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Interest in Dual Serial / 80Column (CP/M) Board for the ADAM?


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#26 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 10:13 AM

You're most kind.

 

I have to admit I know very little about CP/M but want to learn and my ADAM would seem a reasonable vehicle to do so... and 80 column support would be preferable for CP/M use.

 

Yes, the ADAM keyboard remains fully functional. USB keyboard functionality is just a bonus as you get that for free with the PiGFX (Github) firmware I'm going to use to drive the Pi. I'm at least familiar with that side of things as I helped my daughter build a RC2014 a while ago.

 

One of the 'interesting' aspects of this project is I'm both quite new to ADAM ownership and am a total n00b when it comes to CP/M. It would be very nice if this project goes without a hitch but there's usually some mistakes to fix along the way...

...the 'fun' bit bit for me will be if I can tell the difference between issues with my hardware and my simply not understanding how to set up CP/M in 80 column mode on the ADAM.

 

I'll certainly continue to report on progress, and possibly be asking for advice.


Edited by CharlesMouse, Wed May 1, 2019 10:15 AM.


#27 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 6:07 AM

Fingers crossed:

 

The 'missing' component is the composite out - at least until I (hopefully) know this thing is working I'll be using the HDMI out.

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  • ADAM-80-Column.jpg

Edited by CharlesMouse, Wed May 8, 2019 6:09 AM.


#28 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 7:08 AM

Looking good!



#29 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 10:16 AM

Looking good!

 

Many thanks...

 

Yet again I've shown what an idiot I can be. I don't usually make this many mistakes, honest!

 

So:

All plugged-in, MicroSD in place with PiGFX firmware on board... Flip the power and...

-No magic smoke, good.

-ADAM boots properly, good

-Go to HDMI output and there's a flashing cursor, awesome!

 

The next step should be working out how to use the MIB2 drivers and we have 80 columns. :-D Well, as it happens the PiGFX firmware will drive any screen size you like so if that causes the ADAM confusion I might try a re-compile with it fixed to 80x25.

 

...and then the video from the Pi Zero goes out!

 

Funny, it's usually "cake or death" with this kind of thing. Power off, pull the board out and do a bit of IC fondling to see if any are warm. Nope!

Ok, disconnect the Pi and power via a USB wall-wart. Nope!

Hmm, grab Pi from my 3D printer and see if I killed another MicroSD card... Yes, so badly that when I tried putting said MicoSD in my laptop it locked up, funny I've never seen that before.

Try my printer's PI's MicroSD in the ADAM's Pi. Nope.

 

Hmm, let's have another look over those schematics... Oh, (many rude words) I mirrored the GPIO header! The poor little thing was getting 5v through it's 3.3v line but still managed to run for a few minutes before it popped taking the MicroSD card with it.

 

*SIGH* yet again.

 

I'll say it again, I don't usually make this many silly mistakes. Honest!

 

So further modifications to my schematic and layout, a little bit of tidying while I'm at it, and I'll send another order to Seeed. As I'm nearly out of MicroSD cards (Pi's do love killing the darn things even when I've done nothing stupid) and I need another Pi I think I'll not patch my current board but wait on the new ones.

 

-A small delay before I return to '101 ways to c*ck up PCB design'.

 

PS

My AY sound board is complete so lets see if that one can kill off my ADAM entirely!



#30 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 1:43 PM

I own a working MIB3 card that has a dual serial and one parallel port. It allows 80 column text in TDOS or a patched CP/M 2.2 usign the 19.2K serial port and up to a 19.2K using a modem. Plus I have a laser printer connected to the parallel port at up to 19.2k. A improved dual serial and parallel card would offer port speeds up to 115K with special software.

 

The picture you are displaying in post 27 is a FCC and CE certified Raspberry Pi somehow connected to a dual serial card (Which means this product can be resold in the USA and Europe).

The Raspberry Pi version 1.3 you have attached has a USB and HDMI output, wow? Also a reset button.

 

We have never had a USB and HDMI port on the ADAM computer that is as easy to add as a plug in card. Awesome. Yes the ADAM has had HDMI output with a direct modification on the motherboard but never a add in card.

If EOS 6 or EOS 9 was patched to work with the HDMI output, then 100% of programs that were ran would have a HDMI output including ColecoVision games. However perhaps the HDMI output is only working for TDOS and CP/M at this time.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed May 8, 2019 1:46 PM.


#31 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 2:26 PM

Using a sound chip in this card that would make the ADAM 100% compatible with games that use the Super Game Module,  that is awesome.

 

Hopefully one day the HDMI output would work for all ColecoVision/ADAM programs, however for now it sounds like the HDMI output is just a glorified serial video output for TDOS and CP/M 2.2. What is the resolution output of the HDMI port? (480i, 480P, 720P, 1080i, 1080P)?

 

Back in the late 80’s I sold my 80 column text terminal and was planning on purchasing another one. However some of these used working terminals cost over $300. The advantage of your HDMI output is that now I can go purchase a low cost 720P 19 inch HD flat panel with a HDMI input for only $88 at Walmart that well offer much better quality then any old terminal.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ELEMENT-19-Class-720P-LED-HDTV-ELEFW195/38661262


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed May 8, 2019 2:28 PM.


#32 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 4:31 PM

I just noticed this 21.5 inch 1920 x 1080P HDMI computer monitor at Walmart for only $84. Much better then a used serial computer terminal for $300+. 100% of all TV’s and computer monitors are now HD quality with a 16:9 screen ratio. If the ADAM HDMI output does not support 16:9 ratio then 16:9 displays are backwards compatible with 4:3 ratio sources with black bars on the left and right to maintain the original screen ratio.  

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Onn-21-5-LCD-Monitor-Slim-Design-1920-x-1080-Resolution/590128865


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed May 8, 2019 4:32 PM.


#33 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 8, 2019 6:33 PM

Ah, I'm so pleased you like and can see the possibilities of this board. Certainly the sky's the limit:

-If I can just stop making so many mistakes

-Someone with interest and good at coding wants to play (hint, hint)

 

For now what we will hopefully have is a MIB2 compatible board that also brings a Pi Zero for VT100 video out and USB keyboard in.

 

May I direct you to a video of one of my Appe II computers. It's basically running the same kind of set up but the software involved is far, far more interesting than a plain old VT100 emulation. Called Apple2Pi, although my version of the software is a bit special even if I say so myself, 

 

If the driver software on the Apple II could be ported to the ADAM (yes, yes, 6502 to Z80 will be a proper pain) then you would get the whole shooting match (Pi side) essentially for free. All the stuff you've mentioned and a good deal more besides.

 

 

For now a little time must go by while I wait on the fixed boards I've ordered this evening... unless impatience strike and I break out the Kynar again.


Edited by CharlesMouse, Wed May 8, 2019 6:49 PM.


#34 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 5:42 AM

PS

 

Further thoughts on possibilities:

This design uses serial for it's connection so that needs to be kept in mind when considering connection options. Serial can do an awful lot - VT100 display for now, but see the Apple2Pi project as to how much two a way serial connection can provide.

I'd say for an 8bit computer that would be pretty much everything, and indeed as the ADAMs expansion bus is a serial protocol I expect not a great challenge for a talented coder, which I'm not.

For a fast bit-mapped display - I guess the TMS9918 with it's own RAM sort-of communicates with the rest of the computer via a serial interface and so could be reproduced with a Pi going through it's UART but I suspect not quick enough...

...that's not to say a Pi-based bit-mapped graphics / HDMI isn't possible, there is an HDMI board for the ZX Spectrum that does precisely that job:

-I imagine you'd connect enough of the PIs GPIO pins to the same lines on the ADAMs bus that the TMS9918 sits on, maybe a bit of buffering and certainly a bit of level logic required.

-A custom firmware on the Pi to emulate the 9918 and produce the video out.

 

In the former case I expect I could whip up an interface pretty easily, but in the coding would be waaay beyond me, I guess the software components would be something along the lines of:

-Someone who knows how to program the 'metal' of a Pi - maybe Hogglet over on the *. forum or the author of PiGFX

-A state machine to snoop the ADAMs bus for communication and handle transfers over the GPIO - maybe that could be lifted from the ZX Spectrum HDMI interface

-TMS9918 (or better) emulation - F18a core suitable?

-The Pi can act as local VRAM

-Some code to wrap it all together...

 

...that would indeed be an awesome project and you'd potentially have an F18a-like implementation using off-the-shelf components. Back to reality:

-All of that can be 'fudged' to a certain extent over serial as the A2Pi software does - The Pi acts as both a 'super multi-device expansion' and/or can use the host computer's I/O for it's own purposes and emulate any system within it's capability.

-Of course on the ADAM that would require porting / recreating the retro-side communications software...

 

,,,for now the best I can do is make the board and have it run PiGFX:

-MIB2 compatible serial

-A colour VT100 terminal for TDOS / CP/M

-Oh, and I happen to have my name down on the F18a waiting list.


Edited by CharlesMouse, Thu May 9, 2019 5:46 AM.


#35 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 8:40 AM

Sorry if this sounds a bit basic, but what is MIB2?

 

On a side note, a Raspberry Pi solution for the TI 99/4A computer has also been developed called TIPI, currently providing file storage, internet access, mouse support and more options in the works like FTP, using either the side expansion port or the peripheral expansion box. Lots of possibilities there, and it's all a question of programming.

That said, at what point is a vintage computer no longer "vintage"? If we utilize all the possibilities provided by a modern SBC, wouldn't that vintage computer become nothing more than a slave to the modern hardware and lose its soul?

I tend to belong to that latter camp...



#36 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 8:41 AM

** Duplicate **



#37 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 8:42 AM

May I direct you to a video of one of my Appe II computers. It's basically running the same kind of set up but the software involved is far, far more interesting than a plain old VT100 emulation. Called Apple2Pi, although my version of the software is a bit special even if I say so myself, 

 

 

Looks to me you don't need much programming help :) Interesting choice of music for the video by the way...



#38 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 11:28 AM

 

Looks to me you don't need much programming help icon_smile.gif Interesting choice of music for the video by the way...

 You're most kind but TBH 'my' implementation of the A2Pi software was mostly an exercise in sticking Lego blocks together:

-Raspbian

-A2Pi software + goodies + emulators

-RetroPie over the top + some mods to play nice with the other stuff

-Custom boot screen...

...much cursing (Linux)

 

I'm glad you liked the choice of music, it seemed appropriate to me icon_biggrin.gif  I sing a bit (mostly Rat Pack style) and quite like Postmortem Jukbox's arrangements of modern songs.

 

MIB2? Not a basic question at all, if I hadn't been on the lookout for schematics to crib I'd have never heard of it - Micro Innovations Dual Serial Board

 

So the Ti community uses Pi's too? I'm not surprised. Dirt-cheap, readily available, and bendable to all sorts of applications... if I could code there's all sorts of things I'd use them for.

 

 

Ah, the vintage vs modification debate... always good for a heated conversation. For what it's worth my view has gotten more 'conservative' as the years have gone by, currently:

-If it's broken and not fixable then it's fair game. But don't butcher a working retro box and try to pass on surplus parts to others.

-Fix and resurrect what you can.

-There is no limit on 'period' upgrades and modifications, including modern stuff made with older tech, as long as some sympathy is applied.

-When adding modern components it would be 'polite' to do so in such a way that said upgrade could be reversed without much issue.

-Try not to rob the machine of it's essential character. eg: an ADAM booting in to Windows would be 'wrong' but leveraging modern components to improve the experience is fine.



#39 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 12:15 PM

I wish you would have based your design on Micro Innovations flagship top of the line MIB3 card. The MIB3 card has two serial ports plus one parallel port and a boot eprom socket. The parallel port is used for Laser printers and the boot eprom socket allows programs like ADAM's Desktop to boot up instantly when the ADAM is tuned on instead of SmartWriter. Also the boot eprom socket allows any program to be installed for instant booting over Smartwriter.

 

Without the boot eprom socket, people well need to use ATARIMAX's USB or SD cartridge for instant booting. The parallel port is import, however all new Laser printers in production use USB only and no parallel ports anymore. Therefore maybe one day a USB hub could be plugged into the ADAM's USB port and with the proper driver a USB keyboard and USB Laser printer could be connected. 

 

Perhaps on a future board a parallel port and boot prom socket could be installed (or better yet a SD card reader in place of the boot prom scoket).


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu May 9, 2019 12:23 PM.


#40 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 1:53 PM

@HDTV1080P:

 

It's a very fair point. When I started out with these projects I was very new to the Adam... I tend to do this kind of stuff mostly for fun, but also as my way to get to know the system. As a result I wanted something that I hope:

-Will work

-Be compatible with available drivers

-Have available schematics for me to crib from

 

Having done a bit of looking I really wanted to base my attempt on the MIB3 for the very reasons you mention but try as I might I couldn't find a schematic. So I went for a MIB2 clone as it was good enough for my purposes and the code for the GAL was available too - a big help for working out the logic.

 

Now I know a little more, assuming I can get this to work at all, I'd be keen to do a version with ROM support and potentially add a parallel port too. There's room on the board for the components given there's nothing under the Pi and if I was to have another go I'd replace the Serial and Modem Headers with much smaller FTDI ports, especially as I dropped the serial driver IC's from my design. Um, I'd also add some current limiting resistors to those ports - an omission on my part, but not one I'm bothered by as I'd just warn any potential user to include the resistors in their cabling or be very careful.

...if I could find an MIB3 schematic and code for it's GAL that would make things much easier but if not I'd probably just add the ROM support and leave the parallel port as I'd have no way of knowing how MIB wired it up.

 

For now I'll be glad if the current design actually works.

 

PS

I couldn't get my head round the way MIB are addressing the serial chip they selected so to have a chance at making a functioning board I went for the same IC and directly copied the wiring. If at some point I do get my head round it, or somebody explains it to me, I'd probably use a more modern part with any future design. At the least I'd use a SIO(2) chip as they are more available, much cheaper, and the IC Zilog intended to go with the Z80 in the first place - the functionality is much the same.


Edited by CharlesMouse, Thu May 9, 2019 1:56 PM.





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