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fddEMU, an Arduino Floppy Drive Emulator

fddEMU, an Arduino Floppy Drive Emulator

from hackster.io

Long before we obtained all of our software via downloads and online stores, and even prior to the CD-ROM drive becoming the miracle storage device of the late 20th century, floppy drives served as both a medium for data storage and software installation.

It's extremely rare to find one of these drives hooked on to a modern PC, but if you work with retro PCs, sifting through boxes of disks may at times be a necessary inconvenience.



As a bridge between new and old, fddEMU acts as a DIY floppy disk emulator. The setup allows you to work with multiple disk images stored on an SD card, using Arduino Nano to generate the lower-level signals on a PC's floppy drive controller (FDC).

fddEMU employs a modified version of the ArduinoFDC library for communication, which has something of the opposite functionality, converting a floppy drive's inputs/outputs into a USB format that can be used with modern computers.

User interface for the fddEMU is provided by an OLED screen, along with button read via a resistor ladder. It can alternately be controlled over a serial interface to select between available drives and disk images.

It’s a clever hack that will enable users to keep a large number of virtual disks at-hand, while perhaps stowing the original copies somewhere safe!

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