Floppy drive for Heathkit 3400 ?
zmerch-cctalk at 30below.com
Mon Feb 5 15:14:58 CST 2007
Rumor has it that Steven Canning may have mentioned these words:
>I've been looking into various cheap / easy ways to interface a floppy drive
>to various projects ( i.e. Heathkit ETA-3400 ) for a while. My current path
>is pointing towards using an external USB floppy drive ( $16 USD ) and a
>device from GHI Electronics called a USBwiz ( $60 USD ). This device will
>let you talk to ThumbDrives, SD cards and other USB " stuff " ( supports
>FAT16 and FAT32 )
Does that USBWiz support FAT12? That would be needed to actually deal with
floppies; otherwise, you'd have to roll your own FAT12 driver, and that
might be a touch outside the Heathkit 3400's memory capacity unless you
have the expansion board (or hacked in more memory on the system).
> through a very simple interface that a PIC chip has
>enough horsepower ( computing power ) to drive, so the 6502 in the Heathkit
>should be okay.
If by "6502" you actually meant "6800" ;-) , I'd want to remind you that
they're clocked under 1 Mhz - I think mine has a 500KHz, but my memory's
fuzzy... A lot of the PICs are clocked at 4+Mhz, IIRC; tho I've never
tinkered with the PICs, but I've built an AVR board once...
> I welcome the wisdom of this community as to this pursuit
>before I commit hard earned dollars to said project ( or not ... ). What do
>you guys think ( and yes I already know I'm lazy and should build my own
>hardware .... ).
I'd have to ask the question: what would be the point of it (being focused
on the 3400 trainer) - the rascal's only got... uh.... 1K RAM unmodified?
What could you build to diddle with floppies that would be easier than
hacking in a UART and sending/receiving over the serial port to the PC? I
"trained" on these in college, and that was a project that we had to do -
wire up a UART on each trainer, and send/receive info between Heathkits.
If you're looking for an embedded system, would it not be easier to snag a
nice cheap CoCo2 w/64K RAM/16+K ROM and hack on it, instead of trying to
build up such a minimal piece of hardware?
Keep in mind, I *love* my Heathkit 3400... ;-) Just my thoughts...
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
 or variant - IIRC, mine has a 6802; it has a built-in timer or
somesuch... but is 6800 compatible inside and out.
Roger "Merch" Merchberger | A new truth in advertising slogan
SysAdmin, Iceberg Computers | for MicroSoft: "We're not the oxy...
zmerch at 30below.com | ...in oxymoron!"
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