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hargle
February 22nd, 2009, 08:54 AM
Ok, the 8Bit IDE controller is nearly upon us.

For those of you not following the thread, we're talking about an 8Bit, ISA, IDE controller to put into your PC/XT machines that will allow you to use modern hard drives, up to 137Gig in size in your trusty-rusty friends. Full support for CF and CD-ROM is also planned. The entire project is open source, and is dedicated to the vintage-computer forums, because we all love it here.

Similar cards with BIOS limited support to ~500MB are available on ebay for big money (approximately $200 at the moment).

I'm trying to get an estimate as to how many PCBs to have built. Assuming the cost of the card is $25 or less, how many would you be interested in buying?

Please use the poll here to let me know how many you'd be interested in, and I will order PCBs accordingly. Please use the other thread:
http://vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=12359
for any questions you may have.

thanks!

gerrydoire
February 22nd, 2009, 09:20 AM
Ok, the 8Bit IDE controller is nearly upon us.

For those of you not following the thread, we're talking about an 8Bit, ISA, IDE controller to put into your PC/XT machines that will allow you to use modern hard drives, up to 137Gig in size in your trusty-rusty friends. Full support for CF and CD-ROM is also planned. The entire project is open source, and is dedicated to the vintage-computer forums, because we all love it here.

Similar cards with BIOS limited support to ~500MB are available on ebay for big money (approximately $200 at the moment).

I'm trying to get an estimate as to how many PCBs to have built. Assuming the cost of the card is $25 or less, how many would you be interested in buying?

Please use the poll here to let me know how many you'd be interested in, and I will order PCBs accordingly. Please use the other thread:
http://vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=12359
for any questions you may have.

thanks!

At $25 or less, I would be buying at least 3, no problem.

frozenfire75i
February 22nd, 2009, 09:20 AM
At 25 or less I could see buying 2 to start with no problem!

chuckcmagee
February 22nd, 2009, 09:52 AM
One here. I thought about getting another as a spare but seems like overkill.

Terry Yager
February 22nd, 2009, 10:05 AM
Put me down for two, if under fitty buck$, even more if below twenty-five. Self-soldered kits, that is.

--T

gerrydoire
February 22nd, 2009, 10:13 AM
I would be going full steam ahead with CF compatibility, why use big ugly power consuming, space eating piles of junk that offer speed and storage space to a computer that really can't take advantage of either?

CF Cards that are 2 gig are relitively cheap, 2 gigs is more than enough for a PC or XT type machine, it sucks up no space, sucks up no power, has no weight, doesn't use a bay, SOLID STATE WITH NO MOVING PARTS, what more could a IBM 5150 or 5160 ask for.

I could throw one IDE card into a 5150 slot with a CF card, and from the front you still see two full height drives, it looks as it always did, meanwhile one slot has 2 gigs of storage or whatever size CF Card I want to use, load it up with every program imaginable, no more wear and tear to the old 360k's and no major load to the limited power supply.

This rant only applies to 8 Bit IBM Computers, since all other 8bit computers don't matter, except maybe the Tandy 1000 and the first batch of Compaqs.

Unknown_K
February 22nd, 2009, 10:35 AM
Put me down for one! I have plenty of 500MB or so tested 100% working HDs on the shelf that would sound nice in my XT class system. With the BIOS these are bootable and don't need any drivers loaded correct (other then for CDROM use)?

Would a kit cost much less then the $25? I asume you will be buying the parts and soldering them all together to save on assembly costs to meet the target price. I don't mind soldering.

per
February 22nd, 2009, 10:42 AM
I'll take two since I'll soon end up with two XT's. I'll be using a CF-IDE converter with my early rev. XT, and a disk drive drive with the Later rev. XT (since it got 1 FH FDD and 1 HH FDD, it got space for another HH device).

frozenfire75i
February 22nd, 2009, 11:06 AM
Well some good points, but It seems any laptop drive would pretty much work the same as the CF card as your talking?

You could make a hard card with a laptop drive and this 8-bit IDE card.



I would be going full steam ahead with CF compatibility, why use big ugly power consuming, space eating piles of junk that offer speed and storage space to a computer that really can't take advantage of either?

CF Cards that are 2 gig are relitively cheap, 2 gigs is more than enough for a PC or XT type machine, it sucks up no space, sucks up no power, has no weight, doesn't use a bay, SOLID STATE WITH NO MOVING PARTS, what more could a IBM 5150 or 5160 ask for.

I could throw one IDE card into a 5150 slot with a CF card, and from the front you still see two full height drives, it looks as it always did, meanwhile one slot has 2 gigs of storage or whatever size CF Card I want to use, load it up with every program imaginable, no more wear and tear to the old 360k's and no major load to the limited power supply.

This rant only applies to 8 Bit IBM Computers, since all other 8bit computers don't matter, except maybe the Tandy 1000 and the first batch of Compaqs.

Unknown_K
February 22nd, 2009, 11:11 AM
Small WORKING laptop drives are very hard to find, there are still plenty of smaller IDE desktop drives around.

rangga
February 22nd, 2009, 11:16 AM
Put me down for two...

gerrydoire
February 22nd, 2009, 12:22 PM
Well some good points, but It seems any laptop drive would pretty much work the same as the CF card as your talking?

You could make a hard card with a laptop drive and this 8-bit IDE card.

CF Card is still smaller, lighter, less prone to failure, less energy draining.

I've tried my Acculogic on a few laptop hard drives, some worked, some didn't.

justjunk
February 22nd, 2009, 06:35 PM
I am in for two.. if I don't have to solder anything. Thank all of you hard working vintage computer enthusiasts for making this happen!

gerrydoire
February 22nd, 2009, 06:47 PM
I am in for two.. if I don't have to solder anything. Thank all of you hard working vintage computer enthusiasts for making this happen!

I'm ok with soldering, long as I don't need a microscope..

wmmullaney
February 22nd, 2009, 06:48 PM
I guess we all have agent orange to thank for the card, what a wonderful team effort!

I'll take one pre soldered

BG101
February 23rd, 2009, 05:37 AM
Put me down for a couple of them :) (preferably in kit form)

A very worthwhile project, thanks for all the hard work!


BG

Jorg
February 23rd, 2009, 05:41 AM
I'm up for 2-3 finished (I'm dangerous with a soldering iron).

Even if people say the poll might be premature, I see it as an encouragement to the developers.

CF card would be ideal though- it would be sad if it all ends because the old IDE drives start to give up, and it would be great to be able to use the drive bays for something else.

frozenfire75i
February 23rd, 2009, 05:44 AM
I agree, I think it should be done in a hardcard format with CF or anytype of drive, I know for a fact when I retire my working ST-412, It's going to stay right in the drive bay!




I'm up for 2-3 finished (I'm dangerous with a soldering iron).

Even if people say the poll might be premature, I see it as an encouragement to the developers.

CF card would be ideal though- it would be sad if it all ends because the old IDE drives start to give up, and it would be great to be able to use the drive bays for something else.

kb2syd
February 23rd, 2009, 05:56 AM
I put down two, but would probably order 3. Would the IRQ be selectable so we could use these in Tandy units?

Thanks,
Kelly

Amigaz
February 23rd, 2009, 06:09 AM
Put down two also but there's a chance I'd other 3 if the price is reasonable and my wallet is thick when they are for sale...

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 06:15 AM
I agree, I think it should be done in a hardcard format with CF or anytype of drive, I know for a fact when I retire my working ST-412, It's going to stay right in the drive bay!

Just leave the hard drive in there, unplug the power, remove the mfm card, put in the ide card with CF and pretend its still the st-412, I won't tell if you don't....;)

NobodyIsHere
February 23rd, 2009, 06:16 AM
I put down two, but would probably order 3. Would the IRQ be selectable so we could use these in Tandy units?

Thanks,
Kelly

Hi! The current design is fixed at IRQ 5. I would have to do a PCB respin to change it or make it selectable. That may happen anyway as a result of what comes out of testing but I'd like to avoid it if possible. It takes ~3 weeks for the PCB to finish trace routing optimization.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 06:17 AM
I put down two, but would probably order 3. Would the IRQ be selectable so we could use these in Tandy units?

Thanks,
Kelly

Good question, IRQ 3,4,5,7 would be nice :>

kb2syd
February 23rd, 2009, 06:18 AM
IRQ 2 for Tandy.

Trixter
February 23rd, 2009, 07:37 AM
Seconded that it support IRQ 2. Putting a modern hard drive in a Tandy would solve a lot of problems, and would also enable creating "the perfect Tandy 1000 setup": Every single game ever released with Tandy graphics or sound support on a single Tandy 1000 machine!

Jorg
February 23rd, 2009, 07:48 AM
Just leave the hard drive in there, unplug the power, remove the mfm card, put in the ide card with CF and pretend its still the st-412, I won't tell if you don't....;)

You'd need a TSR that plays ST-412 sounds to the speaker then...

If I'm counting correctly there's 47 options already, nice!

NobodyIsHere
February 23rd, 2009, 07:52 AM
Seconded that it support IRQ 2. Putting a modern hard drive in a Tandy would solve a lot of problems, and would also enable creating "the perfect Tandy 1000 setup": Every single game ever released with Tandy graphics or sound support on a single Tandy 1000 machine!

Hi! Well there is always the good old reliable "cuts and jumpers" method. Use your razor to cut the trace and solder a wire to the proper pin on the ISA connector. If we do a PCB respin I'll consider it as there are other things in the queue but there are no show stoppers yet to force the issue.

As a PCB respin takes three weeks to produce a decent trace routing I am reluctant to do it more than absolutely necessary. In addition, the machine I use for PCB routing is already fully loaded doing another N8VEM board. Adding configuration jumpers also increases part count, trace complexity, etc which increases cost, complexity, etc. I know it may seem like a "little thing" but believe me these little tweaks, especially late ones, make a *big* difference.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

kb2syd
February 23rd, 2009, 07:57 AM
Hi! Well there is always the good old reliable "cuts and jumpers" method. Use your razor to cut the trace and solder a wire to the proper pin on the ISA connector.

Cuts and jumpers don't scare me. I used to have to do field mods to model 6000 computers all the time.

Do all the ISA pads have foil so we can solder to that or do we have to kludge something on there? That being asked, I think there would be more to it than just this for a Tandy conversion or we'd have used the old WD boards more readily. I think there was some other issue and the ROM on the HD controller needed to be of a certain version or higher.

I'd be willing to try it any way. If it doesn't work, I'll think about make copies of the ADP boards I do have that work in the 1000 series.

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 08:03 AM
You'd need a TSR that plays ST-412 sounds to the speaker then...

If I'm counting correctly there's 47 options already, nice!

A Gerbil and a squeeky wheel!


:withstupid:

NobodyIsHere
February 23rd, 2009, 08:09 AM
Cuts and jumpers don't scare me. I used to have to do field mods to model 6000 computers all the time.

Do all the ISA pads have foil so we can solder to that or do we have to kludge something on there? That being asked, I think there would be more to it than just this for a Tandy conversion or we'd have used the old WD boards more readily. I think there was some other issue and the ROM on the HD controller needed to be of a certain version or higher.

I'd be willing to try it any way. If it doesn't work, I'll think about make copies of the ADP boards I do have that work in the 1000 series.

Hi! Thanks! Yes, there are metal fingers on male edge connector part of the PCB. Adding a cut and jumper to do what you are proposing would be trivial.

The ROM and IO port locations are both user selectable options. I don't know the full span of locations for either off the top of my head but it was a significant range.

What I'd like to know is where were all these helpful comments during the design phase? I appreciate constructive feedback but its awfully late in the development cycle for such basic requirements. I implemented a number of suggestions based on feedback at the time such as the ROM, the pull up resistors on the 74LS688s, and such.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

chuckcmagee
February 23rd, 2009, 08:20 AM
Small WORKING laptop drives are very hard to find, there are still plenty of smaller IDE desktop drives around.

They SURE are! I have 2 or 3 early laptops sitting around, unable to be used. Can't find a small capacity working drive to go in there. As we all know, even if a 10GB drive fits into the space, the bios on the laptop is clueless, most of the time doesn't even know a drive is there.

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 09:05 AM
They SURE are! I have 2 or 3 early laptops sitting around, unable to be used. Can't find a small capacity working drive to go in there. As we all know, even if a 10GB drive fits into the space, the bios on the laptop is clueless, most of the time doesn't even know a drive is there.

I removed two hard drives from obsolete laptops, one was 2 gigs the other 40, the 2 gig hard drive worked fine with my Acculogic, the 40 gig one wouldn't work at all even though it worked in a modern age computer.

kb2syd
February 23rd, 2009, 09:07 AM
What I'd like to know is where were all these helpful comments during the design phase? I appreciate constructive feedback but its awfully late in the development cycle for such basic requirements.

Having always worked on machines that required oddball IRQ settings I had assumed (fatal mistake there) that with all the other jumpers in the design a selectable IRQ had been thought of. Cut and jumper works for me.

If it is just horsepower you need to respin the boards and it is possible to do so, tell me what I need to download and install. I have gobs of computing power sitting around. Everything from 486s up to single core Pentium 4 machines. Think of it as your own personal SETI at Home.

If not feasable, then don't even bother responding to the above. Don't want to waste any of your time explaining why. And no, that was not sarcasm, if it ain't worth it it ain't worth it...

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 09:45 AM
I think if the first revision of this card supports only IRQ 5 than that is ok, as with most things, improvements come with revisions.

kb2syd
February 23rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
I think if the first revision of this card supports only IRQ 5 than that is ok, as with most things, improvements come with revisions.

Agreed. 100%. I'd still buy 2 for my non tandy stuff.

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 10:29 AM
Agreed. 100%. I'd still buy 2 for my non tandy stuff.

Speaking about Tandy, I remember the good old days, when you would walk into a RAD Shack store and see all them Tandy IBM Compatibles with their own Tandy sound and Tandy graphics, at that time my IBM XT had 4 colors CGA which was puke compared to a Tandy IBM Compatibles with their 16, Kings Quest :>

Roll ahead 25 years or so, Tandy is in the toilet and IBM doesn't even sell personal computers nemore..

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

per
February 23rd, 2009, 10:42 AM
Speaking about Tandy, I remember the good old days, when you would walk into a RAD Shack store and see all them Tandy IBM Compatibles with their own Tandy sound and Tandy graphics, at that time my IBM XT had 4 colors CGA which was puke compared to a Tandy IBM Compatibles with their 16, Kings Quest :>

Roll ahead 25 years or so, Tandy is in the toilet and IBM doesn't even sell personal computers nemore..

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Do you know if the EGA is hardware-compatible with the Tandy graphics?

I also got a feeling that the Plantonics color+ is hardware-compatible with Tandy graphics, even the standard CGA is, but it only got half the RAM to take advantages of it (lot's of pixels/scanlines missing).

Trixter
February 23rd, 2009, 11:42 AM
Speaking about Tandy, I remember the good old days, when you would walk into a RAD Shack store and see all them Tandy IBM Compatibles with their own Tandy sound and Tandy graphics, at that time my IBM XT had 4 colors CGA which was puke compared to a Tandy IBM Compatibles with their 16, Kings Quest

Good memory; I had a similar one. Imagine how elated I was to discover the 160x100x16 mode (through Round 42), and composite color graphics mode in the same month. I didn't have a composite output port, but I took my store-bought Starflight (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/starflight) over to a friend with a compaq luggable, and we hooked it up to a TV and hit the magic keyboard combo to enable composite output. We played that (and a bootleg Flight Simulator) for hours.

Trixter
February 23rd, 2009, 11:45 AM
Do you know if the EGA is hardware-compatible with the Tandy graphics?

I also got a feeling that the Plantonics color+ is hardware-compatible with Tandy graphics, even the standard CGA is, but it only got half the RAM to take advantages of it (lot's of pixels/scanlines missing).

EGA is not hardware compatible with Tandy in pretty much every sense of the word (memory organization, palette, ports, all different)

I hear that the Plantronics *is* somewhat compatible -- the colors and memory organization is the same (interlaced) but the ports are not. But I am not sure, so ask around.

per
February 23rd, 2009, 11:48 AM
EGA is not hardware compatible with Tandy in pretty much every sense of the word (memory organization, palette, ports, all different)

I hear that the Plantronics *is* somewhat compatible -- the colors and memory organization is the same (interlaced) but the ports are not. But I am not sure, so ask around.

My ATI is Plantonics compatible, so maybe if I try to run a program with Tandy graphics but not Tandy sound... Then we'll see if it is the same or not. Anybody knows of any program that talks to the Tandy graphics controller directly (without using the BIOS) and uses the enchanted feautres?

gerrydoire
February 23rd, 2009, 11:51 AM
Good memory; I had a similar one. Imagine how elated I was to discover the 160x100x16 mode (through Round 42), and composite color graphics mode in the same month. I didn't have a composite output port, but I took my store-bought Starflight (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/starflight) over to a friend with a compaq luggable, and we hooked it up to a TV and hit the magic keyboard combo to enable composite output. We played that (and a bootleg Flight Simulator) for hours.

I eventually bought an EGA Card and it went into my 8mhz clone turbo button jobby.
Then the universe as we know it came to a stand still, I bought an Adlib Card. :D

NobodyIsHere
February 23rd, 2009, 11:58 AM
If it is just horsepower you need to respin the boards and it is possible to do so, tell me what I need to download and install. I have gobs of computing power sitting around. Everything from 486s up to single core Pentium 4 machines. Think of it as your own personal SETI at Home.



Hi! Thanks for the offer! My PCB trace routing machine is a 3.2 GHz P4 512MB running 24x7 Linux/Java 6/FreeRouting.net PCB router as its only task.

The current version of the XT-IDE PCB took three weeks at various settings to reduce the vias and overall trace length to something approaching decent. My N8VEM Disk IO board was in the trace router for about three months. The current job in the router is a N8VEM Zilog Peripherals board in and its been in there since the XT-IDE board came out. I have forgotten how long that has been but probably around a month or so. Its probably close to half done I'd guess. I check its progress and tune the optimizer once every day or so depending on its progress and how its doing.

Yes, I could just hit "autoroute" and pump out another PCB in a couple of hours but then it'd have hundreds of vias and trace routing that'd look like a plate of spaghetti. The board would not perform well . Repairs would be difficult and generally it would be awful. Manual routing is an option but that is huge time sink too. Purchasing the commercial OrCAD or Eagle packages is more than I am willing to invest in this hobby ($hundreds).

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

evildragon
February 23rd, 2009, 01:03 PM
If I could get one, I'd take out my VGA card for that!!

Ole Juul
February 23rd, 2009, 01:30 PM
You can put me down for one.

evildragon
February 23rd, 2009, 05:02 PM
Ok, put me officially down for one.

I REALLY could use one of these. While my external enclosure works, that darn unidirectional parallel port sucks.

NobodyIsHere
February 23rd, 2009, 06:06 PM
Hi! Well if its any consolation, and while it probably is not, I understand your legitimate frustration. I can sympathize and am thankful this issue is getting discussed now.

Bad news, unlike fine wine, does not improve with age. Thank you for your continued patience.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Terry Yager
February 23rd, 2009, 07:36 PM
I'm standing with my prior assessment, if they can be had in kit form for somewhere in the $50 range, I'm good for two (or more in the future).

--T

docred
February 23rd, 2009, 07:52 PM
You could put me down for two - very cool project, compliments to everyone who was involved with it.

Trixter
February 24th, 2009, 01:22 PM
I would easily spend $100 on these to get as many as I could. If unit cost is $25, that puts me down for four.

barythrin
February 24th, 2009, 02:45 PM
$20-$25 is my safe(r) toy budget, so I would assume a lot of folks will buy one for that price just because it's cheap and so usable. Also as previously mentioned IRQ selection would be great or even a quick how-to on what pins on the slot to manually jumper would be fine.

Hopefully it's enough to make a little money for you (both?) also. I understand that part also but after toys get to $50-$75 I tend to shy away for small projects. Good luck in any sense! I'm sure you'll have more sales/hits than predicted here.

evildragon
February 24th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Now, would it have a CF slot or just require an adapter? Out of curiosity. It'd be cool if it had a CF slot in the back of the computer. XD

TomFCS
February 24th, 2009, 03:26 PM
I'll take one for now also and most likely another one later on.

lither
March 1st, 2009, 11:14 PM
i would like to take 2 if possible
thx!
Lee

JoJo_ReloadeD
March 2nd, 2009, 12:37 PM
I'm interested too :D

michal
March 17th, 2009, 05:03 AM
If it would work on a PS/2 model 30 then I'd take one.
Would it ? :)

per
March 17th, 2009, 05:26 AM
If it would work on a PS/2 model 30 then I'd take one.
Would it ? :)

I assume so...

hargle
March 17th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Isn't the MCA bus used on those ps/2 models? This is an ISA card only.
Isn't MCA also capable of more than 8bit transfers at a time? That sorta defeats the purpose of even needing one of these. (I'm honestly asking the questions, I'm really unfamiliar with PS/2s)

Be happy to sell you one though! :)

mbbrutman
March 17th, 2009, 05:55 AM
Not all of the PS/2 machines were MCA bus. The lower end machines were the functional equivalent of updated XTs.

michal
March 17th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Isn't the MCA bus used on those ps/2 models? This is an ISA card only.
Isn't MCA also capable of more than 8bit transfers at a time?

Yes, the MCA bus was used on all 386+ PS/2 machines. The entry models 25 & 30 (XT/AT) use the ISA slot. I don't expect problems with fitting the card is the slot, but rather with the IRQ setting.

Agent Orange
March 17th, 2009, 08:02 AM
Put me down for 3.

Agent Orange

IBMMuseum
March 17th, 2009, 10:21 AM
Yes, the MCA bus was used on all 386+ PS/2 machines. The entry models 25 & 30 (XT/AT) use the ISA slot. I don't expect problems with fitting the card is the slot, but rather with the IRQ setting.

To be more correct, the 8086-based versions of the PS/2 Model 25 and 30 have 8-bit expansion slots (2 and 3 respectively) like the IBM XT. "ISA" to me denotes a 16-bit card and slot like an IBM AT. There are 286-based versions of the Model 25 and 30 ("25 286", "30 286") and a 386SX version of the Model 25 ("25SX") with "ISA" slots (the 25SX has three 16-bit expansion slots, one is a "reversed" bracket designed for a special Ethernet or Token Ring network adapters).

There are other PS/2 models with 386SX, 386SLC, 486SLC2, and 486SLC3 CPUs ("386+"), but an ISA bus. Mike is right in saying there are several models (below the Model 50) that are not a microchannel bus. In this particular case (an 8-bit card on the Model 30) I don't think there will be an issue with an IRQ, unless it uses the same IRQ as a hard drive with one actually attached (the HDD controller is on the planar, but is deactivated if the proprietary HDD ins't connected).

michal
March 17th, 2009, 02:07 PM
For those of you not following the thread, we're talking about an 8Bit, ISA, IDE controller to put into your PC/XT machines


To be more correct, the 8086-based versions of the PS/2 Model 25 and 30 have 8-bit expansion slots (2 and 3 respectively) like the IBM XT. "ISA" to me denotes a 16-bit card and slot like an IBM AT.

Well I've been following this thread's terminology and also mine, about the ISA slots. On the Wikipedia the terms 8-bit ISA and 16-bit ISA are used. Well I'm sure You're right about the PS/2 models :D

And back to the subject, if it's gonna work, then I'll take it !

mbbrutman
March 17th, 2009, 03:49 PM
I think the correct terms are actually PC bus and ISA bus. 8 bit ISA and 16 bit ISA usually are descriptive enough to avoid any confusion.

Mike Chambers
March 17th, 2009, 11:08 PM
oh wow awesome... i would buy probably two. definitely one. i voted one on the poll.

Q: how pwn is this?

A:VERY PWN!

dpatten
March 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM
I'd certainly buy one for $25. I too am especially interested if it works in the 8086 based PS/2 model 30. The 20 MB Hard drive in mine is getting a bit full...

Is the $25 price for an assembled card, the price of a kit or just the bare pcb?

hargle
March 18th, 2009, 09:54 AM
$25 may be little optimistic. I've had a quick slab of reality on PCB manufacturing costs sent to me lately. Some of the components are a bit expensive too, not to mention just the stupid metal bracket that attaches the thing to your case is going to cost about $1.50 each if I have to buy them online. (it's TOUGH to find anyone selling ISA slot brackets nowadays)

I'm actively seeking better priced components and lowest cost PCB manufacturing. I think I found an IC supplier right here on VCF, so we might be able to keep a majority of the project in-house, which is what I'd really like to do.

It may still be possible to swing a $25 price tag on a build-it-yourself kit (plus postage) or slightly more for an assembled+tested version. We really won't know until we're further along in the debugging cycle how many spins of the board we will have to pay for, nor do I know how long it'll take me to solder one of these cards up and then test it.

That said, I can see from the poll results that we're quickly reaching a milestone of about 100 cards, which means that the price will drop when buying parts in bulk, so that'll help out the costs all around, so maybe we are back to our ideal $25 price point.

Remember: this card is 100% open source (design, layout, schematic, BIOS, drivers, etc) and is dedicated to everyone here on VCF. Many, many hours of time have already been put into the project by andrew lynch and myself, and we'd really like people to buy these card based not on cost, but because it's a cool project and a labor of love and it may inspire others to build more new toys for our old friends. I'm going to keep the costs as low as possible without going negative, so we may not know the final price til we start rolling on the manufacturing front.

Hate to give a total non answer to your question, but we're still in the development cycle, so it's all going to be in flux for a little bit longer. I'm just trying to get an idea of how many people are interested so I can bulk purchase appropriately.

IBMMuseum
March 18th, 2009, 12:15 PM
...I too am especially interested if it works in the 8086 based PS/2 model 30. The 20 MB Hard drive in mine is getting a bit full...

I know from experience that the sIDE adapter works on the 8086-based Model 30, as well as the Trantor T130B (SCSI). The 2Gb HDD I had on there (plus an external SCSI CD-ROM) only showed 1Gb for some reason, but that was a large enough space for me to work with. It is interesting that there is an IBM 30Mb proprietary drive that works on the 8086-based Model 25 (with a later BIOS than the comparable Model 30) but it won't work on the 8086-based Model 30 (there you are limited to the 20Mb version with the built-in interface).

channelmaniac
March 18th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Hell,

As I scrap out old ISA cards, I can save all the brackets. Some will have holes for various DB connectors, but hey, can't beat the price. ;)

Did you find a good price on PC board fabricating? I paid $2.50 a square inch plus a per order $10 fee to get my Colecovision A/V mod kit boards built.

RJ

hargle
March 19th, 2009, 06:08 AM
PCBnet.com can do a run of 100 boards for ~$8 each, plus whatever shipping will cost. That was on a 3 week turnaround, and they are an overseas production house. I also had to guess on a few items when doing the online quote, as I have no idea of the hole count/hole size and a few of the other options are outside of my knowledge. That price may go up if I borked some of the options, and I've no idea what shipping from china might cost. I'd kinda estimated $10-13 each originally.

PCBFabExpress.com can do 50 boards in 10 days for ~$11 each. They didn't have as many options in their online quote form for slot fingers and stuff, so that value may change when the actual layout gets sent to them. They are at least in the USA.

If anyone else would like to try and find some quotes, please let me know and I'll get you whatever information I have about the board. This stuff is *way* out of my league.


As for the ISA slots, thank you for the offer! I would like to use identical parts though. If we're going so far as to custom make PCBs, might as well go that extra mile and use the same bracket on all the builds. Either that, or we drill a bunch of holes on the edge of the card to accommodate any kind of bracket, but that seems kludgey.

I absolutely want to order whatever ICs I can from you though. I sent you a PM with my contact info so we can discuss pricing offline. Once we get some per unit costs for the ICs in place, we can really start nailing down the target price point...

frozenfire75i
March 19th, 2009, 09:37 AM
I did some searching in my inventory of hard drives, and came up with some 600MB and under 3.5” IDE Hard Drives. Here is what I have:
4X IBM 364MB 924C/16H/48S
5X Quantum Maverick 270MB 944C/14H/40S
8X Maxtor 540MB 1064C/16H/62S
How would those work with this 8-BIT IDE Card? Also what would be the best?

hargle
March 19th, 2009, 10:44 AM
I did some searching in my inventory of hard drives, and came up with some 600MB and under 3.5 IDE Hard Drives. Here is what I have:
4X IBM 364MB 924C/16H/48S
5X Quantum Maverick 270MB 944C/14H/40S
8X Maxtor 540MB 1064C/16H/62S
How would those work with this 8-BIT IDE Card? Also what would be the best?

Any drive that supports LBA addressing (ATA-2, or built in 1994 or later) should work with the card. The BIOS currently has an upper size limit of 137G, but could be expanded to 144 petabytes(!) by adding 48Bit LBA support later on.

There is currently no support for CHS addressing in the BIOS. It could be added, but do we *really* need to use crusty old hard drives like that when perfectly good, modern, cheap, fast and quiet drives work even better?

IMO, the best drive to use is an 8-10G drive. DOS 6.22 supports 8.4G through a series of 2G partitions, and that's a LOT of playroom for an XT.
My test machine has a drive pulled from an xbox-1, and that's the drive I intend on using when I button the thing up.

Unknown_K
March 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM
What OS are we going to be using on this card? There are limits on directories and partition sizes on the older DOS versions, and DOS 6.22 takes up quite a bit of memory on an XT doesn't it? Will older fdisk commands work on this card?

per
March 19th, 2009, 12:29 PM
What OS are we going to be using on this card? There are limits on directories and partition sizes on the older DOS versions, and DOS 6.22 takes up quite a bit of memory on an XT doesn't it? Will older fdisk commands work on this card?

All operating systems supporting a hard drive, can use this card. But there are, as you say, limitations.

I don't know if it is possible or how smart it would have been to take a 100Gb disk and just make a coupple (say five) 10Mb PC-DOS 2.1 partions on it. that's 99.95% waste of disk space!

hargle
March 19th, 2009, 01:35 PM
per is exactly correct.
You can use any OS you want. The drive support is built into the INT13 routines built into the card's BIOS. If your OS of choice includes support for FDISK, you are set. No drivers required at all. (there will be a driver required for CD-ROM support, provided I can get it to work on the existing hardware, but that's a different story)

There are however a number of limitations and variables as to how big a drive you can install, depending on which OS you choose.

For example, DOS 2.0 can only see a 10MB partition. You can probably have multiples of them though.

DOS 3.0-3.3 have support for 32MB partitions.

DOS 4.0-DOS 6.22 have FAT-16 support, and can thus use 2Gig partitions.

DOS 7 (windows 98SE) has FAT-32 support and can see 137Gig partitions.

DR-DOS and FreeDOS have different limits. (FreeDOS claims to be able to do 2TB partitions)

There's also the limits on how big a physical drive the OS can see. Most DOS versions will quit at 8.4Gig. DOS 7 can see 137Gig drives, because it is using enhanced INT 13 support.

Then roll in the fact that you can only have a maximum of 24 hard drive letters, C: through Z: on your machine. Then factor in that you may not be able to run all of these versions of DOS on an 8088 based CPU.

Essentially what I'm trying to say is that this card is not going to get in your way of doing anything you want to do. If you can't see the entire drive, it's not going to be this card's fault.

Ole Juul
March 19th, 2009, 02:07 PM
hargle: "Then roll in the fact that you can only have a maximum of 24 hard drive letters, C: through Z: on your machine."
I use 25 and perhaps 26 are possible though likely undesirable. My main machine doesn't have a B: drive so I use that letter as a substitute drive. I don't know if DOS would allow a partition by that name since I haven't tried it. Sorry to pull things off topic a bit, but I thought that this was relevant here.

per
March 19th, 2009, 02:26 PM
I use 25 and perhaps 26 are possible though likely undesirable. My main machine doesn't have a B: drive so I use that letter as a substitute drive. I don't know if DOS would allow a partition by that name since I haven't tried it. Sorry to pull things off topic a bit, but I thought that this was relevant here.

The standard DOS boot sector from version 2.x and later automaticly tell the initalizion code how many disk drives there are. Howeve, there is one exception, and that's if there is only one disk drive.

For some reason, only one disk drive is reported as two, I don't know why but it does. Any other number of floppy drives (2-4) get reported as the acutal value. Anyway, if FDD B: isn't present, a read/write to B: will trigger drive A: IIRC.


Loaded: PUSH CS ; -
POP DS ; Make DS = CS
INT 011 ; Equipment check
ROL AL,1 ; -
ROL AL,1 ; Rotate AL 2
AND AX,3 ; Only one disk drive?
JNZ manyfdds ; Jump if not
INC AX
manyfdds: INC AX ; Number of floppy-disks, with the exeption as only one get reoprted as two[/I]
MOV CX,AX ; Save in CX[/B]
TEST B[07C1E],80 ; Is bit 7 of ??? set?
JNZ KeepAX ; Keep AX if not
XOR AX,AX ; Clear AX
KeepAX: MOV BX,W[Status] ; ???Get status
JMP 0070:0000 ; Run loaded code

I don't think DOS 1.0 behaves this way.

dpatten
April 6th, 2009, 03:48 PM
$25 may be little optimistic.

<snip>

Hate to give a total non answer to your question, but we're still in the development cycle, so it's all going to be in flux for a little bit longer. I'm just trying to get an idea of how many people are interested so I can bulk purchase appropriately.


Any update on bulk purchases? I'd be more than happy to pre-pay if it was able to help you offset the cost. Tho I might have a time swinging $50 with "she who wields the purse-strings"

gerrydoire
April 6th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Small WORKING laptop drives are very hard to find, there are still plenty of smaller IDE desktop drives around.

I agree.

The best bet for 8-Bit IDE is still CF CARDS.

CF Cards are plentyful and cheap for the most part.

gerrydoire
April 6th, 2009, 03:55 PM
All operating systems supporting a hard drive, can use this card. But there are, as you say, limitations.

I don't know if it is possible or how smart it would have been to take a 100Gb disk and just make a coupple (say five) 10Mb PC-DOS 2.1 partions on it. that's 99.95% waste of disk space!

2 Gig CF Card more than enough for an XT.

StickByDos
April 8th, 2009, 07:30 AM
Put me down for 2, possibly kit, as long as there is not many small cms chips

hargle
April 8th, 2009, 09:14 AM
soldering should be a breeze on these things. All DIP based parts, only about a dozen ICs total + a few resistors and caps.

Of course I say that now, and I haven't done 1 iota of actual hardware work on the thing. :)

This week I'm going to try and get the time to send in the 1st small batch of PCBs and get some parts ordered. I will then be able to properly tell you all how much work it is to do the soldering and what pitfalls to avoid.

stay tuned... this is really getting exciting!

Jorg
April 8th, 2009, 09:50 AM
You might have to start thinking of a brand name, seeing the interest in the poll above :D

I really am happy that you are getting the acknowledgement you deserve. Great project!

Unknown_K
April 8th, 2009, 12:19 PM
Kits would be nice for those of us who are cheap and can solder.

Call it the XT rIDE? r for retro? <=== yea, that is why I am not in marketing.

MasterControlProgram
October 25th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Are these still available? I'd be interested in kits or built cards, whatever you have. I didn't go through the whole post, what did the price end up being?

-Chris

hargle
October 25th, 2009, 07:31 PM
Are these still available? I'd be interested in kits or built cards, whatever you have. I didn't go through the whole post, what did the price end up being?

-Chris

We haven't gone into production yet. we're on the cusp of it though, just running through the last iteration of rev 2 of the design. Help us debug it!

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=12359&page=109


$30 shipped in kit form.