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DIY SIO2USB

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Finally received my "6pin FTDI FT232RL USB to Serial adapter module USB TO TTL RS232 Arduino Cable" as it's called on ebay.

 

post-61269-0-43008400-1507250325.jpg

 

I connected it to a SIO plug and tested. It is seen in Windows 10 as a USB Serial Port (COM3). I am using RespeQt with CTS handshaking. It works identical to my real FTDI chip and even allows for daisy chain connected to my 1050 drive without a diode. I was able to use the 1050 as Drive 1 (removed ATR image from RespeQt Drive 1) without any issue. Load time/speed also appears to be identical to the FTDI chip.

 

I will need to do some more testing, but as of right now, this is well worth the price and the wait. Less than $10 in the whole set-up.

 

$3.59 shipped from ShenZhen, China. Ordered on Sunday, Sep 24, 2017 and received it today.

 

Figured I would update this post for anyone looking for an inexpensive alternative to the SIO2PC's being sold.

 

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Where did you get the SIO plug? I have the FTDI ordered as well.

Best Electronics with a few other items. Bought two at that time for an extra and it came in handy today...

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Thinking but not too hard. Idea isn't original to me of course, I'm thinking the hack some people made using jumpers would be a good way of going forward with the SIO buss now that real SIO cables are getting a bit pricey and having to wait for shipping. Solution may end up being a bit Rube Goldberg but I'm thinking using jumpers like the picture plugged directly into the SIO connector on the back of an Atari and brought out to a piece of PC board with .100 centers would let you add things painlessly. I'll see if I can toss something together.

post-35434-0-68360200-1507400582.jpg

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Thinking but not too hard. Idea isn't original to me of course, I'm thinking the hack some people made using jumpers would be a good way of going forward with the SIO buss now that real SIO cables are getting a bit pricey and having to wait for shipping. Solution may end up being a bit Rube Goldberg but I'm thinking using jumpers like the picture plugged directly into the SIO connector on the back of an Atari and brought out to a piece of PC board with .100 centers would let you add things painlessly. I'll see if I can toss something together.

 

I highly recommend SIO cable connectors over this, but...

 

...that is how I "tested" my first SIO2PC board (fake FTDI) and it does work, just not secure enough for me and sucks when I had to take it off for any reason.

 

Also, I had to remove the plastic casing on each pin (covered them in heat shrink tubing) so they would expand large enough for the SIO pins. You can see the red wire still has casing on it. the other three are heat shrink tubing.

 

post-61269-0-25334700-1507403423_thumb.jpg

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The "slow boat..." with my 6-wire cable arrived, and I assembled my Atari SIO to it. I used the standard connections, including the USB blue CTS wire to SIO Command pin 7 (purple on miy SIO cable).. Works fine with AspeQt (I still use that), but only works with no handshaking. If I set the handshaking to CTS, then it stops working. (?)

 

But my real question is whether anyone has gotten one of these cables to work with APE? My APE (registered) software works fine with my FTDI breakout board (DSR) from Sparkfun, but it won't work with this one, period. I'm not too surprised, since APE is pretty particular about what it will work with. Anyway, just curious if anyone had luck with APE.

 

-Larry

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The "slow boat..." with my 6-wire cable arrived, and I assembled my Atari SIO to it. I used the standard connections, including the USB blue CTS wire to SIO Command pin 7 (purple on miy SIO cable).. Works fine with AspeQt (I still use that), but only works with no handshaking. If I set the handshaking to CTS, then it stops working. (?)

 

But my real question is whether anyone has gotten one of these cables to work with APE? My APE (registered) software works fine with my FTDI breakout board (DSR) from Sparkfun, but it won't work with this one, period. I'm not too surprised, since APE is pretty particular about what it will work with. Anyway, just curious if anyone had luck with APE.

 

-Larry

Dumb question, but how did you verify the purple wire on SIO is pin 7? Not all SIO plugs are the same wire colors.

 

I salvaged my SIO plug/cable from a non-working 410 Program Recorder and the colors are White, Black, Brown, Orange.

 

ATARI 401 SIO to FT232RL USB

Pin4 (Black) to GND (Black)

Pin5 (Brown) to RXD (White)

Pin3 (White) to TXD (Green)

Pin7 (Orange) to CTS (Blue)

 

With these connections, I am using CTS Handshaking with RespeQt and AspeQt with no issues. 19800 baud...

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Actually verified two ways. Meter -- continuity, and also it is the command wire that I had hooked up to DSR on my breakout board, which worked fine. Yes, they do vary, so a meter is about the only sure way.

 

But Roy's post makes me wonder if the blue USB wire is CTS, since his works with DSR. (?) I'll have to try that and see what I get.

 

-Larry

 

Edit: Mine won't work set to DSR, and if I set the data rate at 57Kbs, it totally fails. At 38Kbs, it works but with many errors, and eventually drops back to 19Kbs.

 

I guess I should also ask if anyone has successfully used the CTS line with AspeQt or RespeQt.

 

-Larry

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Well, at least it was only a few dollars. Put my (real) FTDI board back into service, and it works with everything all the way down to divisor zero (or 1 to be safer).

 

-Larry

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This one here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/6P-FTDI-USB-TO-TTL-RS232-Cable-F-Arduino-5v-FT232RL-USB-to-Serial-adapter-module/262042386245?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

In RespeQt it does divisor zero (125K) using CTS perfectly. In APE, Ultra (52K) is as fast as it goes.

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I've come to the conclusion that if you order from eBay -- China, you may or may not get one that works in the manner that we need. Probably the less you pay, the lower the likelihood. (What a revelation! :-o ) I noticed that at Amazon, they have put in the descriptions in at least some of the "FTDI" items that they do or do not have a genuine FTDI chip in them. Here for instance is one that does:

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Converter-Terminated-Galileo-BeagleBone-Minnowboard/dp/B06ZYPLFNB/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1508238708&sr=8-4&keywords=ftdi+usb+to+serial+cable

 

Of course, more money, but you know what you are getting and that it has a high likelihood that it will work correctly.

 

Here's a breakout board (tailored for Arduino) that specifically says it does not have a genuine chip:

 

https://smile.amazon.com/HiLetgo-FT232RL-Converter-Adapter-Breakout/dp/B00IJXZQ7C/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1508239475&sr=1-3&keywords=ftdi+breakout+module

 

Sparkfun also has cables in the $10 - $20 range that are "the real deal."

 

So the moral of the story (to me at least) is -- if you get a cable and want it to work correctly, you have to make sure that it has a genuine FTDI chip. Will an eBay supplier get his next batch that does not have a real FTDI? If getting from eBay, best to ask if it is genuine and let that answer be the guide. I noticed that in the description of the one that Kyle linked, it says that it does. Being "once burned" however, I'd still specifically ask before I ordered.

 

-Larry

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I remember reading about the counterfeit FTDI chip issue a few years ago. It was a problem not only to consumers but also to device manufacturers who had likewise been duped and faced with the problem of dealing with the now angry consumers. I didn't realize it was still a problem.

 

I'm reading this article as I enter this post.

Edited by a8isa1
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I am impressed by the hardware hacking going on here.
I could not get ape 3.02 to work with an older plain 9 pin serial to 13 pin atari sio cable. I checked it with a meter and all the pins were in the right place. It did not have the diode in it. The serial port I attached it to is with an Intel 945P chipset with Windows 7 x64 talking to it.
At first, the ape tool said config tested ok directly to the atari. But then when the application launches proper for launching a disk image, it says it can't talk to it.
It appears that the Ape folks want to sell you the usb only version and support that.
I call BS. RS232 is a standard for a reason to avoid this kind of nonsense. I was the guy 20 years ago who had to drive out and fix non standard wired adapters and interfaces using proprietary cabling.

I looked high an low for a Molex equivalent part # back in 2005-2007. To no avail.
About making your own SIO cable ends.
However, there is nothing stopping someone from doing this as a mold making trick.
1. heat shrink the pins on the wires.

2. Insert wires on a scrap male 90 degree Atario SIO connector from a dead device.
3. put heat shrink tubes or plastic tubes on the unused pins to make holes for the unused pins on the female connector you are about to make.

3. Spray mold release or WD-40(which was originally designed for the Atlas missile program) into the socket. Swish and drip it out. Carnuba wax on a q-tip works also.
4. Inject hot glue from your hot glue gun. HDPE is non conductive and tends not to stick to the nylon or ABS very well.
5. Let it cool off, and very carefully pull the now made cable from the "mold".

Now you have a positive mold. You can go from there and make a negative. or paint the thing and 3D scan it for 3D printing. etc..

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I have hand made rs232 9 pin pc to atari sio and atarimax manufactured rs232 serial to sio units (sio 2 pc) that's kennedy and tucker versions... all work just fine with ape... your comment about just selling the usb version is bunk you must have other issues... I use Asus, Dell, HP, and other generic pc boards using on board 25 pin or 9 pin rs232 ports.. and every so often add on multi I O cards... never a problem... although recently an issue was corrected with other softwares (PC link and Sparta is so very nice) that now allow RI to work properly and not reverse the modes unintentionally... so if there's a problem it's not APE forcing anybody to usb.... APE operates in rs232 and usb mode at the same time... I feed two Atari's at the same time this way.... somethings up with your config....

If you wanna call any 'BS' then I call BS on the post... and the assumptions... If I can do it anybody can do it. I'm not super human or a genius... even less so these days. I suggest a quick trip to the forum at Atarimax and rtfm, or drop an email to Steve and it's possible he'll try to walk you through it. If anyone knows how frugal I am (evidenced all over Atari Age), I bought and registered APE.... I have never regretted it.... that says quite a bit...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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It seems that my English vocabulary is becoming ancient. I had to look further for the meaning of "BS" to understand the tone of the message.

I like the way of how to make the SIO cable ends explained by @mechanerd.

However, I always stand away from Atrimax like/dislike issue. Honestly speaking, it only brings members apart and never change things as wished.

I wrote the above to show my supersize of how easy things can be overlooked or misunderstood.

Well..

 

madi

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The so called SIO serial cable that was given to me was wired wrong.

 

I got that Ebay FTDI USB to serial adapter. The drive installed with Windows search Update for Win 7x64

The specs for the cable pinout is here:

http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=262042386245&t=1507513346000&tid=10&category=4660&seller=seller25812&excSoj=1&excTrk=1&lsite=0&ittenable=false&domain=ebay.com&descgauge=1&cspheader=1&oneClk=1&secureDesc=0

 

Color code:

Red 5V

Black is ground which would go to pin 4 on the SIO interface male pin

White RXD connects to pin 5 transmit data

Green TXD connects to pin 3 receive data

Blue CTS connects to pin 7 command

Yellow for RTS unused

 

I found a plain SIO cable, but the color codes were not the same . So, I rang them out with a multimeter.

 

Given this diagram from the 8bit faq is correct:

I checked that this was not a mirror image diagram since pin 12 was +12vdc and, pin 10 was +5vdc
Serial I/O (SIO) Port (all machines):
2 12
o o o o o o
o o o o o o o
1 13
1. Clock Input 8. Motor Control
2. Clock Output 9. Proceed
3. Data Input 10. +5V/Ready (not on 1200XL)
4. Ground 11. Audio Input
5. Data Output 12. +12V (400,800 only. 1400XL/1450XLD?)
6. Ground 13. Interrupt
7. Command
Wish me luck!
Thanks.!!
Edited by mechanerd

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Good luck. You shouldnt need it, though. Your diagram is correct. Its the same as mine that works great.

One thing to watch out for: The first FTDI cable I bought had a defective Command line. It would only work with no protocol, which I dont like.

The second one was flawless.

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Good luck. You shouldnt need it, though. Your diagram is correct. Its the same as mine that works great.

One thing to watch out for: The first FTDI cable I bought had a defective Command line. It would only work with no protocol, which I dont like.

The second one was flawless.

 

Well mine didn't work with neither Respect Qt , nor ape trial 1.02.

No boot, no joy with a known good .atr disk image

No disk drives connected

I made the cable twice to be sure.

APE says it detects it with CTS, like it should. But then defaults to USB mode since the RS232 failed to initialize.

Respect does detect the serial interface, but doesn't transmit anything.

 

I even went as far as using a female socket from an ATR8000 I scavenged, soldered the wires onto it and used a known working standard SIO cable.

#@[email protected]#$ I guess I got a bad one or a phony chip.

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Good luck. You shouldnt need it, though. Your diagram is correct. Its the same as mine that works great.

One thing to watch out for: The first FTDI cable I bought had a defective Command line. It would only work with no protocol, which I dont like.

The second one was flawless.

 

It was Windows 7x64. the driver didn't work. Whichever it loaded.

 

This FTDI cable does work with Windows 10 x64 at triple SIO speeds.

I have to slow it down for the vintage POKEY beep for a disk load video. :}

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Well mine didn't work with neither Respect Qt , nor ape trial 1.02.

No boot, no joy with a known good .atr disk image

No disk drives connected

I made the cable twice to be sure.

APE says it detects it with CTS, like it should. But then defaults to USB mode since the RS232 failed to initialize.

Respect does detect the serial interface, but doesn't transmit anything.

 

I even went as far as using a female socket from an ATR8000 I scavenged, soldered the wires onto it and used a known working standard SIO cable.

#@[email protected]#$ I guess I got a bad one or a phony chip.

after reading about scavenging and destroying ATR8000's for Common SIO connectors I was shocked, dismayed even, and hereby deem thee excommunicado non gratis.

be gone from my sight.

 

ATR8000's worth hundreds, sio connectors worth a pittance. Unbelievable.

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after reading about scavenging and destroying ATR8000's for Common SIO connectors I was shocked, dismayed even, and hereby deem thee excommunicado non gratis.

be gone from my sight.

 

ATR8000's worth hundreds, sio connectors worth a pittance. Unbelievable.

 

I found the manual and schematics for the rev 3 ATR8000 board. You could make one from scratch I suppose.

 

Don't worry, I won't use my 32KB Timex ZX-81 as a doorstop either.

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I found the manual and schematics for the rev 3 ATR8000 board. You could make one from scratch I suppose.

 

Don't worry, I won't use my 32KB Timex ZX-81 as a doorstop either.

 

I wish I had my 3D printer to just make an ABS SIO connector ports and cable ends. Alas, I am broke until some bills get paid off.

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I wish I had my 3D printer to just make an ABS SIO connector ports and cable ends. Alas, I am broke until some bills get paid off.

 

However you can trim a ATX power connector in such a way to make the pins line up for 4,3,5,7.

 

Note that I removed the pins from the 1,12,13 to allow you to wiggle it on and align the male pins with the connector in the "socket"

 

oZjFmvd.jpg

 

 

vXzYZLu.jpg

 

mGiPciY.jpg

 

1SVJ93c.jpg

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