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More capacity on Lotharek drive


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I've been considering getting a Lotharek drive to play with, even though I don't really need one.


The website says that the device supports up to 255 tracks. It seems that the current TI FDC eprom could easily be altered to support 89 tracks, that would give a maximum of 1602 sectors. As the bitmap only supports 1600 sectors, the last 2 sectors could simply be ignored.


Not having the device, this raises several questions.


How does one 'format' a floppy image for the device? A special formatting tool would seem to be required to correctly lay out sector 0 for the maximum of 1600 sectors.


Can someone post a blank formatted 80 track, double sided, single density image for me to inspect?


Is the extra 160 sectors per 'disk' worth the effort?




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Hi Gazoo,


I can post that wanted file later, if back at home.


There is no need for special "formatting-software" on the TI-side, as you just take a (formatted) V9T9-DSK-file on your PC,

convert it with the HxCFloppyEmulator-tool to an .HFE-file, and copy that to the SD-card (to insert this on the TI´s HxC-drive)

(And vice versa, to get a .DSK from the TI-used HFE-file on the SD-card, use this tool on the PC as well)


I think there is no possibility (and no need?) to create (or "initialze") a HFE-file inside the HxC, from the TI-side....

You do that all on the PC.


You can download and play around with Lotharek´s conversion-tool, as it runs without the HxC-drive of course.

It runs and works for almost all well-known floppy-formats, and, as the SD-card is PC-formatted FAT32,

the HFE-files are just copied to it after conversion, and there is no dependecy between the drive and the tool.


If you want to format a TI99-mounted HFE-file in the drive (maybe to clear it or to delete all data at once)

you can use ANY program you know. DiskManager or whatever, as this HcX-Emu-Drive

just emulates a Shugart-drive to the floppy-controller. And the controller does not recognize anything about that fact,

as it is transparent. One nice thing for the newer controller (ie the CC-9900) is that the HxC supports down to

3 ms track-2-track, automatically. Just set the jumpers on the CorComp.


I think (but I am not sure), that if you make any changes to the format of the DSK-file, that the Converter-Tool cannot

read that and then cannot convert that (from/to the HFE-format). As it is a V9T9-DSK to HFE-converter (and vice/versa).


Or, is the here intended track-expansion so that V9T9-compability will be given after that changes ?

this would be cool, but I cannot imagine.


If I read 1602 secors here, =1600 netto =400KB, that reminds me to the volume-size from the nanoPEB.


smithee :)

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How does one 'format' a floppy image for the device? A special formatting tool would seem to be required to correctly lay out sector 0 for the maximum of 1600 sectors.

Can someone post a blank formatted 80 track, double sided, single density image for me to inspect?


I'm not quite sure what you're asking for, but here's an image created with xdm99:

tiger ~ > xdm99.py e.dsk --initialize 1600
tiger ~ > xdm99.py e.dsk
          :     2 used  1598 free   400 KB  2S/1D  80 TpS
Warning: Sector count does not match disk geometry

I manually edited the track number and double-sided-ness, as xdm99 assigns those somewhat randomly for non-standard sizes.



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  • 2 months later...

What he wanted was an empty .HFE-file with 80 tracks, DS/DD.

Please find any type here in the ZIP below.


Of course, if you modify an .DSK in any way, it isn´t a V9T9 anymore, right ?

And Lotharek only supports V9T9 for the TI, nothing more.


So I think, you also would have to modify Lothareks conversion-tool, from scratch,

to get a "running" .DSK9 (the new name here:) from it ? (?)


But if so, running with what ? i.e. TI99DIR has to be modified to look into this modified,

+9-track bigger DSK9. (but maybe it works because of existing CF7/Nano-400KB-volume-support ?


And then, there may be no chance to bring that to a real iron floppydisk, as too much tracks,

nor running in an emulator without changes, as they also support V9T9 only, I assume.


So, from this point of view, more tracks in .HFE only shoud run isolated on the HxC itself.

Maybe, if 2 people have this modded 89-track-TI-Floppycontroller, they maybe can exchange this

bigger HFE-files, but no one else can gain anything from that due to incompatible format



But all not for sure, of course :)


Here is the link to the HxC-support-forum, if you have a login (or just make one) they normally

answer all questions. Sometimes i takes one or three days, but they answer.

And maybe the answer is already there ?







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Hmmmm, I could view the blank image with Ti99Dir, but it would not convert to an HFE....

hmmmm yes, maybe TI99DIR works because of its CF7-volume-compability ?

I will push it through the DSK2CF-tool from Fred tomorrow,

to see what happens to it on the NanoPEB.....

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