New External Floppy Enclosure

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DominoTree
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New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DominoTree » Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:50 pm

Because there was some interest elsewhere and originals seem difficult to find (at least in the US), I'm starting to design a new external floppy adapter and enclosure for the STs. I've got original Atari drives to work with, as well as the Sony and Alps models sold by exxos.

Some people have asked about using USB instead of a power brick for charging, but I think the rough 1A requirement for a real floppy (plus the fact that older drives actually need a 12V rail) makes that less than ideal

I'm planning on using a ribbon cable and adapter PCB similar to how many of the UltraSatan adapters work, and I think this might also let this work with other types of systems by just making a new adapter PCB, but I don't have any knowledge of them or hardware to test with.

A couple ideas I have or that people have suggested:
- Integrated greaseweazle
- Track/side/sector display (like the old Indus GT)
- Available as complete units, assembled without a drive, or soldering kits

Anyone else have any comments/suggestions they'd like to see? Or has someone already done this and I'm wasting my time? :D
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DominoTree
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DominoTree » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:55 am

First boards arrived today - got one mostly assembled, will do testing tomorrow.

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exxos
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by exxos » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:57 am

Looking good! :thumbup:
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?

DaveC
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DaveC » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:40 am

Great idea, been looking for ways to hook up an external drive. Will it have both drive selects present on the floppy connector?

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Icky
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by Icky » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:31 pm

Great work @DominoTree.

What would finish this project off nicely is a 3D printed enclosure.

DominoTree
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DominoTree » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:25 pm

This was a pain to solder only to find out that the pins I used weren't long enough (I'm going to use some different pins similar to the UltraSatan adapters and adjust the PCB to make them fit snugly before soldering)

But, more importantly, the layout works and fits properly into the external floppy port.

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DominoTree
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DominoTree » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:20 pm

DaveC wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:40 am
Great idea, been looking for ways to hook up an external drive. Will it have both drive selects present on the floppy connector?
Right now I'm only using the first drive select but I can add some switches to make it more configurable (and maybe an "out" port too to allow for passthrough)

DominoTree
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by DominoTree » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:23 pm

Got new pins coming that should fit properly, but for now I added some *long* pin headers and it seems to work if I hold it in the exact correct position :lol:

It looks like I got the onboard floppy connector direction rotated so I've got to "flip" the floppy cable (just like in a real Atari!) so I'll be sorting that out too, but I think I'm actually close to having a properly-working prototype I can put a case around.

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AndresPlazaR
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by AndresPlazaR » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:24 am

Nice!!!
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Tomswork
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Re: New External Floppy Enclosure

Post by Tomswork » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:53 am

Very nice

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