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VidHD HDMI Board Update


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#1 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:16 PM

From John Brooks today:

 

The VidHD test-production boards have arrived and are now going through QA testing. 


Here is a pic of 7 VidHD bus boards undergoing burn-in testing on a trusty Woz GS that was salvaged from the KFest 2017 Garage Giveaway and repaired (A2Heaven ROM & replaced PSU): 

https://drive.google...otjFY4y_GpHyp99 

Here are pics of the final VidHD hardware, front & back: 

https://drive.google...4PF1lFMWPT_qjUT 
https://drive.google...Msh3cAz2EY4-Q0o 

If the test-production VidHD boards pass QA testing, I'll contact everyone on the vi...@blueshiftinc.com waiting-list so they can place their order for the production run. 

 

To me, this will be the ultimate HD monitor solution for slotted Apple II's.



#2 Aunty Entity OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:02 AM

From John Brooks today:

 

 

To me, this will be the ultimate HD monitor solution for slotted Apple II's.

 

I'm inclined to agree.... straight to hdmi without mucking about... just got to find the readies for fork over for it :/



#3 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:39 PM

The VidHD 1080 HDMI board for slotted Apple II's is now ready to order!  It's $135 + shipping.

 

https://www.youtube....vc1cU-tlsymAHV1

 

Email vidhd at blueshiftinc.com to get yours!

 

With this, a CFFA3000 card, and an Uthernet II card, it's a good time to be an Apple II user!



#4 vespertillio OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:38 PM

This looks awesome. Is it still available to order? I hope so. I have a IIGS that needs some of this love.



#5 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:24 PM

This looks awesome. Is it still available to order? I hope so. I have a IIGS that needs some of this love.

 

Yes, it's still available - haven't even gotten mine yet!



#6 sm3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:55 PM

This is a pretty cool! I found a video on YouTube that describes a bit more about it in case you don't know (like me) anything about it:

 

I have a CFFA3000, just need this and the Uthernet II card :)



#7 vespertillio OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:13 PM

The video looks great. I emailed, but have not heard back yet. Definitely thinking about the flash card though not sure how I'd use the network card.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

#8 Lee Adamson OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:30 PM

Mine is supposed to be here on Monday.  Very exciting.



#9 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:25 PM

Where do we order them?  I can't find a location for them.



#10 rpiguy9907 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:05 AM

Where do we order them?  I can't find a location for them.

 

 

You have to e-mail the creator and get on a waiting list. He has been trickling them out folks as he can build them:

 

vidhd@blueshiftinc.com

 

I have avoided pulling the trigger on it so far...


Edited by rpiguy9907, Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:07 AM.


#11 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:44 AM

Hmm.  Yeah.  I may wait too.

 

One thing I noticed was some type of add-on card with a Samsung chip.  Does anyone know what that is?  It appeared to have the actual HDMI connector.



#12 Lee Adamson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:56 PM

rbjdt7E.jpg

 

xrwPsPu.jpg

 

It has two microcontrollers on it.  One is on the carrier board, which I assume interfaces to the Apple 2 bus.  The other one is on the daughterboard, which also has the HDMI port on it, which I assume is some kind of all-in-one handyboard type unit that he just plugs into the carrier board.  My assumption is that the carrier uC sends video state info to the daughterboard during vblank or something.

 

There's a 9-pin header on the daughterboard that I assume is USB, for re-flashing the daughterboard firmware.  The daughterboard has both an SD card slot and a USB port, so I assume that its firmware can be updated as well.

 

I haven't messed with it much yet, but it takes about 6 seconds for the card to initialize.  This is slower than the system boots with a floppy emu, although it's easy enough to hit control-OA-reset once the card comes up.

 

Since I already have an additional 5v 3a power supply in my system to power the Pi3b+/Rock64 boards (and future microcontroller projects), I am hoping that I can power the video card off of that instead of off the //e bus, so that it just stays on all the time and doesn't need time to initialize when I power up the //e PSU.  I don't see any headers or jumpers for doing that, though, so I assume that my only option (aside from cutting the 5v pin on the mobo side of the connector, which I certainly will not do) is to peel the 5v pad off the card and solder a jumper wire on.  I am loathe to do that to a $135 card, so I'll probably use it as-is for a while just to have a good burn-in period to uncover any issues before I start cutting on it.

 

The included documentation is rather sparse (one page, good enough to get going).  There's a link to the full manual with the included quickstart doc, but following it leads to an "Under Construction" page.

 

All in all, I am very happy with the product.  When I think about what it takes to interface a uC to the //e bus without any glue logic (doing it all in software), it blows my mind.  The creators of this product would appear to have serious skills and really know what they are doing.

 

Now if we had a similar "smart carrier" for the A2Pi stuff, instead of doing it via serial with UARTs that are basically NLA.....  Well, that would be really sweet.  icon_mrgreen.gif


Edited by Lee Adamson, Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:57 PM.


#13 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:04 PM

Actually, that seems to be a JTAG port and not USB.  Which means there should be a CPLD/FPGA on there.  That might be doing some glue logic.  But it's hard to tell from the pics.

 

What I'm wondering is if the daughter card is a third party card or was it designed by them? 



#14 Lee Adamson OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:14 PM

I'd bet you a dollar that it's third party.  Otherwise I doubt it would have all the extra stuff on it (SD card slot in particular).



#15 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:39 PM

Got my board and it works great!  There is no lag in all the games that I tested.  Text mode looks awesome.  This board is the way to go if you want to use a modern TV / monitor with your slotted Apple II.



#16 sm3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:22 PM

Got my board and it works great!  There is no lag in all the games that I tested.  Text mode looks awesome.  This board is the way to go if you want to use a modern TV / monitor with your slotted Apple II.

 

That's good news! I'm only a part-time Apple II user, but it's hard for me to resist these items when they become available.



#17 videofx OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:03 PM

I sent email hoping I can still buy one for my IIe and IIgs :)



#18 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 4, 2019 2:22 PM

FYI, it seems the daughter card is nothing more than an Orange Pi Zero.  Or some variation of it.

 

http://www.orangepi.org/orangepizero/

 

Chris Torrence posted a video on it and you can even see Linux (or something) boot up really quick when he powered on the computer.

 

Doesn't really matter all that much but at least now I know what it is. 

 

Still want one.  :-D



#19 Lee Adamson OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 4, 2019 8:00 PM

Ahhhhh, a wifi antenna.  So that's what that thing is.

 

Still, whatever works.  I think it's pretty darned impressive how it's able to sniff the apple 2 bus in real-time, regardless of whether or not the video output is handled by a Pi board.



#20 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 5, 2019 8:02 AM

Ahhhhh, a wifi antenna.  So that's what that thing is.

 

Still, whatever works.  I think it's pretty darned impressive how it's able to sniff the apple 2 bus in real-time, regardless of whether or not the video output is handled by a Pi board.

 

 

Agreed.  As someone who has dabbled in getting a Propeller (160 MIPS micro-controller) to monitor the bus speed of a 6502, I can confirm that what they did in software is nothing short of impressive.

 

Just proves my point...through enough cycles at something and you can do just about anything.  :-D



#21 Aunty Entity OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 5, 2019 8:11 PM

Now to start multitasking your VidHD card with networking :P  Onboard file server, link to the internet? (chuckle)  The OrangePi isn't meant to be working that hard.  I asked about it ages ago when I first saw pictures. 



#22 Lee Adamson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 5, 2019 9:00 PM

Ah, but I have a Rock64 board that needs a bus-mastering interface, rather than having to bit-bang serially through a 6551 ACIA and tie up the 6502 with driver software.  :3

 

Though I expect that passively sniffing the apple 2 bus is probably a lot less difficult than actually interacting with it, at least directly with a microcontroller...





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