new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

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guibrush
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new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby guibrush » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:23 am

Hi, I' just received my Q68 yesterday, and I muss say that I'm very impressed by the work done by Derek, this is a wonderfull piece of hardware, not mentioning the Full loaded CF that is very welcome by a n00b QL user like me. So, congratulations Derek, this is a piece of art!

I plan to mount the Q68 into a real QL case, therefore I alredy ordered 2 important things to be able to do that : a PS/2 to USB converter and a QL USB keyboard adapter.
the USB keyboard adapter is this one :
https://www.tindie.com/products/tynemou ... rsion-kit/

and the PS/2 to USB converter is this one :
https://www.black-box.ch/chf-ch/fi/1449 ... 2-vers-USB

it's a bit expensive, but I'm pleased to say that this combinaison work well, the QL keyboard is recognised by the Q68, and the mapping looks correct to me.

I will post some pictures when I did the mod.

In between, I have to questions : When I boot QL/E, It take forever to load the desktop wallpaper (there is a message in the center of the screen telling "Photon-heron-1024x768.jpg" for almost 1 minute) then it takes once again forever to load a QL family picture (one minute too). It is normal? If yes, how can I prevent both images to load, to gain some time?

I tried then to load black phoenix, looks good, but I fail to understand how to change the resolution. Editing the parameters with F2 at boot lead to a error each time I click on someting, and if I issue the command "disp_mode 4" the screen change resolution but goes to the basic prompt, and nothing more happens.

sorry for my dumb questions anyways :-)


Derek_Stewart
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:02 am

Hi,

I would be interested in the seeing the USB-PS/2 converter that would work with the mouse and keyboard, up to now this has been a little hit and miss, with no stable solution.

I thought Tynemouth Software was not producing any more keyboard adapters for the QL.

The problem with QL/E and Black Phoenix uses Q68 display mode 7, which is 1024x768 Hicolour, which this mode slows the processor down. The best mode is 512x384 Hi Colour.

But this is all configurable from the respective distributions setup, whether there is enough documentation for this I am not sure.

The wallpaper picture files could be loaded in a faster way than converting a JPEG file every time the system boots.

I only included this distributions and other sample boot files as an example of how to setup the system.

Personally, I do not use either, as I prefer to write my own boot system, I prefer 1024x768 Mode 4 colours, as most software runs in that mode, looks as fast as a QVME on TT030...

Since the Q68 implements a 68000 CPU at 40Mhz, the majority of older QL software including games will run in the 512x256 Mode4/8 Display modes.


Regards,

Derek
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Chr$
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby Chr$ » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:11 pm

guibrush wrote:
In between, I have to questions : When I boot QL/E, It take forever to load the desktop wallpaper (there is a message in the center of the screen telling "Photon-heron-1024x768.jpg" for almost 1 minute) then it takes once again forever to load a QL family picture (one minute too). It is normal? If yes, how can I prevent both images to load, to gain some time?

sorry for my dumb questions anyways :-)

Not sure about Black Phoenix without looking.... but for QL/E you can remove the picture completely: When it boots and is counting down press ESC. Then enter 'cfg' and it will list the boot options, there are quite a few and one of them is related to the background image. You can also disable the image of Urs QL collection and the browser start etc etc.


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: 3x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
Derek_Stewart
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:09 pm

HI,

Both Black Phoenix and QL/E use the Photon Wallpaper conversion of the JPEG file.

There are faster ways to load a wallpaper, which I did in the production of the Q60, the JPEG file is converted and the BGIMAGE command loaded in the Q60 wallpaper:
Q60_1.JPG
Q60 Wallpaper


I looked into the price of the KM USB-PS2 converter, Blackbox.co.uk wanted £76.00 plus VAT + £12.50 delivery, no discount on quanity. Far too expensiver.


Regards,

Derek
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guibrush
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby guibrush » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:51 pm

Hi, thanks to all for your reply :-)

I did a quick and dirty video to show the PS/2 to USB adapter at work, you can see the this work pretty well, including mouse. I have to use a wired mouse, all wireless that I tried make the interface non working anymore (no more keyboard), I assume this can be related to the power drain of the wireless module. But with a wired mouse, no problem at all.

https://youtu.be/c1geXXIs-x4

I did some picture too, where you can see the Black box PS/2 converter and the Tynemouth keyboard adapter.

I ordered my keyboard adapter the 5. mai, it was in stock at this time, I don't know if this is still the case. The adpater is expensive (75 USD) but work as expected.

The black box converter is expensive as hell, I agree, but this is the only one I found on the web that do a real USB to PS/2 in a small factor. There are many KVM that do the same, but they are all big and all need some external power supply.

https://imgur.com/a/OJeUc4B

About the wallpaper, thanks for all the hints, I will try to play a little bit over to understand how I can change that. Thanks for the tip about the resolutions Derek.


Derek_Stewart
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:48 pm

Hi,

Nice video, the KM USB-PS2 converter looks like it worjs really well. But the price per unig is really restrictive. I will search for less expensive altenatives.

I also noted from the video, that I have forgotten to set the Q68 Real Time Clock (RTC).

The Q68 clock can be set by the SDATE command.

Syntax: SDATE year, month, day, hour, minute

example: SDATE 2020,7,17,21,30

But without further action, this setting would be lost after the power supply is turned off.

In order to keep the new clock setting while the machine is powered off, it is required to write it back to the buffered real time clock chip of the Q68.

This is done by executing a clock utility program named "Q68SETRTC“ which is distributed with the Q68 SD Card.

type:

EW WIN1_Q68_Q68SETRTC

This will write the current SMSQ/E clock to the Q68 RTC. On power up the Q68 RTC is copied to the SMSQ/E operating clock.


Regards,

Derek
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bwinkel67
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby bwinkel67 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:29 am

That is Black Box'es latest model and when I emailed them about the older models issues with the Q68 and how to fix the incompatibility or at least ask what was going on they just pointed me to that unit, which in the US is like $179 from them directly (Amazon has it for like $125) and that's just too high. Did we ever get the cheaper ones to work with the Q68? I saw that SMSQ/E had a patch and said it needed and FPGA upgrade as well but wasn't sure if things ever settled down to a stable release or it just wasn't worth the trouble...just curious.


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guibrush
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby guibrush » Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:25 pm

thanks for the information about the clock. I typed the 2 lines and now I have the right time and date.

I figured out how to change the resolution under black Phoenix, one can do that in the configuration tool ( first top left icon), changing the resolution under the Q68 specific field, quit and save desktop with a right click on one desktop icon.

I figured out too how to remove the background image and the collection image that is opened at boot under QL/E thanks to Chr$ hint :-) I'm still searching how to change the resolution.


@ bwinkel67: yes, the converter is expensiv, far too expensiv in my opinion. but it's the only one I found that can work. At least. now we know that this model work, if someone is crazy enough to do the same case integration than me it's good to know :-)


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bwinkel67
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby bwinkel67 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:23 pm

I got one of their older models off of eBay for about $8 (a piece since I bought the whole lot) and though it works on many devices, on the Q68 it gets lost...not the Q68's fault as the Black Box device doesn't follow the correct protocol specs. Nice to know that they fixed their newest version...maybe in a few years I'll find some discounted again :-/


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guibrush
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Re: new Q68 user, already some questions :-)

Postby guibrush » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:29 pm

ok, good to know too, didn't know that they have some older version.

Thanks for sharing !



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