Author Topic: USIfAC II:Convert a PC or USB stick to Amstrad HDD,access dsk's,and many more!  (Read 53270 times)

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Offline thomas

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Thank you.

Seems that lots of people use Autodesk Fusion for designing cases. I'm trying to stick to open source (FreeCad, OpenSCAD)....

Printed your case, it fits nicely! :-) The decals/embossings are not that good in my print, but maybe the bed temperature is just too high .... (65° C).

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Offline Devlin

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Thank you.

Seems that lots of people use Autodesk Fusion for designing cases. I'm trying to stick to open source (FreeCad, OpenSCAD)....

Printed your case, it fits nicely! :-) The decals/embossings are not that good in my print, but maybe the bed temperature is just too high .... (65° C).


I've found someone willing to print one for me. Will post pics in a couple weeks when it arrives.
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Offline ikonsgr

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And a small addition for all lazy people out there :) :
Extract this file directly to your usb stick. Power on Amstrad, give:|USB and then: RUN"FM, and you will be able to directly select & load one of ~250 BAS files for games of the CLASSIC & WORTH TO PLAY list!  :)
« Last Edit: 18:08, 13 October 21 by ikonsgr »
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Offline Devlin

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Hi there !

Thanks for all the work to this great device, I really like it!
There is a new case for 3D printing for it, you can download it on thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4974135
*pic snip*
best regards
Vokgear


What type of screw does this use to hold it together?

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Offline Mark_wllms

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Is there any way to use the board as a second drive, e.g. boot CPM off a physical disc and then use the Dsk image as the B drive?

I've noticed that the interface reports an A and B drive, but uses the same disk image or directory for both. It would be great if it could switch disk images for A and B. Then we could load a large format disc as B and use Parados ROM.
« Last Edit: 23:56, 02 October 21 by Mark_wllms »
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Offline wolfgang

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Hi Everybody,
I just took my CPC 464 out of its box after 32 years and it still works perfectly, but as I don't have any peripherals its quite annoying to work with the cassette unit only.Therefore I would like a USIfAC II for it, is it still possible to get one?

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Offline Mark_wllms

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I would email John directly. His address is in the first post of this thread. I ordered one in may and it arrived in the UK the next week!
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Offline reidrac

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The USIfAC II is a great project, I've been recommending it for a while as an available alternative to M4.

The enclosure looks great. Does anybody know how I can get one printed without owning a 3D printer?

If I can get the enclosure, I may order one USIfAC II so I don't rely on my M4 only for testing my new games.

EDIT: yep, found a couple of places. Not too bad, £21 from the UK (cheaper from France, but I rather don't risk extra costs because Brexit). I may have found myself a Christmas present!
« Last Edit: 13:26, 10 October 21 by reidrac »
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Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail, Magica, The Dawn of Kernel, Kitsune`s Curse and Brick Rick for the CPC.

If you like my games and want to show some appreciation, you can always buy me a coffee.

Offline entelle42

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Hi @reidrac , can you share your 3D printing place(s) or PM them me? Tx
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Offline reidrac

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Hi @reidrac , can you share your 3D printing place(s) or PM them me? Tx

Is not an endorsement or anything like that, I don't know if they are any good, but I was looking at We Do 3D Printing (from Sheffield, UK). Search for it.
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Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail, Magica, The Dawn of Kernel, Kitsune`s Curse and Brick Rick for the CPC.

If you like my games and want to show some appreciation, you can always buy me a coffee.

Offline Mark_wllms

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My local library does 3D printing. I've emailed them to ask what the cost would be.
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Offline reidrac

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Actually, there are places in France that are cheaper but is not convenient for me to order from out of the UK :(
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Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail, Magica, The Dawn of Kernel, Kitsune`s Curse and Brick Rick for the CPC.

If you like my games and want to show some appreciation, you can always buy me a coffee.

Offline ikonsgr

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Wow,i see the discussion about USIfAC case took over the board itself!  :)
We are close to ~150 boards sent to the world so far, and work on next project of RAM EXPANSION/ROM BOARD is on progress too.
I've already manage to load PARADOS ROM in 512K SRAM and use it on a CPC 464 as a real ROM, to access large 800kb images, using |FDC (instead of |464) command e.g. a lot faster!
I've also tried a couple of small games in rom that worked too. The switch between RAM and ROM board mode is done by pressing a small button on board.
The features i'm planning to develop are:

- 3 modes of operation, the default 512K RAM expansion mode, a ROM board mode and a special ROM mode for use with CPR files.
- Load any ROM in 0-31 slots from files on usb device, and select to enable/disable any of the roms.
- Load .CPR files by using a custom ROM board mode ,which enables all available ROMS, and offers maximum ROM selection speed.
- Ease of use, through a simple OUT &EF00,x  command (yes,i'm using the printer port for that  ;D ) to:
     Enable/disable each of the 32 ROM slots,
     Choose upper/lower operation for ROM 0 (e.g. replace the firmware),
     Choose default ROM mode (ROM BOARD or CPR file mode)
     Enable/disable 512K RAM expansion

 I believe that the first fully working prototype will be ready soon, maybe in a few weeks time!  :)
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Offline Gryzor

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150 eh? wow. Not a small feat :)

If you feel like promoting it a bit more, feel free to use the wiki's first page!
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Offline Vokgear

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What type of screw does this use to hold it together?

Unfortunatelly I don´t know the exact name for the screw, the one I used is for wood or similar and was just flying around on my desk.
I guess bigger screws should also work.




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Offline wolfgang

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I would email John directly. His address is in the first post of this thread. I ordered one in may and it arrived in the UK the next week!
Hi,
I did already on Monday and it arrived yesterday, I already tried and it is definitely the perfect solution to revive the CPC464. Now I will try to find a good way to get a good Monitor as well, the GT64 (still working fine after 36 years) is too big and the imaghe to small, but I have already something in mind.
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Offline Gryzor

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Well the 1084 with the green screen button produces a very nice effect😊
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Offline Mark_wllms

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My local library does 3D printing. I've emailed them to ask what the cost would be.
Free, apparently.  ;D I'm having mine in green, with red, white and black buttons.

« Last Edit: 22:46, 22 October 21 by Mark_wllms »
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Offline wolfgang

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Well the 1084 with the green screen button produces a very nice effect😊
As my Desk is full of Monitors (2 with 27 inch, one 14 inch) I have to use one of the existing. One of the big is actually a TV, so I will use it with a SCART cable. To use the small one (which has a standard Cinch FBAS Viedo input aside of VGA and HDMI) I installed an OpenVideoModulator inside the CPC 464, works also, although picture quality is limited, but sufficient for games.
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Offline ikonsgr

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Free, apparently.  ;D I'm having mine in green, with red, white and black buttons.

Well, your case seems so nice that i've decided to use it as an "example case" on the presentation of the USIfAC II on the 1st page!  :D

« Last Edit: 20:38, 26 October 21 by ikonsgr »
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Offline ikonsgr

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A small update:

- New firmware realease 5a: A few minor bug fixes, and future support for the 512k RAM/ROM board expansion card, giving different boot messages:
   "USIfAC II Enhanced + 512K RAM", for expansion card in RAM mode
   "USIfAC II Enhanced + Rom Board" for expansion card in ROM mode,
   "USIfAC II Enhanced" if you don't have extra card.

Add a small utility to type ASCII/txt files on screen (type.zip). Run "TYPE.BAS", and just give the file name. Use any key to pause text, press again to unpause.

Btw, regarding the new ram/rom board, after i encounter some speed/compatibility issues with the more "advance" upper & lower rom emulation at the same time, i've decided to redesign the circuit, using a larger 40pin PIC microcontroller 18F46Q10 (as the smaller 28pin 18F26Q10 lacks of the required extra pins to accomodate all signals needed), in order to implement a way of "on the fly" /zero delay switching between upper/lower roms (when both roms are enabled).
  The speed issues occurs only when you enable emultation for both lower+upper roms (although Amstrad still seemed to work fine), and although this "advance" upper/lower Rom emulation was not initially in my plans, because i had also problems loading correctly cpr cartridge files (most notably, alcon2020), i've decided to try to resolve the issues.
So, for now i'm waiting for the new prototype boards for testing and if everything goes all right, the first few boards will be available before the end of year.  :)
« Last Edit: 01:12, 27 October 21 by ikonsgr »
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Offline Audronic

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@ikonsgr


Thanks for the update.
Could you add " type.bas "  file to the First message please as I cannot find it


Thanks


Keep Safe


Ray
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Offline ikonsgr

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@ikonsgr


Thanks for the update.
Could you add " type.bas "  file to the First message please as I cannot find it


Thanks


Keep Safe


Ray
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kcyfef1x3kiwzxb/type.zip?dl=0
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Offline Audronic

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@ikonsgr


Thanks


Keep Safe
Ray
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Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

Offline Audronic

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Hi John
There is a small concern with 5A
I have sent you an Email with details
Keep Safe
Ray

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Procrastinators Unite,
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I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.