Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2012 about hardware


HxC Floppy Drive Emulator v2.0.18.4 available on Sourceforge

12/16/2013 - 23:10genesis8

HxC Floppy Drive Emulator v2.0.18.4 is available on Sourceforge (source included of course).

It's an utility to create images to be used by the SDCard HxC Floppy Emulator, to replace the good old 3 inch disks drives of our Amstrad CPC.

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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Cent pour Cent by TotO, do your Amstrad CPC shopping there

09/30/2013 - 00:29genesis8

Cent pour Cent is a new Amstrad CPC web site where you will be able to buy extensions created and made by TotO :

  • MultiRAM "concept" (still in prototype phase) : a 512KB RAM expansion using the MotherX4 module card format. (8x5cm)The idea is to use a 8x512Kb SRAM IC that allow a design close to a ROM board instead of trying to clone existing DRAM/PAL boards.
  • MiniBooster : it is intended to be a CPC Booster replacement board for users who need to exchange data from a modern computer using USB or Bluetooth (optional module) connexion instead of the old DB9 serial connector. This board is MotherX4 formatted.
  • MotherX4 : a multi-slots board that allow to plug up to 4 expansions to the back of your CPC like the MiniBooster COM board and the FlashGordon ROM board. Made to fit between the CPC and the CTM, its size is the same as a 3" floppy disc.
  • CTC-AY : a card with 2 audio chips (2x Yamaha YMZ294 : AY compatible) on custom ports (no PPI), three left canals and 3 right canals with speaker mono mix and stereo mix, ...

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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HxC Floppy Emulator Manager V3 released by NoRecess

08/29/2013 - 23:33genesis8

The 3rd version of the HxC Floppy Emulator Manager is available.

It's a complete rewrite of the original software.

It features a new user interface (thanks Ced !), better support of the HxC Floppy Emulator device (detection, release..) and some critical bug-fixes.

Finally, it now allows proper exit to BASIC (Amstrad CPC's default shell).

The software remains available as a ROM.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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New Amstrad CPC firmware by Syx et TotO

07/15/2013 - 19:59genesis8

A new Amstrad CPC firmware is available, written by Syx and TotO.

This Firmware was designed to get a better support of RAM and ROM expansions. Looking the future, not the past.

It don't work with BASIC 1.0 and no more support Tape by default. (need a ROM to manage it, that allow to improve it as new storages too).

So, the actual target is all CPC with BASIC 1.1 and floppy or HxC drives.

New features are :

  • Display RAM (up to 576K)
  • Display CRTC version
  • Initialize up to 32 ROM
  • Boot with [ESC] initialize only ROM 0 & 7
  • Mouse support under BASIC (see the previous FW test)
  • Fix the FR chars table, so all keys are properly displayed
  • CTRL+keys give usefull chars

Beware, you must use the 16 Ko files with an emulator. 32 Ko ROMs are to be used with a real Amstrad CPC.

Loading screen of an Amstrad CPC with firmware v3.12

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Be nice to your Amstrad CPC, get a better sound with a Digiblaster, Amdrum or Music Machine

07/08/2012 - 00:49genesis8

As much as we love our Amstrad CPC, the sound we get with the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip isnt the best one on 8bit computers. Happily it's possible to get a better sound with either a Digiblaster, an Amdrum or a Music Machine.

The first version of the Digiblaster was designed by Face Hugger ( Interview of Face Hugger by NoRecess) and printed in the German magazine CPC Amstrad International in issue 8-9/1991. It's a small hardware device plugged into the CPC's printer port to play 8-bit mono sound samples. Joshua made a redesign for better sound quality (electronic printout of Digiblaster v1 and v2 here). Then there is new Digiblaster by Futurs : the SoundPlayer and the SoundPlayer+ (VN96 network included). The SoundPlayer+ was replaced later by the SoundPlayerNG.

The digiblasters v1, v2 and SoundPlayer(+/NG) can be connected to passive mono speakers.

A few months back, Bryce made a redesign with even better sound quality : the Digiblaster v3. You can feed the AY output through the card so that both sound sources are played through the same speakers. The DigiBlaster has been made dual-mono so that both speakers play the sample as is done with the AY-3-8912 Channel B. The AY and Digiblaster sound levels are balanced. You must use active stereo speakers.

You can write music using the Digiblaster with :

At least 2 Amstrad CPC demos did use the Digiblaster : Bordelik Demo 4 (1995) and Digital Orgasm (1994).

The Amdrum has been made by Cheetah, but it uses the expansion connecter. It can also play 8bit samples like the Digiblaster, and was advertised as a drum synthesiser. You can check the youtube video of the Amdrum being used with the JavaCPC emulator.

A third device which I found on CPCWiki : the Music Machine, using the expansion connector like the Amdrum. Another hardware letting play sound samples, designed by Flare Technology and manufactured by RAM Electronics. It could record sound with a microphone.

an Amstrad CPC Amdrum expansion by Cheetah, playing 8bit samples

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Connecting a Bluetooth module to the Amstrad CPC Booster+ (made by Antitec) by Octoate

06/23/2012 - 13:32genesis8

There is an interesting article on Octoate which shows how to add a bluetooth module on the CPC Booster+ made by Antitec.

Informations, software and manual for the CPC Booster+ are available on CPC Wiki.

an Amstrad CPC Booster+ by Antitec

Source : Octoate

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A dream come true, an all in one video game console, with a GX4000 inside soon

06/05/2012 - 21:17genesis8

The Unity project by Bacteria is ambitious, to make an all in one video game console (see Hack a Day).

At the moment, you have the following video game consoles inside :

  • Sega SMS (done, not added into system yet)
  • Nintendo NES (done, not added into system yet)
  • Mattel Intellivision
  • Nintendo GameCube
  • Nintendo GBA
  • Amiga CD32
  • Philips CD-i
  • Playstation
  • Playstation 2

And he is working on adding others consoles, including our Amstrad GX4000 !

Source : Korben

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Playing on Amstrad CPC with a wii nunchuck ?

04/03/2012 - 19:47genesis8

Well they do it already on a MSX, and the electronic plan is available.

Two MSX games were adapted to run using the Nunchuck controller. The games are Konami's Road Fighter and Ping Pong. The machine used is a Brazilian HOT BIT with a do-it-yourself Assembler cartridge. A Basic program loads the game and the nunchuck driver and then applies the patch. The driver can detect a Nunchuck in either joystick port and reverts to the standard port when no nunchuck answers.

Source : MSX Resource Center

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A new forum for the Amstrad Notepad (NC100, 150 et 200), PCW and PDA600

09/26/2011 - 20:07genesis8

A new forum for the Amstrad Notepad (NC100, 150 and 200), PCW and PDA600 is available on CPCwiki.

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HxC Floppy Emulator Manager V2.4 by NoRecess

09/25/2011 - 00:01genesis8

To help using your HxC floppy emulator, vous can use the last version of the HxC Floppy Emulator Manager (v2.3) by NoRecess.

It's now faster to launch, spaces in directory names can now be used, and the user interface is now using the default system font with new color scheme (aligned to ParaDOS and QuickCMD's ones). As previous releases, ROM version is also available.

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Another CPC+ modded, by Badstarr, with the HxC floppy emulator

09/14/2011 - 00:36genesis8

Remember the CPC+ modded by DeepFB ?

Here is another mod of a 464+ by Badstarr, with 128 Ko and of course the ubiquitous HxC floppy emulator.

P.S. : go read the source of this news for more photos at the page 2.

CPC 464+ modded with 128 Ko RAM and the HxC floppy emulator running

Inside the modded 464+, there you see the HxC floppy emulator and the whole SD card.

inside of a CPC 464+ modded with 128 Ko RAM and the HxC floppy emulator

Here is the bottom, you can see a tiny part of the SD card from the hole.

bottom of the a CPC 464+ modded with 128 Ko RAM and the HxC floppy emulator

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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MegaFlash available (a new 512 Ko ROMBOX) by Bryce

08/05/2011 - 23:30genesis8

Bryce has released his MegaFlash, a new 512 Ko ROMBOX to be able to use ROMs like QuickCMD on your Amstrad CPC. You can PM him on CPCWiki quickly if you want to be able to order one.

The price is 75 €, centronics cable 7 €, edge connector cable 10 € and postage 5 €.

MegaFlash above a 3 inch disk  the MegaFlash ROMBOX 

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Surgery of an Amstrad CPC modified with 2 CRTC

06/26/2011 - 15:50genesis8

If you arent afraid of some blood, here are 3 photos of the inside of a modded Amstad CPC with 2 CRTC. Which make me wonder what would be a heavily modded Amstrad CPC that everybody would love to own. If you have some ideas, write it in the thread I opened on CPCWiki.

inside of a modded Amstrad CPC keyboard

inside of a modded Amstrad CPC

2 CRTC inside of a modded Amstrad CPC

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Amstrad expo is dead, long live ReSeT #0 !

06/04/2011 - 13:18genesis8

Amstrad Expo is no more, but rejoice as ReSeT #0 is the new name of the Amstrad meeting organized by the tireless Eliot.

As usual you can expect a warm welcoming, good food, not much sleep (except if you are a sissy and use a bed), 4 competitions :

  • demo : runnable on CPC6128 or 6128 Plus, without any extension
  • 4 Ko intro : runnable on CPC6128 or 6128 Plus, without any extension. Maximum size is 4 Ko (4096 bytes)
  • graphics : all formats/modes are allowed. The entry must be submitted with its viewer program runnable on CPC or Plus
  • music : any executable music on CPC or Plus. The entry must be submitted with its player. No size limit

CPC Hardware will be given for free at the party-place: monitors, keyboards, floppy-drives, floppy-discs... All the parts from CPCParts.net will be available to repair and upgrade your CPC with the help of hardware specialists.

The ReSeT Party will take place from Friday 24th (10:00) to Sunday 26th of June 2011 (18:00) at Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs in Coutances. The price is 11 euros per day for the entrance, drinks and food. You can book a double room at the party place for 20 euros per night.

Please use the ReSeT #0 site to register if you intent to come, thanks in advance.

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Modded Amstrad CPC+ with HxC floppy emulator and Symbiface by Deepfb

08/07/2010 - 19:45genesis8

See below for a nice modded Amstrad CPC+ with the SDCard HxC floppy emulator and Symbiface by Deepfb :

front of modded Amstrad CPC+ with HxC floppy emulator and Symbiface

inside of a modded Amstrad CPC+ with HxC floppy emulator and Symbiface

right side of a modded Amstrad CPC+ with HxC floppy emulator and Symbiface

Source : CPC Wiki's forum

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With your SDCard HxC emulator, select a disk image directly on the CPC

07/25/2010 - 17:46genesis8

First, you should download the latest firmware of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator, the v1.3.11.0 corrects some timing problems with Asic 3 (CPC+) and 4 (pre-CPC+), and some bugs. It's best to freshly format (FAT32) your SD card, then copy the *.upd and *.cfg to the card. Press Left and Right buttons before power up and keep it pressed at least 1 seconds at power up. Wait some seconds, it's done.

There is now an Amstrad CPC program to directly choose an image. This program (just run"hxc) is in the autoboot.hfe disk image. By pressing the middle button, the autoboot.hfe disk is automatically selected. It has been compiled with Small Device C Compiler and still need to be optimized (slow drawing using system calls). The program has been converted to a ROM by Krusty, but as the original program is changing fast at the moment, it could be a bit early to download it.

choosing a disk image directly on the Amstrad CPC with a SDCard HxC emulator

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Eliot's Amstrad hardware shop

06/25/2010 - 13:45genesis8

Need some Amstrad CPC parts ? Well time to go on Eliot's shop !

Rules of this useful shop :

- parts are aimed to be used in the CPC community or any other 8bits friendly community,
- some parts are rare so please order only what you really need,
- please do not resell parts you got from the site.

Source : CPC Scene

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Current order of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator

06/14/2010 - 01:03genesis8

Current order on Ebay of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator. The price is 60 sterling pounds (add shipping cost).

You will also need a cable :

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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New order of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator

06/02/2010 - 00:50genesis8

Another order on Ebay of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator. The price is 60 sterling pounds (add shipping cost).

You will also need a cable :

Dont forget that you need a 5 volts alimentation for the HxC.

See below for a nice integration of the HxC inside an Amstrad CPC by MUSICMAN3512 of the CPC Rulez forum :

SDCard HxC floppy emulator inside an Amstrad CPC

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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SDiskEmul v3 by Sundance, a 3,5" drive emulator

05/23/2010 - 22:17genesis8

Version 3 of SDiskEmul by Sundance, a floppy disk emulator, is available.

SDiskEmul works with Atari XE/XL (SIO mode), Atari gamme ST, Amiga (MFM mode) and Amstrad CPC. Writing is only possible with Atari .ST disks images.

Version 3 brings :

  • installation without soldering on SCART,
  • graphic resolution : 320x240 (40x32 characters),
  • PS2 mouse port included,
  • hardware and software optimization : performances up to 50%.

You can check a video of SDiskEmul v3 on Youtube.

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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SDCard HxC floppy emulator shipping started

05/06/2010 - 01:25genesis8

First shipments of the SDCard HxC floppy emulator has started. You can download its documentation.

SDCARD HxC floppy emulator

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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Another SDCard HxC floppy emulator pre-sale

04/04/2010 - 14:59genesis8

If you were late for last HxC pre-sale, here is another SDCard HxC Floppy Emulator pre-sale on Ebay. Price is 60 pounds sterlings plus shipping (about 78 €). The cards are made by Lotharek (Poland) with the permission of the HxC author.

Beware, you will also need the proper cable sold on Ebay :

And of course, you will also need a 5 volts alimentation for the HxC.

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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SDCard HxC floppy emulator on pre-sale

03/13/2010 - 11:27genesis8

You can now pre order your SDCard HxC Floppy Emulator on Ebay. Price is 60 pounds sterlings plus shipping (total of 78,19 €). The cards are made by Lotharek (Poland) with the permission of the HxC author.

Beware, you will also need the proper cable sold on Ebay :

And of course, you will also need a 5 volts alimentation for the HxC.

This version supports of course reading of DSK, but also writing.

You can see this SDCARD HxC floppy emulator working on an Amstrad on Youtube.

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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A DK'Tronics 256 Ko silicon disk in gold on Ebay

03/02/2010 - 23:38genesis8

After the Ubi Soft gun for 217 Euros on Ebay, here it is a DK'Tronics 256 Ko silicon disk for 323 pounds. I was interested in it, but I had to change my mind :-).

DKTronics 256 Ko silicon disc

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Build your own AMX Compatible Mouse Adapter

12/25/2009 - 17:57genesis8

You can now build for about 8 € your own AMX Compatible Mouse Adapter which let you use any PS2 or USB mouse using a USB to PS/2 adapter plug (no bluetooth USB mouses though), and use any AMX compatible Amstrad CPC software like advanced OCP art studio, FutureOS or SymbOS.

AMX compatible mouse adaptater

Source : CPC Wiki's forum

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a batch of 25 Symbiface II is available

12/09/2009 - 20:10genesis8

This weekend Dr.Zed brought Prodatron a batch of the SYMBiFACE II card (25 pieces) including cables with edge connectors. So you can order it again! At the moment Prodatron can't ship centronics connector cables, but he hopes to have them at the end of december from Dr.Zed. You can mail him at jmika [a t] prodatron [d o t] net.

Source : SymbOS mailing list

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the disk drive is dead, hail to the disk drive

10/03/2009 - 16:02genesis8

Since the announce of the last french CPC meeting in May 209 organized by Eliot, I learned that he uses a disk drive replacement based on SD cards. But there are some others too, but one isnt finished atm, and for the 2 others, the most difficult part is to get one, unless you are good at making your own :

In fact, there is a 4th one, made by RAM7 based on USB key, that he showed to the last meeting, but I have no more informations about it.

Source : CPC Rulez's forum

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Stelladaptator 2600 to USB interface

04/26/2009 - 22:23genesis8

Seen on the comp.sys.amstrad.8bit newsgroup : the Stelladaptator allows the use of standard Atari 2600-compatible controllers, including joysticks (like the one used on Amstrad CPC), paddles, and driving controllers, with modern computers running Windows, Macintosh, or Linux operating systems. Any Atari 2600-compatible joystick, when plugged into your computer through the Stelladaptor will behave as a normal joystick. This allows the use of classic Atari controllers with any software that will work with an 8-direction digital joystick controller (left, right, up, down, and diagonals).

Stelladaptator 2600 to USB interface

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