Emulating an Amiga floppy drive

[Retromaster's] Ultimate Floppy Emulator is a wicked display of hardware mastery. It is the culmination of several design stages aimed at replacing an Amiga floppy drive with a modern storage solution. You may be thinking that using an SD card in place of a floppy isn’t all that interesting but this hack does much more. The board, controlled by a PIC32, patches into the Amiga keyboard and monitor. This allows you to bring up an overlay menu for controlling the emulator in order to configure which virtual floppy disk is currently ‘in the drive’. He’s even gone so far as to add a piezo speaker to mimic the sounds the original drive head would make while reading a disk.

[Thanks Gokhan]

32 thoughts on “Emulating an Amiga floppy drive

  1. OMG i so want this right now, he says hes not got plans to release the source code and pcb layouts yet though :( And he hasnt sorted out someone to make them to sell them, but i soo badly want one to play with :(

    Amazing project, i approve.

  2. Great to see another PIC32 project posted. I believe hardware wise they have the edge over many of the ARM Cortex M3 options. If only they were more widely supported.

  3. biozz: You must not have owned an Amiga.

    Current multicore systems can’t approach the level of awesome that a single-core Amiga with 4 MB of RAM and multiple floppy drives possesses.

  4. @biozz, the floppy drive sound is part of the Amiga experience. There is nothing quite like the drive roaring before a new level or cutscene in a game, especially a game like Awesome.

  5. It’s the peizo speaker that makes it awesome :D

    If i bought an Amiga nowadays, it would be for the nostalgia of playing games in the past

    Gods, Zany Golf, Wings, Pinball Dreams anybody?

  6. @kd5uzz
    your making something work in a way it was not intended to

    how is that not a hack?
    im quite sure that is the definition of hardware hacking

  7. It’s sort of overkill to me. I believe it should instead natively boot a menu to let the user choose the image. PIC32 is WAY faster than the Amiga, the hack could at least try to use as much early-90s technology as possible. An 8051 maybe?

  8. bravo. someone finally made proper replacement for standard industrial floppy drive. this hack is more than AMIGA / Atari ST / Amstrad CPC floppy replacement. i bet ti could be modified to work in midi boxes, keyboards, cnc machines, etc.

    thank you Retromaster!

  9. AWESOME hack. Great job.

    I used to love hardware hacking the amiga way back when. This brings back fond memories.

  10. Fantastic – I love my old Amiga – i’ve still got my old A500 from when i was a youngster.

    The floppy noise feature just tops it off for sure – it was pretty impressive to hear it on the uae emulator.

    Would be cool to copy floppies straight onto SD cards though.

  11. I wonder if its possible to adapt this to use it with the Oric Atmos machines? Its getting close to impossible to find drives for these old 8bit treasures, so I’ve considered using an ATMEGA to do a floppy emulator too .. but if this thing can be easily adapted, maybe that’d be a better option.

  12. @Jeff Nice advertisement for your site :)
    But your emulator is far to slow for Retromaster’s emulator.

    @ Retromaster Great Job! Well done!
    Find someone to sell this… I am buying one-two pieces for sure

  13. @Che : Far too slow ?!?! What this means exactly ?
    Like all floppy emulators the speed is limited by the floppy interface : 250Kbits/s in DD mode or 500kbits/s in HD.

    So the loading time is the same for all floppy emulators !!!

    May i add another advertissement ;-) :
    (On screen display software already available for Atari ST and CPC users :)

  14. Another word:
    Anyway retromaster’s floppy emulator is good no doubt about this.

    My first comment was just for the person looking for an universal floppy emulator( for cnc machines, keyboards,…)

    As said on his website retromaster don’t want for the moment support <> computers, but only a few one.

    The HxC Floppy Emulator intend to be able to replace most Floppy disk drive in any situation (with screen or without screen…), in the most possible standard way.

    As far i can said the 2 projects doesn’t have the same aim, this was only a small link for people looking for a more standard floppy emulator (i must admit that hackaday is the wrong place for this ;-) ).

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