Need help loading downloaded software

Started by Overkill, 12:56, 11 November 09

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Overkill

Hi all,  I have just got myself a CPC464 because it was the second computer I ever owned :D

I'm having trouble finding some of the games on tape that I use to have,  but I've found them as downloads.   How can I load these on my CPC?   I was hoping to convert the DSK or CRP files to WAV or MP3 but I don't think that can be done.

I've heard I can connect a 3.5" Floppy drive, I'm pretty good with electronics but I would need detailed instructions.

Can anyone help?


Thanks  ;)

Devilmarkus

- You cannot convert DSK or CPR to WAV and load them into a 464
- You can convert a CDT tape image to WAV and maybe you will be able to load this.
  (Use tzx2wav: ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/tools/pc/TZX2WAV_02b.zip )
- You can connect a floppy drive to your 464, but you need a FDC (floppy disc controller)
- You also can probably transfer a DSK file to emulator's tape (CPCE95 - as CSW and JavaCPC as WAV) but you need skills to use copy software.
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release

Gryzor

I'm afraid to ask what your first computer was... :D

To clarify on the controller that Markus mentioned, you must know that the drive units that 464 worked with had two parts: the drive units that 464 worked with had two parts: a disk drive controller (which was incorporated to the 664/6128) and the drive unit itself. Once you have a drive controller you can daisy-chain two 3" drives to it.

For guides you can check out the wiki: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Technical_documentation , although to be honest I've never heard about connecting a 3.5" drive to a 464 - only 664 and 6128. I bet it can be done with minimal alterations, but then again I'm not sure...

Cholo

First better read this:
http://cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php/topic,121.0.html

Dsk = disk image
Cdt = tape image

Perhaps adding a 3" drive to your pc is more easy? I never had troubles myself adding one but other people cant get it to work (so may depend on your pc? ). Of cause you then still need the DDI interface.

The tape transfer: you can in theory play back software direct from your pc to the 464 tape, but simply playing the cdt back in a emulator then hook the pc to the 464 using a car cd-to-tape adapter like this in the 464. Take a look at the end of this video and see how the adapter looks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bv3d3pmA9U

A adapter like:
http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/10502032/Accessory-Agents-Stereo-iPod-MP3-Cassette-Adapter/Product.html
Or
http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/616145/Belkin-Mobile-Cassette-Adapter/Product.html?ptsl=1&ob=Price&fb=0
i assume will work.

Im pretty sure there are several tools to get convert a Cdt to wav and you can then record it back to cd and use it (dont have to make it load faster like in the video of cause).

If you are serious about using discs on your 464 you will probably need a DDI interface+DDI+a new rubber belt for the DDI drive.
This Retro shop has several drive+interfaces for sale:
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/more/on/details/015752
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/more/on/details/015754
http://www.retrogames.co.uk/more/on/details/014056

But they are all untested, so you might get a nonworking drive(interface) if you are unlucky.

Dataserve sells Disc Drive Ribbons for 2,75:
http://www.dataserve-retro.co.uk (uk)
http://sintech.hitech.cz/ (German .. or is it Czeckish now?)
and ebay usually also have some.

But before you start buying anything .. is your 464 a UK version (and not a German "Schneider" one?). Would be silly if you bought the wrong kind of equipments  ;)

Trotzdem

I connected my 3" Drive from the 464 to my PC. It didn't work. Maybe I blasted the FD controller of my PC in the process.

What I didn't know was, that the 3" drive - controller, which is attached to the CPC, doesn't get it's power from the CPC. It's powered by the drive, via the FDD cable.

So when you connect your PC with an FDD cable to the 3" drive of the CPC and switch on the drive, your Mainboard gets 5 Volts where it shouldn't.

You can avoid this: when you open the CPC 3" drive an look at the circuitboard where the FDD connector is soldered, you will notice a 2 cable plug next to it. If you disconnect it, the 5 Volts are not put on the FDD connector.

Of course, you have to reconnect the plug in order to make the drive work with the CPC again.

I have read that some people managed to make a power supply for the controller directly from the CPC. Me personally, I think of building a switch into the drive, allowing me to easily switch the controller - power on and off.

I have a few older PCs I will test the drive with bofore I give up the project of writing back discimages for my CPC.

Cholo

Quote from: Trotzdem on 11:15, 16 November 09
I connected my 3" Drive from the 464 to my PC. It didn't work. Maybe I blasted the FD controller of my PC in the process.
Uh! I hope you didnt get any damage on your mobo, especially if it was my foolish rant i wrote about connecting to pc. Got it to work myself several times tho and havnt had any damage. Also im having a hard time recalling if i used a DDI or was it a FDI (for 6128) and is there a difference (i assume the FDI dont need to "power" the 6128 .. or perhaps it does too?).
Anyways all i did was hook up the 3" drive to the pc using a normal pc 2x floppy cable. The 3" was at the end of the cable. Turned on the drive first and then the pc (and the opposite when shutting down).
Entered Bios and set the drive as a 5,25" drive and then installed CPCDiskXP and it low lvl floppy driver. Could only access floppies using CPCDiskXP of cause.
Cant be sure i didnt do something really stupid and dangerous (electronicly) so please be carefull if you try any further.
You can get CPCDiskXP here: http://www.cpcmania.com/

Gryzor


Trotzdem

My PC works fine since the experiment, and when you put together pieces of hardware that weren't meant to work together in the first place, there is always a risc of smoking some circuit boards :D

Your idea was based on your own experience and not bad. At first I didn't even think of connection the 3" drive to a PC, so I consider your advice valuable :)

If the FDD controller should be damaged, it doesn't matter to me. I don't remember when I last stuck a 3,5" disc into a PC.

Cholo

Quote from: Trotzdem on 21:17, 18 November 09
My PC works fine since the experiment, and when you put together pieces of hardware that weren't meant to work together in the first place, there is always a risc of smoking some circuit boards :D
Good to hear  :)

(but if you do get into troubles later with the fdd send me a pm and we'll work something out).

Doktor

Hello,

this topic discussion is just what interests me...

Well, my problem is that I just have refreshed my Schneider  CPC 6128 with the new drive belt and all of my discs are working almost perfect even after 15 years of being not used (some of them are now 25 years old).
With new found enthusiasm, I bought several games form eBay and retrogames.co.uk and now I'm dissapointed because many of them are not working...floppy drive just cannot read them...

So, now I have original boxes with original disks and I was thinking of downloading them from internet and transfer them back to CPC format.
What would be the easiest way to do this ?


Gryzor

Hello Doktor, and welcome! (it would help if you registered, as your posts would not need to be approved before appearing.)

Well, I think first of all we need to ascertain whether your drive works ok or fails, or if it is the disks... have you tried using those disks that you can't read on some other machine?

Cholo

Quote from: Doktor on 22:55, 15 January 10
So, now I have original boxes with original disks and I was thinking of downloading them from internet and transfer them back to CPC format.
What would be the easiest way to do this ?
Well, having a schneider you are in a bit of trouble as it uses the centronics ports (unlike the uk version who uses the normal "pc edge" connectors). So hooking up a 3.5" isnt going to be easy and making/getting a special cable is hard.
Similar is making a pc-cpc linkcable, but perhaps that is less hard than making a 3,5" drive cable.
Perhaps getting a external 3" drive and use it in a pc is the easiest option, but as i dont really know if its safe or not (read thread) its kinda risky untill someone tells us how to do it right.

khisanth

Or you could use the HxC floppy emulator ;)

Doktor

Quote from: Gryzor on 13:25, 18 January 10
Hello Doktor, and welcome! (it would help if you registered, as your posts would not need to be approved before appearing.)

Well, I think first of all we need to ascertain whether your drive works ok or fails, or if it is the disks... have you tried using those disks that you can't read on some other machine?

Hello again,

yes, I tried to read those discs on a spare  cpc 6128, but this one has bad 3" drive. All of my original 25 years old discs are working.
Today I received second pack with games and all of them are working :D
As I work in IT and have acces to old computer hardware, I will try to find a way for connecting a 3,5" floppy to PC (have som old components, so i don't care if I destroy them by accident) and CPC.
Has anyone tried to remove centronics interfaces from a Schneider CPC with success ?

Regards,
Doc

Bryce

aaarrrggghhh, why would you want to remove the Centronics connector!!!????

Bryce.

Doktor

Well, every time I look items on eBay, they are for Amstrad CPC...but nevermind.
It seems to me that is much easier to source peripheralls for Amstrad than for Schneider. ;D

Bryce

Then make one of these....

http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Expansion_Converter

and you can connect the Amstrad hardware without a problem.

Bryce.

Doktor

@ bryce: thnx !

Will wait for complete instructions, but as I see, it is a piece of some PCI card soldered to centronics interface.
That should be a piece of cake to put together... :D ;)

Bryce

Give me a few minutes and I'll put together a description....

Bryce.

Bryce

Hi Doktor,
        I've added a description and dimensions to the page.....

http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Expansion_Converter

Bryce.

Doktor

Bryce, you're very fast, thnx !
Today I sourced Centronics interface from old parallel cable, old ribbon flopy cable and a few 3,5" drives...
I plan to source an FD-1 disk drive and conect it to a PC for data transfer as I find this way very comfortable !
For now i have to source PCB for this mod...

Will post report here when i found all parts...

Regards,
Doc

Bryce

I just happened to be home today and had the time to update the page, I'm not usually that fast at replying :)

I have a 3.5" connected to my 6128 and use ManageDsk to copy the DSK files to the disc. Very reliable, fast and easy. Connecting a 3" to a PC probably isn't that easy to do.

Bryce.

Doktor

Well Bryce, I don't know how to comment that, as all methods for data transfer between CPC and PC are not setup in one minute...

While browsing this forum, I found another nice setup for the job:

Quote from: Devilmarkus on 14:30, 27 September 09

I was often asked how to connect the 3" FD-I to PC and it's quite simple:
- Open 3" drive case
- Disconnect 5v cable from power supply to cable interface
- Close it
- Connect it to PC using a normal floppy cable
- Declare it as 5,25" drive in BIOS setup

- Download CPCDiskXP
- Install low-level floppy driver (In CPCDiskXP package)
- Have fun


I have allmost all of the parts, so an option is to found and buy an FD-1 drive and use som pc componets that I have around as a spares (don't care if I destroy them...)

Bryce

It's that "destroying" part you mention that has always put me off trying to connect a 3" to a PC. I have relatively new Core i7 that I don't really like risking to find out. If my CPC breaks I can fix it no matter what, if my X58 board blows in the PC, I would have to replace it :/

The 3.5" floppy on the 6128 is really easy, it's just a flat cable on a centronics connector with two wires shorted (to fake the Ready signal as far as I can remember) and a PC power supply to feed it juice. Isn't there a Wiki page about it? I've never looked, because I assumed it would have to be.

Bryce.

Doktor

Bryce, I tottaly understand you, but I have a spare s.478 MBO and other components to put a whole PC for conecting Amstrad hardware and experimenting. If it fails, i don't care as long as all of my Amstrad harware stays untouched ;D I work in a firm as system administrator an desktop support an have acces to tons of old harware - lucky me !

But that what Devilmarkus posted on other topic is very neat and extra elegant way for data transfer. I like it a lot !
3,52 floppy is another project, and I think that I will try both -  3,5" on amstrad and 3" on PC !  8)

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