Author Topic: Amstrad CPC and RC2014  (Read 870 times)

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Offline revaldinho

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Amstrad CPC and RC2014
« on: 00:21, 13 October 18 »

From time to time I have thought about building an RC2014. It's quite a nice looking kit, although it's not cheap and of course I already have a Z80 board or two. :D


The RC2014 has a pretty active mailing list and is building up quite a list of peripheral boards, either from Spencer or 3rd parties, including serial ports, graphics adapters, sounds cards, generic IO cards and so on.


So I wonder if there's any interest in creating a adapter card to interface the CPC to the RC2014 backplane, using the CPC to replace the RC2014's CPU module.


Electrically it'd be easy as the RC2014 backplane is basically a Z80 bus anyway with just a few extra signals. Slightly more problematic would be the IO Address map, which would need some adapting to the CPC. And then of course RC2014 software drivers would need porting to the CPC too, but many are open source anyway so without having researched this very deeply (or indeed at all) it seems as if this is all within our reach.


Are there ary RC2014 buiders/users on here ?  Are there any peripherals of enough interest to CPC users to make this endeavour worthwhile ?


R


LambdaMikel

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Re: Amstrad CPC and RC2014
« Reply #1 on: 09:39, 13 October 18 »
Ah yes, the RC2014... looking at this for quite a while, but as you say, one already has a couple of Z80 boards (or 5  ;D )

One thing that I can really recommend is the

http://cpuville.com/Kits/Z80-kits-home.html
kit from Donn Stewart. It is modeled after Steve Ciarcia's book Build Your Own Z80 Computer, Byte Books, 1981. And a bit cheaper probably. Donn's instructions and manuals are extremely educational - I learned a lot from assembling and working with it. Last, I played with

http://cpuville.com/Code/Tiny-BASIC.html

Of course, this only works over RS232 and terminal program.

Then, I also can recommend
http://www.kswichit.com/
http://www.kswichit.com/Z80/Z80.html

It is a modern reimplementation of the 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-Professor_MPF-I
Not quite sure why one want to connect the CPC to the RC2014 though. Would the CPC be master or slave? I can see that the CPC could  provide peripherals (keyboard, display, sound, ...) to the RC2014. And the other way around? Maybe a second CPU - a multiprocessor Z80 system with shared memory  :) Like on the C64, where the 6502 in the 1541 floppy was used to half computation time of the apple man fractal generator.


« Last Edit: 09:42, 13 October 18 by LambdaMikel »

Offline revaldinho

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Re: Amstrad CPC and RC2014
« Reply #2 on: 11:26, 13 October 18 »
Ah, the MPF-1 ! I learnt how to hand assemble Z80 on one of those many moons ago. That looks like a really great kit. I expect that's pretty pricey too, but I'll have to resist additional sentimentality on that one.


On the RC2014, I wasn't really thinking of interfacing the CPC to a complete RC2014 system. Really I was just suggesting being able to interface the backplane to the CPC so that the CPC would effectively replace the RC2014 CPU and RAM/ROM modules but get access to the full RC2014 ecosystem of peripherals: something along the same lines as the AMSDAP giving us access to MSX peripherals.


Here's an example of an RC2014 board which might appeal: TMS9918 video card for RC2014. But there are many others including such mundane things as counter/timer boards and serial IO. So the appeal isn't necessarily that these things can't be made for the CPC, just that they are already easily available for RC2014.


R