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'[PIC]: Floppy storage'
2000\10\11@002912 by Harold Hallikainen

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       I've got a product using an 18c452 with 128 kbytes of external static
RAM. I'd like to add low cost removable storage, and the 3.5 inch floppy
seems ideal. The drives are incredibly cheap, and so is the media. I've
included a National FDC chip on the board, but have not as yet looked at
writing any code for it.
       In this application, I'm looking at saving and loading an ascii text
file to/from the disk. To keep costs down and operation simple, we have
no display on the product, so the operator just hits a button to load a
file from the disk and another button to save it (with some precautions
to make sure current data in RAM or on disk is not accidentally wiped
out). I'm thinking of using PC format with a fixed filename, again
further simplifying it. There would be no way to format a disk, delete
the file, etc. Just load and store.
       Has anyone done anything like this? Another approach I'm considering is
making a very small embedded 80x6 system that is a FD to EIA232
interface. Then I could use something like DataLight's ROM-DOS and have
most of the code already written. I did something like this years and
years ago. There I did a 6802 system and wrote code to talk to a
Commodore 1541 disk drive. On the 6802 system you could save and load
applications programs, do a directory of the floppy, format floppies,
etc. Again, the goal there was to try to not have to write an operating
system, so I used Commodore's.
       So... Floppies, anyone?

Harold


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2000\10\11@075910 by Andrew Kunz

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I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher capacity,
smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.

Did I forget anything?

Andy









Harold Hallikainen <spam_OUTharoldhallikainenTakeThisOuTspamJUNO.COM> on 10/11/2000 12:17:17 AM

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Subject: Re: [PIC]: Floppy storage








       I've got a product using an 18c452 with 128 kbytes of external static
RAM. I'd like to add low cost removable storage, and the 3.5 inch floppy
seems ideal. The drives are incredibly cheap, and so is the media. I've
included a National FDC chip on the board, but have not as yet looked at
writing any code for it.
       In this application, I'm looking at saving and loading an ascii text
file to/from the disk. To keep costs down and operation simple, we have
no display on the product, so the operator just hits a button to load a
file from the disk and another button to save it (with some precautions
to make sure current data in RAM or on disk is not accidentally wiped
out). I'm thinking of using PC format with a fixed filename, again
further simplifying it. There would be no way to format a disk, delete
the file, etc. Just load and store.
       Has anyone done anything like this? Another approach I'm considering is
making a very small embedded 80x6 system that is a FD to EIA232
interface. Then I could use something like DataLight's ROM-DOS and have
most of the code already written. I did something like this years and
years ago. There I did a 6802 system and wrote code to talk to a
Commodore 1541 disk drive. On the 6802 system you could save and load
applications programs, do a directory of the floppy, format floppies,
etc. Again, the goal there was to try to not have to write an operating
system, so I used Commodore's.
       So... Floppies, anyone?

Harold


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2000\10\11@081611 by Russell McMahon

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>I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher
capacity,
>smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.
>
>Did I forget anything?
>
>Andy



Floppy disk

A dying technology but still has a way to go before it lies down and dies.
Yes - we all know Floppy's problems, but -

Zero (almost) cost per media.
Media available everywhere (even service stations, drug stores etc in NZ)
Store xxx of them if desired.
Compatible readers/writers eeeeverywhere.
Mail one to someone and they will know what to do with it
(reformat it in their Mac :-)


(by no means all PCs yet have compact flash readers)


RM

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2000\10\11@091550 by M. Adam Davis

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No one, to my knowledge, has interfaced a floppy to a PIC/and/ implemented a DOS
file system on it.  I've only heard of people interfacing to floppies, but
haven't seen any actual code or schematics.  Interfacing and controlling the
floppy with the national chip should be fairly easy, the real work comes when
you try to use your PIC to understand the file system on the disk.  I notice you
are trying to make it easier for the PIC by limiting the amount of work it has
to do (create the file, etc) but you will have to create the file somewhere, and
the will likely require a seperate computer and program that understands the
low-level details of the floppy and tailers the file location for you.  However,
file system code is relatively easy to get, you would find such code in the
various free software projects (FreeBSD, Linux, etc).

-Adam

Harold Hallikainen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\11@101634 by Harold Hallikainen

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On Wed, 11 Oct 2000 07:31:52 -0400 Andrew Kunz <.....akunzKILLspamspam.....TDIPOWER.COM>
writes:
> I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher
> capacity,
> smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.
>
> Did I forget anything?
>
>

Media cost?

Harold


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2000\10\11@102259 by Scott Dattalo

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On Wed, 11 Oct 2000, Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> On Wed, 11 Oct 2000 07:31:52 -0400 Andrew Kunz <EraseMEakunzspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTTDIPOWER.COM>
> writes:
> > I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher
> > capacity,
> > smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.
> >
> > Did I forget anything?
> >
> >
>
> Media cost?

And availability.

But compact flash is really cool. I'm using it one design right now. Just for
kicks, we got one of those IBM micro drives that plugs into a compact flash
socket and our storage capability jumped up from 16Meg to 320Meg!

Scott

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2000\10\11@122201 by Bob Ammerman

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I have done something like this for an embedded system.

You create a floppy with a preallocated data file on it on some 'normal'
system.

If you start with a freshly formatted floppy and create one file on it DOS
will always start that file in the first available cluster.

Now you can go at the data area from the embedded side without any knowledge
of the file structure.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2000\10\11@123232 by gacrowell

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'e's not dead yet!

http://www.iomega.com/hipzip/index.html


Be interesting to see if this takes off, article I read the other day said
there were three or four other vendors coming out with portable devices
using this disk.

Gary Crowell
Micron Technology


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\11@125552 by Smith

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On Wed, 11 Oct 2000, gacrowell wrote:
> http://www.iomega.com/hipzip/index.html
>
>
> Be interesting to see if this takes off, article I read the other day said
> there were three or four other vendors coming out with portable devices
> using this disk.

Ugh.  Only 40MB storage.. kinda lousy for an MP3 player, but would
be nice for embedded products as $10 a disk is much cheaper than
what a 32Mb flash/sim/compact card would cost.

Grab one of those IBM quarter-sized drives that can do 400MB and
higher now I think.  THAT is storage. :-)

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2000\10\11@170528 by mike

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On Wed, 11 Oct 2000 06:56:06 -0700, you wrote:

>On Wed, 11 Oct 2000 07:31:52 -0400 Andrew Kunz <akunzspamspam_OUTTDIPOWER.COM>
>writes:
>> I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher
>> capacity,
>> smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.
>>
>> Did I forget anything?
>>
>>
>
>Media cost?
This may be a very minor issue in some applications. The CF interface
will certainly be simpler and cheaper, so your product will be cheaper
(and smaller, lighter). If data transfer is an 'added extra feature'
rather than  essential to all users, CF may well be preferable to
reduce the bottom-line cost of the product.
If it's used for data transfer to a PC etc., most people will only
need one disk/card.
It also wouldn't surprise me at all if the cost of a CF interface and
one small capacity  card were comparable to, or less than, the cost of
a floppy drive, controller, extra CPU resources, wiring, assembly time
and power supply to support it.
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2000\10\11@230952 by Harold Hallikainen

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On Wed, 11 Oct 2000 21:45:34 +0100 Mike Harrison <@spam@mikeKILLspamspamWHITEWING.CO.UK>
writes:
>
> It also wouldn't surprise me at all if the cost of a CF interface
> and
> one small capacity  card were comparable to, or less than, the cost
> of
> a floppy drive, controller, extra CPU resources, wiring, assembly
> time
> and power supply to support it.
>
>

       I've already got the wiring for the chip on the board, so we have the
price of the chip (maybe $5), the drive ($20). The power supply is
already there. Wiring seems minor (ribbon cable plus power supply to
drive). When the CPU is reading/writing disks, it doesn't need to do much
else. There IS the requirement for coming up with the code and maybe the
space to put it in (though the 18c452 seems to have a lot of ROM
space)...
       So, I think I can add the drive for less than $50. Possibly less than
the cost of one flash card.
       I appreciate the input...

Thanks!

Harold


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2000\10\12@011418 by McMeikan, Andrew

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What about playstation memory cards?  I have been thinking of using
these in an unusual way with PIC's, they have the advantage that
anyone can go out and buy some extras.  Not too fast (or really
cheap) but a good convenience factor.

       cya,    Andrew...

- {Original Message removed}

2000\10\12@165127 by Randy Glenn

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Here, you can find info - from Microsoft - on FAT32. There's also
info on FAT16 and FAT12.

http://209.67.75.168/hardware/fatgen.htm

Floppies use FAT12.

Also, check out http://www.teleport.com/~brainy/fat16.htm

- -Randy Glenn
PICxpert-at-home.com
PICxpert-at-picxpert.com
PICxpert-at-yahoo.com
Randy_Glenn-at-tvo.org

http://www.picxpert.com/

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- {Original Message removed}

2000\10\12@181021 by Peter L. Peres

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>I think Compact Flash is a much better solution these days.  Higher
>capacity,
>smaller size, lower power, NO MOVING PARTS, PC-compatible.
>
>Did I forget anything?
>
>Andy

Price, number of pins required, FAT file system, practically
single-sourced, murder to support on small micros (like PICs). The
smallest PIC that can support a CF is 16C64 and the CF will use 23 pins on
it (out of 33 IO). Some can be multiplexed (as inputs at least). The exact
details of CF management for durability are secret afaik (strategy to
prevent flash wearout while using FAT fs ?).

The SONY memory stick looks much better from all of these points of view
excepting price (which is in the same range).

Peter

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2000\10\13@003539 by Mark A. Samuels

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Using a 16F877, I've interfaced to a CF card using 22 pins, which reads from
and writes to FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, leaving 11 lines open for other
use.


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\13@022033 by Dave Bell

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Gary Crowell (gacrowell <RemoveMEgacrowellTakeThisOuTspamMICRON.COM>) wrote:

>'e's not dead yet!

>http://www.iomega.com/hipzip/index.html

>Be interesting to see if this takes off, article I read the other day
>said there were three or four other vendors coming out with portable
>devices using this disk.

 Am I missing something here, or is it IOMega's ad writers?

"1/5 the size [area?] of traditional music CD's"

Also, 1/16th the capacity, and 10 times the cost!

Looks like a good fit to replace compact flash, but for music?!?

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2000\10\13@102736 by jamesnewton

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Would you be willing to share that code? Or at least some hints on
implemented FAT16 and 32 access from a PIC?

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{Original Message removed}

2000\10\13@102941 by M. Adam Davis

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I suppose you wouldn't be able to throw together a basic example of this code
and schematic?  A number of people have been looking for this in the past...

-Adam

"Mark A. Samuels" wrote:
>
> Using a 16F877, I've interfaced to a CF card using 22 pins, which reads from
> and writes to FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, leaving 11 lines open for other
> use.

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2000\10\13@103406 by Andrew Kunz

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If it works, this would meet the requirements that somebody posted for a free
hard drive. (James, the link please...)

It might get you a free HD to release this.  THere were some constraints put on
the request, but I'd think this info would warrant a free drive of some sort for
the poster.

Andy










"M. Adam Davis" <adavisEraseMEspam.....UBASICS.COM> on 10/13/2000 10:28:16 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








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cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: [PIC]: Floppy storage








I suppose you wouldn't be able to throw together a basic example of this code
and schematic?  A number of people have been looking for this in the past...

-Adam

"Mark A. Samuels" wrote:
>
> Using a 16F877, I've interfaced to a CF card using 22 pins, which reads from
> and writes to FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, leaving 11 lines open for other
> use.

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2000\10\13@104704 by M. Adam Davis

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Well, I've already sold the HD, and the 'contest' expired back in June.  There
was a small amount of interest, but no one did anything more than send me links
to mp3ar.com.  (which is essentially a full implementation, just for CD-ROM
drives.  Only a little bit of modification would have been necessary to add HD
writes (since the reads were there))

I'm still looking at other options to entice people to release valuable code...
If this is released, I could probably come up with something usefull.

-Adam

Andrew Kunz wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\13@104819 by Mark A. Samuels

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I am working right now on an article for Circuit Cellar, about this specific
project.  It's going to include a simple schematic for the interface, and
code for read/write routines.  I was able to get all the information about
how to do this from the CompactFlash specification, which I saw someone
posted a link to on the list within the last few days.
As far as the FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, all my knowledge came from
others' on the net.  Again, within the last few days, someone posted a link
to a FAT specification from Microsoft, which is the same document I used to
get the majority of the information I needed to figure it out.

-Mark




{Original Message removed}

2000\10\13@105452 by Arthur Brown

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Yes this sounds good I just pulled a LS120 Drive from a scraper and was
thinking what to do with it.


Regards Art

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2000\10\13@110322 by Andrew Kunz

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You know if you had 1500 beta testers you might get a better article <G>

Andy








"Mark A. Samuels" <spamBeGoneMSamuels99spamKILLspamWORLDNET.ATT.NET> on 10/13/2000 10:45:56 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <.....PICLISTspam_OUTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








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cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: [PIC]: Floppy storage








I am working right now on an article for Circuit Cellar, about this specific
project.  It's going to include a simple schematic for the interface, and
code for read/write routines.  I was able to get all the information about
how to do this from the CompactFlash specification, which I saw someone
posted a link to on the list within the last few days.
As far as the FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, all my knowledge came from
others' on the net.  Again, within the last few days, someone posted a link
to a FAT specification from Microsoft, which is the same document I used to
get the majority of the information I needed to figure it out.

-Mark




{Original Message removed}

2000\10\13@131440 by Randy Glenn

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Well, when you find out when the article runs, PLEASE tell us! I for
one would LOVE to go out and buy a copy.

- -Randy Glenn
PICxpert-at-home.com
PICxpert-at-picxpert.com
PICxpert-at-yahoo.com
Randy_Glenn-at-tvo.org

http://www.picxpert.com/

Those packing a big grudge, usually pack a big mouth along with it.

- {Original Message removed}

2000\10\14@060604 by Peter L. Peres

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"Mark A. Samuels" <TakeThisOuTMSamuels99KILLspamspamspamWORLDNET.ATT.NET> wrote:
>Using a 16F877, I've interfaced to a CF card using 22 pins, which reads
>from and writes to FAT16 and FAT32 file systems, leaving 11 lines open
>for other use.

So, do you do anything special about writing to specific sectors again and
again ? Or is the wear spreading mechanism implemented in the IDE
controller clone in the flash card ?

Peter

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2000\10\15@165603 by Mark A. Samuels

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My implementation of this does not use the IDE mode of the CF card.  I am
accessing the card as common memory, because it made for a simpler 8-bit
wide data bus.  But, as far as I know, there is still no such thing as any
kind of "wear spreading mechanism" at this level.  Something like that would
be as the OS level.

-Mark

{Original Message removed}

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