Author Topic: (SOLVED) 6128 + HxC SD Emulator + 6128+ Ribbon cable: What is failing? (obvious)  (Read 5345 times)

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Offline cwpab

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Hello,

To be fast:
- I'm trying to use this
SD Floppy Emulator Rev C BLUE EDITION | eBay
()

With this
Amstrad CPC+ 6128 ribbon cable 3.5" floppy drive w/ HEAD SELECT & PRIMARY SWITCH
Amstrad CPC+ 6128 ribbon cable 3.5" floppy drive w/ HEAD SELECT & PRIMARY SWITCH
()

On a dusty Amstrad CPC 6128. (NOTE: It was really dusty and the disk drive doesn't even try to load / make a sound).

The HxC emulator I believe I configured correctly: Jumpers 7-11 on the 12 grid (for drive B).

The HFEs are created correcty and the SD drive has 16GB and it works well, the HxC emulator recognizes it.

The power cable wich I also bought from the same ebay seller works perfectly.

I am able to convert all my .dsks into .hfes and transfer them to the SD card.

With the HxC emulator powered on I am able to naviate throught the HFE files and "insert" one of them. I can see on the screen something like "RA" (and yellow light on when I "push" [see next paragraph]), 2/40, and the name of the HFE. So, apparently, the virtual disks get "inserted" correctly.

It is also important to note that the "external drive" connector on the CPC itself looks a bit dirty and perhaps deformed too. It seems to connect only when you put a pencil behind the ribbon cable to push it inside the CPC further. Depending on the position the yellow "D1" light turns on an off and the "RA" message appears and dissappears from the screen. Oh and I never listen any "fake loading sounds" from the HxC either.

-> My main issue: When I type "|b" it always says "Drive B: Disk missing: Retry, Ignore or Cancel?

1- How should I place the switches on the ribbon cable? (Let's be specific, for example "left switch", "right switch", "up position" and "down position" as it's placed on the picture.

2- Is my CGF file correct? I just created the file for Amstrad CPC and didn't change any other setting.

3- Do I need to press the "center" button on the HxC and change the drive to B? (I don't think so but...)

4- I tried working HFEs that I downloaded and they won't load either. Perhaps it could be an issue with the connector on the CPC only? If so, how could I clean the darned thing?

Thanks in advance : )

------> SOLVED: I was using the 6128+ cable on the 6128.

6128 users, try this one:
Amstrad CPC 664 6128 Spectrum +3 ribbon cable HxC floppy emulator w/ SIDE SWITCH
()

Have a nice day! :>
« Last Edit: 01:16, 05 March 13 by cwpab »

Offline Cholo

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The HxC pins are definately wrong as its currently set up to emulate 2 drives on the same external ribbon. Only one drive should be emulated on the external cable (at least from my experience and one way or the other you should keep it as simple as possible to avoid troubles).

Anyways, with the cable shown (direct nontwist i think) you should use only 1 jumper on the right buttom pins (see manual).

About the jumpers on the ribbon cable: make sure all of them are off when you turn on the machine. Usually one jumper is "hardsoldered" on so you cant remove it and that is ok .. but the other ones that you can eother completely remove or turn to "off" position should indeed be off (untill you know how to use them). Particular primary/secondary drive pin should always be off .. as it is a pin that needs to be always shorted AFTER power on to work its magic (and make sure to turn if off afterwards too).
« Last Edit: 01:35, 05 March 13 by Cholo »

Offline cwpab

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Thanks Cholo, but the HxC pins were not the issue. That is the picture I took from ebay, I am using the right configuratin for that
().

I talked to the guy who sold me the ribbon cable: The first one I bought (first picture) is for 6128 PLUS (+) ONLY. And I have a 6128 (NOT PLUS).

Apparently that was the reason why the physical connection seemed "OK" (pushing a bit with a pen) but the data never got transmitted.

The right cable (second picture) arrives in a couple of days and will probably solve the issue.

Cheers!

Offline Cholo

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Ah good. Getting the right cable is really importent  :)

I do think youll need this setting for your 6128:

As it will be the only (and so primary) drive on the cable.

As the one you linked to is for a secondary drive on a external 464 setup (and the 464 has both drives external .. so its kinda a completely different situation).

Of cause quite hard to say for sure untill you actually get the cable (never know from a picture .. it could end up being a twisted version and whatnot. One way or the other: no need to worry, one of the pin-setting will work so it just a matter of trying the combinations untill you find the right one that works with your setup  ;)

Offline cwpab

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I will try moving the only jumper (I already removed the second one) to that position, but now I have some questions:

- Will that make my HxC Emu work as drive A?

- All the time my plan was to make it work as external drive B to copy my games in .dsk files on the HxC on drive B to real 3" disks on drive A. As that might not be really possible (apparently 75% of the 3" disks today are broken, and my disk drive doesn't want to help: I was able to see the content of all my 10 disks with "cat" 3 hours ago. Today, I am only able to do that in 3), I believe my final choice will be to make the HxC Emu work as drive A (so I can play all the games), creating virtual _dsk.hfe files full of games just like a used to have.
      >>> Question: What do I need to change on my Amstrad CPC 6128 to make the HxC emulator work as drive A instead of B? Is is true that I only need a special wire for it? Or do I need to disable the real disk drive opening the CPC?

Thanks : )

UPDATE:

Not working at the moment due to the wrong cable, but...

OK, so as far as I see, this is how you do it for drive A and B:

- Drive B: Connect both drives (both power cables CPC-monitor), set pins on HxC emu as
....
..|.
..|.
(Configuration file on HxC: No idea)

- Drive A: Connect the CPC power cable only (leave disk A power cable disconnected from start up),  set pins on HxC emu as
....
.|..
.|..
(Configuration file on HxC: No idea)

Any ideas? Is what I just typed correct? Thanks in advance  :)
« Last Edit: 01:07, 07 March 13 by cwpab »

Offline Cholo

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No need to make any special setting or mods .. as the cable you bought is the one that does the A: to B: .. and B: to A: switching around. So you do not need to do anything to your 6128. And you do not need to do anything to you HxC either.

Normal setup: Normal use would simply be: hook everything up and make sure the pin (or switch .. hard to see from the small picture) is "OFF" aka not connected. Turn it all on. Your internal 6128 3" drive will then act normally as A: drive and the HxC will act normally as the external B: drive. Drives will work normally with the |A and |B commands etc.

Switching drives: According to the ebay seller (so its probably right i dont have that version cable) .. Set the pin/switch on the cable to "ON" aka connected. Turn it all on. Your machine will now believe the external HxC drive is drive A: from the start (aka the internal 3" will be off but might still "buzz" when CAT'ing etc. There will be no drive B: at all). Probably a good idea to not have any 3" floppies in the 3" drive when doing this.

You can of cause turn it all off again and switch back to normal use as much as you like.

Your HxC CFG file look good judging from that first picture you uploaded. Pretty sure you would get a big nasty error-message in the display if the CFG was missing or wasnt read properly. That we can see the CFG file also tells us that your SD card is properly formatted and that the HxC can read from it.

Making HFE files: i suggest starting as simple as possible. Get something simple like a unproteced Amsoft game like Oh Mummy or similar. Make sure its a single sided non-special disk like 190kb DSK and convert it on your pc hdd. Then afterwards copy the HFE file(s) manually to SD card in one go to avoid fragmention.

Of topic ish: if you cable arrives and has 2 pins/switches .. then the other one is most likely a "flip"-switch aka a virtual flip a 3" over so you can read from the other side. If you cable has this you probably need it to be in "OFF" position.
Note that the cable may also have pins "hard"-soldered shut .. these you should NOT try to remove of cause :)



Offline cwpab

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Finally made it work on my Amstrad CPC 6128 (not plus!) with the new cable.

Configuration:

Drive A:
Internal disk drive power cable (only one from CPC to monitor): disconnected.
Switches on the cable > left=down, right=up.
Jumpers on the emu >
....
|...
|...
.CFG on the emu > normal

Drive B:
Internal disk drive power cable (only one from CPC to monitor): connected if you want to use it, disconnected if not needed.
Switches on the cable > left=up, right=up.
Jumpers on the emu >
....
|...
|...
.CFG on the emu > normal