Author Topic: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??  (Read 2058 times)

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Offline simulant

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It may be a first I'm not sure, but with Bryce's help I managed to get an internal USB floppy emulator drive fitted in my Amstrad NC200!



I've also posted details in the "Other Retro > Classifieds" section if anyone would like to buy a complete kit to do this mod :)

http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/classifieds-38/amstrad-nc200-internal-gotek-floppy-emulator-usb-drive-complete-kit/msg170370/

Offline Gryzor

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I'm torn about this. On one hand, it looks great. On the other, apart from the novelty factor, does an NC really need one?

Offline Bryce

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I'm torn about this. On one hand, it looks great. On the other, apart from the novelty factor, does an NC really need one?

Since when has the word "need" been valid in ANY retro computer procurement discussion??

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Of course not man, that was just idle discussion.  :D


Is the NC modified in any way?

Offline Bryce

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Do you mean for the Gotek installation? It should be a drop-in replacement, no need to change anything.

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Ok, that's one worry less then.

LambdaMikel

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Hmm, only have an NC-100 - any ideas how to get the Gotek in there?  :laugh:

Offline Bryce

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Hmm, only have an NC-100 - any ideas how to get the Gotek in there?  :laugh:

Big hammer?

Bryce.

LambdaMikel

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Big hammer?

Bryce.


OK, I'll try... I am confident you will help me fix it if I should fail, right?  :D

Offline GUNHED

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Hmm, only have an NC-100 - any ideas how to get the Gotek in there?  :laugh:


Very, very careful ;-)
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http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2019.08.14)

Offline Bryce

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #10 on: 09:09, 14 February 19 »

OK, I'll try... I am confident you will help me fix it if I should fail, right?  :D

Make sure it's facing east when you hit it. That way you can save on postage as it will land on my doorstep :D

Bryce.

Offline simulant

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #11 on: 18:21, 14 February 19 »
I'm torn about this. On one hand, it looks great. On the other, apart from the novelty factor, does an NC really need one?
Thanks for the feedback. It's handier than it looks - mainly just because trusting your NC200 documents and data on floppies or the memory card is for the brave! If the coin battery goes or your floppy decides to deteriorate you've had it! haha but I suppose too that's down to how much you back up to your PC (which again is a bit of a pain on the memory cards or if you don't have a floppy PC drive. So yeah it is quite useful just being able to put your usb stick in your PC to backup and move things to and from the NC200. But hey!! I'm really biased  :D                

Offline berks

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #12 on: 18:06, 03 September 19 »
Hey simulant, how do you format your USB for the NC200 to use it? FAT16? What filetypes can you put in there to be read by the NC200? (can I load CP/M from there maybe?)

Offline simulant

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #13 on: 18:34, 03 September 19 »
Hey simulant, how do you format your USB for the NC200 to use it? FAT16? What filetypes can you put in there to be read by the NC200? (can I load CP/M from there maybe?)
Hi :)
Just a standard FAT32 formatted USB stick works no issues. When users buy our install kit from the online shop, in your account you then get a disk image download you can put on your flash drive to get you started. You can then use that and copy it to make more blank compatible disk images and format them on your NC200... They're just 720kb standard dos disk images the NC200 uses.
Loading CP/M is probably possible, a few people have got close and tried CPMish. I have ZCN on my SRAM anyway so I just use that for CP/M - I tend to use the usb floppy drive for BASIC programs and backup documents or standard default NC200 applications.
But checkout this link where you can read up on some of the NC floppy hacking so far:
http://cowlark.com/2017-12-04-nc200-reverse-engineering/index.html
The above should work fine also from the USB Gotek floppy as the machine just sees it as the default standard internal disk drive...


Offline berks

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #14 on: 23:49, 03 September 19 »
That's a bunch of good information, thanks for sharing! I bought the Gotek, a PSU and the WiFi thingy a few weeks ago from your online shop, however at that time the NC200 wasn't working (you may remember at the time I emailed you to confirm the PSU was good etc), so I used the WiFi stuff on an NC100 (brilliant!) and didn't get the chance to use the rest until today when I plugged the NC200 back again and it just worked! 😂


I'll check on my account in the shop for that disk image, thanks again!

Offline revaldinho

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #15 on: 00:21, 06 September 19 »
I have fitted one of these simulant Gotek drives in my NC200 and I can confirm that CPMish runs very well.


It really is just like using CP/M2.2 with a single drive, but in the grand scheme of things a 720KB drive is pretty enormous for CP/M so that's not much of a limitation. Also the TPA is large - much larger than the '464 running CP/M 2.2: BBC BASIC reports HIMEM at 61K.



I had one problem getting going initially, so my only tip is that if you try the provided disk image from David's GitHub site
David's GitHub site you will need to expand it to fill a complete 720KB disk image before it will work.


truncate nc200.img 737280

or


truncate --size=720K nc200.img

..depending on what flavour of truncate you have on a Mac or Linux box (and perhaps a windows shell, but I haven't tried that).


You need to get the cpmtools from the GitHub site working to be able to format new disk images and populate them with other software. I have TurboPascal up and running now and it's great to see it on the NC200 - proper retro-computing.   :)












Offline revaldinho

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Re: Possibly the first ever Gotek USB drive in an Amstrad NC200??
« Reply #16 on: 22:10, 11 September 19 »
Does anyone know how to disable the battery voltage check that the NC200 does when accessing the floppy disk ?


The NC200 does some kind of check each time you access the floppy, and unless you have a pretty fresh set of batteries installed, it seems to conclude that there's not enough power available and so prevents you using it.


See also https://www.ncus.org.uk/m200_01.htm#029


This pretty much relegates you to being plugged into the mains if you want to use the floppy which is not great in a portable machine.


I have the Gotek installed which I think should be much less power hungry and more voltage tolerant than the original floppy. On my CPC I can only measure about 100-120mA of current using a Gotek, so I think the check is too pessimistic. Back on the NC200, for example, I can boot into CPMish on the Gotek using the AC adapter, remove the external power and then run normally from batteries because CPMish itself never does the check again.


So, has anyone disabled this ? Is there a patched ROM available or some other hack to use ?