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Author Topic: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration. (Read 1252 times)

Online gflorez

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CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« on: 2017.June.23. 12:58:52 »
One friend of the Retrowiki web page is asking me about how to add an HD to the Enterprise because the SD reader is delaying forever. He has already found Zozo's IDE project schematics. I have told him also about the 8bit bus mode of the CompactFlash cards.

But I don´t know if the IDE.ROM works with a CF direct connection....

 

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #1 on: 2017.June.23. 13:14:42 »
Bruce already added CF to EPNET card new version and wrote a driver for it.

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #2 on: 2017.June.23. 16:43:42 »
Yes zozo's IDE card works with Compact FLASHs via a little Compact FLASH to IDE adapter like this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CF-Compact-Flash-to-3-5-Female-40pin-PC-IDE-Bootable-Adapter-Converter-Card-/292148194151?epid=705986635 but I think it needs a separate power supply (eg. ex-PC power supply).

EPNET isn't quite here yet :roll: but will be soon, as zozo says I have it all working, and has a similar IDE socket on it for a similar Compact FLASH adapter, but doesn't need a separate power supply :) You also get 512k RAM expansion, 64k FLASH for ROM images and of course networking.

So sadly, a little wait for your friend is unavoidable :cry: But on the scale of EP's 30 years, hopefully not too long now :mrgreen:

Online gflorez

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #3 on: 2017.June.23. 18:20:45 »
Ok, my friend is a skilled person(not my personal case....) who wants to know how to do it by himself, but not to reinvent the wheel.


Online BruceTanner

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #4 on: 2017.June.23. 23:26:43 »
The hardware is very simple - just needs a block of 8 i/o ports to be decoded to provide a /CS signal and everything else just connects directly to z80 signals.

s/w is more complicated as it needs a driver for EXDOS.

All EPNET circuit diagram, PCB files and source code will be on github but a version with Compact FLASH support is not up there yet. I am happy to send them to you after the weekend though (not at the right computer until then!)

Online gflorez

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #5 on: 2017.June.24. 00:03:24 »
Ok, thanks. Your project is amazing...

Online BruceTanner

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #6 on: 2017.June.26. 10:08:46 »
HI gflorez,

Here is EPNET's circuit diagram and a couple of source code files.
18108-0* ide.asm (42.06 kB - downloaded 33 times.)* unith.asm (11.97 kB - downloaded 29 times.)

As you can see the part for Compact FLASH 8-bit mode is very simple - all the gates etc on the circuit diagram are I/O decoding. But the software is quite involved and requires in-depth EXOS and EXDOS knowledge (you won't be able to assemble the source files directly as they are part of a much bigger system, but they will give your friend an idea of what would be involved).

I think it would be easier & quicker for your friend to build zozo's IDE circuit on prototype circuit board so you can use zozo's IDE ROM without modification. The hardware is more complicated than EPNET's but that is because it uses full 16-bit mode IDE (the IDE ROM wouldn't work with 8-bit hardware).

B.

Online gflorez

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #7 on: 2017.June.26. 11:51:08 »
Ok thanks, you are very generous for spreading your hard work.

I see, Zozo's finished project is very tempting, but yours, although experimental, a lot more with all the added bonus....

I have said it to my friend(from now on Wilco2009), the pros an cons. He have to select.

The idea is to do a short batch of cards for the associates of the Retrowiki web page, always with Zozo's or yours permission, of course...  

But actually Wilco2009 is involved on assembling and delivering a batch of Sinclair ZX80 clones:



It will be on Autumn when the decision will be taken. But I would go straight for our EPNET even if experimental, after all the enjoy is to resolve problems while creating something...
« Last Edit: 2017.June.26. 11:57:36 by gflorez »

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #8 on: 2017.June.26. 12:07:13 »
Nice to see! :) I built one of those in 1980 when I was 16 from a kit. It was for a friend - I couldn't afford one myself. We didn't have red PCBs in those days! :mrgreen:

Online gflorez

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #9 on: 2017.June.26. 12:13:19 »
It has a lot of fixes, the main one the video output signal has been normalised.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #10 on: 2017.June.26. 22:20:58 »
The problem with my IDE card: when I developed it bus expansions, RAM/ROM cards (from Gyula Mészáros or MICROTEAM) are very popular, then I not putted ROM socket for it. Later found: own RAM also will be important for EXDOS extensions.

For a IDE only machine I got a tricky idea: modify two socket cartridge for 56K ROM + 8K RAM

Anyway I have a idea for a much better IDE interface which is use less components and will be faster (LDIR can be used for a data transfer). I think it it is with a Flash ROM and SRAM, plus floppy interface (it is only few more components :-) ). Soo I dreamed a modern EXDOS card.

But after the SD interface arrived then I think this is not interested by anyone...

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #11 on: 2017.June.26. 23:18:21 »
LDIR can be used for a data transfer
EPNET's 8-bit IDE uses "unrolled" INIR/OTIR loops  :ds_icon_cheesygrin:  (But hasn't been tried on a 10MHz z80 yet :mrgreen: )

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #12 on: 2017.June.26. 23:25:26 »
EPNET's 8-bit IDE uses "unrolled" INIR/OTIR loops  :ds_icon_cheesygrin:
I know you are going to tell me LDIR would be one z80 clock cycle quicker per byte :lol:

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #13 on: 2017.June.26. 23:41:45 »
I know you are going to tell me LDIR would be one z80 clock cycle quicker per byte :lol:
:ds_icon_cheesygrin:

Online gflorez

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Re: CompactFlash 8 bit bus integration.
« Reply #14 on: 2017.June.27. 08:25:42 »
I am not a developer, I only can express my desires.

I love internal expansions that strengthens my computer without needing an external add-on, but I know that their installation takes a minimum of skills.

I also love Szorg's SD-reader as a neat way to take advantage of the underused Cartridge Bay, but it has the limitation of only address 64KB of Rom or Ram. Also is a pity the  delays on delivering new batches of the device.

What is urgently needed today, not tomorrow, is a new external definitive expansion, ready and easy to fit to every Enterprise.

It must be affordable because who buy today an Enterprise has already made a big expense. We don't want collectors that store the untouched boxed computer on a showcase, do we? we need people writing programs and creating for our loved computer.

512KB of flashRom is a good amount to take advantage of a lot of already made Roms.

Then, 512KB of Ram has to be the minimum installed, recommended and  a little more costly can be 1MB. It is the max for SymbOS, and only a few native Enterprise programs take advantage of a lot of memory.

Now for a Mass Storage, thanks to Zozo, actually an Enterprise can perfectly work without floppies, so I mark the EXDOS floppy controller only as an option.

For the same reason I don't recommend a Mass Storage card based on Floppy simulators like HxC or Gotek. They complicate the system more than ease it, as you need a way to put files on the floppy images that are managed on the SD by the floppy simulator.  Also they tend to be as slow as the floppy that emulates.

The fast, best and cheap option is to have a system based on SD or CompactFlash. Zozo created the IDE.Rom that allows us to have 32MB FAT12 partitions on an IDE device, and probably soon we will have FAT16/32 ones. This has the advantage of a direct reading of the card content on a PC, at least the first partition.

SD is the ideal, but there are CF to SD adapters that can suit us. Directly an IDE disk is nowadays difficult to find and less useful than a CF.

On the other side, the SD is constantly evolving, there are a lot of formats, SDSC, SDHC and SDXC only compatible backwards. The CF features seems to have been frozen in time, and this is a great advantage.

There are other features that can be desirable, like a Real Time Clock, but as it is not strictly necessary I will mark it as optional.

The most extraordinary case is the new EPNET from Bruce. A real net connection is like a chameleon, can act as a remote fast Mass Storage, we also can retrieve Date and Time from it, but the best is  the immediate connection to other users and all the information of the WWW that it offers. It is not strictly necessary, but once accustomed to use it, the user will not imagine how previously he could have passed without it.

---------------
Sorry, I was just wondering...

What I don't understand: Here there are a lot of skilled individual genius trying to create the definitive "All in One" card, but  why don't they work together as a group?
« Last Edit: 2017.June.27. 14:12:11 by gflorez »