[Coco] Micro SD CoCo

Sean badfrog at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 10:57:20 EDT 2009

Ok, put me on the list for "definitely purchasing" when available!

On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 11:27 PM, Roger Taylor <operator at coco3.com> wrote:
> Well folks, tonight I have the CoCo's first Micro SD pak.    This is the
> same wireless pak model but with a different module plugged into the header.
>  I just DSKINI'ed DRIVE 0 and saved 2 BASIC programs, typed DIR, and there
> they are.
> In case you have never seen how small a Micro SD card is... it's about the
> size of your pinky finger nail.  The module it slides into is also small and
> plugs into the Serial Pak's header but needs an adaptor to match the pins.
>  Imagine hundreds of floppies, thousands of games and programs, and a full
> NitrOS-9 system instantly on power-up.
> This is a serial-based virtual floppy system (CoCoNet) which works much like
> DriveWire, only there are no wires and the virtual drives are right there in
> the pak on that little memory card.  I'm using a 2gig card for my tests.
> The catch?  The CoCo talks to the module @ 115200 bps over the 6551, so
> there will be some hard-coded Disk BASIC programs that require a real floppy
> controller and obviously won't work with a virtual drive system, but most
> programs DO run just fine.
> I'm still fiddling with how to parition a card to share between Disk BASIC,
> OS-9/NitrOS-9 and whatever else.  2 gigs is an enormous amount of space for
> a CoCo system, so even if I have to use 1/2 of the card's 512-byte sectors,
> we're still good, although I don't want to waste any space like that.
> In case you didn't read right... imagine a little game-pak sized cartridge
> with virtually everything for the CoCo on it!  This will be the case when
> the pak is finished.
> The EPROM "firmware" is a patched copy of Disk BASIC.  It needs further
> tweaking to allow a mix of Drive Pak, Wireless Pak (either or both) without
> conflict, in a plug-and-play fashion. The CoCo will detect which pak(s) are
> inserted and communicate with the right module or PC server using the same
> protocol while allowing serial communications as well.  Take a Serial Pak
> and plug what you want in the header, a bluetooth module or Micro SD module,
> and the pak should "work" as you expect using the same EPROM with no
> configuration.
> Existing Wireless Pak users could swap out their bluetooth module with this
> Micro SD module and pop in the CoCoNet EPROM and be ready, or keep the
> wireless pak and insert a drive pak, but the paks need their own address, so
> the code has to detect which addresses/paks are present and automatically
> set things up when you turn the CoCo on.
> As for NitrOS-9... I already have this booting over CoCoNet wirelessly so
> I'll just replace the protocol so that either a PC server or the MicroSD
> module will work the same... read and write sectors.
> I do need to send off for a run of small header adaptors so the module will
> fit the Serial Pak.  The header just matches a 1x5 header to 2x6 header, so
> it's going to be a tiny board with 90-degree headers on either end and some
> traces between some of the pins.  In my test I use a breadboard with 4 wires
> run to it from the Serial Pak header.  Ground, Tx, Rx, VCC.  That's it.
> --
> ~ Roger Taylor
> --
> Coco mailing list
> Coco at maltedmedia.com
> http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/coco

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