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The ZY HARUNA computer-help with PCBs


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On 9/17/2021 at 6:46 PM, Oldrooster said:

putting aside the false premise that computers and PCB's never existed before kicad and other rubbish software came along, leaving aside that no computers ever existed without FGPA and never will, leaving that all aside, if I offered you $2,000 to make me this one PCB from an image file, I don't care if it's toner transfer or you use photo sensitive PCB pre-sensitized board from your local Jaycar or electronics store, whatever, would you accept the challenge ? probably not. I respect that, but would "everyone" reject that ? I'm not so sure. 200mm x 300mm single sided blank PCB costs $4.75 on ebay, peroxide, salt and vinegar are cheap, a printout from a laser printer is cheap, acetone and alcohol are cheap. There is serious change left from $2,000.

 

I may not need to offer $2,000 but at the end of the day it's first a matter of finding who is willing to do this, I try to be generous and I don't like haggling and someone must have some interest somewhere. No, I reject the idea that no-one that can help. Someone may read this and sign up and reply and be the first to get a HARUNA because they helped make it.

You're obviously an expert. So go do it yourself. Buy the boards, buy the chemicals, and etch it yourself. I don't know why you need PCBWay when you know everything. 

At this point, half of what you're saying is nonsense.... talking about sprite engines and analog synthesis, when you can't even get a PCB fabbed? 

This project is obviously never going to happen, because it's totally unrealistic. 

 

Edited by TomXP411
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Some of the footprints in the middle are for diodes, and the vertical row is all resistors. I think it's possible for those with a keen eye to see where the 7 segment displays go and in what arrangement, along with the driver chips. This image is now outdated as of today, as there is more space between the diodes and the resistors, accommodating a lamp test button. I'd post an image, but there are a few surprises so it may be better to wait until the person I spoke with yesterday gets back to me about fabricating the prototype testing boards. I love how fast this project is coming along. I can't wait to give people the full opportunity to build something totally new, totally fresh and yet oh-so-retro, even though I don't think it's ever been done this way before. It's like I'm a little kid and it's leading up to Christmas. I love and must savor the anticipation.

for your forum.png

Ahh, it's worth mentioning that the two or three 16c 7 segment displays do have limited function. Two of them could in theory be programmed later on to show digits between 0 and 9, however they are only included as a programming aid for the blank memory that the machine uses from the get-go. The third 7 segment display will forever be a blinky-light display showing the least significant octal value of the address bus. Clues for engineers now, but it will all be plain as day to all when it's done.

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1 minute ago, Oldrooster said:

Ahh, it's worth mentioning that the two or three 16c 7 segment displays do have limited function. Two of them could in theory be programmed later on to show digits between 0 and 9, however they are only included as a programming aid for the blank memory that the machine uses from the get-go. The third 7 segment display will forever be a blinky-light display showing the least significant octal value of the address bus. Clues for engineers now, but it will all be plain as day to all when it's done.

Is there a website or other place online where one can go to read more about this? I'm nice that you're enthusiastic, but at the moment I feel like all the claims being made have nothing to substantiate them. Which is fine, but I'd like to go do some reading of my own rather than just keep getting bits and pieces that lack detail and substance.

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1 hour ago, TomXP411 said:

You're obviously an expert. So go do it yourself. Buy the boards, buy the chemicals, and etch it yourself. I don't know why you need PCBWay when you know everything. 

At this point, half of what you're saying is nonsense.... talking about sprite engines and analog synthesis, when you can't even get a PCB fabbed? 

This project is obviously never going to happen, because it's totally unrealistic. 

 

Of course it's unrealistic, same as travel into space is unrealistic and then what do you know, one day.........

I'm not expert, I can't fab a PCB from a PNG, so if I'm no expert and I can't fab a PCB from a PNG, then what does that make the folks at PCBWay ? They told me they can't do it either, and I have screenshots.

Do it myself ? Lol. The secret to success is to delegate, have you heard... I have a lot to do to organize the Haruna, a LOT to do, and I'm more than flat out.

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15 minutes ago, Scott Robison said:

Is there a website or other place online where one can go to read more about this? I'm nice that you're enthusiastic, but at the moment I feel like all the claims being made have nothing to substantiate them. Which is fine, but I'd like to go do some reading of my own rather than just keep getting bits and pieces that lack detail and substance.

The answer to your question is in the 22nd post in this thread, it tells you where you can find out more. Yes I am enthusiastic about the design coming along, it's awesome to be enthusiastic and positive don't you think ? It's fabulous that you want to read, there'll be a user guide written for the HARUNA, it will have incredible detail and hopefully answer every question you can think of and a lot you can't think of too. Of course the user guide comes after the prototyping stage when the series of prototypes finalizes into a release candidate. Can't very well describe that until it's built now can you? That's why I've been busy hooking up with people who are wanting to help out, to delegate. Happy to pay of course, at above commercial rates because I really want to see this free and open source design developed past the point of release. Now I know you're eager to do reading, you eagerness is palpable (tron quote) and have a PCB of your own to substantiate the claims being made with physical proof but we can't put the cart before the horse, the user manual comes after at least one release candidate, which comes after at least one working prototype, could be the same item although considering the enormous number of parts in the design, there'd be some luck there. I have been looking at a lot of ID tags on almost every single pad in the design drawings that show the text and parts, so great care is being taken in proportion to the task of avoiding mistakes.

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13 minutes ago, Oldrooster said:

The answer to your question is in the 22nd post in this thread, it tells you where you can find out more. Yes I am enthusiastic about the design coming along, it's awesome to be enthusiastic and positive don't you think ? It's fabulous that you want to read, there'll be a user guide written for the HARUNA, it will have incredible detail and hopefully answer every question you can think of and a lot you can't think of too. Of course the user guide comes after the prototyping stage when the series of prototypes finalizes into a release candidate. Can't very well describe that until it's built now can you? That's why I've been busy hooking up with people who are wanting to help out, to delegate. Happy to pay of course, at above commercial rates because I really want to see this free and open source design developed past the point of release. Now I know you're eager to do reading, you eagerness is palpable (tron quote) and have a PCB of your own to substantiate the claims being made with physical proof but we can't put the cart before the horse, the user manual comes after at least one release candidate, which comes after at least one working prototype, could be the same item although considering the enormous number of parts in the design, there'd be some luck there. I have been looking at a lot of ID tags on almost every single pad in the design drawings that show the text and parts, so great care is being taken in proportion to the task of avoiding mistakes.

The link to the video in Japanese, or something I'm missing in the post prior to that?

It's awesome to be enthusiastic and positive. It's also awesome to provide simple answers to questions rather than running around in circles referring people to past posts that are so verbose it is difficult to find details that are understandable to a native English speaker.

I don't need a user guide. What would be nice is something comparable to David's videos about Commander x16 and/or the github repos and/or this website which are full of details. And many of these details were available before a prototype existed, so I refuse to accept that details can't be provided yet.

Really I'm trying to figure out why you are here in the Commander x16 community, given your disdain for things like FPGA and manufactured through hole boards. I mean, I don't *mind* that you're here, but this just seems like an odd community to join to heavily promote something else that will be "beautiful" as compared to "ugly things" that you've described previously, of which the x16 seems to qualify.

Look, I don't have enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do as it is. I'm always happy to learn about new things, but the information has to be at least somewhat readily available. The more I have to go digging for it, the less likely I am to bother. I've really tried to be polite despite what I perceive to be repeated ... insults? lashing out? ... against people who don't just immediately roll over and give you everything you want including unconditional support.

I want to be positive and upbeat, but it is becoming more difficult. Just provide some simple sources of information that I can use to educate myself. Like what David did for the x16. I don't need a cheerleader to tell me what I should think about this nebulous project. If that's all that's available, fine, just tell me and I'll just leave the conversation for others to enjoy.

Edited by Scott Robison
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47 minutes ago, Oldrooster said:

Of course it's unrealistic, same as travel into space is unrealistic and then what do you know, one day.........

But you can see a progression, from early toy rockets, to the V2 to the Sputnik and similar through to manned space craft.

The CPU is feasible. there are 2/3/4 chip bootable designs out there, but I find the idea of a cheap board from standard parts that's more powerful than Vera (128k RAM, multiple bitmap and character modes, 12 bit colour and umpteen scaled sprites) out of bog standard parts (presumably not things like the MSX2/2+ chips)  a bit implausible. You can fake such more cheaply (so you can fake sprites using memory with palette tricks for example)

Almost every video system seems to fall into one of two categories. The old hardware designs, which Vera is, albeit heavily upgraded, or those generated on the fly by a CPU (2600, RCA1861, ZX81, Galaiksja type machines).

Classic hardware designs, so counters, timers, memory and so on tend to be expensive and complex to build, which is why the CX16 has Vera in the first place. I suspect that the team would have liked video to be generated using a 6845 RAM and TTL which was possible in those days, though none of the C64, VIC20 or 16/+4 did that, but rapidly realised that while technically possible it would be an enormous expensive to build circuit board. Even on something as simple as a ZX81 it when down from 20 chips to 4.

I'm trying to think of a machine that had graphics beyond the basic (e.g. PET/TRS80/Ohio Scientific style character graphics which used a character ROM so didn't have complex RAM access requirements) that didn't use a proto ULA or a dedicated chip (6847 or 99x8 mostly) and struggling.

Apple II perhaps with its eccentric colour scheme ? Spectrum, BBC, Oric  all used ULA chips as well. The nearest I can think of OTOMH is the Jupiter Ace which had 32x24 character graphics that were redefinable, though not sure if this worked outside VBLANK and was monochrome.

At 800x600 SVGA ?

 

Edited by paulscottrobson
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29 minutes ago, Oldrooster said:

 Can't very well describe that until it's built now can you?

Why not ? How does the CPU work ? How does the video work ? How do they do so much without standard parts. The CPU, yes, possible, I referred to the 2 chip NMI/RESET/Manual clock hack which I know works for example. The video ..... not convinced at all. You have circuit diagrams presumably ?

If you want to delegate stuff that matters (e.g. not keyboards and cases !) you're going to have to explain how it works.

I think people would love such a design to be real, but find it difficult to believe. This isn't an attack ; try to see it from our point of view, it's quite a leap.

Edited by paulscottrobson
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TLDR warning: skip this message, not about the ZY HARUNA

 

1 hour ago, Scott Robison said:

The link to the video in Japanese, or something I'm missing in the post prior to that?

I've counted it three times to make sure, and I'm sure. Perhaps you can simply read the thread. I'm sure that will work, and I will have more time to help write the user guide, that would be useful don't you think ?

1 hour ago, Scott Robison said:

I don't need a user guide.

Well I'll write it for other people and they'll be happy. Can't please everyone so I can only try to please most people and I'm thinking more people will want a user guide than not want a user guide so I'll divert my attention from repeating parts of the thread for people who refuse to read the thread into writing parts of a user guide in a desperate attempt to keep the greatest number of people happy. I'm so sorry that I can't please you, I've tried my best and I couldn't think of anything I haven't tried in order to make you happy.

1 hour ago, Scott Robison said:

[...]just tell me and I'll just leave the conversation for others to enjoy.

I fully support you in your suggestion until such time as I can think of a way to make you happy while I help write the user manual that other people want, rather than repeating parts of the thread where I have already explained something, and then pointed out the message the answer is in, and then failed to be able to help you, afraid I can't help you further.

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2 hours ago, paulscottrobson said:

How does the CPU work ?

Not sure of your question here, the CPU is the Z80, it is well documented online and in print over the last few decades.

In regards to how the CPU functions as part of the HARUNA the question would be "how does HARUNA work" and that would be more a matter for the user manual and videos which are best left to after the, at LEAST the first, working prototypes are produced. At this time I've explained the keyboard function, demonstrated I have the PNG almost finished, and how explained how the PNG becomes a PCB, but the only assistance in that regard is coming offline. So really I can't see the need to further explain the workings of parts too far along in the design online when there is still no assistance forthcoming paid or otherwise online for the first part which has been sufficiently explained and documented. It just bogs down the whole project by spending the available resources poorly.

I wrote you out a massive response btw, and a reply came in whilst I was about to finish, and the whole message disappeared. (sigh) this response wont be as satisfying for you I'm afraid as I'm tired.

2 hours ago, paulscottrobson said:

If you want to delegate stuff that matters (e.g. not keyboards and cases !) you're going to have to explain how it works.

Yes I agree with you. I've explained how turning a PNG into a PCB works, posted tutorials and example PNG's so we are on the same page there.

2 hours ago, paulscottrobson said:

I think people would love such a design to be real, but find it difficult to believe. This isn't an attack ; try to see it from our point of view, it's quite a leap.

Well I've explained how HARUNA reads data into herself through the keyboard to someone's satisfaction, the only thing I can do to further explain to the disbelievers is to scuttle the entire project by revealing every single innovation and new invention of the designer just so disbelievers can continue to do what disbelievers do in the face of proof. There is no good that would come from that. I guess if there is no assistance online then it will be all produced offline and you can see it when it arrives fully fledged and know that you had no part in it at all. Wouldn't that be a shame.

 

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TLDR: not about HARUNA really, more why all the hostility when someone brings you what you asked for, another design for a dream computer.

 

 

2 hours ago, paulscottrobson said:

Why not ? How does the CPU work ? How does the video work ? How do they do so much without standard parts. The CPU, yes, possible, I referred to the 2 chip NMI/RESET/Manual clock hack which I know works for example. The video ..... not convinced at all. You have circuit diagrams presumably ?

If you want to delegate stuff that matters (e.g. not keyboards and cases !) you're going to have to explain how it works.

I think people would love such a design to be real, but find it difficult to believe. This isn't an attack ; try to see it from our point of view, it's quite a leap.

 

To see it from your point of view, there was a request in a way that went out, there was the 8-bit guy who outlined what he wanted in a dream computer, there is a video of that, ok? Well, The Designer had already been working on a design for a new machine, and the 8bit guy's 'dream computer' and The Designer's ZY HARUNA have a lot in common. As a result of those similarities, I thought it would be a good idea to do my job which is to develop the ZY HARUNA but addressing issues that need attention such as the PNG to PCB issue which, if solved, would be awesome and speed things up considerably. Obviously a person would think that making the announcement here would perhaps find paid assistance or otherwise in the form of a referral to where the PCB's can be made, and perhaps answer the request that the 8bitguy more or less made.

If you ask for a 'dream computer' and say 'hey lets design a dream computer' then guess what, people might actually design dream computers. Shit happens, sometimes you get exactly what you want.

In this case, one was already in the early stages of design. It won't stay there, it'll be out soon enough. I think you just have to stop and think and answer the question "Can there be a dream computer that people (or just I) will accept as being real?" and "can there be more than one dream computer in existence?"

You say it's not an attack, but as I try to see it from your point of view, try to see it from my point of view. HEY ? HEY ? stop the attacking me, I'm trying to give everyone what they want, stop being like "we already found that it cannot be done / we have the one and only solution already / your some scammer even though you post proof otherwise, we still won't believe anything because we have unshakable faith it can't be real"  (sigh)

I'm not a scammer, I post enough proof to get the help required, which is ironically a company name that will shut up and take my money, no scam possible there, or a person who will take my generous money and make a PCB from PNG, which it turns out will happen offline anyhow. What have you got to lose except being part of another dream machine development.

As for what is being attempted, what is special about it  ? I've explained the GFX are somewhat like a blitter, but not actually a blitter, and done in discreet parts, so what is there to disbelieve ? Seriously, what is there to doubt ? People make CPU's on breadboards. People make CPU's out of relays, valves, they carve them out of wood.  Making them out of IC's and transistors is childs play for some people. FIND THOSE PEOPLE AND BURN THEM ALIVE I hear you shout, but why ? didn't the 8bitGuy put out a video outlining the dream machine, shouldn't someone turn up with a new design ?

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My previous reply is missing. I don't know if that is because it was lost, or because someone came and deleted it, or if it was reported and removed. I don't think it was horrible, but obviously I'm not the one making the decisions.

No one has attacked you. People simply want more details to see if this is something they want to support. A failure to just give you unconditional love and praise is not an attack. Asking for information is not an attack. Suggesting there are better ways to accomplish a task is not an attack.

As for "you're trying to give everyone what they want" I disagree. You're trying to provide vague information that is not satisfying to a technical crowd. You say you've explained things, and I disagree. "Explain" is defined as "make an idea clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts or ideas." Continually restating vague information is not "explaining" and is certainly not making anything clear..

Back in the late 80s / early 90s there was a company that claimed to have invented WEB compression. Not world wide web, but a technique they called WEB just as others call theirs ZIP. WEB was revolutionary and lots of grand claims were made about how it would revolutionize data management, because it could compress any block of data of 64K or more to 1/16th of its original size. "Any block" includes already compressed blocks, so the story goes you could just feed the output of one pass into another pass and keep shrinking it down until you had a 4K block of data. The "explained" this is how it worked, but they never explained any technical details of how it worked, just provided hand wavy assurances that it was real, revolutionary, and would be out soon. It's 30+ years later and we've still never seen it.

Now, I don't mean to suggest that this design is physically impossible. I have no basis for that because there is no substantive information available for it.

For someone who doesn't have enough time to write a clear, succinct post pointing people to further information, you seem to have a lot of time to write posts that do everything but that task.

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2 hours ago, Oldrooster said:

TLDR warning: skip this message, not about the ZY HARUNA

 

I've counted it three times to make sure, and I'm sure. Perhaps you can simply read the thread. I'm sure that will work, and I will have more time to help write the user guide, that would be useful don't you think ?

Well I'll write it for other people and they'll be happy. Can't please everyone so I can only try to please most people and I'm thinking more people will want a user guide than not want a user guide so I'll divert my attention from repeating parts of the thread for people who refuse to read the thread into writing parts of a user guide in a desperate attempt to keep the greatest number of people happy. I'm so sorry that I can't please you, I've tried my best and I couldn't think of anything I haven't tried in order to make you happy.

I fully support you in your suggestion until such time as I can think of a way to make you happy while I help write the user manual that other people want, rather than repeating parts of the thread where I have already explained something, and then pointed out the message the answer is in, and then failed to be able to help you, afraid I can't help you further.

Perhaps you could simply answer the question rather than writing so many defensive posts about people? I'm sure that will work.

I didn't mean to imply that a user guide is a bad idea. I'm asking for a source of information other than you that I can go read myself to tide me over until the future. The answers are either "it doesn't exist" or "I don't want to provide it" or "you can go to XYZ and read or watch information about it."

What would make me happy is a simple, straightforward answer to a question, rather than missives that just run things around in circles. I communicate for a living, as an engineer, as a teacher, and (in a past life) as a radio host.

Ultimately, you're acting as an ambassador for this project, whether you want to or not. Insulting, snide, or condescending remarks don't help grow a community.

This is my second time trying to reply to this. Hopefully this one doesn't disappear as the last one did.

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Minor ZY HARUNA video commentary

In regards to generating video in general from discreet components, there are some good videos which explain basic concepts, although none of them that I know of describe HARUNA as far as I know, because I've never seen it before.

I do recommend for people a video by an engineer call beneater. The video is called "The world's worst video card" and uses generic chips. He explains very well and very clearly, I'm sure this is of enormous assistance to students. HARUNA's video is designed to accomplish different goals however, which is a live display using the fewest cheapest chips in the simplest arrangement. It will not be a fast updating display because the Z80 has its limits and the design goals for HARUNA's display are not aggressive performance-wise.

For clarity beneater reduces the resolution and seems to include unnecessary parts on the board, although I am not sure he realizes that, I say seems to because I haven't proven it as I haven't attempted to build the circuit he uses. They may be included for clarity though, but it can be made with less IC's.

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@Oldrooster have you considered releasing your project as open source providing PCB PNGs, components list and construction information (which component goes where on PCB)? This way anybody could build Haruna from scratch by themselves. For example, Geoff's projects are released in this way (geoffg.net).

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4 minutes ago, Cyber said:

@Oldrooster have you considered releasing your project as open source providing PCB PNGs, components list and construction information (which component goes where on PCB)? This way anybody could build Haruna from scratch by themselves. For example, Geoff's projects are released in this way (geoffg.net).

 

That is precisely the exact idea to a T. Precisely it. I find myself incapable of explaining this to people I'm here doing charades and shadow puppets and repeating myself adnauseum and people are attacking me, personally, because I observed that the design of the HARUNA matches quite well the design goals of the "Dream computer" except it's a Z80 and the BOM will come in about $60-80 at this stage it looks like.

dreamlist.png

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@Cyber The first PCB design is still a month or a few away from being ready to post onto the internet for free and op-en distribution. This is because it is not yet finished, a prototype is required, probably a few. The designer will not use gerber software and I understand (and so do others) why this is the case.

I would have though that getting help finding the name of a company that can do PNG to PCB was a great idea, especially because there is an interest, or there was, for the 8BG about this sort of thing in his video. Well, I guess you live and learn don't you. There is no getting back all the time and effort spent, however the project will go on as someone I know offline is taking up the challenge that the PCB companies like PCBWay will not. This will enable testing and fine-tuning of the first boards or the first sections of the first boards and this will speed up the release date.

Edited by Oldrooster
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I know I am probably missing something, and I am way behind in this thread, but I think I get the general idea.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no businesses who will accept any form of image file to create a PCB. However, maybe someone would be willing to convert your PNG image to Gerber by basically transferring the design into software so the designer don't have too? Then you can use whoever you like. Though you may lose you aesthetic look.

If the PCB must be classically etched for that old school copper look, then you may be stuck doing it yourself. It's very easy to do at home, all you need is an etching kit you can find online, and a laser printer. There are a lot of tutorials how to do it, it's really simple. You can print your PNG, transfer the toner to a copper PCB, etch the board in solution, then drill the through-holes. A process I have done many times in the past, though I drew my circuits by hand. lol

There may be some small shops that do this classic form of etching, but if they exist,  I know of none.

No idea if that helps, probably not, but I wish you luck anyway!

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