[Coco] Super IDE vs. Drive Pak

John Kent jekent at optusnet.com.au
Wed Nov 16 21:58:01 EST 2011

Hi Mark,

I was going to reply last night but it was going on 3.30am. Unsoldering 
a 100 pin TQF package sounds like a pain. I have been tempted to use 
some of the Xilinx XC95108 CPLDs in some projects. They come in 84 pin 
PLCC packages, which means you can use PLCC plate through sockets for them.

I don't think my eye sight, these days, is good enough for soldering SMD 
components, although I'm told it's not that hard, or expensive to buy 
the equipment such as a heat gun to do it and I'm told the components 
tend to self centre when the solder paste wicks onto the leads. BGAs 
(ball grid arrays) on the other hand,  require X-ray inspection, 
although I suppose for home use you might get by cooking them in a 
toaster oven. An illuminated magnifier helps you see the components on 
the board a bit better so i guess there are ways of getting around most 
of the problems. I have a few amateur radio projects I'd like to build 
that use SMD components such as a AD9850 DDS (direct digital synthesis 

2003/2004 was about the time I was using CF cards with my FPGA 6809 
system. The IDE interface is much easier to understand than SD & SDHC. 
May be there are some Linux drivers or app notes around to better 
explain how to access the registers.


On 17/11/2011 2:05 AM, Mark Marlette wrote:
> John,
> I haven't read the spec since 2003/2004 when the S-IDE came out.
> Like all specs they update, accommodate larger devices, etc. SD, SDHC for example.
> I knew at the time that we wouldn't go beyond the spec then. Larger high end cameras still use CF, just plain FAST and rugged! The cost of a 60GB CF or larger is $$$$.
> The other day I was in the woods with one of my many trail cams, SD based. Gloves on as it is getting cold in MN, went to slide the WP switch and tore it right off. #$%!@# They don't work without them, pull state wrong. So a mile walk, as I didn't bring a back up, it was back up.
> My fault all the way, just need to be careful, bull in a china shop, that is me.....
> The S-IDE is rugged as well. Since 2004 I have had three repairs that involved removing the CPLD on a fine pitch rework station a work. Nice to have, still not a easy job, 100 pins on a TQFP size of a postage stamp. All of these failures were due to the cartridge being moved while the CoCo was powered. Not a fault of the device or design. Stuff happens.
> As a designer, the risk is worth it. The power of technology is wonderful, doing things we would have spent months doing in mere moments. Anyone that has mastered the tools will say the same. :)
> Regards,
> Mark
> Cloud-9
> http://www.cloud9tech.com


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