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EMwhite

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Everything posted by EMwhite

  1. You can indeed buy SN76477, just don't buy them from China (as I did); the cockroach style are either fake or faulty; I blew about $60 on qty. 4 and they were all garbage. Instead, check synth-houses. As for the schematic, I'll get you the one I used later tonight when I'm home but had this in my laptop; it's quite similar. I think this was from a cocktail schematic; the standup version depending on revision is slightly different. The line heading East from pins 12 & 13 is the audio output which is mixed with the other discrete circuits... the southbound line hits an inverter cell (on a 7404 between pins 1 & 2). This one uses 5V in to pin 15; some use the built in 9V input on ping 14 which outputs 5V on 14 (confusing, I know). I much rather send regulated +5V into pin 15 as they do here though I recall mine had/has a resistor in line. On this pic, lines 1, 19, and 22 are held 'high'. The inverted pin 9 is simply the 'start' / 'stop' sound which is autonomous and free running at a given frequency otherwise (built in low-free LFO drives the pitch). I can put up a 1 minute video of mine running if interesting to anybody. Alternate revision:
  2. Speaking of SOUND... just for fun, I worked up the aforementioned "UFO Sound" in the foreground on a SN76477 that I had kicking around. It was a masterpiece until I screwed up the layout not realizing that this protoboard had a grid within, but it works now. I also have the schematic above (Space Invaders STEP sound) implemented in the background of the pic (the four buttons) and yes, Ben Eater's clock and 65C02 that you also see in this pic will drive this shortly. Between the UFO and discreet transistor STEP sound circuit is the AMP circuit built up according to the 1980 Williams FirePower Pinball sound board.
  3. Two thoughts (one was yours so I'd like to 2nd it). Thought #1: as you suggested, a forum where we can discuss retro-tubers; not a place to bash them however I see nothing wrong with spirited debate, but a place to call out good pieces of work by said *tuber (LGR for instance, or Robin from 8 Bit Show and Tell; two of my favorites). Not a place to mirror what they produce but if somebody sees something interesting/applicable that will gen discussion, this type of forum would be a good place to point to it with editorial comments, relating info, etc. Thought #2: An 'Events' forum which can be used to announce then chronicle VCF East/West and CRX type meet-ups. Maybe someday some of us can even meet in person (crazy, I know). Point is, "Vintage" or "Retro" is too generic of a topic and sometimes relevant and connected history gets lost over time.
  4. Neglected to answer the question: ... but my dream chip is probably the YM2151 due to it's use in Marble Madness.
  5. My dream sound chip is the 556 timing chip that is used in Taito Space Invaders (below) and was responsible for the dun... dun... dun... dun (step) tones. Another classic circuit was made possibly by the defective transistor that made the TR-808 drum machine famous. "Did you know" that all of the sounds in the original Space Invaders were derived from discreet transistors and other TTL and analog circuits with the exception of the UFO sound (made famous by the TI SN76477). Later, Thomas Henry and others built entire Euro synth modules out of this IC. It was very much the birth of the audio IC (the SN76477, not the 556). If you are interested in Chiptunes or Arcade sound in general, Chris Abbott's book is great. He spoke during CRX 2021 this past year.
  6. Pg. 4 of the attached mentions the diff between their custom BASIC and the others. Further in the doc is info on the Monitor, the DOS wedge, etc. Much of the doc discusses build info and part details which are no longer applicable to the latest Mini PET, but still interesting to see where the project came from and it's a well written doc with lots of detail including hardware interfacing detail. Mini PET A Build Instructions v1.45a.pdf
  7. I have the pdf for the 'build-it-your-f'ing-self' through hole version from Summer of 2019/2020 that I'll dig up and post. It offered a number of versions of BASIC/Kernal, etc. The current product on offer is a superset of that so I think you get it all, and it's fully built and mostly surface mount. I have a Pet 4032 which this is meant to fit within if bought in green-board-only form. You will be getting the integrated and complete version but in any case, it supports an RCA or orig Pet monitor connection. Some time ago, TFW8Bit offered a piggy back ROM product which allowed for diff version of Kernal and BASIC via dip switches, then they offered the Mini Pet and separately, the IEEE SD card bit, then an integrated keyboard, then an enhanced keyboard (though only slightly... the TexElec is superior and pin compatible). The current product is a superset of all of what they've offered over the prior 3-4 years. Be sure to get your hands on Dungeon, Weather, Invaders, all of the classics.
  8. Tom, unless you are adept at SMT, beg Kevin to bake in the tiny components associated with the caps lock circuit. I built two of these: the first is a miracle (that it works). I’m an experienced through-hole bod but pushing 60 and my eyes are crap. The second kbd came prepopulated because I asked and because Kevin is accommodating.
  9. They (somebody) funded a few thousand keyboards of a specific model so why not just get working code for THAT and call it a day? I bought the WASD Commander kbd (natively USB) that had to be flashed to work as a PS/2 kbd and it works on my Foenix C256 U+ but not on my vintage DEC VT510 Terminal. Meanwhile, I have a Cherry small form kbd which is USB, also supports PS/2 and it works without fuss in both. No doubt there are challenges with PS/2, but if the platform/code can be written to support the WASD Commander and the cheap-as-chips (crisps, not ICs) Periboard, isn’t that easier?
  10. Getting back to on-topic of this thread, why is supporting PS/2 so difficult? Is it that the rest of the architecture of the orig. X16 does not play well with PS/2? It seems peculiar that others have implanted PS/2 kbd. and mouse with zero fanfare or difficulty and X16 is awaiting the return [to the project] of one person (I don’t know the name is the person, somebody that wrote the kernel I believe).
  11. The same Stephen Edwards (Columbia University Professor) also interviewed Bill at VCF East this past Autumn in New Jersey. Watch both, and also, Stephen has some lectures about Nintendo and Sprites, and a few very well produced videos about the Apple II that are good to add to your list to watch later. Bill attended VCF with his wife and they were both super-nice. I spoke with him for some time, he’s got tons of stories about the old days and the older (Motorola) days. Even autographed this for me: Of course he knew Chuck Peddle well. The rest is history and in no small way the reason why we congregate on this forum. if you are interested in ‘modern’ WDC products, have a look for the “Mensch” board which you can buy on Amazon. Amazing that a single board dev system is available for such little money considering the competition. It’s not ARM or Pi or Arduino, they are all cool too, but if it were not for MOS (and in some way, Jack), this tech would not be as accessible as it became.
  12. After 5 bad drives, I had a feeling he was going to resort to an SD card solution sitting behind the CBM controller; no less impressive though. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel. I doubt highly that there will be a 'take' on that challenge. Probably the Zimmer guy has some info, docs, HW and a good working knowledge of these and probably David Murray is busy with other things; besides, Garage-Dave did a pretty smashing, fast-talkin' job. Very thorough. Thank you for point to that, I never even heard of him. Big world out there...
  13. Speaking of which (Christmas Demo ref'd above)... Robin, from 8-bit-show-and-tell did a Commodore Christmas round-up feature and spends the first 5 mins talking about and, well... demo'ing the demo. In his monologue, he confirmed my understanding; that this was among the first (if not the first) demo (1982) distributed which of course lead to bigger and better things. Robin also gets into the code (briefly). In my mind, this demo was a 10,000 line basic program but the combination of SID music, a static character based screen of PETSCII graphics, and a touch of sprite animation, fills a few minutes of this demo from just a screen or two of BASIC and the supporting machine language code. Such a high quality production considering it produced in the early introductory period of the C64 release. Any way you slice it, it's nostalgic and well produced. I missed being able to buy the Tindie release earlier this year; this guy sold really cool tree shaped carts containing this code on ROM. Have a look, it's worth the click. I'm on the mailing list but probably will continue to wait.
  14. The Apple program depicted above is still a demo. But no audio. It's entertaining despite being low-res. Take your laptop and put it across the house, then stand back 30 feet and you'll see Woz and the rest. Amazing!!! The 1541 head-destroyer "bicycle built for two" song is also demo. (no video) If you don't know what that is, you'll need to rewind the clock to the mid-80's and download (from a BBS), a .PRG for the C64 that pushes code into your 1541 and blasts the stepper motor to vibrate the head at given frequencies for a mono rendition of the song. And when it's done, you can't shake that tune from your minds-eye or whatever; also, you no longer have a working 1541 disk drive but hey, you can't have it all !! Of course, the earliest demos created for commercial computers by manufacturers demonstrated capabilities and many of them were created to be left running, unattended at retailers, not much different than 'attract mode' of a given commercial arcade game. Osborne had a nifty demo that graphed a 3D parabola; Commodore had them (the famous Christmas Demo was a 'late' version of this) but the PET had them also. In 1979, the Apple II shipped with a series of cassettes (but no cassette player) and included demos and other programs. Even the act of printing out Snoopy on 132 column green bar paper was a demo of sorts (the printing part of it). We were spoiled back then and we still are.
  15. ... also, some amount of retro is the 'nostalgia' of sights, sounds, and occasionally, burnt/blown electrolytic capacitors. And there is nothing more nostalgic (with the possible exception of a 300 or 1200 baud Hayes Smartmodem connection sounds) than the tick/tocking of a floppy drive. As an Apple II person, I've contemplated buying this. @ $18, worth every penny.
  16. (only a year later, the forum reminded me) sort of progress, but not really: External kbd is done, at least it's fully built and works; this is based on Kevin's w/Cherry MX in a 'custom' metal case; (it's rough but complete) Case is 1/2 done, bottom clamshell is complete with standoff holes punched; I blew through an entire tank of MAP-P gas (3,000+ degrees) brazing the edges before my tank ran out PCB was however pushed; my PET 4032 died and I ended up buying a new mother board project that distracted me, meanwhile my original MiniPet (shown in cardboard above) has been serving my daughter and I well while mounted to the wall. We play Weather (old school) and PetScii robots on a tiny JVC monitor. What's next? Need: A new MiniPet or to remove my original from my 'wall' More Map-p gas Time Typical me. Distracted by blockers and onto-the-next syndrome. Will post some pics in the coming week as I limp towards end-of year vacation. This email inquiry is probably what I needed in order to bring focus back. Thank you !!
  17. Probably the fancy and perfectly die cut printed box; creased to fit whatever foam inserts (also custom) will help the device survive the rigors of Kris Kringle.
  18. Sort of, yes. Rebranded so-to-speak, for the Canadian designed and manufactured platform stylized to match the integrated version discussed here. When I originally bought the WASD, I immediately pulled the Cmdr. keys and replace them with CBM keys, vowing to put them back on once I received the platform. A few clicks later, I'm still wedded to my vintage Commodore collection of machines but have otherwise, moved on. Currently doing 65816 on 64TASS and looking fwd to getting my 68040 based machine (linked above) in January.
  19. Not sure of compatibility (all is probably made in China) but I’m giving away an original WASD case, and a set of ‘special’ keys including the pair of Commander keys and the case split tool to anybody in North America; I’ll cover shipping. First person that is a regular forum participant gets it. I’m heading West to the AWS Re:Invent conference for a week but will ship when I return. Please PM me and thank you.
  20. I’m not gonna lie... after buying PETSCII robots twice (CBM + Apple) I was disappointed to see the original author crying over spilt milk because he spent too much $$ on diskette stickers and only sold 87% of projections. Wah... Then came the humble brag of *robots being 5% complete on IntelliVision making it “the first to blah blah blah”. Meanwhile, we were suffering over here with no info about Commander. But you’ve saved the franchise. Doom face, dual screen, MMU and other add-ons to boot. Really impressive and I’ll sign up to buy a copy and support what is surely an excellent piece of work. That 8-bit fellah owes you.
  21. Interfacing the 65C816, due to its common 40 pin package (not enough pins) is not quite as simple from a HW perspective but doable if you know what you are doing. Not the subject of this thread, but here is a pep talk on Assembly. I know it's a topic within the X16 portion of this site (whether or not David should have gone w/65C816 instead of 65C02. The bottom line is that if you don't mind blowing memory and cycles, you can do just about everything on the 65C816 using far/long instructions and yet, take advantage of some efficiencies along the way. You'll need to be familiar with new compiler directives and macros in order to solve for the differences but it's an easy lift. In the end, you'll be way ahead as you'll have access to 4MB of RAM if you want it, run upwards at 14 Mhz. and can claw back in simple ways with new Opcodes such as BRA (branch unconditional, saving a byte versus a [now] short JMP. Of course, and as mentioned, a simple processor instruction will switch the 65C816 into 65C02 mode so a front panel mounted switch could have selected this if the Kernel and BASIC Rom work could have been solved. For that matter, a default of an ALL 65C02 based code base for Kernel and BASIC could have just been dumped in and with the boot-time switch, a micro-kernel similar to C256 Foenix could have opened the doors (assuming general Commodore compatibility of X16 was a design tenet.) I'm developing a tile and sprite based client for a game on the C256 Foenix, starting with a 6502/6510 based C64 Terminal emulator that I wrote in the 80s; it will ultimately talk UDP over the Foenix RJ45 Ethernet, but in 65C816. I have a NodeJS based Express server running out on Heroku already so just need to pull the client together. It will take me the better part of a year to complete; I just don't have the time due to other work obligations. Regardless of how you feel about the splintering of the community and people jumping over to Mega65 or my incessant desire to distract : ), these four videos will walk you through the basics of 65C816; Produced by Peter from the Foenix project, he does not so much compare 6502 or the Commodore 64 to Foenix or even talk much about the Foenix at all, but does a master-class job at explaining: Basics of 65C816: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw18GG0N2iM Loops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24P_U-k-aLA Stack, Calls, Macros: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewGCcDQtBKc Calculations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCYV9J-ZxDo ... across 4 videos, defining a simple sprite which eventually is driven by a joystick in very basic and easy to understand form.
  22. She is supremely talented and passionate about everything she does in order to further and support her platform, hence the surprise or disappointment that more FMX'es are not in use. If you watch the video of her presenting at Jim Drew's CRX (I think '18 or '19), you'll see a very different person; long on plans but less mileage under her belt. She's experienced so much by now and upon reflection, cannot understand why there are not more people still using the FMX, at least that's what I gleam from her statement. In comparing the U+ to the FMX, the latter looks superior in terms of specifications; it's a rocket ship; but they both have the same core and perform as well for 99% of the workloads; the main diff is I/O and some of the Audio capabilities if you are an IC snob. I wish I could get my hands on one. The U+ is much more economical and actually the ONLY VIABLE option in 2021; it's brilliant that she arrived at this end. The A2560K and Gen X will be better still and the best yet, especially now that the MC68040 and other 68K family CPUs are options. With supply chain matters being what they are, it's a miracle she was able to ship anything, especially in small quantities. This only works because she dedicates 18 hrs a day and being more concerned about "being good" than "looking good" or "being famous", She admittedly "doesn't give a F..." about so many things. I'd like to see her Briggs Myers and compare it to other innovators that went on to succeed in the face of adversity. Credit also goes to others on her virtual team and their support of the platform; increasingly, evenings are becoming Christmas-eve like events as core developers in different timezones come online and post updates on progress and code; user level apps (games and utilities) are starting to surface as well. There is no app-store or organized SW repo per se, but momentum is building. Peri did a massive favor for the X16 community by conceptualizing and implementing this forum (I think he is the one that deserves credit for it). Without it, many many more developers would have wandered away by now because every other aspect of platform delivery has been disappointing.
  23. Foenix has landed. Here is mine mounted to my 'wall of doom': Close up of the hand soldering/baking quality; the connector is for an IDE hard disk (but I'm not using that); it has an SD slot on the bottom left of the board, a USB debug port for pushing in code as well; as a cost cutting measure, Stefany dropped the floppy interface that is present on the FMX via SuperIO IC. On the left, you can see the Yamaha OPL. On the right you can see the expansion connector and I have the 2 x SID + Ethernet RJ45 on order; it will ship with my A2560K. Here is the boot screen; it takes about 2 seconds to display the banner and the text below it scrolls out in TTY type fashion. If you don't know the people involved, Stefany owns the project and design/builds everything from concept to 3D modeling, FPGA development, and HW Peter Weingartner wrote the Kernel and other tools and is actively engaged in ongoing development; he is "Tail Recursive" and you can watch his 65C816 series and FMX related vids if interested. Daniel has written a fair amount as well including some of what I posted above. The first thing I did after getting it installed and running was to type "Monitor" from basic and enter some VICKY II register changes to 'light up' my first sprite. If you've done C64 development, you'll be comfortable with Sprite pointers including X and Y positioning (both of which have L_byte and H_byte due to resolution). Also, no faffing about with memory windows, you've got full 24 bit addressing in the 65C816 so you'll note the two additional significant digits "AF" in the monitor which are the 17th-24th bit (if you count from 1). In this case, I merely set the video mode which is a bit mask of Sprites + Text overlay on top of Bitmap, etc., enabled Sprite 1, and set the location on the screen of 128, 128. (of course the # of sprites and color palette etc is vastly improved). Next up, 64 Amiga bouncing balls : ) So many differences between what is happening on Discord in terms of the style of communication and who is doing the talking and posting versus what is happening here and I know this is a polarizing topic for some, but I urge anybody sitting on the fence to have a look at C256 Foenix. It's legit. If 68K is more your thing, you can get the same exact hardware and experience but with a genuine Motorola 68K onboard. The startup is different due to the use of a microkernel which is still under development but this platform and the code base will eventually merge since it's written in (primarily) C lang. I think I mentioned prior (or somebody else may have) that some of the community have Atari ST software in mind for porting to this platform. The C256U and A2560U set the groundwork for the C256 Gen X (cube) and the A2560X, each of which have many many more ports and in the case of the Gen X, an option for a 2nd processor which will be selectable at boot time. This platform is due to ship in the next month or so, I believe. Then there is the A2560K which is the all-in-one keyboard based design posted above which is MC68040 based.
  24. Yes. That ‘locked in megathread’ offering was an awesome imaginary product. (Cue the Fyre-Festival/Theranos highlights reel.
  25. I paid $220 for my 65C816 based C256U and it comes with the equiv. of a VERA but I might be insulting one or the other by saying that but indeed it's FPGA implemented video, glue, etc. Also has a real Serial port, real working PS/2 (what a feature !!!) @ 14.x mhz. tons of audio capabilities and some people excited and working on it. (arrives on Tuesday so I'll post something in the off-topic underground forum where cigarettes are currency, the way I don't get in trouble and cause more threads to lock. But you are correct, the A2560K is pricey @ $995 USD. But you get what you pay for; I won't go on and on except to say that it's a rocket ship and everything they (she) makes is made by her; design, hand built, custom modeled, all of the core FPGA coding that makes it special. I wish it had a breadboard area that I could solder to but in actuality, the 'U' has an expansion connector off to the right of the board that is currently leveraged for either a C100 or C200 add-on; one adds an RJ-45 Ethernet jack and two SID sockets; the other adds the Ethernet and a 2nd DVI-I adapter for 2nd monitor; I'm pretty sure the pinouts are published but I doubt it's a simple as a Commodore Cartridge port where all lines of the CPU and other is brought right to the edge, but maybe it is. So maybe I'll be able to solder something if I can breadboard something if I can attach a connector and get docs and have the motivation and time. Mostly, it will be software adventure. I'll test my theory of shelf-ware to see if, even if I don't build it that it's interesting enough to keep my attention for more than a few weekends. I've been watching Tail Recursive's excellent videos on 65C816 assembly in the context of the Foenix and Vicky II sprites. But back on topic, I wanted to add that I bought one of those high-end hand-held desoldering pump irons last December from Amazon, really makes recapping a pleasure. And one of my prize possessions is an Army issue Weller with all of the tips/attachments including the DIP attachments.
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