View Full Version : lo-tech IDE card...

January 13th, 2016, 05:56 AM
Is anyone producing either pre-assembled or full kits of the lo-tech XT IDE interface?

I need two of either.



January 13th, 2016, 06:48 AM
Nope not that i know of, Send James an email via the contact page via his website.

January 13th, 2016, 11:08 AM
As far as I know he was only selling bare PCBs lately. I may have the components to build one, I remember back in the day I bought in bulk from China because it was cheaper. I'll have to check.

January 13th, 2016, 12:06 PM
I just ordered a bare PCB from James last month. He mentioned no pre-built boards are currently offered.

January 13th, 2016, 12:58 PM
Are you wanting the IDE Adapter and not the XT-CF-Lite?

The IDE is through the hole as compared to SMC. I looked at James lo-tech shop this week, he did not have any kits showing on the webpage shop.

January 13th, 2016, 04:16 PM
There's usually a guy on ebay selling them pre-built at exhorbitant prices. Plan on spending $90-130+, depending...

January 14th, 2016, 06:20 AM
I suspect I'll just have to bite the bullet and chase parts myself. Thanks for the replies folks.


January 14th, 2016, 06:56 AM
I ordered the parts from Mouser and the cost was $22.75 plus shipping. I am sure I can send you the saved project or at least share it on Mouser if you like.

January 15th, 2016, 05:02 AM
What's the general consensus about folks buying XT-IDE boards and then building to sell to folks here on the forums at a reasonable price? I've kinda enjoyed doing some soldering...if I could pick up a couple bucks to make it worth my while (not looking to make a lot like the noted ebay seller), I wouldn't mind doing a few to help people out...but I don't want to step on the toes of those who have put so much time and effort into creating the XT-IDE idea in the first place.

That said, I would still highly encourage folks to give it a try soldering one together. It's really not that difficult, and very rewarding to get it all put together and have it work. Besides, I'm nearly positive my 7-year old daughter could solder one together with minimal assistance. :-) Unless eyesight or shaky hands are a problem, most anyone should be able to handle it.


January 15th, 2016, 06:05 AM
Off with their heads :-)

More importantly what does the designer of the XT-IDE boards and the Bios developers feel about this, Have you contacted them.

January 15th, 2016, 07:31 AM
I am not an attorney and being a Senior Citizen, "in other words my eyes are shot and my hands shake", I would appreciate being able to pay someone to assemble a board for me, especially SMC's. I do not think they would violate any copyright or similar protection for changing a labor charge to assemble something.

Most of the Tech stores here assemble PC's, what's the difference.

January 15th, 2016, 11:21 AM
Off with their heads :-)

More importantly what does the designer of the XT-IDE boards and the Bios developers feel about this, Have you contacted them.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, BUT...

The BIOS is under the GPL so at most if you distributed it in binary form burned into a ROM, you would need to make available to anyone who you sold a board to the complete and corresponding source code for the versions distributed.

As far as boards, if you purchased PCBs (say from lo-tech) and assembled them, as far as I can tell first sale doctrine would apply and selling the assembled card would be no problem.

If you wanted to make boards from someones already-made design files, that would come down to the license on those design files as provided by whoever made them.

I think it's highly unlikely anyone would be concerned with making a few boards for other hobbyists for a reasonable price.

January 15th, 2016, 04:06 PM
I didn't figure there was legally any issue...at least that hasn't deterred at least one ebay seller, who as I recall is using James' lo-tech design files and having the boards made himself, then soldering them up and selling them. Or was...I looked the other day and couldn't find any sold recently.

I gather the designs and such were a group effort...hence my question posted here to get the thoughts of all involved. If anyone would rather I not, then I most certainly wouldn't. If "off with their heads" is the general thought, then I'll leave well enough alone. :-)



January 16th, 2016, 01:14 AM
If "off with their heads" is the general thought, then I'll leave well enough alone. :-)

I'm pretty sure that was a joke. :) It's not like the market is overcrowded with people providing pre-built boards so if you want to do it for those who can't or don't want to solder up the boards themselves then just go ahead.

January 16th, 2016, 09:10 AM
There's usually a guy on ebay selling them pre-built at exhorbitant prices. Plan on spending $90-130+, depending...

There's always a trade off between time and money. Different people will make different choices based on their own criteria. That having been said, I chose to buy one of the "pre-built at exhorbitant prices" set-ups mentioned above. But I didn't just get a pre-built board. The package included the XT-IDE board, a short IDE cable (big whoop), and a CF card already set up and loaded with software. More importantly from my perspective, I got a guaranteed to work drop in subsystem that I wasn't going to have to tinker with and troubleshoot.

In short, after fixing my 5160, (thanks again for your website, Modem7), I plugged the card into slot one and powered up the machine. It complained about a ROM conflict. I pulled out the original IBM branded 10M HDD and the Xebec controller and tried again. In short order I was looking at a FreeDOS system prompt. A directory listing shows about 1.4m of included software including what looks to be DOS 6.22 and DOS 7.1, Speedstor, Deskview, and a ton of other stuff.

I'll let others decide if getting all that in one package is exorbitant. I'm happy with it so far.

January 18th, 2016, 07:43 AM
For me it's just not having the time to chase down the parts and build the silly things. :) There's a guy selling them on ebay right now for under $60, so I'll likely buy a couple of them from him.

For those using this device or wanting to, I recommend you get a CF adapter that's on a backplane bracket like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/400815453925

It makes for easy changes when you need to. I've got a 386 (with IDE on the motherboard) that I use this adapter with. Works great!


May 13th, 2017, 09:21 AM
Hi guys, I'm working on some project (in general, FPGA-based ISA-8 card with number of features) and for development/testing purposes urgently need already configured BIOS for CF-Lite card. Would greatly appreciate if someone can provide the image of the ROM with memory and port addresses it's configured for (doesn't matter what are addresses, just need to know them)... Thank you very much !