07/07/10: Review of the Micro SD Drive Pak by random_rodder, | Category: Hot CoCo Stuff, Peripherals, Videos | 12 comments - (Comments are closed)

Review of the Micro SD Drive Pak

Hey CoCo fanatics,

I finally finished my review of Roger’s Drive Pak and CoCoNet. It’s all here with videos (GR2K is a yawner due to load time…). If you’re considering getting one of these cool new devices, go take a look. Hopefully the info there will help you make the right decision for your needs.

Brian

12 comments to Review of the Micro SD Drive Pak

  • Okay gang,

    I’ve removed about 40 seconds of the Goldrunner 2000 video, and added some music. Hopefully it’s more tolerable now…

  • JasonL

    Thanks for the review Rodder. I may be looking at ordering the MicroSD soon and found this review quite helpful and informative.

    So I can’t access disk images via ftp without the RS-232 or bluetooth serial pak is that right? Roger could you please confirm this as this was something I was intending to use the drive pak and CoCoNet for?

    I know you mentioned not having done any timings, but if you could add a speed comparison for say a backup between two floppys on real drives to backing up between two virtual disks on the drivepak, that would be good to know.

    Thanks again :)

    • admin

      No, that’s not right. You can use a bitbanger cable if you don’t have an RS-232 Pak.

      Roger, when I initially started using the Drive Pak and was asking questions, I thought you had said the 6551 was needed for internet/ftp access. Based on that I didn’t do any testing of the remote image mounting and put that blurb in the review. If that’s not the case, please let me know and I’ll test and correct the review as needed.

      Thanks,

      Brian

      admin note: the product is “Drive Pak”, not “DrivePak” :) I edited the name above.

  • JasonL

    Awesome! :D

    If you’re running an RS-232 pak or Roger’s Bluetooth serial pak, there are other boot options using the 6551 connection, such as NitrOS-9 from a remote image and even booting from a shared disk image on the internet. Incidentally, the 6551 connections are currently the only options for using CoCoNet’s internet capabilities.

    I interpreted this to mean ftp access also. I figure this refers only to internet boot options then?

    Just found it in the docs:

    BITBANGER CABLE-BASED DRIVE SYSTEM EXAMPLES:
    ——————————————–

    (mount a web disk using the bitbanger cable)
    DRIVE 0,!”FTP://RTSI.COM/RSDOS/EMULATOR/CAVE1.DSK”

    Thanks Roger

  • JasonL

    Just read the docs further:

    (mount and boot NitrOS-9 over the serial cable)
    DRIVE 0,!”HTTP://WWW.COCO3.COM/NITROS9_L2_BITBANGER.OS9″

    (grab a google search listing and dump it to a remote virtual disk)
    DRIVE 0,!”C:\GOOGLE.DSK” (mount a bitbanger remote disk)
    SAVER 0,”HTTP://WWW.GOOGLE.COM?SEARCH=FOX%20NEWS”,”NEWS.HTM”,A
    ‘ DO SOMETHING WITH THE FILE
    OPEN “D”,#1,”NEWS.HTM:0″,1
    CLOSE #1

    So there are all the same internet capabilites via a bit-banger cable?

    Also what is the RS-232 Pak and the Wireless (bluetooth) pak? Just that I don’t see them on the home page. Do they do anything that the MicroSD and a bit-banger cable can’t (apart from the bit-banger cable obviously not being wireless :))

    • The Bluetooth Pak is a serial pak (which Roger sells) with an A7 (apparently out of business now) EB301 BT module. It’s basically a cable replacement connection between the CoCo and PC.

  • JasonL

    Nevermind my last question, I found the RS-232 pak manual. I never knew these things were made by Tandy, but then I never had a modem either.

    • admin

      “CoCoNet” is a system, coded on a 16K ROM that will work in any 28-pin EPROM socketed cartridge. CoCoNet detects what paks you have and provides whatever features it can. CoCoNet attempts to get around any missing hardware that is becoming harder to find these days.

      Tandy made a pak called the Deluxe RS-232 Program Pak. I have a completely different pak called the Deluxe Wireless RS-232 Pak. Because it is based on the same circuit as a Tandy pak (and all other 6551-based paks), I used a similar name mainly because people use those words to search for the hard to find Tandy pak, and I wanted them to find an alternative. CoCoNet works with a Tandy pak or my serial paks.

      My wired serial pak is the same as the wireless pak but without the wireless module. So, the TTL signal header is there for you to experiment with.

      The Drive Pak is a self-contained 2GB storage pak.

      My EPROM Pak is just what it sounds like. It has a socket that accepts a 28-pin 27xx series EPROM like the 2764, 27128, 27256.

      CoCoNet offers SIMULTANEOUSLY: bitbanger drives (if you have a serial cable), RS-232 Pak drives (Tandy pak, TTL pak, wireless pak), MicroSD card drives (using the Drive Pak), real FDC drives.

      When CoCoNet first came out, Boisy accused me of undermining his very limited “DriveWire” product which offers only bitbanger virtual disks. Since then, it has been hard to change the perception that a lot of people have about CoCoNet. Until they use it, they tend to think it’s just a virtual drive system that works over a bitbanger cable (or a knock-off of DriveWire). CoCoNet and DriveWire are not even close.

      Hopefully this will help clear up any misunderstandings.

      • Roger, are there compatible alternatives to the EB301 BT module?

        • John,

          I’ll let Roger give the definitive answer to this, but, I’ve not found a direct plug in replacement for the EB-301.

          I’ve been working with X-Bee radios trying to get those to work. The only success I’ve had is getting CoCoNet to acknowledge the CoCo during the boot process. The CoCo will send commands (DIR, etc…) to the PC and CoCoNet will respond, but, so far the CoCo isn’t receiving (or the PC isn’t sending)…

  • JasonL

    Hi Roger,

    Re the serial pack, yeah that’s what I thought after doing a good search, though I didn’t realise you also made a wired pak.

    I had forgotten that you also make an EPROM pak :)

    Thanks for the extra info, it should also help clear it up for others who may have been wondering the same thing.

    I don’t have an MPI to use real drives and a serial pak simultaneously with the MicroSD pak, but I think that’s a great feature for those that do. Though I can still use my real drives with my other CoCo 3 and have two CoCo 3 setups without having to share the drives between them.

    I also really like the *.bas auto-boot feature for auto-starting programs, or as you suggest, a simple menu program to select from multiple programs. Very cool :)

    Then there’s the ‘Net’ features, even cooler :D