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Reply 220 of 358, by BLockOUT

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you have to undestand that you are playing with very old plastic too besides the laser.

for example i tried to open a couple sony CDU33A and the black plastic that goes in front of the tray , near the eject hole, just broke like thin glass. and that is something i would never fix with superglue since that thing never does a good job for a hard plastic fusion.

not only that, both suffered from smd capacitor leak that reached many other components.

hell im shocked that you still manage to make those old things work. Some types of plastics are not forever you know, and such small things with little plastic pieces are a pain.

I was opening an IBM model M2 and it was practically imposible not to break some of the stupid cheap plastic tabs that IBM managed to design, im sure it was because of age because as soon as i pushed them a little bit they broke., after a rock solid model M keyboard...i cant belive they did that.

i wish in the future some genious comes up with a cheap alternative for a SD2CD-rom drive.

Reply 221 of 358, by red_avatar

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BLockOUT wrote on 2021-09-21, 03:30:

I was opening an IBM model M2 and it was practically imposible not to break some of the stupid cheap plastic tabs that IBM managed to design, im sure it was because of age because as soon as i pushed them a little bit they broke., after a rock solid model M keyboard...i cant belive they did that.

Two years ago I decided to fix my old IBM model M2 keyboard. It had been stored in the attic for 20+ years after my brother smashed it way back causing several keys to fly out and get damaged. I found a broken one on eBay for little money which I used just to get the missing keys. But boy, I did NOT expect how hard the keyboard would be to take apart. 10+ plastic tabs which I had to keep open with all sorts of plastic tools until the shell would come apart. They didn't break at all - in fact I probably had to do this a dozen times before the keyboard was fixed and no tab ever broke but it was a huge pain in the ass.

The biggest annoyance of the keyboard, was the way the buckling springs worked. Once you take it apart, the springs just fall out and before putting it back together, you have to place every single spring back into t he front part (upside down obviously) and then have push it back together and hope not a single spring got misaligned. Luckily, once the board got recapped (the M2 suffers from dead capacitors on most occasions by now) and several tries, it was back together in perfect working condition. I'm sure there's far less working M2 around than M"1"'s so I'm glad I did it in the end.

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Reply 222 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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So I took the plunge and bought one of the Tattiebogle IDE Sims, plus a Crystalfontz display. I gotta say, once I'd jumped through a few slightly obscure hoops (scavenge firmware 0.314 from the issue tracker, switch to OAKCDROM.SYS, enable DMA in Windows 95), the device seems to be working very nicely in my P1-era rig with my limited testing so far. Conceptually it's exactly what I'd hoped for, and Colin has done a great job producing this and making it work for this particular niche.

My wishlist for a future device (IDE Sim or other) would include lower price and a more integrated solution. The IDE Sim itself is probably at the very top-end of what I'd consider reasonable, but adding the display from Crystalfontz and shipping for that to Australia almost doubled the total cost (they insist on using FedEX), and well into unreasonable territory. It is a very nice display unit, especially with their 5.25inch drivebay bracket, but as a solution it's way overkill and doesn't solve one of the integration problems - external access to the USB or microSD port. The lack of external access means I'll have to hack something together with extension cables and brackets. Also, for the price there needs to be a solution for mounting the IDE Sim in the drive bay along with the display. Again, I'll have to look at hacking something together with a 3D print at some point.

Great idea and I'll get a lot of use out of mine, and I would like more for other PCs. There's definitely a market for this in the retro community as I hope me putting some actual cash down demonstrates, but for me I won't buy another until it's a little more turn key.

Reply 223 of 358, by SmooBandit

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SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-09-21, 22:45:

So I took the plunge and bought one of the Tattiebogle IDE Sims, plus a Crystalfontz display.

Hey there,

How did you mount the PCB for ODE? I did the hacky thing and it works "fine", but if you find an elegant one 5.25" bay solution let me know!

Reply 224 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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Currently I'm using the "dangling in mid air, suspended by cables" method. I'll shortly add a rear bracket to at least give me access to the USB (using these two things: http://d.digikey.com/dc/KnEa49LIxePFwHl32X6QV … rISeOjkWO64Awc= and http://d.digikey.com/dc/KnEa49LIxePFwHl32X6QV … rISeOjkWO64Awc=)

Ultimately I'll design and 3D print a solution that incorporates the display, a USB slot and a tray for the PCB that fits a single 5.25in bay. Just not any time soon.

Reply 225 of 358, by rasz_pl

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Datadrainer wrote on 2021-09-18, 14:42:
SScorpio wrote on 2021-09-18, 14:35:
hyoenmadan wrote on 2021-09-18, 14:27:

About the XStation, you can find photos of an open unit in Google.

EUiE7pEXkAAH6ok.jpg

As you can see, the Cyclone 10 used there is one of these used in the netduino usbkey like boards. Although magnitudes less expensive than a Zynq or an Spartan, still isn't cheap as CPLDs or other kind or cheaper controllers.

That's the PS1Digital, which takes the PS1 video signals and does video processing, and outputs HDMI.

The Xstation is just a board without a case or anything, but I can only find images of the top and no FPGAs are visible unless it's one of the really small chips that are unreadable.

There is an ESP32 on the board. That's a micro-controller, found on some Arduino.

ESP32 is a dual core 160 MHz SoC with ~300KB of fast sram and ridiculous parallel I2S ports capable of DMAing data in and out at tens to almost hundred of MHz. It can generate 460x480@60Hz 14 bit color VGA Video with zero CPU overhead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G70CZLPjsXU In terms of CPU power alone its somewhere around 1996 Pentium 1/2. All for $5.
so no, its not "just an arduino microcontroller 😀

XStation is using I2S to stream CD data emulating raw laser diode output - like Gotek, but a lot faster. Thanks to ESP32 whole hardware bom is <$20 at low volume.

Sadly this approach wont work for IDE/ATAPI due to timing requirements. Its one thing to stream data really really fast, but entirely another to be able to react to input at low enough latency (hundreds of nanoseconds). ESP32 has high interrupt latency due to RTOS handlers, but just spinning in a loop you can react to external world at ~200ns https://github.com/MacLeod-D/ESp32-Fast-external-IRQs this is enough for emulating PIO 0-1 IDE/ATAPI device.

Reply 226 of 358, by Deunan

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It doesn't take a genius to create ODE for PC, all you need is to put in a lot of effort to make sure it works not just for you but in every case/configuration. In that sense it's easier for game consoles where the internals are the same, but in PCs with different CPUs, mobos, controllers, timings and software one has to come up with pretty robust ATA/ATAPI interface to make it properly compatible. Various companies that made CD-ROM ASICs would most likely licence the interface guts and not reinvent the wheel - but that costs money that ODE will not make.

And speaking of money, that's the other issue. A lot of work that I mentioned is not free, someone has to sacrifice their time for it. Yet pretty much nobody would want to pay 150$ or more for such device so what's the incentive for making one in the first place? If it's too complicated, hardware-wise, it will need proffesional assembly and the BOM itself will make it expensive. A cheaper approach will, on the other hand, make people ask "why so expensive, the BOM is just a few $" - as if the time put in was free, or there was some obligation to make it cheap because "people want it". And if the device was simple enough but popular and the price was good, it would be copied by the Chinese cloners, which again leaves the original author with nothing but rude requests for "support".

I'm not saying there is no market for PC ODE or that nobody is smart enough to make one. On the contrary, the people who are smart enough are most likely opting to do other things with their life instead.

Reply 227 of 358, by cyclone3d

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I still think that it would be much easier/cheaper to make a proper ODE that used a different computer as a host. That way, you could also output the CD audio from the host computer. You just have to have something that passes the data from the host to the client.

Kind of like a middleware for Daemon tools. Could probably even use a parallel port connection as long as you don't mind slower reads.

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Reply 228 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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Poking around the webs, it looks like the groundwork for the ATAPI side of things already freely exists:

https://www.latticesemi.com/products/designso … rfacecontroller

The reference FPGA for this design isn't super expensive, though not bargain basement either.

What remains is the integration work (PCB design, file system handling, displays, buttons, mass storage and firmware), which is a big initial effort but depending on your profitability goals doable for a semi-reasonable price.

Reply 229 of 358, by Horun

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Hmmm I been sort of reading thru this since 2019 and one of the issues I see is that some want it to be able to run Audio CD, some want Game+CD audio tracks and some be happy with just a CD ISO type loaded and all think it should be cheap.
Heheee in order to fulfill multiple of all those criteria in a single device like a true CDROM but yet store many of those images/files is not something going to be cheap (think of the first CDROMs) and is somewhat defeated in the fact you still need a CDROM in order to read/image/transfer the disk to your new device unless the image already exists. I know that was mentioned before but doing this with CD is not same as floppy.... just thinking out loud....

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 230 of 358, by Deunan

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Yes, conflicting user expectations are pretty much assured for a platform like PC. Some people will also say a digital audio output is a must, since it's a new device (even if emulating old hardware), there will be a small war about what kind of output that should be, coax or optical, the result will be both but still at the same price as no digital output. And lest we forget, we keep talking about CD-ROMs but you can bet your house the first question asked will be "Does it support DVDs too?". And it could, but again, more grueling testing required.

That's not even touching the subject of file formats, especially for games with copy protection tricks, I mean even well known PC software like Daemon Tools often doesn't properly work with all the custom extension people added to CUE images, which seem easy to parse text files, and yet everyone will expect it to just work on a much smaller embedded device.

I seem to remember seeing a working device that emulates ATAPI optical drive already on the market a year or two ago. Can't find the name right now but I can try to dig it up. Doesn't seem very popular though, I wonder why, it's either the price or it felt short of these unreasonable expectations. Or both.

Reply 231 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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The Tattiebogle IDE Sim. Yeah it's probably too expensive for what it doesn't include, but it's not really targeted at the PC market I don't think, it just happens to the mostly compatible.

Functionally it works well though. I do wish it was under slightly more active development, but wishes aren't fishes.

You did the GDEMU/Rhea/Phoebe, yeah?

Reply 232 of 358, by rasz_pl

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SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-11, 23:09:
Poking around the webs, it looks like the groundwork for the ATAPI side of things already freely exists: […]
Show full quote

Poking around the webs, it looks like the groundwork for the ATAPI side of things already freely exists:

https://www.latticesemi.com/products/designso … rfacecontroller

The reference FPGA for this design isn't super expensive, though not bargain basement either.

What remains is the integration work (PCB design, file system handling, displays, buttons, mass storage and firmware), which is a big initial effort but depending on your profitability goals doable for a semi-reasonable price.

$20-30 chip, add rest of bom and we got ~$40-50 means product would have to be $100-150 (3x bom or it doesnt make sense and you end up losing money manufacturing hardware https://hackaday.com/2018/12/06/your-bom-is-not-your-cogs/). At this point why not just buy already existing $200 Tattiebogle solution instead of waiting for a hypothetical ones?

The only way you could achieve price point everyone could agree on would be basing hardware on ESP32 like XStation with open source firmware(aka free coding labour). This would only work as a passion project where nobody expects to get paid.

Reply 233 of 358, by Deunan

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Yes, I did make a few toys so I'd like to think I know what it takes to make an ODE. Both from HW/SW as well as sales point of view. Basically it boils down to:
- low price
- quality
- support
Pick any 2.

Reply 234 of 358, by appiah4

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Deunan wrote on 2021-10-12, 11:57:
Yes, I did make a few toys so I'd like to think I know what it takes to make an ODE. Both from HW/SW as well as sales point of v […]
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Yes, I did make a few toys so I'd like to think I know what it takes to make an ODE. Both from HW/SW as well as sales point of view. Basically it boils down to:
- low price
- quality
- support
Pick any 2.

1&2 please.

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Reply 235 of 358, by Deunan

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Ha, I was that naive too. Turns out though that people don't like to read (or even think) and also expect you to be answering their questions within few hours, no matter where you live and what day it is. And if you dare to "dissapoint" them even once... Let's just say there's no shortage of so-called griefers out there. But this is going off topic.

Reply 236 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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rasz_pl wrote on 2021-10-12, 11:46:
SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-11, 23:09:
Poking around the webs, it looks like the groundwork for the ATAPI side of things already freely exists: […]
Show full quote

Poking around the webs, it looks like the groundwork for the ATAPI side of things already freely exists:

https://www.latticesemi.com/products/designso … rfacecontroller

The reference FPGA for this design isn't super expensive, though not bargain basement either.

What remains is the integration work (PCB design, file system handling, displays, buttons, mass storage and firmware), which is a big initial effort but depending on your profitability goals doable for a semi-reasonable price.

$20-30 chip, add rest of bom and we got ~$40-50 means product would have to be $100-150 (3x bom or it doesnt make sense and you end up losing money manufacturing hardware https://hackaday.com/2018/12/06/your-bom-is-not-your-cogs/). At this point why not just buy already existing $200 Tattiebogle solution instead of waiting for a hypothetical ones?

The only way you could achieve price point everyone could agree on would be basing hardware on ESP32 like XStation with open source firmware(aka free coding labour). This would only work as a passion project where nobody expects to get paid.

$150 US would be very reasonable, IMO, for a device that I can install into a 5.25 drive bay, insert a flash memory device and have it behave more-or-less exactly like a spinny disc machine without the spinny disc. The IDE Sim @ $200 however, isn't this. It needs a case, a separate expensive display, USB OTG cables and power splitter cables sourced separately to get close to my idea of ideal. While there are definitely pros and cons to open-sourcing the hardware and/or software, I'd say, observationally, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. People, largely, want to be helpful when there is something they're interested or passionate about. So they'll contribute code, or donate their time for testing, or help run a support forum/Discord. This (retro computing) is a hobby, the devices be they cheap floppy emulators, fancy general purpose IDE everything emulators or full bare metal FPGA re-implementations of classic systems are all luxuries.

Yes, I did make a few toys so I'd like to think I know what it takes to make an ODE. Both from HW/SW as well as sales point of view.

Cool! Sorry you had issues with cloning of your devices, but my reading of your products is that they have been fantastically successful. I think I ultimately gave up trying to get a Rhea due to availability, and Satiator eventually shipped in the end.

I think back to all the various drive emulators for different platforms I've purchased over the years, starting with Lotharek's HcX, Goteks, SD2SCSI, MegaSD, Ultimate 1541, Satiator, Tattieboggie...man I've spent a lot of cash on retro drive replacements!

Reply 237 of 358, by rasz_pl

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SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

$150 US would be very reasonable, IMO

now we are arguing about 25%

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

, for a device that I can install into a 5.25 drive bay

oh, but you have a slightly yellowed case and beige bezel doesnt look right, why doesnt the shop give you the option to color match!?!?! 😀

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

, a separate expensive display

CrystalFontz CFA633 seems reasonable for arcade market (looks rugged, reliable supplier), but for home gamers Tattiebogle should support those $2-3 chinese 128x32 OLED modules (SSD1306 spi/i2c) like BMOW

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

While there are definitely pros and cons to open-sourcing the hardware and/or software, I'd say, observationally, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

This is a quick way of ending up supporting Chinese clones for free 🙁 only viable if product is your passion project, not a source of income.

BMOW Floppy Emu author just posted about support pains: https://www.bigmessowires.com/2021/10/11/tech … pport-dilemmas/

Reply 238 of 358, by SpocksBeer

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rasz_pl wrote on 2021-10-13, 03:43:
SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

$150 US would be very reasonable, IMO

now we are arguing about 25%

No, you are :p

More to the point, a $150 drop-in solution (which IDE Sim isn't) would be a reasonable deal. IDE Sim currently clocks in at closer to $400 for a non-US buyer if you buy the Crystalfontz display thanks to their use of FedEx for shipping. I stress, this is likely an acceptable expense if you're the actual target audience for the device (running an arcade, making money from the machine this will be installed in), but it simply isn't hobbiest friendly.

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

, for a device that I can install into a 5.25 drive bay

rasz_pl wrote:

oh, but you have a slightly yellowed case and beige bezel doesnt look right, why doesnt the shop give you the option to color match!?!?! 😀

Easy fix: give the customer 1000 shades of beige to chose from, only actually manufacture and deliver one shade. It automatically becomes the customer's fault for picking the wrong shade. 😀

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

, a separate expensive display

CrystalFontz CFA633 seems reasonable for arcade market (looks rugged, reliable supplier), but for home gamers Tattiebogle should support those $2-3 chinese 128x32 OLED modules (SSD1306 spi/i2c) like BMOW

SpocksBeer wrote on 2021-10-12, 21:48:

While there are definitely pros and cons to open-sourcing the hardware and/or software, I'd say, observationally, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

rasz_pl wrote:

This is a quick way of ending up supporting Chinese clones for free 🙁 only viable if product is your passion project, not a source of income.

BMOW Floppy Emu author just posted about support pains: https://www.bigmessowires.com/2021/10/11/tech … pport-dilemmas/

Interesting read, and I do feel for the author. I suspect the only feasible way to address this is to have community buy-in and build community-based support, which the author seems reluctant to do. You can't fully commercialise in this space (like, employ a help desk), there will never be enough money to do so. Where there are real companies involved (Individual Computers springs to mind as an example), they admit that they create hardware projects on a loss basis. Passion projects, if you will.

Eh, who knows, I'm just another random on the internet with an opinion.

Reply 239 of 358, by janih

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I understand that it is not a hardware solution to this, but has anyone tried the SHSUCDHD for this problem? https://github.com/adoxa/shsucd/

"SHSUCDHD v3.01 Simulates a CD-ROM using an image file"

I wonder how well it works with older (386/486) machines.