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View Full Version : HYDRA SD Max Storage Card all done.



AndreL
01-22-2008, 05:17 PM
The HYDRA SD card has been done for quite some time, but I have been writing the manual for it. There is a ton of information on internet about SPI, SD, and FAT16, but putting it all together is quite challenging, so part of the value of the card is the manual that comes with it that explains everything you ever wanted to know about writing SD card drivers. Starts with SPI communications, then goes onto SD card protocal, then layers FAT16 on top of that. So if you ever wanted to REALLY know what's under the hood if the FAT file system you will learn that too. The manual is about 85 pages give or take.

Anyway, the card is called "The HYDRA SD Max Storage Card" and the latest PCB is shown in the pic, they are going for final manufacturing this week.
I am trying to decide between making the card black and silver like the hydra or making it white PCB and black lettering. I am tired of yellow, red, blue, so those are out.
Anyway, should ship right after chinese new year which end the 1st week of february.

Andre'

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
01-22-2008, 06:10 PM
Fantastic!

Question: What propeller pins were used to communicate with the SD on this board?

OBC

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New to the Propeller?

Getting started with the Protoboard? - Propeller Cookbook (http://ucontroller.com/Propeller%20Protoboard%20Designs%20for%20the%20Beg inner.pdf)
Got an SD card? - PropDOS (http://www.orrtech.net/propdos/)
A Living Propeller FAQ - The Propeller Wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com/)
(Got the Knowledge? Got a Moment? Add something today!)

phillip v
01-22-2008, 07:15 PM
realy cool.... I think it would look best in black and silver like the hydra ...... can't wate to get one...

Bean
01-22-2008, 09:19 PM
Andre'
Any chance at getting a sneak-peek at the manual ???

Bean

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AndreL
01-23-2008, 03:31 AM
Its not edited yet, plus I don't like to let pieces of the product out until its all done.

Andre'

Bean
01-25-2008, 09:16 PM
Andre'
Understood. I can wait.

Bean.

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wastehl
01-26-2008, 04:59 PM
When will you be taking orders? Do you have a price yet?

Thanks, Bill

AndreL
01-26-2008, 05:46 PM
I am thinking I might take pre-orders, I have to think about it. But, for price, it comes with the SD card with 128Keeprom, plus a 85 page booklet that I wrote, as well as an SD card 256-1GB. So probably $39-49 I am thinking to price it between the normal 128K memory card and the 512K SRAM card. China is going on vacation for 2 weeks after this weekend, so it kinda slows things down for 2 weeks.

Andre'

phillip v
01-26-2008, 11:30 PM
If you do start takeing pre-orders let us know....

AndreL
01-27-2008, 07:34 AM
Trust me I will, that's the idea for "pre-orders" get as many as you can :) So hopefully you tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends then that just needs to happen about 32-33 times and the entire planet would know !

Andre'

Parallel Universe
01-27-2008, 07:56 AM
Can't wait!·http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif

Definately go with black and silver. What hardware is on the card? Does it use the VGA/IO pins?

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Post Edited (Parallel Universe) : 1/27/2008 12:03:45 AM GMT

AndreL
01-27-2008, 08:14 AM
Its just an SD mechanical and an EEPROM, it uses the VGA IO pins of course. But no one said you can't use the VGA at the same time, they will definitely conflict, but if you stop driving VGA, then use the SD, it should be fine, the VGA signal is way to fast to effect the SD, but, the only thing you have to worry about is that the toggling of the lines "might" send the SD a command and lock it up, I haven't really tried it like that. But, bottom line is all expansion cards need the VGA IOs unless you want to use the TX, RX etc. lines, which you can do, but this was the easiest system and will be the most flexible, plus the added IO lines support full parallel SD modes as well.

Andre'

Parallel Universe
01-29-2008, 09:47 AM
Ok. I couldn't see that was an EEPROM in the picture. Makes sense, that way you can keep a bootloader on the expansion card.

One more question: is the loop-back line always engaged (so the onboard EEPROM is disabled) or is it only engaged when a SD card is inserted?

AndreL
01-29-2008, 09:51 AM
Its always engaged, so it uses the EEPROM on the board, this way the board just doubles as a 128K eeprom, and you can bit test the "insert" signal from the SD mechanical as well, so you dont have to throw SPI commands to test if the card is in. So the whole SD card interface is there plus card inserted and write protect.

Andre'

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
01-29-2008, 12:02 PM
Curious (for those of us attempting to write Hydra compatible apps)

Does this configuration work?




spiDO = 16
spiClk = 17
spiDI = 18
spiCS = 19




OBC

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New to the Propeller?

Getting started with the Protoboard? - Propeller Cookbook (http://ucontroller.com/Propeller%20Protoboard%20Designs%20for%20the%20Beg inner.pdf)
Got an SD card? - PropDOS (http://www.orrtech.net/propdos/)
A Living Propeller FAQ - The Propeller Wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com/)
(Got the Knowledge? Got a Moment? Add something today!)

AndreL
01-29-2008, 01:17 PM
Well, let's see, here are my constants right out of the driver:

' SPI (serial peripheral interface) interface pins
spiDO = 16
spiCLK = 17
spiDI = 18
spiCS = 19

sdWP = 22 ' write protect
sdCD = 23 ' card detect

Looks like we have a winner!

Andre'

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
01-29-2008, 10:53 PM
Excellent! My current version of PropDOS is compatible.
Looks like the current SpinStudio recommendations parallel the Hydra.
(Standards arise! yeah. :)

OBC

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
New to the Propeller?

Getting started with the Protoboard? - Propeller Cookbook (http://ucontroller.com/Propeller%20Protoboard%20Designs%20for%20the%20Beg inner.pdf)
Got an SD card? - PropDOS (http://www.orrtech.net/propdos/)
A Living Propeller FAQ - The Propeller Wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com/)
(Got the Knowledge? Got a Moment? Add something today!)

AndreL
02-05-2008, 05:08 PM
The Hydra SD MAX card is all done, the first big run will be done in about 2 weeks, until then we are going to do a short run locally, so early adopters can get their hands on the SD Max card. I think we have locked into $49.99 for the product which includes the SD Max card, 1GB SD card, the 80-90 page programming manual on CD, and state of the art packaging :) Anyway, I will get the card on the XGS site asap. Parallax will get their first sample this week for review (not much to review, plug it in, it works, so shouldn't be a problem), thus I assume they will carry it as well, but they won't get their until the big order is back from manufacturing.

So that's the deal. Those interested, check the xgamestation.com site this weekend, the product should be up by then. Hopefully, everyone that owns a HYDRA buys one, and everyone that buys a new HYDRA gets one as well, so its almost "standard" equipment. This way, much cooler programs and apps can be written.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Andre'

Timothy D. Swieter
02-05-2008, 07:07 PM
Man, I don't own a Hydra, not yet. I do have the book and have used it many times as a reference. I would consider buying the SD Card package just to read the programming guide.

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Timothy D. Swieter
tdswieter.com (http://www.tdswieter.com/)
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One little spark of imagination is all it takes for an idea to explode

AndreL
02-05-2008, 07:20 PM
Yup, getting spi, sd, and fat16 all to work is a challenge. There are only a couple people here that have successfully done it, but I bet they (as do I) wish there was something that explained the whole thing :) You can find a lot about spi, sd protocal is a little harder to find info on, but fat16 is pretty easy. But, the devil in the details, so the manual really has value since it will save anyone days of reverse engineering and detective work that want to write their own sd card drivers. I worked on the manual for about 2 months. The manual is copyrighted and part of the product, otherwise, I would give you a copy,but here's the TOC for review:

HYDRA SD MAX+128K CARD USER MANUAL 6
1.0 HYDRA SD MAX STORAGE CARD MANUAL OVERVIEW 6
2.0 PRODUCT CONTENTS 7
2.1 CD-ROM CONTENTS 7
3.0 INTRODUCTION AND QUICK START 8
3.1 QUICK START GUIDE 10
3.1.1 Re-programming the HYDRA SD Max Card with the Menu Demo Program 10
3.1.2 Re-formatting the SD Card with the Demo Binary Images 11
4.0 CIRCUIT DESIGN, ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL INTERFACE 12
4.1 ELECTRICAL INTERFACE DESIGN 12
4.2 MECHANICAL INTERFACE 15
5.0 INTERFACING TO THE HYDRA SD MAX CARD 16
5.1 SD CARD OVERIEW & HISTORY 17
5.2 SPI BUS BASICS 18
5.2.1 Basic SPI Communications Steps 20
5.3 SD CARD COMMUNICATIONS PROTOCAL 22
5.3.1 Placing the SD Card into SPI Mode 25
5.3.2 Reading a Sector 26
5.3.3 Writing a Sector 27
5.4 FAT16 FILE SYSTEM OVERVIEW 29
5.4.1 FAT16 SD Card Disk Structure 30
5.4.2 Master Boot Record 31
5.4.3 Partition Entries in the MBR 32
5.4.4 Parition Boot Record (PBR) 32
5.4.5 A Quick Recap and Locating the Primary FAT16 Data Structures 33
5.4.6 The Root Directory 34
5.4.7 The File Allocation Table 37
5.4.8 Understanding Directories 39
5.4.9 Final Aspects of Navigating the FAT16 File System 39
6.0 UNLEASHING THE SD MAX DRIVER API 40
6.1 Driver API Constants 42
6.2 Driver API Globals 44
6.3 Initializing the SD Max Driver 45
6.4 Master API Listing 46
7.0 THE HYDRA SD MAX DEMOS 61
7.1 THE MENU LOADER PROGRAM 62
7.1.1 The Menu Loader Software Architecture 62
7.1.2 Building the SD Card for the Loader 63
7.2 THE SD MAX DEMO API PROGRAM 65
7.2.1 The Main Menu 66
8.0 SUMMARY 66
APPENDICES 67
A. HYDRA SD MAX SCHEMATIC 67
B. PCB REFERENCE LAYOUT 69
C. API DRIVER SOURCE CODE LISTING 70
NOTES 89

Andre'

Bean
02-05-2008, 08:11 PM
Timothy D. Swieter said...
Man, I don't own a Hydra, not yet. I do have the book and have used it many times as a reference. I would consider buying the SD Card package just to read the programming guide.


I agree with Timothy. I·spend more than 2 months getting my SD datalogger working.
Where was you're manual back then Andre' ;)

I can't wait to get one. I'll keep checking www.xgamestation.com (http://www.xgamestation.com) for it.

Bean.


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Mike Popoloski
02-08-2008, 03:41 AM
Any chance on selling the manual independently? I already have the SD card and socket, and I don't have a HYDRA, but having all of that information in one place would be very helpful.

AndreL
02-08-2008, 03:58 AM
Right now, I don't want to split the product up, its hard enough just getting the whole product out :)

Andre'

AndreL
02-13-2008, 03:41 AM
The HYDRA SD Max is NOW ON SALE in limited quantities at the XGameStation.com site. We are doing a local manufacturing run until the big run after chinese new year (which ends in a week or so).

In any case, the price is $49.95, comes with the SD card reader, 1GB sd card, 80 page eBook on SPI, SD protocal, and FAT16 driver development along with drivers and demos to show how to read DOS FAT16 files from the PC. The direct link is here:

http://www.xgamestation.com/view_product.php?id=44

5-10 days to ship each unit, since they are being assembled manually locally, not by robots in china for now, so if "made in america" is important, now's your chance :)

Andre'

RobotWorkshop
02-13-2008, 04:15 AM
Do we have to create an account to buy the card or is there an easy checkout as a guest we can use without having to sign up? I've already got too many different sign-in accounts on numerous websites and really don't want to create yet another one.

Also, do you have the Hydra boards available by themselves for those of us who had already purchased the book ahead of time to check it out first and now may want to pickup an actual Hydra board?

Robert

AndreL
02-13-2008, 04:53 AM
Nope, you have to create an account, takes 2 seconds, that's the way the site works. And no, no hydra boards, since the handful we would sell probably wouldn't be worth the 20 hours or so to put it up on the site, etc. and then deal with the support questions when people pull pads off the board SMT soldering etc. But, since you have the book, you can design a compatible system yourself and have it made at pcb123 etc. for really cheap. A couple customers have already done this for the experience of it.

Andre'

RobotWorkshop
02-13-2008, 06:08 AM
Hello Andre'

I didn't mean blank Hydra boards (although that would be cool). I was asking about assembled Hydra boards. I'm sure there are several others out there like myself who bought the book and afterwards thought it might be neat to get an actual Hydra board. I would think that some people who already have one may eventually want a second one so they can play with the networking port but may not need a second copy of the book. That is why I asked about just buying the Hydra itself.

Building one isn't a problem. I've got all the parts sitting here and can get one together. It's just that your board is a nice finished unit and I had thought about getting one to go with the book.

If they aren't available separately then i'll just see about wiring one up with the parts I have on hand.

Best Regards,

Robert

AndreL
02-13-2008, 06:23 AM
That's a possibility in the future, but for parallax to create another sku and redo the packaging, etc. then its hard to split the product out since it would be nearly the same cost as it is currently. The mouse, keyboard, etc. are a small percentage of the price, the hydra kit cost is 80-85% hydra kit, 5-10% book, the rest, the other stuff. So you would still pay 80-85% of the current price, so from a business perspective, the cost to break it out, etc. would be maybe $10K, with a zero net income change per unit. Considering you might sell an extra 50-100 units like this, the margin wouldn't be enough to cover the breakapart cost (or would be very close), so its a hard business argument which you can do with any "kit" product. You can always buy the kit then sell the hydra book to make up the difference, that's another option for you.

So for now, I doubt this will happen anytime soon. Right, now we will stick with the product as-is.

Andre'

VIRAND
02-27-2008, 03:29 AM
Will Parallax soon be selling the SD card kit for the HYDRA?

Damien Allen
02-27-2008, 03:53 AM
As they sell they HX512 SRAM card, I would have thought that they will at some point stock the SD card

AndreL
02-27-2008, 04:59 AM
Yes, they are creating stock codes and will put it on the website soon. But, they will probably stock the next batch batch from china in 2 weeks.

Andre'

hinv
03-29-2008, 02:33 PM
Do your SDcard drivers handle directories? How many levels?
Have you done any performance testing? Are file names limited to 8.3?

Thanks,
Doug

AndreL
03-29-2008, 02:52 PM
My driver is very simple and tutorial in nature. It handles the root directory only and 8.3, but any size file in the root. Support for directories is basically adding a little more software. And the drivers are in spin which is slow by nature, so not much performance available unless you move to ASM. However others have written more complete drivers for Fat16 and ASM versions of the SPI interface which are available in the object repository.

Andre'

Parallel Universe
04-27-2008, 08:57 AM
Hey! http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/hop.gif
The SD MAX Card is on the Parallax Site! (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerProgrammingKits/tabid/144/CategoryID/20/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/505/Default.aspx)
It's almost sold out already; I need to get one.

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AndreL
04-27-2008, 09:05 AM
Yup, we are going to have to manufacture more probably in a couple weeks, so if you are thinking of getting one now is a good time.

Andre'
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