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Where are all the ICD P:R: Connections?


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#26 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:55 PM

I hear that... Let me know how it works... Though I'd have to get my hands on the PLATO cart.....


If I understand it correctly (Thom will tell me if I’m wrong!), the PLATO cart has handlers baked in for the 850 R: handler, the 1030 modem and (I forget the name) the popular 3rd party modem that plugged into the joystick ports (Microbits?). It doesn’t/can’t communicate with a modem or device that loads its own R: handler otherwise, so the P:R:C can’t be used with stock PLATO stuff.

He’s reversed-engineered the code and has built some .car images that can be used with a flash cart that should work with the P:R:C but I haven’t had time to test it myself.

(Hope I got all that summarized correctly!)

#27 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:40 PM

If I understand it correctly (Thom will tell me if I’m wrong!), the PLATO cart has handlers baked in for the 850 R: handler, the 1030 modem and (I forget the name) the popular 3rd party modem that plugged into the joystick ports (Microbits?). It doesn’t/can’t communicate with a modem or device that loads its own R: handler otherwise, so the P:R:C can’t be used with stock PLATO stuff.

He’s reversed-engineered the code and has built some .car images that can be used with a flash cart that should work with the P:R:C but I haven’t had time to test it myself.

(Hope I got all that summarized correctly!)

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#28 bf2k+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:45 PM

I have one here (I think  :)  )

 



#29 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:06 AM

If I understand it correctly (Thom will tell me if I’m wrong!), the PLATO cart has handlers baked in for the 850 R: handler, the 1030 modem and (I forget the name) the popular 3rd party modem that plugged into the joystick ports (Microbits?). It doesn’t/can’t communicate with a modem or device that loads its own R: handler otherwise, so the P:R:C can’t be used with stock PLATO stuff.

He’s reversed-engineered the code and has built some .car images that can be used with a flash cart that should work with the P:R:C but I haven’t had time to test it myself.

(Hope I got all that summarized correctly!)

 

Pretty much. I'm also trying to build an all in one solution that basically folds an 850 and an internet modem emulator into one device, that can work with the PLATO cartridge, and do it very cheaply. There is ZERO excuse to use the clusterfuck of things required to get a serial based internet modem emulator working on the Atari, these days. Not when you have massively dense I/O on microcontrollers with WIFI, Ethernet PHY, Bluetooth, etc, for prices of $2 or less in single quantities. 

 

-Thom



#30 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:18 PM

Well I just signed up for irata.online. I have SIO2PC I have PR: connection, I have UDS-100. I have many ways to get online.

 

What I want to know.. is I have the downloaded .CAR file.. I do not have a Flashcart from AtariMax, but I do have U1MB in a XL I do have Incognito in an 800 and I do have a side2 cart.. is there a way to use any of these to get the .car file loaded?

 

James



#31 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:32 PM

it's a standard headerless 8K cartridge, so it should be able to be loaded into one of the cart slots on e.g. the U1MB.

 

-Thom



#32 gozar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:33 PM

Well I just signed up for irata.online. I have SIO2PC I have PR: connection, I have UDS-100. I have many ways to get online.
 
What I want to know.. is I have the downloaded .CAR file.. I do not have a Flashcart from AtariMax, but I do have U1MB in a XL I do have Incognito in an 800 and I do have a side2 cart.. is there a way to use any of these to get the .car file loaded?
 
James


I believe it’s an 8K cart, so you could flash it to one of the cart slots on the U1M.

But, you need an 850.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

#33 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:37 PM

Yup, the cart has a handler that expects 850 hardware. There is a disassembled version of the cart, so if someone had the P:R: handler, it could probably be injected.

 

-Thom



#34 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:38 PM

I believe it’s an 8K cart, so you could flash it to one of the cart slots on the U1M.

But, you need an 850.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

But gozar the sio2pc uses a R: driver tricking any software to think its an 850 and I think THOM was working on something for the PR: was he not?

 

james



#35 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:39 PM

Yup, the cart has a handler that expects 850 hardware. There is a disassembled version of the cart, so if someone had the P:R: handler, it could probably be injected.

 

-Thom

 

OK, but I have no idea how to do that.. build something with chips and resistors, Im there.. programming.. nope.

 

James



#36 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:41 PM

This is literally why I have an ESP32 based board here, tomorrow I am wiring an SIO cable to it, and will start writing firmware on it to emulate the Atari 850, and provide an internet modem emulation, so that Atari users can finally have an all in one solution that doesn't require 2-3 seperate boxes and cabling.

 

-Thom



#37 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:43 PM

I hear ya, but for those of us who already have the 2 -3 boxes?  SO I normally use my incognito 800 - so I will try and put the .car file in there. OR do I use the .rom file? and then use my sio2pc connection, and see it it works.

 

James



#38 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:46 PM

the APE emulation does not work, again for similar reasons:

 

Stephen Tucker did not do an actual hardware emulation of the 850, he made a handler that loads whenever the 850 bootstraps itself, which has a low level interface to APE's virtual serial code. It does not emulate the actual hardware of the 850, and thus, can't use the handler that's already in the cartridge.

 

I am working to resolve this issue on multiple fronts, but again, I am just one person. It's honestly better for me to make a box that can be made for only a few dollars in parts, and provide both assembled and kit versions with firmware, to actually solve the problem quite elegantly.

 

-Thom



#39 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:53 PM

OK, so I do Pterm for now then :)

 

James



#40 ricortes OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:36 AM

FWIW: If you get some time read up on the ESP32. I've was/mainly fooling around with the ESP8266 but the ESP32 Thom is using is so advanced I wouldn't let my dog sit on ESP8266. Double the speed, 3x+ the RAM, really getting up to the low end specs of an ARM of a couple of years ago.

 

You are able to FLASH the ESP with any software you want. For instance if you want it as R5: to stay out of the way of an 850, it should be fairly trivial to do this so you could have a mixed system with both an 850 with its serial RS232 and the ESP with WiFi serial at R5:. It also has a lot of features such as SPI so it should be able to replace things like the AVR based HD/SD interfaces with the added benefits of 40x the processing power and WiFi.

 

The thing sips power so you could use it as a battery backed RTC too. Really a kitchen sink of usefulness.



#41 manterola OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:15 AM

This is literally why I have an ESP32 based board here, tomorrow I am wiring an SIO cable to it, and will start writing firmware on it to emulate the Atari 850, and provide an internet modem emulation, so that Atari users can finally have an all in one solution that doesn't require 2-3 seperate boxes and cabling.
 
-Thom


What do you think would be the minimum we will need to be able to "burn" that firmware?
I am asking because I ordered a cheap esp8266 version from China for another project: esp-1 and I guess can be flashed with firmware using a usb-ttl serial device I already have.
Or maybe I'll need to get a better more powerful version that I would like to order now. I am very budget constrained right now so I order from China and wait and wait and wait...
Which version do you recommend?
Regards,
Mauricio

PS. Right now I am using a Linux laptop to provide an open socket for this Ethernet card to connect to and provide a bash prompt.
From there I can telnet, browse the web with lynx, wget ,etc. Btw, I am using a rverter kind of solution (74ls00 that connects/disconnects TX/RX controlled by motor line) to hook the little Ethernet TTL card to the SIO port. That way the SIO can be time-shared between the 1050 disk drive and this serial TTL Ethernet interface.

#42 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:26 PM

I'm currently developing on the ESP32, specifically the Olimex ESP32-GATEWAY. I'll look at other options as well, an 8266 should do it fine, as well. 

 

p.s. your current solution sounds interesting. ;) 

 

-Thom



#43 manterola OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:35 PM

I'm currently developing on the ESP32, specifically the Olimex ESP32-GATEWAY. I'll look at other options as well, an 8266 should do it fine, as well. 
 
p.s. your current solution sounds interesting. ;) 
 
-Thom


The rverter handler just works. It is programmed to use the motor (or maybe command?) signal to activate the interface. I was wondering how Atari computer and Atari 850 control the shared access and use of the SIO bus? For example: you download some file, let's say, using zmodem or Kermit. And it is large enough to require a pause to write to disk, before continuing. How that situation is handled?

#44 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:39 PM

Well, that's not handled on the SIO wire, but rather inside the interface. The 850 provides RTS/CTS handshaking capability on port 1, which can only be asserted if the device isn't in concurrent mode. In concurrent mode, the 850 becomes a voltage converter, with no buffer except in the computer side handler, so when you come out of concurrent mode, and assert the rts/cts pins, the 850 does the appropriate work courtesy of its RIOT. (The 850 like so many of Atari's early peripherals uses a combo of a 6507 and a 6532 to provide the CPU, RAM, I/O, and timers for the device.)

 

-Thom



#45 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:56 PM

Damn - I have to get a proper top and back panel made for my 1088XEL.  That just looks too nice!

 

Also, I had no idea the P:R was so rare.  Glad I snatched one up when they were easy to find. I really need to see if I get get on PLATO with my Lantronix + P:R.  Too many projects, too little time.

Yeah.. I had one from back in the day... (It's still around somewhere) and I think I picked up 1 or 2 more (one I bought specifically and I think another was in a lot off ebay).

 

Loved it with my SupraModem 2400 after the 1030 died. :(



#46 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:58 PM

If I understand it correctly (Thom will tell me if I’m wrong!), the PLATO cart has handlers baked in for the 850 R: handler, the 1030 modem and (I forget the name) the popular 3rd party modem that plugged into the joystick ports (Microbits?). It doesn’t/can’t communicate with a modem or device that loads its own R: handler otherwise, so the P:R:C can’t be used with stock PLATO stuff.

He’s reversed-engineered the code and has built some .car images that can be used with a flash cart that should work with the P:R:C but I haven’t had time to test it myself.

(Hope I got all that summarized correctly!)

Well, I should have been more clear... I have never done anything to this point with flashing cart images... that's the part I need to get squared away.  Just need to order the stuff and do it.  I'll probably get motivated after my new MIO arrives.



#47 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:02 PM

This is literally why I have an ESP32 based board here, tomorrow I am wiring an SIO cable to it, and will start writing firmware on it to emulate the Atari 850, and provide an internet modem emulation, so that Atari users can finally have an all in one solution that doesn't require 2-3 seperate boxes and cabling.

 

-Thom

But that's half the fun!



#48 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:04 PM

the APE emulation does not work, again for similar reasons:

 

Stephen Tucker did not do an actual hardware emulation of the 850, he made a handler that loads whenever the 850 bootstraps itself, which has a low level interface to APE's virtual serial code. It does not emulate the actual hardware of the 850, and thus, can't use the handler that's already in the cartridge.

 

I am working to resolve this issue on multiple fronts, but again, I am just one person. It's honestly better for me to make a box that can be made for only a few dollars in parts, and provide both assembled and kit versions with firmware, to actually solve the problem quite elegantly.

 

-Thom

So just out of curiosity, is this "one box" solution only going to be geared for your service, or for regular BBSing and other applications?



#49 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:25 PM

it will emulate an 850, and an internet modem, so it will work for wherever you can use an 850. I _have_ to emulate an 850 exactly, because the PLATO cartridge literally has an 850 handler baked into it, and does not load it from the 850 itself (there is NO RAM left to do so.)

 

-Thom



#50 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:32 PM

it will emulate an 850, and an internet modem, so it will work for wherever you can use an 850. I _have_ to emulate an 850 exactly, because the PLATO cartridge literally has an 850 handler baked into it, and does not load it from the 850 itself (there is NO RAM left to do so.)

 

-Thom

Well, part of why I'm asking is that the "emulating an internet modem" can be somewhat mucky sometimes.  One of the reasons many BBS SysOps can't use things like the WiFi232, which for example doesn't support DCD and RI (which if you're calling out, you don't really need, but if you're running a BBS it's pretty important).  Like I said before, I'm just asking out of curiosity if your solution might make it possible to eliminate my 2-box solution.






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