CD Emu Web Site


For updated info / status please goto the official site Will keep you posted when updates are available.


CD Emulator Features and Specifications

Concept/Test unit:

USB 2.0 Full-Speed interface
Teens++ development board
40 x 4 LCD screen
4 button control
Hard disk drive for massive ISO storage
Standard fat32 format for easy ISO copying from most OS's
Self Powered through USB
Bootable from systems supporting USB boot

Production unit:

USB 2.0 High-Speed interface
Avr32 atmel soc
4x20 lcd display
4 Button control
SD for ISO MassStorage and Easy swapping
format from within firmware
Standard Fat32 format for easy ISO copying from most OS's
Self Powered through USB
Bootable from systems supporting USB boot

Friday, January 29, 2010

Where it all started.....

About 3 years ago .....

I'm on this service call, the service call is about one hour drive from the shop. I get there find out the registry is corrupted on the computer. OK, no biggie, I'll just boot UBCD, manually copy over a restore point and be one my way.

!!@#$ - my UBCD was scratched! No Boot!
Ok, take system to shop, repair there, bring back to clients place. Time and Expense for both me and client could have bought 2 CD Writers and a 2 100 pack of CD R's. Roms Suck! They get scratched in the field. They get left in clients systems, never to be seen again. Or the computer being repaired has bad CD Drive and cannot read CD's.

As a computer tech. CD Roms are like a scalpel to a surgeon or a hammer to a carpenter.
Every Diag, Fix or install Usually start with loading a Rom.

Thought it over for a few days and decided to look into anyone offering some sort of CD Rom emulator that was portable, other that U3 I couldn't find anything on the market.

Whats wrong with U3? Limited number of CD's per device and not enough storage.

...... Dropped idea for a couple of years .... family life work .......
...... 5 Months Ago

Started to think about I again. I need an easy way to find 100+ roms used daily.
But not leave in systems by accident.
Not have to worry about scratches.
Not have to replace a dirty cdrom drive just to fix a computer OS.
NO DRIVERS a must! Working on too many systems daily to have to worry about leaving software/drivers on customers systems - just lurking around.

1) USB interface - standard USB cdrom. Alot of systems are able to boot from ext. cdroms now.
2) Emulation - Emulate the CD Rom functions.
3) MassStorage - Standard IDE HDD. no MMC,SD,USB,CF interface. Meeds mass storage for ISO storage. FAT32 file system for compatibility across the multiple platforms.
4) Interface to Switch between devices.
    a)CD Rom Emulation
    b)MassStorage Emulation
      - CD Rom Emulation: CD / DVD / BlueRay device support - support for common ISO format files.
      - MassStorage Standard Fat32 file system for being able to drag and drop files.
5)Interface to Switch between ISO files just like switching CD's

Current: been programming firmware and testing for a few months now.
Read read read read...... and then read some more. I thought I'd never get enought info to start the project.

Wow alot of stuff goes on with simple cdroms and ide hdds. Squeeze it into an 8bit usb avr dev board, through a couple of library at it like LUFA and a generic FAT32 library.

(LUFA the one and only way to program usb devices with 8bit avrs, Dean's LUFA code is simply awesome! Without his code I would still be figuring how to talk usb.... save yourself, use LUFA!)

IDE with avr's easy, just google search.

CD Rom's what can I say.... Just search, search and then search some more. Plenty of info. TOO much info. Not enough of the right info.
(scsi,spc,mmc,t10,ata,atapi <- just a few key words.)(Google is your friend)

 Write allot of code to glue it all together and we have a portable cdrom emulator to hook to a USB port.

Full emulation.(need to test some with more ISO's and platforms, but good so far)
Speed is ok, a little slow on the long files read compared to most CD Roms, but allot faster on smaller, random reads.

Need to be ported over now to something with USB 2.0 (High-Speed) on Full-Speed now. (MassStorage mode: 850kb-950kb / sec. , CD Rom Emu mode: 300kb-800kb / sec)
-Single speed rom is around 174kb sec. / Emulator 300-800kb not too bad.

Once ported over to High-Speed USB it should act like a 150x speed Rom! (minimum) - if my math and best guess of software overhead is right.

No pictures yet - Still in raw form - dev board, on breadboard, with lcd(40x4) , 80GIG 2.5in HDD, and 4 buttons - all taped to a cardboard backing. leaning up next to my laptop. ugly! Will be moving to some sort of black box and taken on the road with me here in a week or two.


Life's Good! C. Reno

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