XT-IDE adapter with CPLD builds

pietja built the XT-IDE controller with CPLD PCB, it will get further testing today.

“The XT-IDE project is a Vintage Computer forum driven project to develop and manufacturer an 8-bit ISA IDE controller. It allows any PC/XT class machine to use modern IDE hard drives or Compact Flash devices for long term storage.” (From the XTIDE project wiki)

Our version of the XTIDE controller replaces the 7400-series logic chips with a CPLD, a chip that can be programmed to replace dozens of individual logic chips. The logic is designed in software by drawing a schematic, and then uploaded to the CPLD. New logic circuits can be designed and tested without making new hardware each time.

If you build a free PCB we’ll send you another one! Blog about it, post a picture on Flicker, whatever – we’ll send you a coupon code for the free PCB drawer.

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5 Comments

  1. How difficult of a project ( or is it even possible) to do an adapter that takes ISA cards and converts it to usb (or pci)?

    I would imagine that is the more likely scenario where people have old ISA cards, but nowhere to plug them in!

    1. You can actually buy a commercial version of this already (http://www.arstech.com/item-USB-2-0-to-ISA-card-ROHS-usb2isar.html)

      The difficult part is the software side not the actual physical hardware which shouldn’t be too complex. You’re going to need to write a low level OS drivers to have it recognised as a real ISA bus and you’ll need to also make the OS not freak out when your app tried to access hardware directly. Add in whatever patches your application needs to be able to run on a significantly newer OS as well.

      Your best bet for compatibility is to actually modify something like dosbox to talk to your custom USB-to-ISA adapter directly. If you do it this way then your legacy app thinks it is just running on a regular PC whilst your native OS just knows that there is a dosbox application that is talking to this adapter. Assuming everything works then you’ll have a physical ISA slot for dosbox to run whatever you want.

      Searching around, it appears that arstech have actually implemented the dosbox idea already (http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=24625)

  2. I think since the host provides the clock it could be pretty easy, but the vintage computer guys would know a lot more.

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