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Thread: Floppy Controller with BIOS need.

  1. #1
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    Default Floppy Controller with BIOS need.

    I am in need of some Floppy controllers with their own BIOS, so I was wondering if one of the guys on here that design circuit boards could whip up an 8 Bit floppy controller with HD support and the ability to use their own BIOS for use in a IBM 5150/5160 machines, or clones that do not support HD floppy drives. I need about 5.

    I think this would be pretty easy to achieve for people with the skills to do such a thing, but it is a little bit beyond my skill level at this time. Sergei's floppy BIOS would be great to use on this card.

    Yes, I know you can do this in software with the 2M-Bios software (I think that's what it is called) but I don't want to do that, since it chews up memory (albeit a small bit memory) and you cannot boot from HD media. Plus I think such a card could be useful for other uses, such as in a machine that has HD floppy support, but there is need to house a extension BIOS of some type.

    Bonus points if said card could include a Parallel and Serial port on it, though this is purely for convenience and to save an ISA slot.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

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    That kind of thing takes a lot of time and development, however it has already been done - XTFDC. It supports 4 floppy drives too.

    I don't think they're currently in production, but you should be able to order PCBs and build or maybe someone will put their hand up.

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...76-XT-FDC-Rev1 - info
    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...el-of-interest - main thread
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  3. #3

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    There are also a couple "hacks" that work:

    1. You can use a regular 16-bit ISA multi I/O card with a floppy controller (yes, it will work in a 5150/5160) and put the floppy ROM somewhere else, like on a network card or combine it with the XT-IDE ROM. You can use Sergey's FDC BIOS and hard code your drive config before you burn the EPROM.

    2. You can also use a multi I/O card and no ROM at all if you boot DR-DOS 7. It will automatically load HD floppy support. This will work even if you boot DR-DOS 7 from a high-density boot disk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpidersWeb View Post
    ... it has already been done - XTFDC.
    O, I had no idea. I'll look into that, though it looks like it may not actually be available currently, and possibly more complex than I'd like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plasma View Post
    ... or combine it with the XT-IDE ROM.
    As in run it from the same EEPROM? How would one do that? If you could do this, then I could just piggyback Sergei's BIOS on the XT-IDE cards I plan on putting into the 5150/60s.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

  5. #5

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    The DTK Mini/Micro FDC cards support 1.44 drives with selectable drive jumpers. However, I only have one card. I don't think there are any of these on ePay at the point, so you'll have to do some scouting.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lutiana View Post
    As in run it from the same EEPROM? How would one do that? If you could do this, then I could just piggyback Sergei's BIOS on the XT-IDE cards I plan on putting into the 5150/60s.
    Yes. I have only used the NIC method but from my understanding XT-IDE should work as well. You can set it up to use a 32K EEPROM. The XT-IDE BIOS is only 8-12K. So there's plenty of room to add the floppy BIOS in. And I think if you enable the EEPROM write you can even use the F2 utility to change the floppy config online. But I haven't tried that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasma View Post
    Yes. I have only used the NIC method but from my understanding XT-IDE should work as well. You can set it up to use a 32K EEPROM. The XT-IDE BIOS is only 8-12K. So there's plenty of room to add the floppy BIOS in. And I think if you enable the EEPROM write you can even use the F2 utility to change the floppy config online. But I haven't tried that.
    Just to be clear, what you are saying is I can put both the XT-IDE and Floppy BIOS on the same EEPROM and house them on the same card, and it'll work? So I would just do a binary copy of the 2 BIOS files then? Or some other hocus pocus is needed?

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazblox View Post
    The DTK Mini/Micro FDC cards support 1.44 drives with selectable drive jumpers. However, I only have one card. I don't think there are any of these on ePay at the point, so you'll have to do some scouting.
    This is precisely why I asked and have this need. Floppy controllers with BIOSes are VERY hard to come by. I had 2, both were fried in one of my 5150s by a defective RAM expansion board.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by lutiana View Post
    Just to be clear, what you are saying is I can put both the XT-IDE and Floppy BIOS on the same EEPROM and house them on the same card, and it'll work? So I would just do a binary copy of the 2 BIOS files then? Or some other hocus pocus is needed?
    It should work. The floppy BIOS doesn't care where it is as long as it's mapped to memory. It just needs to be aligned on a 2K boundary so the system BIOS can find the signature. I would put the floppy BIOS first, then XT-IDE, so the floppy initializes first. You may need to zero fill the rest of the file out to 32K if your programmer is picky.

  10. #10

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    Yup it works, Put sergey's floppy bios first and then the XUB, The only thing i found is you will have to configure sergey's floppy bios before flashing to EEprom, The configuration part of the floppy bios won't work on an unsupported EEPROM, It can't save the end results.

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