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Cimonvg
March 26th, 2012, 04:40 PM
Hello
I dream of making the old pc more useable.. to have a xt pc with USB interface.
I was think of , something like a SCSI controler and a CARD reader , and a SD-card/USB (in one). But it was not a complete solution, and not that cheap either.
Yesterday I did stumbled on a device , that could do the job ??
I firm that makes rs232 til usb converteres:
http://www.sureelectronics.net/category.php?id=36

Any comments on this idea ?? :confused1:
I know some sort of programming is nessesary .. (not that I know that much programming..) ...but perhaps worth the effort.
/cimonvg

Chuck(G)
March 26th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Given that most PC USB host adapters (I'm assuming that this is what you're asking about) are PCI-oriented, you may have to concoct your own solution. The FTDI Vinculum is a very simple device that supports some USB devices and has a very simple interface. There are also mid-level MCUs such as ARM and PIC32 that have no problem supporting USB Host mode or even USB OTG.

Getting the result to look anything like a standard USB stack on an ISA legacy PC would entail quite a bit of coding, however.

SpidersWeb
March 26th, 2012, 05:09 PM
I think you'll find that device adds a serial port to a computer with a USB port.
Their bad english confuses things in the detailed description, but I'm 99% certain it's USB -> serial.
Explains the "Virtual COM Port Driver" :)

I'm just using an Iomega ZIP100 parallel drive - 100Mb disks that works on DOS through Windows 7 via parallel port. Can also get them in IDE to throw in a newer server/desktop. Cheap and work well. On an 8088 using PalmZIP, just gotta be careful and try to get the oldest working one you can find.

Another option is the XT-IDE controllers being developed with the CompactFlash slot.

Cimonvg
March 26th, 2012, 05:10 PM
Well I am only missing the USB-stick (USB-flash) opportunity. The quick access to files from a modern PC to the old pc!
/cimonvg

Cimonvg
March 26th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Hello
the model DB-DP11118 looks to me like rs232->usb ..
And yes some day going to try out ZIP's , but USB are in every modern PC , so..
/cimonvg

I think you'll find that device adds a serial port to a computer with a USB port.
Their bad english confuses things in the detailed description, but I'm 99% certain it's USB -> serial.
Explains the "Virtual COM Port Driver" :)

I'm just using an Iomega ZIP100 parallel drive - 100Mb disks that works on DOS through Windows 7 via parallel port. Can also get them in IDE to throw in a newer server/desktop. Cheap and work well. On an 8088 using PalmZIP, just gotta be careful and try to get the oldest working one you can find.

Another option is the XT-IDE controllers being developed with the CompactFlash slot.

SpidersWeb
March 26th, 2012, 05:33 PM
Sorry I thought you meant the one at the top of that page you linked.

Yes the DB-DP11118 - http://www.sureelectronics.net/goods.php?id=1135 sounds like it is what you're after.
Not a bad price too. It uses a PIC24 chip, so will be easy to reprogram if necessary or fetch the source code to enable driver writing.

Good luck, definately doable with that model, just need someone with DOS driver experience I'd imagine.

Ole Juul
March 26th, 2012, 06:23 PM
Well I am only missing the USB-stick (USB-flash) opportunity. The quick access to files from a modern PC to the old pc!
/cimonvg

I guess it's whatever you're comfortable with. I find that the instant access provided by networking is the best solution when using DOS on a machine that will take a network card. There's lots of simple solutions to connection to "modern" machines from DOS, but perhaps you're running some other OS.

I don't normally access a memory stick from DOS but the proof is in the pudding, so I just tried it and it works like any other directory. Stick a network card in you XT and save the shoe leather. :)

Chuck(G)
March 26th, 2012, 07:18 PM
This (http://www.glynstore.com/products/FTDI-VDRIVE2-USB-Host-Controller-Module.html) is about the simplest thing that I can think of to include USB support on any PC. It's not cheap, but at least it's simple.

SpidersWeb
March 26th, 2012, 07:38 PM
Project that uses the link above: http://dally.nimh.nih.gov/computing/dos_usb_drive/usbflash4dos.html
Software they have has 8.3 limitation and it really doesn't like directories much by the looks.
But it's a start.

Ole Juul
March 26th, 2012, 08:04 PM
Software they have has 8.3 limitation and it really doesn't like directories much by the looks.
But it's a start.

What OS are you running on an XT that doesn't like 8.3 names? They're not normally a problem. I either rename on the modern computer or us mget with a wildcard and they will automatically be truncated in the transfer. It simply doesn't get any simpler, but I understand that you may have your own preferences. :)

SpidersWeb
March 26th, 2012, 08:07 PM
Yep you are right, I must've been low on coffee.

Cimonvg
March 27th, 2012, 01:56 AM
thank you for your comments - I will think it through again, and then decide which projekt I am going to follow.
/cimonvg

NobodyIsHere
March 27th, 2012, 02:28 AM
Hi
We put a USB port on the S-100 Serial IO board.

http://s100computers.com/My%20System%20Pages/Serial%20IO%20Board/Serial%20IO%20Board.htm

Moving it to ISA would be fairly easy to do. However, I think the part is not a USB host controller IIRC.

It works well so the basic idea is sound. Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Chuck(G)
March 27th, 2012, 08:27 AM
Hi Andrew!

A USB device is easy to implement; it can even be done with a low-end ATTiny using V-USB software. Real, full-function host controllers are a different matter, since they need not only to figure out the serial bus topology, but also conduct negotiation with each device as well as manage power. Medium-scale MCUs are powerful enough to do this and vendors offer software to assist the implementer. I don't know if the Vinculum can deal with hubs, etc. or if it supports just a small number of specific devices (I suspect the latter).

Given the memory limitations of an XT, I suspect that the driver stack and software would represent a major obstacle to a general-purpose host interface, much less how one would incorporate such drivers into an OS like DOS that essentially needs to know about all of its devices at system boot time.

Pepinno
March 27th, 2012, 10:02 AM
Well I am only missing the USB-stick (USB-flash) opportunity. The quick access to files from a modern PC to the old pc!
/cimonvg

Those who don't understand floppy drives, are doomed to reinvent them -- poorly. :D

MikeS
March 27th, 2012, 10:39 AM
I don't normally access a memory stick from DOS but the proof is in the pudding, so I just tried it and it works like any other directory. Stick a network card in you XT and save the shoe leather. :)OJ, your mailbox seems to be full.

Chuck(G)
March 27th, 2012, 11:17 AM
It's far easier to interface to an SD card or even a CF card than it is a USB flash drive. SD cards are basically SPI (serial) interface; CF is basically IDE. Drivers for that are pretty simple.

GADFRAN
March 27th, 2012, 01:40 PM
I believe “deviceside” still offers a card so you can get a USB port on an older computer so you can use that device for reading some old 5.25” disks in various formats.

Check them out – just do a Google search.

Also check my many posts on this site about “deviceside.”

I used it a lot for my voluminous Kaypro disks.

BTW – I am not involved financially in any way with “deviceside.” I value my independence too much and they know that.

But I am enthusiastic about it since I just found that it really helped me a lot in converting thousands of Kaypro disks via a USB port for my decades of science, technology and society [STS] research dating from the 1980’s..

All the best !

Frank

Ole Juul
March 27th, 2012, 05:51 PM
OJ, your mailbox seems to be full.

Thanks Mike. I noticed, but after spending half an hour looking at it could not figure out how to delete some of the messages. Sorry for the lack of intelligence on my part. vBulletin is just too much for me.

Ole Juul
March 27th, 2012, 10:48 PM
The title "USB connection for the old PC" is a red herring. What the OP said was:

I dream of making the old pc more useable.. to have a xt pc with USB interface.
Which is a perfectly legitimate dream. :) However note the use of the word useable. I think useabiltiy has a lot to do with ones technique, and as it turns out:

Well I am only missing the USB-stick (USB-flash) opportunity. The quick access to files from a modern PC to the old pc!
/cimonvg

So the idea is to use sneakernet with a USB-stick. The OP is not really looking for USB as such, but rather the ability to transfer files from a modern PC. Sneakernet (moving files by transferring physical media) is not mandatory for that.

As Chuck(G) pointed out, USB is not that simple in the software department. You need a fully USB aware OS to be able to plug and play. I'm not a coder but reenumeration does not sound like a small task to me, nor one that will result in code that you could put on a floppy.

Indeed all that is needed to accomplish the task at hand is to have a network card or a serial card. Add a couple of utilities and a configuration file and you're all set - even running off a floppy. One does not need to re-engineer a historical situation to accomplish the task at hand, but rather to learn the techniques which are already in place.

Chuck(G)
March 28th, 2012, 07:21 AM
On the other hand, there was that bit of code from one of the Japanese manufacturers to host pen drive (and I suspect, some other storage devices) access from DOS. I don't have any specifics other than I tried it on an old P1 board with integrated USB and did work--sort of.

Whether or not it would work on an XT with an 8088 CPU somehow cobbled up with a UHCI is another matter.

MikeS
March 28th, 2012, 08:03 AM
On the other hand, there was that bit of code from one of the Japanese manufacturers to host pen drive (and I suspect, some other storage devices) access from DOS. I don't have any specifics other than I tried it on an old P1 board with integrated USB and did work--sort of.

Whether or not it would work on an XT with an 8088 CPU somehow cobbled up with a UHCI is another matter.What about those USB/SDcard floppy drive emulators?

pearce_jj
March 28th, 2012, 08:22 AM
The OP is not really looking for USB as such, but rather the ability to transfer files from a modern PC...all that is needed to accomplish the task at hand is...

... an XT/IDE board with an easily accessible compact-flash card! :)

Chuck(G)
March 28th, 2012, 08:22 AM
What about those USB/SDcard floppy drive emulators?

I don't know, although I suspect that it would be nice to be able to transfer more than a single floppy's worth at a time.

Caluser2000
March 28th, 2012, 09:33 AM
In case it was missed in the hardware thread. Link posted by schlang- http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/EB1161ISA/intro.html

Like the 10/100 NIC it doesn't look like it's been in production for a while.

Pepinno
March 28th, 2012, 09:58 AM
The earliest open-source USB stack implementation was in NetBSD year 1998 (http://www.netbsd.org/changes/1998.html#july-1998), and that would be the code base to reference. Backporting that 1998 code to MS-DOS may be possible, although a major project, and probably only doable for 386 machines and up. In reality, you would want at least a 486 machine with a PCI slot or with built-in USB, unless you are an EE and can design your own ISA card solution to host USB.

All in all, putting USB support in a XT-class machine would be like dressing an elephant in a pink pyjamas, to my eyes. An abomination of retro-computing gone amok.

pearce_jj
March 28th, 2012, 11:09 AM
Have a look at the CH375.

CH375 is a USB bus universal interface chip, supports USB-HOST Mode and USB-DEVICE/SLAVE Mode. There are 8-bit data bus and read, write, chip select control wire and interrupt output in CH375. It is convenient to link CH375 to control system bus of MCU/DSP/MPU.CH375 also provides serial communication in USB-HOST mode. It connects with DSP/MCU/MPU through serial input, output and interrupt output.

It say's it's 8086 compatible (http://wch-ic.com/download/list.asp?id=57), not tried it myself.

Chuck(G)
March 28th, 2012, 12:00 PM
It's an interesting chip--probably just a commodity MCU with custom programming. The datasheet is a bit difficult to peruse (Chinese English) but it appears that there's a simple parallel interface and also a serial one. The FIFO appears to be only 64 bytes. If you had a bidirectional printer port, it would be very simple to interface to this thing. It appears to be limited to mass storage USB devices.

njroadfan
March 28th, 2012, 01:25 PM
It's an interesting chip--probably just a commodity MCU with custom programming. The datasheet is a bit difficult to peruse (Chinese English) but it appears that there's a simple parallel interface and also a serial one. The FIFO appears to be only 64 bytes. If you had a bidirectional printer port, it would be very simple to interface to this thing. It appears to be limited to mass storage USB devices.

Take a look at this, it could likely be expanded to support more then printers: http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~heha/bastelecke/Rund%20um%20den%20PC/USB2LPT/lpt2usb.en.htm

Chuck(G)
March 28th, 2012, 01:37 PM
With an ATMega16 8-bit CPU? I'm surprised that it can muster enough computational power to drive a USB printer. A USB pen drive might be a stretch. And driving devices attached to a USB hub may well be beyond the pale. On the other hand, their proposed use of a PIC32MX family chip would make quite a bit possible (I think I mentioned this earlier in the thread). The Mega16 is an old (at least in electronics terms) chip. Many modern MCUs are more than capable. Heck, there's a PIC32MX version of Linux, as well many ARM incarnations.

RickNel
March 28th, 2012, 02:25 PM
I somewhat agree with Peppino about the pink pyjamas. Original poster just wants file transfer via portable storage device, USB stick preferred. But any standard USB stack is burdened with complex drivers for universal device discovery and device driver intitialisation.

One of the standard memory card solutions would be far simpler - IDE to SD Card or CF Card adapters cost peanuts, usually don't need any drivers, and give the same pluggable convenience of a USB stick. Only requires a cheap USB card reader to stick in any modern host machine that doesn't already have one, then move the loaded memory card to the adapter in the USB-less PC. The memory card should be of a capacity compatible with the vintage PC's BIOS.

But then, not many of us are on this forum for practical reasons, so the most complicated solution may be preferred... ;)

Rick

Cimonvg
March 28th, 2012, 03:19 PM
...correct Rick. Not always the easy solution that are the most fun :)

Again... I use USB alot for carrying along data, and do mis this oppertunity on the old PC.
But I do understand those , who will not use electronic in there 80's PC that are newer then ..90's ..
And , yes, a complete stack for covering all USB is way out to big a project.

Again thanks for your comments - many new/different approaches to the project ... ;)
/cimonvg

Ole Juul
March 28th, 2012, 05:10 PM
... an XT/IDE board with an easily accessible compact-flash card! :)
And that's how you transfer files between computers?


Cimonvg:
Again... I use USB alot for carrying along data, and do mis this oppertunity on the old PC.
But I do understand those , who will not use electronic in there 80's PC that are newer then ..90's ..
And , yes, a complete stack for covering all USB is way out to big a project.

/cimonvg


I guess it's a matter of taste, and you're certainly not wrong in doing that. Personally, I've found USB sticks to be a rather inelegant substitute for a network, and I haven't found them to be as useful as I thought they would be when they first came out. Of course, in a pinch, they are indeed a solution.