Have any of you tried a Gotek out on your Apple II yet?

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Amon_RA wrote:Verault wrote
Amon_RA wrote:
Verault wrote:
Amon_RA wrote:
Verault wrote:

 

If Keirf wanted to collaborate with the HXC folks or viceversa that is up to them but I wouldnt expect that between competing products.

 

 

They are not competing products, Flashfloppy is free and open source. 

 

Yes it does.. Because its FREE. Its been FREE all year. So the license costing NOTHING absolutely adds to this being  a very cheap alternative. And even at 10 Euro it still keeps the entire build VERY VERY Cheap. I know, as I have paid the asking price several times... But alas.. ITS FREE.

 

Go look for yourself.

 

You have no valid argument. Your sounding like a contrarian for the sake of nothing.

 

ALL established floppy emulators had to start out somewhere, and most likely with limited functionality. And you write this off for no valid reason in support of something that DOES NOT HAVE APPLE II Support at all? You realize how that looks right? 

 

Geeze, I guess you guys were the wrong ones to bring this info up to. I really expected at least some interest as Goteks are pretty much accepted as a necessary step in the future of Vintage computing at this point.  

 

This place casts a pretty cold shadow all to often..... Thats always been my issue with the "Apple crowd" 

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le sigh

The impression I'm getting is that somebody is used to getting to be "right" all of the time.

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If you mean me... I guess you

If you mean me... I guess you missed the point entirely.

 

Shame.  Shame you guys cant join the rest of the retro computing community.

 

The ops can delete the post if they want. This isnt a forum for sharing information. Its a small clique. 

 

Thats fine, The other forums have open minded people. I just thought since this news was pertinent here you guys would appreciate it. Whoops on me. 

 

I dont own a Modern Mac.. Or an Iphone. And think Apple as a company now is as awful as anything can get. And the only Steve who deserves any credit is still waking the earth and doesnt really want any. I guess I dont fit the billet to post here.

 

 

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Verault wrote:If you mean me.
Verault wrote:

If you mean me... I guess you missed the point entirely.

 

Shame.  Shame you guys cant join the rest of the retro computing community.

 

The ops can delete the post if they want. This isnt a forum for sharing information. Its a small clique. 

 

Thats fine, The other forums have open minded people. I just thought since this news was pe

 

Apple has always been a "premium" product.

 

I appreciate the potential of the Gotek.  But I'll probably wait until they get the firmware to support the normal image formats w/o need for conversion and for cables which aren't quite as hacky as that come out.  Maybe a small PCB which neatly plugs into all the connectors necessary on the Gotek and then provides a clean IDC-20 cable out to an Apple disk controller.  Even better as I've said before if someone can offer a plug-and-play turnkey solution you can buy like a FloppyEmu or wDrive, etc., Apple people will pay a few extra bucks for that.  For the firmware people expect to just be able to download .dsk, .po, .do, .nib, .woz and .img files and drop them on flash media and then plug it in.  That's what is needed to compete because that is what most of the other products out there offer.  It is what it is.  Most of the exsting Apple user base already has at least one product.  I personally have 3 FloppyEmus, a wDrive, one of Ian Kim's SD Disk ][, a couple Dan ][ cards, several Booti cards, a couple of the old SDisks, a CFFA 3k, a FujiNet, a MicroDrrive Turbo and a few others...  It isn't like I NEED anything else...  I just like to tinker, which is why I'm still open minded to Gotek.

 

I'm kind of at the point where I am thinking about getting rid of most of my non-Apple retro systems.  I will probably keep one original IBM PC because I can use it as an Apple II with a Quapple card.  I am probably going to sell off all my TI 99/4 stuff, the TRS-80 Model III that I have and maybe most of the Commodore stuff, except maybe one C64, a 1541 and my 8050 floppy drive, because I'm building a CBM Serial Bus card for the Apple II which can hook up the 1541 and I have a couple IEEE cards for the Apple II which the Commodore IEEE drive should be able to connect to.  That makes it interesting to me in kind of perhaps a perverse way.  Other than that I think everything else non Apple II that I have can go.  I've got a bunch of 68k and older PPC Mac gear I should get rid of too.

 

 

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Softwarejanitor shared this

Softwarejanitor shared this video with me. Hopefully this will stire the publics interest in this where I failed miserably on this thread:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI3qG2vm8Fg

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Verault wrote:Softwarejanitor
Verault wrote:

Softwarejanitor shared this video with me. Hopefully this will stire the publics interest in this where I failed miserably on this thread:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI3qG2vm8Fg

 

I am ordering 5 boards from PCBWay as described in that video.  It  should make getting a GoTek to work much easier and cleaner.  I had already started designing my own equivalent to that board on a small protoboard.  I may go ahead and build that since I already got a GoTek off Amazon and it will probably take a couple weeks to get the PCBs.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote: I am
softwarejanitor wrote:
 

I am ordering 5 boards from PCBWay as described in that video.  

 

I looked at the "AnotherMaker" PCB layout, but didn't care for it. I decided to create my own. If anyone in the states wants a board let me know and i'll drop one in the mail at no cost. I have plenty. I can make the gerber available for non commercial use under CC4.0-BY-SA-NC.

 

 

 

 

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chrisa850 wrote
chrisa850 wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:
 

I am ordering 5 boards from PCBWay as described in that video.  

 

I looked at the "AnotherMaker" PCB layout, but didn't care for it. I decided to create my own. If anyone in the states wants a board let me know and i'll drop one in the mail at no cost. I have plenty. I can

Nicely done, it would be great if you share.

 

If you want to upload it here it will have a free space to live, or uploading it to github and selecting the license also isn't too difficult. 

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That looks very nice!  Wish I

That looks very nice!  Wish I had known about this before ordering board from PCBWay...  Oh well.

 

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chrisa850 Very nice work.

chrisa850 Very nice work.

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Modnarmai wrote:chrisa850
Modnarmai wrote:

chrisa850 Very nice work.

Thank you.  Your boards went out USPS yesterday (as did all the other requests).

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Got my board

My board/Gotek is working in my Apple ii+ as a single drive. A real Drive 2 doesn't seem to coexist, for some reason (I/O errors ) Unsure if that is normal. Thank you, chrisa850! Still pretty great to have this solution.

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dbrownlee wrote:A real Drive
dbrownlee wrote:

A real Drive 2 doesn't seem to coexist, for some reason (I/O errors ) Unsure if that is normal. Thank you, chrisa850! Still pretty great to have this solution.

 

 

I don't think I've ever tried a real Disk ][ drive on the same controller as a Gotek.  I'll see if i get the same result.

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I have occasionally run a

I have occasionally run a FlippyEmu as D1 on a disk controller and a real floppy as D2 in order to copy from .dsk images to a real floppy.  It would be really cool if someone developed software to write .woz images to physical media.  I know a few people have worked on it but I don't know of anything complete and availavle yet.

 

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I would love to hear about

I would love to hear about and see photos from those of you who are building this project. How it works and your take aways from it all so far.

 

As far as connecting a real floppy drive. I havent yet but the thought occured to me. What about this: https://shop.bigmessowires.com/products/apple-disk-drive-ab-switch

 

I use one with my Apple Lisa so I can connect a floppy emulator without taking the from bezel off.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:I have
softwarejanitor wrote:

I have occasionally run a FlippyEmu as D1 on a disk controller and a real floppy as D2 in order to copy from .dsk images to a real floppy.  It would be really cool if someone developed software to write .woz images to physical media.  I know a few people have worked on it but I don't know of anything complete and availavle yet.

 

 

Now that I'm thinking about it...  I'm wondering if it would be possible to mount a .woz image on a FloppyEmu or a GoTek (converted to its internal format which is supposed to be possible) and then copy from it to a physical floppy using something like Locksmith or the bit copy of Copy ][+ or one of the other vintage bit copier facorites (EDD, Nibbles Away, etc).

 

I think I'm going to have to try it.

 

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Ooo! Ooo! (hand raised) Pick me! Pick me!!
softwarejanitor wrote:

Now that I'm thinking about it...  I'm wondering if it would be possible to mount a .woz image on a FloppyEmu or a GoTek (converted to its internal format which is supposed to be possible) and then copy from it to a physical floppy using something like Locksmith or the bit copy of Copy ][+ or one of the other vintage bit copier facorites (EDD, Nibbles Away, etc).

 

I think I'm going to have to try it.

Ooo!  Ooo!

May I not-so-humbly suggest you run that experiment using my Prince of Persia NIB files at Two Disk Replica of Prince of Persia?

That should give you an un-cracked near-perfect clone of the original 2-sided Prince of Persia diskette, which offers a much better game experience than any of the hacks or cracks that need 3 disks.

As a bonus, it includes a patch to fix a bug in the keyboard controls on the //e and //c, and an option to skip the patch if desired.  (If you want to play the game without a joystick, you'll really appreciate this bugfix!)

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My build
Verault wrote:

I would love to hear about and see photos from those of you who are building this project. How it works and your take aways from it all so far.

 

As far as connecting a real floppy drive. I havent yet but the thought occured to me. What about this: https://shop.bigmessowires.com/products/apple-disk-drive-ab-switch

 

I use one with my Apple Lisa so I can co

Using the board that chrisa850 was so kind to provide, my build went smoothly enough. I bought some headers and sockets from Amazon as listed in "AnotherMakers's" video. As for flashing the Gotek...

This was my first time flashing one of these and you need to hunt around on the HxC site for the right steps. It is easy enough just not always perfectly clear when you are doing it the first time. I needed to get the bootloader installed 1st and then get the correct Apple firmware. The steps to do the bootloader was less obvious for me. And then flash the firmware for Apple devices from the firmware zip folder that you d/l from HxC site.Go here 1st and "buy" it. In spite of what it says, it is currently free.

https://hxc2001.com/store/

Then you register via email and get instructions and files. I opted for the USB-A to USB-A method of flashing. I did this over a week ago, before I got my board and must have done it correctly because it does work. I have one of the 7 segment cheap Goteks from Amazon so need to push the button to choose my disk image. 

I have been testing this on an Apple ][+ with dsk images. You need to rename the .dsk file to .do so the software knows it is Apple. Remember this thing was not designed with Apple's in mind so dsk images in PC land are different. Small matter of coding to fix this, I imaging but for now rename to .do. Once loaded into the HxC software, you need to export it as a hfe image but not the default hfe, choose the hfe "expermental 3" kind. Then place the exported image on your USB thumb disk. And for my 7 segment type, I needed to name them in this format:

  • DSKA0000_ADTPRO.HFE
  • DSKA0001_DOS33.HFE
  • DSKA0002_CASTWOLF.HFE

etc Hook it up to your Apple and go. Press the index buttons to get to the image you desire. The Gotek may not initialize before the Apple is ready so you may need to warm boot again. 

The only issues I have seen, are:

A real drive 2, attached to the same card, does not seem to operate. Not a big deal unless you are looking to copy Gotek to real floppy, I suppose.I can't format a selected disk on the Gotek. Again, probably not a normal use case. Just something I observed. I will attach images in my next post.

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Pictures of my build
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I just partially built and

I just partially built and programmed my second Gotek HXC apple floppy emulator since last september. It programmed just as easy as the first one but im all out of 20 pin IDC connectors so I just need one more I have on order to finalize and test. Chris that board is nice!

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I read somewhere that a

I read somewhere that a specific make/mode of the gotek was needed for the apple II firmware to work ... is there any truth to that or will the current/available units on amazon work?

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first off I dont recommend

first off I dont recommend the amazon ones. I had to return one. I buy them from aliexpress and I know they work. And Id say there is zero truth to that. I used a gotek from years ago to make the first and this last one was a brand new gotek from aliexpress which is a variant I have never seen and it took the apple II firmware. So that sounds like made up nonsense to me.

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Call me lucky

Both of my Amazon sourced Goteks worked fine. 2 or 3 years ago, Gotek switched the chip inside because their source raised the price by 10x. But I had no trouble with putting HxC on my newer Gotek.

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I had bad luck with the

I had bad luck with the amazon goteks and had to return them. Also there are far cheaper sournces and I dont need something next day.

 

Yes I am more than aware of  why they changed microcontrollers several times. This is old news at it happened in the chip shortage during the height of covid.

 

But as Dbrownlee says, it goes on the newest goteks with no problem. Not sure why that is being questioned.  The new line of goteks have been out a couple of years and the Apple II firmware is only from the beginning of last year... 

 

 

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paritybit wrote:I read
paritybit wrote:

I read somewhere that a specific make/mode of the gotek was needed for the apple II firmware to work ... is there any truth to that or will the current/available units on amazon work?

 

You really want a Gotek that uses the Artery AT32F435 MCU.  I personally use the Gotek SFRKC30.AT4.35 with the rotary control and OLED screen.

 

Keir Frasier has a wiki started on his FlashFloppy GitHub page.  https://github.com/keirf/flashfloppy/wiki/Gotek-Models

 

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I was not challenging your

I was not challenging your experience, Verault. Nor was I trying to educate you. That "old news" may be new news to some, as it was to me, just a couple of weeks ago. Anyhow, I totally agree with chrisa850, go with the rotary knob/display version. And that, IMO, is the biggest reason not to use Amazon, because you can't find them there. It is totally worth it to have the display if you intend to use it for any amount of time. I bought my first Gotek, years ago, and only use it casully for retro PC stuff. I impatiently bought my 2nd a few weeks ago when chrisa850 sent me my boards. Thanks again chrisa850!!

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Dbrownlee, not sure what you

Dbrownlee, not sure what you mean. (Im not a fan of amazon as they seem to just peddle the same chinese garbage Aliexpress does at a huge price hike).  But the oled screens, and rotary encoders are on amazon and everywhere. Are you saying buy the gotek modded already? Thats not something I can get behind.. The whole reason I started this thread was to show you how you can make a floppy emulator cheap.  $15.00 for the gotek, either wire your own cable or use the pcb Chris made. An OLED screen is $2.00 from china, a piezo speaker is pennies, and a rotary encoder is a couple dollars too. $20.00 build is the whole point.  Buying it premade by someone else is just wrong and goes against the whole spirt of this thing.

 

A modded gotek is honestly a very simple build anyone can do.....

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Different priorities
Verault wrote:

Dbrownlee, not sure what you mean. (Im not a fan of amazon as they seem to just peddle the same chinese garbage Aliexpress does at a huge price hike).  But the oled screens, and rotary encoders are on amazon and everywhere. Are you saying buy the gotek modded already? Thats not something I can get behind.. The whole reason I started this thread was to show you how you can make a floppy emu

Understood Verault,

My needs were different but I appreciate your POV. A few weeks ago I was looking at my II+ on the shelf and thought to myself I should do something with it. I bought it pre-pandemic and other than powering it on to see if it booted up and replacing the crushed keyboard, I have done nothing with it since, as I had no floppies. And this was before I knew about ADTPro and such. So I ran across your post and thought this would be a good way to get it booting to something besides Applesoft. So thank you for putting that up as an idea, kudos! This is when I signed up for an AppleFritter account and messaged Chris to get a board.  I already had a Gotek I use for reto PC stuff , installed in a PC, but I just went ahead and got another for my Apple II, yes using the convenience and expediency of Amazon. I knew about the rotary/display versions existed but it wasn't a priority for my needs. Again, you're right, simple enough to put together, but wasn't my primary goal. And it worked! But I could not get it going with my real 2nd drive. And one of my objectives was getting the drives working too! At this point, not because I needed them, rather the challenge of repairing them. So a combination of Gotek/HxC and ADTPro got me where I wanted to be. Again, thank you!

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Verault wrote:Dbrownlee, not
Verault wrote:

Dbrownlee, not sure what you mean. (Im not a fan of amazon as they seem to just peddle the same chinese garbage Aliexpress does at a huge price hike).  But the oled screens, and rotary encoders are on amazon and everywhere. Are you saying buy the gotek modded already? Thats not something I can get behind.. The whole reason I started this thread was to show you how you can make a floppy emu

Probably most people could do the GoTek mods, but a lot of people might not want to, at least not on their first go-around.  There is a market for someone else doing those mods for sure.  Maybe not enough to be worth making a business out of though.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Verault
softwarejanitor wrote:
Probably most people could do the GoTek mods, but a lot of people might not want to, at least not on their first go-around.  There is a market for someone else doing those mods for sure.  Maybe not enough to be worth making a business out of though.

 

But the argument could also be had, why bother? If you have the money and dont have the skill go buy a Floppy Emu and have the best for apple II/Mac/LISA all in one device.

The gotek has always been more of a hobbyist multi tool. In fact the gotek using HXC firmware is just a cheaper way of having an HXC floppy emulator. The actual HXC floppy emulator is leagues better in quality and functionality: https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_drive_emulator/ (and the real HXC device doesnt need to be modded as it has all the features in it from the factory) So buy an HXC if you have the money.

 

If your going to buy not build, the gotek method seems to make the least sense.

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