Spencer Owen Brings Plug-and-Play IDE Hard Drive Compatibility to the RC2014 Microcomputer Kit

Based on the work of Ed Brindley, the new IDE Hard Drive Module adds mass storage capabilities to any RC2014 microcomputer kit.

Gareth Halfacree
4 days ago β€’ RetroTech
The RC2014 now has a simple, plug-and-play IDE controller board. (πŸ“·: RFC2795 Ltd.)

Owners of the popular RC2014 retro-themed Z80 microcomputer now have a more streamlined means of adding an IDE hard drive for mass storage, courtesy of a new add-on board from designer Spencer Owen.

Developed to operate using single-board modules connected to a backplane, much like classic eight-bit systems inspired by the Altair Bus in the 1970s and 1980s, the RC2014 is highly expandable. "The RC2014 is designed in such a way that you can build your own modules to expand it," Owen explains. "As such, if you have access to similar components, or have specific needs, you might not need all the items I have on offer.

"This module allows you to add an IDE hard disk to your RC2014. It is based around the Intel 8255 Programmable Peripheral Interface (PPI) chip and is supported using RomWBW. An RC2014 82c55 disk IO driver has also been added to z88dk, enabling disk access from your C programs. ChaN's FatFS has been adapted to run on top of this enabling FAT filesystem access."

The board is based on previous work by engineer Ed Brindley, but with modifications including the use of a DIP-40 chip and address circuitry which conforms to the RC2014 standard. "The jumpers and switches have been removed to allow for an easier setup," Owen explains, "but otherwise it operates the same. No changes will need to be made to RomWBW to use this."

The board is available to buy now from Owen's Tindie store, priced at $43.87 as a full kit of parts or $7 PCB-only; the user will need to supply the rest of the RC2014 system, an IDE hard drive, and ribbon cable.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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