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Fast IDE Interfaces for Acorn computers

Latest fully RISC OS 6 compatible upgrades for ArcIn and Blitz interfaces. See here for details.

We can also supply IDE interfaces for the A3000, A3010, A3020 and A4000 and other models including interfaces with a Compact Flash drive and Solid State drives to replace a conventional hard drive for most models.


The APDL Blitz fast IDE interface

The APDL Blitz IDE interface is the fastest thing you can put in your machine. Lightning fast, nearly 7 MB/sec (I've actually tested a drive at a read speed of 8.2 MB/sec and write speed of 7.3 MB/sec).
The Blitz works on any RiscPC or A7000 with a backplane. It has All the features of our highly acclaimed ArcIn interface (see below for details) but it's 32 bit so it's capable of much higher speeds. Now you can fit low cost EIDE drives and get superior speed to a 'fast' SCSI setup costing much more.
Although the Blitz is fastest with DMA it's capable of higher speeds than any other interface without it, too. In fact, it's faster without DMA, 4.2 to 4.4 MB/sec, than some 'fast' SCSI interfaces with DMA. This makes it the ideal companion for a machine fitted with a Kinetic, which disables DMA.

Upgrades from the older ideA interface are available.

Only £99 or £97 when ordered with a drive.

Price includes UK carriage. Please add £4.50 outside UK
   

Click on the button below to purchase a Blitz interface with a drive


Unipod

We also offer the STD UniPod. This combines a USB interface, NET 100 and fast IDE interface in a single podule. The UniPod is normally supplied with only one of these three functions enabled and you have to pay £25 for each additional function. We supply it with all 3 functions enabled. Some other dealers offer the Unipod for as little as £99 with only one function enabled but you then have to pay £25 to get each additional function operational.
The UniPod IDE interface isn't as fast as the Blitz (around 4.2 MB/sec compared with up to 7 MB/sec) but it's still pretty quick, and you get USB and networking as well.
For more information on the UniPod see the STD web site.

Only £139 or £135 when ordered with a drive.

Price includes UK carriage. Please add £5 outside UK
   

Click on the button below to purchase a Unipod with a hard drive


Other APDL IDE interfaces

We have now discontinued the popular ArcIn interface though we do have a few left - see below.

If you have an APDL IDE interface and want to to the Blitz or Unipod upgrade we can arrange a part-exchange upgrade.

  • Upgrade to Blitz from ArcIn V6 with flash ROM - £69
  • Upgrade to Blitz from ArcIn V6 with EPROM - £77
  • Part-exchange Blitz for Unipod - £75
  • Part-exchange ArcIn V6 with flash ROM for Unipod - £102
  • Part-exchange ArcIn V6 with EPROM for Unipod - £112
Prices include UK carriage but please add £3.50 outside UK.

ArcIn fast IDE interface

We still have a limited number of ArcIn interfaces. These are functionally identical to the Blitz but are not as fast with a speed of around 3.6 MB/sec sustained or up to 4.5 MB/sec burst when fitted to a RiscPC or A7000. About twice the speed of ADFS.

ArcIn interface just £59 or £57 when ordered with a drive..
Price includes UK carriage. Please add £4.50 outside UK

   

Features of APDL IDE interfaces

The main features of all models are -
  • Hard discs and CD ROMs supported with CDFS and ATAPI CD drivers in ROM.
  • Four devices can be connected, either four internal or two internal and two external except the A3IN where you can fit an internal 2.5" hard drive to the card and have two external drives. Any combination of CDs and hard discs can be used.
  • ArcIn and Blitz use DMA when fitted to the RiscPC or A7000 so it's fast.
  • Drive partitioning is supported with up to eight partitions. With pre RO 3.6 machines this means you can fit drives up to 4Gb. You don't have to partition a large drive with RO 3.6+ but you can do so to avoid the LFAU problem which can devour huge chunks of hard disc without RISC OS 4.
  • Partitions can be password protected, either Read Only or No Access. This guards confidential data, and schools will see the advantages of having programs and fixed data on a Read Only partition where it can be Loaded or Run but not deleted 'by accident'.
RISC OS 4 Compatibility - all our IDE interfaces are RO4 compatible. Even if you bought yours years ago it will work with new format drives using long filenames. If you purchased your interface after about February '99 you should already have IDEFormat 3.52 which supports the new E+ format, if not you can download IDEFormat 3.53. with all the other free software updates for the APDL IDE cards.

You need a backplane to use an IDE interface on the RiscPC. Most models already have one (it's the vertical PCB behind the floppy drive and plugs into the motherboard at the bottom) but if you don't have one we can supply 2 or 4 slot backplanes.


Interfaces for A3000, A3010, A3020 and A4000.

Sorry, we have now sold out of interfaces for the A3000 and A3010. We may be able to obtain more but we have no idea if/when this will happen.

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We sometimes have secondhand interfaces of various types sutable for the A3000 or A3010. Please contact APDL for availability and prices.


Updates for APDL IDE interfaces

In case you've lost your printed User Guide a HTML version is available for download. (39K ArcFS archive).   IDE Format.    

The latest version of the IDEFormat program is 3.53. If you have anything earlier you are strongly advised to download this as it fixes a couple of bugs present in earlier versions with very large drives and supports E+ format for RISC OS 4. It has also been re-structured to simplify initialising single partitions.
  IDE Format 3.53. - (29K ArcFS archive, Aug. 2002)

  ArcIn and Blitz Flash upgrade.
These contain the programs to create and program flash images (in case you've lost your Utility disc) with IDEFS v3.28 and IDEFiler v3.21 and ATAPI driver 0.28. IDEFS now has a configurable start-up delay to reduce the wait for people who have drives that respond quickly at switch on.

  ArcIn Flash upgrade. - (168K ArcFS archive)

  Blitz Flash upgrade. - (168K ArcFS archive)

  RISC OS 4 height fix - (240K ArcFS archive, 5.10.99) Although the ideA interface works perfectly with RISC-OS 4 drive icons will appear at the wrong height on the iconbar. Put this small program in your Boot.Tasks directory and it will align them correctly.

  Problems with CD ROM drives.

Although ATAPI driver 0.28 works with most modern drives it is not as compatible as 0.26, especially with older drives, such as not being detected at startup or errors during transfer of large data blocks. If you have any problems try the appropriate ATAPI driver below. These will only work with APDL interfaces. In each case this is the complete flash image for the appropriate interface with the latest IDEFS software and VProtect.

  ATAPI driver 0.26. Complete flash image for ArcIn interface - (78 ArcFS archive)

  ATAPI driver 0.24. Complete flash image for ArcIn interface. - (78 ArcFS archive)

  ATAPI driver 0.26. Complete flash image for Blitz - (80K ArcFS archive)

For users who want to build their own flash images and need the older ATAPI drivers the 'bare' ATAPI 0.26 and ATAPI 0.24 (ArcIn only, not Blitz) are also available.

New software for ArcIn and Blitz interfaces

There have been a number of minor improvements but the most obvious outward ones are -

  • For the flash programmable ArcIn interface this cures the problems with this interface with RISC OS 6.
  • For all versions this fixes the drive icon height problem with RISC OS 4 and above.

As these are intended to be used with RISC OS 4 and above the software no longer includes the DMAManager and CDFS modules as these are part of the OS ROM. This avoids the need to *unplug the DMAManager on the IDE interface with Kinetic machines and eliminates space taken up by redundant modules in the RMA.

For the older, plug in EPROM version of the ARCIN interface. These are the cards which have two sockets on the PCB for data leads and a large EPROM with a white printed label. This brings the software up to the latest version, so it's a very worthwhile upgrade as although these cards might appear to be working OK, even on RISC OS 6, some older versions could cause problems with larger hard drives and CD writers. We can supply an exchange replacement EPROM or, if you return your interface (not the leads) with payment we can fit the new EPROM and test it for you, which is the method we would advise.
We hope to be able to offer an upgrade for the older 'single lead' cards soon.

In each case the price of the upgrade is £7.50. For flash programmable interfaces the software will be sent by email, for interfaces fitted with an EPROM there is an additional charge of £2.50 for carriage. You can apply for the upgrade either by email to the usual APDL address, by phone (020 8778 2659) or by post. Don't forget to include payment details and the type of interface you have. Your upgrade will be sent to the email address used when you purchase the upgrade.

RISC OS 6 Flash upgrade for Blitz interface - £7.50
RISC OS 6 Flash upgrade for ARCIN interface - £7.50


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