Issue 8 discussions...

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tofro
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby tofro » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:47 pm

Nasta wrote:Everything else is transparent. The timing is changed in the sense that everything can work ~zero wait but the default clock is still 7.5MHz exactly the same so MDV, NET all work excatly as before.

That's roughly within the range of a fast RAM expansion - I don't think this would pose a problem. I also think that would not make most games unplayable - after all, game designers had to live with fast RAM expansions as well.

Nasta wrote:The one thing we are debating at the moment is screen 1 support, so opinions on this are welcome.

Personally, I don't care for screen 1 - but: Quite same games needed screen 1 to properly run, inexperienced people will fall over that - I'd bother about it (more than the faster speed), and it makes sense to have that support, especially for games.

Tobias


ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ ǝq oʇ ƃuᴉoƃ ʇou sᴉ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʇxǝu ʎɯ 'ɹɐǝp ɥO
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Dave
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Dave » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:13 pm

Yeah, I really opened a can of worms by talking about CPU speeds so I will lay it out very plainly.

The system will be supplied at 7.5MHz. It will have an ability to run at a higher speed - maybe 11 or 15 MHz. Somewhere in there. With that and the reduction in memory contention from video it could be close to Gold Card speed.

This isn't to be confused with the potential for it to be MUCH faster. You can run it as fast as you lie. You just won't have a warranty. Older expansions may not (probably will not) work. So that's on you. That said, it can be as simple as playing with the GAL equations and a crystal to get quite high performance.

My goal is that nothing on the board should be a bottleneck to artificially limit speed. If you want to run your 68SEC000 at 25MHz, you're welcome to. They run at 50MHz, but the board will not want to play along. Ultimate speed is not my goal. Ultimate stability, durability and serviceability are my goals.

My interest is in creating a last QL format board with all the expected QL features and IO in all the expected places. I am lucky to be working with the best people and getting the best advice.

To others wondering like the random person who emailed me asking how much it might overclock, I will be putting 70ns SRAM on it, and that is the slowest part. I could go to 50 or 55ns SRAM for some boards, but that would involve extra costs. A point comes where the 8302 can't keep up, or where you just can't add any expansions. We will make available at the very least a floppy and IDE expansion that will work up to a sensible speed, on a single board (that is almost done and has been in progress for a couple of years now).

So, TL&DR; it will come as one thing, but will be capable of being another. You can be happy with it and never change a thing (well, 1 byte in Sinclair ROMs for larger memory support) or you can glue a chunk'o'metal to the CPU and turn it up to 11. Any magic smoke release on your dime.


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Dave
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Dave » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:26 pm

Things are known, likely, possible, or not happening. This list changes constantly, because I'm a fickle bitch.

It will be a basic QL, but it will also have expansion/upgrade options and headroom the originals never had.

Definite:
7.5MHz
1MB SRAM
Minerva
Expansion memory option onboard
QL ROM, EPROM and flash support with flash write protect, all by jumper selection
ROM port
2x serial, DB9 F
2x joystick, DB9 M
RGB video - protected/buffered
QLNET
Microdrives including EC1 expansion port
Reset button
J1 expansion port
Keyboard matrix connectors
Will need 8301, 8302 and 8049 or (S)Hermes

Likely:
Video on daughtercard, upgradeable
SMSQ/E
11-15 MHz by moving a jumper
battery backed RTC
If you request a specific CPU clock and know expansions might not work, I'll supply a board tested and working at that speed.

Possible:
20-25 MHz? Iffy
A small number of my 4-layer replacement microdrive boards - send me a microdrive and I'll upgrade it.

No. Just no:
UHF
Composite


Nasta
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Nasta » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:53 pm

tofro wrote:
Nasta wrote:The one thing we are debating at the moment is screen 1 support, so opinions on this are welcome.

Personally, I don't care for screen 1 - but: Quite same games needed screen 1 to properly run, inexperienced people will fall over that - I'd bother about it (more than the faster speed), and it makes sense to have that support, especially for games.
Tobias


Tobias, I know only of one game that used screen 1 (don't remember the name but it was an Elite style game with wire frame 3D graphics that used blue/red glasses for viewing).
Just to be clear, the memory is still there except that the hardware ignores the scr1 bit to select the screen so it always displays screen 1.

Which begs the question, what programs actually use scr1? I would be interested for members to name them if they know them.


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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Cristian » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:53 pm

Nasta wrote:I know only of one game that used screen 1 (don't remember the name but it was an Elite style game with wire frame 3D graphics that used blue/red glasses for viewing).


"Wanderer" maybe?


Nasta
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Nasta » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:59 pm

Cristian wrote:
Nasta wrote:I know only of one game that used screen 1 (don't remember the name but it was an Elite style game with wire frame 3D graphics that used blue/red glasses for viewing).


"Wanderer" maybe?


Yes, that's the one!
It was interesting technically but I don't remember it as a good game :(


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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby mk79 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:31 pm

Nasta wrote:Tobias, I know only of one game that used screen 1 (don't remember the name but it was an Elite style game with wire frame 3D graphics that used blue/red glasses for viewing).
Just to be clear, the memory is still there except that the hardware ignores the scr1 bit to select the screen so it always displays screen 1.

Which begs the question, what programs actually use scr1? I would be interested for members to name them if they know them.
Pretty much all games from Damon Chaplin (at least Pudge, Speedfreaks, Assault&Battery). Especially A&B is probably one of the best QL games because of its amazing and smooth graphics, I lost days of my life playing it.


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Dave
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Dave » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:13 am

I am buying 50 more of the DPRAM. I think users that want it would be willing to pay £10 extra to have a second DPRAM on there. Then both screens would work, and later on if/when a video upgrade became available they could be recovered and sent back for a handy discount, or sold on ebay for about £12-16 each.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1PCS-IDT7007 ... 2824349475

(I pay a bit below these prices by buying in bulk)...


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RalfR
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby RalfR » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:06 pm

Dave wrote:I am buying 50 more of the DPRAM. I think users that want it would be willing to pay £10 extra to have a second DPRAM on there. Then both screens would work, and later on if/when a video upgrade became available they could be recovered and sent back for a handy discount, or sold on ebay for about £12-16 each.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1PCS-IDT7007 ... 2824349475

(I pay a bit below these prices by buying in bulk)...


I want one!


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Dave
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Re: Issue 8 discussions...

Postby Dave » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:35 pm

That thing where you're emailing back and forth with Nasta over something you've been harping on about for years and you just find the whole thing funny.

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