Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! MyTec Electronics has released the Rear Admiral ThunderDrive, a modern-day replica of the Creative Micro Designs Hard Drive. To see photos and a blog about the ThunderDrive, go to
http://18.104.22.168/ThunderDrive/Product/index.html or http://22.214.171.124/ThunderDrive/index.html
Here are the details on this new hardware:
* The first run of approx. 15 ThunderDrive units is for sale.
* Price - $599 list (eBay) or $549 direct (PayPal non-eBay).
* Payment by Paypal or U.S. Postal Money Order. If paying directly by Paypal, the "Personal/Gift" option is preferred.
* Contact: workspace(at)wowway.com
* ThunderDrive case size - (L)7.6" x (W)6.2" x (H)1.5" - very compact.
* Power requirements - High-efficiency switch-mode power supply included. 12VDC / 5VDC @2A each max. Normal load = approx. 1.45A on 5V and 0.98A on 12V.
* Hard drive capacity - 4.1GB of actual user space (4.29GB total drive space).
* Distributed with v1.92 of CMD HD-DOS.
* DOS is installed from the disk and resides in the ThunderDrive DOS memory area. Kernal routines (or BIOS) are on the ROM. In comparison to the CMD HD, there are very few differences other than init procedures and some added code for clockUP!(tm) handling.
* An imaged diskette of latest CMD HD utilities is provided, along with references to many on-line repositories for 3rd-party enhancements.
* No DOS improvements, but the electronics have been greatly improved. The number of discrete components has been reduced on the ThunderDrive board in comparison to the CMD HD, and MyTec has developed clockUP!(tm) doubling during non-IEC intervals, which provides increased performance with large REL files, for example, with BBS software.
* Maximum hard drive space recognized - 4.1GB. Such a 4.1 gig limit is due to the 8-bit 6502-based controller used with a 6502-based machine, the math being: 256(8-bit) max sectors x 256(8-bit) max tracks = 65536 blocks x 256(bytes per C= block) x 256(8-bit) partitions = 4.29GB HD Space.
* The ThunderDrive uses a SCA 80-Pin SCSI-3 UW eServer drive mechanism which has been short-stroked and forced into a SCSI-II mode, yielding nominal space for the ThunderDrive while still performing at 10K RPM speeds. These drives were selected primarily for longevity and form-factor. The drive is equipped with an internal cooling fan.
* The ThunderDrive has been tested to work perfectly with attached, external, SCSI devices - CMD HD, CD-RW, IomegaZip, Syquest, and magneto/optical devices.
* MyTec also provides complete repair service and replacement parts for CMD HD / FD units.
Merry Christmas! Robert Bernardo Fresno Commodore User Group http://videocam.net.au/fcug
Nice achievement, happy to hear we can buy it, though a little expensive. I read it through, but was not really clear for me, how far is it compatible with the 5.25" floppy disc files, I mean games, demos?
On the other hand I've never understood, why developers prefer expensive SCSI devices? Well it is nice and smart and fast, but an SCSI controller costs 10x more than an IDE one, and the drive itself usually costs 2x more. So the price difference hits two times.
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! The CMD HD was a hard drive IEC device for commodore computers and should work just as well on a VIC-20 as well as a Plus/4 C64, or C128... HOWEVER, I do not know if the HD utilities will work on a VIC or plus 4. (and you will absolutely need them to work to format and partition the device). I only know for a fact that the utilities will work on a C64 or C128 (I guess it wouldn't be hard to try and run the utils in a plus4 emu to find out for sure!)
1541 compatibility is limited. It only goes as far as replicating a 1541 directory layout for disks, and you are only limited to 254 partitions total. Support for 1541 specific fastloaders is not present. Games that require 1541 fastloading will not work, but on the bright side you can at least store the data and copy it off for use if you want. You are much better using your 254 partition limit to make CMD native partitions, with go up to a max 16MB and have support for creating subdirectories.
On the C64, the CMD HD functionality is superseded by the Turbo Chameleon and Ultimate 1541-II cartridge devices IMHO.
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! its rather expensive and using the scsi interface which is totally unnecessary (imho).. i'm with MMS, an sd card reader gonna be a better basis or a compact flash card (which is also obsolete)..
1541 ultimate is the sh** is for me, the only question is, can i use it with my commodore plus4 (if only the .d64 function works it will be fine) http://www.1541ultimate.net/content/
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! Sorry for that, writing into the wrong topic, but anybody has an idea about the 1541 ultimate works with the plussy? The official page mention that but i'm not sure..
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! As far as I know current firmware (for 1541 ultimate 2) does not support standalone mode. It can be used as a C64/C128 cartridge only. Maybe if you connect its serial port to the plus/4 while it's plugged into the C64 (and it is turned on) it can work but I'm not sure.
I've just checked 1541ultimate.net forums: I was right. Currently there is no standalone mode and they can't tell when will it be ready (if ever). But you can use it in a C64 as a cartridge and connect it to an other computer. C64 will be a file server and the other one will see a 1541.
IMHO that does not worth it. At least not for me as I have no that much space to place a C64 AND a plus/4 on the desk to use them. :(
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! hi,maybe i am wrong, but as i remember, c64 and plus4 extension ports are the same, just few data pins swapped. Is it possible, that if the proper power provided to the 1541 cartridge by plussy port, then it may work via the serial port?
Re: Rear Admiral ThunderDrive released! What you may remember is the User Port. The cartridge port is completely different. Currently the Ultimate 1541-II firmware is hardcoded to work *ONLY* as a C64 cartridge and there are no plans for the near future to implement the standalone mode which would allow to use the unit as a real drive. :/