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brain
October 29th, 2017, 09:53 AM
For those not on other forums, I am working on a TI HexBus-based SD card drive, and I have it working (well, loading and saving programs, other stuff being added as time goes on)

GitHub source code is here: https://github.com/go4retro/HEXTIr

Video of unit operating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX5ahVCRdvM

Jim

curtis
October 30th, 2017, 07:26 AM
Holy smokes!

What a beautiful design.

Thanks for keep the hexbus and dockbus systems alive!

ClassicHasClass
October 30th, 2017, 01:40 PM
Neat! Think it would work with a CC-40? I have the wacky wafertape drive but this would clearly be a better idea.

brain
October 30th, 2017, 09:19 PM
Neat! Think it would work with a CC-40? I have the wacky wafertape drive but this would clearly be a better idea.

I am testing it with a cc40

Jim

ClassicHasClass
October 30th, 2017, 10:09 PM
Excellent! You can pencil me in for purchasing one. :)

curtis
November 1st, 2017, 03:47 PM
BTW, CC-40 or TI-74 if you look at the dockbus and hexbus, they're essentially the same. Just a different configuration. There's supposedly some protocol differences, but nothing too serious. . It's fairly easy to build an adapter from one to the other. Just need some perf board, soldering iron, wire wrap wire, a power source for the dockbus side of the world, and the pins.

I've actually done a couple and boxed them in an old Travan tape container. Here's the pictures: http://pages.suddenlink.net/curtismc/7495.htm

Oh, and @brain, I want one too! My fine soldering days are pretty much in the past. What sort of pricing do you think they'd run?

smp
December 4th, 2017, 09:18 AM
I definitely want one of these! Please sign me up for one.

smp

brain
December 4th, 2017, 10:38 AM
Prototype unit, assembled and working:

42291

Next steps:


Add code to support sequential files
Add relative file support
Test 3v3 operation at 8MHz
Create cost reduced production PCB

ClassicHasClass
December 4th, 2017, 03:37 PM
Jim, will you take my money?

I'm amused by the prospect of PRG, SEQ and REL files on a CC-40. What about USR? WHAT ABOUT DEL???!?!!? ;)
Tens of VLIR users want to know!

smp
December 5th, 2017, 08:21 AM
Jim, will you take my money?

Yes, indeed! Please take my money, too! I'm having a hard time typing this, as I'm drooling all over myself. :happy2:

smp

curtis
December 10th, 2017, 07:32 AM
I'll add my request for you to take my money! This is a beautiful piece of work and definitely need AT LEAST 1 for myself. Probably a couple.

smp
March 10th, 2018, 10:46 AM
For those not on other forums, I am working on a TI HexBus-based SD card drive, and I have it working (well, loading and saving programs, other stuff being added as time goes on)

GitHub source code is here: https://github.com/go4retro/HEXTIr

Video of unit operating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX5ahVCRdvM

Jim

So, some months have passed since this original post...

Is there any status update available? Or, more to the point, is there any timeline where this interface may become available for purchase by others?

TIA

smp

jonecool
March 11th, 2018, 08:55 PM
Very nice!!

ClassicHasClass
March 12th, 2018, 05:47 PM
is there any timeline where this interface may become available for purchase by others?

Take my money, Jim!

brain
March 14th, 2018, 06:26 PM
So, some months have passed since this original post...

Is there any status update available? Or, more to the point, is there any timeline where this interface may become available for purchase by others?

TIA

smp

Had to bail for a few months due to work commitments, but I did make some small improvements on the firmware and am now working to put a small bootloader on the atmega328s so I can upgrade the firmware after shipping.

I will update here as soon as I can. The first delivery will be kits that folks can solder up. I am hoping folks can test, help me debug, and then help me determine a final form factor.

Jim

smp
March 14th, 2018, 06:36 PM
Had to bail for a few months due to work commitments, but I did make some small improvements on the firmware and am now working to put a small bootloader on the atmega328s so I can upgrade the firmware after shipping.

I will update here as soon as I can. The first delivery will be kits that folks can solder up. I am hoping folks can test, help me debug, and then help me determine a final form factor.

Jim

Please count me in! I can’t wait!

smp

ClassicHasClass
March 14th, 2018, 09:41 PM
I'm not great with a soldering iron, but I'd love to get my hands on one regardless.

ClassicHasClass
July 31st, 2018, 02:59 PM
Jim, any news? Cash is burning a hole in my pocket ...

curtis
August 4th, 2018, 07:13 AM
I contacted a couple of weeks ago and got the following response. Not sure if this is promising or just teasing use.

RETRO Innovations
http://store.go4retro.com/
I modified the source to compile and run on an Arduino, while I work on finding a small enough bootloader.

The code is on github.
-- RETRO Innovations, Contemporary Gear for Classic Systemswww.go4retro.com (http://www.go4retro.com)store.go4retro.com

curtis
August 5th, 2018, 07:44 AM
And they'll probably go dark for another 3-4 months.

brain
August 9th, 2018, 07:57 PM
Jim, any news? Cash is burning a hole in my pocket ...

My apologies, I forgot about this thread (I normally update the AtariAge.com one), and the email about a new post went to spam, where I just saw it.

I put the Arduino version of the code and a wiring diagram on github.com/go4retro/HEXTir

I have not made much progress on a bootloader, and I am not comfy yet with the state of the code to just produce a working batch that can't be updated, but I am still looking on how I might reduce the bootloader size.

Summer, though, does slow down things. Still, if you have an arduino and avrdude, you can wire up the prototype.

Jim

brain
August 9th, 2018, 08:01 PM
I contacted a couple of weeks ago and got the following response. Not sure if this is promising or just teasing use.

RETRO Innovations
http://store.go4retro.com/
I modified the source to compile and run on an Arduino, while I work on finding a small enough bootloader.

The code is on github.
-- RETRO Innovations, Contemporary Gear for Classic Systemswww.go4retro.com (http://www.go4retro.com)store.go4retro.com

I'm not sure how to take your response. The code is on GitHub, as I noted. Did you find it? Is that not what you were looking for?

I can really only move forward when I either:

a) find a small bootloader
b) move to a larger uC (read: more $$$)
c) have folks test the existing code enough, with bug fixes, that the code is good enough to not need to be patched/upgraded all the time, and thus a bootloader is not absolutely needed.

Jim

brain
August 9th, 2018, 08:05 PM
And they'll probably go dark for another 3-4 months.

Thanks for the positive attitude and respect for the other activities I'm engaged in.

Jim

curtis
August 10th, 2018, 07:03 AM
I think most of us would agree, getting a reliable storage option for the TI 74/CC-40 would make these units so much more usable that cost isn't a critical factor. True if you were to say it would run over say $300 or more you might kill some market, but PROBABLY anything less that $200 would be outstanding! Less than a hundred bucks? Off the wall!

If a larger microchip/controller would do the job better, and nor drive costs up to a prohibitive level, go for it.

As for my response, if I was 10=20 years younger and my eyesight was better, I'd be building this and helping you test, but the developing cataracts and presbyopia has pretty much eliminated any chance of that. Sadly.

Thanks for the update and PLEASE keep plugging away.

One question, why a bootloader? My thinking is if you address the unit as the 74/40 does it should just "wake up" and read/write the data. Of course, please understand I'm a hardware guy and seriously NOT a coder or software sort of person.

ClassicHasClass
August 10th, 2018, 05:42 PM
My apologies, I forgot about this thread (I normally update the AtariAge.com one), and the email about a new post went to spam, where I just saw it.

I put the Arduino version of the code and a wiring diagram on github.com/go4retro/HEXTir

I have not made much progress on a bootloader, and I am not comfy yet with the state of the code to just produce a working batch that can't be updated, but I am still looking on how I might reduce the bootloader size.

Summer, though, does slow down things. Still, if you have an arduino and avrdude, you can wire up the prototype.

Jim

I'll see what I can do with my limited skillz in the meantime. But I'm willing to put up with some inconvenience (and pay decently) for a relatively finished prototype. Nevertheless, this is great news for CC40 enthusiasts even in a rough incomplete form.

brain
August 10th, 2018, 07:26 PM
One question, why a bootloader? My thinking is if you address the unit as the 74/40 does it should just "wake up" and read/write the data. Of course, please understand I'm a hardware guy and seriously NOT a coder or software sort of person.

On uC devices, the "bootloader" is named for the historical reason, but it is used differently. An uC bootloader is typically a bit of code that can "re-program" the uC with new firmware, thus allowing the option to field update the code. Since this device has an SD card, the bootloader can scan the card for a special name program, and update the firmware. I use such a construct to design the HW without having all the SW bugs fixed, ship the unit, and then fix bugs with updates as people find them.

Jim

curtis
August 11th, 2018, 06:56 AM
Okay, now that makes sense.

A little more thought on the emulator. A lot of people aren't that savvy so it should be as easy to use as say a thumb drive. Plug it in and it works. I know that's sort of the Shangri La of design, but still a good target to shoot for.

Fact of the matter why not a USB setup? Would be a bit more flexible.

Just a thought.