I'm using an Arduino Uno to emulate an old Atari disk drive as described here: http://whizzosoftware.com/sio2arduino/
As both the Atari and the Arduino use 5V TTL serial communication, the hardware setup is pretty simple, RX and TX are crossed over, GND is connected an an additional line is used for status information.
All works fine when the Arduino is the only device connected to the Atari's serial port (called SIO). Since the SIO bus is a daisy-chain bus, I should be able to hook up serval devices after each other. However, once I connect an original floppy drive together with the Arduino, both the original floppy drive as well as the one emulated by the Arduino stop working.
What made me wonder is that the original drive couldn't be accessed even if the Arduino was turned off but the wiring left in place. Only after I removed the RX and TX pins from the connection, the original drive could be accessed.
I checked with a scope and realized that data transmission was still reaching both devices, however idle voltage was just around 2V instead of 5V. I then checked the resistance on the Arduino between the digital input pins as well as RX/TX in relation to GND and got (varying, depending on the scale I set my multimeter) values that probably have the effect of a voltage divider and thus reduced the voltage on the whole bus by about half.
I was thinking to add a resistor on the RX/TX lines coming from the SIO bus in order to maintain the voltage on the bus, but that would effectively mean that also less current reaches the Arduino RX/TX pins and might therefore render it useless if the voltage drops below the point where the Arduino can distinguish between logical high and low.
Or is there a way to circumvent these internal resitors between the digital inputs and GND? Does this have anything to do with the pull-up/pull-down resistors which I could probably only influence when the Arduino is on?
Thank you in advance for any pointers (other than adding another switch to physically remove RX/TX from the bus when the device is off ;) )!