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OpenSwitcher: A DIY microcontroller based drive switcher

Published 17.10.2021 - 20:32 by osz

About a month ago, a project in two different versions appeared on GitHub, which should make the hearts of hobbyists beat faster.

OpenSwitcher and OpenSwitcher 1200 are basically one project for different Amiga models. OpenSwitcher 1200 is aimed at owners of an Amiga 600 or Amiga 1200, while OpenSwitcher is aimed at friends of the Amiga 500. But what is this about?

Under the designation Drive Switcher, Drive Selector or Boot Selector there are some, sometimes more, sometimes less complex projects that enable switching between DF0 and DF1 as a floppy drive. OpenSwitcher is supposed to be different and of high quality and promises to be easily soldered together from easily available parts and also easily programmed. The firmware can be transferred to the finished OpenSwitcher directly via USB instead of using a special programmer device.

Another concern of the OpenSwitcher project is that you can control the OpenSwitcher using very simple logic, which excludes drilling holes in the Amiga housing in order to have to attach any switches there. If the Amiga is kept in reset mode for about 3 seconds, a white LED flashes, which signals the switching of the drives. You can easily switch back and forth between DF0 and DF1 as a technically bootable drive, with both drives remaining ready for use. The active state is saved in an EEPROM. The project relies on the Adafruit Trinket M0 as the microcontroller. In addition, the SEL signal of the drives is switched by means of a relay.

According to the project page, the OpenSwitcher was tested with an Amiga 500+ and the Kickstart ROMs 2.04, 2.05, 3.1 and 3.1.4. It should also be compatible with the Pistorm project, although it uses its own switching system.

A very detailed description of the project including the necessary files can be found in the two repositories of the project.

OpenSwitcher on GitHub:
OpenSwitcher 1200 on GitHub: ... tcher-1200

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