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Thread: Possibility of making clone MCA sound cards.

  1. #131

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    I am very impressed and convinced of this video when I saw it.
    I believe that finally, after years of waiting, we will get a good sound card for MCA machines with reasonable money costs ( and what kind of sound card ... full of great features ! ).

    As soon as the kickstarter project starts ( I hope soon ? ) , I definitely want to be first ones on the list .
    I hope all of best with this project to eeguru ( its big project ). You doing very remarkable work whole retro computer community.

    Many thanks also video uploader Trixter!

    PS .. and sorry my bad english ( it's not my mother tongue ) .

  2. #132

    Default

    I am very convinced of this presentation here so much good info and knowledge concerning vintage sound cards.

    I believe now that after years of waiting we will finally get a good "all in one" sound card for MCA machines + also "bonus features" with reasonable money costs.

    As soon as the kickstart program starts ( I hope soon ) I will gladly be first in line! .

    I hope all of best with this project to eeguru ( and everyone who supports and assists in this project ), you are doing very remarkable work whole reto community.
    I want to also thank Trixter who but this video vcfed.org.

    PS. Sorry for any mistakes. English is not my native language.

  3. #133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JTK68 View Post
    I am very convinced of this presentation here so much good info and knowledge concerning vintage sound cards.

    I believe now that after years of waiting we will finally get a good "all in one" sound card for MCA machines + also "bonus features" with reasonable money costs.

    As soon as the kickstart program starts ( I hope soon ) I will gladly be first in line! .

    I hope all of best with this project to eeguru ( and everyone who supports and assists in this project ), you are doing very remarkable work whole reto community.
    I want to also thank Trixter who but this video vcfed.org.

    PS. Sorry for any mistakes. English is not my native language.
    heheh, my message came double, I thought first one disappeared into "pit heaven" ...

  4. #134
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    11

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    I've actually been working on a MCA sound card for a while.

    I've been kind of lurking on this thread for a while but I haven't contributed because all I've been doing over the last year is studying so I really had nothing to show.

    As of late September I actually have a real prototype of an MCA Ad-lib clone. I call it the FM/2. I'm a big PS/2 fan and I collect them so I wanted to retain the naming convention. It's a very quick and dirty prototype implemented all in 74LS logic. I pretty much took the Ad-lib schematic and adapted it for use with the MCA bus. The address and IRQ are jumper selectable like an ISA card, there is no POS. Again this is a prototype. It was never intended to be a sellable product, just a proof of concept to see if it would actually work.

    It actually does work but the audio is a bit distorted. But given that until this project I had pretty much no experience with digital electronics (I built tube guitar amplifiers) I was pretty surprised it worked first time. I think it's probably because I got some of the resistors wrong in the op-amp feedback loop and the signal is clipping. I was still learning the EDA (Which is Kicad) at the time and I got the annotation messed up. I haven't been interested in troubleshooting it - I'm just moving on to the next rev. The board is designed and is in shipping.

    My plan is to add new features and improve the design slightly with each rev. So I'm starting with just an OPL2 and sort of building it up from there. I'm using a physical OPL chip. I have no interest in emulating since the YM3812 and Y3014B are still plentiful and cheap. Once I have a workable design I'll probably sell it as an Ad-lib clone. The prototype I spoke of is nowhere near ready for primetime, there's a lot of things I just screwed up. My ultimate goal is a Soundblaster compatible MCA sound card (probably Soundblaster 16 compatible).

    Here's a pic of the prototype. Eventually I'll put a few videos up on youtube (thinking of starting a dedicated channel but for now I'll probably just use my personal account).
    20190919_213854.jpg

  5. #135

    Default

    I'm quite surprised an ad-lib is so easy to make on MCA.

    Do you have a link to the videos you mentioned? I'd like to see them, and a cursory search revealed nothing.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

  6. #136
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    2,037

  7. #137

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    Pretty neat stuff! Saw that recently too.

    Here's the link to the specific post showing it working: https://twitter.com/TubeTimeUS/statu...76720398069760

  8. #138
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Guildford, U.K.
    Posts
    127

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybob View Post
    Well, I'm convinced the only way I'm getting 8x 32mb simms for my 9595 is if someone here kicks the bucket... That is the last holdout part for my system and then it will be "complete"
    The only way that is possible is with 32MB ECC SIMMs. Contact Lorenzo Mollicone (lorenzo@nycellc.com) or post a WTB: on newsgroup comp.sys.ibm.ps2.hardware.

    I have a box full of the 16MB ECC versions (NIB), if 128MB is sufficient. I'm in the U.K. though.
    Last edited by WBST; November 21st, 2019 at 08:04 PM.

  9. #139
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    11

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybob View Post
    I'm quite surprised an ad-lib is so easy to make on MCA.

    Do you have a link to the videos you mentioned? I'd like to see them, and a cursory search revealed nothing.
    I uploaded it to my facebook. I haven't uploaded it to youtube yet. I should get on that.

    Before anyone asks, no I am not TubeTime although I admit my prototype was largely based on his work. I even used some of the footprints from his projects. The MCA connector footprint from the MPU-IMC was VERY helpful. He released it under the Creative Commons license so I think it's alright. I learned most of what I know about sound cards from his site.

    I've followed his website but I haven't followed his Twitter so I had no idea he was working on the same project. Knowing him, his copy will probably be a very close copy of the original MCA Adlib just like the ISA version was. I made no attempt to stay faithful to the original. It's crazy though how we seem to be following the same path. I also made the same design decision to move all the glue logic onto a CPLD for the next rev. My new board even looks a bit like his.

    He's already ahead of me. I just got the new board (which is rev 3 actually) and soldered it up last week only mine doesn't work. Work has been crazy lately so I haven't had much time to figure it out. I'm a total newb to programmable logic so I'm still trying to figure out the problem. I've been trying to write a test bench and Quartus is giving me nothing but grief.

    Given the length of this thread I thought there wasn't enough interest in MCA sound cards for more experienced homebrewers to actually put in the time to produce one so I thought I'd take it on myself and hopefully surprise people (and make a little money at it). I wanted to be the guy to do it first but it looks both TubeTime and EEguru will probably beat me to the punch (and with a better product). I hate to say it but I think when they come out I'll probably end up buying one (or multiple) of their boards and lose motivation to work my design. Oh well, whoever gets one out first it'll be a win for the community. 2020 will be the year of the MCA soundcard.

  10. #140
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Guildford, U.K.
    Posts
    127

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    I'm not sure you should be discouraged by eeguru's progress, his primary goal is the ISA bus version, so an MCA bus adapter would gain a clientelle despite that. It'll all come down to price, I expect.

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