New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Resources and links for Replacement Floppy Drives, Floppy Drive Adapters and USB Floppy Driver Emulators.

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New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Unread post by DrSynth » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:30 pm

I found a Facebook group for a new free open source firmware for the Gotek USB floppy emulators called "FlashFloppy". It's compatible with a number of image file formats, including compatability with .hfe images used by the HxC firmware.

One advantage is using some free Windows utilities (will work with VMWare Fusion) you can flash the Gotek via the front USB port, and don’t need to use any serial adapter or do any soldering. Instruction video on YouTube:

Using the usual floppy converter cable sold on eBay for the SY99, if you're using the Gotek SFRM72-TU100K, you then just place jumpers on the JC and M0 pins and you’re good to go.

SY99 Gotek FF Jumpers.jpg

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Re: New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Unread post by JK1974 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:47 pm

Hi Manny, thanks for your hint. I also have this SFRM72-TU100K model with a 2-digit LED display. Are there any issues, because the Wiki says: "There also exist some older models with a two-digit LED display: although compatible, try to avoid these"?
If I flash this firmware, am I able to access the files without any additional Windows software like it is possible in the meantime with the newer floppy emulators?
Going to visit the Facebook page and try to find out more about this...
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Re: New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Unread post by parametric » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:47 am

Thanks for posting that Manny . . . (Y)

It's always good to see continuing efforts to prolong the usability of these older venerable boards.

PS - I've moved this to the emulator Forum that we now have, so ALL the stuff on emulators is in one place :wink:

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Re: New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Unread post by wohali » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:24 pm

Hi there,

Here's some tips to make sure you get the most out of the FlashFloppy firmware.

First off, you need to make virtual disk images with this firmware. This means you can't have directories with folders with the files on them on the USB stick, you have to put the files you want into a virtual floppy disk file first. The software to do this is the HxCFloppyEmulator program. You can download a copy here, it's the file as of the time of this posting. The ZIP includes macOS and Windows versions.

Unzip the file anywhere you want, then run the HxCFloppyEmulator program. Click on the Disk Browser button. In the popup window, select a File system type of 3"5 720KB DSDD FAT12. Then press the Create Disk button. You can now drag the files (.T01, .G01, etc.) you want on the floppy image to the window. When you're done, click the Save/Export button and save the image to your USB stick with a filename like "VINTAGE1.HFE" or "DISK001.HFE". You can then quit the program.

The next/previous buttons on the front of the drive emulator "scroll" through the disk images on your USB stick in alphabetical order, so it can be convenient to use a naming convention that makes this easy (like DISK###.HFE). Of course, if you have one of the newer drives with an LCD/OLED screen, you can name them anything you want.

You may also need to fix your 26-to-34 pin floppy adapter, especially if you have an SY77/99. I posted about this over here.

Once you're sure Pin 34 is correctly connected to Pin 8 (SY77/99), be sure to put the following lines in a text filled called FF.CFG on the root of your USB stick:

Code: Select all

interface = ibmpc
pin34 = nchg
This instructs FlashFloppy to correctly send the negated disk change signal across Pin 34, which will tell your synth when you press Next/Previous to change to a new disk image. No need to pull the USB stick out and put it back in, or to power cycle your synth to switch to a new disk image!

Depending on your version of the FlashFloppy firmware, you may need "chg" instead of "nchg." Try the other if the first you pick doesn't work.

You can put other things in the FF.CFG file to change its behaviour - a full list is over here.

Hope this helps someone.
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Re: New free USB Floppy Emulator firmware option

Unread post by JK1974 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:21 am

Great helpful post, thanks a lot.

Is there any reason against using e.g. Disk-Manager from that creates "real" disk image files in IMG format? HFE looks a kind of proprietary to me as it also seems to store detailed sector format information (we don't need in this case), and if the HxcFloppyEmulator program is abandoned, you could be "lost" like users were when the original software of the older Gotek emulators did not work anymore.
IMG can be opened/edited even with "stock" Linux tools, so the sourcecode is available and thus this format a kind of future-proof.
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