HxC Floppy Drive Emulator
Written by Demon Cleaner
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
The HxC Floppy Drive Emulator is a software and hardware system created by Jean Francois Del Nero, that emulates the behaviour of a floppy drive. It currently works for Amiga and 16-bits Atari computers.
If you wonder what a "Floppy drive emulator" can be, just have a look at this:
As you can see, the floppy drive has been replaced by some piece of
hardware. This piece of hardware features an USB connection to a PC.
On the PC side, just run the Floppy drive emulator software and
drag/drop your favorite disk image file. Then just use your beloved
computer as usual (no hardware of software modification of any kind,
apart from the floppy drive replacement is needed), and feel the magic
It means that you can run all your Atari and Amiga software on
the real machines, without the hassle of keeping your old floppy disks,
and experience floppy drives failures.
Here is basically how it works : the PC software loads the disk image
files (.ST, .MSA, .ADF, .DMS...), and convert track data to MFM format
(the physical way the data is stored on a floppy disk). Then the
hardware part decodes the floppy drive logic, and retrieves from the PC
the MFM flow into SRAM buffers. Those buffers are then sent to the
The first version of the system used 74-series chips and SRAM, and the
parallel port of the PC. On the second version, most of the logic has
been replaced by an Altera CPLD, and a FTDI USB module has been used to
replace the parallel port.
For more information, I suggest that you go to Jeff's pages about his project
(Warning, those pages are in French language).
"The project is currently in a prototype stage : it means that most of
the stuff works (both hardware and software), but that it is still not
ready to be delivered to the public. We are now planning to have ready-to-use boards manufactured and sell them at a reasonable price."
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 November 2006 )