[Coco] usb floppy drives?
dessart at istop.com
Thu May 27 12:29:24 EDT 2004
On 27-May-04, at 12:00 PM, <alsplace at pobox.com> wrote:
> Question: Can a 1.44MB USB floppy drive read/write a 720K disk? I
> assume it can, and if so, electronically a 3.5" drive looked just like
> a 5 1/4" drive -- you could swap them back and forth with the right
> cables. So, that makes me think it would be possible.
The problem is, most of those floppy drive units are made in very small
casings, and probably use laptop drives, since they usually are bus
powered. Which means even if there is a standard controller in there,
the connectors would all be small and very hard to work with.
What would be easier would be setting up one of those 8051-core USB
microcontrollers with UFI code, and a WDC1773, or whatever else is out
there now, and hooking it up to the drives, using the standard CoCo
> If there is a "standard" for things like USB keyboards, mice, floppy
> drives, etc., a USB interface for the CoCo sure would be nice too.
> But if they all require custom and different drivers... Blah.
> Threeor so years ago Steve Bjork was looking into the possibility of a
> USB CoCo interface, but I don't know how far he got with it. I
> imagine chipsets have evolved quite a bit since then.
There are standard drivers for bulk-storage devices (digital cameras
tend to use these, I think), for keyboard, mice, floppy drives, etc.
However, I don't think there's a standard for connecting to something
like a CoCo.
As for chipsets, something like these:
http://www.silabs.com/products/microcontroller/usb.asp might be a good
start. The problem is, if it's not a standard thing, writing the host
OS drivers. I know in Mac OS X it's pretty straightforward to write a
USB driver... but I'm not willing to. :) writing to a standard
interface, like UFI, gives you the chance to exploit the OS's built-in
drivers, and all you have to do is write the device code. The
development kit for their stuff is $230 US. Not too shabby, since the
controllers themselves are about $20 canadian from Digikey. If you
could write the floppy interface code into the mcu, you wouldn't even
need a floppy controller.
Actually, when I have a bit more money, that sounds really tempting! :)
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