[img] BBC IDE Hard Drive Interface
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IDE Interface
IDE Interface and hard drive

This is a design for a replacement IDE interface that can be used with almost any off-the-shelf IDE drives with ADFS and HADFS. Robert Sprowson was a great help in getting the initial prototype working.

I've kept the design as simple as possible. You can build one youself, or I can supply the interface pre-assembled. The drive can be sat on top or beside the computer, or you can mount it in a case.

The interface has no 1MHz terminators or through-connector, so may need additional termination if you have anything else plugged in. All BBC filing systems use 8-bit sectors, so only half the actual drive space is usable without using specialised software.

IDE Interface ADFS Support HADFS Support

Purchase options

Blank PCB, HADFS or ADFS ROM £12.00E15.00In Stock
PCB, HADFS or ADFS ROM and components - self-assembly kit £24.00E30.00In Stock
Assembled PCB, HADFS or ADFS ROM £36.00E45.00Out of Stock
Assembled PCB, leads, HADFS or ADFS ROM, formatted drive around 200M - just plug in and go.
Note:Not outside EU.
£42.00E52.50Out of Stock
Sterling prices include UK postage. Euro prices include postage within EU. Payment in Sterling or Euro notes or cheques payable to 'J.G.Harston' drawn on a UK bank. Orders to 70 Camm Street, Walkley, Sheffield S6 3TR. Email me for prices outside the EU. Euro prices are calculated at 80p to the Euro (E1.25 to the pound), rounded to the nearest 10c.


Of course, hardware is useless without any software to drive it. I've patched ADFS 1.50 for the BBC Master to access IDE devices instead of SCSI devices. HADFS 5.30 or later for BBCs and Masters will access IDE drives. I have written HDInit to format drives. I supply the replacement ADFS or HADFS on an EPROM with any IDE PCB, along with a disk with HDInit and other utility programs.

I recommend using HADFS if you want to use hard drives on a BBC B, as ADFS claims a lot of memory, pushing PAGE up to &2100, and needs a 1770 floppy controller to access floppy disks. In the absence of other ROMs claiming any workspace, HADFS on the BBC raises PAGE to &1A00 (&1900 if DFS 1.22 is used, &1800 if DFS disabled) and to &1000 on the Master.

IDE interface HDInit Drive Initialiser ADFS 1.03 ROM (Electron) HADFS 6.00 ROM (E/B/M)
IDEDump test program HDInit.ssd documentation ADFS 1.33 ROM (BBC) Drive Compatiblity list
IDEDump.txt documentaion HDInit.txt documentation ADFS 1.53 ROM (Master) Drive Identity Data

Related Files and Links

HDInit.ssd 1.15 22-Mar-2012 HDInit.ssd 67K DFS disk image containing HDInit.
IDEPatch 1.22 15-Apr-2016 IDEPatch.zip 46K Patch for ADFS 1.30/1.50 to create ADFS 1.03/1.33/1.53 to access IDE hard drives. Also includes the patch to preserve directory context on Control-Break and a few other bugfixes.
ADFS         ADFS Support.
HADFS 6.00   HADFS600
HADFS Support, HADFS ROM and HADFS system disk.
BBCIDE 0.12 20-Dec-2004 EmulIO.zip 13K Emulated IDE interface for BBC emulators running on RISC OS. Works with Warm Silence's 6502Em patched with my 65Patch and any emulator that implements the external emulated hardware protocol.
coding         Sample 6502 code to access IDE devices.
Specs.htm         IDE I/O port specification.
16bit         16-bit IDE interface. Robert Sprowson translated my design notes for a 16-bit interface into a full PCB. All BBC filing systems use 8-bit sectors, so using a 16-bit interface will not magically double your available drive space. However, if you want to experiment with accessing DOS-formatted hard drives or CR-ROMs you will need a 16-bit interface.
RetroClinic         RetroClinic produces the combined IDE/USB/RAM DataCentre and IDE interfaces with Compact Flash card adaptors.

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Last update: 16-Apr-2016