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: […]
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!