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Thread: Teensy as ATAPI Zip Drive Emulator...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2

    Teensy as ATAPI Zip Drive Emulator...

    Hi, I'm checking the feasibility of using the Teensy as an ATAPI ZIP Drive Emulator.

    The basic hardware flow would be as follows:

    Code:
    [Legacy ATAPI Host (Roland SP-808)]
              ^
              |
              v
    [Teensy (via legacy 40-pin connector)]
              ^
              |
              v
    [Teensy (onboard 5-pin USB connector)]
              ^
              |
              v
    [USB Drive (emulating the ZIP Drive's storage)]
    The basic software flow would be as follows:
    Code:
    [ATAPI Driver (custom?)]
              ^
              |
              v
    [USB Storage Driver (off-the-shelf/existing?)]
    Power Supply: I plan to use the 5V supply, which was originally there for the ZIP, to power the Teensy. I assume that a power supply originally designed to power bulky hardware, with at least one motor in it, should be able to power this Teensy rig no-problem.

    Processing Power: The Arduino would seem to struggle with this task, which is what led me to Teensy. It looks like ZIP maxed-out at a 1.4 megabyte/second transfer rate so I think I should be safe there...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip_drive

    Am I on the right track? Seem feasible? Any pointers on existing code that could be modified would be a huge help!

    Thanks for any thoughts!
    rs

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    174
    You can get an ATAPI to USB adapter for $30: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...lp_unknown_mbc

    Of course, that means you don't have a cool project; so if you want a cool project you will have to figure out how to talk to an ATA bus electronically, and in code. You will need a 5V-tolerant Teensy, or use level shifters. The device will also expect +12V to come from somewhere (probably separate Molex connector, don't think that was on the ribbon cable.)

    This was a parallel interface with 40 pins, so you may have to use shift registers as well. Not that that's hard or anything, but I sure hope you like soldering!

    Because ATAPI was a device-independent interface, the problem is probably not related to whether it's a Zip disk unless the code in the Roland device has some direct dependency on that. I don't see why it would. At most, the target device might have to pretend to have 100MB capacity (or whatever the Zip drive it used had.)

    I fondly remember those things. Used to carry one in my backpack to the computer lab and run Borland C++ 3.2 (I think) instead of whatever 1.x version they had installed on the 286es, which was probably pulled over Token Ring from a Netware server in a basement somewhere. How times have changed!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2
    Hi and thanks for the thoughts! Sadly, the board you referenced is one I got excited about too at first, but it relies on a USB host. Iím trying to go the opposite way, which is to start with an ATAPI host. Long thread full of dead-ends here:

    https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic....f33fb9a96df0a4

    It seems like, quite recently, there are people implementing solutions to solve similar problems as mine. My guess is because ATAPI optical devices, which a lot of legacy machines depend on, are slowly dying-off:

    https://shop.tattiebogle.net/product...EkTnv3Tk2Trxhf

    Thanks again for the thoughts!
    rs

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