View Full Version : DeRamp Virtual Sector Generator!

September 26th, 2018, 10:11 AM
When I acquired my Northstar Horizon, I was pleased that a DeRamp Virtual Sector Generator cam along with it. I have not been using it, in favor of exercising my period-correct belt-driven drives to keep them operating properly as long as I can. My real problem came from the fact that I own only a small handful of good 10 sector hard sector floppy diskettes.

Today, I thought that I'd take the plunge and give the VSG a tryout. I have a pair of Tandon TM65-2L half-height direct drive floppy drives set up so I can plug them into any of my systems that can use them. I plugged them into my Northstar controller, and all I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW! The VSG is a fantastic interface.

My Horizon is a full system with NS Z-80 Processor, NS 64K Dynamic RAM, and Double Density NS Floppy Controller. The floppy drives in the Horizon are single sided double density drives, providing a net 163K of storage. The Tandon drives I tried this with are double sided double density, and they provide a net 338K of storage.

The VSG has been working flawlessly for me with this setup. I now can enjoy floppies with double the storage than I've been sometimes struggling with, and best of all, the floppies are the same commonly available soft sector disks I use for other systems.

Wow. All I can say is wow. Here is a monster shout out to Mike Douglas for creating an excellent interface! Thanks a million, Mike!

Here's a link, if anyone is interested: http://deramp.com/vsg.html


September 28th, 2018, 01:49 AM
I second this enthusiastic endorsement. I have mine running with a Sol and North Star disk system - the original single density controller and Shugart-400. That first transfer via Xmodem worked without a hitch and I’ve had zero problems since.

Also, as my kids said, you know your dad’s hobby is weird when his computer parts sound like a piece that fell off the Millennium Falcon.

November 3rd, 2018, 04:45 PM
I've got one too on my NorthStar and it works fine.

Hugo Holden
November 5th, 2018, 01:08 AM
I am using Mike's VSG too with a SOL-20 and a pair of IBM YD-580 direct drive 48 tpi drives with the VSG installed in the housing with them and a North Star DD controller card in the SOL. The VSG works perfectly, it is a very good interface to get.