Solid state storage

Discuss construction, troubleshooting, and operation of the Altair 8800c computer

Solid state storage

Postby TronDD » July 7th, 2020, 10:58 am

Has anyone found a usable storage solution using CF cards or SD cards. Can a CF card adapter be used with an FDC+?

As I don't have existing floppy drives or media, I'd like to avoid it if I can.

I suppose one option is storage over serial to anther system. How does the speed compare to a real drive? Would it be possible to get the source for the server or a protocol description so it can be ported to a *nix OS?
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Re: Solid state storage

Postby toml_12953 » July 7th, 2020, 12:09 pm

TronDD wrote:Has anyone found a usable storage solution using CF cards or SD cards. Can a CF card adapter be used with an FDC+?

As I don't have existing floppy drives or media, I'd like to avoid it if I can.

I suppose one option is storage over serial to anther system. How does the speed compare to a real drive? Would it be possible to get the source for the server or a protocol description so it can be ported to a *nix OS?


The serial link is as fast as physical floppies. You could have a cheap laptop used only as a disk server to the Altair.

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Re: Solid state storage

Postby TronDD » July 7th, 2020, 12:59 pm

Ah, right. It does say that in the docs. Thanks.

Would be nice to be able to run the server software on a little Pi Zero or something.
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Re: Solid state storage

Postby AltairClone » July 8th, 2020, 1:58 pm

Patrick Linstruth has written a version of the FDC+ server that runs on a Raspberry pi.

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Re: Solid state storage

Postby TronDD » July 9th, 2020, 3:25 pm

Thanks. I see he's on some of the Google groups. I'll try contact him when I get to that point.
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Re: Solid state storage

Postby AltairClone » August 4th, 2020, 7:49 pm

I’m working on a solid state replacement for early disk drives. This will be a very low-level floppy drive emulation that simply records the flux transition pulses on the write data line during writes and then plays them back on the read data line the rest of the time. The unit needs to know nothing more than the rotation rate of the drive and the number of hard sectors (if any) to replace most any 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy drive.

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Re: Solid state storage

Postby toml_12953 » August 4th, 2020, 8:01 pm

AltairClone wrote:I’m working on a solid state replacement for early disk drives. This will be a very low-level floppy drive emulation that simply records the flux transition pulses on the write data line during writes and then plays them back on the read data line the rest of the time. The unit needs to know nothing more than the rotation rate of the drive and the number of hard sectors (if any) to replace most any 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy drive.

Mike


Do you plan on making it generally usable on the 8800c for example or will it require a Clone?
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Re: Solid state storage

Postby TronDD » August 5th, 2020, 8:30 am

Cool. I ended up picking up one of these to try out:

http://s100computers.com/My%20System%20 ... 20Card.htm

It does require modification to CP/M to teach it how to talk to the cards, though.

Mike, sounds like you're working on replacing just the drive and interfacing with existing FDC cards?
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Re: Solid state storage

Postby AltairClone » August 5th, 2020, 9:56 am

The "flux recorder" looks exactly like a floppy drive to a vintage controller. It will connect to and work with most any real floppy controller in old machines. This includes the Altair FDC+, Tarbell, North Star, Micropolis, Vector Graphic, Polymorphic, Jade, Processor Technology, and other vintage floppy controllers.

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