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Need more TI goodies...

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So, it's that time of year again when I can splurge a tad on myself.  Some men my age buy a sports car.  Some buy a boat.  I want to buy some TI gear.  ;-D


Items I already own and use:

  • FinalGROM
  • 32K side-car
  • FlashROM 99
  • F18A
  • Speech Synthesizer


I actually have a two-part goal. 


Goal One

Fully load my PEB.

I have the following already:

  • RS-232 card (not tested)
  • Disk controller and disk drive (not tested...hope to test this week)
  • 1 MiB RAM expansion (tested...works...just need to put a heat-sink on 7805)
  • Fire hose card/cable (tested...works)


Possible additions:

  • Quieter / slower fan
  • Newer PSU (that transformer weighs about 750 lbs.)


Ironically, I only want to use the PEB setup every now and then.  That thing is a beast, weighs a ton and is loud as hell.  But I love it.  I want my "ever day" TI to be much slimmer.  Which brings me to Goal Two


Goal Two

Streamline my basic TI-99/4A for general use and development.

When not using PEB, I would like to be able to:

  • Quickly load assembled programs from PC to test (i.e., I develop on PC and send file over to test)
  • Get online (BBS mostly...not too interested in WWW)
  • Use a printer (I have a few dot-matrix printers)
  • Save data FROM the TI to "somewhere".  I assume the Tipi would be for this?



So I'm looking for suggestions on what to get for my goals.  I'm also including books in this list.  Basically anything for development is a plus.

Also, I want to use more than just games.  Gaming is great but I'm not looking for just a gaming console.  Developing ON the TI would be a bonus.


Thanks for any suggestions!







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Giving advice is a little difficult in your situation as you have a few competing requirements that null out each other.


Streamlined System

If your 32K sidecar is the JediMatt42 variety, going with a sidecar TIPI and RPi 3B+ would cover your wish of saving data to and from the TI to 'somewhere' as well as transferring things to and from the PC in testing.  It would also allow you to call the BBSes, but over the Internet and NOT via dial up.  The negative aspect of this route precludes using your dot matrix printer(s).  The TIPI has a PDF work around for that though.


A deceptively cheaper appearing route, is the NanoPEB which would give you printing capabilities, and with the HDX program the ability to transfer files to and from your PC.  However going this route would require a mass of cables, a switch box and possibly even a Serial/USB adapter depending on the age of your computer.  So in the end, not as streamlined or inexpensive as one would originally think.  The NanoPEB route would also severely limit future growth potential.


Goal One - PEB

Doing the fan modification on the PEB and slapping a TIPI board in there with an RPI would indeed give you the most bang for the buck considering the cards you already posses... and give you more in the way of future flexibility.  The WiFi capabilities would eliminate the need for a switch box, serial adapters and cases to house sidecar components.  In the end, you could even use your dot matrix printer.  This configuration would have three cables coming off the back of your P-Box, 1) Power for the box itself, 2) power for the RPi and 3) the cable for the printer.


Even if your RS-232 and floppy controller proved to be non-functional (not likely) you would still be able to do everything a sidecar TIPI could do, plus anything that develops for the 1 meg card.


I know space appears to be an issue, but from my perspective your "Goal One" (the P-Box) would be my goal one as well.  Good luck in your future expansion!


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10 hours ago, cbmeeks said:

Quickly load assembled programs from PC to test (i.e., I develop on PC and send file over to test)

I have often started assy. on a PC(or real TI), using E/A... transferred to TIPI... Force the code to load into MINIMEM image on FG99... from there I test a bit... than swap the FG99's SD card back to the PC... then I use Line by Line assembler to generate code that I can type into the SD cards image, using a HEXEDITOR... or copy hex code from a Classic99 CPU DUMP, or by copying from a Win994a tape image and pasting into the HEXEDITOR.


This is somewhat complicated, but helps me create programs that can run from paged memory. Make small changes fast w/o having to re-assemble and reload, making it easier to pick-up where I left off.


...also good to use Line by Line assembler on  the PC, and just use EASYBUG on the TI to modify the test program. This seems to simplify hardware interfacing tests, for me.


What would help more is if I could get Line by Line assembler to run from HIGHMEM or LOWMEM!

There is, just such an image, in the Library of files available for the FG99(from Stuart, I think), but it also uses MEDIUMMEM... DRAT!



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Thanks to the both of you for some great suggestions.


I probably didn't make much sense.  I tend to get these ideas in my head and they kinda explode out into forum messages...I read them back and think..."what was I thinking??"  lol


OK, so the real point of the two goals was that I wanted a completely "vintage" TI setup with a PEB.  Like we had back in the 80's.  With the ability to print, play on BBS's, etc.  Also, to load/save stuff to actual disks.  I believe I mostly have that now.  The only exception is the newer SAM memory card that is 1 MiB.  I would love the get the 32K version that was released in the 80's but that doesn't make practical sense because I have the newer card.  Still, I'd like to have it.  But at $80 for one...I'll pass for now.


So that's my vintage setup....the setup I bring out time to time and pretend it's 1982.


Then there's the "every day" TI.  The TI I will actually use most of the time.  On this TI, printing is just a whim...I don't have to have that with my every day TI. 

BBS support would be nice.  I already have that WiModem (or whatever it's called).


I went ahead and bought the NanoPEB.  This seemed to be more practical for my needs.  It has a real serial port, emulates three floppies and has 32KiB.


The TIPI just doesn't appeal to me.  I know it's a great product.  I already have several RPi's. 


Now, let the fun begin!





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