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Thread: Tandy 8-bit IDE series (TL, RL): Do CF adapters work?

  1. #1
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    Default Tandy 8-bit IDE series (TL, RL): Do CF adapters work?

    (Having hosted the Tandy 1000 FAQ for many years, and able to use search engines, you'd think I'd be able to find the answer to this... but after 30 minutes of searching, I figured I'd just ask people who have been through this already

    I have a functional Tandy TL/2 with a semi-functional WD-93044-X. It works, but it takes several minutes of warming up and operation to allow reading without errors. Since it's an 8-bit IDE interface, can I assume that replacing it with a CF card+adapter should work ok, or does the built-in controller only recognize certain models?

    If the latter, should I resign myself to adding an XT-IDE once the original drive fails? With DOS in ROM (which I don't ever want to disable), is there room for the XT-IDE's XUB anyway?
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    A CF adapter attached to the built in disk port is a no go. “XTA” is electrically vaguely similar to an 8-bit ATA subset like CF but isn’t compatible with it at all “API-wise”. Short of rearranging the wiring and replacing the driver in ROM it’s a nonstarter.

    (There’s a thread on the forum where someone actually does that to some other machine with an XTA port, but I can’t imagine it’d be easy on the Tandy between its massive ROM and extensive use of ASICS.)

    There is room in the peripherals extension area for an XTIDE but, yes, it’s pretty crowded on those models. The DOS in ROM is paged in the E-area, I think? (My vague recollection is that those have a total of 512k of ROM?)
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  3. #3

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    http://www.waveguide.se/?article=8-b...lash-interface

    Apparently, CF cards can be switched to 8-bit mode, so they should work on XTA.

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    My attempts with XT-IDE on a Tandy 1000 RLX all failed.

    I have not found any reference to success with XT-IDE in a Tandy 1000 RLX, but there is a youtube you can find where someone did it on a RL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    http://www.waveguide.se/?article=8-b...lash-interface

    Apparently, CF cards can be switched to 8-bit mode, so they should work on XTA.
    No. CF cards *do* support an 8-bit mode, and it’s actually used on “XT-CF” cards supported by the XTIDE XUB bios. But it is *not* compatible with XTA. The pin assignments and register layout is different, no “passive” adapter can convert it.
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    I have another XT-IDE card on the way that I'm hoping to use in a TL/3. I can try it in the TL/2 as well, and report back on how things fare. Presumably, it should work in either system, but may yet require use of a "late initialization" XUB version. We'll see...

    Quote Originally Posted by lafos View Post
    My attempts with XT-IDE on a Tandy 1000 RLX all failed.

    I have not found any reference to success with XT-IDE in a Tandy 1000 RLX, but there is a youtube you can find where someone did it on a RL.
    So, the RLX is another story, but I'm booting-from and using an XT-IDE card in an RLX-B variant, as demonstrated here:



    For reasons that have yet to be determined, the XUB on the XT-IDE card will fail to initialize unless a 3.5" XTA hard-drive is also plugged into the system's motherboard header. It seems like there ought to be a fairly simple XUB code fix for this, especially where other bootable solutions pose no problem in this system at all, but at this point, I'm not even sure who to ask to look into the problem.

  7. #7

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    I’ve been using an XT-IDE in my TL/3 for years. I can boot to both the XT-IDE and the internal HD without issue from the boot menu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandPoobah View Post
    I’ve been using an XT-IDE in my TL/3 for years. I can boot to both the XT-IDE and the internal HD without issue from the boot menu.
    Is this the same situation as with the RLX-B, or does the XT-IDE still boot/function without the internal drive present?

  9. #9
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    Here's an account of an XT-IDE being used in a TL/2 with the internal drive disconnected, and with the latest XUB. Looks like he's using an earlier XT-IDE variant that doesn't natively provide a CC00h address option, and consequently required padding of the XUB.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I have a functional Tandy TL/2 with a semi-functional WD-93044-X. It works, but it takes several minutes of warming up and operation to allow reading without errors.
    Did you try oiling the stepper motor? This trick worked great with the WD IDE-XT drive in my Zenith eaZy PC:


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