Author Topic: Amstrad CPC WiFi  (Read 446029 times)

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Offline yaworski

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2575 on: 20:05, 12 November 20 »
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the forum and I'm bringing gifts :) .

AFAIK there were no publicly available models for 3d printed cases for M4 board rev 2.5c, so I decided to create one myself. After many tries and iterations I've written a parametric PCB enclosure generator for OpenSCAD and used it to generate cases for rev2.5c and rev2.5b (both available for boards with edge and IDC connectors).

I've only tested a case for rev2.5c with edge connector, as it's the only M4 board a have access to. According to Duke, the difference between b and c is the addition of the hack button, so 2.5b version should also work well. I don't know if the IDC is going to be OK. I couldn't take any measures myself, but I've used IDC (male with shroud) connector size from the datasheet.

The case is not perfect yet. Tweaks are welcome (preferably as pull requests). Also measurements of other revisions are very welcome. It's very easy to create definitions for them.

The code is licensed under GNU GPL v3 and can be found here: https://github.com/yawor/m4board-enclosure


Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2576 on: 09:39, 13 November 20 »
Very very nice design!! The buttons look great too, but will they last? Does the material have enough elasticity?

Also please someone make some to sell :)


PS Oh, and welcome here, thanks for sharing!
« Last Edit: 10:25, 13 November 20 by Gryzor »

Offline yaworski

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2577 on: 10:21, 13 November 20 »
Very very nice design!! The buttons lookl great too, but will they last? Does the material have enough elasticity?

Also please someone make some to sell :)


PS Oh, and welcome here, thanks for sharing!


Regarding the button long run durability, it's also something I've been worried about, but after printing the top part and trying it with board underneath I've realised there's probably no need to worry.
The buttons need really small travel distance to activate microswitches on the board, because the actuator (a cylinder protruding down from the button, which presses the microswitch) on each button is on the opposite side of the hinge, at the very end. If it was closer then the travel distance would be greater.
I've also thinned the hinges on the point where it connects to the rest of the case, making it similar to living hinge designs. The hinge is also along the printed layers, not across, so there's no worry of button breaking off because of delamination. PLA I've printed it with allows much much more travel distance than is needed (I've tested this by printing only a small test button first and playing with it).


All above is just my opinion, as I'm a programmer, not a material expert, but I've tried to think about the failure modes and couldn't find any obvious ones.


Much more worrying is the embossed text on the surface. The top should be printed top down so there's quite a lot of bridging required to cover the holes for the text. My Prusa mini was able to do this, but with small issues on the first layer of bridge, which was covered with inserts anyway. But all depends on how good a printer is at bridging longer distances. It can also be printed without texts.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2578 on: 10:27, 13 November 20 »
I was actually intrigued and impressed by the embossed text - I know very little about printing but it did look very pretty to my eyes.

A very small travel distance makes sense I suppose, probably worth the risk!

Offline yaworski

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2579 on: 12:18, 13 November 20 »
3d printing is also quite new to me. I only have my printer for less that two weeks now :) . I've been doing some 3d design in my spare time for some time though.

If you go to my github link, you can open stl directory and open one of the stl files. Github has a stl 3d viewer implemented so you can see how the models look. If you check to *_top.stl files, you can see how it's placed on the printing bed. If you manipulate the view with a mouse and look under the model, you can see that the text layers start higher than the bed level. So the printer leave a hole for the letters during the first few layers as it's building upwards and then it must bridge the gap when it finally reach a layer where there's no hole anymore. As the gap is quite large, the bridges may be deformed and may need so processing after the print is finished (for example some cutting and cleaning may be required) so the printed letter/symbol inserts fit properly.
There're also *_texts.stl files, which you can print separately with different filament color (like I did) and then glue them into the embossed parts.

Regarding the button travel distance, I wanted to record a video how it works but the movement is so small it's barely visible :) . The buttons themselves are really comfortable to press, as they are 12 mm in diameter (not counting the hinge). They also work great as a fidget toy - you just want to press them all the time  ;D .


I'll also include ready to use STL files without embossing.
« Last Edit: 12:22, 13 November 20 by yaworski »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2580 on: 14:34, 13 November 20 »
Ah, you have protrusion below to actually push... ok.

I just had more time than normal playing with the github viewer :D

Offline zhulien

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2581 on: 16:20, 13 November 20 »
This is my first post on the forum and I'm bringing gifts :) .


I love the designs.  I wonder though, these are perfect for someone using M4 directly plugged into a CPC and look perfect too.  Could you design variations of these for sitting vertically within the MX4 board - and perhaps similar cases for other common MX4 board hardware so they are all encased instead of wibbly wobbly circuit boards?

Offline yaworski

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2582 on: 17:04, 13 November 20 »

I love the designs.  I wonder though, these are perfect for someone using M4 directly plugged into a CPC and look perfect too.  Could you design variations of these for sitting vertically within the MX4 board - and perhaps similar cases for other common MX4 board hardware so they are all encased instead of wibbly wobbly circuit boards?

I see that MX4 uses IDC connectors. There are versions for IDC prepared (scad source and rendered STL files) on the github, but not tested yet if they fit correctly. The potential problem I see is that the buttons may not be easily accessible when multiple extensions are next to each other. My enclosure generator script doesn't support buttons on other faces than the top one - I would like to add this feature for other faces, but other than the top and bottom faces, it's not that easy because of few reasons: there's a split between top and bottom part around the box; printing button of this design on a vertical wall (regarding the printing direction) may not even be possible (it could melt together with the rest of the case and not work correctly). Also moving the case buttons on the side walls when the microswitches are pressed from the top may pose some challenge :) . But there's a whole subject of compliant mechanisms, so it's not impossible. A side button could still press the microswitch through some kind of lever on a living hinge.

I'm already thinking about rewriting the generator script for next version using a really good library I've found which would replace a lot of my own functions and making the code a lot more manageable. I could then maybe think of some solutions, for example a few designs of buttons selectable for each button (for example a simple round or square piston button).

As for the enclosures for other extensions, I'm not against it :) . All the code is publicly available and uses GPL license. Please take a look at the m4board_*.scad files. There's no documentation in them, but you can also take a look at the pcb_enclosure.scad, where all the arguments are documented to some extent. You need calipers to take measures of the board and its features and you need to have OpenSCAD installed. I can help with explaining the arguments and with measures (without physical access I can't do it myself), but I think this is beyond this thread :) .

Offline Muddyfunster

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2583 on: 20:08, 15 November 20 »
I've been having some trouble getting CRTC3 and a few other demos to work on the M4. (CRTC3, Eerie Forest to name 2).


I'm using a 6128+ with an M4 with 2.05 firmware.


When I try to launch CRTC3 for example, I get a black screen with flowlib1.3 shown for a split second then black with white dots and dashes in the lower part.


Pretty much everything else runs fine.


I have the M4 rom in 7 and M4FE in 4.


I assume I'm doing something wrong my side or I have a setting that's incorrect.


Would appreciate any advice.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2584 on: 00:02, 16 November 20 »
I assume I'm doing something wrong my side or I have a setting that's incorrect.

Would appreciate any advice.

Have you enabled 512KB cartridges in the webinterface?

Offline Muddyfunster

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2585 on: 11:36, 16 November 20 »
Thanks Duke,


I don't see any option or button to enable 512k carts in the web interface. Cartridge just reads 256kb/512kb. I don't see anything like that on Control or Settings either.
« Last Edit: 11:38, 16 November 20 by Muddyfunster »

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2586 on: 15:12, 16 November 20 »
You have to set the option "Use only 16 slots" then it will allocate the remaining 16 slots to the cartridge aswell so size increase from 256 to 512 KB.
Now reboot the M4 board and reup the 512KB cartridge demo.

Thanks Duke,


I don't see any option or button to enable 512k carts in the web interface. Cartridge just reads 256kb/512kb. I don't see anything like that on Control or Settings either.
« Last Edit: 15:14, 16 November 20 by Duke »

Offline Muddyfunster

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2587 on: 18:04, 16 November 20 »
You have to set the option "Use only 16 slots" then it will allocate the remaining 16 slots to the cartridge aswell so size increase from 256 to 512 KB.
Now reboot the M4 board and reup the 512KB cartridge demo.


Thanks Duke, that did the trick. I knew it was going to be something I'd not done or was missing.


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Offline Animalgril987

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2588 on: 01:31, 21 November 20 »
Hi Duke.
I've just acquired a 464.
How is your internal version of the M4 progressing?  Will you be making them for the 464?  If not are you still making the external one?
Thanks, Alan.

Offline Duke

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2589 on: 01:53, 21 November 20 »
How is your internal version of the M4 progressing?  Will you be making them for the 464?  If not are you still making the external one?

Tbh. I have not touched it for a very long time, so no progress I am afraid.

The external one is still being made, with a lead time of 4-6 weeks after committing to an order (see details in first post of this thread).

Offline genesis8

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Re: Amstrad CPC WiFi
« Reply #2590 on: 14:52, 23 November 20 »
Hi,
Is there any interest in replacing the 8266 by the ESP32-C3 WiSoC ?
It's pin to pin compatible with ESP8266, works with ESP32 development framework (e.g. ESP-IDF), supports Wi-Fi & Bluetooth LE 5.0 connectivity, and integrates 400KB SRAM & 384KB ROM. It features a single32-bit RISC-V (RV32IMC) core @ 160 MHz, and consume as little as 5uA in deep sleep mode. Pricing will also be similar to ESP8266.
See https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/11/22/esp32-c3-wifi-ble-risc-v-processor-is-pin-to-pin-compatible-with-esp8266/ for more informations.

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