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GOTEK w FlashFloppy as RX33/RX50 floppy emulator

TomBombadil

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Dec 12, 2012
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Dear DEC freaks,

are there any hints as well as examples how to configure flash floppy to be used as a RX33 and/or RX50 emulator?

E.g. I'm interested in examples of ff.cfg and ing.cf configuration files to provide RT11 disk images to install RT11 on a PD11 (53/73).

Any help would be very appreciated.

A.
 

tradde

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I have an older Gotek drive. Tried once to upgrade it with FlashFloppy, but it did not go well. I stuck it back on the shelf. But if it can be used as an RX50 drive that would be neat as I have a Pro-350. And Decmate, and Rainbow.
 

vldmrrr

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The problem with Pro with P/OS is it expects to have two drives in most use cases. So for that configuration you would actually need two goteks with FF. There is a ticket on FF project to add a dual drive support on a single device, and there is even some recent development there, but it is still not included in official release.
 

tradde

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My Pro-350 doesn't have the standard P/OS. It has the minimal RT-11? Or RSX-11? I forget as I have not used it for some time. Wish I could find the DECNA card to connect it to the Net. But I would expect it to have the same issue, as the RX50 is a "dual" drive.
 

czunit

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Aug 7, 2015
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I use two FF Goteks for my Pro/380, works great. The trick is:

Use a straight through 34 pin cable with support for 2 drives (not with a twist)
Set one up as unit 0
Set other as unit 1
Make sure the ff.cfg has them both set as Shugart, not IBMPC
Enjoy!

Way way way better than screwing with endless floppies.
 

TomBombadil

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Dec 12, 2012
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It worked, I was able to boot RT11 as well as XXDP now.

The trick was not to use the "shugart" iterface type setting.

But now, if I'm trying to use the MFM emulator of David Gesswein with a blank RD53 disk image I'm not able to boot from the Gotek again, while the emulator ist connected and the emu mode was started.

Are there special settings on the RQDX3 as well as on the MFM emulator to be considered?

Best
 

shirsch

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The problem with Pro with P/OS is it expects to have two drives in most use cases. So for that configuration you would actually need two goteks with FF. There is a ticket on FF project to add a dual drive support on a single device, and there is even some recent development there, but it is still not included in official release.
My Pro 350 complains with only a single Gotek connected, but proceeds on and boots RSX-11 from the 10M hard drive. But when try to list the directory on one of the P/OS floppy images it tells me 'invalid directory structure'. Do I really need two drives connected in order for one to work?
 

czunit

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Maybe..... Do you have it jumpered properly to start with? And the format changed in the config file and all that? Also I forgot if I had it powered by an external supply so it was booted and running before firing up the Pro/380.
 

shirsch

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I'm fairly sure it was jumpered and configured correctly based on suggestions in this topic, but it's worth re-checking (again). Your point about the external supply is a good one. The Pro firmware may be expecting to see a drive very early in the boot process. I believe the floppy subsystem is working properly, since I can read/write an RT-11 RX50 floppy without incident (disk was generated using an Applesauce device). Today is Thanksgiving here, so I'll have to pick it up again tomorrow.
 

czunit

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Ok. I'll see about dragging out the Pro and giving this a try this weekend.
 

shirsch

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Drat. My Pro decided to stop producing a video signal. The joy of olde machines is neverending.... Off to do some troubleshooting!
 

shirsch

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Ok, back in the game. Turns out to have been a flaky scan converter. VR201 is showing a display. I am still unable to either boot from a P/OS installation diskette or successfully list its directory under RT-11M. Currently I have (2) Goteks wired in as drive 0 and 1, powered from a separate supply so they are ready for access immediately. When I power up the system there are a couple of accesses to drive 0 before it puts up a system failure message with the floppy controller highlighted. Then it moves on to boot RT-11. I can access both drives (as DZ0 and DZ1), but cannot list a directory on any of the P/OS install diskettes. If I initialize the directory on a floppy image I can work with it just fine - reading and writing files. Why does the system think there's an issue with the floppy drives? Why can I neither list the directory nor boot from the install images? There must be something very basic that's amiss here, but what?
 

shirsch

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After a LOT of flailing around it appears that every single teledisk image of P/OS that's out there is bad. I converted the Venix 'xfer' diskette to HFE and it boots right up from the Gotek. Haven't been able to find a single P/OS utility/maintenence image that boots.
 

shirsch

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I have those files from avitech. Are any of them bootable? As you point out the utilities diskette is not. The system on my Pro 350 hard disk is RT-11XM which apparently expects a different directory structure and cannot read any of the P/OS image I've tried.
 

Al Kossow

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correct. P/OS is based on RSX-11 which uses FILES-11 disk format not RT-11 format

171-21.td0 from ftp.update.uu.se pub/professional/PRO177 appears to be the bootable P/OS install disk

I guess I should dig around and see if anyone has scanned the rest of the P/OS manuals not on bitsavers
 

shirsch

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One more step closer... That diskette you pointed to (PRO177) does indeed boot. But it then asks for the next volume, PROMAINT, in DZ1: (second floppy drive). Problem now is that it's not actually selecting that drive. I have a second Gotek / FF jumpered as D1 and never even see the drive-active LED light up before it beeps and tells me again to insert that other volume. Is there something non-standard about select line assignment?

And, yes, it does appear that there's a lot missing for the Pro.

CORRECTION: PRO177 does not in fact boot. Diskette 179-1 boots but cannot find (and doesn't even seem to be looking for 179-2 which is PROMAINT).
 
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