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Thread: Tandy Sound Compatible PCB

  1. #1

    Default Tandy Sound Compatible PCB

    Hi All

    This design for a simple PCB to provide basic Tandy sound to clones has been sitting in my Eagle CAD folder for a while, but at last it is ready to go to fab. Expect PCBs in the store in about 3 weeks time for those wanting to experiment with the first cut!

    Needs a SN76489AN chip as available from your favorite online auction site

    Last edited by pearce_jj; October 30th, 2016 at 08:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    This is great! I will want one

  3. #3
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    Neat!

    The problem of enabling audio to use this card still remains, as most software made before 1988 will only enable it by checking model bytes in ROM. Maybe some enterprising person will maintain a page of game patches to force 3-voice audio, or maybe even a utility to help find the detection code (or patch it!).
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

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    Took ya long enough for such a simple design

    Not only is do you need to consider the Model Byte detection, you also need to hack around games that rigidly think Tandy Graphics = Tandy Sound. Finally, will setting the card at the addresses used by virtually all games and the 2nd DMA chip in AT systems cause issues?

    The only games with auto detection where you can force an EGA or VGA graphics with Tandy sound are the AGI engine games with interpreter v2.917 or later. Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders have been patched in their low and high resolution versions to always output Tandy sound : http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?...c+pcjr#p342485 But they really sound best with the NCR 8496 clone PSG : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/...ound-chip.html
    Last edited by Great Hierophant; November 1st, 2016 at 12:26 PM.
    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Great Hierophant View Post
    will setting the card at the addresses used by virtually all games and the 2nd DMA chip in AT systems cause issues?
    Yes. I thought the card targeted 8-bit ISA-slot systems only. (Which is appropriate, as most games with 3-voice audio worth listening to target the 4.77-10 MHz range anyway.)
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  6. #6

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    Correct, also it has 2C0h option (could change that to 1C0h as per Tandy 386(?) but it still technically clashes with 5150 system board reserved range).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearce_jj View Post
    Correct, also it has 2C0h option (could change that to 1C0h as per Tandy 386(?) but it still technically clashes with 5150 system board reserved range).
    The Tandy 1000 RSX, the 2500s and the Sensation! use the 1C0 range and some later games from Sierra and other companies have a 3-voice driver for it.

    Can you actually use this card at C0 or 1E0 in a 5150? The 5150 Technical Reference indicates that the 100-1FF range is not usable. I would be happy to test it in mine
    Last edited by Great Hierophant; November 1st, 2016 at 09:27 AM.
    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearce_jj View Post
    Correct, also it has 2C0h option (could change that to 1C0h as per Tandy 386(?) but it still technically clashes with 5150 system board reserved range).
    How difficult would it be to have all three?
    C0h would give you PCjr compatibility if the machine allows it (PC/XT and clones with just one DMA controller should work, AT and above would not).
    1E0h would give you late Tandy compatibility, if that port range happens to be available on your machine.
    2C0h would be a 'safe' setting, since that's in the range where sound cards normally are, and that should work on any system. The only thing that uses this port range, according to this is 'AST-clock'... I suppose that's some kind of SixPack card with a clock function? Probably only useful on PC/XT systems, which could use the C0h range anyway.
    Last edited by Scali; November 1st, 2016 at 07:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearce_jj View Post
    ...could change that to 1C0h as per Tandy 386(?)...
    It's 1E0h, not 1C0h. Allowing for this starting address would be ideal, since some software/drivers are already aware of, and are compatible with it.

    Also, is it too late to change some of the silk-screening? It's kind-of a minor thing, but "PSG Level" is more appropriate than "DSP Level," in this instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudschatze View Post
    It's 1E0h, not 1C0h. Allowing for this starting address would be ideal, since some software/drivers are already aware of, and are compatible with it.
    Ah yes, that should also be safe.
    It would still be within the 100-1FFh range, so we don't know yet if it works on 5150 (and 5155/5160/clones?).
    So perhaps 2C0h as third option would still be wise.

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