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XT-FDC project level of interest

The board has two connectors for a pair of internal floppy drives on each for a total of four internal floppy drives. One of the internal connectors is also common with an external connector so if you use it then you would have two internal floppy drives and two external floppy drives. No special cables necessary. Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Sounds perfect, can't wait :D
I have about 30 DS-ED disks, and one standard 2.88mb floppy and one ps/2 2.88mb floppy

Shouldn't amount to a hill of beans on programming. Both, incidentally support 2.88M drives (how long has it been since anyone's seen any DSED floppies for sale?). I wouldn't let the analog components bother you--stick with 5% parts and I think you'll be fine--after all, they don't determine timing; they just form a low-pass filter so that PLL doesn't lock onto extraneous noise.


We are going to have to talk about this sooner or later so we might as well get on with it.

For the XT-FDC project to come to reality it will need at least one full prototype board build and test cycle. I can get prototype boards made at a reasonable price so we are going to need two things:

1. volunteers for build and test; these should be hobbyists with experience in assembly and debugging prototype boards. There are some here who can do this and hopefully they will come forward.

2. $160 for 4 prototype boards; that's a big pill for someone to swallow all at once so I propose we spread this out. Everyone who would like to see the XT-FDC project succeed here is your chance to contribute!

Here is my plan for raising the funds for the prototype boards. Send what you can afford ($5, $10, $20, etc) by PayPal to LYNCHAJ@YAHOO.COM with "XT-FDC prototype" in the subject. I will segregate those funds into a pool. If we get to $160 I will post here to donating and refund anything above that amount. If we do not get to $160 I will let the pool sit until either it does or it is clear we are not going to make it. If we are not going to make it I will refund everyone who donated their money. Does that sound fair?

Please lets discuss. Like any project, the XT-FDC will have to go through its prototype build and test phase before production boards will be available. Hopefully this project can make it since there does appear to be many hobbyists here who seem interested.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Well good news already! It has begun! We just received a $40 donation so we are 25% of the way there! Woo Hoo!

I suppose there should be some sort of thermometer thing to measure progress. I'll just post updates here to keep everyone informed.

In the meantime, I'll start a wiki page stub so we can fill in the details as they are known.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

PS, I will keep those who donate anonymous unless they say otherwise. Once the project gets rolling we can post a list of contributors (assuming they want to be seen) on the wiki similar to how the XT-IDE project did.

PPS, started a wiki stub page below. Feel free to edit with latest information.


PPPS, donor #2 just came in! w00t! We are 5/16 of the way there!
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@Andrew I am willing to be a tester, I just need a Gerber file I have access to a proto milling machine.
Oh, And go easy on the Via's. ;)

Hi! Thanks! We aren't quite ready yet since we're still hammering out some design points in the schematic. The PCB planform is more or less set although it needs final layout and then trace route optimization. It is going to be a few days at least.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch
Hey Andrew, it's possible to have an emergency boot disk image on ROM in this board? A backup free dos with minimal disk utility, with an option to boot using a menu like the one in XT-IDE, this would be very handy. I think there's space to do this with a 27512, and the costs won't be in sky, just an idea, of course.
It's the reason i wanted a slightly bigger ROM socket and use jumpers to correct the pinout.
Doing this however has a slight down side.
ROM containing a OS should not be reprogrammed in the Board and the cost of the board increases with a few cents but more importantly It would add soldering joints some of them might be bad...
There's no need to use a bigger socket, take a look into this jameco part, same 28 pins of a 2764. Maybe it's possible to use two ROM versions, one simple (2764) and one with more features (27512), just thinking, I'm not good into this things.
A DOS 3.3 floppy image in rom? ... YES!!!
maybe a jumper to switch this feature on/off...
Imagine flashing your prefered DOS to rom and fast booting from a rom drive A. That would be great, but i think it might be a lot of work...

My idea is to use any free dos, due to copyright issues. You're right, the idea is to make the image on ROM became a floppy in drive A, once I've asked in this forum about doing this on regulars 2764s (to trow into that empty ROM sockets on XT clone boards), but it looked very hard to do. Maybe it will be less difficult to do in a floppy controller, since the computer knows how to boot using a floppy, we "only" need to tell that there's a disk on the A drive, and then point to the image file. Probably Chuck will tell if it could be done. Since the prototype are still into paper, I think it's a good think to ask.
@Lucasdaytona They are not pin compatible.

You're right, sorry for the stupid error. I think that a simple pcb could be used to build an adapter, using this we won't have connections problems. This thing is getting better, an adapter to use an OS capable ROM? How cool is that?