QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:55 pm

The next hardware announcement will be tomorrow at around 3-4pm my local time, which is around 9-10pm UK local time. It's a bigger thing than last week's small collection, but I think you'll like it. Especially you Q68 owners :)

Yeah, we had an ice storm here in Texas. It got down to -8C last night. We're not set up for those kinds of conditions, don't have enough gritters or salt, etc. so they closed all the schools and government offices. DHL won't be delivering my parts until tomorrow! :) I don't blame them. Texans have no idea how to drive on black ice. We had 136 accidents/incidents on our roads just from midnight until 9am.

All I know is everyone in my street stayed home from work. And they think I'm that insane Brit because I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt :D


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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:00 pm

Well, "Winter Storm Inga" means they can't deliver my package, because the diesel in their trucks gelled. :D

Hmmm.


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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby RWAP » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:50 pm

Dave wrote:Well, "Winter Storm Inga" means they can't deliver my package, because the diesel in their trucks gelled. :D

Hmmm.


Aww don't say we've got to be on the edge of our seats until Monday now...

Get some of the smaller stuff listed on sellmyretro in the meantime :)


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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:34 pm

Funny thing. After calling them, and being told "the diesel gelled in the tanks, we can't drive" I went out to my diesel Passat and it started right up. It said 15F on the dash (-9.5C to you metric folks out there!) so it is cold, but it started. And now it has updated that it was scanned into the back of a truck for delivery at 8:12am :D


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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby tofro » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:12 pm

Dave wrote:Funny thing. After calling them, and being told "the diesel gelled in the tanks, we can't drive" I went out to my diesel Passat and it started right up. It said 15F on the dash (-9.5C to you metric folks out there!) so it is cold, but it started. And now it has updated that it was scanned into the back of a truck for delivery at 8:12am :D


Get your Passat and a towrope out, pull the Post truck back to your house. Done ;)

They must have their trucks running on lamp oil if it gels at that temperature...

Tobias
(Who has seen about 3 snowflakes today)


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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:28 pm

So, I'll tell y'all about it now, and post a pic of an assembled unit this evening or tomorrow.

This is a serial WiFi dongle that works with Q68, Q40 or Q60.

It provides:
Processors:
CPU: Xtensa dual-core (or single-core) 32-bit LX6 microprocessor, operating at 160 MHz - 600 DMIPS
Ultra low power (ULP) co-processor
Memory: 520 KiB SRAM
Wireless connectivity:
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: v4.2 BR/EDR and BLE
Peripheral interfaces:
12-bit SAR ADC up to 18 channels
2 × 8-bit DACs
10 × touch sensors (capacitive sensing GPIOs)
Temperature sensor
4 × SPI
2 × I²S interfaces
2 × I²C interfaces
3 × UART
SD/SDIO/CE-ATA/MMC/eMMC host controller
SDIO/SPI slave controller
Ethernet MAC interface with dedicated DMA and IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol support
CAN bus 2.0
Infrared remote controller (TX/RX, up to 8 channels)
Motor PWM
LED PWM (up to 16 channels)
Hall effect sensor
Ultra low power analog pre-amplifier
Security:
IEEE 802.11 standard security features all supported, including WFA, WPA/WPA2 and WAPI
Secure boot
Flash encryption
1024-bit OTP, up to 768-bit for customers
Cryptographic hardware acceleration: AES, SHA-2, RSA, elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), random number generator (RNG)

Internet on your Q68, including secure sites, plus 28 highly configurable GPIOs.

The wifi features are accessible though serial using the AT command set. They are trivially easy to use. The other features are configurable using the JTAG port. The dongle is programmable in C++ using the Arduino development tool chain and some custom libraries. The dongle comes with custom firmware pre-installed, so you can get online right away.

Additionally, ALL GPIO lines are brought out to two standard headers. You can create any interfaces or custom hardware to side on this board, which includes a 3.3v power supply on the header.

I'll supply the dongle, USB JTAG cable (in case you want to update, write custom firmware or develop/configure it) and a support webpage with links to documentation. You'll need to supply a mini-USB adapter. The unit draws a peak of around 200mA, and about 5mA at idle. I chose mini-USB because it is cheap, internationally available and more durable than micro-USB.

Obviously, this dongle enables some exciting things: internet on QL hardware, Q68 to Q68 remote file transfer, co-operative multiplayer gaming, etc. One little project I did with the prototype was a keyboard membrane interface for the QL keyboard matrix.

My intent is to develop a fast serial card, so this can be brought to the BBQL also in due course. If anyone has a working serial port design capable of 115k+ that integrates with the OS that they would be willing to let me make, I could have it ready quite quickly.

I will release the Q68 dongle on February 14th, for £39.

Please be aware this is a prototype/beta version. I will listen carefully to feedback and make a second batch based on feedback received. If people regularly use the same IO ports, I can implement them in hardware on the next release.

General AT command set documentation (starting at Chapter 4. Don't worry about the content before then - this is done for you.) can be found here: http://www.espressif.com/sites/default/ ... les_en.pdf


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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:53 pm

One of the nicest and most powerful features of this dongle is that our custom firmware integrates the security engine. You can transparently connect to secure HTTPS sites, and the dongle does the certificate handling, encryption/decryption for you, so your QL doesn't have to do it. The engine is also available separately, so you can use it to encrypt or decrypt your own data using industry standard crypto. It's unbelievably fast.

This module is capable of TCP throughput of 12 mbps and UDP throughput of 35-40 mbps. I have configured it with a large 2K RX/TX buffer to minimise problems, given the slow connection speed and lack of handshaking.

In this case, the serial port is the bottleneck. You can easily manage a sustained 11,720 characters per second on the Q68's 115k serial port. That port is physically capable of 460k. I wonder if the 115k limitation is simply one of SMSQ/E, or a limitation within the FPGA? On a PC, when testing at 460k, 42,700 cps was achieved on a quite large download. I would happily lose 150 and 300 baud if I gained 230k and 460k.

The board runs FreeRTOS. I have configured a pin to manually toggle and have got it up well past 50MHz. In the next revision, I could supply an external oscillator to increase CPU core clock by 33% to 240MHz.


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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby RWAP » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:11 pm

That is great - I guess the one question would be how easy it would be to implement the twitter authy method, as that was one of the reasons why the Spectranet stopped...


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Dave
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:30 pm

No clue. I don't use twitter.


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Zarchos
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Re: QL 34th Anniversary new hardware.

Postby Zarchos » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:26 pm

WOW your dongle is just AWESOME !!
Have I read the price correctly ? 39 ? You are a saint !!
Congratulations.


Owner of various QLs including accelerated beasts, and also a happy Q68 owner ;)
Now porting SOTB to the Archies, to then port it to the Q68.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Archimedes75009/search?query=Acorn+Archimedes+Shadow+Of+The+Beast+%28100%25

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