Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2012 about hardware


TZXDuino or tapDancer Virtual Datasette to load Amstrad CPC tapes ?

06/20/2017 - 23:14 - genesis8

To load an Amstrad CPC tape (or a ZX Spectrum one), you can use the old method : using a tape player. Or you can do it like a geek and use Android phone with tapDancer Virtual Datasette, but it's still a bit low tech. So for the geeks used to the HxC floppy emulator or the Gothek USB, you can use the TZX Duino.

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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FPGAmstrad on MiST-board revision r005.8.14.3 by Renaud Helias (hardware Amstrad CPC emulation)

06/11/2017 - 13:17 - genesis8

New version of the Amstrad CPC core for MiST by Renaud Helias is available. : robustness (quality of code).

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Test of the Amstrad GX4000 console by Nostalagia Nerd onr Youtube

06/04/2017 - 10:43 - genesis8

Nostalgia Nerd did a video on the Amstrad CPC Story, but as I wanted to listen to Burnin' Rubber music, I found a test of the Amstrad GX4000 console (October 2015) by him.

Source : Youtube

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Habi Soft, his PCW-IO interface, CP/M Box emulator and now Abbey of crime enhanced version inc

06/02/2017 - 23:39 - genesis8

Habi Soft worked on an interface for a Amstrad PCW motherboard to add a PS2 keyboard and video (PAL/NSTC), joystick and mouse. He is also the author of an Amstrad PCW emulator : CP/M Box.

And now he is working on an enhanced abbey of the crime version for Amstrad PCW.

Source : Zona de Prueba's forum

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Next-Generation Speech Synthesizer for the Amstrad CPC 464 by Michael Wessel

05/25/2017 - 23:38 - genesis8

This Next-Generation Speech Synthesizer for the Amstrad CPC 464 by Michael Wessel started with a breadboard and now a PCB. For the moment, they are 4 videos of the interface card on Youtube :

It uses an Emic 2, the other components in the design are : Atmega 328 for implementing a parallel (CPC) to serial interface, to bride from the CPC to the Emic 2; a 74LS373 flip flop, 2 G16v8 PLD's for address decoding and generation of the chip select signal, and some other gates. The hardware extension is at address &F9E1. The speech synthesizer requires almost no driver, since the microcontroller and the Emic 2 are implementing an intelligent interface. The Basic program shown in the videos is implementing a simple protocol, but basically, to talk to the speech synthesizer, one only needs to write bytes to port address &F9E1 (e.g., using OUT in BASIC). Interestingly, the interface from the CPC's parallel data bus to the Atmel was tricky to implement.

It isnt compatible at the momeent with the other Amstrad CPC synthesizers : Dktronics and SSA-1. Emic 2 requires Start- (S) and End-Token (CR) - whereas Dktronics and SSA-1 simply send the allophones. Emic 2 works buffered, asynchronously, Dk'tronics and SSA-1 work synchronously. To make it compatible with SSA-1 and Dk'tronics, it would a) need to translate between allophone bytes and Emic 2 "equivalents", and b) figure out start- and end-token and shuffle them into the data stream (maybe based on a speech pause timing criterion). Not so obvious. Speech won't be synchronous, but maybe doable.?

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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FPGAmstrad on MiST-board revision r005.8.14.2 by Renaud Helias (hardware Amstrad CPC emulation)

05/18/2017 - 23:03 - genesis8

New version of the Amstrad CPC core for MiST by Renaud Helias is available. : TV mode with border and screen well centered.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Three clones of the Dk'tronics mouse interface left, created by Bryce and made by Talrek

05/15/2017 - 20:12 - genesis8

There are still three clones left of the mouse interface sold for 27,50 € (France) or 31,50 € (worldwide). They are made by Talkrek, it's a clone of the Dk'tronics mouse interface created by Bryce.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Restoring and modding an Amstrad CPC 6128 by C-E with photos

05/15/2017 - 21:35 - genesis8

After the reparation of an Amstrad Notepad NC200 by C-E, it's the turn of the reparation and modding of an Amstrad CPC 6128 (copy and paste of a CPCWiki message with the permission of C-E, thanks to him).

Last time I went to Spain I was digging in my old bedroom, that is basically a time capsule that takes you back to the 80s/90s, and I found my original CPC 6128 hidden in a closet along with the color monitor that came with it. There was also an old PC PSU I was using to power the computer, a 3.5" drive, a few home made cables... It seems that I put everything there when I was given a bunch of Pluses for free in 1997. After that, I was mainly using a 6128 Plus. The poor guy was pretty battered: very yellow keyboard that is probably not original (those keys look like coming from a Plus); a crappy ABBA switch hanging from a pair of cables; lots of scratches here and there...

However, despite its condition, this Amstrad is still very important for me. I spent my childhood with the machine, me and my friends played countless games on it, I used it to program a lot of crappy stuff and a few "games"... in summary, lots of great memories. So, when I came back to UK I brought the guy with me to restore and mod it :)

This is what I am planning to do:

and, if possible, internal RAM expansion.

Externally nothing will change besides the little hole for the reset switch and the case modification required to fit the Centronics ports. It will look like a Schneider 6128.

façade avant de l'Amstrad CPC CPC 6128

façade avant de l'Amstrad CPC 6128 et switch

arrière de l'Amstrad CPC 6218

So... I finally had time to do something with my old 6128. It is still a work in progress but I thought that I could give you an update and show some pics :) . The first thing I did was just to remove the board from the case and clean it a bit. Here is how it looked before cleaning. It is a 6128 board version 2.

carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128 après nettoyage

Then, I removed all the electrolytic caps, the 40015 and the solder that was filling the holes for the centronic ports. To remove the 40015 I simply cut the pins and then they were removed one by one. I was using the old good braid all the time. Here is the stripped board.

carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128 sans les condensateurs et le 40015

Before going on, I think that it is worth saying that it is NOT necessary to remove all the electrolytic caps in a CPC 6128. The only one that can be problematic if you install the 5VCPC is the cap near the power socket. Bryce found that if it is not OK the computer will likely reset. I just decided to replace them with high grade new ones because I felt like doing it, nothing else :) . In any case, if you decide to change the electrolytics, pay attention to one that is near the AY, it is a 50V 1uF NON POLAR cap.

The next step was to prepare the socket for the dual OS. I followed this tutorial from Bryce that describes all the necessary steps in great detail. This is my modded socket :

socket pour la ROM DUAL OS de l'Amstrad CPC 6128

After this I recapped the board and soldered the socket in place :

condensateurs et puce 40015 réinstallés sur la carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128

Finally I installed the new ports. I attached them to the board first using screws and nuts and then I soldered the leads. There are quite a few, but it is still a reasonably fast process.

ports centronics rajoutés sur la carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128

ports centronics rajoutés sur la carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128

ports centronics rajoutés sur la carte mère de l'Amstrad CPC 6128

And it seems that it works... :)

l'Amstrad CPC 6128 en état de bon fonctionnement

Source : CPCWiki's Forum

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HxC, Gotek, and now the DDI3 USB Floppy Emulator for Amstrad CPC 464 by Zaxon

05/09/2017 - 18:42 - genesis8

The problem with a disk drive emulator HxC or Gotek for an Amstrad CPC 464 is that you still need a DDI-1 interface which is a disk drive controler. It's not anymore a problem with the DDI3 USB Floppy Emulator for Amstrad CPC464 by Zaxon which integrates the DDI and the USB management.

For more informations about the DDI3 USB Floppy Emulator go on Indie Retro News.

The video is done by Novabug.

Source : Twitter

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CPC 128K, an Amstrad CPC 6128 clone by Zaxon with some upgrades included

05/01/2017 - 20:17 - genesis8

Seen on the Amstrad.EU Facebook group, a clone of an Amstrad CPC 6128 created by Zaxon with the following features :

Il fabrique et vends également son clone d'Amstrad CPC 6128.

Source : Amstrad.EU's Facebook

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An Amstrad GX4000 console was tortured to create a PC Engine SD by Starforce Pi

05/01/2017 - 21:00 - genesis8

Seen on Gameblog (french site), each time a PC Engine SD is created, a poor Amstrad GX4000 console must die !

If you love the japanese PC Enngine console it's not a problem, but for the Amstrad CPC generation, it's a crime !

Screenshots incoming soon.

Source : Amstrad.EU's Facebook

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WDA gives on Paris 20 3,5 inc drives compatible with Amstrad CPC

04/16/2017 - 23:06 - genesis8

the association WDA is giving on Paris 20 3,5 inch drives compatible with Amstrad CPC.

Source : Amtrad.EU on Facebook

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Does a touch desk with an Amstrad CPC 464 keyboard interest you ?

04/14/2017 - 11:16 - genesis8

What about a touch desk with an Amstrad CPC 464 keyboard ?

For more informations about this touch desk, go to Raster.Studio.

Source : Twitter

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FPGAmstrad on MiST-board revision r005.8.14.1 by Renaud Helias (hardware Amstrad CPC emulation)

04/04/2017 - 23:56 - genesis8

New version of the Amstrad CPC core for MiST by Renaud Helias is available.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Cleaning of the Amstrad personal assistant (PenPad PDA600) of ChinnyVision by The Backoffice

03/19/2017 - 21:14 - genesis8

The Amstrad PenPad PDA600 of ChinnyVision previously tested had a small problem being icky sticky ! Happily, The Backoffice was able to clean the PDA600 with chimical products in a video of no less 47 minutes.

interior of the Amstrad PDA600 cleaned by The BackOffice  front of the Amstrad PDA600 cleaned by the BackOffice

Source : Youtube

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New batch of the Dk'tronics mouse interface clone created by Bryce and made by Talrek available

03/13/2017 - 21:13 - genesis8

For 27,50 € (France) or 31,50 € (worldwide), you can order one clone of the Dk'tronics mouse interface created by Bryce and made there by Talrek. Be quick before they are all sold, limited number.

The video let you see this interface used with an Amstrad CPC+ and a compatible Logitech RX250 mouse with this interface. It should be found easily.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Restoring an Amstrad Notepad NC200 by CE with photos (and thanks to a lot of people)

02/26/2017 - 20:18 - genesis8

With the permission of CE (without asci characters), here is the copy and paste of a message on CPCWiki about repairing an Amstrad NC200 with a lot of photos. Thanks CE.

I want also to thank all the writers and readers of the Amstrad forums I go (CPCwiki, CPCRUlez, Amstrad.ES, Amstrad.EU, etc...), Youtube users for their videos, those who write programs for our beloved Amstrad computers, or who make hardware for them. Without you all this site wouldnt exist (or would be really empty). Thank you all for making Amstrad computers still live more than 30 years after the CPC was created.

Below you can see the computer when I received it. It seems that in 1997 it was brought to some sort of technical service because the space bar was not working anymore. In there, they said that it was not possible to repair it and the NC200 went back to its owner. It was probably laying around since then, until they decided to get rid of it. I know that many of these machines were actually not used very often, but this is not the case. Whoever had it first worked with the laptop a lot: you can see marks here and there and a few shiny keys.

front of an Amstrad Notepad NC200  Amstrad Notepad NC200 open, screen and keyboard visible

The first thing I did was to power it on and check that, as the seller said, the keyboard was actually not working properly. The display was fine besides the backlight, that turned out to be extremely dim. There was also a decent layer of crap covering it.

The second thing was to disassemble the machine. It is quite easy. You have 5 screws on the bottom and a few clips on the keyboard region. Take the screws first and then lift the case a little bit in a careful way. The clips from the keyboard can be released introducing a little plastic sheet in the gap between the two shells and moving it around, or even with your fingers. In any case, be careful not to damage the case around the keyboard, this computer had been opened in the past in a very clumsy way and there was already a small crack that I had to repair with epoxy resin (more of this at the end). You can see four of the five screws to be removed in the next image. The last one is inside the battery compartment. They have different sizes, remember their original position.

back of an Amstrad Notepad NC200

Once you remove the upper part of the case you have to disconnect the cables that go to the screen. Be careful, the white one is short.

keyboard of an Amstrad Notepad NC200 with the screen removed

It is time to take out the floppy drive, the motherboard and the keyboard. There are a few screws holding everything in place.

keyboard of an Amstrad Notepad NC200 without the floppy drive

The external structure of the keyboard is similar to the one found in many other Amstrad. To open it you need to remove 3 screws and release a few clips.

removing crews to go at the Amstrad Notepad NC200 keyboard

In my case the membrane was extremely dirty. It seems that some liquid fell onto the keyboard in the past and entered between the two layers sticking them together. I used isopropanol to dissolve the crap and give it a good clean. Luckily, the solvent did not affect the fused plastic that joins the two layers, otherwise it would have been necessary to re-glue them. It seems obvious but when you see that two layers of a membrane are stuck by something that dried between them you should never try to separate them by pulling. There is very decent chance to damage the tracks.

Below is how it looks after the cleaning. Some of the silver is darker because there was some oxidation going on, but this does not affect conductivity or makes the tracks more prone to break. The oxide layer is extremely thin. In case of broken or corroded tracks it would have been necessary to reconstruct them with silver paint. This can happen if acid liquids, like orange juice, are spilled on the machine.

membrane of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 keyboard

Now onto the keyboard itself. There was nothing important here. The only thing that was out of place was the clip that makes the SPACE bar to go down uniformly when you press it. I put it back in place and cleaned the keyboard with lots of KH7 and water. Everything is made of plastic besides the metal clips, so no worries about oxidation. After cleaning you just need to manually dry the clips and let the rest dry by itself. If you do not dry them it is fine too, but I like to do it.

keyboard of an Amstrad Notepad NC200 without the space key

Time to reassemble the keyboard. We do not have nice springs, like in the CPC range, but rubber domes with the same function. I do not like this solution because it changes the keyboard feeling and the domes look a bit on the fragile side, but I must say that they are still in perfect condition. Maybe Amstrad engineers were not so wrong after all.

rubber domes of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 keyboard

The next thing was the backlight. The NC200 is reported to have a bright backlight that, in my case, was extremely dim. I asked Bryce about the backlight on his unit but, before he could check, I decided to replace the caps in the board and the light came back clear and strong. It seems that one or more of them went bad over time and this was giving the circuit a hard time. Replacing the caps is easy and their values completely common (sorry, I trashed the note where I wrote them). It should be a relatively simple task if you have some soldering skills but there is a very important thing to remember: some of them NEED to be low profile. Look at the picture below, it is the mainboard with the new caps. THE ONES MARKED WITH RED ARROWS NEED TO BE SHORT, otherwise you will not be able to re-install the floppy drive or close the case.

mainboard of the Amstrad Notepad NC200

Finally, onto the floppy drive. It is a very special model (Citizen V1DC-65B) or, at least, this is the first time I come across it. When I tried to format a floppy in the hope that it would work I found that it was not OK. Sometimes it was able to read something but most of the time you could hear the motor making noises and struggling with the old belt. Therefore, I opened it to see if it was possible to install a new one.

The first thing is to unscrew the upper shield to have access to the guts. It is not necessary to remove the frontal plastic bezel at all for this.

floppy drive of the Amstrad Notepad NC200

The second thing you need to do is to lift the head of the drive and remove the floppy support. It is very easy, just pull it back a little bit and it will come out. The springs that keep the floppy in place are also part of a mechanism that allow easy removal of the whole support. Funnily enough, the drive has a LED but you cannot see it when the machine is working because there is no hole in the bezel. It is very important not to forget to lift the head (not yours, the black plastic thing in the middle of the drive). Otherwise you could easily damage it and it is very delicate.

first inside of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 floppy drive

And here is the inner part of the drive once you remove the screws of the motor. The belt was in pretty bad condition and not elastic anymore.

second inside of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 floppy drive

The belt needs to be 2 mm wide, otherwise it will not fit into the grooves of the guide bushings. There is more tolerance with the thickness. The original is 2 mm wide and something like 0.5 mm thick, but the substitution belt is 2 mm wide and 2 mm thick. Regarding the diameter, something around 70 mm should work. You do not want it much smaller because then it would be necessary to overstretch the rubber and that would not be good. Luckily, although the new belt is thicker it does not touch anything in the board.

third inside of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 floppy drive and belt

To assemble the drive you need to follow the same steps but in reverse order. Remember to lift the head to put back the floppy support! Once it was ready I formatted a few discs, saved several files and loaded them back. Everything was fine.

screen of the Amstrad Notepad NC200

The next step was to detail the plastic case a little bit and reassemble the NC200. Then I did some more testing before closing the machine for real. Before you do this remember to align the slider that adjusts the contrast with the variable resistor on the board, otherwise you may have to open it again.

thest of the Amstrad Notepad NC200 keyboard

And here it is, happy and working! There was nothing extremely wrong with it, but quite a few little things.

main menu of the Amstrad Notepad NC200  tetris being played on Amstrad Notepad NC200

As I said at the beginning, there is something worth mentioning regarding the plastic used to make this computer. I found it not particularly robust when compared to a regular Amstrad CPC or Plus. My NC200 had a crack near the keyboard that I am sure appeared when somebody tried to open it in the past. There are also some small marks in the case because the same or other person introduced something in the gaps between the two shells, probably metallic, to separate them. I repaired the crack with epoxy and it is fine now but you really want to be careful when opening the laptop. What I did was to fill it with resin and add some extra epoxy around. It is all in the inner part of the shell and, therefore, not visible from the outside.

crack in the Amstrad Notepad NC200 keyboard

There is still a final tip: the NC200 needs 7.5V and 1A to run. There are many PSUs suitable for it but the polarity is reversed when compared to the CPC range. That is, outside you have the positive and inside the negative. This is written in the case of the machine but many people have burnt the internal fuse because of this. Keep it in mind and remember that if somebody sells on e-bay a not working unit this is possibly the case and most likely it can be repaired.

Source : CPCWiki's Forum

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Hardware test of the Amstrad NC100 Notepad Computer by ChinnyVision

02/18/2017 - 13:16 - genesis8

Another hardware test by ChinnyVision about the Amstrad NC100 Notepad Computer sold in 1992, an interesting portable computer, which existed also for the french and italian market as the Notepad NC150, and a later model the Notepad NC200 with a disk drive (1993).

The Amstrad Notepad NC100 has a Zilog Z80 processor like the Amstrad CPC and PCW, 64 Kb of RAM, a RS232C serial port, printer port, PCMCIA port to add a memory card (1 Mb maximum). The LCD screen has 8 rows of 80 characters (480 x 64 pixels). Used with 4 AA cell batteries, the NC100 can run for about 20 hours. The english manual of the Notepad NC100 is available for download.

Its features are :

The Amstrad notepad NC100 can be used with the original interface/OS or with ZCN by Mark Russel wich is a native CP/M, or with Fuzix which is an unix (system 5) by Alan Cox.

You can emulate an Amstrad NC100 (and also NC150 and NC200) with nc100em (still by Mark Russel) for linux or ms-dos and a windows (port by Stefano Bodrato). The MESS emulator also supports the 3 Amstrad notepad NC. If you dont have the original NC100 ROM, you will need the ZCN.BIN file included in ZCN v1.3.

You will find more informations about the Amstrad Notepad NC on the excellent Tim's Amstrad NC users site where you will find programs for your NC100, see also the ZCN page.

Others youttube videos about Amstrad Notepad NC computers :

Source : ChinnyVision on Youtube

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A video of an Amstrad notepad NC200 being repaired by Serge

02/18/2017 - 16:35 - genesis8

If you want to check the inside of an Amstrad notepad NC200 being repaired by Serge. it's here.

A past news was about an Amstrad Notepad NC100 being repaired by EEVblog.

Source : Youtube

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Test of the personal assistant Amstrad PenPad PDA600 by ChinnyVision

02/17/2017 - 11:32 - genesis8

For once ChinnyVision doesnt test an Amstrad CPC game, but some Amstrad hardware : the Amstrad PenPad PDA600, a personal assistant which was able to recognize hand made writing with his Z180 processor.

Tomorrow, he will test an Amstrad Notepad NC100.

Source : ChinnyVision on Youtube

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FPGAmstrad on MiST-board revision r005.8.14 by Renaud Helias (hardware Amstrad CPC emulation)

02/12/2017 - 19:45 - genesis8

New version of the Amstrad CPC core for MiST by Renaud Helias is available.

quick : Arkanoid II, Prehistoric II. Ecole demo. Pinball Dreams
slow : Saboteur 2. Still Rising demo.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Amstrad CPC disk labels scanned by Les Crackers velus in 600 DPI

02/11/2017 - 20:48 - genesis8

Les Crackers Velus scanned the labels of different brands of Amstrad CPC disks, 3 inch of course. In this pack, there should be at least one who will give you a happy flash back.

Thanks to them.

Tatung 3 inch disk label Amsoft 3 inch disk label Panasonic 3 inc disk label Without mark 3 inch disk label Schneider 3 inch disk label Maxell 3 inch disk label

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Amstrad CPC story (part 1) by Nostalagia Nerd on Youtube, interesting

02/11/2017 - 21:41 - genesis8

Thanks to TuYaTroJoueY on Twitter, a youtube video by Nostalgia Nerd : Amstrad CPC story part 1.

Go at 10 minutes and 30 seconds for the part about the Amstrad CPC, but the beginning is interesting.

Source : Twitter

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Amstrad CPC story (part 2) by Nostalagia Nerd on Youtube

02/11/2017 - 21:54 - genesis8

And now the next part by Nostalgia Nerd : Amstrad CPC story part 2.

Source : Twitter

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C4CPC and nocart, vitamin for your Amstrad CPC+ and GX4000 console

02/06/2017 - 18:22 - genesis8

Shame on me, I didnt have yet written about the C4CPC which is for the Amstrad CPC+ and GX4000 cartridge port what the HxC drive emulator was for the disk drive. It is created by Gerald.

BEWARE, using the C4CPC with a GX4000 console and its original alimentation will give you a nice clipboard, for the explanation, it's here.

And of course, with 3D printing, some people went for it to make a C4CPC cartridge with a better look :

Nocart v1.4 for windows will let you convert Amstrad CPC programs in a .CPR file (cartridge image) usable on the C4CPC. Beware, some programs wont work : the keyboard will not work, it means the game must be patched for CPC+ firmware.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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FPGAmstrad on MiST-board revision r005.8.13e by Renaud Helias (hardware Amstrad CPC emulation)

02/05/2017 - 18:37 - genesis8

The MIST is a Field-programmable gate array (FGPA) board designed to implement classic 16 bit computers like the Amiga and Atari ST(E) as System-on-a-Chip using modern hardware. But it equally well supports 8 bit systems like the Atari XL, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, C64, Atari VCS, Atari 5200, Colecovision, Apple II, Sega Master System, NES, Odyssey2 and of course the Amstrad CPC.

Renaud Helias has written an Amstrad CPC 6128 core for this Mist Board. The last revision of this core can run correctly the Still Rising demo by Vanity (see the youtube video).

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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An Amstrad CPC 6128 with an USB floppy emulator by Zaxon

01/29/2017 - 18:01 - genesis8

After a vidéo of an Amstrad CPC 6128 modded with 4 Mb of RAM internally, Zaxon shows an Amstrad CPC with an USB floppy emulator (unlike the HXC floppy disk drive emulator using a SD card).

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Prototype of an IDE hard drive working on an Amstrad PCW 9256 by JonB

01/22/2017 - 18:44 - genesis8

JonB wrote an IDE driver for CPM PLUS on Amstrad PCW 9256, with a hardware prototype.

He wants to know before making boards if other persons are interested. If you are, please click on the source link below (CPCWiki's forum).

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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An Amstrad CPC 6128 upgraded to 4 Mb of RAM by Zaxon

01/22/2017 - 23:43 - genesis8

Zaxon has upgraded his Amstrad CPC 6128 with 4 Mb of RAM internally and play on it the video of Take on Me by A-ha.

Go to 1mn10 of the video to see the interior of the modded Amstrad CPC.

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Amstrad CPC X-Mass, ACMEDOS and YANCC (by SOS)

01/15/2017 - 20:57 - genesis8

Everybody knows the hardware interfance X-Mass by ToTO for Amstrad CPC, a MX4 mass storage expansion with 128 Mb of flash for storing files on your beloved computer.

AcmeDOS is an Amstrad CPC ROM which lets you use the Microsoft FAT file system with the X-Mass.

YANCC (Yet Another Norton Command Clone) is a text interface to manage your files on the X-Mass and the AcmeDOS ROM with an interface not unknown to olders : ms-dos and norton (or linux and midnight commander).

Source : Octoate

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PCMCIA 1 Mb card to use on an Amstrad Notepad NC

01/03/2017 - 20:00 - genesis8

Seen on the Amstrad NC Notepad Google+ community, you can order 1 Mb PCMCIA cards on Best Electronics Ca to be used on an Amstrad Notepad NC100.

Source : Amstrad NC computers on Google+

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Z80 instruction sequencing by Ken Shirriff

01/01/2017 - 18:30 - genesis8

A new article by Ken Shirriff about Z80 sequencing instruction.

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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XY-MEM Flasher by Chany (Nul Part System), an Amstrad CPC 6128 utility

12/04/2016 - 14:39 - genesis8

XY-MEM Flasher by Chany (load screen by Kukukcan) is an Amstrad CPC 6128 utilkity to flash your ROMs on your X-MEM or Y-MEM both made by ToTO.

The Y-MEM expansion is also made by TotO. It's a similar expansion like the X-MEM. The difference is the addressing of RAM and ROM. While the X-MEM addresses the lower ROM, ROMs 0-6 and 8-31, the Y-MEM addresses the ROMs from 32 to 63. The X-MEM allows to access 512 KB RAM using the port &7Fxx. But the Y-MEM addresses another 512 KB using the port &7Exx. Using the X-MEM and the Y-MEM together provides 1 MB of expansion RAM and 1 MB of Flash-ROM for the CPC or Plus computers.

Click on the source link for downloading it.

Source : CPC Rulez

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The differences between Amstrad CPC models by Sylvestre (Sucres en morceaux)

11/16/2016 - 22:38 - genesis8

The prolific Sylvestre has written another article about the differences between the Amstrad CPC models (french).

Source : Les sucres en morceaux

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Howto identify an Amstrad CPC CRTC by Sylvestre (Sucres en morceaux)

11/06/2016 - 23:25 - genesis8

And one more article by Sylvestre this time about howto identify your Amstrad CPC graphic chip : the CRTC.

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Fading colors on Amstrad CPC by Sylvestre (Sucres en morceaux)

11/02/2016 - 23:42 - genesis8

After the article about calibrating the Amstrad CPC monitor by Sylvestre (Sucres en morceaux), here is a new article about fading colors.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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How to repair/calibrate an Amstrad CPC CTM(640/644) monitor by Sylvestre

10/30/2016 - 14:18 - genesis8

First, be aware that if you open your Amstrad CPC monitor, read all the text in french by Sylvestre (Sucres en morceaux) especially the part about the very high tension and direct current (DC), even if your monitor is disconnected from current.

This article will let you repair and calibrate your goold old Amstrad CPC monitor CTM640 or CTM644.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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SymbOS v3 WIP with wifi support (M4Board)

10/11/2016 - 20:17 - genesis8

A preview version of SymbOS by Prodatron is available with wifi support (needs the M4Board extension card by Dukes.

Beware, this version isnt 100% stable.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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PCW-IO by Habi Soft, video and keyboard adaptator for Amstrad PCW

06/25/2016 - 12:17 - genesis8

Habi Soft is working on a prototype adding on an Amstrad PCW motherboard a PS2 keyboard and video (PAL/NSTC). Also you can use a joystick and a mouse.

Check the youtube channel of Habi Soft.

Source : CPCWIKI's forum

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9 Dk'tronics mouse interface clone by Talrek available

12/22/2015 - 21:25 - genesis8

For 30 euros, you can order one of the 9 Dk'tronics mouse interface clone made by Talrek.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Modded Amstrad GX4000 with DDI clone and Gotek HXC by Zaxon

11/09/2015 - 21:48 - genesis8

Want to see a modded Amstrad GX4000 by Zaxon ?

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Photos of the X-Mem (memory extension,RAM and ROM) inside an Amstrad CPC 464

10/15/2015 - 20:11 - genesis8

Click on the source below to find photos of an Amstrad CPC 464 upgraded with a X-Mem card (memory extansion by ToTO) inside the keyboard.

Source : CPCWiki

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How to repair an Amstrad CPC 6128 disk drive by Xyphoe

09/17/2015 - 23:12 - genesis8

Xyphoe just published a new video on Youtube, but not about an Amstrad CPC game as usual, this time it's about how to comme d'habitude, mais comment repair an Amstrad CPC 6128 disk drive (belt replacement and cleaning the head).

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NoRecess : HxC Manager v3.1 for 464/664 and an interview of Thriller (Cadjo Clan)

12/27/2014 - 10:35 - genesis8

Available on NoRecess : a new version of HxC Manager forr 464/664 and an interview of Thriller (Cadjo Clan) a demomaker.

Source : NoRecess

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Happy X-Mass to everybody

12/24/2014 - 19:54 - genesis8

Happy X-Mass to everybody

This is a disguised advertisement for the X-Mass by TotO, available for pre-order.

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A video of an Amstrad notepad NC100 being repaired by EEVblog

12/14/2014 - 22:50 - genesis8

If you want to check the inside of an Amstrad notepad NC100 being repaired by EEVblog, that's here (australian accent inside).

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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X-Mass, an flash IDE drive for Amstrad CPC by TotO

11/30/2014 - 13:24 - genesis8

A new hardware interface by TotO the hero which should be available for Christmas on Cent Pour Cent. See below, it's just a copy and paste of this site about the X-mass.

Shown at the ReSeT #18 event in France, the X-MASS is actually work in progress.

This last MX4 expansion is a mass storage. It embed a 128MB turbo flash drive for storing thousands of files into your CPC and definitively make it autonomous as no PC is required to configure and use it.

Developers will be able to work on more ambitious projects requiring megabytes of resources and code to be compiled, breaking the floppy limitation. Used in conjunction with X-MEM, the cross-dev will be no more the only issue for the future.

Last but not least, users will be able to copy, load, save, run files faster than ever !

By the way, the X-Mass can already be used with SymbOS.

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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Down to the silicon: how the Z80's registers are implemented by Ken Shirriff

11/16/2014 - 15:23 - genesis8

After the article Why the Z80's data pins are scrambled, here is another one by Ken Shirriff : down to the silicon: how the Z80's registers are implemented.

Source : Ken Shirriff's blog

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The Amstrad notepad NC100, original software, ZCN (CP/M) or Fuzix (unix) ?

11/15/2014 - 00:06 - genesis8

The Amstrad notepad NC100 was out in 1992 with the protext word processing (already on Amstrad CPC and Amstrad PCW). But it's also possible to use it with ZCN by Mark Russel wich is a native CP/M, or use the all new Fuzix (fuzix announced on google+), this time an unix (system 5) by Alan Cox. You can emulate an Amstrad NC100 (and also NC150 and NC200) with nc100em (still by Mark Russel) for linux or ms-dos, and since start of 2014 as I just discovered for windows (port by Stefano Bodrato). The MESS emulator also supports the 3 Amstrad notepad NC. If you dont have the original NC100 ROM, you will need the ZCN.BIN file included in ZCN v1.3. You will find more informations about the Amstrad Notepad NC on the excellent Tim's Amstrad NC users site (see ZCN page).

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Amstrad CPC floppy disks, Kryoflux and SuperCard Pro

11/15/2014 - 18:36 - genesis8

The Amstrad CPC use 3" disks because Alan Michael Sugar got a large batch of 3" drives, and then stayed with it for compatibility. Game editors started to add protections to avoid piracy. Amstrad CPC emulators are using the .DSK format to store the content of a disk (but it assumes that each track have only one size). This format can't manage well protections, for this you need the extended DSK format where each track can have a different size to support more protections, but still not all of them. That's why hardware solutions are necessary to preserve the exact content of the original disks in their totality (and then you can write them again to real disks) such as :

There is a problem to create .IPF for Amstrad CPC programs, the real disks have been either :

Every emulator can use the raw or CT Raw kryoflux files if using the SPS decoder library. If an emulator doesnt use this library, then the best thing is to use .DSK created from kryoflux files with Samdisk like those dumped by Maxit on CPC-Power. SuperCard Pro support must be added internally into an emulator. Sugarbox already supports the SCP and of course the kryoflux (from a kryoflux raw or CT Raw, sugarbox can create a SCP file). Samdisk will soon support the SCP hardware, so it will be possible to read one track only.

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The first ever hard nude photo on Genesis8bit (and the last one too)...

11/14/2014 - 16:04 - genesis8

This news isnt for the young ones under 18 years old. But are they people under 18 years old interested in the Amstrad CPC ?

So, it's the first ever nude photo on this site, and it's a hard one !

By the way, there is an intruder in this photo, a bit hard to find though...

nude photo of Amstrad CPC hardware : Z80 processor and CRTC twitter  facebook 


A portable Amstrad CPC by Bryce, a dream coming true !

10/28/2014 - 00:20 - genesis8

Bryce's last project that you will find on CPCWiki is something that will make you dream : a portable Amstrad CPC .

It will take time, but you can see some photos, it's only a start though, on the CPCWiki subject about the portable Amstrad CPC.

And if it's not too late, go see too the subject about the mouse adaptater for Amstrad CPC.

Source : CPCWiki's forum

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Why the Z80's data pins are scrambled ?

09/28/2014 - 17:28 - genesis8

The question about why the Z80's data pins are scrambled was asked on Slashdot.

And the answer has been given by Ken Shirriff, happy reading.

Source : Slashdot

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HxC Floppy Drive Emulator v2.0.18.4 available on Sourceforge

12/16/2013 - 23:10 - genesis8

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 - 00:29 - genesis8

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

Source : CPCRulez's forum

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HxC Floppy Emulator Manager V3 released by NoRecess

08/29/2013 - 23:33 - genesis8

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 - 19:59 - genesis8

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 :

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 - 00:49 - genesis8

As much as we love our Amstrad CPC, the sound we get with the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip isnt the bestone 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 portto 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 withthe 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, andwas 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 andmanufactured 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 - 13:32 - genesis8

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 - 21:17 - genesis8

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 :

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 - 19:47 - genesis8

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 - 20:07 - genesis8

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 - 00:01 - genesis8

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 - 00:36 - genesis8

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 - 23:30 - genesis8

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 - 15:50 - genesis8

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 - 13:18 - genesis8

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 :

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 - 19:45 - genesis8

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 - 17:46 - genesis8

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 - 13:45 - genesis8

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 - 01:03 - genesis8

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 - 00:50 - genesis8

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 - 22:17 - genesis8

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 :

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 - 01:25 - genesis8

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 - 14:59 - genesis8

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 - 11:27 - genesis8

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 - 23:38 - genesis8

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 - 17:57 - genesis8

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 - 20:10 - genesis8

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 - 16:02 - genesis8

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 - 22:23 - genesis8

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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Symbiface II status by Dr Zed

01/30/2006 - 13:07 - genesis8

Dr Zed has given informations about the Symbiface II status. Bugs were discovered at the Castlemeeting 2006. He is now only waiting for PCB he ordered (3 weeks) to start really the production.

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