Monday, 4 April 2011

Update on putting Compact Flash in to your Atari TT030

I have managed to get the TT functioning with a CF Card Hard drive. I will also now be able to repeat this with my Mega SD using ICD AdSCSI card, so that I can get CF Card on any ST forever!

As always, once you know what you are doing, its easy. Notes to mention, I used an Acard SCSI to IDE device and I only jumpered the connector nearest the "floppy drive type" power connector labelled CNF4. All the rest of the pins are unjumpered.

To get the LED light, you connect the LED to the right hanbd side of CN1 with the red wore to the bottom (viewed on this photo). You can also set SCSI ID using CN1, but as I only currently have 1 SCSI device I will do this later.

Thats it to it really. I found ICD Pro Utilities the best way to make the CF Card bootable on the ACard. My firmware revision is ver 3.89

One tip using ICD Pro Utilities when formatting is to "change the number of sector tests to 0" to avoid the long bad sector test process. With this a format takes seconds!!! :lol:  Amazing. And the best guide that I have found for this is here the link above.

Thanks go to Atari Forum , for his help in this blogand explaining how various Atari software and hardware works. Anyway needless to say that, this CF Mod is dead dead easy, once you get the hang of it. IOData, Yamaha and Acard SCSI to IDE convertors work in Atari's and the process is simple, and for any others new to this:-

1. Any number of convertors work, and the SCSI connector size (wide, thin, 50pin, 68pin) does not seem to matter a jot. I for example used a 50pin to 68pin adaptor to convert the Atari's 50pin to the Acards 60pin slot and works no problems.
2. You need to set SCSI ID on all the cards. I left mine with no jumpers on which is fine for a one drive machine. Easy
3. Plug it all together with molex power leads, you can get these from PC shops. The main problem is making sure that you set "Terminator Enable", which in my case on the AEC7720U/UW  is JP4.
4. Plug in the CF Card, and fire up ICD Pro. Whether you Format according to Joookies guide .

Main things
a. 'Format' or 'Blank' the card. Make sure that you turn "bad sector test off" as takes hours rather than seconds.
b. Set up your partitions (e.g. Drive C, D, E, F etc)
TOS can handle up to 14 partitions. Driveletters C - P. That should be more than enough for just about anyone. Using other OS you can have more, if you need that.

Difference between TOS-versions
Maximum partition sizes:

OS Release                      Boot partition                      Normal partition
TOS 1.00-1.02                 16 Mbyte                             256 MByte
TOS 1.04-3.xx                 32 Mbyte                             512 Mbyte
TOS 4.0x                        256 Mbyte                           1024 Mbyte

Those running Magic/MiNT or other OS, depends on TOS for booting, and has the same limits on the boot partition as the TOS version they have installed. After boot however, they can run other types of filesystems that can allow partitionsizes up to several terrabytes.

I have installed for now, a 16MB Partion C, so that I can use the CF card with all my Atari's (using AdSCSI) if need be. Then a 512MB partition for data. Later I may add other partions. Now it is also very important to note that some Atari OS have bugs, that can damage or cause an entire hard drive to wipe, so you will require fixes for these which can be found at and should consider running the latest TOS that your applications will work in.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, that boot partition size isn't correct:

    TOS 1.00-1.02 16 Mbyte
    TOS 1.04-3.xx 32 Mbyte

    Based on "Atari_HD_File_Sytem_Reference_Guide" (page 10) it is up to 256MB for TOS < 1.04 and up to 512MB for TOS ≥ 1.04