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XT-FDC project level of interest

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    XT-FDC project level of interest

    This poll is to measure if and how much interest there is on vintage-computer.com for an XT-FDC project. The poll only has an affirmative response since the default (no response) or negative reply don't matter in this case.

    The XT-FDC is an 8 bit ISA board based on the National Semiconductor PC8477B that supports up to four floppy disk drives. It would support up to four floppy drives internally with an optional external connector for two. It will have an on board BIOS (written by Chuck so you know that's good) and configurable IO port, interrupts, and DMA.

    It would have the same parameters as the XT-IDE project in terms of size, cost, availability, etc. Attached is a notional picture of the current design



    Since I seem to have screwed up the poll option in this message please just "reply" to this thread with your vote.

    Thanks and have a nice day!

    Andrew Lynch
    Last edited by NobodyIsHere; September 2, 2012, 06:11 AM.

    #2
    Which FDC chip will it be using?
    Check out The Glitch Works | My Retro Projects | Vintage Computer Services | Glitch Works Tindie Store -- Vintage Computer Kits and More

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by glitch View Post
      Which FDC chip will it be using?
      Hi
      I updated the description to include the FDC chip. It is the National Semiconductor PC8477B.

      Thanks and have a nice day!

      Andrew Lynch

      Comment


        #4
        It will support High Density Drives? Will have that lovely boot menu from XTIDE?

        Comment


          #5
          Hi
          Actually this is a better question for Chuck but yes it does support HD drives. I think it even supports the ED media (2.88 MB) and high speed tapes according to the data sheet. As to whether it will support the XT-IDE style boot menu I don't know. Chuck is writing the BIOS so I suppose we'd get whatever user interface it has. I think it would be changeable like the XT-IDE BIOS is too.

          Thanks and have a nice day!

          Andrew Lynch

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by lynchaj View Post
            it does support HD drives.
            Definitely yes to this card!
            It would be impossible to combine the XT-IDE with XT-FDC in a 8 bit bus? Would be nice, but since XT systems have a lot of slots, there's no need for this. I would love to use a XT-IDE, a XT-FDC, and a XT-OPL2 into the same system, that would be awesome!

            Comment


              #7
              I'm definitely interested. Count me in!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by lucasdaytona View Post
                Definitely yes to this card!
                It would be impossible to combine the XT-IDE with XT-FDC in a 8 bit bus? Would be nice, but since XT systems have a lot of slots, there's no need for this. I would love to use a XT-IDE, a XT-FDC, and a XT-OPL2 into the same system, that would be awesome!
                Hi
                That's a neat idea but I wouldn't want to mess up the XT-IDE by combining it with a floppy controller. I guess I've adopted John Monahan's philosophy of one function per board. It makes for a much simpler design and a *lot* easier to debug. Also I think there would less interest in a combination board rather than a single function boards.

                Thanks and have a nice day!

                Andrew Lynch

                Comment


                  #9
                  Would the card have an easy way of changing the boot drive?
                  My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi
                    Based on discussions with Chuck that is more of a BIOS software issue but yes it could support changing the boot drive.

                    Thanks and have a nice day!

                    Andrew Lynch

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Great Hierophant View Post
                      Would the card have an easy way of changing the boot drive?
                      I think that this could be done using that pearce_jj option board, but it's nice to have this on a floppy controller. I can't stop thinking into a memory board projected by Andrew, one that uses any cheap big ram chip. But one problem at a time! Nice controller project.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Andrew I agree with that design practice unless and this is the only exception to that rule of thumb.
                        When for better or for worse features require the same hardware with minor modification, so that is inline with adding a Diode or a cap or even a resistor.

                        And besides that OPL3 is hardware compatible with OPL2 and where are we gonna find those chips?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by lucasdaytona View Post
                          I think that this could be done using that pearce_jj option board, but it's nice to have this on a floppy controller. I can't stop thinking into a memory board projected by Andrew, one that uses any cheap big ram chip. But one problem at a time! Nice controller project.
                          Hi
                          Yes, the XT-IDE V2 universal BIOS supports booting from a menu of available drives. I imagine this board could too but the intent is that the XT-FDC is a stand-alone independent project and does not rely on XT-IDE V2, XT-CF, or other boot menu BIOS board projects. You could use the XT-FDC in a PC by itself.

                          Thanks and have a nice day!

                          Andrew Lynch

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Crypticalcode0 View Post
                            Andrew I agree with that design practice unless and this is the only exception to that rule of thumb.
                            When for better or for worse features require the same hardware with minor modification, so that is inline with adding a Diode or a cap or even a resistor.

                            And besides that OPL3 is hardware compatible with OPL2 and where are we gonna find those chips?
                            Hi

                            I have no issue with restarting/reviving the ISA OPL2 project. Per did a lot of work and it is a shame the project just trailed off into nothingness. I suspect there will be a revival of it once the supply of commercial sound generator boards (you know who you are) diminishes. However that's another topic and there is another thread for it here:

                            http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...L2-Sound-board

                            The project is hung up on getting a set of prototype boards which is a common failure mode for community projects of this nature. I guess you win some and and you lose some. It could be restarted in an instant though if someone(s) were to "cut a check"

                            Thanks and have a nice day!

                            Andrew Lynch

                            PS, obtaining a YM3812 (OPL2) is not an issue IMO. There are several ways to get them such as vendors or reusing scrap chips (preferred method)

                            http://www.utsource.net/YM3812.html

                            Comment


                              #15
                              BTW re ROM, is there a preference for the chip type? The SST39SFxx chips are very cheap and readily available, compared to 28C series EEPROM.

                              Comment

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