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Lotharek drive for the TI


adamantyr
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Hey all,

 

A question... has anyone laid out the necessary hardware to make use of a Lotharek drive for the TI?

 

I can see that the base model emulates a 3 1/2" drive, my questions would be:

 

1) Does it work without any modifications with a classic TI or Corcomp FDC? Or do you have to do some kind of hardware upgrade?

2) Does anyone have 5 1/4" frames for the 3 1/2" footprint so it's not just hanging in your box?

3) What other equipment do you need? My present PE Box has two classic 5 1/4" drives in it, so it's got the big power cable connectors. I assume for a 3 1/2" you'd need a converter?

 

I'm NOT a hardware guy, I do not and will never own a soldering iron, so it would be good to know if this is an area I should or should not pursue, lest I end up ranting and raving on the forums in mad frustration. ;)

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1) yes I've used it to emulate 40 track dsdd with my corcomp fdc works great also 80track ti controler and 40 track too

2) amazon is your friend, prime w/free shipping https://smile.amazon.com/Computer-Adapter-Mounting-Bracket-Plastic/dp/B009MGGWQE/ref=sr_1_2/145-6616156-5156430?ie=UTF8&qid=1494522263&sr=8-2&keywords=3.5+to+5.25+drive+bay+adapter

3) you need a power converter (included in that kit above) and a floppy cable with pin connector instead of card-edge. I recommend one without a twist they can be hard to find though. I find that you can get a connector and crimp it on yourself to a card edge cable..

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Another question... does anyone have/make a replacement flex cable for the P.E. box that uses a modern ribbon cable?

 

It's a MAJOR pain in the ass, and before I'd invest in a Lotharek drive I'd want to have that no longer be an issue.

There has been some talk, and I'm sure this isn't the only link available.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/258633-peb-interface-card-replacement/?hl=+flex%20+cable%20+replacement

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A question... has anyone laid out the necessary hardware to make use of a Lotharek drive for the TI?

 

This is a very good idea for a thread and possibly even a PDF. A document to answer all potential TI owner's questions concerning the HxC, with photos of other items required and even a list of links to places to purchase all of them affordably.

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How come it is slower than the TI FDC?

 

The only reason that I can imagine is that seek times are longer. The data rate is determined by the recording (SD is 125 kbit/s, DD is 250 kbit/s). Or maybe the controller tries DD first, then fails, and switches to SD. This does take some time, and I observed that with the (emulated) BwG.

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You need to set the step times at the fastest your drives can handle. I think the TI controller is hard wired at 12 or 20, I forget which. The Corcomp controller I've got in box 2 is set for the fastest step, which is 3, I think. I guarantee the CC card is faster than the TI.

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As I said, you may easily get a false impression when you compare SD loading on a TI FDC with other controllers that support DD. The problem is that the controller does not know what recording it will find until it actually tries. I noticed that the BwG controller actually first tries DD, and when it fails (which takes some time, since it wants to give it a chance), it goes for the other choice, SD. So this feels uncomfortably slow.

 

But this result is buffered for the drive, so it should only occur once for a new disk.

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So I have ordered a Lotharek drive...

 

Next question, what PC software do you use to read and write to the memory cards? Does TI99Dir support them?

 

No, it's not supported by TI99Dir...directly. You can use TI99Dir to create or modify disk images, but once you get the image the way you want it, you run the conversion program and then 'drag & drop' the newly created .HFE file onto the SD card. It's really quite easy.

 

This might help a little... (jump to 00:55)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=3oXtpwopFiE

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So I have ordered a Lotharek drive...

 

Next question, what PC software do you use to read and write to the memory cards? Does TI99Dir support them?

scroll down for the Lotharek Software for Windows

Hxc Floppy Software

 

http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=121

 

With the batch function you can convert several files from hfe (Lotharek) to V9T9 - dsk (TI-99) or the other way around

Edited by Flottmann1
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Okay, so I got my drive today. It hooked up and worked right out of the gate!

 

Some stuff:

- I left the config for generic Shugart, that works fine. Right?

- It turned out my old laptop had an SD card reader built in, very cool!

- Sadly, my Extended BASIC 2.7 suite cartridge doesn't work with a Corcomp FDC. It just beeps continuously. Probably an issue with it overriding the master title screen

- I got a nasty gap on the right side now. I would put a half height floppy in there but I don't have a cable that has both a 3.5 and a 5.25 connector so close and in the right orientation. Unless I can use one that has the twist?

- I got an external floppy case and power supply that I hooked up for a DSK3. It works great, although the Lotharek doesn't like it turned on first.

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- I got a nasty gap on the right side now. I would put a half height floppy in there but I don't have a cable that has both a 3.5 and a 5.25 connector so close and in the right orientation.

 

You could buy an << Evercool 5.25" Storage Box >> to fit in the slot. Since you said, "gap on the right side", I'm assuming your system is not in a tower configuration, so as a drawer it'll be worthless, but with one longer screw it can be made to stay shut and act like a faceplate.

 

Also, if ever decide to make it a tower, so you can read the Lotharek's display easier, consider one of these cheap

<< temperature displays >> to mount in the Evercool's faceplate.

sml_gallery_35324_1027_71337.jpg

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You could buy an << Evercool 5.25" Storage Box >> to fit in the slot. Since you said, "gap on the right side", I'm assuming your system is not in a tower configuration, so as a drawer it'll be worthless, but with one longer screw it can be made to stay shut and act like a faceplate.

 

Also, if ever decide to make it a tower, so you can read the Lotharek's display easier, consider one of these cheap

<< temperature displays >> to mount in the Evercool's faceplate.

sml_gallery_35324_1027_71337.jpg

 

Dude, classic P.E. box is always horizontal! Bah. :)

 

I got an old DOS PC that has both a 3.5 and a 5.25 side by side, I may be able to salvage the cable from it... Now I won't need that thing anymore for getting TI software transferred. :)

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