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SD Cards on the PCW

Started by jamesots, 23:21, 03 November 17

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QuoteHey Kman - would you (or someone else on this forum) be willing to make one of these for sale?
No, no plan to do that.
Quote... looking on eBay it seems there are many PCWs for sale that have also lost the ability to boot from disk,
Try to buy a GOTEK Floppy drive on ebay (type: SFR1M44-U100K). You will need a adapter to convert from PCW Floppy-Conn. to GOTEK Flopy-Conn. 2nd: you have to modify the PCW Floppy-Power-Conn., the +5V and +12V have to be exchanged (!!!) for the GOTEK Drive. If you are unsure, have a look into the GOTEK manual and PCW service  manual.


is it possible to attach the Gotek externally? i.e. is there an adapter to enable Expansion > Gotek interface?

As much as I'd like to rejuvinate my PCW, I'm also keen to keep it in stock condition...


An external disk drive setup using the gotek instead of a real disk drive should work, I think.


There is no external connection for a floppy disk on a PCW, and the expansion port would not allow it - it doesn't have the floppy control signals on it. @coolchilli you would have to fit a Gotek internally in the lower drive bay, or run a ribbon cable to the outside world. This isn't as hard as it seems - I did this on one of my PCWs:

It's a 40 way ribbon cable but you can see how it can be done.

@Kman we really need to crack this booting thing with our IDE adapters as I think @jamesots might have lost interest.


I've seen PCWs with the floppy cable hanging from the case and an external drive...  :D

Of course, it's not an ideal setup, but you can use always an Intergem disk interface.

But I agree, just using a Gotek with a 3D printer adapter that fits into the drive bay is a better solution.


thanks JonB - I appreciate the pointer...

The Intergem Disk Interface looks like a perfect solution, if I understand it correctly - but I imagine are almost impossible to find nowadays... much as how there is a DDI-4 (and even DDI-5) now as a modern alternate to the original DDI-1 for the CPC, are there any projects which have tried to reincarnate such a solution?

I'll look into the Gotek further... am assuming that if it's a straight replacement for the internal 3" floppy, then it'll boot to the Gotek without any bother?


It's not a straight replacement as the PCW's power lines to the floppy are the wrong way round, so if you connect a Gotek direct there will be a little puff of smoke. You may also need to adapt the ribbon cable; I'm not sure. However, there are many threads describing how to connect a Gotek to a PCW, so find one of those and you'll be golden. As it emulates a floppy disk completely, you will be able to boot from it. As far as the PCW is concerned it is a normal drive. You may need some sort of mount to put it in the PCW case, however; possibly 3D printed (there are several free designs available if you have access to a printer, see Thingiverse).


I've got two Goteks now, and the 3D bits printed. Just waiting for some floppy connectors so I can make up the power cable. I think I'll use DePont leads to work around the cabling differences. I've seen people hacking existing cables, but I prefer to make my upgrades as reversable and non-destructive as possible.


OK - so I've got my Gotek on order and will report back if I have any trouble. Looks like there are some good resources out there on how to mod the data cable and of course the power cable (what were Amstrad thinking)?!

Sorry - this has fast become a Gotek thread since my rather naive request a few days back...

I do hope @JonB or @jamesots or @Kman - or someone else with the hardware skills is able to replicate what is available for other vintage platforms, namely modern solid state storage via expansion port without modification to the original hardware. SD or CF, I'd be easy either way!

I have a CoCoSD for my Dragon, the M4 for the CPC, and the truly excellent MISE for the TRS-80 (which is *nearly* the perfect accessory, if it weren't for the missing PS/2 port) and hope, in time, to be able to add solid state storage to my whole collection, so they are essentially unmodified - yet able to perform in the modern world sustainably. At least the Gotek is reversible... but I've resisted buying one for so long, and had hoped to avoid it as it feels like an 'upgrade' which is not what I'm trying to achieve :)

Thanks again all. Am thrilled to have discovered this forum, all thanks to the Amstrad Addict magazine my wife bought me for my birthday! :D


Quote from: coolchilli on 17:59, 21 February 24I do hope JonB or jamesots or Kman - or someone else with the hardware skills is able to replicate what is available for other vintage platforms, namely modern solid state storage via expansion port without modification to the original hardware. SD or CF, I'd be easy either way!

At the moment the only option for the PCW that I know of is uIDE-8.

Although it says uIDE-8 is universal for Z80 machines, there's a specific PCW port adapter that you can use to connect it, with no need to open the machine up. Full disclosure: I make (and sell) these boards. And at the moment they do not allow a boot from the IDE device, but my driver does work with LocoScript and CP/M Plus (version 1.14 and above). You are further advised to use a 40 pin DOM (disk on module) rather than a CF card as DOMs tend to be more compatible. It will work with a 40 pin IDE-CF card adapter, given a minor modification which is explained, but compatibility with CF cards is a bit hit & miss. The wiki page explains it all in great detail and I would encourage you to read it from start to finish as it should answer all your questions.

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