Every Amiga user have (or have had) a lot of floppy disks because the floppy drive is the native format and you can find thousands of games and programs in this format.
Thanks to WHDLOAD and the popularity of CFCards as a Hard Disks, the A600/A1200/A4000 users now can forget the floppy drive.
But what about A500/A2000 users without IDE or SCSI controller?
I discovered an incredible device: a floppy disk emulator that works with SD memory cards.
The emulator can be installed replacing the internal floppy disk and connecting the floppy cable to the emulator. I have installed the emulator as external device because my Amiga must share this “toy” with an Amstrad CPC. In the pictures you can see the cables comming out but the Amiga case is closed with screws.
Its very simple to install, only plug the floppy controller cable and the power.
You must set the jumper like you can see in the photo.
The only bad thing is: you need to use a Windows machine to convert the adf/dms files to a propietary format, then copy the files to the SDCard.
Once the files are in the SDCard, when you turn on the Amiga with the emulator connected and the SD inserted, a special program load from the
SDCard. This program shows you all the floppy images in the SDCard. The system supports folders and is “multidisk”, this means you can select multiple disks, for example: workbench install, workbench fonts, workbench extras. If you press f10, the system reboots and the Amiga boots from the first disk selected, in the video you can see “Amiga Workbench 2.1 install disk”.
Pressing the left and right buttons in the emulator, you can browse through the files you have selected before, in this example you can see Amiga Extras and Amiga Fonts disks. Only one image can be loaded at the same time in the emulator!! ;P
The emulator read, but also WRITE in the SD using an Amiga (emulator revision C).
I’ll put more videos and info about this cool device.
You can find more info in the official web:
[edit : 7-dec-2010]
A new video : HXC rev. C (with write support) formating a floppy and copying files.
Speed test with Sysinfo: Reading files the HxC emulator works like the real drive (arround 20k/s)
Speed writing data: It’s very slow writing data (1 minute/100k vs 20 seconds the real floppy).