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FloppyControl status update (github)

Mar 06 2019
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I recently got more interest for my project which give me the incentive to design and build a new FloppyControl hardware board based on the Arduino Due, which has a 32 bit 84MHz processor that's much more suitable for capturing the data, which produces about 250KByte/sec data for double density disks and 450KByte/s for high density disks. Especially the latter was hard on the old PIC based capture device.

The advantages of the Arduino Due version are:

  • Elimination of the usb2rs232 dongle, simplifying the design and data path and make it more robust
  • By using the native USB on the Due the transferspeed is doubled. This means capturing HD disks is now perfectly possible. In tests I got 100% recovery on the first attempt.
  • Much easier to reproduce by other makers. Arduino Due is easily available, and I've designed a shield for it that has a floppy connector on it with the stepstick. The PCB has 5 SMD 1205 resistors which are easy to solder. All other components are through hole (all connectors and pin headers). I may have some boards available, send me a message through the contact form and I'll see if I can post it to you. I can also solder the components and test it for you for a small fee.
  • The fast processor allows for other functionality and expansion. Ie making it possible to write disks, which is not currently supported yet.

The FloppyControl app has seen some bugfixes and performance enhancements and runs now more stable.

There's still a lot to be done, like making it a bit more user friendly. I'm considering making a basic version that cuts out all the experimental stuff and focuses on easy capture and error correction improving the workflow and add more automation.

I've asked DrCoolZic (Jean Louis-Guérin), author of the DPLL class FloppyControl uses if I may publish it with the project on github and granted it. Thanks Jean! I've learned a lot from it and based my Adaptive conversion function on it. Detection is similar but at a greater speed.

I've recently published the files for the project on github so others can enjoy the digital archeology I've went through myself. The files can be found here:

If you have any questions, please let me know through the contact form.


Last changed: Mar 06 2019 at 9:36 AM

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