive Sel B           =  6     Drive 1 Select  (purple)
14 Drive Sel A           =  5     Drive 0 Select  (dkgreen)
16 Motor Enable B        =  8*    Motor On        (dkbrown*)
18 Direction             =  9     Direction In    (orange)
20 Step                  =  10    Step            (grey)
22 Write Data            =  11    Write Data      (pink)
24 Floppy Write Enable   =  12    write gate      (ltblue)
26 Track 0               =  13    Track 00        (ltbrown)
28 Write Protect         =  14    Write Protect   (ltgreen)
30 Read Data             =  1     Read Data       (red)
32 Head Select           =  2     Side 0 Select   (white)
34 Disk Change/Ready     = 
Any Odd Pins             =  7 + 3 Logic Ground    (black + dkblue)

Colours refer to the wires in my ST floppy cable. No idea if these are universal, but it may speed up your continuity checking a bit!
* Both Motor Enable A and B are connected to the ST's Motor On (makes sense to me!)


I couldn't find the ST floppy 14 pin DIN connectors anywhere (if I could I would have run a recycled ribbon cable into the DIN connector), so I bought an ST male-male drive cable and cut it in half!

For the 34 pin connector I used the following parts from Digi Key, which came to a quite crazy $6, but I couldn't see a simpler or easier way of doing it:

Code: Select all

Qty | Digi Key # | Manufacturer #    | Description
----+---------- -+-------------------|---------------------------------
1   | OR981-ND   | Omron XG5M-3432-N | CONN DBL ROW SOCKETS 34POS AWG24
2   | OR943-ND   | Omron XG5S-1701   | CONN SEMI-COVER 17POS FOR XG5M


The USB to floppy power connector was built from some spare parts:
Image

I first tried it with my 520STM as both drives A and B, worked fine. When I plugged it into my Mega STE with the same settings it worked the same way and I could even boot from it! I unplugged the internal drive as it was making noises. So no need for an A/B switch, if you don't mind temporarily losing the internal floppy when the HxC is acting as A. Could build an adapter and switch that disabled the power to the internal floppy instead I suppose.

Jumper settings for HxC as both drives A and B:
Image

Jumper settings for HxC as external drive (HxC thinks it is 'A' which is the default on power up, ST sees it as 'B'. Only 1 jumper is connected, the one on the right is just half plugged in so I don't lose it):
Image

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby Geldy » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:24 am

gadlax wrote:
catmando wrote:Hi Galax, I think the edits you've made to the wiki now make that page quite confusing, think it would be better if you'd kept the original page as method 1 and then added your new method as method 2.
gold
Regards

The 'original' cable is a bit out of date now; I would think most people who want an external HxC would buy Lotharek's very neat little case, and so would prefer my cable that requires a lot less soldering. Regardless, if you think you can improve the page, clean it up. The point of having a Wiki rather than just my board posts or website is that anyone can fix or improve the content.


Thanks galax for the pics and tutorial I'll all connected now and it seems to be working smoothly. Thanks bro.
Last edited by Geldy on Tue May 31, 2016 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby catmando » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:41 pm

Hi Galax, I think the edits you've made to the wiki now make that page quite confusing, think it would be better if you'd kept the original page as method 1 and then added your new method as method 2.

Regards
Atari Falcon Tos 4.04 | 14mb | IDE CF 2GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62 | 4mb | HxC Slim SD 8GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62/2.06 | 4mb | Floppy A-B Mod | IDE SD 4GB
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galax
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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby galax » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:59 am

catmando wrote:Hi Galax, I think the edits you've made to the wiki now make that page quite confusing, think it would be better if you'd kept the original page as method 1 and then added your new method as method 2.

Regards

The 'original' cable is a bit out of date now; I would think most people who want an external HxC would buy Lotharek's very neat little case, and so would prefer my cable that requires a lot less soldering. Regardless, if you think you can improve the page, clean it up. The point of having a Wiki rather than just my board posts or website is that anyone can fix or improve the content.

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby catmando » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:58 am

galax wrote:
catmando wrote:Hi Galax, I think the edits you've made to the wiki now make that page quite confusing, think it would be better if you'd kept the original page as method 1 and then added your new method as method 2.

Regards

The 'original' cable is a bit out of date now; I would think most people who want an external HxC would buy Lotharek's very neat little case, and so would prefer my cable that requires a lot less soldering. Regardless, if you think you can improve the page, clean it up. The point of having a Wiki rather than just my board posts or website is that anyone can fix or improve the content.


Have split it into 2 methods
Atari Falcon Tos 4.04 | 14mb | IDE CF 2GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62 | 4mb | HxC Slim SD 8GB
Atari STE Tos 1.62/2.06 | 4mb | Floppy A-B Mod | IDE SD 4GB
Atari STFM
Android Devices (Running Hataroid and SToid)

Atari Forum Wiki - Use it before asking

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby DarkLord » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:03 pm

Would this work with the CosmosEX as well?

Thanks.
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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby galax » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:12 pm

Yes, it works with the CosmosEx. I like to connect things externally so I can quickly swap them between machines. Obviously some CosmosEx features don't make sense externally.

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby DarkLord » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:45 pm

Right, I was just thinking of having an external floppy drive available, where
the CosmosEx replaces the internal one.

I'd be interested in one if you're going to do any. Any chance I could get it in black? :)
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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby galax » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:15 pm

DarkLord wrote:Right, I was just thinking of having an external floppy drive available, where
the CosmosEx replaces the internal one.

I'd be interested in one if you're going to do any. Any chance I could get it in black? :)


I made up another cable from an ST drive connector and an old PC floppy ribbon cable (the ones with the A/B twist - handy if your external drive can't be configured to act as A/B). I have a few more of each around somewhere- I'll just make them all up sometime and find homes for them.

The ST drive DIN14 connectors are getting quite hard to find though, and with shipping to North America it gets expensive.

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby elgringo » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:36 pm

Hi,

Can you make an external floppy cable with usb power for me? How much it costs?

Thanks.

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby Bikerbob » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:50 pm

So that same floppy connector and 2 row covers is now $9 with $8 shipping, ahhh the joys of the world. I am using this on a Gotek, what about all this cable twist stuff for 1.44mb how does that effect this cable?

James

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby Bikerbob » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:43 pm

Not trying to be difficult, but I am trying to use the cable as an external floppy / gotek cable.. and its not working.

I found this in the SF314 manual, its pinout does not match the cable??

Atari SF-314 schem.jpg


James
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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby tzok » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:47 pm

This is the right schematic, yet the pin numbering for Atari DIN-14 is very specific, and non-standard for DIN connectors. Here is the right pinout: http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/interfaces.php

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby MIDIbro » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:20 pm

This is awesome!!!!! thanks for sharing!
Do not own a ST right now

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby damanloox » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:08 pm

i made the cable as per galax's pinouts and it all.. almost works. When I set it as both A and B drives it works OK. But if I only set it as drive B (ie. 1st jumper open, 2nd as drive B) - it doesn't work at all... Screen backlight turns off, red LED starts blinking and the atari (TT) doesn't see the drive... I tried multiple combinations but I can't seem to be able to only have drive B (works as drive A only, as A+B but not as B only)... Any ideas?

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby DrCoolZic » Tue May 01, 2018 4:29 pm

I believe your cable is not correct because you do not seem to have the correct pinout for the 34 pins IDC connector. The problem is that there are two common pinouts known as the IBM and the Shugart interfaces plus multitude of variants. The best reference when it comes to connectors is the Pinouts.ru site and for floppy disks http://pinouts.ru/HD/InternalDisk_pinout.shtml . Basically most of the pins match on the different variants apart from pins 10, 12, 14, 16.

What you describe is the PC interface and this is not what is used in Atari. Go to https://www.dev-docs.org/docs/ and follow schematics. Open the STE schematic and on pages 2 you will see that the internal FD follow the Shugart interface. So pin 10 is /DS0, pin 12 is /DS1, pin 14 is unused, and pin 16 is /MTRON. See also the schematic on this thread thats show the schematic of the Atari SF314. The same pinout is is used for CosmosEx.

As far as HxC is concerned I have not looked at the SD based version of the emulator but I own the USB version and as you can see in the schematic http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... muCPLD.gif the HxC also follow the Shugart pinout (note that the USB version is read only so pins 22 and 24 are not used).

So I believe that the correct cable for HxC and for CosmosEx is what I describe in my CosmosEx user’s guide http://info-coach.fr/atari/documents/_m ... _Guide.pdf on page 32 (section 10.2). This cable is close to what you describe except for the pins 5, 6, 8 (Atari connector DIN14). The correct cable is therefore:
fd cable.JPG

Now you may wonder why your cable works! Well you are lucky as /DS0 and /MTRON are both low asserted. When you read/write a floppy you normally first select the floppy (low assert the /DS0 pin), then you turn the motor on (low assert the /MTRON pin) and then you read or write. As you have connected the motor-on pin (pin 16) to the /DS0 pin (pin 10) whenever you turn the motor on you also select the drive. :mrgreen: Therefore, this cable should work as long as you only use one drive as drive 0. 8)

Note that by default the STE defines an external drive as drive 1 because the DS0 and DS1 are by default switched (can be changed by straps).
On page 33 of my documentation I show how you can swap floppy drives A and B by using a switch (of course this requires some modification of your Atari).

By the way the Wiki page indicated is empty when I go there with Chrome???

Note that I did not include a FD cable description in my Web page http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/int ... _Connector because external drives did not use this kind of cable. Now that we have emulators (HxC, CosmosEx) I should probably add the proper description for a DIN14 to IDC34 cable?
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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby Usabell » Tue May 01, 2018 10:52 pm

Hi! Thanks for the information and the work you put into these, I really appreciate it.
Do you still make these? I'd like to purchase one of these, with USB power, if possible, to use with one of Lotharek's emulator boxes.
I'd like it to be the external drive B on my Atari 1040STF. Don't want to mess with the internal drive or open up the Atari and do any modifications.
If I want to boot something, I can just copy it to a real floppy disk and boot from that one, that's not a problem for me.

Just tell me what you want for it, I'll pay you good ;-)

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby damanloox » Wed May 02, 2018 6:48 am

I also noticed that - pniout in the sd versino (in the manual) also shows ds0 on pin 10 and ds1 on pin 12...
anyway - I'll "repatch" the cable as (I think) it should be and see what happens...

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Re: HxC External floppy cable, works as A and B

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu May 03, 2018 9:54 am

I have looked at the SDCard HxC Emulator documentation and I found the following information:
  • Page 25 the pinout for the floppy interface indicates that pins 10, 12, 14, 16 are define as /ID0, /ID1, /ID2, /ID3
  • Page 8 it is indicated that HxC emulator doesn’t use the motor line control and that it can emulates 2 disk drives: Drive A and Drive B
  • Page 9 explains how to set the jumpers to use the emulator as a Shugart unit. In that case the ID2 and ID3 pins are ignored and the ID0 and ID1 pins (pin 10 and 12) can be configured to select drive A/B
  • Page 10 explains how to set the jumpers to use the emulator as a PC unit. In that case the ID0 and ID3 are ignored and ID1 and ID2 pins (pin 12 and 14) can be configured to select drive A/B
Therefore, the cable you have define can work correctly if you use a SDCard HxC Emulator and that the jumpers are set to emulate a PC interface. Note that the pins 10 and 14 (that you connect to DIN pin 8) are not used but it does not hurt to have them.

However, this cable cannot be used for the CosmosEx and for USB HxC Emulator devices (neither for a real shugart drive). Therefore, I think it makes more sense to build the cable following the pinout I provide because this cable can be used for SDCard HxC Emulator, USB HxC Emulator, CosmosEx device, Atari drive, Shugart drive.

For information I do not build cable to sell :mrgreen:


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