Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

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Twosocks
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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by Twosocks » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:52 pm

Perhaps this can help:

The service manual in pdf. (This is the manual for the IIx):

http://www.hermannseib.com/documents/CM ... Manual.pdf


There is also a version for the series II online.:

http://fairlightus.com/Downloads/Histor ... Manual.pdf

The disks used are: Double sided Double density.

Here is a pic I took. Hope that is what you need.

Image

The drive used according to the service manual is: Mitsubishi M2896-63
(I will check this next week and let you know.)

Some extra info:

A blank disk will show 3980 free sectors
A sector is 128 bytes long.

File types:

CMI files:
.IN - Instrument 24 (sectors)
.VC - Voice 172
.CO - Control 16
.SQ - KBD Sequence var

With Optional Software:
.AI - Analog Interface 16
.RS - Real Time Composer var
.PX - Screen Print 132

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by bendragon » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:06 pm

HideawayStudio wrote: Hi... Thanks for the info on the FZ-1's floppy spin rate. This might not be an issue if the emulator is persuaded that the drive is a virtua 5.25" drive. I'd forgotten about the change in spin rates between the two standards - what I didn't know is that some 3.5" disks were spinning at 5.25" rates :)
Now i'm confused about the drives in the FZ samplers. I yanked mine out and repaired it (the cage that pushed the disk down needed some WD-40, it didn't push it down far enough for the spindle to latch onto the disk) and the sticker on the bottom of the motor reads "300rpm". Anyone have any info on this? Maybe a rare number of FZs use 300rpm drives. I have an FZ-1.

HideawayStudio, this is brilliant information! If they ever get distrobuted outside of china I'll buy one and store it away for the day my drive eventually does go :)

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by Twosocks » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:27 pm

Some more info about the Fairlight.

QDOS 8" floppy format (Series I/II/IIx)
Drive: Mitsubishi M2896-63, Qume Q242, YE Data YD180
360rpm, single density (FM), soft sectored (1 index hole), 77 tracks/side, 26 sectors/track, 128 Bytes/sector, 500KBit/sec raw
single-sided -> total: 2002 sectors = 250.25KB formatted
double-sided -> total: 4004 sectors = 500.5KB formatted
Note:
There are two variants of the double-sided QDOS format: QDOS-6809 and QDOS-6800 ("old QDOS"), differing in the low-level sector-numbering scheme for side 1 (which is handled by the low-level driver and is transparent to the user as long as the device parameters are set appropriately).
For compatibility, Series IIx machines (running QDOS-6809) still employ the (old) QDOS-6800 format for CMI sound-disks (with the system-disk however having the new QDOS-6809 format).
Source: http://kmi9000.tripod.com/kmi_cmi_soft.htm#software

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by Bross » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:55 pm

It'll never sound as warm as a real floppy disk. :)

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by bendragon » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:02 pm

Bross wrote:It'll never sound as warm as a real floppy disk. :)
lol xD

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:45 am

bendragon wrote:
Bross wrote:It'll never sound as warm as a real floppy disk. :)
lol xD
Maybe I should suggest to the manufacturer that they do a special version featuring an authentic grinding noise generator :wink:

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:47 am

Twosocks wrote:Some more info about the Fairlight.

QDOS 8" floppy format (Series I/II/IIx)
Drive: Mitsubishi M2896-63, Qume Q242, YE Data YD180
360rpm, single density (FM), soft sectored (1 index hole), 77 tracks/side, 26 sectors/track, 128 Bytes/sector, 500KBit/sec raw
single-sided -> total: 2002 sectors = 250.25KB formatted
double-sided -> total: 4004 sectors = 500.5KB formatted
Note:
There are two variants of the double-sided QDOS format: QDOS-6809 and QDOS-6800 ("old QDOS"), differing in the low-level sector-numbering scheme for side 1 (which is handled by the low-level driver and is transparent to the user as long as the device parameters are set appropriately).
For compatibility, Series IIx machines (running QDOS-6809) still employ the (old) QDOS-6800 format for CMI sound-disks (with the system-disk however having the new QDOS-6809 format).
Source: http://kmi9000.tripod.com/kmi_cmi_soft.htm#software

Thank you very very much for this info and the links to the manuals - the internet is just amazing these days :D

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:54 am

bendragon wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote: Hi... Thanks for the info on the FZ-1's floppy spin rate. This might not be an issue if the emulator is persuaded that the drive is a virtua 5.25" drive. I'd forgotten about the change in spin rates between the two standards - what I didn't know is that some 3.5" disks were spinning at 5.25" rates :)
Now i'm confused about the drives in the FZ samplers. I yanked mine out and repaired it (the cage that pushed the disk down needed some WD-40, it didn't push it down far enough for the spindle to latch onto the disk) and the sticker on the bottom of the motor reads "300rpm". Anyone have any info on this? Maybe a rare number of FZs use 300rpm drives. I have an FZ-1.

HideawayStudio, this is brilliant information! If they ever get distrobuted outside of china I'll buy one and store it away for the day my drive eventually does go :)
I'm just a little suspicious about this one - I can't help thinking the spin rate is irrelevant - it should all sync up at the end of the day - might be wrong... we'll see.

If this product turns out to be a winner them I'm tempted to become a distributor....

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by polardark » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:12 pm

bendragon wrote:Anyone have any info on this? Maybe a rare number of FZs use 300rpm drives.
Older lower density 3.5" drives (the 720 kb variety used on old PCs) rotate at around 150 RPM (give or take). Most newer "HD" 3.5" floppy drives rotate at around 300 RPM. Also many "HD" floppy drives can be toggled to rotate at a slower 150 RPM to make them compatible with older floppy controller chipsets.

Looking online i found some material suggesting that the FZ-1 used a 360 RPM 3.5" drive. Very odd. Since Casio's pro synthesizer range spent a lot of time in development perhaps it was originally meant for use with a 5.25" drive? Anyhow for a hardware shugart emulator this simply means that you switch the emulator hardware to 5.25" mode and that should be enough.

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by gmeredith » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:31 am

If this product turns out to be a winner them I'm tempted to become a distributor....
Yes, please! We need someone to liaze for us through the Bamboo Curtain!

Here are some pages out of my FZ-1 service manual. There is a whole chapter dedicated to the floppy drive and its maintenance. One of the pages here talks about adjusting the speed of the floppy drive. Apparently there were a few sources they got their floppys from and so needed to be set for the FZ.

I can send you the FZ service manual but its huge (60MB). I could scan individual pages and email them if you need it. I also have another manual called "FZ data structures" which goes into fine detail about how the FZ stores and packs data (5MB). If you need it, let me know.

Cheers, graham
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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:21 pm

polardark wrote:This is very interesting.. Not only for synths but older computer equipment of course. It would be very interesting to see the actual specifications of this device. Is it for instance capable of handling the various disk speeds and encoding formats used by various implementations of 3.5", 5.25", 3", etc floppies?

There are a lot of people using older computers as well and i think there is a market for something like this if it can replace the floppy drive in their old ataris, amigas, commodores, sinclairs, etc etc...

The device is very likely to work on the Atari ST, Archimedes and BBC Micro but sadly less likely to work on the Amiga as its FDD control was rather odd. In the case of the Amiga it depends on just how different the drive was to a standard Shugart mechanism. It's even looking likely this unit will work with the Fairlight Series II which is bound to cause some interest.

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by polardark » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:01 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:The device is very likely to work on the Atari ST, Archimedes and BBC Micro but sadly less likely to work on the Amiga as its FDD control was rather odd. In the case of the Amiga it depends on just how different the drive was to a standard Shugart mechanism.
The Amiga uses MFM encoding by default (even though i think it can do other encodings as well). The MFM encoding speed differs between different tracks though. The question then, is if this floppy emulation device is "constant angular velocity" only. If so, it would not be suitable for usage with older Apple Macintosh, Commodore 1541 or Amiga disk drives. Possibly some synth hardware might not work right as well.

Shugart drive standards do not (afaik) specify if the disk drives are constant angular velocity or not. If this device claims to emulate any shugart drive it might take this into consideration. It would be good with some more detailed technical specifications. :)

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:51 pm

polardark wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote:The device is very likely to work on the Atari ST, Archimedes and BBC Micro but sadly less likely to work on the Amiga as its FDD control was rather odd. In the case of the Amiga it depends on just how different the drive was to a standard Shugart mechanism.
The Amiga uses MFM encoding by default (even though i think it can do other encodings as well). The MFM encoding speed differs between different tracks though. The question then, is if this floppy emulation device is "constant angular velocity" only. If so, it would not be suitable for usage with older Apple Macintosh, Commodore 1541 or Amiga disk drives. Possibly some synth hardware might not work right as well.

Shugart drive standards do not (afaik) specify if the disk drives are constant angular velocity or not. If this device claims to emulate any shugart drive it might take this into consideration. It would be good with some more detailed technical specifications. :)
I'm not aware of any music applications using CLV drives - as you say this was a Mac thing. I didn't think the motor speed changed on the Amiga - only clever tricks with the data rates etc. I think the assumption is that the media emulated is the standard CAV method. I was always intrigued by the rather bizarre noises the Amiga made when accessing disks. I have extremely fond memories of the Amiga and it will be a shame if this device can't be of use to the retro Amiga scene.

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by Userfriend » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:19 pm

Floppy emulators for Qick Disks would be welcome as well. QD occur in several Korg and Roland machines.

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Re: Hardware Floppy Disk Drive Emulator

Post by piRoN » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:14 am

I reckon it wouldn't be especially hard to make an emulator for a QuickDisk drive, considering you don't need to worry about random access, sectors, etc. Just a straight data dump down the line.

I imagine one could do it with a PIC and some sort of flash storage. Anyone game? I've only got about 10 functioning disks left...
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