New external floppy drives

strim

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Hello.


I am making a batch of external floppy drives for all classic Amigas. Preorder should start within next two weeks, they will be taken by RetroAmi (stay tuned for an update).


Production version will be coloured black (upper part and sides). Price in preorder will be around 50 EUR.


The Amiga-FDD interface we used here is very flexible and allows installation of unmodified PC drives, original Amiga drives and various floppy emulators (version with HxC preinstalled will be offered too). Stanard version will ship with unmodified PC drives working as 880kB DD drives, but the interface can also work with HD drives (original Amiga and modded PC). Of course full NDOS and trackloading compatibility is assured.


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BLTCON0

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A passthrough would complicate the drive's PCB design and of course add to the cost with little to no benefit.

According to the hardware manual, power on the external connector suffices only for one external drive, so a 2nd/3rd external drive would have to be self-powered to comply.
[This was at least valid for the A500/A2000 and the bulky C= A1011/A1411 external drives, which of course had no passthrough for this reason. However the slim drives only made things worse as they draw both PCB and motor power from the +5V line. At least with the bulky C= drives the load was split: PCB = +5V, motor = +12V. I don't think much changed with the A600/A1200, if anything at all, esp. considering the expected/promoted usage of cheap hard drives]

Also, total cabling for all drives should not exceed 1 metre per hardware manual recommendations.
If one's to abide by these requirements, it makes the inclusion of a passthrough a rather moot point as a 2nd external drive would be marginal at best, and a 3rd one would definitely be out of specs.
IMHO if one wants the full set of external drives they'd be better off building a custom self-powered, 3-drive cage and thus stay within specs.

So a passthrough is not a really important feature in my opinion. Would end up being one of those 'nice to have' things that get little to no usage.
 
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strim

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Basically, what BLTCON0 said is true.

We won't provide a passthrough, however the drive is fully compatible with being installed at the end of the chain. On the interface board, there is a jumper to set the drive ID (DF1/DF2/DF3).
 

CraigsBar

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Is there any chance of selling just the case separately, and if so for how much? I have a couple if bare drives on my cpc's and these cases look awesome.
 

RobA1200

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Hi

might be a stupid question -

could you you do a gotek version? I have an as yet un fitted gotek drive - would love to have it in an external drive case and just plug it into the rear disk drive socket when needed.

cheers

rob
 

BLTCON0

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@RobA1200
No special Gotek version is required as it's mounted just like any standard 3.5" FDD..
If you mean a version which makes the Gotek behave as DF0:, then it is not possible as the DF0: select line is not by default available on the external port. Internal modifications would be required for that.
 

RobA1200

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Cool!

df1: would be fine I would have thought - if you wanted to boot from it couldn't you just select df1 from the early start menu?
 

strim

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if you wanted to boot from it couldn't you just select df1 from the early start menu?


Yes, that's true and that how the floppy drive advertised here would work. Although there are minor limitations, like booting from external drives is only supported on Kickstart 2.0 and newer, and not all trackloading games/demos support it.

If you wanted the external drive to behave as DF0, you'd have to install boot selector in your Amiga. Such mods were once popular for A500/A2000,
but not for newer Amigas (models like A600 and A1200 have SMD components on their main boards, which makes it much more difficult).

Regarding gotek version, we won't offer the case preinstalled with gotek, since legal status of gotek firmware is unclear. However, nothing stops you from installing gotek yourself, we already tested our interface board with it and it works like a charm.


 
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strim

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It will be possible, but not in preorder, only in regular sale (sorry). The price for metal case only is not set yet, we're prioritising the sale of complete units at this moment.
 
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