NADSBox

"New Age Digital Storage" SD Card Drive for Model 100 and compatible.






Feature Outline

  • Understands TPDD Protocol
  • Compatible with existing Model T DOSes
  • Supports FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 filesystems
  • Built-in Program FLASH update from SD feature
  • Command line interface from TELCOM (or other terminal SW)
  • Supports DOS-like commands (copy, del, cd, mkdir, date, pwd, etc.)
  • Allows creation, deletion and navigation of directories
  • Easy bootstrapping of DOS (TS-DOS, FLOPPY.CO, etc.)
  • Includes clear-text file transfers ('copy con' and 'type' commands)
  • Powered by 2 AA batteries or DC input jack
  • Optionally powered from Model T (requires internal modification to Model T)
  • Supports SD and SDHC cards up to 16GB
  • Battery backed Real-Time-Clock to timestamp files
  • Firmware "recovery" feature for failed FLASH update operations
  • Interfaces to Model T or PC via DB-9 connector
  • Jumper configurable as either DCE or DTE
  • Shipped with DB-25 to DB-9 adapter for direct connection to Model T
  • Expansion jumpers with SPI and spare I/O for add-on boards (Wireless???)

Development Status

(last updated 5/6/2011)

ItemStatus
Hardware DesignComplete and Schematic Done
Prototype HardwareFunctional - obsoleted by production hardware
PCB LayoutComplete
PCB Fab and AssemblyComplete
PCB DebugComplete
Production StatusFull production
TPDD ProtocolFully functional
FAT Access routinesFully functional and tested (12, 16 and 32)
Partition table supportFully functional
Command line utilitiesFully functional
FLASH Update FeatureFully functional
RTC DriverFully functional
Power Management DriverFully functional
DOS BootstrappingFully functional
Application Manager100% Complete in version 1.17. Needs beta testing.
XMODEM/YMODEM Transfer50% Complete

Prototype Hardware

Below is a picture of the prototype that was used for development of the NADSBox for over 6 years. It uses a MultiMediaCard (MMC) socket instead of an SD socket because it is easier to mount to the proto board. The SD and MMC interfaces are identical in this application using an SPI interface for communication. The proto board connects to the In-Circuit-Emulator (ICE) for programming and debugging. This board is no longer used for develoment since the real NADSBox PCBs are fully functional, and it serves as only as an interface for connecting the ICE for debug and programming operations.

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Printed Circuit Board Development

Below is a screen capture of the PCB layout for the NADSBox PCB and all the parts for building the first batch. The layout was completed in June and has been manufacured in quantity. The PCB is a 2-layer design to keep costs down and includes a couple of different options for DC-DC conversion from the 2-AA battery source. The PCB also incorporates an on-board CR2032 Lithium coin cell to power the Real-Time-Clock for keeping track of the date and time. The power system is designed to allow multiple power sources to be connected simultaneously. The firmware detects which power sources are available and draw power from a single source with the following priority:
  • External DC Input: 4.5V to 6V input has highest priority
  • Internal AA Batteries: 2 AA batteries take next priority
  • RS-232 Cable Power: Used when no external power or AA batteries present

Note: Use of the RS-232 Cable Power feature requires installation of J6 in the NADSBox and a single modification (soldering) to the Model T. This is an optional feature for those brave enough with a soldering iron in their beloved laptop.

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The NADSBox PCBs are back!

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Assembled NADSBox PCB

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