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Thread: TI 99/4a solid sate disk solution

  1. #1

    Default TI 99/4a solid sate disk solution

    I have a nice TI-99/4a but with few carts or software.
    http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/...nstituting.htm

    Of course there are loads of software images on the net. I was wondering how best to get the software in these into my machine though? Is there a modern solid-state solution? I'm thinking maybe a device which plugs into the cartridge slot but used SD cards or similar to hold floppy images. As far as the computer is concerned it thinks its talking to a disk drive. Such things exist for commodore machines for example.

    I'm aware of the HxC Floppy emulator but would like something I don't need to find an extra power source for or mess around with cables. Anything out there?

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  2. #2

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    Been looking for such a solution myself. This is what I found a while back:

    http://webpages.charter.net/nanopeb/

    Bad news is that it seems to be our of production and the best bet on getting one is Ebay


    -- RP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Hi Tez,

    I don't know of a simple cartridge-type solution for this, but this is providing inspiration to fire up the soldering iron and try to build one. I think I can reuse the majority of the code for the PETdisk to make a simple TI/99 SD drive on a cartridge board. Looking up the pinouts and specs now.. will try this out over the weekend to see what happens!
    - Mike

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by gubbish View Post
    Hi Tez,

    I don't know of a simple cartridge-type solution for this, but this is providing inspiration to fire up the soldering iron and try to build one. I think I can reuse the majority of the code for the PETdisk to make a simple TI/99 SD drive on a cartridge board. Looking up the pinouts and specs now.. will try this out over the weekend to see what happens!
    - Mike
    Mike!

    Great! Go for it!! You'll have the gratitude of many TI-99/4A nostalgerists over the world (and me too)! Unlike a lot of other popular retro-models, a solid-state disk solution for this one seems to be lacking.

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  5. #5

    Default

    The NanoPEB/CF7+ aren't exactly out of production, the guy who builds them is Jaime Malilong (Schmutzig1952 on eBay). He tends to build a batch of them and then sell them on eBay for as long as the pre0built batch lasts. There will be a pause of from one to three months and another batch will show up for sale. They always go really fast. . .

    Mike, Tezza is spot-on when he says a lot of TI folks would REALLY like a cartridge slot SD drive. I would definitely be on board for a few (if you were building them) or plans (if you wanted them to go as an individual build thing). Let me know if you need a cartridge board layout to experiment with, as I've done them up in ExpressPCB for other projects--and exported them to Gerber/Excellon format as well.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Thanks Ksarul, I would definitely be interested in a cartridge board layout to examine, if you have one convenient. I've used ExpressPCB for most of my other projects, so that format would be fine. If you have any pointers to specs and documentation for the TI cartridge interface, I'd be interested in those as well. Planning to design this much like the PETdisk with a micro controller and SD card with FAT32 support in firmware.
    Very excited about this project as the TI-99/4A was the first computer we had in our house growing up, and I still have some audio cassettes with my old programs and saved games from Pirate Adventure on them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Cary, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS9dude View Post
    Bad news is that it seems to be our of production and the best bet on getting one is Ebay
    eBay is THE source for them, they rarely will be up for resale, the designer/builder used to auction them one at a time and now typically lists them ten at a time.

    Ramdisks would also be popular, I love mine. (25 years old)

  8. #8

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    Great to read that gubbish is planning a TI-99/4A "PETdisk" version . IIRC I have some loose TI cartidge PCBs that I can scan easily, let me know if they can be of some help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    Sure, that could definitely be helpful. If you get a chance to scan the PCBs, I'm interested to take a look.
    Currently I'm reading through to learn about the TI-99 architecture and how the cartridge port connects to the address and data bus of the computer. If any 99ers out there have any insights into the details about how the system reads from the attached cartridge and the ROM and GROM on the cartridge are structured, I'd be interested in the info. Thanks!
    - Mike

  10. #10

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    Here are the files for a cart in ExpressPCB and in Gerber format. I hope they come in useful.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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