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The Compact Computer 40 (CC40)


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#1 sparkdrummer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 3:48 AM

Does anyone know of a hardware hack for the CC40 to be able to load/save programs, possibly from tape? I know that it was set up to be able to use the hexbus interface but they are scarcier than hen's teeth. I'd like to play around with my cc40's a bit more if I could save off to some sort of media? I have a 3" quickdisk from a smith corona word processor - would this work somehow? 



#2 mizapf ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 4:39 AM

Hexbus is an "intelligent" interface that operates by high-level commands; you need a processing unit inside the device. For the Hexbus floppy drive it is actually a TMS 9995.

 

(Picture by J.-E. Hartwig)

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#3 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:23 PM

Mechatronic made a Hex-Bus interfaced version of the Quick Disk, so it is possible. I have a whole bunch of the Hex-Bus interfacing chips (the .400 chip at about the middle of the board in the second row of chips from the right in the picture Michael put up) that I bought last year. Those are the only really unobtainable part for building your own interface, and the source I bought them from still has them.



#4 Airshack ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:28 PM

 

Does anyone know of a hardware hack for the CC40 to be able to load/save programs, possibly from tape? I know that it was set up to be able to use the hexbus interface but they are scarcier than hen's teeth. I'd like to play around with my cc40's a bit more if I could save off to some sort of media? I have a 3" quickdisk from a smith corona word processor - would this work somehow? 

I have a friend whom has an extra TI-74S which is basically the CC-40 with a few less character definition graphics commands. It's way smaller too! He claims the TI-74S has a port on the back for a cassette interface. Apparently, these cassette adapters are far less rare than the hex bus interface/drive for the CC-40. He also claims the CC-40 NEVER had a working storage system (beyond battery backup & internal 6K) since the HEXBUS thingy for the CC-40 was never all that reliable. One other thing he tells me is the TI-74 has 8K and there are Solid State Cartridges for it which store another 8K. Internal 8K can be swapped into the cart for storage. So maybe this is reason enough for a VAST meet up in the near future? Just saying' The CC-40 is cool but without a storage solution it's a bit of a paperweight.



#5 RickyDean ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:30 PM

Mechatronic made a Hex-Bus interfaced version of the Quick Disk, so it is possible. I have a whole bunch of the Hex-Bus interfacing chips (the .400 chip at about the middle of the board in the second row of chips from the right in the picture Michael put up) that I bought last year. Those are the only really unobtainable part for building your own interface, and the source I bought them from still has them.

Didn't fabrice montupet build a hexbus interface awhile back, I seem to remember a thread on it?


Edited by RickyDean, Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:34 PM.


#6 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:40 PM

I looking for the Quick Disk, a CC40+ and an assembler cartridge for years... still never found one of them at a friendly price.

 

anyway (damn :mad: ) I have discovered that I've lost a Quick Disk lastly on ebay :(

http://www.ebay.de/i...=p2047675.l2557


Edited by ti99iuc, Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:40 PM.


#7 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 5:08 PM

Fabrice did build one--and it works.

 

Unfortunate on the Hex-Bus Quick Disk, Ciro! I already have one, so I haven't been trolling the Hex-Bus stuff as diligently as I ought to lately. . .



#8 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:50 AM

BITD, I thought I saved my work to a PC through the hexbus RS322, but I don't remember if it was able to load, or if I was just saving a listing.

---

There is this story that suggests you can buid a PC interface (parallel port) cable for the TI-74 and then adapt it to the CC-40. http://www.suddenlin...rtismc/7495.htm

And more (almost too much) info here: http://ftp.whtech.co...ti74 hexbus.txt

-M@

#9 majestyx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:47 PM

So I had some ebay bucks which were about to expire and found a new-in-box TI CC-40 which ended up costing me $30 delivered out of pocket. Is it safe to assume there is still no way to save/load anything to this machine and unless you get a hold of the few hard-to-find cartridges that were available for it, it's pretty much an interesting conversation piece but not something one will get much use out of? I'm guessing that is the case, but figured it was worth asking once again.



#10 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 6:01 AM

Your best bet is PCIF interface used by the TI 74 to save and load programs to/from a PC. This site has all the details on building one along with drivers for the CC40: http://www.suddenlin...rtismc/7495.htm. Manual attached. Perhaps ksarul might be interested in creating a PCB for it? There are a lot CC40's floating out there looking pretty but with no activity given the storage issue... 

Here are a few programs I wrote for the CC40: http://atariage.com/...rams/?p=3642403. They were all saved on my PC using the PCIF.

Another good info page: http://www.99er.net/cc40.html

 

 

 

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#11 sparkdrummer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 6:20 AM

+1 for getting a storage solution for the cc40. Maybe we could interest Jim or Matt into looking into this eventually. Of course, if that happened then we'd be begging for an easy way to expand to the 18k. We TI'ers are never satisfied, are we?

#12 majestyx OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 6:42 AM

Yes, I'd be happy to pay for an assembled one, so if enough people are interested in a storage solution for the CC-40, it might motivate the right person to have them available for purchase. And indeed, a memory expander would also be another excellent addition. I saw on the hexbus.com page a 16K RAM expansion cart and a 32K "constant memory cart" which might provide clues on how to go about making that possible.

 

Thanks for the links and info!



#13 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 9:36 PM

+1 for getting a storage solution for the cc40. Maybe we could interest Jim or Matt into looking into this eventually. Of course, if that happened then we'd be begging for an easy way to expand to the 18k. We TI'ers are never satisfied, are we?

 

You have to prove that you can fill the thing before you get memory expansion :) 

 

I am interested in getting to that, and I hear ElectricLab is also... :)    Glad to see he has noticed this thread :) 

 

-M@



#14 sparkdrummer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 9:46 PM

Fill it up? Easy. Just like in "Blown Away", I Luv TI, I Luv TI, I Luv TI... 



#15 MillipedeMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 11:17 AM

So I had some ebay bucks which were about to expire and found a new-in-box TI CC-40 which ended up costing me $30 delivered out of pocket. Is it safe to assume there is still no way to save/load anything to this machine and unless you get a hold of the few hard-to-find cartridges that were available for it, it's pretty much an interesting conversation piece but not something one will get much use out of? I'm guessing that is the case, but figured it was worth asking once again.

 

 

I would say that without the external storage capabilities, the TI CC-40 really is just an interesting conversation piece (and TI's last hoorah in the home computer market). About six months back I bought mine from probably the same place you got yours, majestyx; mine was new in the box, but I paid around $40, and it came from a computer museum in Columbus, OH, which must have had a pallet of them that they are slowly selling off a box at a time on eBay.

 

I set my CC-40 up at VCFSE 5.0 this past weekend (see pic below). I had already keyed in a version of Hangman into it, so at least there was something the attendees could look at and play with. Got some minor interest with it sitting next to my full 99/4a display, but I too would love something more "interactive" than just playing the odd game of Hangman on it. Perhaps I'll pursue the hex bus interface hack at some point in the future.

 

Experience the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a: TI CC-40 Compact Computer side display


Edited by MillipedeMan, Tue May 2, 2017 11:17 AM.


#16 ElectricLab OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 1:48 PM

Let's do it! I never had one back in the day, but recently scored one on eBay and would love to explore its capabilities. According to JediMatt, it sounds like the support is there internally for Hexbus and we'd just need to create an interface. I don't know much about the speed of Hexbus but I'm sure we could interface to a Raspberry PI since people are doing so for IDE and SCSI nowadays. It would be cool to emulate a Hexbus drive and be able to read/write to it. I have some projects in the pipeline but if people are interested in collaborating on this, count me in!



#17 apersson850 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 4:19 AM

I've considered making an interface for the TI 99/4A, where it would simulate a storage device, so the CC-40 could use the 99/4A as kind of a file server. But I've never really taken the time to start analyzing if it's feasible.



#18 Arnuphis OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 7:36 AM

I wish there was some way of having an external display on it. That one line screen was very limiting. But yes storage is the most needed thing.



#19 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 8:36 AM

I remember marketing material that suggested a display attached...

-M@

#20 majestyx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 9:05 AM

MillipedeMan,

 

Sounds like the same place. They had a lot of around 35 of them for sale at a Buy It Now Price of $40 and change, including shipping, so I figured, why not? I figured someone will eventually figure out a way to store stuff for this thing (or should I say hope?).

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I only recently realized I had a Tandy Model 102 which I bought in the early 90s at an auction but never knew what it was. I think it was included in a box lot of computers which included a C64. When I looked online to see if there was any info available on it, I found out that some years back there was a pretty dedicated following for it. So instead of being ahead of the game with the CC-40, it looks like I missed the boat on a storage solution for it since the Model 100 website looks to have given up the ghost with no updates in nearly 5 years. I posted a message on the Tandy Computer forum here, but so far, no response.



#21 mizapf ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 10:16 AM

I can imagine that it is possible to create a Hexbus/USB adapter using an Arduino. The Hexbus protocol, as I just learned when analysing the Hexbus floppy, is not so complicated. Of course, you would still need a counterpart on the PC side, but this is feasible as well.

 

BTW, I never tried it before but just before writing this message, the CC-40 is also emulated in MAME - just to mention for people who are interested. Once we have the HX5102 emulation, this may also be used for the CC-40 emulation, not only for the TI-99/8.



#22 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 5:06 PM

I can imagine that it is possible to create a Hexbus/USB adapter using an Arduino. The Hexbus protocol, as I just learned when analysing the Hexbus floppy, is not so complicated. Of course, you would still need a counterpart on the PC side, but this is feasible as well.

 

BTW, I never tried it before but just before writing this message, the CC-40 is also emulated in MAME - just to mention for people who are interested. Once we have the HX5102 emulation, this may also be used for the CC-40 emulation, not only for the TI-99/8.

 

Yes the emulation works quite well, but I have refrained from using it given the lack of storage device emulation at this time...



#23 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 6:31 PM

Disembodied LCD display feels weird too... Does mame have a way to put a skin around the /screen/ ?

-M@

#24 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 5:26 AM

Michael Becker had one of the Hex-Bus Video Display Adapters many years ago. I'm not sure who has it now, as he sold it on eBay about 10 years ago.



#25 mizapf ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 5:52 AM

Disembodied LCD display feels weird too... Does mame have a way to put a skin around the /screen/ ?

 

Yes, if I'm not completely wrong, it is a matter of "artwork", but I never had a closer look, since the TI emulations never needed it. So I cannot say more about that. But I agree, this would make it look much better. I can try to find out, though.






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