Amiga External Floppy Disk adapters are up for sale


Here they are! Asked by public demand, our Amiga External Floppy Disk adapters are now up for sale.  It is compatible with every classic Amiga, using either Gotek Drive or IBM-PC floppy drive.

  • Can be set to DF1, DF2 or DF3. (Jumpers)
  • Works with Gotek drives with either HxC or FlashFloppy firmware.
  • Works also with IBM-PC floppy drives, 720KB or 1.44KB in 880KB Amiga format mode. (Jumpers)
  • Can be externally bootable (Needs Workbench 2.0+ or Floppy Swapper Module)
  • Power and 34-pin ribbon Cables Included.
Tested on a real machine (Amiga 500) prior shipping, no bad surprise!
Can be ordered here:




Preprod is here!

Orders will be open this week for preprod of our new three boards:
– Amiga RGB to Components adapter
– Amiga External floppy drive adapter (PC,Amiga,Gotek compatible)
– Amiga 1000,500,2000 and 3000 floppy drive swapper (DF0 <>DF1). Usefull to have an external gotek as DF0, while having the internal working as DF1! – NOT working on 600,1200 and 4000 due to soldered CIA chips! –

New product prototype ; Amiga 500 floppy drive swapper


New product developpement at Retronic Design is going on. Since we lauched the Gotek floppy emulator we had a lot of requests to integrate it to the Amiga familly of computers. Many people don’t want to break or modify their old Miggy to fit the Gotek drive inside the casing. Most of them have the classic Amiga 500, known for it’s internal drive/keyboard. With our external floppy adapter, it’s possible to add a Gotek drive as DF1: pretty easily. Downside is that original Amiga 500 cannot boot from DF1: with Kickstart 1.3. To solve this limitation, we designed an internal floppy swapper that entirely swap DF0: and DF1: It detects a particular reset pattern (double ctrl-a-a) to trig the swap. A chirp sound let the user know that the A500 is in floppy swap mode. To bring it back to normal mode, just do the same reset pattern. This is most convenient because it does not require any casing modification, even for a switch! We’ve been able to copy a floppy image to Gotek and vice versa using X-Copy. Note that our Gotek is running the new FlashFloppy firmware.

We hope to be able to ship our three new products before end of 2017. Production of these will be simultaneous:

  • Amiga Video Components (YPbPr) adapter
  • Amiga External Floppy Drive adapter (Gotek and PC drive)
  • Amiga 500 Auto Floppy Drive Swapper module

*You can register to receive updates on these products by writing to info@retronicdesign.com Put: “let me know” as the title and tell us what product you are interested in.

New prototype: External floppy disk adapter for Amiga


Many customers asked for it and we built an external floppy disk adapter for Amiga.  It supports both Shugart and IBM PC floppy drive pinouts with jumper configurations. This means it can connect Amiga, IBM PC and Gotek floppy drives as DF1: DF2: or DF3:. To use it as an external DF0: for Amiga 500, you need to “tweak” the motherboard prior being able to do this.

We sucessfully tested the adapter with a standard IBM PC 1.44 floppy drive (in Amiga 880KB mode).  Here it is, running the Spaceballs II demo (2 disks) :
We also connected a Gotek drive with HxC firmware sucessfully.
Production units will be available around Q4 2017 or Q1 2018

First RGBS to YPbPr converter finally came out of pre-production

This is ou very first “pre-production” RGBS to YPbPr converter. Signal to noise ratio is exceptional and video quality too. It was fully tested on a video output from an Amiga 2000. It can be connected to any machine that outputs in RGBS standard, in both NTSC and PAL like arcade motherboards in cabinets, Sega Genesis, NES and Super Nintendo systems, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST and many many more.

External floppy drive adapter prototype underway

We’ve worked hard recently to build an external floppy drive adapter for the Amiga familly of computers.  It uses a male DB-23 connector and a female 34 header to externally connect three type of drives:

  • Gotek USB floppy emulator (HxC and others)
  • Amiga “Shugart” floppy drives
  • IBM-PC compatible floppy drive (in Amiga 880KB format).

Using a simple jumper configuration, you can connect these three type of drives externally.

Full production should be available Q4 2017.

New RGBS to YPbPr video adapter prototype

After a long prototyping, testing and validating process, we finally have a perfectly working product without needs for calibration. Secret is that we designed around a gaming console video converter IC. This IC has been around for a long time now and has a perfect, noise free output.  It works with both 240p and 480i NTSC formats. It can also work with PAL 50Hz formats. No color bleeding on vertical edges nor flickering in interlaced mode. It’s even better that the original thing on a CRT!  My workbench screen of my Amiga 2000 is crisp and bright!

If everything goes well, it’s going into full production by Q4 2017.

RGB to YPbPr conversion vs new LCD TV

During my tests with the new RGB to YPbPr video converter I discovered an interesting (but painfull) limitation with new LCD TVs.

Amiga and most machines of ’80s and ’90 have a video output of 240p in resolution. This 240p corresponds to the “non-interlaced” 480i mode which was known under that name back then. Amiga native video mode is 240p but can be set to 480i. Remember that only 200 or 400 lines are usable in non-overscan mode.

New LCD TV are not equally compatible to this 240p video mode. My Sony Bravia supports it while my Sanyo don’t. A very nice article was written on this subject on the HD Retrovision website with a list of tested LCD TV.

Refert to that list to see if your LCD TV is “Amgiable”

New product in developpement; Amiga RGB to YPbPr (components) video converter

As announced last year, we developped an RGB to YPbPr video converter for Commodore Amiga computers. This adapter enables you to connect your old Miggy to virtually any new LCD screen or television.

Since the 1084S has around 30 years now, many Amiga enthusiasts now struggle to get a new screen or want to use their actual television to play their favorite games.

(Pardon my discected A2000 on the bench. It’s the test mullet !)

color_bars_amiga

This adapter use a fairly simple analog method to convert the signals and the color-space.
The idea is to use the best video scaler you already have in your house; your LCD screen. Many flicker fixer and scaler solutions nowadays propose a complex and unreliable hardware. Our solution is straight forward.

video_module

It works with 60Hz NTSC and 50Hz PAL models in both Interlace and non-Interlace modes. (Verify if your LCD screen can take this non-Interlace mode).

colorbars_zoom

My old workbench looks nice on my TV!

workbech_lcd

USB joystick adapters are back in stock!

USB_atari_plain
After a one month shortage, our USB joystick adapters are back on sale.
No hardware modification was made to it so it’s 100% compatible to any 3.0 software.
Here is the list of current joystick compatibility:

  • Atari 2600 Joystick
  • Atari 7800 Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Atari analog Paddle (2 players)
  • Atari driving controller
  • Atari video touch pad Keyboard
  • Amstrad Joystick (3 buttons)
  • Amiga Joystick
  • Amiga Mouse / Trackball (2 and 3 buttons)
  • Atari ST Mouse / Trackball (2 buttons)
  • Commodore 64 Joystick
  • Commodore CD32 Joypad (7 buttons)
  • Intellivision Touch pad (16 direction disc and 15 buttons)
  • Intellivision Flashback Touch pad (16 direction disc and 15 buttons)
  • ColecoVision Touch pad and Super Action Controller (16 buttons + spinner)
  • Coleco Gemini Joystick & Paddle (Hybrid controller, also compatible with Sears console)
  • MSX Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Sega Genesis Joypad (3 and 6 buttons)
  • Sega Master System Joypad
  • Sega Multi-Tap Adapter (4 players)
  • 3DO (Panasonic) Joypad
  • TI99/4/4a Joystick
  • FM Towns/Marty Joypad
  • Famiclone (NES clone) Joypad
  • Odyssey2 controller
  • Fairchild channel F controller
  • Bally/Astrocade controller
  • RedOctane Dance pads (6 buttons DB9 version)
  • ZX Spectrum Interface 2 Joysticks

USB floppy emulator shipping resumes today

Gotek USB floppy emulator
After a one month shortage, our USB floppy emulator are back on sale.
It comes with the HxC firmware and an 8GB USB key ready to go.
Compatibility of these devices is wide:

So your old machine will look and feel like a new one!

Original Joystick adapter design from 2000

Original Joystick Adapter

In 2000, I designed a simple Atari numeric joystick to IBM PC analog joystick port adapter. This adapter was simply a voltage switcher that converted joystick movements to 0v, 2.5v, 5v (2.5v is centered stick). Easy you would say, but that was a bet I took with a friend that told me it was impossible to connect an Atari Joystick to a PC. This is where everything started… We are 16 years later and this quest for retro gaming is more present than ever!

As you can see, schematic was pretty simple…old_joy_schematic

New universal USB joystick adapter, RetroUSB32 (KADE compatible) are up for sale!

IMG_3278

A very limited quantity of the new RetroUSB32 (KADE compatible) are up for sale.
These klever pieces of hardware enable you to connect any custom joystick to a PC, MAC, Raspberry PI, etc…

This board can be entirely customize to your needs.  You can simulate a HID keyboard, an HID joystick (or two) and also give some feedback like a led or a rumble.

This is ideal for your MAME cabinet!

***Product discontinued***

New kind of devices supported: Dance Pads

ddr

RedOctane with 6 zones and DB9 connection now supported by the USB joystick adapter. This replaces the original USB controller box that came with them (black boxes on the picture above), since they are not manufactured anymore by RedOctane. Each dance pad is interpreted as a button by the host computer.  It is compatible with the StepMania game software and many others. See our download section.

New firmware for Intellivision and Flashback controllers

IntellivisionFlashback

Thanks to Matthew N., one of our collaborators, a small update (b) has been done to the Intellivision and Flashback controller firmware. Some games are using key combination that was’nt supported by the previous firmware.

Keypad: 1 and 9 (pause), 4 and clear, 5 and 0 and 6 and enter. These three lasts are for emulator custom functions.

As you can see, we keep our firmware portfolio up to date.

Cheers!

USB floppy emulator now comes with sound and is compatible with Atari ST and Amstrad CPC

Gotek USB floppy emulatorHxC2001_loaderPB-12N23P-05[1]
Thanks to the new HxC firmware developped by hxc2001.com (Jean-François DelNero and his team), the Gotek USB floppy emulator can now support Amiga, Atari ST and Amstrad CPC series of computers. Loaders for each platform was developped.

We’ve also added a small speaker to simulate the floppy track change sound. This makes the experience more realistic!

Please see our selling page for more pricing informations.

New firmware version for Intellivision and Intellivision Flashback controllers

IntellivisionFlashback

Thanks to Jerome Buhl, one of our collaborators, a small fix has been done to the Intellivision controller firmware. Bug was that an action button cannot be triggered while the direction disc was in use. Decoding function was rewritten and voilà.

We keep updating our firmware portfolio to support new controllers and existing ones flawlessly. This project is evolutive and cooperative. This is a good example.

Cheers!

Atari ST mouse now supported

AtariSTMouse
By public demand, we’ve integrated the Atari ST mouse in a new firmware for the USB joystick adapter.  This one was easy to build since it’s 98% similar to an Amiga mouse. Only signals were moved from pin to pin to fit quadrature arrangement.  This makes the Atari mouse seen as a standard HID mouse. You are now able to use it with any modern OS or setup box!

ColecoVision controllers now supported!

ColecoVision ControllerColecoVision super action controller

Once again, a new controller is being part of the USB joystick adapter portfolio.  This one been fun to implement! It supports the standard controller with 14 buttons and a stick while also supporting the Super Action controller with 16 buttons, stick and the spinner. The spinner is read as a Z axis on the joystick. ColecoVision enthusiasts told me that if the spinner is supported, the steering wheel and pedals are thus  supported. Great news!

*Announcing 3.0!

3.0
Retronic Design team is proud to announce its new version of the joystick adapter. This version is the most universal DB9 joystick adapter ever invented with USB flashable firmware. It is compatible with these DB9 controllers;

  • Atari 2600 Joystick
  • Atari 7800 Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Atari analog Paddle (2 players)
  • Atari video touch pad Keyboard
  • Amstrad Joystick
  • Amiga Joystick
  • Amiga Mouse / Trackball (2 and 3 buttons)
  • Atari ST Mouse / Trackball (2 buttons)
  • Commodore 64 Joystick
  • Commodore CD32 Joypad (7 buttons)
  • Intellivision Touch pad (direction disc and 12 buttons)
  • ColecoVision Touch pad and Super Action Controller (16 buttons + spinner)
  • MSX Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Sega Genesis Joypad (3 and 6 buttons)
  • Sega Master System Joypad
  • Sega Multi-Tap Adapter (4 players)
  • 3DO (Panasonic) Joypad
  • TI99/4/4a Joystick
  • FM Towns/Marty Joypad
  • Odyssey2 controller
  • Fairchild channel F controller
  • Bally/Astrocade controller
  • Coleco/Gemini controller

This new hardware version was designed with compatibility in mind. Every pin is reconfigurable so new firmware can be built to support much more devices.

Design will stay open source so anybody out there can contribute to this quest for retro gaming pleasure!

*Available now!

Retronic Design Products

Featured

Retronic design, like its name says, specialize in retro electronic device design.

USB joystick adapter
Our actual best seller is the USB joystick adapter. This adapter enable you to connect any Atari style joystick to a USB compatible machine (Like a PC, a MAC, a Raspberry Pi, …). The integrated microcode is simulating a standard HID joystick.

Actual compatibility list is as follow:

  • Atari 2600 Joystick
  • Atari 7800 Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Atari analog Paddle (2 players)
  • Atari driving controller
  • Atari video touch pad Keyboard
  • Amstrad Joystick (3 buttons)
  • Amiga Joystick
  • Amiga Mouse / Trackball (2 and 3 buttons)
  • Atari ST Mouse / Trackball (2 buttons)
  • Commodore 64 Joystick
  • Commodore CD32 Joypad (7 buttons)
  • Intellivision Touch pad (16 direction disc and 15 buttons)
  • Intellivision Flashback Touch pad (16 direction disc and 15 buttons)
  • ColecoVision Touch pad and Super Action Controller (16 buttons + spinner)
  • Coleco Gemini Joystick & Paddle (Hybrid controller, also compatible with Sears console)
  • MSX Joystick (2 buttons)
  • Sega Genesis Joypad (3 and 6 buttons)
  • Sega Master System Joypad
  • Sega Multi-Tap Adapter (4 players)
  • 3DO (Panasonic) Joypad
  • TI99/4/4a Joystick
  • FM Towns/Marty Joypad
  • Famiclone (NES clone) Joypad
  • Odyssey2 controller
  • Fairchild channel F controller
  • Bally/Astrocade controller
  • RedOctane Dance pads (6 buttons DB9 version)
  • ZX Spectrum Interface 2 Joysticks


Our second best seller is the USB floppy drive emulator.
It is compatible mainly with;

  • Amiga
  • Atari ST
  • Amstrad CPC
  • …and many other machines!

This is possible by using the HxC firmware, developped by Jean-François DelNero and his team over at hxc2001.com.

It comes with a 8GB USB stick preconfigured with all software and licences needed.

See side column for pricing and purchase information.

Many other products are currently under development.

Works with Raspberry PI

RaspberryPI
This just came in: The USB adapter is confirmed to be compatible with Raspberry PI. Our collaborator “Team Splattenstein” tested it with Chameleon PI and VICE (C-64). After correctly mapped the joystick in the emulator, it works flawlessly and as he reported, without any lag or misbehavior.

Here is a link to their page. It’s in Finnish translated to English, be aware!

Raspberry PI is an open ARM platform originaly developped for academic purposes but currently gaining in popularity for multimedia and gaming.

USB adapter tested on Cloanto C64 forever 2013 and Amiga forever 2013

c64foreveramigaforever
We sucessfully tested the adapter on a Windows 7 machine running both Cloanto C64 forever 2013 and Amiga forever 2013. These emulator/launcher softwares detected the adapter right away and used it by default. Totally “no-brainer” installation!!!

C64 forever player

Detection is automatic! Nothing to do here!

Detection is automatic! Nothing to do here!

Cloanto and Retronic Design, a match made in heaven for your Commodore retro gaming needs!