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Thread: Some success with a age old GRiD problem

  1. #11

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    Hi I did not do a 1530 yet only 1520 and 1550 , the 1530 i did had a different interface then normal , it had jumpers to select the drive.a regular 1530 will have the same protection code , all the info is above, i found the CHS of the CF cards can very , hook it up to the grid and run IDESDI from floppy or any other pc that has auto detect to get the CHS.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmigaJules View Post
    You got a 1530 to boot from a CF card?!? That's my holy grail!

    I have one with an intermittent Conner failure (more down than up...) that occasionally still boots. I'd love to do what you did.

    Any chance you can share your patched BIOS? I have a 512MB CF card, so am I right in assuming it would use the same C/H/S values yours did?

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagwood View Post
    Hey Kylball, taking a closer look at your photos I've not seen that particular ATA backplane. Would it be possible to see a picture of the front and back of it?
    It is back in storage but i will when i dig it out. That 1530 has the conner routines stripped and you select the drive from a jumper on the backplane so all that is needed is the right CHS and any drive can work. all my other 1520,1530,1550 have the conner routines

  3. #13

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    Ah, I saw the photos and got over excited... I went back and re-read your post, now I get it.

    Thanks for the tip on getting the CHS. I've got a cf > ide adapter on the way, as well as a couple of AM27C128 eproms for testing.

    I pulled the BIOS on my 1530, dumped it and diff'd it with the odd & even files in the "1530 rom patch for any drive" archive that I pulled from RuGRiD before it went away.

    The files are identical - it looks like that rom patch program prompts for drive ID string & CHS and writes out a modified BIOS - I'm afraid that doing that by hand is above my skill set, but hoping the program will handle it for me.

    I hope I can pick your brain if I get stuck during the process.

    I found an interesting thread at Vogons where someone did something similar for a Toshiba laptop BIOS (which have the same Conner limitations as some GRIDS) and added in XTIDE: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57998

  4. #14

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    Some(?) progress:

    I got the drive geometry & name/ID settings for a few CF cards (64MB, 512MB & 1GB) using another machine and the hddid.exe program.

    I plugged the values for the 64MB card into the 1530ROM.BAS and wrote out the even & odd BIOS images. I burned them to new EPROMs.

    I see the values for drive type 2 change to the correct values for my 64MB CF when I swap out the BIOS.

    IMG_6647.jpeg
    IMG_6648.jpeg

    Unfortunately, even after setting drive type 2, after a reboot, setup shows no C drive.

    IMG_6649.jpeg
    IMG_6650.jpeg

    Based on what I _think_ I understand of Klyball's post, the 1530ROM.BAS program I have may be for his type of 1530 (where you can just change the C/H/S).

    Would any BIOS/Assembly Language gurus be willing to assist making Klyball's modifications to my BIOS image?

    I'd love to retire the dying Conner drive in favor of a CF card.

    Thank you!

  5. #15

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    i know in some ways it may seem like a slightly ridiculous approach, but as someone who stubbornly refuses to dive into x86 assembly..

    what about manually changing a CF card geometry to match that of a conner, and then using a little cpld state machine or microcontroller to spoof the hardware ID any time it gets the identify drive command? it might be something people are interested in since some other machines of the era also had hard-coded drive lists.

  6. Default

    Patching the BIOS is old news. I did it, Klyball did it, and at least one other person that I know of, probably more. So the geo and ident issues have already been dealt with several times over. There are however other technical issues in which the bios won't reliably access modern devices. You will encounter the same issue if you use the hardware spoofing approach you mentioned. I have a functional but crude solution and am working on a quality solution which will be reliable under all circumstances.
    My corner of the world: classicbits.net

  7. #17

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    Hello,
    I have a CF to IDE adapter I want to connect to my 1520. I guess it's not just a matter of plugging it in. How did you do it? Is there some kind of short cable to build to adapt the pinout of the 1520 to the IDE standard?
    Thanks!

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by SParent View Post
    Hello,
    I have a CF to IDE adapter I want to connect to my 1520. I guess it's not just a matter of plugging it in. How did you do it? Is there some kind of short cable to build to adapt the pinout of the 1520 to the IDE standard?
    Thanks!
    I don't know what the 1520 looks like, but the 1530 has a "backplane" for the drives with female connectors where the IDE drive & floppy plug in for data & power.

    I got some right angle IDE connectors and modified my CF adapter so it plugs in just like the 3.5" hard disk. Also added a small custom molex power cable to feed power to the CF adapter.

  9. #19

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    Yes, the 1520 has a similar backplane. By looking at the geometry of the connectors (two female 40 pins, one on the backplane and one on the CF/IDE card) I think a simple male to male connector would result in an inversion of the top and bottom rows of pins (ie pin 1 would be on pin 2, pin 2 on pin 1, and so on). So I figure I have to make a male/male cable that inverts top and bottom rows. Am I correct?

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by SParent View Post
    Yes, the 1520 has a similar backplane. By looking at the geometry of the connectors (two female 40 pins, one on the backplane and one on the CF/IDE card) I think a simple male to male connector would result in an inversion of the top and bottom rows of pins (ie pin 1 would be on pin 2, pin 2 on pin 1, and so on). So I figure I have to make a male/male cable that inverts top and bottom rows. Am I correct?
    Here's a photo of my CF/IDE adapter & the right angle 40 pin connectors I bought.

    IMG_6881.jpeg

    I desoldered the male connector on the adapter and soldered the right angle connector to it. No cable needed. It plugs in upside down onto the drive backplane in my 1530.

    Now I just need a BIOS that can work with it.

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