Author Topic: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card  (Read 5971 times)

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Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #100 on: 18:32, 24 November 20 »
Ah wonderful. It has the great Centronics ports like in Germany too. Way better than these dodgy edge connectors.
Centronics connectors are incompatible with the expansions released in France, so it was a pain to got that.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #101 on: 20:04, 24 November 20 »
I would assume that the small circuit is a 50Hz clock. On an EU monitor the refresh rate can be derived from the AC voltage, but if the AC is 60Hz (as it is in the US) then you need a new source or the computer needs to be adjusted. Other computers such as the Commodores or Ataris had a US and EU CRTC version, but the CPC only has one version, so the monitor had to be adjusted. It would be interesting to get a picture of the PCB to see what it actually does.

@TotO: What French expansions were available back then?

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 20:07, 24 November 20 by Bryce »

Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #102 on: 23:51, 24 November 20 »
What French expansions were available back then?
Optical pen, mouse, voice synthesizer, memory expansions, floppy disc drive, ... All using the edge connectors. Peoples with Centronics CPC in France was really annoyed to not be able to connect them.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #103 on: 10:28, 25 November 20 »
What company made them? Outside of France almost only UK and German hardware companies existed. French software was well known, but not hardware.

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Offline PulkoMandy

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #104 on: 14:44, 25 November 20 »
I would assume that the small circuit is a 50Hz clock. On an EU monitor the refresh rate can be derived from the AC voltage, but if the AC is 60Hz (as it is in the US) then you need a new source or the computer needs to be adjusted. Other computers such as the Commodores or Ataris had a US and EU CRTC version, but the CPC only has one version, so the monitor had to be adjusted. It would be interesting to get a picture of the PCB to see what it actually does.

@TotO: What French expansions were available back then?

Bryce.


There is a link on the motherboard (LK4) to switch the CPC to 60Hz. The CRTC does not need to be replaced, because it can be reprogrammed to any frequncy you want. The firmware checks LK4 at boot and switches to 60Hz if needed.


French expansion manufacturers: at least Techni Musique (vocal synth, MIDI interface and music synth, ...), Jagot et Leon (IO and relay boards) for example. You can find some advertising for them in french CPC magazines and I think a lot of info made it to cpcrulez as well.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #105 on: 14:48, 25 November 20 »
Oh yeah, thanks, I forgot about LK4, so I wonder what the PCB does?

Interesting about the French Hardware companies. I don't think either of them were known outside France.

Bryce.

Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #106 on: 17:16, 25 November 20 »
Centronics connectors are incompatible with the expansions released in France, so it was a pain to got that.
Sure, it was a pain for 464 and 664 users too. But I did once a lifetime an adaptor for edge connectors. That's it. works also vice versa.
TBH edge connections are a constant pain, just moving a mouse on the desk can already interfere, because they're so dodgy. In c64 it's even worse, their edge connectors are even a more dodgy. Well, a 0,9 MHz computer has less problems than a 4 MHz computer anyway.


Centronics may need an adaptor for certain applications, but they work reliable.  :)
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Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #107 on: 17:17, 25 November 20 »

Actually my USA CTM644 worked with 50 Hz.

I would assume that the small circuit is a 50Hz clock. On an EU monitor the refresh rate can be derived from the AC voltage, but if the AC is 60Hz (as it is in the US) then you need a new source or the computer needs to be adjusted. Other computers such as the Commodores or Ataris had a US and EU CRTC version, but the CPC only has one version, so the monitor had to be adjusted. It would be interesting to get a picture of the PCB to see what it actually does.

@TotO: What French expansions were available back then?

Bryce.
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Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #108 on: 17:36, 25 November 20 »
But I did once a lifetime an adaptor for edge connectors. That's it. works also vice versa.
But the adaptor was not sold in 80s and it was not a clean way to plug a nice DDI or dk'Tronics expansions.
The only clean solution was to exchange the Centronics CPC for an Edge CPC to properly plug the peripherals.
By the way, the reliability on the edge connection was not an issue during the commercial life of the CPC.
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Offline gerald

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #109 on: 17:52, 25 November 20 »
But was there any extension with a native centronics port ?

Offline pelrun

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #110 on: 18:40, 25 November 20 »
Actually my USA CTM644 worked with 50 Hz.
Which makes sense - the CPC would only need to be 60Hz if it had to generate NTSC composite or RF to a TV, say with a US version of the MP1/MP2 (which of course didn't get made.) But since it was always sold with the monitor, why bother changing anything but the power supply for a 110V compatible one?

Online ComSoft6128

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #111 on: 19:46, 25 November 20 »
I have (not so fond) memories of using the adaptor below with a matchbox and some playing cards propping up the edge connector end to ensure stability.

For the vast majority of CPC users whether edge connector or Centronics were fitted would not be an issue as the most popular peripheral by far would have been a printer.

BUT......if you were using a Rombox, teletext adaptor, RS232 Etc sooner or later it was likely to be a problem - having to frequently connect/remove peripherals caused wear.

Incidentally, the maximum number of peripherals that could be connected (and would function OK) was 2. Three was possible but often proved to be unreliable.

Mmm - unable to post photo, I've raised this to Admin and hopefully it will be sorted.


Problem now fixed - thanks @Gryzor  :)
« Last Edit: 22:40, 25 November 20 by ComSoft6128 »

Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #112 on: 16:35, 26 November 20 »
But the adaptor was not sold in 80s and it was not a clean way to plug a nice DDI or dk'Tronics expansions.
The only clean solution was to exchange the Centronics CPC for an Edge CPC to properly plug the peripherals.
By the way, the reliability on the edge connection was not an issue during the commercial life of the CPC.
Pity there were no adaptors available and delivered with the products.  :-\

Well, using an adaptor was as clean as using edge connectors themselves.

The better was would IMHO be to add centronics plugs to edge expansions.

But hey, we all have our own ways of doing things. Als long as it works it's fine.  :) :) :) :)
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Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #113 on: 16:42, 26 November 20 »
I have (not so fond) memories of using the adaptor below with a matchbox and some playing cards propping up the edge connector end to ensure stability.

For the vast majority of CPC users whether edge connector or Centronics were fitted would not be an issue as the most popular peripheral by far would have been a printer.

BUT......if you were using a Rombox, teletext adaptor, RS232 Etc sooner or later it was likely to be a problem - having to frequently connect/remove peripherals caused wear.

Incidentally, the maximum number of peripherals that could be connected (and would function OK) was 2. Three was possible but often proved to be unreliable.

Mmm - unable to post photo, I've raised this to Admin and hopefully it will be sorted.


Problem now fixed - thanks @Gryzor  :)


I have one of these Centronics to Edge adapters. @Duke made one about a year or so ago. :)
It was pretty effective. It meant I was able to conncet the DDI-4 to my 464plus. :)
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Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #114 on: 17:00, 26 November 20 »
Pity there were no adaptors available and delivered with the products.
The better was would IMHO be to add centronics plugs to edge expansions.
I think that computers shops was not informed about the different CPC models sold in France... Centronics connectors are stocks from Germany because the CPC was more wanted in France. Probably most of the users have never plugged peripherals on them. Adding plugs to the edge expansions by soldering them on the mainboard is not possible, because the case will not close after that.
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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #115 on: 17:28, 26 November 20 »
A little more info - The adaptor in my photo above is the Wave "Widget" released late 90/early 91 by Wave Electronics for the Plus machines.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad CPC 6128 (US version) and Zaxon's 4MB expansion card
« Reply #116 on: 17:40, 26 November 20 »
I have (not so fond) memories of using the adaptor below with a matchbox and some playing cards propping up the edge connector end to ensure stability.

For the vast majority of CPC users whether edge connector or Centronics were fitted would not be an issue as the most popular peripheral by far would have been a printer.

BUT......if you were using a Rombox, teletext adaptor, RS232 Etc sooner or later it was likely to be a problem - having to frequently connect/remove peripherals caused wear.

Incidentally, the maximum number of peripherals that could be connected (and would function OK) was 2. Three was possible but often proved to be unreliable.

Mmm - unable to post photo, I've raised this to Admin and hopefully it will be sorted.


Problem now fixed - thanks @Gryzor  :)

There's a lump broken off.

Bryce.

P.s. I wish that greedy mother would finally give that kid a cigarette, it obviously wants one!