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Introducing APEDSK99: 3x DS/SD, 32K, FTP, NTP


JJB

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Hi fellow TI enthusiasts,

 

I am pleased to announce the next version of APEDSK99. 

 

APEDSK99 is an Arduino shield that emulates 3 DS/SD floppy drives for the TI99/4(a). Combined with a Ethernet / SD shield it allows you to load and save Disk-On-A-Disk (DOAD) floppy images on a SD card or FTP server. It includes the necessary 32K RAM expansion and adds NTP date and time to TI-BASIC:

1071404361_APEDSK99trio.thumb.jpg.0af8c6603f935728ac42c71aa7201e49.jpg

 

 

The APEDSK99 shield plugs directly into the side port and is powered separately from a USB cable. A "PEB" LED indicates APEDSK99 access:

783199919_APEDSK99attached.thumb.jpg.717dffdae28456c37e3a56e697240cd4.jpg

 

 

APEDSK99 adds about 13 CALL commands to BASIC but you only have to remember the one for the built-in help screen:
AHLP.thumb.jpg.bfd3c09225ebcc062676bca0d0b38c71.jpg

 

 

It only takes seconds to exchange files between your TI and say the excellent Classic99 emulator on your main system:

FTP.thumb.jpg.914aa1c4010ea0eb3e4a733124c6bd54.jpg

 

 

Check out the demo:

 

 

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19 hours ago, acadiel said:

Nice work! Beautifully done!

Are DOAD images the only images currently planned, or do you also plan for FIAD or PC99 images as well?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks! No plans to implement those other formats at this stage. It seems fairly easy to switch/convert between them on the PC side of things (I use Fred Kaal's excellent TI99Dir for that).

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5 hours ago, JJB said:

Yes that is a RAM chip and the DSR code is copied from SD card to RAM during powerup / reset / CALL ADSR. My GitHub page has much more technical info: GitHub - jambuur/APEDSK99: Arduino DSKx emulator shield for the TI99/4a

Thanks, that's quite the feature you pulled of there.

 

What I find most interesting is that the design is in such way that the DSR is copied from RAM. My interest is having a platform where I can easily test my own DSRs.

This seems a perfect fit. I wonder what it would take to have a bigger SRAM in there and make it bankswitch, something like a SAMS "lite" (would probably have an incompatible bank-switching method as that would be controlled by the Arduino and would have to come up with a custom method to control bank-switching from the TI side).

 

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I did think about bank switching DSR's, either through a dedicate CALL that let's you select a particular bank or determine it automatically in the default DSR by using a flag in a CALL header. With the standard 64K RAM there is 24K of additional DSR space available. I am sort of thinking of adding the Myarc 9938 VDP to the TI99/4a internally as my next project and the powerup routine and graphics CALL's could live in this space without giving up on default APEDSK99 functionality.

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7 hours ago, Vorticon said:

Does one have to setup a local FTP server?

That's the most likely scenario I reckon. It is not limited to your local network though, the FTP service / server can be anywhere as long as you're able to reach it from your local network. The CONFIG file as part of the APEDSK99 Arduino sketches has a number of parameters you need to set for FTP to work.

 

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14 hours ago, Vorticon said:

Does one have to setup a local FTP server?

... I think I am being a bit thick here ? you probably meant to ask if APEDSK99 works without setting up a FTP server - the answer is yes ?

Edited by JJB
clarity
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I'm loving the reading of the DSR Source:

 

https://github.com/jambuur/APEDSK99/blob/master/TI/APEDSK99.a99

 

 

It's amazing how much you could comment out when you don't have to deal with spinning, rotational media that has timing requirements. :)

 

I wonder at some point if we add a larger SRAM and bank switch to have multiple DSRs available. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 2:40 AM, acadiel said:

I'm loving the reading of the DSR Source:

 

https://github.com/jambuur/APEDSK99/blob/master/TI/APEDSK99.a99

 

 

It's amazing how much you could comment out when you don't have to deal with spinning, rotational media that has timing requirements. :)

 

I wonder at some point if we add a larger SRAM and bank switch to have multiple DSRs available. 

Yes, great to be able to remove all the unnecessary bits so there's space for the various CALL's. At the same time I really like the fact that the original blood, sweat and tears of the developers has been retained. I think most of it is actually pretty clever code.

 

As I mentioned, there is still 24K available for additional DSR code. And since loading 8K of DSR from SD into RAM is pretty quick it might not need a larger RAM.

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15 hours ago, dhe said:

Can the SD card be used for TI storage?

I am pretty happy with the 3 "floppy drives" (other than considering future updates for double density and 80 tracks emulation) so no plans for that. Given the flexibility of switching DSR's it would be relatively easy to adapt existing code for that.

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  • 7 months later...

I am very happy to have had the opportunity to be able to test this expansion in our group in Italy.
The 99er Fabrizio Luglio @fablug has dedicated time to doing some tests and we also organized to dedicate a page and video review together with the builder @JJB
I am very happy that we were able to do both a written and video review.

For those who are curious to see it I leave you the links:


Review Page: https://www.ti99iuc.it/web/index.php?pageid=homepage&artid=219


Video Review: 



The project is still evolving and many thanks to @JJB for the effort in complete and optimize this nice and useful project.

 

:)

 

Edited by ti99iuc
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8 hours ago, globeron said:

@JJB nice project!

Thanks! I did very much enjoy developing it. BTW the Italian review post above mentions that it's still evolving but I am pretty much finished with the core development and consider it a fully usable peripheral:

 

- 1 unified DSR binary, no need to use a particular version depending on your GROM 0

- APEDSK99 configuration (network, time zone etc) through a TI BASIC program instead of changing/compiling/uploading an Arduino sketch

- no need for soldering on the Ethernet shield anymore; replaced by a simple set of small patch cables that can be installed by anyone

 

In short, much more user friendly ;-)

 

I will update the GitHub page / Youtube channel in the next week or so.

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Totally forgot to mention that APEDSK99 now includes:

  • double density / 80 tracks (max 1440 AU's)
  • directory support: with NDIR command you can change the working /folder
  • DOAD rename (NDSK). The DOAD (MSDOS) name is also used to set the TI DISK name.
  • more detailed info in LDIR / SMAP / LDSK. Includes indicating BASIC files as BAS instead of PRG in LDSK.
  • load real lower case (ACHR). 

As EXBAS doesn't allow external CALL's in programs I am currently coding to use CALL LINK (which can be used in programs) to enable the relevant CALL's in EXBAS programs through a separate LOADable object file.

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  • 1 year later...

@JJB

I'm getting ready to send off for PCB's for this. I'm going to build one with your schematics, and I have another based on your schematics, that will also include edge card fingers. What is the type of Arduino UNO that you would recommend? I see a lot of options on AliExpress, and want to use compatible ones.

 

APEDSK-top gerber.jpg

Edited by RickyDean
spelling, added content
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29 minutes ago, RickyDean said:

@JJB

I'm getting ready to send off for PCB's for this. I'm going to build one with your schematics, and I have another based on your schematics, that will also include edge card fingers. What is the type of Arduino UNO that you would recommend? I see a lot of options on AliExpress, and want to some compatible ones.

APEDSK-top gerber.jpg

Interesting, another amazing project I missed during my downtime. Looking forward to seeing your build and more info on this.

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3 hours ago, RickyDean said:

@JJB

I'm getting ready to send off for PCB's for this. I'm going to build one with your schematics, and I have another based on your schematics, that will also include edge card fingers. What is the type of Arduino UNO that you would recommend? I see a lot of options on AliExpress, and want to use compatible ones.

 

APEDSK-top gerber.jpg

Great! Let me know if I can help in any way. 

 

Pretty much any Arduino Uno R3 should work, I have used 3 or 4 from different online and local vendors so far without any problems; same for the Ethernet shield. 

 

 

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