The FluxEngine isn’t the only project which does this; another one is the GreaseWeazle, a Blue Pill based completely open source solution. This requires more work to set up (or you can buy a prebuilt GreaseWeazle board), but provides completely open source hardware which doesn’t require the use of the Cypress Windows-based tools that the FluxEngine does. Luckily, the FluxEngine software supports it almost out-of-the-box — just plug it in and nearly everything should work. The FluxEngine software will autodetect it. If you have more than one device plugged in, use --usb.serial= to specify which one you want to use.

I am aware that having software called FluxEngine and hardware called FluxEngine makes things complicated when you’re not using the FluxEngine client software with a FluxEngine board, but I’m afraid it’s too late to change that now. Sorry.

If you are using GreaseWeazle-compatible hardware such as the adafruit-floppy project, then FluxEngine will still work; however, as the USB VID/PID won’t be that of a real GreaseWeazle, the the FluxEngine client can’t autodetect it. Instead, you’ll need to specify the serial port manually with something like --usb.greaseweazle.port=/dev/ttyACM0 or --usb.greaseweazle.port=COM5.

If you were using a previous version on Windows you might have installed the WinUSB driver. That’s no longer needed, and will in fact not work. You’ll need to use Zadig to restore the old driver; to do this, make sure the left Driver box says WinUSB and the right one says USB Serial (CDC). Then press Replace Driver. You won’t need Zadig any more.

What works

Supported features with the GreaseWeazle include:

  • simple reading and writing of disks, seeking etc
  • erasing disks
  • determining disk rotation speed
  • Shugart and normal IBM buses (via --usb.greaseweazle.bus_type=SHUGART or IBMPC; the default is IBMPC)
  • Apple 5.25 floppy interfaces (via --usb.greaseweazle.bus_type=APPLE2)

Which device types are supported depend on the hardware. Genuine Greaseweazle hardware supports SHUGART and IBMPC. APPLE2 is only supported with hand wiring and the Adafruit_Floppy greaseweazle-compatible firmware.

What doesn’t work

(I’m still working on this. If you have an urgent need for anything, please file an issue and I’ll see what I can do.)

  • voltage measurement
  • hard sectored disks (you can still read these, but you can’t use --fluxsource.drive.hard_sector_count).

Who to contact

I want to make it clear that the FluxEngine code is not supported by the GreaseWeazle team. If you have any problems, please contact me and not them.

In addition, the GreaseWeazle release cycle is not synchronised to the FluxEngine release cycle, so it’s possible you’ll have a version of the GreaseWeazle firmware which is not supported by FluxEngine. Hopefully, it’ll detect this and complain. Again, file an issue and I’ll look into it.

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