Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Everything related to using the HxC Floppy Emulator hardware on your Atari.

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Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:05 am

Hello,

i'm considering to buy a HxC floppy emulator. I have a few questions and I hope that some users of the device can answer them.

a) Which file formats are directly supported with the device? Am I forced to convert disk images first to this .HFE format or can I use .ST/.MSA directly?
b) Is there write support available? E.q. save data back to emulated disks such as highscore tables and savegames or even real data like code?
c) Is it possible to set the device to emulate drive A: while jumpering a 1040STE internal drive as B: so that both can be used at the same time?

Thanks!
ssb
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby rebb » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:57 am

a) You always have to convert to .hfe
b) Saving works like a charm.
c) Don't know.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:00 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:c) Is it possible to set the device to emulate drive A: while jumpering a 1040STE internal drive as B: so that both can be used at the same time?

Yes, but you need to modify your Atari by rerouting the drive select signal for drive B to the internal floppy connector. And reroute the drive select signal for drive A to the external floppy connector. There are threads on here about this. Depending on which machine you have, you can either do it directly on the pins of the sound chip, or using the "links" that Atari put on the PCB.
If you add a DPDT switch, you can swap between having the HxC and the floppy as a bootable drive A.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:20 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:c) Is it possible to set the device to emulate drive A: while jumpering a 1040STE internal drive as B: so that both can be used at the same time?


Not sure if Dal's entry in the AF wiki is what you want to do.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:23 pm

@Wongk: Thanks, basically looks like what I am looking for.

1024MAK wrote:
simonsunnyboy wrote:c) Is it possible to set the device to emulate drive A: while jumpering a 1040STE internal drive as B: so that both can be used at the same time?

Yes, but you need to modify your Atari by rerouting the drive select signal for drive B to the internal floppy connector. And reroute the drive select signal for drive A to the external floppy connector. There are threads on here about this. Depending on which machine you have, you can either do it directly on the pins of the sound chip, or using the "links" that Atari put on the PCB.
If you add a DPDT switch, you can swap between having the HxC and the floppy as a bootable drive A.
Mark


I see, it looks easier then to simply mount the HxC internally and use a standard Atari external drive for the real floppy. Without modding it seems swap between drives is not easily possible. (And thanks no, I don't want to butcher my STE with internal soldered hacks!)
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Shredder11 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:14 pm

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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:35 pm

The last post is the entry from the Wiki, thanks. The other solution still require soldering inside the machine which is I want to avoid doing on my own.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:37 pm

As I got answers regarding direct use of .ST files with the USB versions, well I'm not interested in running a second machine to host the files.
I want to run the ST standalone and thus only the SDcard version of the HxC emulator comes into consideration.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby wongck » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:31 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:As I got answers regarding direct use of .ST files with the USB versions, well I'm not interested in running a second machine to host the files.
I want to run the ST standalone and thus only the SDcard version of the HxC emulator comes into consideration.


Some other issues with the HFE format is that there is no way to read it off the HFE on Windows.
So if you write something on the HFE, and want to transfer that file to PC, there is no way.

May be there is a utilkity for this now. I have asked the author about this feature on this forum... years ago.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:15 pm

If HFE is a oneway format like STX it is a deadend for serious use beside replay of static files. Can somelese confirm there is no way to convert back?

In the mean time i emailed the HxC developers to get an official statement.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:27 pm

wongck wrote:Some other issues with the HFE format is that there is no way to read it off the HFE on Windows.
So if you write something on the HFE, and want to transfer that file to PC, there is no way.

May be there is a utilkity for this now. I have asked the author about this feature on this forum... years ago.


Totaly wrong !!!

http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... fd_hxc.zip

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Virtual Floppy Drive 2.1 For SD HxC Floppy Emulator
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Release 12/11/2011
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Virtual Floppy Drive is a virtual floppy drive for Windows developed by Ken Kato.
Original sourceforge project : http://vfd.sourceforge.net/

This version was modified by Jean-François DEL NERO to directly handle HFE files
images for the SD HxC Floppy Emulator.
HxC Floppy Emulator project page : http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/



And since some years you can convert back HFE files to .ST (IMG) file with the HxC Floppy Emulator software...
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:30 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:If HFE is a oneway format like STX it is a deadend for serious use beside replay of static files. Can somelese confirm there is no way to convert back?


Of course you can convert back them !

One advice:
Have a look to the user manual, try the hxc software to convert ST/MSA to HFE and HFE to ST (IMG).
You will have all answers by this way ;) :

All you need is there :
http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... l#download
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby wongck » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:36 pm

Jeff_HxC2001 wrote:Totaly wrong !!!

http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... fd_hxc.zip

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Virtual Floppy Drive 2.1 For SD HxC Floppy Emulator
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Release 12/11/2011
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Virtual Floppy Drive is a virtual floppy drive for Windows developed by Ken Kato.
Original sourceforge project : http://vfd.sourceforge.net/

This version was modified by Jean-François DEL NERO to directly handle HFE files
images for the SD HxC Floppy Emulator.
HxC Floppy Emulator project page : http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/





Whoa !!!.... Excellent Jeff !!!
Will try this one out.
Like I said, been years since I last spoken about this was hopeing for a util to do this.... and there is !!!
:thumbs:

Should have visited your site more often... may be update my firmware as well. :wink:
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:37 pm

Jeff_HxC2001 wrote:
simonsunnyboy wrote:If HFE is a oneway format like STX it is a deadend for serious use beside replay of static files. Can somelese confirm there is no way to convert back?


Of course you can convert back them !

One advice:
Have a look to the user manual, try the hxc software to convert ST/MSA to HFE and HFE to ST (IMG).
You will have all answers by this way ;) :

All you need is there :
http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... l#download


Thanks for answering me, I didn't even expect an reply here. This is great and moves the devices into true consideration for me.

Is the file format somewhat open so that converters for other systems could be written, such as adding support for the from/to conversion to Hatari's hmsa tool which already converts between .ST and .MSA for non-Windows users.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:32 pm

WooHooo..... reading & writting contents into a HFE image files works great on my Win 7 machine !!!

Thanks Jeff...you rocks [smilie=greencolorz4_pdt_12.gif] [smilie=greencolorz4_pdt_12.gif]

Another great way to transfer files between Atari & PC.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:25 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:Thanks for answering me, I didn't even expect an reply here. This is great and moves the devices into true consideration for me.

Is the file format somewhat open so that converters for other systems could be written, such as adding support for the from/to conversion to Hatari's hmsa tool which already converts between .ST and .MSA for non-Windows users.


Yes. i currently working on a lib. This lib is already used with VFD. I am actually working on Adf Opus ;)
Please note that conversion software is under GPL and already works under linux.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby simonsunnyboy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:32 pm

This is great news. Is the URL available so that I can pass it to the Hatari developers?
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:53 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:This is great news. Is the URL available so that I can pass it to the Hatari developers?


Have a look on sourceforge.

Anyway this is not finished. there still some work to do to make it stable.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby calimero » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:45 am

hm... I was also thinking to order HxC but I did not realize that I need to convert MSA to HFE!

is it possible to do batch converting ? (there is almost 2000 MSA files for ST!)
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Dal » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:12 am

calimero wrote:hm... I was also thinking to order HxC but I did not realize that I need to convert MSA to HFE!

is it possible to do batch converting ? (there is almost 2000 MSA files for ST!)


Yes - The batch converter is really good. I used it with over 4000 images (all in an alphabetical directory structure). It recursively churns through them at a pretty good pace on my 7 year old IBM thinkpad.

I can't remember exact timings, but It was only a 'couple of odd jobs' between completion from what I remember.
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:07 am

And more formats are added to it regularly. :thumbs:
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Re: Practical questions HxC floppy emulator

Postby Methanoid » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:13 pm

More questions before potential purchase:

1) Can the control s/w for Atari/Amiga etc be customised (font sizes), tags, images? Re-skinned? I dont much like the look of it and if it could be prettied up that would be nice.

2) In the control s/w could the .HFE extension be hidden? I dont really want to have the screen cluttered with AmigaTitle.adf.hfe or AtariTitle.st.hfe.

3) Does it support speeded up disk access like some of the emulators (Steem or WinUAE) for x2 or x4 FD access?

Thanks
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