Jump to content
Cory5412

MacSD - new SCSI SD card emulation tool

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, ymk said:

The expansion port was not designed around an existing standard.

Gotcha, that's what I figured when you said the activity LED could be plugged in to it, but left my post text alone other than welcoming you aboard within seconds of your first post. Very nice product! Any teasers about future expansion plans possible at this point?

 

edit: GAH! did this reboot of the topic just a few posts too soon.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Time to reboot for this page post-hiatus it seems: http://macsd.com/

 

MacSD-000.thumb.JPG.d54c15103996b1d4b88ad25b3a3ce479.JPG

Screen cap that won't vanish with the eBay listing.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ymk said:

Byte Knight - The lines powering the eight LEDs on the edge of the board (including SCSI activity) run through the expansion header.  All external LEDs share a common cathode line, also on the expansion header.  Any color LED can be used, however current is only around 1mA so I recommend using a modern, high intensity type.  Brightness will be adjustable through the config file.  The firmware and documentation for this feature has not been released yet, but is coming soon.

Sweet - ordered!  And you can ignore the same question that I sent to you on Tindie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ymk Glad to have you aboard!  I'm not sure if I understood the LED aspect.  Are you saying one of the header connections would power an external LED?  I'd be beyond excited for that because with the clear case SE/30 it looks great to have that light working.  I just realized you are still updating the firmware so I'll keep an eye on that to keep the latest version on the boards. 

 

@Trash80toHP_Mini I have no official connection with him, we've just done a lot of business together and he does nice work.  That was the reason for my recommendation.  To me the only downside was the LED header which it sounds like is corrected so I may need to order some more :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Byte Knight said:

I asked this same question in the RaSCSI thread, but any idea if this would work with the Apple IIgs with SCSI card?

I don't know for sure but I am personally inclined to believe it would given that it bypasses much of the configuration of the SCSI2SD. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, maceffects said:

Glad to have you aboard!  I'm not sure if I understood the LED aspect.  Are you saying one of the header connections would power an external LED?  I'd be beyond excited for that because with the clear case SE/30 it looks great to have that light working.  I just realized you are still updating the firmware so I'll keep an eye on that to keep the latest version on the boards. 

 

All eight of the indicator LEDs on the edge can be mirrored to external LEDs.  Nine pins on the expansion header can be used for LEDs (eight anodes and a common cathode).

 

8 hours ago, maceffects said:

I asked this same question in the RaSCSI thread, but any idea if this would work with the Apple IIgs with SCSI card?

 

I've done no testing with Apple II.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm interpreting what this device does that explicitly makes it Mac-friendly correctly, that depends on the Apple IIgs working well with the same SCSI devices Macs use. However, for IIgs there are also lots of other extant options including the focus IDE card (what I've got in mine), floppyemu, which will run smartport HDs on the II, and CFFA, which operates on a somewhat similar concept to this, except that it has an inline control panel for image swapping.

 

@ymk - welcome in!

 

With regard to >4GB images, I'm curious what the demand for that is like. Only '040 Macs will officially run volumes over 4GB, and your'e kind of getting closer at that point to the brief window where the SCSI2SD v6 makes more sense, for performance reasons, and then after that, where SATA cards make more sense. I can imagine a couple use cases for it, myself, but I'm also among the relatively few people I'm aware of running 2TB volumes  Classic Mac OS at all. (Although, like, 

 

With regard to partitioning, what would that look like in terms of setup and configuration? It would seem like the biggest advantage you've really got here is that this device was "designed with the needs of the vintage Mac community in mind", I feel like it would be fair to describe it as explicitly to the exclusion of other platforms and applications where scsi2sd is also used (i.e. it's unlikely one of these will work in a synthesizer or a traffic light or a UNIX machine) and a big part of that is the simplicity afforded by the way this thing is configured.

 

The people among us creating SCSI2SD preloads would be able to change to just zipping up the contents of the FAT32 filesystem as a download and people can avoid, say, DD or managing partitioning entirely.

 

If this is in the docs, you can be like "hey, uh, RTFM" and I will at some point. I don't have the budget for one of these so this is purely speculation on my part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no disadvantages to implementing >4GB images.  This is something 040 and PPC owners have been interested in, in addition to the CD audio and changer functions.  For example, you could use fdisk to divide a 32GB card into a 20GB FAT32 partition and a 12GB hard drive image.  A drive entry in the config file could point to an image file on the FAT32 partition or to the entire 12GB partition.  

 

Quote

"designed with the needs of the vintage Mac community in mind"

 

That is the general idea, but not a direct quote. 

 

Quote

I feel like it would be fair to describe it as explicitly to the exclusion of other platforms and applications where scsi2sd is also used (i.e. it's unlikely one of these will work in a synthesizer or a traffic light or a UNIX machine) and a big part of that is the simplicity afforded by the way this thing is configured.

 

While my primary focus is Macs, there's no reason MacSD cannot work on other SCSI platforms.  It is being tested on Amiga, SGI, Sun, RS/6000, etc by others.  I will describe it as unsuitable for applications supporting human life (as are its individual components and the SD card).  Nobody should be using this in a traffic light.  Everything else is fair game.


I'm not concerned whether features I add to MacSD already exist in other products.  Everyone benefits from the new options and capabilities.

 

The ini file configuration in no way limits the MacSD's capabilities.  Config files run entire operating systems.  In addition to convenience, it solves the problems of:

  • Keeping firmware and configuration utilities updated in tandem
  • Migrating configuration on firmware updates
  • On-chip configurations valid only for a particular card

 

If you don't want to bother with >4GB images and fdisk; if all you need is a single HDD, your config file is two lines long.  Easy is not the opposite of powerful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Gotcha, that's what I figured when you said the activity LED could be plugged in to it, but left my post text alone other than welcoming you aboard within seconds of your first post. Very nice product! Any teasers about future expansion plans possible at this point?

 

Thanks!  No plans for add-ons at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the CD emulation support 512 byte sector reads? It's an issue with real CD drives on Unix machines and not dealing with real CDs on those would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, ymk said:

While my primary focus is Macs, there's no reason MacSD cannot work on other SCSI platforms.  It is being tested on Amiga, SGI, Sun, RS/6000, etc by others.  I will describe it as unsuitable for applications supporting human life (as are its individual components and the SD card).  Nobody should be using this in a traffic light.  Everything else is fair game.

Well there goes my plans for it... :lol:

 

I've got a SCSI card on the way so I'll test it out with the Apple II once I get it up and running on my vintage Macs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what SCSI card is in the Apple II. The Apple made cards (Rev. C and the High Speed SCSI) should be "fine" provided that a device on the bus provides termination power as Apple's cards don't provide it without modification. The RamFAST SCSI card is the tricky one. It uses a not-so kosher implementation of SCSI where the controller does not assign itself a SCSI ID on the bus. This has been known to trip up actual hard drives in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Compgeke said:

Does the CD emulation support 512 byte sector reads? It's an issue with real CD drives on Unix machines and not dealing with real CDs on those would be great.

 

CD reads are currently limited to 2048 byte sectors.  If 512 byte reads are added, it will most likely be as a third device type rather than a 300i option.  Which (fairly common) drives use 512 byte sectors?

 

Quote

The Apple made cards (Rev. C and the High Speed SCSI) should be "fine" provided that a device on the bus provides termination power as Apple's cards don't provide it without modification.

 

That is an important point since there's a risk of damage if termination power is not provided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ymk said:

CD reads are currently limited to 2048 byte sectors.  If 512 byte reads are added, it will most likely be as a third device type rather than a 300i option.  Which (fairly common) drives use 512 byte sectors?

Basically any Toshiba or Plextor can. XM-5401B, PX-40TSe, etc, etc. I know Sanyo can not for sure (used in some LaCie drives). The CR504/CD600i iirc is jumperable too, using the 2nd from the far right jumper to enable 512 byte sector support. The 300i might also support that, but I don't remember off the top of my head. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2020 at 2:40 PM, maceffects said:

I figured I should chime in.  I actually know the guy who makes these great boards.  He even sent me an early prototype for testing purposes.  I, for one, am thrilled that an alternative to SCSI2SD exists that is more Mac friendly.  I've had tons of issues with them so finding one exclusively for the Mac is wonderful.  That said I did get the SCSI2SD to work in *some* of my systems but they hated the Mac SE & SE/30 for whatever reason.  So, if anyone is on the fence, you really should consider MacSD. 

This is good to hear!! I had gone ahead and ordered one, so I am looking forward to trying it out.

 

You just drop in drive images and update a text file right on the SD card, right? It reminds me of Basilisk (emulator) where you edit the prefs file to tell it what disks to load and CD-ROM etc.

 

Edit: Now I see @ymk has joined, welcome! 

Edited by tt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several updates have been released over the last week adding:

  • Direct partition mapping for HDD devices, breaking the 4GB barrier.
  • Support for external LEDs.
  • Independently adjustable brightness for on-board and external LEDs.
  • Increased CD audio resolution and gain for 33/48/57MHz modes (12.45-13.28 bit).

 

On 9/21/2020 at 5:06 PM, tt said:

You just drop in drive images and update a text file right on the SD card, right? It reminds me of Basilisk (emulator) where you edit the prefs file to tell it what disks to load and CD-ROM etc.

 

Edit: Now I see @ymk has joined, welcome! 

Thanks!  That is indeed how it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The MacSD has arrived and have been trying it out for the last few days. I think it's a very interesting take on SCSI emulation. For instance, I played some music on it through the audio out jack with a hybrid bin/cue file of "The Manhole". I have been working through some stability issues with transferring files from my modern machine and switched to a Linux based workflow from now, which might be better in the long run for back-up and archival. Fragmentation of the drive is something you want to avoid. I am still testing it out and hoping to find it stable enough to start transferring more stuff onto it from my stash. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×