Up Close And Personal With An 8x Floppy Controller

In need of a floppy controller for a 286 he was doing work on, [Gadget Reboot] took to GitHub to see what was obtainable in the open hardware space. There he uncovered an ISA board capable of controlling up to 8 drives from [Sergey Kiselev] named the Monster Floppy Disk Controller (FDC) — arguably overkill for the process, but too impressive to move up. Luckily for us, he decided to doc the create approach in a online video that handles everything from purchasing the boards to configuring the BIOS.

Testing with four drives.

The online video begins with a higher-stage overview of the schematic, which as you could have guessed, essentially puts two identical floppy controllers on the identical board. You can inform this style was place jointly all through the current chip scarcity, as [Sergey] was careful to consist of some wiggle home if certain parts grew to become unavailable and experienced to be swapped out for the options mentioned in the BOM. It’s a choice that previously compensated off for [Gadget Reboot], as in some scenarios he experienced to go with the next-choice ICs.

[Gadget Reboot] was in for a thing of a surprise when he submitted the board for fabrication, as deciding upon the option for gold contacts on the edge connector designed the output expense jump from $5 to nearly $300. He aspects how he was equipped to provide that expense back again down a bit, but it however ended up getting far more than 10 occasions as costly as the foundation cost.

The 2nd half of the video is committed to configuring the Monster FDC, which will absolutely be a handy resource for any person hunting to put this board to get the job done in their personal program. [Gadget Reboot] demonstrates making use of the board with “only” 4 floppy drives, and everything seems to be to operate pretty properly.

Of training course if your wants are not rather so grandiose, we’ve found some extra expedient floppy controllers which could be closer to what you are looking for.


Thanks to [AnotherMaker] for the suggestion.