Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Nagging hardware related question? Post here!
johnh
ROM Dongle
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:12 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby johnh » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:22 pm

Hi, Derek.

Please add my name to the list for one of the second batch (Q68 + case + splitter).

John Hall


User avatar
Zarchos
Over Heated PSU
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 11:49 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Zarchos » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:35 pm

Peter wrote:
martyn_hill wrote:In due course, would live to hear more about the spec of the expansion connector - one of the 'features' of the original QL that keeps me glued is the simplicity of designing add-ons using 8-bit, legacy speed components, prototyped on a breadboard or wire-wrapped. One day I might grow-up and enter the world of SMD and proper PCB design, but until then, my tinkering will remain old-school...


The Q68 contains only a minimalistic extension bus with 8 bit data and 8 bit address bus. Suitable for peripherals, but not memory. The voltage levels are 3.3V. Nowadays this should be easier to use that 5V, even for tinkering. Because of the small board size, the spacing of the pads is 2 mm, not 2.54 mm. Okay for connectors or wire soldering, but not suitable for standard IDC cables.

In the Q68 memory map, the extension bus is located at $1D800..$1DFFC. The extenal lines A0...A7 are internally connected to A2...A9 of the CPU, accessible every 4th byte (longword-aligned). This is to make driver adaption to/from 32 bit bus systems like Q40/Q60 easier.

The extension bus also provides a signal for singlewire networking (QLNET) with few external components. This has no software support yet.

We decided not to solder any connector for the extension bus, because no professional add-on cards are in sight. For tinkerers, soldering a socket, or direct wiring should be easy enough.

Due to the already decoded chip select signal, the design of simple add-ons should be even easier than for the QL. And signal quality is better because of short lines and continuos ground plane. Timings are "legacy speed", but I may not find time to write detailed specifications anytime soon. I have never even tried the extension bus myself, other than for the Q68 ethernet controller, which is on the same bus.

extbus.jpg


Reading this I have the feeling using a Rpi as an extension shouldn't be that difficult. Very interesting.


Owner of various QLs including accelerated beasts, and also a happy Q68 owner ;)
martyn_hill
Gold Card
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:53 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby martyn_hill » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks Peter - sounds promising!

Glad to hear that QLNET is still in mind, even if not implemented yet :-)


User avatar
Peter
Gold Card
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:05 pm

QL NET is using the same hardware registers as the QL. But due to the differences in CPU speed, new timing loops are needed.
With a lot of help from W., we started on this, but there was too much other work. Maybe others want to finish it.

Meanwhile, the Q68 got a high-resolution timer, 25 ns per tick. So it could now make sense to implement the QL NET directly by specification instead of using instruction timing loops.


martyn_hill
Gold Card
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:53 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby martyn_hill » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:46 pm

Now, there's a provoking proposition...

I've spent quite some time reverse engineering QLNET (if you can call it that - the present documentation and availability of source code went a long way) - whilst developing the QLUB adapater (still in progress...) and would gladly team-up to assist with a modified Q68 driver and ideas for implementing the network :-)


User avatar
Peter
Gold Card
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:55 am

Sounds good, and Q68 SMSQ/E will be open source of course.

QL NET seems still the best connectivity with the original QL. From Q68 to Q68, SERNET at 115 kBaud over Nullmodem cable is fine. But on the original machine, SER remained problematic.

The picture below shows the Q68 network wiring in comparison to the QL schematics. Looking back, I should of course have added the few components directly on the Q68 PCB. But at design time, it seemed unlikely that someone would write the driver. Could you solder that?

qlnet.jpg
qlnet.jpg (16.96 KiB) Viewed 268 times


stewie
ROM Dongle
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:54 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby stewie » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:01 am

Hi Derek

I’m definitely interested, can you add me to you second batch list with case and splitter

Cheers Stewart


User avatar
Pr0f
Over Heated PSU
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:54 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Pr0f » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:16 am

Peter wrote:Sounds good, and Q68 SMSQ/E will be open source of course.

QL NET seems still the best connectivity with the original QL. From Q68 to Q68, SERNET at 115 kBaud over Nullmodem cable is fine. But on the original machine, SER remained problematic.

The picture below shows the Q68 network wiring in comparison to the QL schematics. Looking back, I should of course have added the few components directly on the Q68 PCB. But at design time, it seemed unlikely that someone would write the driver. Could you solder that?

qlnet.jpg


So from the diagram does that mean your network pin is bi directional, and only the termination resistors are required ? I see the schottky diode to VCC to take positive going transients, what rating does that have to be to cope with the original QL network being referenced to 5V VCC ?

Sorry for all the questions Peter...


User avatar
Peter
Gold Card
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:00 am

Yes the line is bidirectional. The clamp diode to 3.3V should be schottky. In combination with the 47 Ohms series resistor, it protects the 3.3V logic of the Q68.

Clamping to 3.3V with the two 47 Ohms series resistors at each end should not have any negative effect for the QL. The input voltage level requirements are met. One or two Q68 inside an original QL network caused no problem here. Viewed on oscilloscope, this "soft" clamping even seemed to improve signal quality a little when cables were long.


martyn_hill
Gold Card
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:53 am

Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby martyn_hill » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:39 pm

Hi Peter!

OK, we're on... Just to be clear, the components still needed include everything in the green mark-up I've added below?

qlnet_q68_markup.jpg
qlnet_q68_markup.jpg (48.4 KiB) Viewed 218 times


Do you have any preferences/existing ideas for how we would make the connection to those pads on the Q68 PCB? For example, we wouldn't want to block further expansion by hogging the pads-area...

M.



Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests