What features matter to you?

Nagging hardware related question? Post here!

Which features are you willing to lose?

QL-net
2
3%
RGB
1
2%
UHF
19
32%
Serial
0
No votes
Joystick
7
12%
ROM port
5
8%
Microdrives
13
22%
QL built-in sound
5
8%
Membrane keyboard
8
13%
 
Total votes: 60
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Derek_Stewart
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Derek_Stewart » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:22 am

bixio60 wrote:... what you want, exactly, already exist, but it is completely ignored... the answer is MIST : Wireless USB keyboard, HDMI, Ethernet, SD , FPGA , faster CPU, Minerva loaded...and it is cheap, it exist, you can buy it, it is not a prototype , last but not least ...a switch on/off button exist. Do we need more ? :D :o

Fabrizio


Hi Fabrizo,

I looked at the Mist v1.3 which looks alot better than the earlier version.

I think the MIST is a good implementation of the generalised FPGA computer.

Does the MIST support Hi-Colour and SMSQ/E, for me, that would be a priority and can the MIST connect to a QL, QPC2, by QL Net or Sernet?

Not sure about the price being cheap, I would say mid-range, but very marketable. I do like the the MIST, but it is the sftware implementation that makes the machine a success.

The switch looks to be a slide switch.

Do we need more, yes I think we need as many new hardware solutions as possible.

Back on topic....

What new software will be available for the QL version 9 board?


Regards,

Derek
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vanpeebles
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:50 am

Derek_Stewart wrote:Hi,

We already have high resolution graphics on the Aurora. Could the Aurora garphics technology be integrated with a Cold Fire CPU.

A friend has integrated SGC, Aurora, Qubide in a QL case over 10 years ago.

DSC06267.JPG


Now that is impressive!!! :o :shock: :ugeek:


Dave
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Dave » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:48 pm

So, microdrives and UHF output would be GONE.

Serial and RGB are SAFE.

I am including QL-net, certainly - it is too useful and the cost of having it is almost zero.

The ROM port is tricky. It requires the PCB to be much larger than it needs to be, which adds a lot of cost. As I am including the ability to put a ROM image in the OS ROM, I think we can let it go. The only devices that use it (not ROMs but storage systems) have better replacements now, anyway.

Built in sound stays. It's three components for under $1. I may even add a headphone socket, and a small potentiometer on the PCB so people can set a pre-set listening level.

I am keeping the membrane connectors - or at least the positions for them as I cannot find suitable connectors at a sensible price. If I can source some economically, I'll buy a large load and distribute some to Rich so they're available for repairs for a good time to come.

For serial and joysticks we have a problem. The BT631 connectors suck. The 9 pin D-sub connectors also suck because they are large and bulky. What we're considering is using RJ11 for the serial and RJ45 for the joystick port. Adapters would be easy/cheap to make. This also means we could bring out a couple of extra lines to the joystick ports that someone might have use for. On one we could bring out F1/F2 and on the other ESC and some other useful key.

RGB gains some protection circuitry. No more blown 8301s. The 8-pin DIN is getting hard to find and a bit more pricey these days. Do people have opinions about what connector they would like? Are you firm about keeping the current RGB pinout or would you like something else?


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janbredenbeek
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby janbredenbeek » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:07 am

Dave wrote:So, microdrives and UHF output would be GONE.

Serial and RGB are SAFE.

Does that include composite video? I can live without UHF but my PC's TV card which I use as monitor has only composite input (Y/C to be exact which is somewhat better - only need to find a way to catch the C signal from the MC1377 as I expect much less interference when it's not combined with Y).
RGB gains some protection circuitry. No more blown 8301s. The 8-pin DIN is getting hard to find and a bit more pricey these days. Do people have opinions about what connector they would like? Are you firm about keeping the current RGB pinout or would you like something else?

I'm not a fan of the DIN connector either. The problem is there are a lot of signals it needs to carry (RGB and Y/C and/or composite). Have you considered 7-pin mini-DIN already? This way you could output both Y/C and RGB. They're a bit fragile though.

Jan.


Dave
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Dave » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:48 am

It's a process. After the Issue 8 will be the Issue 9, 10 etc...

There will be some developments in video, for sure.

That said, here's where I am at with the Issue 8:

I deleted the modulator and supporting components. Composite video using the MC1377P requires 26 components and it's lackluster at best.

My intent is to replace those 26 components with a different PAL encoder with 17 components plus 6 for a 3V3 regulator that needs to exist anyway for later developments. This gives you an improved composite signal but also gives you S-Video with separate Luma/Chroma - perfect for HDTVs.

We're going to do some work in the next month or two on re-timing the 8301 output so mode 4 output fits comfortably on the screen. If that work is successful it will be incorporated into Issue 9.

This paves the way for.... well, the future's too hazy but I plan to sink a LOT of effort into video in terms of signal quality AND support for extended Aurora+ type features in a more modern connection format than VGA.

Right now, I have some Commodore projects to do to pay the rent, plus I have some Aurora cards to finish assembling and others to start assembly on.

Where's my solder paste?!?!


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Peter
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Peter » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:17 pm

bixio60 wrote:... what you want, exactly, already exist, but it is completely ignored... the answer is MIST : Wireless USB keyboard, HDMI, Ethernet, SD , FPGA , faster CPU, Minerva loaded...and it is cheap, it exist, you can buy it, it is not a prototype , last but not least ...a switch on/off button exist. Do we need more ? :D :o

The MIST has no HDMI and no Ethernet of course.


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Peter
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Peter » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:36 pm

I'm suprised so many would omit microdrives inside the original QL. Then it seems most wishes would be fulfilled with a board to read the QL keyboard plus the Q68 inside the case (it fits physically).


Dave
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Dave » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:23 am

Do you have the spare IOs to do that? ;)


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Peter
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Peter » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:05 am

No, I used the last debatable pin for QL NET. So extra electronics, maybe a little microcontroller, would be needed. I²C could be used, probably most suitable.

Or if one of the two SDHC slots is sacrificed, SPI. Even feeding into SER or PS/2 could make sense.

Note 1: At the moment Q68 can only be I²C master, so a QL keyboard adaptor would have to be slave.
Note 2: A QL-keyboard extension for the Q68 could also hold a few goodies like speakers, the resistors/diode/connectors for QL NET, maybe generate 5V from the QL power.
Note 3: Would be no solution for games that require 128 KB and original QDOS.


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Peter
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Re: What features matter to you?

Postby Peter » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:52 pm

Dave wrote:I am keeping the membrane connectors - or at least the positions for them as I cannot find suitable connectors at a sensible price. If I can source some economically, I'll buy a large load and distribute some to Rich so they're available for repairs for a good time to come.


Can you even source them at all? They seem end of life, and Rich has only 5 left.



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