September 10, 2013

zxsp 0.8.0pre18: +3 Floppy Disc Drive support (updated)

zxsp 0.8.0pre18 is out now!

New supported machines in zxsp:

ZX Spectrum +3 English and Spanish version.

ZX Spectrum +3 disc drive
The NEC µPD765 emulation seems to work good, but sometimes i think zxsp reacts differently than the real machine. There is still plenty left for testing. The FDC765 is not very well documented. There are plenty of data sheets for the various clones* around, but somehow they have all just copied NECs data sheet, more or less.

*) The FDC in my +3 is a Zilog Z0765A.

Supported file format is currently .dsk only, others will follow in the next release.

The disc drive is the first item with sound effects! :-) I had a hard time making recordings of the various sounds. I have at least 10 microphones at home (telephone, cellphone, iPad, iMac, even ZX Spectrum recording hardware) but nothing really good or in working order. I finally resorted to the recordings i made with my iPad except for the stepping noise, which is 'hand crafted'.

In the floppy disc controller window you can insert and eject the disc by clicking on the slot or the eject button. The context menu provides options for creation of new discs and access to recently used discs.

Discs can be flipped side B up by clicking on the "B" label. You probably have to format most discs on this side before you can use it. This is done in Basic with:

format "A:"

where "A:" is the drive, not the side. ;-)

Discs can and probably should mostly be write protected. This can be checked and toggled in the context menu, when a disc is "inserted" or "ejected". (The "ejected" state is as shown in the above image.) The write protection state is simply the write protection state of the disc file.

If you double-click a .dsk file it will mostly open in a ZX Spectrum +3, except if your default machine or the currently open machine is a Spanish +3.

Please test the +3 disc emulation and report any problems. (or whether it works for you.)

    ... Kio !