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znac049

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About znac049

  • Rank
    Space Invader
  • Birthday 05/23/1962

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    Keeping old computers alive long past their sell-by date, especially anything 6502, 6809 and 68k.

    Curre.ntly restoring an Atari Asteroids Deluxe upright coin-op
  1. Hi Michael, Another question, I'm afraid - I want to be as compatible as possible with TK-II, so what is your approach to mapping keys where a single key on the PS2/USB keyboard maps to two different keycodes on the A8? For example, the '=' key when shifted yields '+' on the USB keyboard, but on the A8, these are different keys. My solution so far is to emulate an unshifted '+' key on the Atari, but that, in theory, could break software that's doing its own keyboard scanning. I could toggle the behaviour through a EEPROM seting. Also, how would I then send the equivalent of a shifted '+' Atari key? Thanks, -Bob
  2. Possible, yes, but not sure what it buys you. On the plus side, yes, you save some I/O on the microcontroller, but you have to weigh that against the opportunity it creates for the counter to get out of step with K0-5. Unlikely, I know if the software is properly written, but as everyone will tell you, "Software always lets you down!" I don't see how it simplifies the install as all of those signals are straight from the POKEY so directly accessible on the POKEY daughter board.There is enough I/O on the ATMEGA328 so no problem. The "keep it simple" principle wins out here, I think. -Bob
  3. Well, just to keep folks interested, here's a couple of photos of the Arduino prototype, showing a wireless USB keyboard working with the 65XE. I've got all of the keys mapped now. https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjMVYTGVtR6KiegH3WE8prWWv54rGg https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjMVYTGVtR6KiegIF3GTrTCCAe5G8A I hope to have a schematic I'm happy with in the next few days and will put that up on Github as a PDF, as well as Kicad files. I'm also learning a lot about SMD packaging types - SOIC/SSOP/TSOP etc. Looks like a bit of a minefield so I'm paranoid I'll put the wrong package types on the board.I've also ordered up a bunch of parts, including MAX3421Es, ATMEGA328Ps, crystals, 3.3v regulators and so on. I thought I'd better do that as it's all coming from China, and usually takes a few weeks. -Bob
  4. Hi Michael, Thanks for the info - saved me a lot of checking. I'd thought I'd pass the onboard KR1/2 signals through the AVR (there are spare inputs) but maybe that's overkill and simple open collector solution makes more sense.Good to know about the XEGS and 1200XL keyboards; I'll have a think about that. It might be a good excuse to buy one so that I can properly test it Thanks for the time you've taken to share your knowledge and ideas. Hopefully it will mean a better solution at the end of the day. -Bob
  5. Thanks Michael, ALLPCB looks pretty good.
  6. I agree that cheapest isn't always best and much prefer "simplest is usually best" myself. Where I do find myself disagreeing with you is that one failure to solve a problem or a bad implementation prevents future attempts. That's not been my experience and it would be a bit depressing if it did. To me, being told that something can't be done because we tried and it failed just makes me want to proved that it can be done, and done well. Dwelling on past failures only has value insofar as an understanding of why they failed can help future developments. Still, that's probably a bit too much philosohpy for this thread -Bob, standing on the shoulders of giants!
  7. The hardware I own is a 65XE, so I guess that's my initial target. Obviously that means it will work with the 130XE as well. I think though that all Atari 8-bits have the same keyboard interface circuit, based mostly around the POKEY which means it should work with them all. To be honest, though, I haven't consulted all the schematics for all Atari 8-bits so can't say that for sure. Part of the development will be doing that research and trying to find willing A8 owners to try it out on their hardware. You mentioned the 800XL and I'm pretty certain that the 65XE is essentially just a rebranded 800XL, so I'd be really surprised if this didn't work. Still, it wouldn't be the first time in my life I've been surprised! While I hope the circuit should be the same for all A8s, how it's installed will vary from system to system. The basic idea is that the board will plug into the POKEY socket and the POKEY will plug into the board. If you're unlucky, this may involve desoldering your POKEY and fitting a socket. The board will also have a small number (4 or 5) wires that need soldering on to various points on your Atari. I'm sure there will be reasons why that approach won't work in all A8 systems and if that's the case, we may need model specific variants of the board, but obviously I'd want to keep that to a minimum. The first job though is to take my working Arduino hardware and turn it into a custom PCB for my 65XE. Once that's done, we'll see what the next step is: revise the board/make available as-is/something else.
  8. Hi Pancio, I will sort out the missing library, though I will probably create a new library with just the parts needed. I'll try to do that in the next couple of days. The schematic is evolving fast so do pull frequently. -Bob
  9. Michael et al. So I dug out a USB host shield and did a quick proof of concept. I can reliably detect USB keyboards with an Arduino and get key press/release callbacks out of the USB library, which basically means this is doable. Still a long way to go before it becomes something people might want to build for themselves, but projects like this are mostly about the journey, right? I'll use the same github repository as above for the new code, but its on the 'usbmaster' branch, if anyone wants to look at it. I'm doing the hardware design now and while it's still relatively simple, it does involve 5v and 3.3v devices coexisting, so extra voltage regulation will be needed and level converters. I use Kicad for schematic editing and board layout so I'll add that to the github repo as soon as I have something that I think might fly. As I think I mentioned, the USB host controller device (MAX 3421E) is only available as a surface mount part which will make assembly harder. Still, I've been wanting to try my hand at surface mount for some time now. Once I have an initial design, I'll get some POKEY piggyback boards made and see where that goes. I'm based in the UK and will source boards from China (cheap but not very fast - four to six weeks). Oh, I forgot to say, I tested my code with a few different USB keyboards, including wireless and they all behaved the same. Imagine that - a nice wireless keyboard talking to your Atari 8-bit I'll post updates here as I have them and would welcome any thoughts or ideas you folks might have. When the code is a bit more stable, I'd welcome feedback on it; similarly for the schematic and pcb design. One last thing - I'm not looking to make money out of this - it's all open source and hardware. -Bob
  10. Thanks for all the replies. I hadn't come across the TK-II before and it certainly looks like it does the job. My problem with it, and it's not very rational, is that I really, really don't like PICs, which is the microcontroller it uses. I much prefer the ATMEL ATMegas used by most Arduinos. Like I say, not very rational. I feel the same way about Z80s, btw mytekcontrols, you are right about the size of the Arduino boards being on the large side. That's why I'm designing a board that just uses the ATMega328 device directly and won't need an Arduino. It will end up a similar size to the TK-II. Compatiibility with the TK-II mappings shouldn't be an issue. I like the idea of USB instead of PS2. The pain is that it would need a USB host controller chip and to my knowledge, those things are only available in SMD packages, making it harder for anyone who wanted to self assemble. I've used one in the past and they are easy enough to interface with the Arduino, though require considerably more code to get them to work. The device I used was the MAX3421E and I think they come in at about £3.50/$5.00 for a single part - about twice the cost of the ATMega328! I think I have a shield somewhere (used it to control my DSLR) and see if I can get it hooked up. Hmm, plenty of food for thought. -Bob
  11. Hi, Not sure if there is any interest in this sort of thing, but I've just got a PS2 keyboard connected to the keyboard interface in my 65XE (via an Arduino) while I look into getting my Atari keyboard fixed. I can see that adapters like this have been available in the past, but as far as I can tell, are no longer. I'm in the process of laying out a board that would tidy everything up and minimise the number of wires that would need soldering onto the mainboard. The code works really well, and I've put it up on Github if anyone is interested: https://github.com/znac049/XEKeyboard I started the project as a bit of fun for my own benefit but I'd be interested to know if there is any wider interest in this. I've started laying out a PCB and will get an initial run of ~10 boards made up, so if anyone wants one, I'd be happy to oblige. Just let me know. The adapter should work in pretty much any 8-bit atari. -Bob
  12. Hi, Does anyone have the plans for an AD upright? I live in the UK and it's just about impossible to find these things here. The cost of shipping from the US has left me only one option - make one. I want to make it as close to the original as possible. After a few months, I now have a fully working game on my bench (I recently found and repaired a 19V2000 vector monitor). If noone has the plans but has the cab itself, how do you fancy helping to pull together a set of plans? Thanks for reading this far -Bob
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