Altair FDC+ Firmware Release v1.7

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

Altair FDC+ Firmware Release v1.7

Postby AltairClone » September 6th, 2021, 6:46 pm

Firmware version 1.7 for the Altair FDC+ adds a new drive type which adds 8” SSSD soft-sector support to the Altair FDC+. The drive type added is the iCOM/Pertec/Altair FD3712 drive cabinet. This drive cabinet/controller and its S-100 interface board implement the 8in SSSD IBM-3740 soft-sector format that was very common in the 1970's. The FD3712 did this with discrete TTL logic back in the days before LSI floppy controller ICs like the WD1771 were available.

A video about the FD3712 drive cabinet can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Md1oEWf171o

Version 1.7 firmware for the FDC+ and the latest manual can be found here: https://deramp.com/downloads/altair/hardware/fdc+/

CP/M 2.2 for the Altair and FD3712 on the FDC+ can be found here: https://deramp.com/downloads/altair/sof ... /FDC+3712/

Mike
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Re: Altair FDC+ Firmware Release v1.7

Postby toml_12953 » September 7th, 2021, 10:20 am

AltairClone wrote:Firmware version 1.7 for the Altair FDC+ adds a new drive type which adds 8” SSSD soft-sector support to the Altair FDC+. The drive type added is the iCOM/Pertec/Altair FD3712 drive cabinet. This drive cabinet/controller and its S-100 interface board implement the 8in SSSD IBM-3740 soft-sector format that was very common in the 1970's. The FD3712 did this with discrete TTL logic back in the days before LSI floppy controller ICs like the WD1771 were available.

A video about the FD3712 drive cabinet can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Md1oEWf171o

Version 1.7 firmware for the FDC+ and the latest manual can be found here: https://deramp.com/downloads/altair/hardware/fdc+/

CP/M 2.2 for the Altair and FD3712 on the FDC+ can be found here: https://deramp.com/downloads/altair/sof ... /FDC+3712/

Mike


That's great! Is Altair software tied to hard-sectored floppies? It probably is but I'd like to run Altair BASIC but still have access to IBM-3740 formatted floppies.
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Re: Altair FDC+ Firmware Release v1.7

Postby AltairClone » September 7th, 2021, 10:46 am

Altair BASIC is hard coded for the Altair hard sector controller. However MBASIC (under CP/M) prior to version 5 is essentially Altair BASIC, and you can run CP/M on the soft sector disks.

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Re: Altair FDC+ Firmware Release v1.7

Postby AltairClone » September 9th, 2021, 8:47 pm

The 8” SSSD soft-sector format also allows using Gotek and similar solid-state drives that don’t work well with hard sector disk controllers.

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