Gotek USB floppy emulator

If you want to ask questions about how the machine works, peculiar details, the differences between models, here it is !
How to program the oric hardware (VIA, FDC, ...) is also welcome.
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Dbug
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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Dbug » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:17 pm

Never mind, I had left the jumpers in the default positions, I used the photo from ISS to see where it should have been , and the Oric immediately booted on 1337
By the way, does the latest firmware support dsk images with no need to converting them to hfe?
No idea, I would need to check that... after I'm done installing the buzzer thingy and the rotary encoder, because click click click click kind of suck as a UI :D

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iss
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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by iss » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:38 pm

Cool! You managed before my post! Congrats. :)

But anyway, attached is fresh compiled latest firmware which I'm using: FF_Gotek-v3.11a.
In the ZIP file is my FF.CFG it can be used as start template for hacking :).
Interesting are following "sections":

Code: Select all

# Floppy-drive interface mode
# shugart: P2=DSKCHG, P34=RDY
# ibmpc: P2=unused, P34=DSKCHG
# ibmpc-hdout: P2=HD_OUT, P34=DSKCHG (not generally needed: prefer 'ibmpc')
# akai-s950: P2=HD_OUT, P34=RDY (Akai S950)
# amiga: P2=DSKCHG, P34=DRIVE_ID (not generally needed: prefer 'shugart')
# jc: JC closed: ibmpc, JC open: shugart
interface = jc
............
# Disk image loaded or ejected at startup?
# Values: yes | no
ejected-on-startup = no
............
# Navigation mode for selecting images/slots
# native:  Navigate through all valid images/dirs
# indexed: Navigate through DSKA0000, DSKA0001, ...
# default: native unless overridden by HxC-compat-mode config
nav-mode = native
About the 2 drive configuration - if both drives allow to be set to any number then simply use straight cable and set the jumpers. If the drives are IBM compatible i.e. set as B drive only then you need crossed cable and "trial-and-error" setup procedure :).

IMO, so far the FF-firmware doesn't support Oric DSK file format, but this will be changed soon ;).
Attachments
FF_Gotek-v3.11a.zip
(252.09 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

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Symoon
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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Symoon » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:12 pm

Is must say that, not using it much, I'm totally lost with HxC / Gotek; SD / USB versions; the firmwares; HFE or DSK compatibility; write ability, ... I tried to find somewhere a kind of table, describing such information for each hardware, only to find that it seems that FlashFloppy is apparently using code from HxC firmware without credit - but that's not the debate here.

Being the owner od a SD HxC, so far I understand I still need to use HFE format and can't make DSK files back from them?
If so I might buy an USB Gotek.

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by ibisum » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:21 pm

I'm with you Symoon, it is a very confusing market - what I have learned in my retro collection is: get it working with your system and then, DO NOT TOUCH it. ;)

So many clones and forks of the firmware and whatnot. Although I've been enjoying the FlashFloppy scene a lot since I put them in my CPC6128 and ZX+3 systems, it has definitely been confusing to go out there and try to find firmware updates. And, bringing it now to the Oric (even though I have a Cumulus and Erebus, as well as real physical Cumana drives), I'm not entirely sure its going to be stable - so once it works, just leave it alone.

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by iss » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:52 pm

Hey guys, it's not so complex! :)

First Jean-François DEL NERO released commercially HxC hardware replacement for floppy drives which runs with closed source HxC firmware, using new image format HFE. The author released free as open source a library and a tool to convert different already existing image formats to HFE.

Then Gotek was released as another cheap replacement for floppy drives, but its firmware was very limited, difficult to use, ... in short - simply bad. And Jean-François DEL NERO started to sell closed source firmware for Gotek.

Meanwhile Hervé Messinger released his Cortex Amiga Floppy Emulator - closed source but for free! This firmware works fine but is limited only to Amiga ADF format.

At end Keirf released full open source firmware for Gotek emulators - being open source many developers helped in bugfixing, improvements and creating mods. Of course together with this started many opportunists to sell on eBay Goteks with FlashFloppy firmware asking for prices 5x and more!

I follow closely FlashFloppy from the very beginning and can say honestly - IMHO it's the best solution! The only code which is used from HxC is the free library, so FlashFloppy can support HFE format. What is missing so far is direct support of Oric DSK format, but as I said this will be changed soon. :)

That's all, folks!

PS. speaking about bad practices to sell on eBay in different form free open software, do you know that recently Oricutron was announced for sale as downladable link with binaries compiled for RPi ? :lol:

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Dbug » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:53 pm

EDIT: Changed the youtube link, it was incorrect

I've spent the afternoon on these, but I finally have two working gotek, with FlashFloppy 2.14, buzzer for the loading sound, and oled display:

IMGP7478_small.JPG
IMGP7478_small.JPG (753.46 KiB) Viewed 431 times
Now, HxC versus Gotek... I do have an HxC, the form factor is just not as good, at least not the model I have (with the screen plugged on top), the Gotek just naturally fits in a drive bay, so it's much better... BUT the 8 digit counter thing SUCKS, it makes the thing absolutely unusable, so if you go for one, then you need to have the Oled screen.

Doing the flashing and modding is actually trivial, it just takes time.
All I did is to follow what the guy explain on this video:



I had ordered some of the rotary encoder switches, but they were too large to fit, but as far as I can see, the buttons are ok, as long as you don't have hundreds of files on the usb stick.

Also, from a usability point of view, I prefer the usb stick to the SD card, much easier to transfer files when you develop!

Now all we need is the native DSK support :)

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by iss » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:52 pm

Great! I totally share your opinions about LCD/OLED, buttons, etc.
Additionally I drill a hole for the red LED and bend it like the green one - it blinks nicely by write operations and I don't see reason to leave it hidden inside the box.

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Symoon » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:14 pm

Thanks for the explanations.
iss wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:52 pm
What is missing so far is direct support of Oric DSK format, but as I said this will be changed soon. :)
Good news!
See how lost I was, I thought that Zaxon's Cumana+Gotek drive was directly dealing with DSK files.

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Dbug » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:19 pm

iss wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:52 pm
Additionally I drill a hole for the red LED and bend it like the green one - it blinks nicely by write operations and I don't see reason to leave it hidden inside the box.
I would have done it, but mine did not have the red led installed at all :)

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Dbug » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:23 pm

Another question: Would it be easy to find some switch with two sets of contacts and two positions for each, which would allow to easily swap between the microdisc and gotek as the main drive?

I assume it's just a matter of diverging the two drive select pins through the switch and either keep them in the same direction or swap them around, would that work?

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by iss » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm

I have an idea for more universal "floppy switcher" but so far I didn't found a good looking solution (not electrically but the out-look only). Else using toggle switches is nice and very effective. For instance like this one - the link is just an example. I think the name is something like ON-OFF-ON. For Gotek the wiring can be done with Dupon wires/connectors directly in place where are the jumpers for D0 and D1. The same connection can be used with 3" (3.5") drives if they have jumpers for configuration too. If the drive has micro DIP switches then soldering in parallel is required. But yes, nothing special. Good idea indeed!

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Dbug » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:23 pm

Looks like both the Gotek and the Hitachi hfd305d use jumpers to select the drive, so the double switch thingy would probably work :)
HitachiDriveSwitch.jpg
HitachiDriveSwitch.jpg (778.59 KiB) Viewed 376 times

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by coco.oric » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:34 am

I've spent the afternoon on these, but I finally have two working gotek, with FlashFloppy 2.14, buzzer for the loading sound, and oled display
I've bought some items, and ready to modify a gotek drive.
Thanks for the video and links. I hope i'll time to manage the modification before CEO's visu
coco.oric as DidierV, CEO Member
Historic owner of Oric, Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by Symoon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:28 am

Symoon wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:14 pm
Thanks for the explanations.
iss wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:52 pm
What is missing so far is direct support of Oric DSK format, but as I said this will be changed soon. :)
Good news!
See how lost I was, I thought that Zaxon's Cumana+Gotek drive was directly dealing with DSK files.
Totally confused once again with what can handle what: latest pictures of Zaxon's Gotek drive seem to show .DSK files directly read and written?
viewtopic.php?f=9&p=21441#p21438

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Re: Gotek USB floppy emulator

Post by iss » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:27 am

Symoon wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:28 am
Totally confused once again with what can handle what: latest pictures of .... seem to show .DSK files directly read and written?
gotek.png
gotek.png (25.23 KiB) Viewed 85 times
The name ends with _dsk It's not .dsk.
Or the full name here is: B7en-1_3_dsk.HFE and the extension .HFE is hidden by FlashFloppy firmware.

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