Author Topic: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)  (Read 8402 times)

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Offline biishop

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #150 on: 21:21, 30 July 19 »
This interface is beautiful, practical, compact and do an absolutely necessary job for all old CPC enthusiasts who absolutely want to continue to use the CPC like 30 years before with original 3 inch discs.

The operation is very simple and very reliable. Replicating DSK files on physical media is pure bliss with the USIfAC.


I sincerely thank Ikonsgr for this achievement and the sharing he makes of this creation and the way to makes it accessible.

It's a MUST HAVE absolutely.
« Last Edit: 21:45, 30 July 19 by biishop »

Offline ikonsgr

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #151 on: 12:03, 31 July 19 »
Thanks biishop, frankly, comments like yours give me the greatest joy and satisfaction for my small contribution to Amstrad CPC community!  :)
Btw, today we reached 50 boards sold (42 assembled boards and 8 DIY kits), to ~40 different people!
« Last Edit: 21:25, 31 July 19 by ikonsgr »

Offline ikonsgr

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #152 on: 15:05, 02 August 19 »
I've just upload the hole project to my blog (it also contains many of my designs i made over the years, for Amstrad CPC and other home micros), so, from now on, anyone can easily have access to it!
You can also find a small presentation on youtube here


Offline ikonsgr

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #153 on: 19:36, 03 August 19 »
I've tested another ~20 games with direct load, we reach 150+ in total!

Offline LambdaMikel

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #154 on: 20:02, 21 August 19 »
Here it is.
From now on, i will flash all new boards with this version,  and i'll upload the hex file to the "official" link too!  ;)

Thanks for the firmware update! I just reprogrammed my USIfACs with this new firmware. So this should have the 31.250 BAUDs required for MIDI, right?

Finally found the time to do something with USIfAC and successfully transmitted 2 games.  Using a standard USB FTDI cable - it works great!


Now, I am in a position to start working on the MIDI IN experiment. I have the MIDI IN code working with LambdaSpeak 3 Serial Interface (see Polyphonous MIDI IN CPC Synthesizer Video there), and will try to get that code running with USIfAC.


The only concern I have is that the USB port is actually (attempting to) powering the whole CPC... so I need to make sure to first turn on the CPC before plugging in the FTDI USB cable. Of course the USB cannot provide enough power, but it is enough for the Power LED to go on and the CPC trying to boot... 
« Last Edit: 20:33, 21 August 19 by LambdaMikel »

Offline LambdaMikel

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #155 on: 08:24, 22 August 19 »
Coming soon...

Offline LambdaMikel

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Offline ikonsgr

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #157 on: 15:34, 23 August 19 »
So it seems that USIfAC  really works as MIDI "bridge" between a synthesizer and an Amstrad CPC! 
As far as i know, this must be the first  application of the Usifac,apart from the utilites i have made!
And LambdaMikel,i suppose it wasn't hard to make it work with USIfAC right? ;)

Btw, i wonder ,what would be the practical usage of such "marriage"? Writing music using a keyboard synthsizer that could be saved in amstrad and then maybe replayed?



The only concern I have is that the USB port is actually (attempting to) powering the whole CPC... so I need to make sure to first turn on the CPC before plugging in the FTDI USB cable. Of course the USB cannot provide enough power, but it is enough for the Power LED to go on and the CPC trying to boot... 


  Hmmm, maybe if you don't use the 5v pin from Usifac ,the problem will be solved (this is how a usb2serial cable adpater works too,there is no need to connect the 5v pin,i note this in manual too). Unless the small board with the midi connector needs to power from serial interface
« Last Edit: 16:34, 23 August 19 by ikonsgr »

Offline LambdaMikel

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #158 on: 17:14, 23 August 19 »
So it seems that USIfAC  really works as MIDI "bridge" between a synthesizer and an Amstrad CPC! 
As far as i know, this must be the first  application of the Usifac,apart from the utilites i have made!
And LambdaMikel,i suppose it wasn't hard to make it work with USIfAC right? ;)

Btw, i wonder ,what would be the practical usage of such "marriage"? Writing music using a keyboard synthsizer that could be saved in amstrad and then maybe replayed?

  Hmmm, maybe if you don't use the 5v pin from Usifac ,the problem will be solved (this is how a usb2serial cable adpater works too,there is no need to connect the 5v pin,i note this in manual too). Unless the small board with the midi connector needs to power from serial interface
Yes, it was very easy to use and "program" USIfAC, thanks tou your excellent manual!
Understanding the MIDI protocol good enough was the most challenging part, but I had already gone through this with the previous version of this project.

Right, the "power problem" does not appear with the MIDI board, only with the USB cable connection to the PC. Providing VCC from another source or may only connecting GND might solve the problem. Will try. It is not a big problem anyhow, just something to remember - turn on the CPC first, then plug in the USB FTDI cable.

Well, "practical and 8bit computers" is a bit of an oxymoron these days anyhown IMHO  ;) , but yes, it could go into that direction. How about adding a CPC to your rack of MIDI synthesizers - imagine something like this + a CPC  :D
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Synth_rack_%40_Choking_Sun_Studio.jpg
I mean, there are people using the C64 + DualSid etc. with MIDI IN as a synthesizer... why not do the same with a CPC and maybe PlayCity and LS3. Obviously, a capable MIDI CPC Synthesizer program needs to be written or adapted first. Maybe I'll work a bit on this by extending what I already have.
« Last Edit: 17:16, 23 August 19 by LambdaMikel »

Offline GUNHED

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #159 on: 17:31, 23 August 19 »
Well, I'm not a musician, but just imaging to use a keyboard to play on PSG + LambdaSpeak III + PlayCity - just awesome, endless possibilities.  :) :) :)
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2019.08.07)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2019.08.14)

Offline ikonsgr

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Re: Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC (a.k.a USIfAC)
« Reply #160 on: 22:20, 31 August 19 »
A few more direct load games added, and reduce price for assembled board to... 8euros