04/18/10: Introducing… the MicroSD Drive Pak by Roger, | Category: Games, General, Hot CoCo Stuff, Videos | 15 comments - (Comments are closed)

Introducing… the MicroSD Drive Pak

Introducing... the MicroSD Drive Pak

I N T R O D U C I N G . . .

The MicroSD Drive Pak

  • Works on any CoCo with Extended BASIC
  • Bonus – 30mb NitrOS-9 Level II system for CoCo 3
  • Bonus – thousands of CoCo games on hundreds of disks for all CoCo models
  • Disk BASIC 1.1 w/CoCoNet enhancements
  • 115200 bps bitbanger remote disks
  • 6551 RS-232 Pak remote disks
  • PC and web disks
  • real disks
  • MicroSD card disks
  • Auto-boot to OS-9 or *.BAS
  • and more…

CoCoNet 1.02 beta
e-mail Roger Taylor (operator [at] coco3 [dot] com) for suggestions, corrections, complaints, thanks, ideas, improvements, contributions, etc.

This is a very quick rough version of the “coming soon” PDF docs for the CoCoNet system, Drive Pak, and Deluxe Wireless RS-232 Pak products.

CoCoNet is a Disk BASIC 1.1 ROM replacement that does everything Disk BASIC already does and lots more.  It is compatible with any CoCo that has Extended BASIC, and of course all CoCo 3′s.
However, you only need one ROM to boot with, so you’ll want to disable or remove any existing floppy controller ROMs, either using a Multi-Pak Interface or by putting tape over one of the pins on your floppy controller’s card edge.

“CoCoNet” is a system based around the CoCoNet/Disk BASIC ROM and one or more of these devices: a ROM pak, bitbanger cable, RS-232 Pak, Deluxe Wireless RS-232 Pak, Drive Pak, Floppy disk controller, MPI.

Install and run the CoCoNet server on your PC.
Install the *16K* CoCoNet EPROM in a pak or controller of your choice on your CoCo.

Here’s just a few things you can do using CoCoNet, some of which is automatic or done in a Plug and Play fashion.

- When you turn your CoCo on, CoCoNet will detect what paks or controllers you have inserted, then look for *.BAS or an OS-9 disk on the most significant device out of the ones present. Using a custom *.BAS program you can then launch off to whatever you want in a seamless fashion whether it be a menu of games, embedded apps, utilities, custom OS-9 builds, etc., even from the Web!
- To go to the DOS prompt instead of auto-booting, hold down the BREAK key during power-up.  Devices will still be detected and configured, but you won’t auto-boot.
- Enjoy fast speeds of 115200 bps for bitbanger, 115200 bps wired or wireless/bluetooth 6551 serial, and a blazing 230400 bps for the Drive Pak (2 gig MicroSD card pak)
- Move disks and files between your CoCo and PC using a bitbanger cable, Tandy RS-232 Pak, or Deluxe Wireless RS-232 Pak
- Easily add small or huge OS-9 floppies or mass drives on the Drive Pak, and virtually unlimited 256-floppy partitions, switchable from DOS!
- Grab web files and save them to a mounted remote disk using one Disk BASIC command (an HTTP-GET front end)
- Append parameters to your request URLs to run and control web scripts and services (over bitbanger or 6551)
- Use your real floppy drives (1mhz controlled speed for safety)
- Mix and match any 4 drive types at once and perform all standard DOS commands between disks!
- Mount any Drive Pak partition from DOS using the DRIVE command and even use DSKI$/DSKO$ to access raw sectors.

On startup, CoCoNet automatically mounts and sorts each drive type for 0-3.
CoCoNet then looks for a bootable disk on Drive 0.  A bootable disk is one that contains a *.BAS program.  Eventually, support for automatically booting OS-9 disks will be added.

The CoCoNet “ROM” can be booted from whatever device you own that accepts a 27128 EPROM.
You just have to use your imagination, like when you’re looking at a set of BASIC commands and asking, “what can I do with this?”.  Pretty much everything.


(list DRIVES 0-3 and their types or mounted disks)

(switch to FDC/real disk drive for DRIVE 0)

(switch back to virtual drive 0, previous subsystem)

(save remote file to a remote virtual disk, in ASCII format)
SAVER 0,”web url or PC path”,”COCOFILE.DAT”,A
- file is saved to virtual DRIVE 0 as COCOFILE.DAT
- requires prior disk mount using ! (bitbanger) or @ (6551) prefix before remote disk


(mount a web disk using the bitbanger cable)

(mount a PC disk using the bitbanger cable)

(mount and boot NitrOS-9 over the serial cable)

(grab a google search listing and dump it to a remote virtual disk)
DRIVE 0,!”C:\GOOGLE.DSK” (mount a bitbanger remote disk)
OPEN “D”,#1,”NEWS.HTM:0″,1


(mount a virtual disk using a 6551-based pak)

(mount a web disk using a 6551-based pak)

DOS (boot into OS-9 from CoCo3.com)

DRIVE 0,@”C:\GOOGLE.DSK” (mount a disk via RS-232 Pak)


DOS#”NITROL2″  (boot to 30mb NitrOS-9 system)

DOS#”IBI” (play Interbank Incident)

DOS#”KQ4″ (play King’s Quest 4)

(use 256 floppy disks in the “DOS” partition)
(sets Disk BASIC to startup in this partition)

(switch to the 256-disk “OS9″ partition)
(sets Disk BASIC to startup in this partition)

(“wires up” the pak’s OS-9 drives – assign /u0-/u3 to a partition)

(redundant command, links the DD (/dd) device to the OS9BOOT partition)
(DD is automatically set by the ‘DOS’ command)

(mount disk #255 from the current partition, on Drive 1)
DRIVE 1,#255

(list partitions on the current MicroSD card)

(show the type of drive system and disk that is mounted on each Drive 0-3)

(mount Drive Pak disk #0 on DRIVE 0)
DRIVE 0,#0

(switch to the special 720k/single disk partition called “SYS”)
(you should only mount and use disk #0 since disks 1-255 have no place here)

(mount Drive Pak disk #254 on DRIVE 3)
DRIVE 3,#254

The following types of commands are mainly good for a partition manager program and you have to manually return to the desired partition later or this can be dangerous)
For example, if you do these but forget to switch back, and then type SAVE “MYGAME” on accident, DOS will do that.
DRIVE# SET# 0,0,0 (mount LSN $000000 as the DOS partition and access it as 256 disks… although you’d want to use DSKI$/DSKO$ only to perform raw sector surgery)
DRIVE# SET# 0,32,0 (mount LSN $002000 which is also DOSFD0)
DRIVE# SET# 0,0,1:DSKINI 0 (erase the partition table!)

(switch to Direct Sector Mode – allowing DSKI$/DSKO$ to be used carefully to access the card)
DRIVE# #0,0,0:DRIVE 0,#0  (points to the beginning of the memory card where LSN0 is and the partition table, etc.)
DSKI$ 0,0,1,A$,B$  (read LSN0 of the card!)
{make changes to A$/B$)
DSKO$ 0,0,1,A$,B$  (write LSN0 of the card – USE WITH CARE)

*    DRIVE        list mounted disks
*    DRIVE n,ON    turn on real drive (n)
*    DRIVE n,OFF    turn off real drive, switch to previously mounted virtual disk
*    DRIVE n,@”ftp://rtsi.com/RSDOS/EMULATOR/CAVE1.DSK”    mounts a web disk using 6551 ACIA (requires CoCoNet applet on PC)
*    DRIVE n,!”c:\anydisk.dsk”     mounts a remote virtual disk over a bitbanger cable (requires CoCoNet applet on PC)
*    DRIVE n        sets DRIVE n to the default drive
*    DRIVE n,#ddd    mount a MicroSD virtual floppy disk (ddd) on DRIVE (n)
*    DRIVE #?    list MicroSD Drive Pak partitions
*    DRIVE # “PARTNAME”    change DOS partition (256 uDisks)
*    DRIVE # #a,b,c        change DOS partition using 24-bit LSN (a,b,c)
*    DRIVE # FIELD #a,b,c    change partition table to 24-bit LSN (a,b,c)
*    DRIVE #
* New ‘SAVE’ command syntax:
* – SAVER #,”remote file path”,”COCODISK.DAT”,A/D/M/P/PA/PB/DA/DB    copy remote file to CoCo virtual disk

* =================================================================================================

Drive Pak Distribution MicroSD Card Contents

‘DOS’ Partition
What is it: Collection of 256 Disk BASIC floppy disk images
How to use it: DRIVE#”DOS”:DRIVE #,n   (where n is a floppy disk image below)
Disk#    Contents
0        Welcome menu, partitioner, dpcopy, sector test
1        Cash Budget Manager
2        free
3        Demolition Derby, Demon Attack, Devil Assault, Danger Ranger (48 free)
4        free
5        Donkey Kong (Sock Master)
6        Draconian
7        Catalyst, Cyber Wars, Death Trap, Chopper Strike,
8        Candyco, Pyramix, Ganelet, Ganthi, Roller, Shark, Uno
9        Sock Master demos
10        Sailor Man (50 free)
11        Space Intruders (48 free)
12        Trekboer (57 free)
13        Jim Gerrie Games (Invaders, Bandit, Sentinel, Vader, Solitair, Asteroid, Monster, Jeweler) (49 free)
14        MSNYDER1.DSK: Rodoc, Hostage, Orbderra, Cadet#1, Java, Crioload, Crio, Chambers, Triorace, Trooper, Starlog, Sandston, Monsters, Snofight, Dir
15        MSNYDER2.DSK: Dunmaze, Blaster, Tilertwo, D-Tunnel, MntDeath, Terron, Maxomar, Cadet#2, Showdown, Cadet#3, Chemist, Journey, Submania, Genesis, Dir
16        MSNYDER3.DSK: Tilertex, Cadet#4, Ghost, Robo, Treasure, Snakshak, Destin, Silence, Warrior3, Saucer, Mower
17        MSNYDER4.DSK: Speedgam, Ontarget, Timetrap, Country, Shadow, Advtut, Advsam, Rahinst, Rahul, Nametune, Virus-D
18        MSNYDER5.DSK: Factory, Breakin1, Breakin2, Silvcape, Manual, Gnome1, 2, 3
19        MSNYDER6.DSK: Dir, Smurfins, Smurf, Questins, CQuest2, Gopher, Manual, Gnome2, 2, 3, 4
20        MSNYDER7.DSK: Snow-Ski, Cadet#5, Aliax, GalaxyQ, Eldus, Prog1, Prog2, Prog3
21        MSNYDER8.DSK: Whopart1/2/3/4m, Riverins, River, Rivrooms
22        MSNYDER9.DSK: Monster Mash
23        Anihilator, Apollo, Backgammon, Time Bandit, Bandito, BCBill, Berserk, Blaster, BlocDemo, Blox, Boulders, Bouldpt2
24        Brew, Buzzard, Caterpillar/1, Caterpillar/2, Chess, Clones, CyberTank, DoubleBack, Death Trap, Diablero, Downland, Dshrink, Dual128
25        Dungeon, Eyespy, Fangman, Fltsim, Fourcube, Funzip, Gantelet, Gantprt2, Germ, GoldII
26        Gremlin, Grid, Guardian, Hopbob, Spider-Hyper, UnArc512
27        D01.DSK: Defender, Bug, Spacerac, Donkey, Mmaze, Pac-Man, Doodle, Planet, Galax, Vadrev, Gaatt, Trek, Shoot, Pooyan, Dir
28        D02.DSK: Colorzap, Dir, Trapfall, Firecopt, Castle, Tubfren, Crosword, Slots, Dungeon, Whrlbird, Cpede, Pin
29        D03.DSK: Calixto, SeaQuest, Wonder, Bedlam, Shenani, Kraken, Dir (some games pending patchwork)
30        D04.DSK: Paper, Paperrt, Karate, P-51, Colorcar, Trooper
31        D05.DSK: Polaris, Fltsim, Dir, Baseball, Frogger, Firecopy, Wildcat, Shark, Snakpak, Dancer, Frog, DBack, Birds, Microbes, Zaksund
32        D06.DSK: Dir, Invaders, Synther7, Starship, Nebula, Pactac, Phantoms, Prot, Skiing, Robot, Polter, Kat, Tennis, Railroad, Wckyfood, Catchem
33        D07.DSK: Dir, Climber, 64, TW64, Chess, Com-E, R, D, Super, TCI1, TCI2, TCI3, Copy-It, Colorfil, Spec, Assemble, EDTASM+64, Bytecopy, Fax, Disasm
34        D08.DSK: Dir, Catacomb, Autotalk, Sgr8pack, Gomoku, Amulet, Linecopy, Plumber, Ram Test, Horsrace, Drunk, Carmanag, Squeeze, SprBckup, Recipe, Anti-Air, Unreason, Talkalph, Talkalml, Vaders, Autoedit
35        D09.DSK: Eggs, Dirprint, Speedkey, Hovert, Swpowins, Swpower, Termites, Spelrite, DOS Boss, Ninecard, Musicgen, Fyr-Ins, Fyr-Drac, Drivetst, Graftour, Mod #1/#5, Dir
36        D10:DSK: Dir, Mathhelp, Zector, Worldcon, Dragrace, Mines, T-Notes, Progindx, CCstatus, Err-trap, Drollatk, Barsoom, Battlegr, Scl-Ins, Scl-Comp, Lib-Ins, Microgof, Starduel, Eduftbll, Grid Run, Sprlatk, Fastsort
37        D11.DSK: Dir, Peek, Poke, ScRescue, Yungtypr, O-Tel-O, Swimming, Fieldevt, DublDice, Dbins, CoCoDbm, Pinball, Dungeons, TRS-C64, Galsmug, IndyRace, AcctMngr, Cassmerg, Str-Pack, SpacDuel, Bugs, Trapball, Balloons
38        D12.DSK: Dir, Tapeanlz, Life, Indy 500, Memory, Colladv, Dungeon, Wthrfore, Gridins, Gridfact, Draw, 3-D Tic, Climber, Conquest, Warlords, States, Mathtutr, Mldata, Pdutil, Prtdrvr, Mutant, Probe, Dir Prot
39        D13.DSK:
40        D14.DSK:
41        D15.DSK:
42        D16.DSK:
43        D17.DSK:
44        D18.DSK:
45        D19.DSK:

‘T&D’ Partition
What is it: Collection of 256 Disk BASIC floppy disk images
How to use it: DRIVE#”T&D”:DRIVE #,n   (where n is a floppy disk image below)
Disk#    Contents
0        Welcome menu, dpcopy
001        Racetrac, Hangman, Musical, Life Exp, Wordtest, Killer M, Bartend, Calendar, Robotwar
001        UFOCOVER, Bio, Bombard, Blackjck, Costs, Frenzy, Buslet, Quick T, Qustins, Quest
003        UFOCOV2, Basketb, Chukluck, Slots, Alpha, NFLPred, Flagcap, Robotb
004        UFORescu, Tank, Driveway, Sounds, Balloon, Mind Bog, Ct Adven, Calcount, Jackolan
005        Catcover, Bowling, Proginv, Promloan, Checkbal, Trigtut, Convoy, Bag-it, Spectra, Conbelt
006        Chrcover, Raindrop, Stockmkt, Advpong, Destroy, Sound An, Createst, Voice, Mlt 1, Loony

‘NITROL2′ partition
What is it: The primary bootable NitrOS-9 system (30mb /dd drive)
How to use it: DRIVE #”NITROL2″:DRIVE 0,#0:DOS

‘OS9FD’ partition
What is it: Collection of 256 OS-9 floppy disk programs
How to use it: DRIVE #”OS9FD”:DRIVE 0,#n:DOS
Disk#    Contents
0        NitrOS-9 Level Two (720k system)

* =================================================================================================


/dd        type $80    OS-9 boots drive/disk, can be a floppy disk image or mass drive
/u0        type $84    OS-9 fixed drive, can point to any partition 0-3 as defined in LSN0 of the pak,
the distro pak points /u0 to the “NITRO” partition or other primary NitrOS-9 boot drive
/u1        type $84    OS-9 fixed drive, can point to any partition 0-3 as defined in LSN0 of the pak
/u2        type $84    OS-9 fixed drive, can point to any partition 0-3 as defined in LSN0 of the pak
/u3        type $84    OS-9 fixed drive, can point to any partition 0-3 as defined in LSN0 of the pak

* CoCoNet standard settings for the MicroSD memory card (Drive Pak)
* 24-bit LSNs are used in the code but we reserve future space for 32-bit LSNs

* =================================================================================================
* MicroSD LSN0 bytes
* $00-$07 CARD NAME
* $08-$0B Mounted Floppies on drives 0-3 (unused at this time)
* $0C-$0F reserved
* $10,[$11,$12,$13]: LSN of partition table
* Quick Drive References (entries point to top of each partition)
* $14,[$15,$16,$17]: LSN of floppy partition (256 x 720K = 180mb)
* $18,[$19,$1A,$1B]: LSN of top of “/DD” OS-9 boot drive partition
* $1C,[$1D,$1E,$1F]: LSN of top of “/U0″ OS-9 drive
* $20,[$21,$22,$23]: LSN of top of “/U1″ OS-9 drive
* $24,[$25,$26,$27]: LSN of top of “/U2″ OS-9 drive
* $28,[$29,$2A,$2B]: LSN of top of “/U3″ OS-9 drive
* $2C-$FF available

******** Partition Entry Bytes
* each partition entry sector
* $00: Partition Type   0 or >127 = empty
* $01-$10: Partition Name
* $20,$21,$22: Partition Start (LSN)
* $23,$24,$25: Partition Size (sectors)

dpk_ptable_lsn    equ    $11
dpk_dos_partition    equ    $15
dpk_dd_partition    equ    $19
dpk_u0_partition    equ    $1D
dpk_u1_partition    equ    $21
dpk_u2_partition    equ    $25
dpk_u3_partition    equ    $29

15 comments to Introducing… the MicroSD Drive Pak

  • locklear74

    This looks awesome, I can’t wait to get one. There are always things any new product could do better, but just from purely fan few, you have hit a home run. Great looking product!!!

  • dodge972

    awesome cant wait
    looking good

  • You’ve already got my money so hurry up already!!!!

    Just kidding, Roger. I AM looking forward to getting this, though. And also patiently awaiting a re-debut of the wireless pak as well ;-)



    • admin

      There’s a foreign company selling the EB301 modules for over $60 which is out of the question for me to fetch. So, if someone wants a wireless pak for now, they can order a “TTL serial pak” with internal header and just plug the EB301 in and it’s ready. Look on the CoCo mailing list for the URL I posted for the company.

      • Back when news of the evident failure of A7, I did some searching and found a number of modules that looked adaptable via cable or adapter card. What’s the price of the TTL serial pak? I’m slightly more than interested…


  • briza

    Hi Roger.

    Mate you should have added my games collection to your SD pack. It would go down well with everyone.
    Btw mate do you still want me to send you the RS-232 pack for testing purposes?



  • mrnukem

    One thing I did not see and want to verify. Can I put the micro SD card in my Windows Systems card reader and just copy the .DSK images directly to the micro SD card?

    also does it support .VHD, DMK Disk images and raw ROM dumps like .ROM, ,BIN, ,PAK and .CCC raw rom dump images?

    Thank you

    • admin

      An imaging tool for Windows is being made for doing stuff like partition management and copying .dsk, .os9, and .vhd images to the card from a PC environment, and maybe even moving stuff around to better organize a messy card.

      For now, you can add partitions using PART.BAS found on the startup disk, and it’s quite easy to copy stuff to and from the pak using common DOS commands and the existing partitions that have Lots of space to spare in them.

      It’s not a ROM Pak emulator, so it won’t launch pretend ROMs (yet) :) Give me some time on that feature.

      Everything is treated as “floppy disks” with virtually no limit on the # of tracks, meaning that OS-9 can have a 30mb or even 800mb boot drive if you like.. just add a partition the size of the disk, and the partition IS the disk.

      You could add a partition called “COCOZONE” that’s 158K, mount it from DOS like this:
      BACKUP 1 TO 0
      Notice that DSKINI wasn’t needed.

      Done. The remote disk image is now on the pak in it’s own partition/disk called COCOZONE.

      You can call it up at any time like this:

      RUN “*”

      Or if it’s an OS-9 partition/disk….


      It boots and you’re in OS-9

      The preferred sorting method is to just put the disks in a 256 disk partition as a disk #

      DRIVE 0,#50
      DRIVE 1,!”C:\GAMES.DSK”
      BACKUP 1 TO 0

      GAMES.DSK is not on disk #50 in the “T&D” partition.

      Turn the CoCo off, turn it back on, type DRIVE#”T&D”:DRIVE 0,#50:DIR
      and you’ll see the contents of GAMES.DSK

      As for .vhd, .dmk, etc. As long as the virtual disk/hard drive file is in 1:1 sector format with no headers and garbage attached, it can be mounted by the CoCoNet server.

      You can usually tell if a .dsk image is 1:1 by dividing the file size by 4608 and if you get a whole number, that’s the # of tracks on the disk, and you can use it.

      You can also BACKUP “floppies” up to 255 tracks to the pak by POKE 53917,160 for example for a 160-track OS-9 disk. Then perform the backup command. The limit is 160 tracks for the “256 floppies” partitions which are 180mb each. That is, space is reserved for 256 floppies that can’t be over 720k each but usually just have a 35-track floppy stored in the spaces if it’s DOS stuff.

      I hope I’m not complicating things… it’s actually so easy to use that you’ll kick yourself.

  • mrnukem

    So for now it sounds like we will still need a way to get disk images from the PC to the coco using either a cable or copying to disk on the PC 3.5″ disk then using that disk on the coco to copy to the Micro SD pack.

    (I have a 3.5″ disk drive on both my PC and Coco).

    Would the following work? Make partitions on the SD Card on the coco, plug the SD card into my PC card reader and use the disk image utility that comes with MESS to extract the contents of the disk image out to the SD card partition so it is on the SD card as the raw files and not a .DSK image?


    • DarrenA

      There are no “files” on the SD card that can be accessed with conventional software on a PC. Each partition on the SD card is just a chunk of sequential sectors. Roger’s CoCo software uses each partition as if it were a hard disk (either a single large OS-9 drive or a bunch of floppy disks under Disk Basic).

      You will need to use one of the methods mentioned until some program for the PC is developed that can interpret the partition map and figure out which physical sectors on the card correspond to the logical sectors of a particular CoCo “disk”.

      • admin

        Within the next 6 months, I plan to support the “secret” MS-DOS mode of the pak. I’m not sure about subdirectories yet, but a massive file system can be maintained with almost no overhead to Disk BASIC. I’m just not sure yet how to integrate it into the command set to make it the most compatible with existing programs, but I’ll figure it out, and it’s going to be nice.

        Most likely, an MS-DOS drive type will be added to the line-up which includes FDC, bitbanger, 6551, Drive Pak, making the “Net” in CoCoNet make more sense. The ability to copy files and disk images between these file systems is pure luxury.

        Oh, and yes… a PC can be used to access the MS-DOS section from Windows Explorer as usual.

  • dodge972

    any luck on being able to print from the coco to the windows pc, through the coconet server on a usb printer.

  • Chrisqcc

    Wow !! Great device…