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Atari 8-bit related BBS(s)

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Is this an appropriate place to ask for advice on getting my 800XL online? I'm having a hell of a tough time, I've got an SIO2PC-USB from Lotharek, a couple modern Macs, and Windows VMs.

I can't seem to get the 850 emulator in SIO2OSX working, and APE doesn't want to play nice with Lotharek's SIO2PC-USB adapter.

 

I've tried SerialTCP, but I think the lack of an R: handler is making all the terminal emulator software I've tried choke. It looks like the software AtariGeezer's working on would do the trick, but I think it's still in development.

 

I should probably note that I can use the SIO2PC-USB adapter for disk loading with RespeQt without issue.

 

If it's possible to get up and running with the gear I've got, I'm certainly at a loss. I'm tempted to just get a VOIP landline from Comcast and an X301 for a few bucks from Best... Thanks!

 

Does this link help?

 

http://atariprojects.org/2018/09/30/connect-your-atari-computer-to-the-internet/

 

-JP

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This is my baby. This is my very first Atari 800 from May 1983. I used to run my bulletin board on it so I installed a speaker cut off switch which you can see next to the control button this was so I could turn off the speaker at night because people would send control-Gs which would ring the bell on the internal speaker on the computer at night to get me to go into chat with them through the sysop console.

 

Its connected with an ATR 8000 with the copower 88 processor upgrade, Inside the 800 its fully tricked out with a full view 80 Bit-3 80 column card in slot 3. A magna systems 256K/16 K ram card and ram drive in slot number 2. An axlon 32k ram card in slot number one and an integrator OS board in slot number 0

 

Bob Wooley was very kind enough to send me an FTE sweet 16 65816 upgrade module and Im gonna try to install it into the 800

 

Someone asked if I could provide them copies of BBS Software I have. Will be reading them all in and SIO2PCing over to make ATRs to post up in a day or so.

 

post-23-0-25202500-1549489775_thumb.jpeg

 

post-23-0-33818400-1549489803_thumb.jpeg

 

post-23-0-54603100-1549489832_thumb.jpeg

 

post-23-0-59711800-1549489858_thumb.jpeg

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Curt, any chance of dumping the ROMs on the Integrator? I have been looking for them for YEARS.

:)

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Curt, any chance of dumping the ROMs on the Integrator? I have been looking for them for YEARS.

:)

I have 3 versions, I'll dump all of them and post them up this weekend. I also have a Corvus to Atari board PCB design I did like 12 years ago, its in ExpressPCB, I think it was finished but its been so long I'd have to compare. I'll pull all that stuff together.

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Curt, any chance of dumping the ROMs on the Integrator? I have been looking for them for YEARS.

:)

 

I have 3 versions, I'll dump all of them and post them up this weekend. I also have a Corvus to Atari board PCB design I did like 12 years ago, its in ExpressPCB, I think it was finished but its been so long I'd have to compare. I'll pull all that stuff together.

 

Wow, this would be amazing. I've always really enjoyed reading Dave Small's documentation, and the Integrator documentation was no exception. It's really cool to learn about his software innovations for mass storage flexibility long before ICD and CSS came along with their XL/XE products!

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I used to run my bulletin board on it so I installed a speaker cut off switch which you can see next to the control button this was so I could turn off the speaker at night because people would send control-Gs which would ring the bell on the internal speaker on the computer at night to get me to go into chat with them through the sysop console.

 

Yeah, i did the same thing to my 800 for the same reason. That was (and still is) the only "mod" i did to my original 800. Running a BBS would drive you insane at night if you didn't disable that console speaker! Later I modified the software to send the epson code to the printer to make it beep instead because 1) it was a much more pleasant and subtle "beep" and 2) because I could just turn the printer on or off when I wanted it silenced. :)

 

I used an ATR 8000 too (one of the few hardware pieces I don't still have... regretfully!). Never had a Corvus though. As N.Dynamite would say... L U C K Y.

 

Funny thing is that even now when I use my 800 I flip that switch to keep that console speaker off anyway.

 

-Eric

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This is my baby. This is my very first Atari 800 from May 1983. I used to run my bulletin board on it so I installed a speaker cut off switch which you can see next to the control button this was so I could turn off the speaker at night because people would send control-Gs which would ring the bell on the internal speaker on the computer at night to get me to go into chat with them through the sysop console.

 

...

 

Someone asked if I could provide them copies of BBS Software I have. Will be reading them all in and SIO2PCing over to make ATRs to post up in a day or so.

 

 

Very cool setup! Thanks for sharing those pics!

 

What BBS Software did you run?

 

BBS Express Pro! supports an external beeper box that plugs into the joystick port. The plans for building it appeared on the Pro! Support BBS. The Boot Factory BBS may have them available for download.

 

The beeper box allowed you to turn off your monitor and still hear when someone pages the SysOp. The plans for building the beeper included an LED that flashed and a switch to turn on or off the audible beeper. The beeper was nice because I kept the BBS in the Basement and when I was upstairs I could hear when someone was calling for a chat. Then at night I could turn it off. When the audible beeper was off, the LED would still flash when someone paged the SysOp. It worked great. I still have it. :)

 

-JP

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Thanks for sharing that; unfortunately, I can't get APE to work with SIO adapter from Lotharek. It says it configures right with the config wizard, but then I get this:

 

[serial Driver] Unable to determine port base address for COM3. Check APE configuration!

[serial Driver] Serial port COM3 opened sucessfully. APE is ready.
A bit confusing, but the Atari won't boot from it so I assume the first error has something to do with that.
To be fair, I wasn't expecting APE to work with my 'competing' USB adapter.
I got SIO2OSX sort of working by using it in a OS X 10.5 virtual machine, and when using ATD to load telnet sites, it loads the first couple lines but then stalls out.
So that's more progress than I've made before, but still not quite right there...

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Thanks for sharing that; unfortunately, I can't get APE to work with SIO adapter from Lotharek. It says it configures right with the config wizard, but then I get this:

 

[serial Driver] Unable to determine port base address for COM3. Check APE configuration!

...

 

 

You said you're using SIO2USB, correct? Isn't there a device driver you need to run on your PC to make a USB device act like a COM device? If so, are you running such a driver?

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You said you're using SIO2USB, correct? Isn't there a device driver you need to run on your PC to make a USB device act like a COM device? If so, are you running such a driver?

 

I am yeah, I've installed the drivers linked on Lotharek's website under all the VMs I've been trying. APE appears to configure perfectly, but never seems to work at all. SIO2OSX sort of works (disk loading works great), I'm guessing it's the software or some strange combination of my mess of VMs causing the weird stalling with that.

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you need to set it up as a VCP (virtual com port) then set APE according to the outline steve (classics) at atarimax provided. then work your way through the rts cts dtr choices till you find what works.

 

it may also be of note only the registered version allows for other devices to work in this way. Demo won't do it.

 

there were a number of how to do it's here on AA about macintosh vm wine etc so some further digging might help or be in order.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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you need to set it up as a VCP (virtual com port) then set APE according to the outline steve (classics) at atarimax provided. then work your way through the rts cts dtr choices till you find what works.

 

it may also be of note only the registered version allows for other devices to work in this way. Demo won't do it.

 

there were a number of how to do it's here on AA about macintosh vm wine etc so some further digging might help or be in order.

 

Thanks! I have done some extensive hunting around on AtariAge, but maybe I wasn't searching well enough. I hadn't had a clear answer on whether non-atarimax devices would work with the APE trial though, so that likely explains that.

I guess I'm wary of ponying up and then having it still not work.

 

Attached picture is the stalling out I'm getting with SIO2OSX, very curious; seems to do this with anything I connect to.

https://imgur.com/eXBHygq

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which version lotherik did you buy? the one with the tiny switch or without?

stalling on ftdi devices happened for one other person I know of... I don't remember the links I sent him to. but he was able to use them to update the ftdi firmware to prevent internal sleep mode of the ftdi and the stalling ended for him.

 

kyle22 can you remember help him out with that?

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which version lotherik did you buy? the one with the tiny switch or without?

stalling on ftdi devices happened for one other person I know of... I don't remember the links I sent him to. but he was able to use them to update the ftdi firmware to prevent internal sleep mode of the ftdi and the stalling ended for him.

 

kyle22 can you remember help him out with that?

 

This guy: https://www.lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=108

I've linked a picture of mine below. I ordered it very recently, only had it a couple weeks.

It doesn't appear to have any switch on it at all; and as mentioned, it does work excellently for disk loading with SIO2OSX and RespeQt on my Mac.

 

https://imgur.com/Pe0hB1i

 

That firmware update sounds like a very plausible solution.

 

I wasn't surprised that SIO2OSX's 850 emulator wasn't playing nice with my modern version of macOS (the program was designed in the PPC era after-all), but I've gotten as far as this by running it in a VM on 10.5.

Lots of variables to be sure, but this is the best luck I've had so far. I appreciate everyone's help!

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which version lotherik did you buy? the one with the tiny switch or without?

stalling on ftdi devices happened for one other person I know of... I don't remember the links I sent him to. but he was able to use them to update the ftdi firmware to prevent internal sleep mode of the ftdi and the stalling ended for him.

 

kyle22 can you remember help him out with that?

I can't remember the link, but I just sent you the FTDI Tool.

 

Edit: This tool is also capable or repairing FTDI chips that were given bogus VID/PID numbers by unscrupulous vendors. Nuff said. :)

 

FT_Prog_v3.6.88.402 Installer.zip

 

Edited by Kyle22
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This is my baby. This is my very first Atari 800 from May 1983. I used to run my bulletin board on it so I installed a speaker cut off switch which you can see next to the control button this was so I could turn off the speaker at night because people would send control-Gs which would ring the bell on the internal speaker on the computer at night to get me to go into chat with them through the sysop console.

 

Its connected with an ATR 8000 with the copower 88 processor upgrade, Inside the 800 its fully tricked out with a full view 80 Bit-3 80 column card in slot 3. A magna systems 256K/16 K ram card and ram drive in slot number 2. An axlon 32k ram card in slot number one and an integrator OS board in slot number 0

 

Bob Wooley was very kind enough to send me an FTE sweet 16 65816 upgrade module and Im gonna try to install it into the 800

 

Someone asked if I could provide them copies of BBS Software I have. Will be reading them all in and SIO2PCing over to make ATRs to post up in a day or so.

 

Thank you! That BBS software would be greatly appreciated!

 

One thing I had heard of was a multi-node software running off multiple 800's sharing a single Corvus HD... I was always curious how that worked.... Just a simple file-lock strategy? Might be a good way to do a multi-line BBS for the A8.

 

Then again, it's hard enough to get callers for just one node let alone justify working on a multi-node one.

(And yes, I do know about TCP/IP Express with the multiplexer, but unless I'm wrong, I don't think that hardware is available for purchase and I don't think the software is available either).

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ah you didn't get the 1050 to pc sio 2 usb... so there is no switch...

in any event some of the ftdi devices have an internal power saving mode that causes pausing and stalling, the tool kyle attached is, If I remember, how we fixed his when it was pausing and stalling on his ftdi sio to usb cable. never had a problem since

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IIRC, Look for USB Remote Wakeup and set it.

Program the chip after setting that.

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IIRC, Look for USB Remote Wakeup and set it.

Program the chip after setting that.

 

Just following along, trying this tool myself for the first time, since I have the exact same Lotharek SIO2PC-USB (non 1050toPC capable), Since I'm able, here's the screen with the wake setting -- mine was originally ticked:

 

post-53052-0-53890400-1549515492_thumb.png

 

I also noticed another potential option in device manager. Get properties on the USB Serial Port, go to Port Settings tab, click Advanced button, and there's an option to control selective suspend here as well, along with an idle timeout -- mine appeared to be off by default:

 

post-53052-0-69582700-1549515653.png

 

Lastly, I've been using the default driver that plug-n-play installed a few years ago, which was dated 2013, but updated the x64 driver today to 16-Aug-2017.

 

I have not ever tried 850 emulation over the SIO2PC... My own interest was to see if it helped when I've seen some games on a DD multi-boot loader hang for about 15 seconds when loading before trying a sector again, but that was resolved by merely increasing the response delay in RespeQt...

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ah you didn't get the 1050 to pc sio 2 usb... so there is no switch...

in any event some of the ftdi devices have an internal power saving mode that causes pausing and stalling, the tool kyle attached is, If I remember, how we fixed his when it was pausing and stalling on his ftdi sio to usb cable. never had a problem since

 

 

I can't remember the link, but I just sent you the FTDI Tool.

 

Edit: This tool is also capable or repairing FTDI chips that were given bogus VID/PID numbers by unscrupulous vendors. Nuff said. :)

 

attachicon.gifFT_Prog_v3.6.88.402 Installer.zip

 

 

IIRC, Look for USB Remote Wakeup and set it.

Program the chip after setting that.

 

 

Just following along, trying this tool myself for the first time, since I have the exact same Lotharek SIO2PC-USB (non 1050toPC capable), Since I'm able, here's the screen with the wake setting -- mine was originally ticked:

 

attachicon.gifwakeup.png

 

I also noticed another potential option in device manager. Get properties on the USB Serial Port, go to Port Settings tab, click Advanced button, and there's an option to control selective suspend here as well, along with an idle timeout -- mine appeared to be off by default:

 

attachicon.gifselect-suspend.png

 

Lastly, I've been using the default driver that plug-n-play installed a few years ago, which was dated 2013, but updated the x64 driver today to 16-Aug-2017.

 

I have not ever tried 850 emulation over the SIO2PC... My own interest was to see if it helped when I've seen some games on a DD multi-boot loader hang for about 15 seconds when loading before trying a sector again, but that was resolved by merely increasing the response delay in RespeQt...

Thanks all! Should the USB Remote Wakeup setting be checked on or off? It was on already, and it seems to exhibit the same behavior when turned off, but I'm attempting to program it again on a real windows machine since my VM was throwing an error. Should be able to test again this evening.

Edited by DNA128k

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wake up needs to be on, suspending, sleeping etc. should be off, you want it to always be on and always be able to wake up just in case it falls asleep or stalls etc.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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wake up needs to be on, suspending, sleeping etc. should be off, you want it to always be on and always be able to wake up just in case it falls asleep or stalls etc.

 

Hmm, that box was originally ticked; I suppose I'll just switch it back. The device manager settings look OK under Windows, but since I'm not actually using the device under Windows, I don't think those settings 'stick'.

Maybe it is just a software issue after all; but I think I'm all out of software choices.

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if the mac has such options do your best to make sure they are set to max performance always one whatever the mac terminology might be, if the mac has more than one usb controller try different usb ports...

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if the mac has such options do your best to make sure they are set to max performance always one whatever the mac terminology might be, if the mac has more than one usb controller try different usb ports...

 

Will do! Seems that Kyle22 and other folks have had luck with these FTDI devices and the registered version of APE in the past, but $50 is a big spend to test! I'll have to exhaust my other options.

 

I really appreciate everyone's advice!

Edited by DNA128k

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I use RespeQt daily. Ape pro, not so much, but it's nice to have.

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