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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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Amstrad PPC512 / 640 ISA Expansion Board Design

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    Amstrad PPC512 / 640 ISA Expansion Board Design

    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is of interest to many, but while I was searching on how to make this thing, vcfed kept coming up, but with no conclusion.

    It adds 3 ISA slots to the luggable Amstrad via its connector on the rear

    R2mCWna.jpg


    Demo here:
    http://youtu.be/-HxvCWhKLoc

    Gerbers and info here:
    https://github.com/retrotheory/amstradppc_expansion

    #2
    That's a beautiful adapter. If I had an Amstrad PPC640, I would get something like this for the XT-IDE card, sound card, and so on.
    Current retro systems:
    386/486DLC, AMS NotePro Plus DSTN
    Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus
    Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT, 2x IBM ThinkPad 380D (both TFT)
    iMac G3/600 Graphite, iMac G4/800 Lampshade
    YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/RetroPCUser

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you very much, XTIDE is great on it, and with the V30 cpu its quite fast for an XT.

      Comment


        #4
        Wow! I'm trying to repair the internal hd board (the one plugged in the copro socket) since weeks... I will pass to this great external solution!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by aotta View Post
          Wow! I'm trying to repair the internal hd board (the one plugged in the copro socket) since weeks... I will pass to this great external solution!
          You've got an HDD board that plugs into the coprocessor socket? If you're able to make pictures and/or ROM dumps I'd be interested to see them.

          Comment


            #6

            Yes, i've dumped the roms and made some shots. The Rom contains the hd driver on top, then the ROS 2.1 from &H4000, and it's splitted in 2 27C128 eprom.
            The power circuit doesn't work anymore (i had a shorts while testing) but it was only for the +12v and +5v to the special power connector of its 20mb hd.
            There's no PAL/GAL on the board, only 74hcXX and the ROM:

            ICs.jpg
            front_A.jpg

            back_a.jpg

            Attached Files

            Comment


              #7
              Very nice! I've always wondered if I could somehow integrate a XUB boot ROM and a cF reader or a IDE DOM.
              General Failure Reading Drive C -
              Abort, Retry, Ignore?

              Comment


                #8
                Interesting ROMs. It looks as if the first 16k is the hard drive BIOS, and the second 16k is the PPC system BIOS, so they replace the PPC's own ROMs entirely.

                The drive geometry is hard coded rather than any attempt being made to probe it from the drive.

                There are two entry points, at offsets 6 (format hard drive) and 9 (set timeout for spin-down). The timeout appears to be stored in bytes 3Eh / 3Fh of CMOS memory.

                The hard drive itself is a memory-mapped device at segment 0F000h. It looks to me as if it's ATA, with the registers at offsets 0,2,4,6,8,... within that segment. There's also an access at offset 1Ch which may be connected with the spin-down.

                The copyright message is 'Controller Copyright (c) 1989 Bineco'

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                  #9
                  Thank you JohnElliott for the info! but i don't think the ROS mapped in the half ROM is a replacement of the original ROS, and i made a test (when the HDIC worked!) and, without the 40107 / 40108 Roms, the PCC didn't start.
                  I think that, in some way, the memory address is shared from the co-proc lines and the ROM/RAM. Now that the interface is not working, i can't see the ROM at expected C800 location, but noticed some bits differences at F000 when card is mounted. So, probably the roms copied the ROS to make consistence to reading at ROS addresses.
                  But i'm not at all at expert in 8086's machines, so are only my thoughts....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well, i got today the 74hcxx logic ICs and... HDIC 88 is working again! now, since the anonimous original 20mb hd makes strange rumours (and i'd like to replace it with a CD or SD to IDE solution), i'll try to replace the original roms with the Universal XT Bios ones!

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