QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

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gbejniet
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby gbejniet » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:01 pm

I can confirm that (1) yes this is the AH QL from the last round of testing (2) I sent as peerType=0 i.e. QL (and yes I did port the timing constant data into a byte string in Python with no timing modifications, and the code that sends them) and (3) I have also just tried with a Spectrum/IF1 (peerType=1) and it also worked beautifully.

I flashed the .hex file for simplicity, and also to factor out any "bad choices" at my end, but yes I plan to engage constructively with the .ino source.


martyn_hill
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby martyn_hill » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:38 pm

Great!

Thanks again - I guess I must have gotten something right in this release :-)


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mk79
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby mk79 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:22 pm

So, this has been a while in the making, but finally it's done: a QLUB PCB plus 3D-printed enclosure. Pretty neat, I think :) I have attached all files for interested parties. All issues I encountered with the prototype are already fixed in these files, but I'm happy enough with the fixed prototype so won't order any new boards.

The PCB was done in KiCAD, but Gerbers are included. The enclosure was developed in OpenSCAD, but compiled STL is also already included. It's a screw-based design, aimed at 10mm M3 self tapping screws, but others may work too, or simply clue it shut ;) The footprint for the 3.5mm jacks is designed for the cheapest one I could find at Reichelt ("EBS 35"). I left enough tolerance in the holes that most cheap ones will fit I guess.

Now where is that TK2 FSERVE compatible driver? :-)
QLUB_PCB_3d.png
QLUB_open_top_small.jpg
QLUB_front_small.jpg
QLUB_back_small.jpg
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QLUB_PCB.zip
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Chr$
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby Chr$ » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:32 pm

That looks great. Think I'll do that instead of faffing around with a breadboard and wires that are too long!

Have just ordered some QLUB PCBs (at the same time as a few more EPROM adapter boards) - happy to share the boards with forum members.
Last edited by Chr$ on Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
martyn_hill
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby martyn_hill » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:01 pm

Hi Marcel!

mk79 wrote:So, this has been a while in the making, but finally it's done: a QLUB PCB plus 3D-printed enclosure.


Very nice indeed!

mk79 wrote:Now where is that TK2 FSERVE compatible driver? :-)


OK, it's still "in the works" - I've been carried away recently with writing some QL->Spectrum tools - nothing more than a distraction really, as coding the remaining parts of the native driver in ASM is proving soooo tedious :-) The exciting bit was designing and refining the protocol to communicate with the QLUB and this last leg of coding the driver is just grunt-work in comparison...

Now I'm caught red-handed, I'll turn my attention back to the driver - thanks for calling me out, Marcel!


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mk79
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby mk79 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:31 pm

martyn_hill wrote:Hi Marcel!

mk79 wrote:Now I'm caught red-handed, I'll turn my attention back to the driver - thanks for calling me out, Marcel!
Always happy for others to do the work :-D

I‘ve never been a huge fan of the QL network, especially as I have very seldom two QLs set up, but the prospect of easily exchanging files between QPC and a QL without constantly swapping SD cards is pretty exciting! :)

Can‘t most parts of the TK2 code be reused?


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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby martyn_hill » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:40 pm

Hi Marcel!

mk79 wrote:...but the prospect of easily exchanging files between QPC and a QL without constantly swapping SD cards is pretty exciting! :)


That was my very motivation to design the QLUB all those years ago (sigh!)...

mk79 wrote:Can‘t most parts of the TK2 code be reused?


Indeed - the adaptation to the TK2 driver is the 'easy' bit and, in fact, mostly complete - the heavy lifting is in the coding of the Message Queue (MQ) Server that brokers the command/response messages between the OS/client and the QLUB adapter - a mix of some Supervisor mode 'client support' routines that arranges for new commands to be queued via the SERial send channel (findable through the THING mechanism), and a Scheduler Job that listens to the SERial port for replies, matching them-up against pending commands, ready for the next time the OS or client asks whether a reply has been received (via an IOSS retry call). Asynchronous comms like this is proving quite narly to code - even with a fully documented design to refer to:-)

More to follow :-)


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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby Chr$ » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:40 pm

As a sort of related QLUB thing Martyn -

The Spectrum IF1 ROM is a Motorola SCH9288 OP or TI TMS4764NLZA.

I know that 2564 EPROM is almost the same, with an extra 4 pins at the top (1,2,27,28). If one wanted to install a different ROM into an IF1, how can that be done? Is it possible to just program a 2564 and put that into the pretty tight space with pins 1,2,27,28 not connected? Does anything else need to be changed? I just wondered if you had experience installing an EPROM into an IF1.

I've been fiddling around a bit lately and have been able to read the data on the original ROMs but haven't yet gone as far as trying to put a non original back in, mainly because they are a pain to access, socket not possible and I just about had enough originals left.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
martyn_hill
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby martyn_hill » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:23 pm

Hi Chr$ !

I too have experimented with how best to replace the Shadow ROM in-situ, and the only option that seems viable given the extremely tight spacing inside the IF-1 seems to be the 'ROM-EL' (or 'EL-ROM', depending on source) 2364 pin-compatible Flash-ROM as a low-profile daughter-board - available from SMR among other places.

They are tricky to program - not for any other reason than requiring a hand-made adapter to map the 24-pin 2364 to the expected pin-out for AT49F512. With a suitable adapter, they program nicely even with the ubiquitous TL-866 MiniPro programmer. With the 64kbit ROM-EL I purchased from SMR, it was necessary program the top 8KB with the replacement Shadow ROM image as the remaining address lines are (loosely) held high by resistors on the daughter-board.

I've still held-off soldering-in the El-ROM (I have a couple) - just reluctant to permanently fix a perfectly good re-programmable chip, so have designed a couple of alternative solutions with the replacement EPROM held outside the Int-1 case where it can be socketed and swapped-out for reprogramming when needed.

Good luck!


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Chr$
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Re: QLUB Adapter - Initial Release...

Postby Chr$ » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:04 pm

martyn_hill wrote:Hi Chr$ !

I too have experimented with how best to replace the Shadow ROM in-situ, and the only option that seems viable given the extremely tight spacing inside the IF-1 seems to be the 'ROM-EL' (or 'EL-ROM', depending on source) 2364 pin-compatible Flash-ROM as a low-profile daughter-board - available from SMR among other places.

They are tricky to program - not for any other reason than requiring a hand-made adapter to map the 24-pin 2364 to the expected pin-out for AT49F512. With a suitable adapter, they program nicely even with the ubiquitous TL-866 MiniPro programmer. With the 64kbit ROM-EL I purchased from SMR, it was necessary program the top 8KB with the replacement Shadow ROM image as the remaining address lines are (loosely) held high by resistors on the daughter-board.

I've still held-off soldering-in the El-ROM (I have a couple) - just reluctant to permanently fix a perfectly good re-programmable chip, so have designed a couple of alternative solutions with the replacement EPROM held outside the Int-1 case where it can be socketed and swapped-out for reprogramming when needed.

Good luck!

I have experience with the ROM-el in ZX81s but hadn't even thought about it in connection with the IF1! I've already made an adapter, can program them and knew about having to program the data in the top 8kb if you aren't using any of the PCB connections to gnd any address line.

It does seem a waste to solder a 64kb chip to an IF1 though. It would therefore be possible to make switchable images like I have for the ZX81, but there are only 2 different ROMS for the IF1 and they don't actually differ that greatly in terms of basic functionality!

I have read in this thread that the standard IF1 ROM v2 version seems to work well with the QLUB, but out of interest, do you have any better/fixed/tarted up ROM code versions for the IF1? If I were to fit a ROM-el I'd want to pack it was as many suitable ROMs as possible ;)


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom XT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.

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