VOGONS


Gotek like Optical Driver Emulator - Is it possible?

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First post, by mothergoose729

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I have a Gotek floppy emulator and I really love it. Good floppy discs are harder and harder to come by these days, and inconvenient besides. Basically any computer with HD floppy support can use the Gotek floppy emulator, and in this way the original experience can be preserved even as the original media inevitably degrades and fails.

There doesn't appear to be an equivalent hardware emulator for CD Rom drivers. The issue is less pressing there because you can still buy new blank CD-Rs and second-hand IDE optical drives for cheap. However, there are no more IDE optical drives being made (at least I don't think so), and eventually all of the existing units will fail. I have bought several used IDE optical drivers on ebay recently, and while they do work, I would be surprised if the laser, belt, and other components hold up for another ten years. Besides all of that, it is inconvenient to have to keep around a bunch of original discs and backups.

I know that you can use software emulation, like daemon tools, to virtually mount images. This works great, and I used it all the time on my XP and later machines. However, some games don't have digital music and sound files, and instead stream audio directly from the drive. And of course you can't run any such software in DOS.

Recently there have been lots of cool FPGA optical emulators for old consoles, like the PC Engine and the Sega CD. A CD Rom emulator should be a lot simpler to implement by comparison, because it doesn't have hardware scaling and transform chips like these consoles. Why doesn't such a thing exist yet?

IMO an ideal product would have a CD optical header, an IDE interface, and would take some form of flash storage; either an NVMe/AHCI SSD, SD care, USB flash driver or external hard drive. It would have a digital interface for selecting an image, ideally with a CD changer like LCD display so you could include labels for your images, and it would mount in a 5.25 or 3.5 bay. Maybe it could even come with a DOS driver that could allow you to change the mounted image in software so you could drive the whole thing with the command line and batch scripts.

I did some googling, and apparently this topic has come up before in vogons and elsewhere on the web, but without much of a conclusion. Are any projects like this in the works? Is such a thing even possible or practical?

Hardware CD Emulator

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news/8405-har … dvd-burner.html

Reply 1 of 67, by GigAHerZ

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SHSUCDHD and SHSUCDRI can emulate cd/dvd drive in DOS. http://adoxa.altervista.org/shsucdx/

But you are correct about direct audio from cd drive.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 2 of 67, by Jo22

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Sounds like an "EverDrive" type of device for PC.. 😀

Would it be possible to emulate the CD drive on an EverDrive?

https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=4993.0

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Reply 3 of 67, by Stiletto

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Jo22 wrote:
Sounds like an "EverDrive" type of device for PC.. :) Would it be possible to emulate the CD drive on an EverDrive? https://kr […]
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Sounds like an "EverDrive" type of device for PC.. 😀

Would it be possible to emulate the CD drive on an EverDrive?

https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=4993.0

Hm, hadn't thought of this through the DocBrown/Rhea/Phoebe/GDEMU angle. If memory serves, Deunan has an account here... 😁

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Reply 4 of 67, by weldum

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well there's a device that replaces the optical drive on the sega saturn and sega dreamcast, giving them the posibility of using micro sd cards
in theory it should be feasible, but it seems that nobody has ever put into that work

Ohh, the humanity 😢
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Reply 7 of 67, by Stiletto

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Zorix wrote:

I'm actually working on one. It will be a while before it's done though.

Alright, now we're talking! Looking forward to product release. 😀

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do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 10 of 67, by chinny22

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nice! figured that as software suits 99% of the populations needs something like this would never see the light of day.
Look forward to this as my IDE optical drive stockpile is getting low

Reply 11 of 67, by Schyz

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Zorix wrote:

I'm actually working on one. It will be a while before it's done though.

That audio port in the circuit board makes me really happy. I wish you the best getting this project realised.

Reply 12 of 67, by root42

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chinny22 wrote:

nice! figured that as software suits 99% of the populations needs something like this would never see the light of day.
Look forward to this as my IDE optical drive stockpile is getting low

I think the CDs might be also a problem. I like to replace physical media with solutions like this for reliability. Of course sometimes it’s nice to have physical media, just for the fun of handling it.

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Reply 13 of 67, by Rawit

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Zorix wrote:

I'm actually working on one. It will be a while before it's done though.

This is really cool! In my search for a drive I found out that prices are increasing and drivers from a certain era are becoming harder to find. Although some drives can easily be adapted to work data wise, audio out is an issue. Currently using an external drive as I built a very compact system that is flash based/no moving parts.

My build: Speedsys

Reply 15 of 67, by vulpesfoxnik

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Zorix wrote:
I'm actually working on one. It will be a while before it's done though. […]
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I'm actually working on one. It will be a while before it's done though.

m6O1TMw.jpg

I've been looking for something like this for ages. I'd love it it also came in a form factor for laptops, but even for a desktop, it is astonishingly useful.

Reply 16 of 67, by Stiletto

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flecom wrote:

https://shop.tattiebogle.net/product/prod_EkTnv3Tk2Trxhf

we use these in our arcade machines to replace optical drives in time crisis/DDR etc

Holy shit, where's that been hiding? 😁

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 17 of 67, by flecom

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Stiletto wrote:
flecom wrote:

https://shop.tattiebogle.net/product/prod_EkTnv3Tk2Trxhf

we use these in our arcade machines to replace optical drives in time crisis/DDR etc

Holy shit, where's that been hiding? 😁

they guy released them very recently, we got a couple early to test on various arcade systems (Namco System 246/Namco System 256/various Konami systems etc) and they have been awesome... they are quite pricey so I haven't put one in any of my retro computers but in the arcade where they run 12~14 hours a day continuously they have been a god-send as we were going through IDE optical drives like crazy (and not all IDE drives will work in the arcade systems either, complicating things further)

I also have not yet tried the analog audio out since none of the arcade machines use it as far as I know but it's supposed to support it

Reply 18 of 67, by mothergoose729

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flecom wrote:
Stiletto wrote:
flecom wrote:

https://shop.tattiebogle.net/product/prod_EkTnv3Tk2Trxhf

we use these in our arcade machines to replace optical drives in time crisis/DDR etc

Holy shit, where's that been hiding? 😁

they guy released them very recently, we got a couple early to test on various arcade systems (Namco System 246/Namco System 256/various Konami systems etc) and they have been awesome... they are quite pricey so I haven't put one in any of my retro computers but in the arcade where they run 12~14 hours a day continuously they have been a god-send as we were going through IDE optical drives like crazy (and not all IDE drives will work in the arcade systems either, complicating things further)

I also have not yet tried the analog audio out since none of the arcade machines use it as far as I know but it's supposed to support it

It's really neat. How do you configure the mounted image?

200$ is lot to ask. I don't think I am a customer at that price point... I feel like 75$ is more my comfort zone.