Category : Utilities for DOS and Windows Machines
Archive   : CPYQ302.ZIP
Filename : CCARD.DOC

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Notes for Micro Solutions CompatiCard(tm) Users

July 29, 1992

Sydex, Inc.
P.O. Box 5700
Eugene, OR 97405
(503) 683-6033

The CompatiCard(tm) line of diskette adapters from MicroSolutions,
Inc. (DeKalb, IL 60115) represents one of several options available
to add extra diskette drives to a system. This document describes spe-
cial steps that may be necessary in order to use CompatiCard drives
with Sydex products.

First, it's important that the exact type of CompatiCard be iden-
this writing, Micro Solutions offers three models of the CompatiCard:

The CompatiCard I supports up to four diskette drives and can be
identified by its absence of DIP switches. This model also has a
37-pin external drive connector mounted on the card bracket.
Documentation accompanying the CompatiCard identifies it simply
as the "CompatiCard" (no model number). There is no BIOS ROM on
the card.

The CompatiCard II is a trimmed-down version of the CompatiCard I
and supports only two drives. Like the CompatiCard I, it has no
DIP switches or BIOS ROM; it does not have an external drive con-

The CompatiCard IV is a much later product than either the Com-
patiCard I or II and features 2.88M drive support. This card
also has a BIOS ROM and two sets of DIP switches located at the
top of the card. This card also has an external drive connector.

Any of the CompatiCards can be configured either as the primary dis-
kette controller, or as an add-on secondary controller. Normally, a
DISKETTE.CFG file should not be necessary if a CompatiCard is being
used as the primary diskette controller. However, if you have dif-
ficulty accessing all of your diskette drives, it will be necessary to
explicitly specify your diskette configuration with a DISKETTE.CFG

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Before proceeding with this discussion, please read the section titled
"Specifying a Diskette Configuration" in the documentation that accom-
panies your Sydex product.

Each drive used by the CompatiCard I or II must be completely
specified in the DISKETTE.CFG file. Fortunately, most of the informa-
tion needed for the DISKETTE.CFG file is already present in your
system's CONFIG.SYS file. Note that the CompatiCard I and II are non-
standard in their support of high-density diskettes and require that
COMPATICARD (abbreviated CO) be specified in the DISKETTE.CFG file for
each drive connected to them.

Begin by looking for the line in CONFIG.SYS that contains a reference
to CCDRIVER.SYS. The line will have a form similar to the following:


where "x", "y" and "z" are numbers. Each set of "/x,y,z" describes
one diskette drive.

The first number, "x", indicates the BIOS unit number. It also in-
directly indicates the CompatiCard port address as follows:

Port Address BIOS Unit "x"
============ =============
3F0H 0 - 3
370H 4 - 7
360H 8 - 11
3E0H 12 - 14

The "y" of the set is the drive type and can have the following

Type Number "y" Drive Type
=============== ==========
0 360K
1 720K
2 1.2M
3 1.2M DUAL
5 720K
6 not supported
7 1.44M

The "z" of each set is the step rate of the drive and should be used
directly with the SEEK keyword.

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If a CompatiCard II has been configured with nonstandard IRQ and DMA
settings, this will also be shown on the CCDRIVER.SYS line in


If "IRQ" is present on the CCDRIVER.SYS line, specify INTERRUPT in
DISKETTE.CFG and use the value given by "a", above. Similarly, use
the CCDRIVER.SYS DMA value for the DISKETTE.CFG DMA value.

The physical unit assigned to a drive and designated by the UNIT
keyword in DISKETTE.CFG is always in the range of 0 through 3. To get
the physical unit number for any drive:

1. Consult the port address table shown above. Locate the line
which shows the port address for your particular CompatiCard

2. Take the first BIOS number (0, 4, 8 or 12) and subtract it
from the "x" value for the drive. This will yield a number
between 0 and 3, the physical unit number of the drive.

As an example, consider a system with a CompatiCard II installed as a
secondary controller. Two drives--E:, a 360K unit, and F:, a 1.44M
unit--are installed. The following line is found in CONFIG.SYS:


From this line, we obtain the following DISKETTE.CFG file:

DEFAULT: (to define drives A: and B:)

Note that the "DEFAULT:" line indicates that drives connected to the
primary controller are to use default parameters as determined by the
configuration routines.


The CompatiCard IV can be used in place of a system's primary diskette
controller to add four drive or 2.88M support to a system. If the Com-
patiCard IV is used as a primary with the on-board BIOS enabled and
card address jumper J1 is set to the "A" position, a DISKETTE.CFG file
should be unnecessary.

Page 3

However, if the CompatiCard IV is used as a secondary controller in
addition to the normal system diskette controller, a DISKETTE.CFG file
must be present. In addition, if the on-board BIOS has been disabled,
the following line must also be present in CONFIG.SYS:


The first step in determining values for drive configuration state-
ments in DISKETTE.CFG is to ascertain the I/O port address of the Com-
patiCard IV being used. This can be done by inspecting jumper J1 on
the CompatiCard IV:

J1 Setting Port Address BIOS Unit
========== ============ =========
A 3F0H 0 - 3
B 370H 4 - 7
C 360H 8 - 11
D 3E0H 12 - 14

Next, the physical unit (UNIT keyword) must be determined from the way
the diskette drives are connected to the CompatiCard. If a drive or
drives are connected to connector P2, the drive connected after the
"twist" in the drive cable is physical unit 0; the drive connected
before the "twist" at the end of the cable is physical unit 1.

If a drive or drives are connected to connector P3 or P4, the drive
connected after the "twist" in the drive cable is physical unit 2; the
drive connected before the "twist" at the end of the cable is physical
unit 3.

To determine the BIOS unit of a drive, consult the Port Address table
shown above. Locate the line corresponding to your CompatiCard's J1
setting and take the first number under the "BIOS Unit" column heading
and add it to the physical unit number of the drive.

For example, a Compaticard having J1 set to C, a drive connected to
the straight end of the cable on connector P2 would have physical unit
number 1 and BIOS unit 9.

If factory settings for jumper J2 have been changed, DMA and INTERRUPT
specifications must be included for the affected drives in
DISKETTE.CFG. If a DMA channel other than 2 has been set with jumper
J2, this DMA channel must be included in the DISKETTE.CFG line for a
drive. Similarly, if the interrupt number set by jumper J2 is not In-
terrupt 6, this information must be included in DISKETTE.CFG.

The COMPATICARD keyword must NOT be used with the CompatiCard IV.

Page 4

As an example, consider a CompatiCard IV being used as a secondary con-
troller. Jumper J1 is set to position "D" and there is one 1.44M at-
tached. The drive is connected after the "twist" in the cable to con-
nector P2. Factory settings for J2 have not been disturbed. The
added drive is known as G:.

The following DISKETTE.CFG file would be used to describe the con-
figuration to all Sydex products:

DEFAULT: (for primary drives A: and B:)

Note that the CHANGE keyword is used to specify that a "diskette
changed" status is available from the drive. Normally, only 1.2M,
1.44M and 2.88M drives support this feature.


If the drive activity light is not illuminated when the drive is ac-
cessed, the port address, physical unit or BIOS unit has been incor-
rectly specified. If the drive can be accessed, but encounters data
errors, the drive type is probably incorrect. Note that the Com-
patiCard II does not support single-speed 1.2M drives; a 1.2M drive
must be described as "1.2M DUAL" to operate correctly.

If SEEK has been specified for any drive, it should not be less than 6
milliseconds, unless you are certain that the drive can operate at
faster speeds. Because older technology was used in 8" drives, a
slower SEEK rate may need to be specified for them.

Page 5

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Archive   : CPYQ302.ZIP
Filename : CCARD.DOC

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