Author Topic: Amstrad CPC WiFi  (Read 329321 times)

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Offline cyrillem

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1250 on: 21:42, 31 January 17 »
Thanks for this answer Duke


Some other questions :
1. I have uploaded a french firmware in slot 0, seems ok. At boot I can see some other informations like


RAM:128K | CRTC1 | FW3.12-FR


I have dowloaded AMSDOS v0.5 and uploaded in the slot 6 but in the web page, the slot continue to be empty so I don't know if upolad has been done correctly
Is it a bug ? Sorry, the problem in fact is that we need to enter a slot name or the name of the rom will not appeard in the rom boards webpage


2. I have tryed your modified lower rom but I don't know if it is ok as nothing can be see in the boot screen
is it possible to know something ? Nothing seems to have been modified about the keaboard. The "|" continue to write a "ù"


3. Why did you say "set M4 ROM as 7 if your cpc support it"
   1. is it an error to have used the slot 0 instead the slot 7 ?
   2 Why a cpc would not support it ?

4. Actually my configuration :
ROM 0 : the french firmware 3.12 FR
ROM 6 : AMSDOS 0.5


Tried a game and it is not better. Before these modifications if a run something I had a screen where I can choose unlimityd life or not and now nothing appears and the screen has artefacts on it

It's very very difficult.........
« Last Edit: 21:55, 31 January 17 by cyrillem »
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Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1251 on: 23:10, 31 January 17 »
To me it seems you have uploaded FW3.12 as lowerrom instead of the modified one. And yes you wont see the difference with the modified lower rom, but games that re-init rom 7 will work, instead of print disc missing or crashing.
Anyway tell me what CPC you use, then I will tell you best config.

As for using M4 rom in slot 7, all 464's can do this, all cpc plus can do this, and the cpc664's I tried can do this, and a few CPC6128 (MC020C) can do this. Regular CPC6128's don't disable the internal rom 7,  when romdis issued, so it cannot be replaced externally, however MC020C boards (or some) you can override rom 7.

Thanks for this answer Duke


Some other questions :
1. I have uploaded a french firmware in slot 0, seems ok. At boot I can see some other informations like


RAM:128K | CRTC1 | FW3.12-FR


I have dowloaded AMSDOS v0.5 and uploaded in the slot 6 but in the web page, the slot continue to be empty so I don't know if upolad has been done correctly
Is it a bug ? Sorry, the problem in fact is that we need to enter a slot name or the name of the rom will not appeard in the rom boards webpage


2. I have tryed your modified lower rom but I don't know if it is ok as nothing can be see in the boot screen
is it possible to know something ? Nothing seems to have been modified about the keaboard. The "|" continue to write a "ù"


3. Why did you say "set M4 ROM as 7 if your cpc support it"
   1. is it an error to have used the slot 0 instead the slot 7 ?
   2 Why a cpc would not support it ?

4. Actually my configuration :
ROM 0 : the french firmware 3.12 FR
ROM 6 : AMSDOS 0.5


Tried a game and it is not better. Before these modifications if a run something I had a screen where I can choose unlimityd life or not and now nothing appears and the screen has artefacts on it

It's very very difficult.........

Offline cyrillem

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1252 on: 11:04, 01 February 17 »
exactly FW312 was uploaded as lower rom
Here is my configuration in attachment


About my amstrad : CPC 6128 with azerty keyboard


Do you need something else ?
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Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1253 on: 11:33, 01 February 17 »
exactly FW312 was uploaded as lower rom
Here is my configuration in attachment


About my amstrad : CPC 6128 with azerty keyboard


Do you need something else ?
No this is fine, if you want better compatiblity, you should replace FW312 with this one http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/2/2d/Lower6128_mod-fr.zip

Now the game(s) that gave you disc missing, retry, ignore, cancel should work.

Offline wilco2009

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1254 on: 12:35, 01 February 17 »
I have checked the M4 interface and it is being a very positive surprise for me. It is very near to be the definitive mass storage interface for Amstrad CPC.

I have only a little questions about it:

- Does it have "CDT" support?
- Is it possible to load snapshots ("SNA")?
- Is it possible to copy files from 3" disk to the SD card and viceversa with the CPC?

Many thanks for everything, Duke.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1255 on: 13:55, 01 February 17 »
- Does it have "CDT" support?
No. Would it be possible, maybe. I have not looked into it.
Quote
- Is it possible to load snapshots ("SNA")?
Not natively, unless some .SNA loader already exist.
Quote
- Is it possible to copy files from 3" disk to the SD card and viceversa with the CPC?
Yes, but for now only SymbOS supports that. I may add an RSX for it sometime, it would be  very easy.

Offline cyrillem

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1256 on: 20:00, 01 February 17 »
No this is fine, if you want better compatiblity, you should replace FW312 with this one http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/2/2d/Lower6128_mod-fr.zip

Now the game(s) that gave you disc missing, retry, ignore, cancel should work.


I did that and it is better, i was able to lauch something  :D


Thanks Duke for your help
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Offline Audronic

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1257 on: 00:07, 02 February 17 »
@Duke

"Quote- Is it possible to copy files from 3" disk to the SD card and viceversa with the CPC?
Yes, but for now only SymbOS supports that. I may add an RSX for it sometime, it would be  very easy.."


If you could do this I am sure that it would be Very helpful.

Thanks       Ray
« Last Edit: 23:05, 02 February 17 by Audronic »
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Offline wilco2009

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1258 on: 22:14, 02 February 17 »

I have tested the interface with more games and I have found some incompatibilities
- Titus, The Fox - CPC resets after load the game
- ninjawar - computer hangs.
- Lemmings - After mountains screen "Drive A: disc missing" message is shown.
- R-Type loads, but computer hangs when try to load the level 1.


Finally, I have an additional question, how is possible to change the disk when you are running a multidisk game?

Do you plan to add compatibility with |CPM command?




Offline HAL 6128

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1259 on: 22:19, 02 February 17 »

Quote from: wilco2009
[quote author=wilco2009 link=topic=11977.msg140901#msg140901 date=1486066494
Do you plan to add compatibility with |CPM command?
...If you add the CP/M Roms you can enter the OS via |EMS. Works fine
...proudly supported Schnaps Demo and Pentomino, NQ-Music-Disc with GFX

Offline Joseman

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1260 on: 23:15, 02 February 17 »
I have tested the interface with more games and I have found some incompatibilities
- Titus, The Fox - CPC resets after load the game
- ninjawar - computer hangs.
- Lemmings - After mountains screen "Drive A: disc missing" message is shown.
- R-Type loads, but computer hangs when try to load the level 1.

Hi

All the "disc missing" messages in games are because the game itself reinit the amsdos rom (and only this rom), then the M4 rom stop working and the cpc come back to drive A to read the game... for example all the "xor" cracks and some other cracks (velus, etc), do this thing. I've been changing all the call #BCCE (reinit rom 7) to call #BCCB (reinit all the roms) and the 90% of this games start to work!

Almost all CNGSoft and Abraxas cracks work, for example big games like Turrican I & Turrican II work like a charm (cngsoft), and games like X-out, dragon's lair, etc, i achieved the load of this games changing the calls... Others like Thundercats i've made a custom loader, because all the cracks were based on the original (that reinits rom 7 but a call #BCCB didn't work because the game use problematic memory location) i think that with this modifications and cngsoft,abraxas cracks... about a 90% of the cpc games can run on the M4.

The way to go with the M4 are modified cracks and custon loaders... original games... i think that less than 10% can work without modification (M4 or any other mass storage solution)

The hangs on games are for the same, they use problematic memory, than collide with the M4 ROM, or (like kickoff) they look if any other ROM than AMSDOS is loaded and then stop to work (a little copy protection here), in this case there is need to modify the copy protection, in the case of kickoff (and all the easy copy protections) are easy: if the game turn on the carry flag to say "copy protection not passed, stop work", you only have to not activate the carry flag changing the instruction with a nop  :laugh: , some games are easy, other not (like super skweek 2), because they have a lot of copy protections on the game itself. But as i said... near the 100% of the games have a crack... the way is to use the crack or if the crack do not work, look what's the problem and path the crack itself, another people did the crack job in the past, why would us do another crack from an original game? (unless there is no crack or the crack is buggy), with 2000 - 3000 cpc games!! this will took ages!!! Some copy protection like bleepload, speed lock, hexagon... this protections can write almost on any ram position byte to byte! (reading complex tables and doing an infinite obscure calculations)  crack this games can take months!!!!! (128k's = 128.000 random bytes being write on memory, changing the position, encrypted...), it's just crazy do this job again, other did in the past!!
« Last Edit: 23:33, 02 February 17 by Joseman »

Offline wilco2009

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1261 on: 00:44, 03 February 17 »
Thanks joseman, it is very helpful.  :)


...If you add the CP/M Roms you can enter the OS via |EMS. Works fine


Thanks HAL, It is very interesting to execute CPM. I will test it.


But what about the games that are using | CPM command to start.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1262 on: 11:28, 03 February 17 »
@Audronic
Ok, will add when I get some time.

@wilco2009
Did you try to use the modified lowerrom from here (if you use a CPC6128, if you don't, try to set M4 rom to 7 instead 6). http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/M4_Board   under Various Files
It is not possible to change .dsks while playing a game, in such cases I suggest you copy all the files from both discs if possible into a directory on the M4 and run it from there.
Or create a 796KB (or less) romdos dsk image (in ie. winape disc editor, it's great for this) and copy all the files there.

Yeah I did mean to add the |CPM command to start .dsks.... sometime :)

@Joseman
Do you upload the games you fix somewhere, so people can use them?
« Last Edit: 11:31, 03 February 17 by Duke »

Offline luismcv

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1263 on: 20:12, 03 February 17 »
@Duke Please, don't forget about the corruption of protected files on DSK images that we discussed by email a couple of weeks ago. That's probably preventing quite a few games from loading too.

I also have a few suggestions:

  - I think we can't copy files from a DSK image to a plain directory. Not a great deal as we can always use tools to extract files on our computers, but if there isn't really a real reason for this limitation it'd be nice to have the option to do it from the CPC.

  - Would it be too much work to add an RSX to dump a DSK image to a physical disc? I guess this can be all done on the M4ROM side? If so, I might even give it a go myself if I find the time to do learn some Z80 assembler (my experience with assembler was limited to the x86 and that was many years ago) and research the CPC internals.

  - What about a filesystem navigator on the Control web server? Not only it'd make much easier to navigate through big collections of files and save some typing, but it'd also allow to hot swap DSK images while running a game or application.

And on a related note: do you have any plans on releasing the sources of the M4's side of the firmware? Or at least the essential bare bones parts to provide a start to those interested in using your card to emulate completely different hardware? I was thinking about the possibility of simulating a memory expansion (I think I read on your blog that you don't think it's possible to do this at the same time that you simulate ROMs, but would it be possible if used for this only purpose or still not fast enough?) or even, just for the sake of it, simulating the FDC (on a CPC464). Or, I have to admit that I haven't looked at the datasheet or any other documentation of the ST32F407, but I guess that some of the signals that you made available on the other side of your card could be used to interface with other devices? If yes, that would make your board even more interesting.

Cheers!

Offline luismcv

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1264 on: 20:16, 03 February 17 »
But what about the games that are using | CPM command to start.

I was looking at this myself too. With Duke's sources of the M4ROM (which already have some snippets of code for this, albeit commented out) and the commented disassembly of the AMSDOS ROM that is available online, someone with a little more knowledge of Z80's assembler and the CPC internals could probably get this easily done.

Although I guess that most of this type of games will rely on their own routines for accessing the disc drive directly and won't work anyways?
« Last Edit: 20:18, 03 February 17 by luismcv »

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1265 on: 21:09, 03 February 17 »
@Duke Please, don't forget about the corruption of protected files on DSK images that we discussed by email a couple of weeks ago. That's probably preventing quite a few games from loading too.
Thanks for reminding me, it had slipped my mind completely. Yeah the main issue is I implemented a .bas decryption so basic files saved with ,p paramter is decrypted on the fly (and appropriete flag set in the header) forgetting that binary files can also use this. Ideally I will revert this idea and pass them on as they should. Noted again !.
Quote
  - I think we can't copy files from a DSK image to a plain directory. Not a great deal as we can always use tools to extract files on our computers, but if there isn't really a real reason for this limitation it'd be nice to have the option to do it from the CPC.
I am working on a filecopy RSX to do tape<->disc<->sd, .dsk's should be supported aswell.
Quote
  - Would it be too much work to add an RSX to dump a DSK image to a physical disc? I guess this can be all done on the M4ROM side? If so, I might even give it a go myself if I find the time to do learn some Z80 assembler (my experience with assembler was limited to the x86 and that was many years ago) and research the CPC internals.
Originally it was one of my main plans (TFM kindly provided me with raw FDC disc I/O code for this purpose). When I started to look at it, I realized much more work would be needed on the Z80 side, especially with all the copyprotected discs, I kinda lost the motivation and since no-one was asking for it...
If you want to have a go, it would be great.
Quote
  - What about a filesystem navigator on the Control web server? Not only it'd make much easier to navigate through big collections of files and save some typing, but it'd also allow to hot swap DSK images while running a game or application.
I've talked about this before, I am not that good with javascript for the PC side, if anyone wants to help out, I'll gladly provide whatever functions needed (http requests), but parsing all the stuff in javascript and output it in html for a nice file tree, is not for me :)

Quote
And on a related note: do you have any plans on releasing the sources of the M4's side of the firmware? Or at least the essential bare bones parts to provide a start to those interested in using your card to emulate completely different hardware? I was thinking about the possibility of simulating a memory expansion (I think I read on your blog that you don't think it's possible to do this at the same time that you simulate ROMs, but would it be possible if used for this only purpose or still not fast enough?) or even, just for the sake of it, simulating the FDC (on a CPC464). Or, I have to admit that I haven't looked at the datasheet or any other documentation of the ST32F407, but I guess that some of the signals that you made available on the other side of your card could be used to interface with other devices? If yes, that would make your board even more interesting.
I will not at this time release my core sources, I have a few more projects lined up relying on this, simulating memory expansion is one of them.
For what it is worth, this is what I am working on currently in hardware terms for the cpc:
M4 lite. Same as M4 board, but without WiFi/USB, just romboard and mass storage + 64/128 memory expansion. I am pretty far with this, but having a big issue with the extended RAM, reading is perfect, but for some reason I always get the ram WR going through to the base memory, at first I thouht I wasn't asserting RAMDIS quick enough, but that's not it. I put the scope on, the LA and not found the reason yet. In the process of going through the 464 schematics step by step. If I don't solve that, it'll be canned. Otherwise it was intended as play games/whatever for CPC464/664 at low cost.
M7 Pro. Same as M4 board (with WiFi aswell). But with a lowcost 512KB ram expansion + some bonus, not ordered the prototype PCB for this yet, before I have that part working on M4 lite. So might be canned aswell if I get sick of it ;)

That being said every GPIO on the board is labelled, there's JTAG header and SWDIO, the datasheet is available and you can go right on programming it. And I'll be helpful if any info needed.
As for the extra connector, yes there is quite a few things, there's a serial port, it would be trivial to add a serial interface and use those pins from the CPC, there's a SPI interface aswell (though more tricky) and a bunch of GPIO's available.

Offline gerald

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1266 on: 21:32, 03 February 17 »
M4 lite. Same as M4 board, but without WiFi/USB, just romboard and mass storage + 64/128 memory expansion. I am pretty far with this, but having a big issue with the extended RAM, reading is perfect, but for some reason I always get the ram WR going through to the base memory, at first I thouht I wasn't asserting RAMDIS quick enough, but that's not it. I put the scope on, the LA and not found the reason yet. In the process of going through the 464 schematics step by step. If I don't solve that, it'll be canned. Otherwise it was intended as play games/whatever for CPC464/664 at low cost.
Some reading for you : http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/464-and-ram-extension/msg51890/#msg51890  ;)

Offline SOS

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1267 on: 22:05, 03 February 17 »
  - I think we can't copy files from a DSK image to a plain directory. Not a great deal as we can always use tools to extract files on our computers, but if there isn't really a real reason for this limitation it'd be nice to have the option to do it from the CPC.
YANCC for M4DOS will support that.
I will release it in a few days.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1268 on: 22:32, 03 February 17 »
Some reading for you : http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/464-and-ram-extension/msg51890/#msg51890  ;)
Huge thanks gerald, I was going nuts about this. Everything looked right, but result didn't make any sense and was starting to tap into the mainboard signals. Something to try tomorrow!

Offline wilco2009

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1269 on: 12:58, 04 February 17 »

@wilco2009
Did you try to use the modified lowerrom from here (if you use a CPC6128, if you don't, try to set M4 rom to 7 instead 6). http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/M4_Board   under Various Files
It is not possible to change .dsks while playing a game, in such cases I suggest you copy all the files from both discs if possible into a directory on the M4 and run it from there.
Or create a 796KB (or less) romdos dsk image (in ie. winape disc editor, it's great for this) and copy all the files there.

I have updated the firmware to 2.0 and I have activated the lowerrom and some of the game are working now.

- Titus, The Fox - CPC resets after load the game  - Still not working.
- ninjawar - computer hangs. - Now is working. :)
- Lemmings - After mountains screen "Drive A: disc missing" message is shown. - Now is working :)
- R-Type loads, but computer hangs when try to load the level 1. Still not working.

I was thinking about the possibility to change AMSDOS internally by a M4ROM. If the problem is that the program resets ROM 7, it will solve the problem, isn it?

Yeah I did mean to add the |CPM command to start .dsks.... sometime :)

Nice!.  :)

By other hand, I have checked the CPM in ROM starting it with |EMS. It starts, but it searchs directly the floppy drive.  I think it is because it is using their self floppy disk access routines. Isn't?
will be not possible to use the SD for CPM, in the future?

@Joseman
Do you upload the games you fix somewhere, so people can use them?

It will be great. I have tried to search the Hexadecimal string "CD BC CB" with a hexadecimal editor in the "problematic" programs, to try to change it, but I didn't found it in any of them. Probably the programs are compressed or encrypted.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1270 on: 13:19, 04 February 17 »
I was thinking about the possibility to change AMSDOS internally by a M4ROM. If the problem is that the program resets ROM 7, it will solve the problem, isn it?
You could physically remove the AMSDOS rom and put M4 ROM in slot 7, that should work. If it fixes those games I am not sure, there could be other reasons, ie. they still contain raw FDC access. Did you try to search for other cracks of those games?.
Quote
By other hand, I have checked the CPM in ROM starting it with |EMS. It starts, but it searchs directly the floppy drive.  I think it is because it is using their self floppy disk access routines. Isn't?
will be not possible to use the SD for CPM, in the future?
Sounds likely. About CPM, not sure how much work it would be, maybe that |EMS rom could be patched to support M4.

Quote
It will be great. I have tried to search the Hexadecimal string "CD BC CB" with a hexadecimal editor in the "problematic" programs, to try to change it, but I didn't found it in any of them. Probably the programs are compressed or encrypted.
You would have to search for CD CE BC and replace it with CD CB BC, although its not always a good solution if you have many roms in your rom board, game memory may be corrupted.
Also if you use the modified lowerrom there is no reason for this patch.

Offline Joseman

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1271 on: 13:25, 04 February 17 »
You would have to search for CD CE BC and replace it with CD CB BC...

as Duke said, the cpc store the memory locations backwards (little endian notation), this is why you don't find CD BC CE, the correct syntax is CD CE BC

Offline Joseman

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1272 on: 13:31, 04 February 17 »
@Joseman
Do you upload the games you fix somewhere, so people can use them?

yes, when i finish all the games from my list, i will do a zip and upload them

Offline Joseman

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1273 on: 13:40, 04 February 17 »
- Titus, The Fox - CPC resets after load the game  - Still not working.
- ninjawar - computer hangs. - Now is working. :)
- Lemmings - After mountains screen "Drive A: disc missing" message is shown. - Now is working :)
- R-Type loads, but computer hangs when try to load the level 1. Still not working.

I was thinking about the possibility to change AMSDOS internally by a M4ROM. If the problem is that the program resets ROM 7, it will solve the problem, isn it?

Nice!.  :)

I think that the problem with this games are that they are complex games (titus de fox, lemmings), using possibly all the memory... for example i can't make work any version of Double Dragon I or Double Dragon II (Richard Aplin versions), i think that the problem is that this games use a loader near #A000-#Bxxx, and a simple modification on the amsdos rom, or more than one ROM loaded will prevent this type of games to work...

I'm pretty sure that even replacing amsdos rom with M4 rom, some games will not work, because of this, a little modification on some memory location that the game rely on it will make the game fail...

Is pretty clear that some games will need to reprogram the loader part to be rom/firmware friendly (for example to move the loader part to another location) and no amdos replacement (for mass storage) will work ever without doing this!

P.D. and i'm talking about games cracked, forget the original games to work on any mass storage solution unless a full FDC emulation solution is used, and i suspect that this imply to use the FDC internal cable (or expansion FDC connector) and not only the expansion port! ( @Duke correct me if i'm wrong!)
« Last Edit: 13:48, 04 February 17 by Joseman »

Offline luismcv

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #1274 on: 15:05, 04 February 17 »
P.D. and i'm talking about games cracked, forget the original games to work on any mass storage solution unless a full FDC emulation solution is used, and i suspect that this imply to use the FDC internal cable (or expansion FDC connector) and not only the expansion port! ( @Duke correct me if i'm wrong!)

It should be able to emulate the FDC on the expansion port on a CPC464, after all, the DDI-1 connects to it. It won't work on a 664 or 6128 because it'd would conflict with the internal one; you'd need to somehow disable this one first.