RL02K Pack Reliability/Characteristics

Christopher Parish christopher.parish at parishcomputers.com
Tue Mar 31 01:34:48 CDT 2015

> From: Mike Ross
> That's a very interesting project. Do you have plans to make this
> thing available in some form once the bugs are out?
> [...]

You bet.  I've kept component availability, manufacturability, and cost in mind from the beginning, which is why I've gone with a custom board instead of a mess of expensive development kits.  Plus, I love designing new hardware, so I'm always looking for excuses to do it.  The controller will need to mature a little before I let it loose on the world though.

Right now I have (mostly) working:

Block level access to the packs via USB Mass Storage (i.e. dd if=/dev/sdX of=/home/user/rl02.img)
SIMH image compatibility (attach rl0 /home/user/rl02.img)
SIMH real-time drive access (attach rl0 /dev/sdX).  Yes, you can attach a real RL02 to SIMH transparently on linux (since everything is a file, even devices).  I'm not sure what it would take on Windows.

Still to do:

Add more drive status probing (so you don't have to restart the controller board (powered over USB) if turning off the drive or changing packs)
Testing of write, allowing restoration of disk images or disk reformatting (FAT16 anyone?) (implemented, but untested until read problems are fixed)
Design the final board to plug into the external berg connector (that one might be tricky)
Integration of XXDP style RL02 diagnostics into the controller (but more friendly).
Bug fixes and loads more pack/drive combination compatibility testing.


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