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I'm starting to get a tingle up my spine like the the end is within 6 months.  I hope my hunch is right...

 

 

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20 hours ago, ralphb said:

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Going to make a quick suggestion here if this is something you have not already considered.  With the final production board, have a hole in each corner so the SDD-99 can be secured in some kind of 3D printed enclosure.  Not sure from the photo if that may require 90° LED's or maybe some of the external connectors to extend further out????

 

Myself, I hate seeing exposed electronics out from the side of a console.  

 

Between dust, potential cat hair, a drip from a drinking glass, etc., too much risk of damaging the board.  I can just imagine one of my cats jumping from the desk with her back toenails scratching the board.

 

Please note I am not suggesting you should also design the enclosure yourself unless you already were planning to do so.  Just suggesting that if you were not going to offer the enclosure, that someone else with the 3D printing skills could design a board and offer it themselves and with mounting points, it makes the task that much easier.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Beery

 

 

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20 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

Going to make a quick suggestion here if this is something you have not already considered.  With the final production board, have a hole in each corner so the SDD-99 can be secured in some kind of 3D printed enclosure.

You're absolutely right, Beery!  I'm planning on adding a bunch of holes to the board.  Probably not in the corners, as those contain the fiduciaries for manufacturing, but somewhere on the board.  I also made sure there is enough space between TI and the board for a case.

 

EDIT: Err, I meant fiducials, not fiduciaries. 🤭

Edited by ralphb
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1 minute ago, ralphb said:

You're absolutely right, Beery!  I'm planning on adding a bunch of holes to the board.  Probably not in the corners, as those contain the fiduciaries for manufacturing, but somewhere on the board.  I also made sure there is enough space between TI and the board for a case.

Great.  When I took a second look at the board, that jumped out at me a bit. 

 

I wasn't too sure with the mini (?) SD card connector placement if it would be accessible external from an enclosure or not.  I don't know if it has been explained earlier in the thread or not, but I am always backing up my SD cards in my DREMS for the HFDC especially when I am coding to avoid the risk of losing some code.  Those images can be read by TIDIR as well.  The TIPI files I can back up through a Windows shared folder.  So, I am hoping either a Windows share can be created, or the files on the SD card for the SDD-99 can be read and at least backed up very easily.

 

I have an SD card for a SCSI, and while I can back it up, it is basically making an image of the card due to the way SCSI partitions everything.  I don't quite like this as much, but it is what it is.

 

Beery

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33 minutes ago, BeeryMiller said:

So, I am hoping either a Windows share can be created, or the files on the SD card for the SDD-99 can be read and at least backed up very easily.

The micro SD card is using the stock FAT filesystem, i.e., FAT32 upto 32 GB and exFAT for larger cards.

 

Serving a Windows share would require a lot of coding, unless there is some C library out there.  Note that I cannot fall back to some OS, like Linux on the TIPI, so I have to do everything "from scratch".

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1 hour ago, ralphb said:

The micro SD card is using the stock FAT filesystem, i.e., FAT32 upto 32 GB and exFAT for larger cards.

 

Serving a Windows share would require a lot of coding, unless there is some C library out there.  Note that I cannot fall back to some OS, like Linux on the TIPI, so I have to do everything "from scratch".

As long as it uses the FAT32 system and files on the SD card can be copied easily for a backup or file(s) added easily, that is all that really matters.  

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17 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

As long as it uses the FAT32 system and files on the SD card can be copied easily for a backup or file(s) added easily, that is all that really matters.  

You can backup those files even automatically to a server, not by using shares, but by running the SDD server program.  Of course, backup is just one application, you can use any PC that supports Python just like a file server that is using a custom protocol.

 

EDIT: Let's be more clear.  You run the server program on a PC/Mac, and the SDD connects to it, so that you can copy files back and forth, or even just open remote files like they were local files.

 

Edited by ralphb
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26 minutes ago, dhe said:

Any news on the most anticipated hardware for 2021?

Yes, isn't that the truth.

Will this be the Christmas big stocking stuffer of 21'?

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It turns out that you cannot do all that much without memory.  The main goal, though, was testing the update of the firmwares.  The are two firmwares: one in the MCU, and the other in the Wifi module.  I couldn't test the MCU update because of the memory problem, but I did learn that the update of the Wifi module via the MCU totally fails (because of a bad library).  So I updated the board for plan B. 🤞

 

I couldn't test the RS232, either, as I managed to bork that interface four consecutive times. 😝

 

But anyway, I'll send for the new boards really soon.  I resorted the traces to be out of the way of the memory, although you probably won't be able to tell that:

 

sdd99.thumb.png.72299a6fb680e0ba7a025c457274f902.png

 

Anyway, I'm focusing now on the must-haves before the release.  I'd say that the availability this year is totally reasonable.  I'll also send out trial boards for the next iteration.

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I want one! And it is a super product that you are making!

If you need more time to make it right, please give it more time! I have this post on notice, when ever news comes out... This is the ONLY post I want to be mailed about! Looking forward to this! And if it is at the end of this year, so be it! 2022 and you make it all that! Sure, I will wait! I got my TI in the early 80s... So I can wait to get the best possible upgrade for my TI!

Keep up the work!

I hope YOU sell it your self! Want to support you!

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21 hours ago, oddemann said:

[...] If you need more time to make it right, please give it more time!  [...]

Thanks! 🙂

 

Funny that you mention it, but I was considering swapping the somewhat hacky Wifi module by Espressif for a more solid one by TI (and who could say no to TI? 😊).  But then I'd have to start over with the software, even though it is rather simple.  Also, the TI IC is one of those BGA-like thingies like the power regulator (which took me ten tries to make work), but with even more pads. 😱

 

Also, I thought that with the current Wifi module, I can implement a HTTP Client more easily, since there are proven libraries available.  But then it occurred to me that when I already have a remote computer for file sharing, I can use that machine as HTTP Client as well, simplifying the firmware for the Wifi module significantly.

 

I could also implement an HTTP Server, but what is the point of it is running on a regular PC(-like)?  Would moving it back to the SDD change anything?  (I'd say no.)

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BTW, one of the things I've been working on (besides Wifi) is the real-time clock, and specifically day-light saving time.  I didn't really know how complicated this matter is.  Anyway, I ended up supporting DST for the US (does Canada do the same?) and the EU (sans exceptions).

 

Of course, the SDD must not (in fact, will most likely not) run exactly when the DST clock adjustment happens, so you need to adjust the clock any time after that date, but not before the end, and only once.  And just try to add one hour to an arbitrary date -- you suddenly need to know about the number of days of all months, which includes knowing about leap years. 🤔 

 

Also, when do you switch?  Do you continuously (i.e., once a millisecond) wait for DST begin/end?  Or do you check once at startup?

 

I still have to test my solution, but I think I got it right. 😜

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If this will be a device connected to the internet all the time like tipi, why not just get the time from a internet-time-server with NTP?

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9 minutes ago, jrhodes said:

If this will be a device connected to the internet all the time like tipi, why not just get the time from a internet-time-server with NTP?

The device is still going to need to know what to do with that timestamp it gets from NTP.

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3 hours ago, jrhodes said:

If this will be a device connected to the internet all the time like tipi, why not just get the time from a internet-time-server with NTP?

Yes, I thought about this.  There are two problem, though:

1. The Wifi connection on the SDD may be deactivated (or simply not configured),

2. The NTP server keeps UTC time, so we'd need timezone handling and still had the problem of DST.

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2 hours ago, Hans23 said:

For an Internet connected device, it is probably best to retrieve the timezone offset from an online service like http://worldtimeapi.org/api/ or similar.

When I clicked on that link, I got:

Quote

 

This website is currently experiencing high load, which is causing strain on our systems. Please try again in a few minutes.

 

That kind of performance is ... suboptimal. 🙂

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BTW, another option for time keeping is to ask the remote server for its current time.  But objection (1) remains, and also performance is poor since you'll need to call the server each time a date or time is needed.

 

Anyway, I'll stick to the built-in RTC, which can also add one hour in hardware.  You just need to trigger DST at the right moment.  Time servers are an additional option.

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I think that you could make a "dummy" button for looking up the time at a web address I provide to the program. So I do it my self and I provide an address. And if people don't use it... OK. But then you have it... IF you want to add it.

This is stuff that puts the dot over the i! So it is not important, but it is cool.

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8 hours ago, ralphb said:

When I clicked on that link, I got: 

This website is currently experiencing high load, which is causing strain on our systems. Please try again in a few minutes.

That kind of performance is ... suboptimal. 🙂

Indeed, and I did not mean to say that this particular service is the way to go.  What you'll probably need is a service that provides you with two functions:  Retrieve the list of available time zone names, and retrieve the rules for one particular time zone by name.  That way, you'd be able to convert UTC as provided by the NTP server to local time.  Doing it this way, however, would create a dependency on an external service which might not be desirable if the SDD99 is also supposed in standalone mode otherwise.

 

In the end, though, the tzdata distribution is not all that large and it might be more robust to include it in the SDD99 distribution and parse it in the firmware if you have enough space.

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