Rookie Drive NX - virtual USB drive for MSX

Rookie Drive NX - virtual USB drive for MSX

by PAC on 10-04-2017, 03:13
Topic: Hardware
Tags: DSK, Nextor, USB
Languages:

As you all probably remember, few months ago we reported about Rookie Drive 720, what we could describe as the first MSX interface able to manage USB devices like pendrives or HD. Despite good reactions from the community, xavirompe was aware about its limitations, mainly the limited access to DSK files images of 720KB only.

During this time he has been working hard in order to improve this device and give the MSX community what they expect, so Rookie Drive NX is the result. Now Nextor is the operating system by default and, as a bonus, this new interface keeps all the features of the previous version so the ROM includes both functionalities. The main features are as follows:

Rookie Drive 720

  • USB port support for formatted devices in Fat12, Fat16 and Fat32.
  • Usage of disk images of 720kb.
  • Call commands to handle disk images.
  • It works on MSX1 and higher.

Rookie Drive NX

  • DiskROM of 320 kb (“reflasheable”) to boot the operating system.
  • USB port for storage devices (pendrive or hard disk) formatted in Fat12 or Fat16.
  • Typical functions of Nextor like Fdisk partition tool, multiple logical volumes, hot USB drives swapping and disk images mounting.

Common features

  • It features a flash memory which allows driver and/or diskrom updating.
  • The device includes a switch for ROM disabling.
  • Good write/read speed.

In development

  • Diskrom recovery, deletion and loading from the drive.
  • SymbOS driver.
  • CD-ROM access.

The interface will be on sale from the next 29th of April coinciding with RetroMadrid event. Price 50€ (shipping not included). Check xavirompe's profile to contact him and get further information or order your unit.

Relevant link: Rookie drive project site

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  • Rookie Drive NX - virtual USB drive for MSX
  • Rookie Drive NX - virtual USB drive for MSX
  • Rookie Drive NX - virtual USB drive for MSX

Comments (21)

By Hydragon

Champion (489)

Hydragon's picture

10-04-2017, 03:46

Kinda reminds me of Nowind USB Interface. I wonder what happened with the development on this, abandonded maybe?

By Piter Punk

Master (168)

Piter Punk's picture

10-04-2017, 03:57

Wow, this is very good news. USB mass storage support is a nice thing to have. How is the DSK images support?

By marcoo

Expert (82)

marcoo's picture

10-04-2017, 14:37

what is the price of this beautiful piece of hardware?

By enribar

Paladin (894)

enribar's picture

10-04-2017, 18:49

Rookie makes me dream: build a 2nd USB port and connect a 720 compatible USB Floppy Drive plus a pendrive, at the same time...
You can satisfy both past and future oriented users Tongue

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5036)

mars2000you's picture

10-04-2017, 20:34

These news don't mention the Spanish site that is more complete: http://rookiedrive.com/es/inicio/

Especially the BASIC extension is missing in the English part, but you can check the MRC Wiki: https://www.msx.org/wiki/RookieDrive_BASIC

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2391)

sd_snatcher's picture

11-04-2017, 00:05

Does the Rookie Drive NX support 1.44MB floppy disks on the MSX? Smile

By PAC

Guardian (4192)

PAC's picture

11-04-2017, 11:49

Newspost updated with price.

By Alexey

Paladin (990)

Alexey's picture

11-04-2017, 15:35

Nice hardware addon for any MSX! The use of 3 Euro Arduino Disk Module saves a lot of hassle when assembling the cartridge. From the drawbacks I can only see the missing 10/100uF electrolytic capacitor on the power bus and the lack of disk activity LED that could be quite useful.

And lastly, 1000V rated ceramic capacitors make it well protected. Smile

I wonder what's the switch for...

By Wolverine_nl

Hero (660)

Wolverine_nl's picture

11-04-2017, 20:06

Is it only handling disk images that are on an usb-pendrive or is it also possible to handle files that are on the usb-pendrive directly, like on a pc?

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

11-04-2017, 23:07

sd_snatcher wrote:

Does the Rookie Drive NX support 1.44MB floppy disks on the MSX? Smile

Rookie drive NX runs Nextor, Nextor will use the existing driver in your computer.

I not sure if this answer your question.

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

11-04-2017, 23:13

Alexey wrote:

Nice hardware addon for any MSX! The use of 3 Euro Arduino Disk Module saves a lot of hassle when assembling the cartridge. From the drawbacks I can only see the missing 10/100uF electrolytic capacitor on the power bus and the lack of disk activity LED that could be quite useful.

And lastly, 1000V rated ceramic capacitors make it well protected. Smile

I wonder what's the switch for...

True!!! I am still waiting for the capacitors..!!!

And yes, the original ideal comes form arduino!!!!

Well the driver uses CAPS led on the keyboard as activity led :-)

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

11-04-2017, 23:15

Wolverine_nl wrote:

Is it only handling disk images that are on an usb-pendrive or is it also possible to handle files that are on the usb-pendrive directly, like on a pc?

This version holds two "drivers" in the ROM, one that manages disk images (mainly for MSX1), and the other one that can access to the files in the USB pendrive (Fat12 and Fat16, for MSX2)

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

11-04-2017, 23:19

enribar wrote:

Rookie makes me dream: build a 2nd USB port and connect a 720 compatible USB Floppy Drive plus a pendrive, at the same time...
You can satisfy both past and future oriented users Tongue

Not at the moment!, because I test to run an USB floppy drive with out success... :-(

But it is posible to put two Rookie drive NX and use two pendrives or hard disk.

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

11-04-2017, 23:28

Hi guys!

About the switch, it is for enable or disable the SLTSL of the ROM, it's only for safety, if someone builds its own firmware it can be very useful.

I hope this can be useful.

By pceworld

Supporter (16)

pceworld's picture

12-04-2017, 04:08

If possable , help me hold one please !!

By xavirompe

Rookie (26)

xavirompe's picture

12-04-2017, 09:59

Please, contact me via my profile.

Thank you

By Alexey

Paladin (990)

Alexey's picture

12-04-2017, 17:29

xavirompe wrote:

Not at the moment!, because I test to run an USB floppy drive with out success... :-(
But it is posible to put two Rookie drive NX and use two pendrives or hard disk.

The floppy drive may fail because of insufficient power from the board. The normal USB2 rating is 250mA and I've seen some drives that don't work reliably when connected to USB ports. Not sure how this board is connected to the MSX's 5V bus, so I can't explain this failure.

By gdx

Paragon (1422)

gdx's picture

15-04-2017, 10:40

These cartridges do not have a connector for an external power supply?

By Alexey

Paladin (990)

Alexey's picture

15-04-2017, 14:18

The MSX's 5V should provide enough power for the USB drive. But it depends on how the 5V slot pin is connected to the Arduino board. If the connecting track is too narrow, it may not provide enough power for the floppy drive. Also the width of the "ground" track may be the factor.

I always use 2mm wide tracks for power and ground if the board needs a lot of power. For single chips 1mm wide tracks are more than enough. As an experiment I would connect power and ground pins of the USB socket directly to slot pins with wires (at least 1-2mm thick). If that doesn't solve the problem with a floppy drive, then maybe the board doesn't support it.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1778)

Prodatron's picture

21-04-2017, 03:14

Today I ported the USB mouse driver from SymbOS CPC to the MSX Running Naked in a Field of Flowers
Really cool, that both Rookie drive (MSX) and the Albireo interface (CPC) are using the same USB controller (CH376).
Here is a short video, showing my OCM + Rookie Drive + an USB mouse working in SymbOS including the mouse wheel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA3ksGudkoo
Next step is to add mass storage support for USB harddiscs/memory sticks as well...

By edoz

Paragon (1885)

edoz's picture

21-04-2017, 10:29

Very ... very very , very cool! So nice to have a good working USB mouse driver for SymbOS now also on the MSX. I really like this. Last week i was able to feel this myself on the enterprise machine. The USB mouse has a very high resolution in SymbOS and feels like a normal Windows mouse.. I already have a USB mouse (optical) connected to the joystick port of the MSX but that is less smooth compare to real USB interface Big smile On the MSX it's a huge difference.

I look forward to test it Big smile Big smile

My MSX profile