Author Topic: HxC problems *** SOLVED ***  (Read 4917 times)

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Online ervin

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HxC problems *** SOLVED ***
« on: 02:50, 03 May 12 »
Hi all.

Well, after all the trials and tribulations I've had getting my "new" 6128 working properly, the cables for my "new" HxC SD arrived yesterday!

Unfortunately, I just can't seem to get it working.

I've tried 3 different SD cards. The HxC seems to recognise all 3 just fine (i.e. I can use the HxC's buttons to cycle through the files, and "insert" a disk).

But no matter which jumper settings I use, or which position the side-switch on the floppy cable to the HxC is, I always get the dreaded "Retry, Ignore, Cancel" message.

I've tried typing in |B and even |A, I've tried CAT on both drives, I've tried "ejecting"/"inserting" a floppy on the HxC.
Nothing.

Initially I thought it was the floppy cable, but when I type |B (for example), the HxC seems to kick into action.
It cycles through the HFE's sectors twice, and then throws up the Retry, Ignore, Cancel message.

I've tried a variety of HFE files as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
« Last Edit: 18:42, 03 May 12 by ervin »
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Offline Badstarr

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #1 on: 06:00, 03 May 12 »
Was the CPC reading conventional disks ok before you installed the HxC? If so have you tried putting all the HFE disk images on a freshly formatted (as FAT32) SD Card? The HxC can sometimes have problems accessing the SD Card if for example you add each disk image to your card one at a time but as you said you have already tried various cards this may not be relevant unless you didn't format the cards before hand. My procedure for adding files to the SD Card is to copy everything on it to a folder on my computer, convert the new DSK images to HFE and save them to the same folder. Then, format the card and copy the contents of the folder back to the root of the SD card.


It might be worth posting a little more information, eg, a picture of the HxC as it is installed on your machine, the position of the jumpers (however as far as I remember the default positions work right out of the box but you never know!) Have you any other drives connected? How are you powering the HxC? Are you connecting the HxC to the CPC mainboard via a 26 or 34 Way socket, or are you using the 34 Way connector at the back or the machine? And also the settings you used when you converted the DSK images to HFE format. Oh, and finally, have you updated the firmware?


« Last Edit: 06:05, 03 May 12 by Badstarr »
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Online ervin

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #2 on: 08:04, 03 May 12 »
That's a very helpful reply - thanks man.
I'll give all of that a go tonight once the kids have been sent off to bed!
 
If I don't have any luck, I'll post some pics of how it is all set up.
 
[EDIT] I forgot to ask - what do you recommend when it comes to formatting the SD card? Quick or full format?
« Last Edit: 08:06, 03 May 12 by ervin »
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Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #3 on: 10:29, 03 May 12 »
Always do a full format on the SD card. Are you sure the HFE files you've made are ok? Have you tried a "known good" HFE file?

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #4 on: 10:40, 03 May 12 »
I'll give a full format a try.
I might try updating the firmware first before anything else though.

I do have a lot of known good HFE files (supplied by Gryzor - cheers) and they haven't worked.
They behave like non-working 3" disks.
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Offline robcfg

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #5 on: 10:55, 03 May 12 »
Have you properly configured the cfg file on the card after formatting?

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #6 on: 10:57, 03 May 12 »
Stupid question, but is the cable connected the right way around?

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #7 on: 13:01, 03 May 12 »
Have you properly configured the cfg file on the card after formatting?

I *think* so, yes.
 :-[
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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #8 on: 13:03, 03 May 12 »
Stupid question, but is the cable connected the right way around?

Bryce.

I bought the cable from urban-retro on ebay, and he has labelled the top of the cable.
I guess it's possible that it might be labelled incorrectly.
At any rate, it won't hurt to check.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #9 on: 13:43, 03 May 12 »
You won't damage anything by connecting it the other way around and seeing if it works.

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #10 on: 14:38, 03 May 12 »
Indeed I didn't damage anything.
What I did do however was discover that perhaps I didn't have it pushed in all the way last night, or something.
I'm sure I did, but now the HxC is working!!!  ;D

I took it out, put it in the other way, which didn't work at all.
When I pushed it back in the right way, it started working!

Weird.

Anyway, all I have to do now is figure out how to make the cpc think it is the A drive, so I can actually run some games.
 ???

I was able to run one thing though.
The very first program I ran from the HxC was my own Chunky Pixel Collision code.
Seeing a huge Savage moving around the screen, scaling smoothly, was just awesome on real hardware!
It was a wonderful, proud moment - almost worth all this hassle on its own!

Thanks once again everyone for all your help.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #11 on: 14:58, 03 May 12 »
Then it may have been a dodgy connection between the flat cable and the connector, that can happen on IDC connectors and suddenly work after pushing on the connector again. Make sure the "lid" (the plastic above the flat cable) is completely pushed down, sometimes the centre wires aren't fully cut by the connector. But don't open or re-do the connection, this usually makes the problem worse.

To make the HxC act as |A you can either add an ABBA switch to your CPC, easy on a Plus, a bit more complicated on a Classic 6128. Or you can change the HxC jumpers to make it act as |A, but you will also need to disable (dis-connect) the internal drive for this to work properly.

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #12 on: 15:11, 03 May 12 »
This is the cable I am using:
Amstrad CPC 664 6128 Spectrum +3 ribbon cable HxC floppy emulator w/ SIDE SWITCH

Is the side-switch the same an an ABBA switch?

Anyway, I'll try disabling the internal drive, and then I need to figure out what to change the jumpers to.
Trial and error, here we come!

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Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #13 on: 16:05, 03 May 12 »
No, a side switch changes the side of the disk being read. An ABBA switch makes the internal drive react to |B and the external drive to |A. Instructions for the ABBA switch are here: ABBA switch - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia!
ABBA switch - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia!

If you decide to take the other route, you need to disable or disconnect the internal drive and then set the HxC jumpers accordingly. The correct settings can be found on page 11 of the User Manual: http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/SDCard_HxC_Floppy_Emulator_User_Manual.pdf

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #14 on: 16:13, 03 May 12 »
I reckon I'll try disabling the internal drive.
I don't have too much use for it now, to be honest.

Thanks for the tip about the jumpers.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #15 on: 16:16, 03 May 12 »
This is the cable I use too (actually, I have the prototype, I'm glad that urban retro has picked up the idea after discussing it with him and offering a product), and I haven't disabled the internal drive.


I hope I'm not being indiscreet, but since I sold you this unit, the correct jumper position is the one it was in when I shipped it :D And no, it's not a side switch of course, he's got the naming wrong.

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #16 on: 16:28, 03 May 12 »
So there's an ABAA (not ABBA) switch on the cable AND in the HxC, so what happens when both are set, or even worse, when they are set in the opposite directions?

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #17 on: 16:32, 03 May 12 »
Have no idea, actually. If you want I can test and try, just tell me what you'd want to heck (AA/AB if I get it right?)

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #18 on: 16:55, 03 May 12 »
It's not actually that difficult to work out:

If the cable is set to |A and the HxC to |B the HxC won't work.
If the cable is set to |B and the HxC to |A then the HxC is |B.
If both are set to |A then the HxC is |A.
If neither is set to |A then the HxC is |B.

It's just kind of pointless having the switch on the cable for a HxC, for an external 3.5in floppy it would still be useful though.

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 17:05, 03 May 12 by Bryce »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #19 on: 17:02, 03 May 12 »
Why is it useless? I need it in order to switch the HxC to A easily...

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #20 on: 17:05, 03 May 12 »
Ok, if the HxC is in a case that would be the easiest way to switch.

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #21 on: 17:06, 03 May 12 »
I think this is not the only case. Not remembering well, but I think there were issues with trying to set my HxC to A while the internal drive was still connected.

Offline Bryce

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #22 on: 17:19, 03 May 12 »
Yes, they'd clash and you'd get strange errors. That's why I always install a real ABBA switch in the CPC to avoid strange external switching no matter what I connect..... http://www.v3.co.uk/IMG/330/178330/ibm-disk-drive-580x358.JPG

Bryce.

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Re: HxC problems
« Reply #23 on: 17:54, 03 May 12 »
This is the cable I use too (actually, I have the prototype, I'm glad that urban retro has picked up the idea after discussing it with him and offering a product), and I haven't disabled the internal drive.

I hope I'm not being indiscreet, but since I sold you this unit, the correct jumper position is the one it was in when I shipped it :D And no, it's not a side switch of course, he's got the naming wrong.

Hi Gryzor.

The unit is excellent - thanks again!

I've got the jumpers back in the position they were in when they arrived (according to the photos I sent you).
But it doesn't matter what I do. If I set the HxC to A, and then the cable to either of the 2 positions, the 6128 always thinks the HxC is B. I just can't get it to work as A.

I'm now opening the 6128 to disable the internal drive...

[EDIT] And... it works (though I had to change the jumper as per page 11 of the documentation)!!!
Woohoo!!!  ;D

I must say, the new R-Type is stunning on real hardware, and it's great to see Head Over Heels back where it belongs!
Sheer joy!
« Last Edit: 18:40, 03 May 12 by ervin »
My (cancelled) entry for the CPCRetroDev 2017 Competition http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/programming/my-cpcretrodev-2017-entry/
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