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Powertran Cortex

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    That's very cool. Too bad my Tomy Tutor will probably never run this without substantial hardware modification, eh, Jim (Ksarul)?
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
    Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

    Comment


      Originally posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
      That's very cool. Too bad my Tomy Tutor will probably never run this without substantial hardware modification, eh, Jim (Ksarul)?
      From this link:
      http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/tomy/hardware.html
      it would seem that the standard hardware allows for both roms to be mapped out completely. This then leaves 0x0000-0x0e000 available for ram chips on the expansion port. You would have to build an expansion cartridge with a 64KB RAM chip and the CF Card and you would be good to go, no modification of the Tomy console needed.

      I cannot find full schematics for the Tutor on the web, so it is hard to be sure.

      Comment


        Originally posted by pnr View Post
        From this link:
        http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/tomy/hardware.html
        it would seem that the standard hardware allows for both roms to be mapped out completely. This then leaves 0x0000-0x0e000 available for ram chips on the expansion port. You would have to build an expansion cartridge with a 64KB RAM chip and the CF Card and you would be good to go, no modification of the Tomy console needed.

        I cannot find full schematics for the Tutor on the web, so it is hard to be sure.
        Ironically, as it happens, that's my web page on the Tutor ...

        Anyway, I meant without additional hardware. I don't know if both ROMs could be mapped out in that fashion, although it does appear like it should work. I've tried to think of ways to get a PEB connected to a Tutor (Tomy even considered making such a device) but I've never been willing to risk a PEB and a Tutor on what could be an ugly failure.
        I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
        Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
        Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

        Comment


          I did find a site with somewhat complete schematics for the Japanese version of the Tutor--the Pyuuta. The site also has schematics for the Pyuuta Jr.

          http://www43.tok2.com/home/cmpslv/Pyuuta/EnrPt.htm

          The hardest part of using a TI PEB with the Tutor would be that you'd have to design all of the cards for it pretty much from scratch, as the Device Support Routines (DSRs) for the TI are in the wrong address space. . .the Flex Cable Interface would work though--once you built a Tomy adapter. . .I may just have to try that experiment once I finish making some Tutor cartridge boards.
          Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

          Comment


            That would be fascinating, and to bring it somewhat more on topic, would be another (certainly much more common than the Powertran Cortex) 9995 system for this project.
            I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
            Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
            Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

            Comment


              Gentlemen,

              I am happy to report that Stuart's breadboard system now runs Unix (screenshot). I was concerned that it would run slow as molasses in winter (in Siberia), but actually it runs about as fast as I remember from the early 80's (a PDP11/40 with a handful of users logged on). This is with the auto wait state, with that disabled it is even better -- but unfortunately my breadboard isn't 100% stable without that wait state.

              The screenshot show a small "Hello, world!" assembly program being assembled and run, and a one-line shell script being created and run. The date command shows the system clock running. I remain amazed how similar this 40 year old code is to today's Posix command line.

              There is more work to do, there always is. I have not ported "signals" yet, need to think a little bit about how to handle multiple workspaces. The C compiler needs to be back ported to native; this involves completing the work on floating point. Other than that it is pretty much a complete port of LSX.

              I think some hardware work may be next, but probably I will not get around to that until late March. I imagine that there are zero "rebuilders" of this project, but if there are I may need to redo the CF card interface to use a standard CF->IDE converter board (my current CF breakout board is arguably harder to find than a 9995).

              Paul

              Comment


                Very cool! Good work!
                Torfinn

                Comment


                  Actually, there might be a couple of folks who'd want to build one of these. There was an individual on AtariAge that wanted to build a 9995 single-board computer this past week and was looking for folks to chime in on his development project. Right now he's looking at a possible update to the Cortex, but the breadboard project may be a good fit too.
                  Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

                  Comment


                    If anyone is interested, I've now got a PCB available for my breadboard system.
                    [http://atariage.com/forums/topic/234...5-system-pcbs]

                    Stuart

                    Comment


                      I think I'm missing something, but I looked at http://1587660.websites.xs4all.nl/cg...995/dir?ci=tip and I can't find where to download 9995 binaries. Are there any?
                      I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
                      Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
                      Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
                        I think I'm missing something, but I looked at http://1587660.websites.xs4all.nl/cg...995/dir?ci=tip and I can't find where to download 9995 binaries. Are there any?
                        That is correct, there are currently none. Let me know how I can help. A set of binaries, the disk images for MDEX and/or Unix? The cross-compiler pre-compiled? A zip with all the sources?

                        Eventually I hope to get everything packaged up to the same quality as Stuart's site or the powertrancortex site, but right now it is such a moving target that I think my time is better spent pushing the hardware and software forward. By late March I hope to have a eurocard sized pcb with a "mini cortex" as the next step.

                        Comment


                          Does anybody know of any work on a CRU to SPI bridge?

                          Once you realize that the SPI protocol does not impose many restrictions on the clock signal (like duty cycle or minimum frequency), it starts looking quite similar to the CRU protocol. I'm thinking of hooking up an ethernet controller:
                          http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts...cName=en022889

                          It is available as a 24 pin narrow DIP and also as a breakout board (there is the olimex board https://www.sparkfun.com/products/765, but there seem to be many others as well).

                          I think it might take only a few 74 series chips and a free output line to hook it up to a 99xx processor as a CRU device. Unfortunately the bit order on the SPI protocol and the CRU protocol are reversed, but that is easily solved with a 256 byte lookup table.

                          All I could find was a post by Jamie Malilong who seem to have had the same idea about a decade ago:
                          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...messages/46761

                          The TCP/IP stack is handled on the 28J60 chip, which is imho a two sided fact. It certainly makes stuff a lot easier, but doing a SLIP protocol serial line with TCP/IP running in 99xx software is more vintage.

                          Paul

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by pnr View Post
                            That is correct, there are currently none. Let me know how I can help. A set of binaries, the disk images for MDEX and/or Unix? The cross-compiler pre-compiled? A zip with all the sources?

                            Eventually I hope to get everything packaged up to the same quality as Stuart's site or the powertrancortex site, but right now it is such a moving target that I think my time is better spent pushing the hardware and software forward. By late March I hope to have a eurocard sized pcb with a "mini cortex" as the next step.
                            The disk images for LSX and a raw binary image of the kernel (or at least the bootstrap) would be perfect if you have them handy. Thanks! I have an idea which I will share if I get it off the ground.
                            I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
                            Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
                            Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
                              The disk images for LSX and a raw binary image of the kernel (or at least the bootstrap) would be perfect if you have them handy. Thanks! I have an idea which I will share if I get it off the ground.
                              Attached. The zip file contains the kernel image (still with the 16 byte a.out header which you might need to strip) and the disk image (expands to a 4MB file). The boot.s.txt file is the ROM based first stage boot loader. It scans the root directory of the CF card for file LSX_DSK0.DSK (assuming the CF card is FAT32 formatted) and loads sector 0 of this disk image. Sector 0 contains the 2nd stage boot loader which loads the kernel image (it is file "lsx" in the image root directory -- same file as in the zip).

                              The first stage boot loader also locates LSX_DSK1.DSK which is a second disk for future use. Currently I simply use a copy of the same disk image as a place holder. The first stage boot loader leaves the starting sector number of LSX_DSK0/1.DSK at location 0xff00 and 0xff04 (two 32 bit numbers) and all the code assumes that the disk images are stored as unfragmented files (i.e. all sectors contiguous).

                              Finally, I just noticed that there is still a comment in the first stage boot loader source (just above label "main") that still refers to the MDEX boot loader -- ignore it.

                              Hope the above is clear enough.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by pnr; February 16, 2015, 03:58 PM.

                              Comment


                                Thanks. If I read this correctly, it loads the first sector to @>8000 and executes it from there, correct? Where does the kernel load in memory?

                                (And while I'm asking, is the source code for emulsx around anywhere?)
                                Last edited by ClassicHasClass; February 16, 2015, 05:23 PM. Reason: one more q
                                I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
                                Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
                                Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

                                Comment

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