Author Topic: Tutorial: How to build an internal 3 inch SDCard HxC drive for your Amstrad  (Read 42687 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Hello,

are you sad? Your 3 inch Disc Drives are not working safe. Replacing the Belt annoying you? Mechanics is old and faulty? Welcome in the year 2010, your hardware is 25 years old, so no wonder....

Thanks Lotharek we all got a new SD Card HxC for your CPC. But hey, wouldnt it be nice to get this thingy inside your good old Arnold, without doing rough mods or cutting out out big holes into the poor case?

Sure it would be..... i tell you how to do that.

Watch out you need the following items.


an old faulty 3"inch disc drive (  i bet you all have one or more under your bed)
Some doublecontacted perfboard
Soldering Iron / solder
Vacuum Pump for Desoldering (if you do a mistake)
40 wire Ribbon Cable
26 Pins Socket Connector
40 Pins Socket Connector
a sharp knife
a Dremel for cut, drill and to make loud noise - so all neighbours can hear you are busy in a project
an DVD Amaroy Case
3 Micro Switch Buttons
2 self glueing plastic Motherboard Distance holders
a lots of old PC Motherboard Jumpers
Patience and a big cup of coffee


Lets begin:

First we dismantle the original faulty Amstrad 3" inch Disc Drive. You will be wondered how much parts inside this old thingy.





We will just use the frame of the drive:





Now cut a perfboard to fit inside the frame. I used the Dremel for that, but you use a sharp scissor or a saw too.













Now you use a pliers and bow down and break out the little metal tongues from the frame, so the perfboard is fitting to the metal frame.












Looks nice eh? Well done, but still lots to do now....


Now you look under the frame and drill some holes into the old mounting holes from the Disc Drive PCB. You can use the old screws and drill them inside the new perfboard. At the upside you use some Tesa Strips for isolation of the metalscrews. Looks like that here:





and the downside:




See i used the old screws from the amstrad disc drive to hold the new perfboard.















Next we do a new frontplate for your old DiscDrive from an DVD amaroy case. Please open the Amaroy Case and then you cut out a piece of plastic with a sharp knife.
Its easy to do, as you see at the pictures.


















Next step is to cut out the Frontplate of the Amstrad Disc Drive. So we can snap in the Display of the SDCard HxC. Please remove the Display from your HxC now and use a caliper to measure out the frame and the Display. Then you cut out the frame with a dremel. It stinks and make lots of noises, but hey we love that or?
Be careful with the old plastic. Its a thermoplast and you dont need much power to cut that out. Its easy to do. After cutting out you use a file to smooth the edges. If you have done correct, the Display snaps into old Amstrad Frontplate.









Now you cut out a Display Window in your new Amaroy DVD Frontplate. Its easy to measure and it should be possible to do this nice. Use a sharp knife and a good ruler to do that without an accident. And always remember take time to do that and you will get a nice look at your work.















Fits nice or? What a good idea by me? LOL :-) go on, you have a lot to do.....

First look WOW .... it grows and grows.....





Now open you holy CPC6128 and remove the upper case. Please be careful with the Keyboard foil shoe. Open from right to left side and you will see that here:





I bet you all know whats inside a CPC 6128 and how its looking there. But if you really open it for the first time in your life, then dont be panic. You cant nothing destroy here if you are not a really stupid tooltime worker.

Please remove the internal 3inch Disc Drive now. You need a screwdriver and open the two screws left sided the frame. Pull up the connectors and that it.
Now we can put in our new growing SDCard HxC Drive for a first look.














Wow .... yes you did it and its looking nice. But still a lot to do. So lets continue with soldering a simple LCD Cable to connect the HxC LCD Display with the board.





Its easy to do. I used some really simple Parts and PC Jumpers for connection. I had 1000 of them in my room and so i decided to use them for it. You can buy a real connector if you like a better look. I am a nerd so i am using jumpers. LOL











the scratch at my LCD was there since i open the parcel ( i swear Lotharek - i swear...) but the Display is still in function and if you solder it correct you should see that:







Well done, you did your first soldering for today and a good job if your LCD is still working correct. So next steps.....







Change the red and the orange wire of the Disc Drive power connector inside your CPC6128 and please remove the 12V spiral cable. You will never need it again in the rest of your life. The CPC has got a changed connector from Amstrad, 12V and 5v are not used in normal way.  So we change it back to normal connector. 5Volt at the correct side please. I used a micro screwdriver to hold up the little white pin and pull out the cable. Then simply change the place of it. It clicks smoothly inside....done.....





Now you drill a big hole at the left side of your new perfboard pcb and file it clean and smoothly like i did it here:






Now i crimped a CPC6128 internal 3,5" Disc Drive adapter cable. You can find the instructions to do that at the spanish CPC sites or watch out this piccy. Its speaking for itself and you can crimp it like its done here. I used the same picture and its working fine. Dont solder a Side Select Switch. The HxC Dont need a side switch. I kept the bridge open and NOT soldered together. The other bridges are soldered together like in the picture:








I cut the wires so its more flexible and fits fine into the new drilled hole of your perfboard PCB. I used some Tesa Strips to fix the cable and the connector at the perfboard.



















Now you need a hotglue pistol to glue the connector to your perfboard PCB.






Its looking like a real 3"inch Drive isnt it?






Now you can mount the metal bracket back to the frame. Please install the LCD now and fix it with a small strip of Tesa or some hotglue.













You see i did a nice cable tree and its flexible enough not to hurt the HxC PCB or the LCD.





Please connect your new 3inch HxC now to your CPC and do a full function test. If its working fine, we continue now with some great case mod.









The next steps should be done very slow, with lots of patience and please do an exactly measurement for cutting out the slot and the micro switches.
The Slot is 3cm over the tableplate and its a bit tricky to do that now. But i know you can do it. Patience is most important and you will get a good result.

Lets see, drill, cut and file now:



A bit rough or? Not looking nice..... i can do that better !



Promise....









Next step is to drill the 3 holes for the microswitches. I am using the same switches like Lotharek did but with an longer axis. the axis length is 8mm. I soldered 3 microswitches at a perfboard pcb in a row. The space between them is about 0.75 cm but please do a self measurement. I used the middle and did it like that:









yes yes i know there is a scratch at my case. Its there since 20 years so i am okay with that. LOL its not an accident of my case mod. It was my brother long time ago with his old digital watch...... fairy tales.... lets go back to work now.



You can see i am using self adhesive PCB distancer to mount the microswitch pcb. its so simple to do, if you drilled the holes correct you just need to press it inside and voila its done. Look here:












Do you see how smooth the SD Card is fitting in your new case mod? WOW, and there is still enough place for your sausagefingers to pull it out again. Its working fine and looks perfect.






NOW YOU ARE DONE.... Congratulations you did a great job. Lets do an intensive function test with loading a Demo or some games. If everything is working fine, you can screw the case again and you are done. I did some more mods and changed the Power LED from RED to a pink one now but thats just fun.
























............... DONE for now.......


Still to do if you like:


Desolder the SMD LED from HxC PCB and add some nice LED to the CPC Case. I havnt done now, cause its so fuzzy to do that with a SMD soldering iron - maybe i will do that in future.

There is still a lot of space inside your CPC6128 now. You can add a harddisc or a memory expansion under the new 3inch SD Card HxC Drive. I will check out if its possible to add a 3,5inch B: Drive internal. Maybe i will try that with a slimline Disc Drive. The result is that you have a complete all in one CPC6128 and no external periphery at your desk. Well we will see......




Have kindly regards

Tom / Pentagon of Noob Inc. 2012


to be continued.......
« Last Edit: 13:05, 19 January 12 by Pentagon »

Offline robcfg

  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 2.352
  • Country: se
  • 8-Bit Technomancer
    • index.php?action=treasury
  • Liked: 1046
  • Likes Given: 2537
Awesome work!


I was trying to came up with a similar solution but with the SD slot and the three buttons also in the front panel.


Congratulations!

Offline Bryce

  • The Hardware Guy.
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 11.834
  • Country: wf
  • It's not broken, it just hasn't been fixed yet.
    • index.php?action=treasury
  • Liked: 4274
  • Likes Given: 450
Excellent handy work Pentagon and a really neat solution. A project you can be proud of.
Maybe you should copy it over to the Wiki DIY section ?

Bryce.

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Thank you very much, i dont know how to add that to wiki and i will not touch the holy wiki. Maybe Devilmarkus can help me to make this thread sticky and to add to wiki.

Kindly regards
Tom / Pentagon of Noob Inc.

Offline Devilmarkus

  • Vivid source of indefiniteness
  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 4.035
  • Country: de
  • WebCPC / JavaCPC developer
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • CPC-Live website
  • Liked: 1016
  • Likes Given: 926
Maybe Devilmarkus can help me to make this thread sticky and to add to wiki.

I am not well known to the Wiki-Syntax, but I am sure others are.
So i give this job away ;)

Topic made sticky.
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

Offline Bryce

  • The Hardware Guy.
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 11.834
  • Country: wf
  • It's not broken, it just hasn't been fixed yet.
    • index.php?action=treasury
  • Liked: 4274
  • Likes Given: 450
You lazy ba......   ok, I'll stop there for fear of being banned :)

Ok, I'll do a Wiki page when the tutorial is finished (I assume there's more coming because it says "to be continued" ? )

However, I will have to edit or leave out the pictures with C64 literature in the background, the patented "Wiki C64 filter" would probably recognise and block these images ;)

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 15:43, 07 July 10 by Bryce »

Offline Devilmarkus

  • Vivid source of indefiniteness
  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 4.035
  • Country: de
  • WebCPC / JavaCPC developer
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • CPC-Live website
  • Liked: 1016
  • Likes Given: 926
http://www.cpc-imperium.de/sdintern/5.JPG

You should think about shaving your legs.
Or put Leonie here.
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

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
HAHAHHAHAAA, jajaja....

Leonie is a fakegirl and was banned in Forum64 too, cause of her rude speach and dirty profile. You shouldnt watch my legs, watch my tutorial please.

@Bryce: Thank you for doing the Wiki entry.

To be continued means that i will do a soldering out of the SMD LED in the future. I dont know when i will do that, cause its really a fuzzy work. At the moment its done and i think it could be in the wiki as it is.

Thanks again mate, for doing that.


Quote
However, I will have to edit or leave out the pictures with C64   literature in the background, the patented "Wiki C64 filter" would   probably recognise and block these images

HEHEHE i knew somebody would recognize that..... gotcha.



Regards
Tom
« Last Edit: 16:35, 07 July 10 by Pentagon »

Offline Bryce

  • The Hardware Guy.
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 11.834
  • Country: wf
  • It's not broken, it just hasn't been fixed yet.
    • index.php?action=treasury
  • Liked: 4274
  • Likes Given: 450
Hi Pentagon,
       I've done the wiki page here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/HxC_SDCard_Internal

I didn't put all the pictures in 'cos some of them were blurred and because there were just so many. I also fixed up the english a little, I hope you don't mind :)

Anyway, if you don't like anything there you can change it of course.

Bryce.

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Thank you so much Bryce, you did a great favour to me. My english is very poor, so i am okay with fixing my grammar / spell - thank you very much for help.

Danke

Kindly regards
Tom / Pentagon of Noob Inc.

Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
are you sad? Your 3 inch Disc Drives are not working safe. Replacing the Belt annoying you? Mechanics is old and faulty?#

Well, since you ask all this questions: No, No, No and No! Everything is fine! I use a CPC :-)
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
hehehe, me too. But really to be honest, from my 12 drives just 4 are in full working condition. So that's the reason why i wrote that questions. Now i like to see your Plus Modded with a HxC please?

Kindly Regards
Tom

Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
hehehe, me too. But really to be honest, from my 12 drives just 4 are in full working condition. So that's the reason why i wrote that questions. Now i like to see your Plus Modded with a HxC please?

Kindly Regards
Tom

Sorry for your floppies. A question, can this floppy emulator also write data?
 
I don't ask you for making a test with FutureOS, because I know your oppinion about if from this c64 forum. But if somebody else has made a test already or has some informations please tell if it works.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Sure, you can ask me anything and if i can help you with testing it, i will do that for you. But after the soccer match okay? Please send me a list what i should test with Future OS and the HxC and i will do that.

Yes it can write and it works fine with Discology. The USB Version cant write, but the SD Card Version can write DSK.HFE Files and you can convert them back at your Windows PC.

Kindly Regards
Tom / Pentagon

P.S: Schreib mir ne Mail was ich genau testen soll und welche Routinen ich ausführen soll, dann schicke ich dir einen Bericht zurück ob es funktioniert hat. Sorry for my poor english.

Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
Hi,
 
It's great to hear that the floppy emulator can also write data, so it's a real replacement!
 
About testing: Just use the copy disc function. If it works than anything should be fine.
 
Thanks a lot for your help!
 
(Das Spiel war ja leider ned sooo toll :-(
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Hello Stefan,

i will flash my Inicron now with Future OS 7 or should i use the Beta 8 version? Then i check the copy disc routines. I doubt that it will work together cause of your changed timings.

But we will see if you used fixed timings it might be working if you use variabel timings then not.

Do you like screenshots too?

Regards
Tom

Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
i will flash my Inicron now with Future OS 7 or should i use the Beta 8 version? Then i check the copy disc routines. I doubt that it will work together cause of your changed timings.

But we will see if you used fixed timings it might be working if you use variabel timings then not.

Do you like screenshots too?

Hi Tom,
Doesn't matter which version you use. Beta .8 is not altered in disc I/O.
 
About the timings, there are no timings in the conventional way. As soon as the drive tells ready the routines do their job. So no spin-up time is used. But this shouldn't be a problem.
 
Further the step-rate is altered, but since there is no physical head in the floppy simulator, it should be fine too.
 
Just check the copy of a disc. If the copy is ok, then all the routines will work.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Okay i will do that now with FOS V7. Give me some time i need to backup my Inicron first and install your roms.

Cu later....

Tom

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
I am having a serious problem at the moment. If i connect my B: Drive to the CPC with internal SD HxC the B: Drive is not working. I just get a read fail. At the other CPC its working fine.

Now i need to check my cpc first, did i make a mistake in hardware wiring, or is the problem the HxC wich might not be able to work with parados? The B: Drive works fine at normal CPC.

Does anybody know something about an issue of the HxC together with Parados ?

Regards
Tom




Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
I am having a serious problem at the moment. If i connect my B: Drive to the CPC with internal SD HxC the B: Drive is not working. I just get a read fail. At the other CPC its working fine.

The only stupid idea I would have is that the Drive Select on the Floppy Emulator is wrong. Wish you the best for your drive!
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Thank you for your help, that was also my first intension and now i put out the HxC from A: port and did an Chinon FZ354 inside. Et voila, my B: Drive is working again. So i am sure that my crimped adapter cable is working fine.
I jumpered the HxC Floppy emulator as described in the tutorial. Its jumpered to A: and from my cable its DS:0 - so i think there must be an issue with it.

Strange, cause when i plug it as B: drive its working fine with both drives. Dont know what i should do know. My soldering and crimping is done correct, thats most important.

Maybe i can use the HxC just as B: Drive and use an ABBA Switch to make it A:? That would be really a pity cause i like to have it internal as A: and together with my 80 tracks Parados drive. grmmmpf.

Regards
Tom

Offline TFM

  • Visit the mysteries of the CPC at www.futureos.de
  • Supporter
  • 6128 Plus
  • *
  • Posts: 9.899
  • Country: aq
  • Space Chicken for FutureOS is free!
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • FutureOS - The revolution on CPC!
  • Liked: 1982
  • Likes Given: 4650
Thank you for your help, that was also my first intension and now i put out the HxC from A: port and did an Chinon FZ354 inside. Et voila, my B: Drive is working again. So i am sure that my crimped adapter cable is working fine.
I jumpered the HxC Floppy emulator as described in the tutorial. Its jumpered to A: and from my cable its DS:0 - so i think there must be an issue with it.

Strange, cause when i plug it as B: drive its working fine with both drives. Dont know what i should do know. My soldering and crimping is done correct, thats most important.

Maybe i can use the HxC just as B: Drive and use an ABBA Switch to make it A:? That would be really a pity cause i like to have it internal as A: and together with my 80 tracks Parados drive. grmmmpf.

Regards
Tom

I was reading in another thread here that you have to switch the HxC to drive-A if you want to use it a B-drive. But that's all I know. Hope that somebody can help with this issue here.
 
Oh, another thing!!! Like I've read the HxC emulated BOTH the A-drive and the B-drive, or at least it can do it. But I don't know anything else than written in the docs. There should be a way to program/or jumper it.
« Last Edit: 01:45, 08 July 10 by TFM/FS »
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
UPDATE:

I figured out a new jumper setting for CPC with Internal SD Card HxC and external Disc Drive B:




Its described in the docs for standard shugart drives at a PC. I tried that and it seems to be working now. This setting is working for Amstrad CPC too !




Kindly regards
Tom
« Last Edit: 12:17, 08 July 10 by Pentagon »

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 16.072
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3487
  • Likes Given: 6285
This is a seriously wicked mod and an awesome guide! I'm gone for two days and I when I get back I find this!

The cup of coffee in the first page should have clued me in about the guide's length! So, how much for you to do it for me if I send you my machines? :D

@Bryce: thanks mate, awesome quick job there! Can you put a link to this thread in the wiki article? I don't want to do it myself because I'll appear in the contribs too :)

Offline Pentagon

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Country: de
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 48
Hello Gryzor,

thank you very much.

Quote
So, how much for you to do it for me if I send you my machines?

ummmmmmmm, what about a CPC6128 board with centronics connectors?

If you seriously like that mod, i can do that for you. EMail me and lets talk ;-) - i can help you. I am not interested in money, but i need a new CPC6128 mine are all faulty and old LOL

Deal? Deal ! ^^

Regards
Tom