Q68 Notice 3 - Update

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Derek_Stewart
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Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Derek_Stewart » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:52 am

Q68 Features
------------

Q68 Video modes:

0. Standard QL MODE 8 256x256 pixel (8 colours)
1. Standard QL MODE 4 512x256 pixel (4 colours)
2. Q40/Q60 highcolour mode 512x256 pixel (65536 colours)
3. Q40/Q60 highcolour mode 1024x512 pixel (65536 colours)
4. High resolution QL MODE 4 1024x768 pixel (4 colours)
5. Aurora mode 1024x768 pixel, 256 (colours)
6. Medium resolution highcolour mode 512x384 pixel (65536 colours)

Monocrome display:

In the standard QL modes and the high resolution mode 4, the Q68 offers special monochrome display functions, in black & white, amber or green colour, even if you attach a colour monitor.

Sound:

The Q68 provides a stereo sampled sound system. Digital-analog conversion uses 20kHz sample rate and hardware FIFO buffering for up to 1024 samples. Combined line / headphone output on jack socket.

SDHC Drive Interfaces:

The Q68 contains hardware for two independent SDHC card interfaces. Fullsize card slots are provided for easier handling and copying of data between two cards. One 4Gb SDHC Card Supplied with SMSQ/E Operating System.

Realtime Clock:

DS1374C-33 real time clock.

Longlife super-capacitor for oscillator supply backup during power-off
Integrated recharge capability.


I/O Ports:

Serial port with up to 115200 (460000) Baud, external 9 pin SubD connector.

I2C Interface:

Internal 4 pin connector, hardware compatible with Minerva MKII I2C devices.

Extension Bus:

The Q68 mainboard contains a parallel extension bus with 8 bit data/address bus and control signals for the possibility of add-ons.

Ethernet:

The Q68 has an on-board CP2200 ethernet controller with integrated IEEE 802.3 MAC and 10 Base-T PHY. At the time this manual was written, no Q68 specific software support for the CP2200 was released.

Board Size:

The Q68 mainboard has a size of 8cm x 10cm and can be mounted in an available case.

Power Supply:

The Q68 is powered by a standard regulated 5V supply with 2.1 mm coaxial plug.

Recommended Power Supply provide at least 1A for the devices that are usually attached, for example keyboard, mouse and SDHC cards.

Power supply not provided with Q68, due to country differences in voltage and mains pin configuration.

PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse:

6-pin female Mini DIN connector.

Keyboard and mouse ports are separate, but to save space, a combined connector with signals for both ports is provided.

A standard PS/2 keyboard can directly be plugged into the mainboard. If a mouse is also used, an additional PS/2 splitter cable is required.

Note: Splitter cables for PC notebooks usually have the mouse signals where the Q68 has keyboard. The mouse and keyboard require swapping, when using such a cable.

A Belkin PS/2 Splitter is available with the correct Q68 Keyboard (Purple)/Mouse Green) colour designations.

Mouse versions with scrollwheel are supported, but LEDs inside the keyboard are currently not used.


Sales Information
-----------------

Batch 1 consists of 21 x Q68 boards, with options on Case and PS/2 Splitter cable.

I have created a pre-sales unconfirmed order list, based on the date of the interest in purchasing a Q68.

I will be contacting everyone in date order of the enquiry, commencing 20/11/17, to confirm the Q68 order and give purchasing information.

Purchasing can be made by Paypal or Bank Transfer, shipping costs be calculated based on customer location.

Q68 Batch 2, should be available in December/January


Regards,

Derek
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Pr0f
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Pr0f » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:58 am

I'd would like to register interest for one of these in the 2nd batch please :-)


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Zarchos
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Zarchos » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:17 pm

And I'd like to have mine signed by the author.
For my museum ;-)
Of course if it could be numbers 1 and 2 I could send a few bottles of champagne to say 'thanks' ;-)


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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Peter
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Seems a little inconvenient if Derek ships them to me first and I must unpack/pack/post again.
How about visiting the German Sinclair meeting next spring and let me sign them "live"? ;)
Takes place on March 9-11 near Fulda.


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Pr0f
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Pr0f » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:10 pm

Is that in time for the 'spargel karte' ? If any incentive was need for a jolly to Germany :-) :D


martyn_hill
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby martyn_hill » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Brilliant work, guys!

Of all the excellent recent and on-going hardware development projects for our humble QL, the Q68 excites me the most!

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...

And nice to see that the 8-bit colour mode is now implemented as well - there's something elegant about 8-bit colour that I find pleasing - not too complex to program for whilst still giving a decent colour depth (although I recall your earlier reply to Nasta regarding 16-bit colour being easier to implement in your design.)

Eagerly awaiting the 20th Nov!


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Zarchos
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Zarchos » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:08 pm

Peter wrote:Seems a little inconvenient if Derek ships them to me first and I must unpack/pack/post again.
How about visiting the German Sinclair meeting next spring and let me sign them "live"? ;)
Takes place on March 9-11 near Fulda.


Hey hey !
Excellent proposal and a great opportunity to visit again this country.
I am positively interested ;-)


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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Peter
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:53 pm

Pr0f wrote:Is that in time for the 'spargel karte' ? If any incentive was need for a jolly to Germany :-) :D

Normally, the season for German Spargel begins in middle of April. In supermarkets, there is a tendency toward earlier availability, but I guess not in restaurants.


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Peter
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Re: Q68 Notice 3 - Update

Postby Peter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:31 pm

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



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