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Author Topic: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?  (Read 7557 times)

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Offline Badstarr

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So my HxC arrived today, and I've installed it and it's great! So my Plus has now waved goodbye to magnetic media and my 6128 can inherit the 3.5" drive, great stuff!


Just one thing I want to know... How do I tell the HxC to switch sides if I want to use a double sided disc image? Orion Prime is working fine but I don't see any S1 change from S0 on the screen. So is it simply a case of creating an 80 track disc image and that will do the job? Disc formatting/side handling is not something I know a great deal about to be honest.


I did find quite a novel way of installing the HxC, mine is fitted underneath the keyboard on my plus machine with the screen routed out via an old ide cabe to a (temporary) enclosure on top of the machine. Doing this has the bizarre side effect of being able to select disc images by pressing firmly on the Amstrad logo. A happy accident! I've cut a pretty messy hole in the bottom of the case so I can get at the SD card. I guess I'll tidy it up a bit but its not a high priority as its hidden. 
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #1 on: 09:37, 07 September 11 »
Pictures! Pictures!!!

And, yes, you do need separate disk images for each side :)

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #2 on: 16:46, 07 September 11 »
Doh! I was hoping I could use one image, but hey, having access to up to 32gb of stuff still kicks butt! Its not exactly hard to put another image in a slot is it.



Gryzor, I will post some pics soon, but I have to say, with this set up at the moment underneath the case is a bit ugly, but it works and from the outside you would never know the hxc is there!
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #3 on: 17:57, 07 September 11 »

EDIT: For anyone who wants to see the improvements I've made to this mod so far see page 2


Click here> Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?

OK here are some pics of my HxC Plus mod, it's a bit quick and dirty, but I will bust out the dremel soon and finish it off...


I apologise for the formatting, I'm not sure how to annotate the photos properly but hopefully it all makes nome kind of sense...


1)Here's what is looks like from the outside...

2)Here is underneath, I use a small piece of plastic with velcro to close it up for now when not needed ...


3)A closeup of the horrible mess of a access to SD slot lol!




4)Removing the SD card


5)Here is how I installed it all, HxC board held in with foam mounting tape, I love that stuff nearly as much as Gaffer Tape!


6)Closeup of the HxC, I had to remove some plastic from this part of the CPC case, it's fine without it as there is plenty enough support let either side. The HxC buttons don't bump against the back of the keyboard in this position fortunately, unless you make them, read on...


7) It might be a little tough to see but here the Fres Fighter IMG is loaded on the HxC screen


8 And in the the next picture Logistic is selected after a firm, but not aggressive press on the Amstrad logo, this was just an accidental by product of the install but it works fine for me.


If I want to I can access the buttons underneath, maybe a little difficult if you have larger hands and you have to press them sideways but it works and I'm happy with it.




« Last Edit: 03:24, 14 September 11 by Badstarr »
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #4 on: 09:43, 08 September 11 »
Heheh... Yeah, it's a bit messy, but an interesting proposition! Choosing a better-looking box for the screen would go a long way, and I think we should find a better way to choose images...?

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #5 on: 10:55, 08 September 11 »
Step 1: Bite a hole in the bottom of your CPC :D

No, seriously, an interesting place to put the HxC, but it needs to be neatened up a bit, even if it is hidden underneath the CPC.

Bryce.

Offline McKlain

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #6 on: 11:40, 08 September 11 »
I find the combination of a 6128 plus and a HxC quite interesting (maybe someday I'll get both). I was wondering, can't you just put all the HxC stuff in a plastic box and connect the cable to the inside of the plus without having to break the case? Maybe after removing the disc drive?

Offline robcfg

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #7 on: 14:07, 08 September 11 »
Deepfb managed to get his HxC and his Symbiface II inside a CPC+ and the only case mod was to cut a window for the HxC display...

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #8 on: 15:02, 08 September 11 »
The Plus has tons of space inside. However Badstarrs Plus is a 464, so removing the disc-drive could prove to be a challenge (McKlain) :D But I can understand why Badstarr chose to put the HxC where he did: there's no free area at the back or the side, where the HxC PCB would fit AND the SD Card would protrude out the side (without removing the entire tapedeck).

Bryce.

Offline McKlain

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #9 on: 16:01, 08 September 11 »
Oh I see XD

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #10 on: 16:11, 08 September 11 »

Haha! Bryce! I did pretty much bite a hole into the case, I did start by cutting with a dremel but the hole was a little to small to access properly, so I basically munched away the plastic with some pliers, I will be improving the quality of the 'SD port' today.


Gryzor, I will be making a more uniform case for the screen soon, and I will most likely rout some micro switches to it from the HxC to make it all look better. At this stage I just wanted a woking solution so I could get down to playing with the new hardware! Watch this space!


Basically I want my plus to look as stock as possible, the only real indication that I've modded inside is an AUX socket connected to the tape deck so I can load with MP3 players via the tape deck and the screen sticking out of the expansion aperture.


McKlain, you could easily put the HxC in a box and wire it direct to the 6128+ PCB, if you have a steady hand you could solder to the board or add a connection to the 2nd disk drive port and use it as a B drive, or whatever takes your fancy.
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #11 on: 16:40, 08 September 11 »
...the only real indication that I've modded inside is an AUX socket connected to the tape deck so I can load with MP3 players via the tape deck and the screen sticking out of the expansion aperture.....


Oooh. Where did you fix the wires for the aux? I added one to my "464+", connecting it to the main board (I can't remember which wires, but I think blue (4th from bottom) and ground), but this didn't work. TBH, I didn't try to fault find very well, and it has been on a back burner for a short while due to other commitments.

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #12 on: 16:54, 08 September 11 »
Those connections are correct, so it should have worked. Maybe you just need to experiment with the volume control on the MP3 player, the CPC is very fussy about the input level.

Bryce.

Jase

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #13 on: 17:08, 08 September 11 »
Those connections are correct, so it should have worked. Maybe you just need to experiment with the volume control on the MP3 player, the CPC is very fussy about the input level.
Well, next time I dig it out I'll double check exactly what I did. I must admit I didn't give it very much testing at all - and it's even possible I connected the socket the wrong way round :)


(read into that: alcohol and soldering sounds fun at the time, but results can be unpredictable at times)

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #14 on: 17:34, 08 September 11 »
(read into that: alcohol and soldering sounds fun at the time, but results can be unpredictable at times)

Who are you telling! It took me years to master the art of "semi-concious soldering" :D

Bryce.

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #15 on: 17:37, 08 September 11 »
Well, I was a little lazy with my AUX connection, I just soldered directly to the play head, it works fine this way, you can also use one of those cassette adapters where you put a pretend tape in and it has a wire and jack plug that plugs to your MP3 player.


However, the bitrate etc of the MP3 "tapes" is important, if you use the usual settings 128-160 kbps some of the original signal is approximated by the codec, so you may loose some bits and the CPC will report read error. I use 44.1 kHz sample rate and at least 360kb bit rate and this works fine for me. I use audacity to normalise the digital audio to -7dB to give a reliable signal gain and use iTunes to encode to MP3 afterwards.


By the way, the dremelling continues....
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #16 on: 17:47, 08 September 11 »
Plastic editing trick: Find a straight piece of metal or harder plastic. Glue it temporarily on the inside of the housing where you want the edge of your opening to be. Then use a metal file to file down to the piece of metal. Remove the metal and repeat for each edge. That way you get a perfectly straight edge on the opening.

Bryce.

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #17 on: 18:00, 08 September 11 »
Thanks Bryce. Good tip! will give it a try, just going to pop out for some supplies for the screen case hopefully will be finished soon!
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Jase

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #18 on: 19:11, 08 September 11 »
Thanks Bryce. Good tip! will give it a try, just going to pop out for some supplies for the screen case hopefully will be finished soon!
For the final touches, it may be worth while trying to get the hole the same dimensions as an Amiga Trap Door cover... These can be got quite cheaply.


(just an idea!)

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #19 on: 20:56, 08 September 11 »
I will have a look at the Amiga door thing but I might be a bit restricted on the dimensions as I don't want to loose the remaining keyboard stand offs so for now I have neatened up the sd card port, It's not perfect but it's looking a bit more factory thanks to the editing tip from Bryce. I was going to make a slide in door but I have settled for a make shift snap in on for now. I just need to paint the new screen case really, but the shop where I buy spray paint was closed early today Doh! Will prolly finish tomorrow now! But I think it's looking better already!
 
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #20 on: 20:38, 09 September 11 »
New pictures when it's finished!

Bryce.

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #21 on: 02:26, 10 September 11 »
Well, here are some pics of what I have achieved so far, the SD card door is a lot more neat and tidy, not perfect, but better, it still has some bite marks but I didn't want to go too close to the HxC with a spinning dremel. I will align it better when I have a bit more free time. I am going to use an old PC drive blanking plate to fab a nice trap door soon. The main thing is that the screen has a much nicer housing now and it simply velcros into place for easy removal when it's stored away. I've made a temporary cover for the SD Card Door. Anyway this is my progress so far...


« Last Edit: 02:27, 10 September 11 by Badstarr »
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline McKlain

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #22 on: 02:30, 10 September 11 »
I've just noticed...  you put your 6128 plus without the disk drive inside a 464 plus case, right?

Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #23 on: 02:43, 10 September 11 »
Hi McKain,


I actually bought it like this! It's either a modded 464+ board with disc hardware added or a 6128+ in a 464+ case. The guy I bought it off seems to be selling some 464+ disc drive upgrade kits, (well minus a few components) on ebay. I think it's relatively straight forward job to if you don't mind performing some surgery on your cpc. It's great to have all round  loading media options, Tape, Disc, HxC and MP3 through an aux socket!
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline steve

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Re: HxC arrived today! But how is side switching handled?
« Reply #24 on: 03:36, 10 September 11 »
I have noticed those "upgrade kits", they seem to be missing the important, hard to find parts.
Pointless really.