Cheap FDD emulator in Philips NMS8245 MSX2

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By qwerty69

Resident (36)

Аватар пользователя qwerty69

10-10-2014, 00:26

Thanks for the tip.
I wonder if it could be used in conjunction with this ethernet to USB adapter.
http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-USB-2-0-Ethernet-Adapter/dp/B00...

We could try the software that I found here
http://plrelectronics.com/xcart/

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

Аватар пользователя CX5Mer

24-10-2014, 17:19

I don't understand. Is this device working or not? How well does it work, or not? The price certainly sounds good. How long did it take to arrive from China to Spain? I don't think I could afford the device by Lotharek. Unfortunately, I've just visited Lotharek's site and there's a stupid window in the middle of the screen which I couldn't find any way to get rid of. I haven't got an MSX computer at the moment. Perhaps I should avoid buying the model of MSX computer which you've got.

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

24-10-2014, 20:08

I bought one on ebay, gotek 720kb one, I'll let you know the exact one once I can confirm it working. It didn't take too long to arrive. I put it in my hb-f700, I still need to modify the pin connection for drive select (10 to 12) I think, but I'm hoping I don't need to do the other pin mods like for the Ready signal as it is supposed to have that signal when you set the jumper switch.
I tested the other night without the mods and I did manage to load and save from the device. I needed to press some buttons every time though, which I assume the pins are giving wrong signals. I don't understand the instructions fully but it seems you can either save/load into folders (each folder acting as one floppy disk), or there is a mode where each disk is a .img file. The thing I didn't know (or I might have misunderstood) is that it doesn't load/save access directly the usb stick, but you have to load the data onto the internal memory of the floppy emulator. Then if you want that file saved, you need to press a button to store the data back onto the usb stick.
For hb-f700 the connection is straight swap 34 pin connector (talking about the shape of the standard floppy idc connector, the pin assignment are still slightly different), but the msx side is on a pcb board and it is too tall for the floppy emulator so I need to still get another cable to extend it.

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Аватар пользователя Sky_hawk

25-10-2014, 09:32

Let us know your findings, it sound like a great replacement for msxes with broken drives

By xostia

Rookie (19)

Аватар пользователя xostia

27-10-2014, 13:57

Hi... yes, the device works and you can load floppy games, at Aliexpress you can find it:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-Brand-New-3-5-1...

This one is not Gotek... you can configure all by jumpers, that is the single one I tested. The problem is that you need to wait around 3 weeks to have it.

I added this mod to power the floppy emulator (to avoid interferences... exactly like if you replace the floppy with a PC floppy). You only need a cheap 7805 (I am thinking to replace it with a step-down regulator... much cooler):

Bye,

Carlos

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

13-12-2014, 14:59

some updates as my Xmas holiday has started and have some time to mess around (at least when the kids are out anyway...)

I've connected up the correct pins (mostly one to one, apart from pin 10 on MSX to pin 12 on PC, pin 12 on MSX to pin 14 on PC, pin 14 on MSX disconnected.)
On the Gotek, jumper set on JA (ready signal), S0 (drive 0), MO (motor).

On the USB stick, made folders for each floppy disk.

Booted up the hb-f700. use the right button on gotek to set the led to 001 (disk number). plug in the usb stick, press the right button on the gotek to load the disk files into the gotek's virtual floppy memory.
then I can see the files in MSX basic. Can save files as well. But you need to make sure you press the left button on gotek to save the files back onto the usb before switching the computer off, otherwise it will be lost.
I've tried using .img files as well in stead of folders as floppies and that works as well.

What I can't get it to do is to boot up msx-dos or any files. It seems to hang/keep resetting if I leave a floppy image in (loaded in gotek's virtual floppy memory). anyone else had any success?

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

13-12-2014, 16:19

Now I've tried an .img file I downloaded, and placed that in the usb stick, loaded that into gotek, and reset the machine and that booted. so it works! now I'll try .img of msx-dos in stead of inside a folder.

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

13-12-2014, 17:52

msx-dos2.2 image worked (obviously with msx-dos 2 rom inserted). you need to place these image files in IMG720 folder of your USB stick.
image files (.dsk files renamed to .img) have to be named 000.img, 001.img etc. (or may be 00.img, 01.img because I can't see how to have 3 digits as in the img mode the left most digit is "b"...)
You go into img mode by pressing both buttons on the gotek which increases the left most digit, and it goes to "b" after 7, 8, 9.
games with multiple disks are ok too, you just have to load the new image from the usb into the gotek.

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

13-12-2014, 18:10

So, it works. The need to copy image files everytime from the USB to Gotek is tedious, and it is difficult to remember the files on the USB stick because all the names are lost (only numeric). So, I guess you would get better user experience in more expensive floppy emulators, but Gotek is OK for the price. The model of Gotek I have is SFRM72-FU-DL.

By st1mpy

Paladin (825)

Аватар пользователя st1mpy

04-01-2015, 03:35

Since I couldn't get Runit working (using either of Sunrise/Tecnobytes IDE with CF) on a real MSX, I've come back to using this floppy emulator on my HB-F700 (still not soldered the pins... full of jumper wires). Eventhough, I don't like the fact you need to load in the floppy image into the device, and save it back when saving files (doing game saves during game play is annoying), at least this method works for playing .dsk (obviously renamed to .img) files on a real machine. Although I have not used it, the HxC floppy emulator is probably a better solution because you don't have to do this loading/saving thing (I'm assuming that device just reads off the SD card).

Anyway, I guess any software method (floppy emulation) to read .dsk from a hard drive/CF is not going to be 100% because the floppy emulation/virtual floppy ROM needs to be in the memory somewhere and might get over written by the game. I haven't tried the HDDemu on my Turbo R but I want a solution that works on my MSX2/2+ as well.

I feel that what we are missing is a ROM cartridge that has CF/SD card, and from MSX it sees it as a floppy drive. Does it exist? Mega Flash ROM with SD is read only I think, I don't have one with SD.

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