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View Full Version : New to this stuff, but got an idea. Any help??



The Legend
08-06-2005, 02:14 AM
I've been given a project to try to create a drive that can have an old fashioned, 34-bit ATA floppy drive cable hooked up to it, and then convert that to work with a PCMCIA flash card.· Basically,· I want to be able to attach flash cards to old old computers(running windows 95)·that will think they are a simple floppy drive.· Any ideas I'd appreciate.· Thanks

allanlane5
08-06-2005, 02:41 AM
1. An old computer's BIOS will expect a floppy to hold 1.44 Megabytes MAX.

2. A PCMCIA FLASH card looks more like a hard drive than a floppy.

3. I believe there already exist interfaces that support FLASH cards in PC's.

Result: I don't think you're adding any value, there are cheaper solutions already in existence.
In any event, a BS2 will be a really slow interface for a drive.

The Legend
08-06-2005, 02:50 AM
Speed isn't of utmost importance here.· We are using old old computers with old programming that must use the floppy drive 34-pin interface.· We want to give the customer this new drive and not have to modify the actual computer in anyway.· If its only 1.44mb, so be it.· I wanted know how to go about programming this. What sites could I find resources on how each type of interface sends instructions , so I could convert the floppy instruction into ones the flash card can use.

Once again, speed isn't critical, only functionality.

SPENCE
08-06-2005, 05:17 AM
I'm not shouting. Much easier to read and type all caps.

Ide to cf adapter for 10 to 20$ at www.pcsolar.com or www.damnsmalllinux.org. Use cf as a hard drive. Move data to many host that accept cf.

Alfat.com has a adapter for i2c or spi to cf card which can interface to the stamp or sx micros. It puts data in fat table format which can be written to or read by a dos stye machine with easy and no conversions. Also can be read or written with zaurus linux pda.....

73
spence
k4kep

The Legend
08-06-2005, 11:15 AM
Yea, i've seen those ide convertors a lot.· They are no good.· See , there are basically tons of systems we need to plug this devices into, and the code in these systems requires the use of a floppy drive.·We can't change these systems in anyway, it would take too much time and money.·So I can't have it in hard disk form.· If I could convert from hard disk IDE to floppy, that could work.· The computer must recognize this as a regular floppy disk drive.· Oh, and I'm too lazy to look now, but what is 12C or SPI.· Thanks for the help so far though.

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
08-06-2005, 12:58 PM
My answer is not really STAMP related, but I will answer it anyway... Just this once http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif


The Legend said...

Basically, I want to be able to attach flash cards to old old computers(running windows 95)...



What about an internal or external "card reader"...



The Legend said...

...that will think they are a simple floppy drive. Any ideas I'd appreciate.



...and use the DOS command 'subst (http://www.computerhope.com/substhlp.htm)" to redirect the drive letter to "A" or "B"


I do something similar with an old "junk" laptop that I take on vacation for dumping pictures from our camera.
I have a PCMCIA <--> Compact Flash (CF) adapter in the laptop. In addition, I have some "installed" programs on the
CF that I like to run on another computer for picture editing. Problem is/was, that on different computers the assigned
drive letter for the CF was different and it affected the software configuration. Using the "subst" command and reserving
the same drive letter on both computers allowed me to install the software to the CF and run it on both machines without
any problem.

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Beau Schwabe (mailto:bschwabe@parallax.com)

IC Layout Engineer
Parallax, Inc.

SPENCE
08-06-2005, 05:08 PM
THE LEGEND

"If I could convert from hard disk IDE to floppy, that could work."

OK HOW ABOUT THIS. GET A LS-120 IDE DRIVE. I THINK IT WILL READ AND WRITE BOTH 720 AND 144 FORMAT FLOPPYS. THEN USE BEAU'S SUBT COMMAND TO MAKE IT RESPOND AND A FLOPPY.

BEAU, WOULD DRIVERS FOR A LS-120 BE A PROBLEM FOR HIM?

73
SPENCE
K4KEP

knightofoldcode
08-06-2005, 05:17 PM
SPENCE said...
THE LEGEND

"If I could convert from hard disk IDE to floppy, that could work."

OK HOW ABOUT THIS. GET A LS-120 IDE DRIVE. I THINK IT WILL READ AND WRITE BOTH 720 AND 144 FORMAT FLOPPYS. THEN USE BEAU'S SUBT COMMAND TO MAKE IT RESPOND AND A FLOPPY.

BEAU, WOULD DRIVERS FOR A LS-120 BE A PROBLEM FOR HIM?

73
SPENCE
K4KEP


Spence,

I don't think your understanding what "The Legend" is wanting. He want's to either build a interface to allow him to use the FLOPPY port of a computer to do what he wants, or he wants to purchase it.

He's stated that he wants to do this to "a ton of systems", so he wants to make this for a large number, and doesn't want to have to mess with drivers for other cards, or ls-120 drivers, etc. He just wants to be able to plug this into the floppy port, so act as though the computer doesn't have a IDE port!

My question is this. If speed isn't an issue, and space is acceptable of 1.44 meg.... why not use a floppy drive with a standard 3.5" floppy disk!?

Knight.

The Legend
08-06-2005, 05:59 PM
I'm just a corporate slave carrying out my bosses wishes.· But yea, thats kind of an important question about the speed.

The Legend
08-06-2005, 06:09 PM
OK, I talked to my Lumbergh here, he said that these will be used in robots which have no interface, so you can't communicate to them.· The problem with floppy drives is they have too many moving parts and are constantly breaking down in this environment, thus the need for the flash.· So, it must be floppy to flash directly.·

knightofoldcode
08-07-2005, 05:46 AM
The Legend said...
OK, I talked to my Lumbergh here, he said that these will be used in robots which have no interface, so you can't communicate to them. The problem with floppy drives is they have too many moving parts and are constantly breaking down in this environment, thus the need for the flash. So, it must be floppy to flash directly.


Then LS-120 option won't work. Yes, the computer thinks it's a standard floppy, but drivers have to be installed.

The only suggestions that I can come up with, require a complete redo of the harddrive in the computers.

If you can get access to the computers operating systems. Then you can purchase a Soild State harddrive, or Compact Flash adapter for each computer, and if you can find some program that will make a second harddrive appear to be a floppy, software wise, then you'd be set.

Several ideas are.

1) Solid State Harddrives. They make them. They are around 1-2 gigs, called IBM Microdrives.
2) Compact Flash cards that have a IDE interface.
3) RS-232 interface. This would be simple with a basic stamp and a EEProm or Compact Flash card.

Just some thoughts.

Knight.