Jump to content

Photo

Fire Hose to ribbon cable


91 replies to this topic

#1 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:52 PM

Anoyne using one of these to get the klunky firehose connector out of the way? My dad bought us each one. Just a couple solderless clamp-on connectors on a 5-foot ribbon cable. I haven't seen any in use in member photos, maybe the connectors are hard to source these days?

 

Attached File  firehoseribbon.jpg   39.4KB   7 downloads

 

Attached File  firehoseadapter.jpg   18KB   8 downloads

 

Edited to add pic of both connector ends.

 

Attached File  TIflexends.jpg   33.35KB   3 downloads


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:28 PM.


#2 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

arcadeshopper

    River Patroller

  • 3,961 posts
  • Location:Portland, Oregon USA

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:05 PM

I just bought one from these guys.. I get issues when placing it between the speech and firehose..

 

http://www.iec-usa.c...i-bin/iec/L1172

 

It has a bit of card in the end connector for connecting to the other side.. The one that came with it is actually two pieces..  

 

They also sell a splitter for 2 boxes/devices

 

http://www.iec-usa.c...i-bin/iec/L1173

 

I bought both..  So far haven't gotten either set up working right. 

 

Greg



#3 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:22 PM

I see the difference I think. Those are female to female with a gender changer board. Might need to check for side to side play to have it centered in the best spot. Maybe run a pencil eraser over the board fingers, they may have oxidized from storage. Avoid putting finger oils on the contacts after cleaning or buff a bit with some cotton after handling. The fingers seem kinda long, maybe fully inserting it is actually pushing the firehose contacts away from the board? Or this board is slightly thicker or thinner than the original TI spec. Try inserting it to some optimum depth as opposed to as far as it will go. Those self-piercing connectors can be a challenge to be 100% on all wires. When I made my own, I usually had to chase a few stragglers to convince them to enter the terminal fully.

 

Mine is many years old now, female to male inline instead of 90-degree no gender changer board. As I recall, it didn't matter which end the speech was on. Mine works well enough the firehose end has been buried under cables and dust for years, never a connection problem. Knock on wood now that I brag it up, lol.


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:38 PM.


#4 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    Sunbaenim

  • 13,233 posts

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:32 PM

This is a GREAT concept and in the past I thought about getting one around 6 feet long, but I've heard negative things about them which always gave me pause, and ultimately prevented me from doing so.

 

The negatives I was told:

 

1) If you use an unshielded cable, the RF will play hell with other devices.

2) If the cable is too long you'll lose data and get random weird errors.

 

Honestly though, I'm also finicky about aesthetics.  Since it'll probably take me another two or three years to get everything just like I want it and on it's own dedicated 'corner unit' computer desk, I have time to sit and see how this works out for others.  ;)



#5 hloberg OFFLINE  

hloberg

    Dragonstomper

  • 744 posts
  • Atari Microsoft BASIC
  • Location:New Braunfels, Texas.

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:39 PM

looks like maybe a SCSI or IDE cable with edge connector. what does the other end look like?



#6 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

arcadeshopper

    River Patroller

  • 3,961 posts
  • Location:Portland, Oregon USA

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:52 PM

looks like maybe a SCSI or IDE cable with edge connector. what does the other end look like?

L1172.jpg



#7 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:20 PM

I show only the TI end of mine. The other male end is down below and behind 4 TI drives, their power supply, the PE box, a short stand and a Mac PPC tower is crammed in next to it with a desk on the opposite side. So no pics right now!  At any rate, it's a direct to male end with fairly short finger and no adapter/gender changer board, which I think is the weak link in the one Acrcadeshopper shows.

 

I used it with this installed for years. Never had to mess with it, but I would reseat the TI end or spray some contact cleaner in the female connector maybe once every few years. It has a 5- or 6-foot unshielded ribbon between them. All the cables and power for everything goes down there, because, well, they're out of sight! I had far more problems with the cartridge port than with this. It's in my "radio room / man cave" and shares the space with a couple shortwave/AM radios, three vintage stereos, a TV and two Mac systems. One of the Macs is sitting on the pe box and right next to the TI drives. Drives and power supply are all "commando" without even a case for them. Lotta electrical junk in a small space, no interference noticed either way bothering the TI or being bothered by it.


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:44 PM.


#8 Ksarul OFFLINE  

Ksarul

    River Patroller

  • 4,924 posts

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:13 PM

The connectors on your cables are no longer available anywhere (unless someone still has a few in the back corner of a warehouse somewhere). IEC used them for their TI cables until they ran out of them five or six years ago (I bought a couple of cables from them back then and some had the nice male connectors on one end and some were like Arcadeshopper's cable). I think they may still have some of those cables for the cartridge port. The other thing to note about the cables using that brand is that you can't mix them with other brand connectors, as they reverse the even and odd wires on the cable when compares to how they come out using other brands. Use two of the same brand and it works fine--mix them and you have cable salad. . .



#9 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:13 PM

 I guess I'm really glad my dad was so active at seeking this stuff out back in the mid- to late-1980's. He picked up these and many other goodies for us both. He often bought things in pairs, so we'd both have the same setup and I could help him with it, he would say. I think he ordered these cables from an ad in Micropendium.

 

We shared many other hobbies and interests, but where we really bonded was in our mutual pursuit of and learning about the TI. I guess everybody else in the family thought we wuz both nutz, but we had a lot of fun in those years.

 

Old hardware connectors notwithstanding, you'd think there would be a viable market out there to banish the noxious firehose from the desktop.



#10 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    Sunbaenim

  • 13,233 posts

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:29 PM

 

Old hardware connectors notwithstanding, you'd think there would be a viable market out there to banish the noxious firehose from the desktop.

 

 I agree, that so-called 'firehose' is always in my way.  It would be fantastic if some of the 3D printer guys could do a re-engineering job of the Armadillo type connector, but for the TI-99/4A console.  Use the round cable and small connector up front at the console, then put all the other electronics at the back end, hidden BEHIND the P-Box.  Then it would just be a matter of performing an operation/transplant on the Flex Card. 



#11 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:49 PM

 These adapters don't replace the firehose, they just park the hose in back of the Fire Department, so to speak. And at best, they add another 40 terminals to the mix, maybe another 40 or 80 for the doubled PEB connector version.

 

I've looked inside TI's klunky "hydrant" box, and saw no obvious reason why it had to be such a giant dongle that added some 5 or 6 inches of width to the console on otherwise already crowded desks. And heavy cable with an NSA-proof shielding!! But something that totally eliminated the hose would be even better.

 

At one time I had the flex cable all folded up and folds strapped into a bundle as compact as I could make it with the long adapter ribbon leading up to the console from the back of the PEB. It may still be that way. ;) In my setup, the unshielded adaptor's ribbon snakes right past the AC power switch for the drives, and a couple dozen or more other AC/signal wires, so I really don't see why the TI engineers went to such lengths to over-engineer. No bean-counters allowed at TI back in the development stages. Later, when this tank-like system butted heads with Commodore, that only cost a few bucks to produce, well, maybe some sleeking down of the robustness factor might have been wise.

 

Enough examples of either system still survive to illustrate things don't have to be built like a tank to last. But as many are offered for parts value. The TI had its own share of weak links like its keyboard, joysticks and cartridge port, despite the hardware overkill in other areas. The firehose is a perfect example.

 

-Ed


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:16 PM.


#12 Tursi ONLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,362 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:53 PM

I sort of cheated, I desoldered the edge connector on my speech synthesizer and put a ribbon cable there -- it gives me the slack and seems to work okay. :)

#13 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:38 PM

 I guess I found a common gripe here! The whole thing seems to be nothing more than a bulletproof ribbon cable. Maybe there is a diode or two or some part or two within the hydrant that connects to the console. It looked more like a breakout/development board to me with merely long circuit traces on a largeish board.

 

I was going to suggest a hardwired version to eliminate all those friction-fit connectors. Soldering is going beyond a plug'n'play answer. But maybe you're onto something... Offer a speech synth with 5-foot cable already attached on ebay. Brainless for the purchaser to install and the builder needs no parts other than the ribbon cable and the solder! Obsolescent-proof.


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:46 PM.


#14 Tursi ONLINE  

Tursi

    Quadrunner

  • 5,362 posts
  • HarmlessLion
  • Location:BUR

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:27 AM

The firehose contains buffers at both ends of the long cable, which helps drive the length. That is one reason I think the speech synth solution works - although I didn't risk going to 5 feet. Remember that if you are using a 32k card, ALL of your CPU memory accesses run across that cable (I have 32k in the console, so that /may/ also help.)

#15 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    Sunbaenim

  • 13,233 posts

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:26 AM

I sort of cheated, I desoldered the edge connector on my speech synthesizer and put a ribbon cable there -- it gives me the slack and seems to work okay. :)

 

 Building on your idea, drilling a hole on the back of the Speech synthesizer and inserting this kind of cable and soldering it in place would be an elegant looking solution.

 

<< CABLE >>



#16 Gazoo OFFLINE  

Gazoo

    Stargunner

  • 1,507 posts
  • Location:Downingtown, PA

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:40 PM

Nobody's yet mentioned the 'fold-over' solution that was popular in the late  80s through the 90s.

 

Cut a slot in the middle of the back of the top piece of the 'foot' similar to the slot where the cable comes out to the right. You just have to cut away some of the plastic with a sharp knife. Cut off about 3 or 4 inches of the black rubber cover and the metal shielding where the cable comes out of the foot. Fold the cable you've just uncovered to the left back into the foot and then fold it at a 90 degree angle so it comes out the slot you cut in the back of the foot. Generally the top shield is removed for this process, but you could do some creative metalwork and only remove part of it.

 

Now the cable comes out in a more proper direction and the connector is a little more stable as it is less likely that you bump the cable.

 

Gazoo

 



#17 slinkeey OFFLINE  

slinkeey

    Dragonstomper

  • 504 posts
  • Not a Gamer
  • Location:Racine, WI

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:22 AM

I've looked inside TI's klunky "hydrant" box, and saw no obvious reason why it had to be such a giant dongle that added some 5 or 6 inches of width to the console on otherwise already crowded desks.


Image from http://www.mainbyte.com:
flex2.jpg



#18 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

    Moonsweeper

  • Topic Starter
  • 421 posts
  • Location:Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:55 AM

Wow, who put all that stuff in there? <Face Palm> It's been many years since I peek inside mine, but I sure don't recall seeing that much circuitry!

-Ed



#19 Ksarul OFFLINE  

Ksarul

    River Patroller

  • 4,924 posts

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:45 PM

It actually needs to buffer the signals--as it makes communications between the PEB and the console a bit more reliable, Ed.



#20 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

OLD CS1

    Technomancer

  • 5,798 posts
  • Technology Samurai
  • Location:Tallahassee, FL

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:08 PM

Such a project is currently out of my league, or at least outside of my available time.  What about a device which can convert the parallel protocol of the expansion port to eight wires (to easily support using Ethernet cables) and then a PEB card for the other end?  I visualize a device which plug into the expansion port with an RJ-45 port on the back, the device barely wider than the RJ-45 port.  This would eliminate the bulky cable, power draw, and distance between the console and the PEB.

 

For that matter, what about putting the PEB protocol over Ethernet (not necessarily switchable, mind you, but possible.)  That way we can convert the entire protocol (encode all lines) into a single packet) and work bi-directionally.  I can see where CRU timing might be an issue, but not an insurmountable problem.  The speed of modern technology should easily allow conversion between equipment and medium.

 

hrmmmm Might make for an interesting grad project. Maybe a new RFC, "PEB over 802.3u" or "PEB over UDP." :)  (To pat my back a little, I graduate this semester and should start grad school next spring while I use the summer and fall semester to transition between business mode and full-time student mode.)



#21 Ksarul OFFLINE  

Ksarul

    River Patroller

  • 4,924 posts

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:25 PM

Congratulations on graduating! :) I finished my Master's three years ago, so I'm not that far ahead of you. . .although my little sister also has grandchildren turning 18 this year. . .so I tend to start important things a bit late (and my boys (9 and 6) just spent the weekend exploring my TI games box--they're real fans of Burger Time).



#22 mizapf OFFLINE  

mizapf

    River Patroller

  • 3,426 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:01 PM

hrmmmm Might make for an interesting grad project. Maybe a new RFC, "PEB over 802.3u" or "PEB over UDP." :)  (To pat my back a little, I graduate this semester and should start grad school next spring while I use the summer and fall semester to transition between business mode and full-time student mode.)

 

Well, you can try an estimation - seriously.

 

We have a 3 MHz clock, and you must be able to transmit all line states *at least* at that rate. Maybe there are situations where you are required to delay signals for some few nanoseconds, so this could require to significantly push up the rate (say, 5 times). For now we assume everything can be set at each 3 MHz clock tick (333 ns cycle time).

 

Then we have a bidirectional bus; some lines (address bus) only go to the box, the data bus goes back and forth, and other signal lines are also either inbound or outbound. Let's just assume that we go outbound. We have 16 address lines, 8 data lines, DBIN, RESET, CRUCLK, WE, MBE, MEMEN, and IAQ, so these sum up to 31 line states, each 0 or 1, to be transmitted at 3 MHz.

 

This will result in 93 Mbit/s, if, as I said, the peripheral cards are OK with getting all signals at a single instant, which may be a false assumption, so you may be forced to use a multiple of that rate, and then you are already heading towards Gigabit Ethernet.

 

The problem is that not all the 31 bits will actually change all the time every 333 ns, but they *could*.

 

One special thing is the AUDIO IN which is an analog line ... will need to be handled separately.


Edited by mizapf, Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:02 PM.


#23 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    Sunbaenim

  • 13,233 posts

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:38 PM

If an edge connector could be made up to fit in a case/cable harness, just a couple of feet might do the trick to get that thing out of sight.  With the cable example from a previous post, soldered to an edge connector and put in an enclosure/harness, the other end could be soldered into the TI Speech Box with entry hole on the back side.  

 

I suppose a custom connector could be laid out just like a PCB, connectors on one end and the solder points for the cable on the other.

Attached Files



#24 Lee Stewart OFFLINE  

Lee Stewart

    River Patroller

  • 3,853 posts
  • Location:Silver Run, Maryland

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:05 PM

hrmmmm Might make for an interesting grad project. Maybe a new RFC, "PEB over 802.3u" or "PEB over UDP." :)  (To pat my back a little, I graduate this semester and should start grad school next spring while I use the summer and fall semester to transition between business mode and full-time student mode.)

 

H-m-m-m—got my PhD nearly 40 years ago, though not in computer science—so. never mind.  Definitely, congratulations on your imminent graduation—and kudos on your anticipated extension to grad school!   :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

...lee



#25 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

OLD CS1

    Technomancer

  • 5,798 posts
  • Technology Samurai
  • Location:Tallahassee, FL

Posted Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:18 PM

 

H-m-m-m—got my PhD nearly 40 years ago, though not in computer science—so. never mind.  Definitely, congratulations on your imminent graduation—and kudos on your anticipated extension to grad school!   :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

...lee

 

 

Congratulations on graduating! :) I finished my Master's three years ago, so I'm not that far ahead of you. . .although my little sister also has grandchildren turning 18 this year. . .so I tend to start important things a bit late (and my boys (9 and 6) just spent the weekend exploring my TI games box--they're real fans of Burger Time).

 

Thanks for the kudos.  Yeah, I found my young cousins very much enjoy my 4A.  Their favorites are Championship Baseball and Frogger.

 

 

Well, you can try an estimation - seriously.

 

Thanks for doing the brainy work for me.  I would probably just drop AUDIOIN simply because my perception is that so few devices take advantage of it.  Or maybe make it an option.  I believe that is the only analogue line on the buss and it will require special handling.  It may merit its own datatype or packet, sampling at 22kHz or less in 8-bit resolution.

 

I could see making it GigE for use on a switched network.  It would not necessarily be a requirement as on a switched 100TX network even saturating a couple of ports should not (with a good switch) cause problems on the network.  Assuming that 93Mb/s is adequate.

 

In the simplest form, we could sample all lines, convert to a single word, and transmit.  I am brain-storming on a few things.  I am going to jot some of my ideas down and put them up later on.  I have said before, I am an idea person; as much as I would love to implement some of my ideas, I lack the time to learn what I need to learn to implement, so I will be looking for recruit some capable people for the project.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users