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Kevin Williams

Commander X16 - Second Prototype PCBs are Here!

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Great to see the progress!  I'm glad you decided to go with SNES controller ports rather than NES, that makes some game controls much easier to design for.  

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Any ideas what kind of power supply will be needed? Atx I assume, but how much power output will be required?

I think about designing my own C128 style case and a bulky 300W Atx PS won't fit in there.

Yes - I know the X16P and C will be delivered in a case... I'll use that for something else.

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Any ideas what kind of power supply will be needed? Atx I assume, but how much power output will be required?
I think about designing my own C128 style case and a bulky 300W Atx PS won't fit in there.
Yes - I know the X16P and C will be delivered in a case... I'll use that for something else.
Our PSU is 180W but the stock machine without expansions will use far less than that.
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4 minutes ago, Perifractic said:
16 minutes ago, AndyMt said:

Any ideas what kind of power supply will be needed?

Our PSU is 180W but the stock machine without expansions will use far less than that.

Great! I'll fire up Blender then 🙂.

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The Emulator and the ROM have been adapted for the new board. You can check out branches x16_board_r2 in the source of the two projects. The official reference manual has also been updated.

In short, these are the major  breaking changes:

  • RAM and ROM banking is done through magic zero page locations 0 and 1. Up to 512 KB of ROM are now supported.
  • VIA#1 is now at $9F00, VIA#2 at $9F10
  • YM is at $9F40
  • All I/O (PS/2, Controllers, Serial) has been moved to VIA#1 PA and PB.

 

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In Korean historical dramas, the Emperor wears the purple Dragon Robe, and the Crown Prince wears the red Dragon robe.
Any chance the CX16c board might be red?

 

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In Korean historical dramas, the Emperor wears the purple Dragon Robe, and the Crown Prince wears the red Dragon robe.
Any chance the CX16c board might be red?
 
You red my mind.
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On 7/7/2020 at 6:49 PM, AndyMt said:

Any ideas what kind of power supply will be needed? Atx I assume, but how much power output will be required?

I think about designing my own C128 style case and a bulky 300W Atx PS won't fit in there.

Yes - I know the X16P and C will be delivered in a case... I'll use that for something else.

you could always use a Pico-PSU in lieu of the standard ATX/SFX form factors, and have the 12v brick as an external unit a'la (G)olden days.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, I was kind of expecting to see a card edge connector socket hanging off the end of the User Port cable. 🤔  Perhaps on a plate poking out of one of the extra peripheral slots.

Edited by KnightFire

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10 hours ago, KnightFire said:

Oh, I was kind of expecting to see a card edge connector socket hanging off the end of the User Port cable. 🤔  Perhaps on a plate poking out of one of the extra peripheral slots.

The block header doesn't know what is on the other end of the ribbon cable.

Could even blow people's mind and put a C64 user port CONNECTOR on the plate and they plug IN a card edge {*mind blown*}

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are they Playstation controller ports on the commander x16?

its nice to see the motherboard and the case design

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30 minutes ago, The rock said:

are they Playstation controller ports on the commander x16?

I'm pretty sure those are SNES ports.

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34 minutes ago, troj said:

I'm pretty sure those are SNES ports.

They are SNES ports. The reason for SNES controllers is because they require fewer wires, but allow for 12 buttons (technically more, but you'd have to write your own driver to deal with that).

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1 hour ago, Jon Brawn said:

Who's working on the prototype CRT VDU 😀

I've got six CRTs from the 80s.  One of them will work with this quite nicely, I'm sure. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

It's not the color that gets me.

It's not the features like the expansion slots, VGA out, IEC interface, or the SNES adapters.  Apologies to Frank, but it's not VERA either (although it is supercool).

It's not even the sockets.

 

 

It's that there's a 65C02 there, and a straightforward but clever banked memory map, on no-fuss static RAM, and it's going to run an ancient (albeit upgraded) Commodore KERNAL.

That's what gets me.

That, and maybe the SD slot.

 

 

But I like all the other stuff too of course.

Edited by rje
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I believe Playstation 2 controllers also use 9 connections, but have even more buttons, including the joysticks.  I really like the SNES controllers A LOT, but I'm wondering why the SNES over the PS2, considering the greater number of buttons, and more modern controller.  Is it a proprietary issue, cost, just personal preference?

 

Can't wait to get my Commander X16!!!

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55 minutes ago, DY17 said:

I believe Playstation 2 controllers also use 9 connections, but have even more buttons, including the joysticks.  I really like the SNES controllers A LOT, but I'm wondering why the SNES over the PS2, considering the greater number of buttons, and more modern controller.  Is it a proprietary issue, cost, just personal preference?

Well, we're not looking for "the most buttons". One part of the decision over PS2 is that SNES controllers are plentiful on Amazon etc. and personally for me are a lot more nostalgic/retro than PS2. The X16 isn't a games console and PS2 really gives that vibe. But this was just one of the many reasons for SNES.

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10 minutes ago, Perifractic said:

Well, we're not looking for "the most buttons". One part of the decision over PS2 is that SNES controllers are plentiful on Amazon etc. and personally for me are a lot more nostalgic/retro than PS2. The X16 isn't a games console and PS2 really gives that vibe. But this was just one of the many reasons for SNES.

Agreed.  Thanks!

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is there any technical reason why a PS2 controller expansion card would not be feasible? 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, -N2 said:

is there any technical reason why a PS2 controller expansion card would not be feasible? 

It could be feasible, especially with the aid of a separate microcontroller to handle the serial communications between the controller and the X16 at the likely spec of 250kHz. You'd also need to provide your own voltage division to step down the +12V line to the vibromotors' expected 7.2V, and I'm not entirely sure how much amperage that line can handle relative to the draw of the vibromotors. One source says the motors pull 300mA steady after a 500mA start-up, which ought to work out to 190mA on the 12V line after a 320mA start-up. You'll also want to be aware of the minor hazard that is the 5V TTL on the X16, versus the 3V3 TTL (apparently) for the PS2 controller. None of this seems especially difficult, it's just a variety of finicky details since the PS2 controller is a good 2.5 generations of computing removed from the X16, even allowing for the generous interpretation that the X16 straddles the 8-bit/16-bit generational divide in the same way that the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 did.

Edited by StephenHorn

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19 minutes ago, StephenHorn said:

It could be feasible, especially with the aid of a separate microcontroller to handle the serial communications between the controller and the X16 at the likely spec of 250kHz. You'd also need to provide your own voltage division to step down the +12V line to the vibromotors' expected 7.2V, and I'm not entirely sure how much amperage that line can handle relative to the draw of the vibromotors. One source says the motors pull 300mA steady after a 500mA start-up, which ought to work out to 190mA on the 12V line after a 320mA start-up. You'll also want to be aware of the minor hazard that is the 5V TTL on the X16, versus the 3V3 TTL (apparently) for the PS2 controller. None of this seems especially difficult, it's just a variety of finicky details since the PS2 controller is a good 2.5 generations of computing removed from the X16, even allowing for the generous interpretation that the X16 straddles the 8-bit/16-bit generational divide in the same way that the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 did.

In reference to the speed limitations of the early sound chip selections, yeah I had wondered why employing another 65xx chip to run the older slower legacy components was off the table for that...  running the board asynchronous might have been an elegant solution for that. 

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