I have, after a false start, succeeded in getting my TI to telnet into heatwavebbs.com using a little wifi adapter I've built out of two basic components:
1) An Adafruit Huzzah ESP8266 breakout board ~ $10 - https://www.adafruit.com/products/2471
2) A Female Serial MAX232 adapter ~
$3 $10 - http://www.amazon.co...duct/B00OPTOKI0
https://goo.gl/photo...BiFAQg3hute4ma6 ( I can't seem to attach photos this weekend... but here is the google album. )
The MAX232 board is a simple serial to ttl converter.
The ESP8266 chip is a growingly popular SoC that has an available firmware that lets you simply communicate to the internet with AT+ commands. To use like a modem, you have to update the firmware to the latest, and then use the 'transparent' mode, which lets all received data through to the chips serial out, and passes all input from serial to the other end.
The cheaper raw ESP8266 chips can be had for less than $5. But the first one of those I bought had defective ram. And then to make it come close to working, I still had to build a little board with some pull up resisters to control the boot mode. And to update the firmware I would would have had to build out even more. By going with the Adafruit breakout board, it is easily flashed to the latest firmware with an FTDI USB cable. You can test it with that cable on a PC to get a feel for it, and configure a sufficiently slow bps for connecting to the TI.
Then I wired up the TX, RX, and power for the MAX232. Conveniently, the Adafruit board regulates voltage, and makes 3.3v available. So I simply have a USB cord connected to provide power, and the MAX232 borrowing power off the Adafruit, and TX and RX wired up between the boards. The Adafruit board duplicates the VIN, and TX and RX for the FTDI cable, so I can still tinker with it on the PC if I need to flash it again or whatever.
I had to configure it down to 2400 bps to work well on the TI. Later I'll try hooking up the RTS & CTS for hardware flow control, and then maybe I can do 9600 bps.
AT Commands are interesting. ( I'm using firmware version 0.50 for the ESP8266 )
Sets the serial mode to 2400 bps, 8n1, and no flow control.
Puts the thing in client or 'station' mode, instead of access point mode.
join an access point. Use AT+CWJAP_DEF="myssid","mypassword" to store it for default power state.
sets up transparent mode, otherwise everything comming back gets prefixed with +IPD
turns off multiplexing. required for transparent mode.
opens the connection, and stuff you receive starts to show up.
Opens up your outgoing communication so you can interact with the BBS.
Theoretically, you can press "+++" to get out of CIPSEND mode, and back to the AT mode... but I haven't been able to yet.. the reset button on the board works well enough instead. If you can get back to AT mode, then you'd close the connection with AT+CIPCLOSE
I need to get a little case for it, add a power switch, and add the hardware flow control ( that's just hooking up two more wires, and reconfiguring the UART on the ESP8266 )
TELCO worked ok. I just saw a thread with the TELCO manual today, so I'll have to look and see if the auto-dialing can be made to work. It is nice that this chip's firmware does DNS lookup. Oh, you have to configure your terminal program to send CR/LF when you press enter, or else the chip will ignore you.
I hope someone else finds this useful...
Edited by jedimatt42, Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:03 PM.