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RE: [N8VEM-S100:6010] Dual IDE/CF V2a

Good to hear from you, Rich, regarding the dual IDE/CF card.  I have what appears to be the version 02.  (I am not familiar with a version 2a.)  I built mine last summer and, like you, it worked great with the diagnostic program.  However, after a number of frustrating hours trying to get it to work in CPM 2.2, I set it aside hoping to get back to it at another time.  I want to use it as a “hard drive” in my system, since I have started to detect some minor degradation in my 8” floppies.  Recently, I started building a CPM3 system and in reading all the docs and examining some of the systems of others, it seems to me that this board might just be better suited to CPM3, which seems to have better facilities for handling additional hardware (e.g. something more than a single floppy disk controller.)  So, I’m hoping that when I get the CPM3 system built and running on floppies, that I can return to the IDE card and find it as bit more pleasant to integrate and I get it working.  Plus, CPM3 will handle larger drive sizes and I hope to upgrade from 8MB drives to 512MB drives.  One or two of these and I’ll have plenty of room.


During construction, I found several hardware issues.  I have them documented here somewhere.  Did you make any changes to your hardware?  Perhaps the “a” version was the fix for the issues I found.  I’m out of time to find and continue describing the issues right now, but let me know if you discovered any and I’ll pick up the conversation when I have more time.


Bob Bell



From: n8vem...@googlegroups.com [mailto:n8vem...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Rich Leary
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 12:07 AM
To: n8vem...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [N8VEM-S100:6010] Dual IDE/CF V2a




Does anybody have a working CP/M 2.2 BIOS for this board? While I finished assembly and testing of my board several months ago and am able to exercise it using MYIDE (V2.9 running on CP/M) I was never able it to get to work correctly when it was integrated into my working CP/M 2.2 system that has been working for decades with DRI de-blocking supporting my 256 byte per physical sector hard drive (ST506) and various 512 byte  per physical sector floppy formats (K4, K2, 1.2 MB, etc.).


I took a few months off to work other projects including my ECB SBC Mk IV that is working without issue using both SD and CF (IDE) media as hard rives. I am at a point in that thread where I am waiting for some material as I build up a 4U rack chassis for the ECB motherboard, the SBC Mk IV, and other boards so I have spent a good bit of time working with the S100 board and BIOS.


Nothing has solved the problems. A brief synopsis..


a. The board "works" with my BIOS and Monitor with no obvious handshaking or time out issues.

b. I have tried a wide variety of CP/M DPB parameters including changing CP/M records per track from 128 to 1024. I have kept capacity of each drive at 8 MB with 2048 byte block size and 1024 directory entries. Conversion from those logical sector parameters to the required LBA sector numbering scheme has used shifts and merges of the logical track and sector data to generate the LBA values.

c. Any attempt to copy a small (<= one block) file to the CF drive is very repeatable. The file is copied and shows in the directory but any attempt to type it, dump it, or just compare it to the original fails immediately as the data is "scrambled" in that records and sectors are misplaced. The misplacement is always the same for a given configuration.

d. Attempting to write a larger than one block file to the drive fails with an error message that file can not be closed. Data is also not where it should be.


Bottom line is that it does not work and hence my whole reason for using it, i.e., replace my 30+- year old hardware. is unsatisfied. The only logical next step is to insert several debug print out statement but before I do that I wanted to see if anybody has a working bios that I could use.


Any advice would be appreciated.




Rich Leary

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