CPC Laptop.

Started by Bryce, 14:20, 25 October 14

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Bryce

Spoke to the company who makes the PCB in this monitor today. The VGA socket will definitely only take a 31Khz signal, so RGB is out of the question and I'll be removing that socket completely and going to plan B - connecting via S-Video. It will still give a very sharp picture :) I'll upload some pictures of the CPC screen on it later this week.

Bryce.

Gryzor

Very cool that the company shares info...

Regarding the third speaker, not sure why it would make volume control difficult but I'll take your word for it. As for the sound: I think that total channel separation is not very nice, a central speaker would probably enrich sound. But that's such a detail/luxury...

Bryce

#77
Well I'd want all speakers at the same level, I'd have to control 3 speakers at the same time. My initial plan was to make a digital stereo volume control that used two of the original keyboard keys, so I don't need some ugly knob sticking out somewhere. Making a 3 channel digital volume control is too messy.

Anyway, some more progress today. I've ordered the HxC for it :) Lotharek is going to supply it with the small LCD that's used on the Rev F version, which I intend mounting either on the front of the laptop or above the keyboard. Haven't decided yet.

Tonights task is finding out some more about the track ball:

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Despite its tiny size (about 40mm x 15mm), it's piled with info:

Compaq Spares No: 138340-001
Made by Alps - Alps No.: KGBCBA011A
PCB No.: 56AA1556C
Chipset: Alps with the following Markings
9233K (Production date / location)
3JA1DT002
TB6012CF
Other than the Alps IC and the ball sensors, there's a 4Mhz crystal, 2 capacitors and 2 resistors on the PCB.

Unfortunately, other than 10000 Chinese sites that want to sell me one, there's not a lot of data to find on the web about it. Due to its 8way connector and age, I'm guessing it's a serial mouse, but I need to find the pinout. This also means that I can't use my AMX adapter, I'll have to make a serial to CPC adapter, but that shouldn't be too much hassle. Time to do some serious web research.

Bryce.

Edit: Sorted :) Isn't it nice when you find someones already done it for you :) I can easily interface that to emulate AMX. TrackBall Interfacing - TrackBall to PIC microcontroller

Bryce

#78
Assuming his information is correct and assuming the two "nc" pins are actually the buttons on my version, then this simple circuit should solve the issue:

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Although the trackball only has 2 buttons I can make the PIC firmware emulate a third button when both buttons are pressed :) The PCB would be tiny and could be easily mounted where the Joystick socket used to be.

Bryce.

EgoTrip

Nice to see my xmas pressie nicely taking shape.  8)

Bryce

Dream on :)

Bryce.

Neil79

Hey Bryce, look what's coming my way for review ;)


Rod Hull op Twitter: "#C64p about to go traveling..


So depending on how this one goes, I'd be grateful for the chance  to review your CPC if you are up to it
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Bryce

Hi Niel79,
       looks like the guy did a really neat job. Although he did have the "easy option" of using a hacked C64DTV instead of a real C64 which means it's for gaming only, no chance of adding hardware expansions. Mine will still take quite a while before it's finished, but I'll consider how robust it is for travelling and let you know.

Bryce.

Neil79

No worries matey, just give me a shout if you need any feedback  8)
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Neil79

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Gryzor

Something tells me this won't be a patch on our own...

CraigsBar

Quote from: Gryzor on 19:57, 14 November 14
Something tells me this won't be a patch on our own...
LOL, I like the way Bryce's project has become a CPC Wiki owned machine. So when is my turn?


Craig

IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

Bryce

#87
Hi all,
     this morning I decided to tackle the screen some more. I connected it via Composite first off to check it's working at all. It works (has one stuck pixel which doesn't really bother me). Due to the re-sampling done, composite is a bit fuzzy and a ripple can be seen going through the background: Usable but not ideal.

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Then I found the S-video inputs  :) Very sharp picture, no ripple and due to the 800x600, even mode 2 is very readable. Unfortunately it's very difficult to take pictures of an LCD, so the pictures don't really do it justice:

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Close up of mode 2:

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Next up I'll remove the header connectors and solder directly to the PCB. Then I'll make one of my S-Video PCBs, remove the CPCs monitor connector and mount the PCB directly on the mainboard.

Bryce.

CraigsBar

Wow, that looks awesome. When are you taking orders?
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Neil79

Full screen stretch would also be good, I'll bring up that reason why in my review of the C64 lappy
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TFM

Quote from: Neil79 on 21:47, 15 November 14
Full screen stretch would also be good, I'll bring up that reason why in my review of the C64 lappy


Why? With a stretched screen you can't play overscan games or use FutureOS.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Bryce

I like it having borders, otherwise you loose the CPC feel. I've bigger problems at the moment anyway :(

After removing as much as I could from the LCD PCB (Connectors etc) it still doesn't fit in the lid, it's about 2mm too thick. I can move the inverter PCB (backlight step-up PSU) to a space beside the screen, but the controller board will have to be in the base of the laptop :( This means that instead of just 4 wires (12V, GND Y and C) I will now have to route the 40pin LVDS connection through the hinge. Not having a suitable flat cable to do this, means that I'm going to have to try and squeeze a bundle of very small guage wire through it. The controller PCB will also be an extremely tight fit in the base. It will have to be mounted on top of the CPC PCB.

I also bought a small 12V 5A switchmode PSU to power the laptop. Unfortunately (as usual with switchmode PSUs) it's rather noisy and causes the LCD to give a shit picture. I'll have to add some filtering to see if I can still use it, otherwise I'll have to use a heavy linear PSU.

Bryce.

Neil79

Quote from: TFM on 01:31, 16 November 14

Why? With a stretched screen you can't play overscan games or use FutureOS.


That is a personal choice by the customer, it is up to them if they require a stretch or not. If a game looks off stretched, unstretch it. Some games look better full screen without borders :)


The C64P has a standard zoom and a stretch zoom touchable through control device and it works wonders on most games, whereas some demos need to be set to detault, this is what needs to be done :)
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Neil79

Here you go Bryce






QuoteSo far we have done a number of hardware reviews now from products such as the UCassette, to The Future Was 8bit's SD2IEC. Well now we have something incredibly special to show you, a hardware device which is sure to be the next best thing in portable C64 retrogaming. It's the C64P; a C64DTV based laptop that has been sent to us by The Future Was 8bit! (Please note that this is an early press build and any issues are likely to be addressed for full retail )


Indie Retro News: The latest free games, indie games and retro news: C64P - The
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opqa

Quote from: Bryce on 15:10, 16 November 14
I also bought a small 12V 5A switchmode PSU to power the laptop. Unfortunately (as usual with switchmode PSUs) it's rather noisy and causes the LCD to give a shit picture. I'll have to add some filtering to see if I can still use it, otherwise I'll have to use a heavy linear PSU.
I'm wondering from the very beginning why you need 12V. If I understood right, you're not going to put a real 3.5" drive inside the case but an HxC instead, and IIRC the standard CPC only uses 12V to power the 3.5" drive motor, not for anything else. So... why do you need this voltage in the internal PSU? If you plan to plug external drives you could use a simple 12V wall transformer to power them separately.

Bryce

Simple: LCD panels need 12V unfortunately :( Otherwise 5V would be fine.

@Niel79: Are you talking about 16:9 / 4:3 stretching? My screen is a native 4:3 so this type of stretching isn't an option.

Bryce.

Neil79

Quote from: Bryce on 22:40, 16 November 14
Simple: LCD panels need 12V unfortunately :( Otherwise 5V would be fine.

@Niel79: Are you talking about 16:9 / 4:3 stretching? My screen is a native 4:3 so this type of stretching isn't an option.

Bryce.


Correct User selectable 4:3/16:9, like the c64p
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Bryce

I deliberately looked for a 4:3 laptop so that it's correct. No need for 16:9, it doesn't add resolution or any advantages, it's just a warped version of what the programmer intended. Who needs that?

Bryce.

Neil79

Quote from: Bryce on 22:54, 16 November 14
I deliberately looked for a 4:3 laptop so that it's correct. No need for 16:9, it doesn't add resolution or any advantages, it's just a warped version of what the programmer intended. Who needs that?

Bryce.


As long as it doesn't have wasted TFT space either side of the game screen such as the C64P did pre zoom, then that's perfectly fine :) . If the TFT screen is a 4:3 and the game is 4:3 then that's all good
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Bryce

Quote from: Neil79 on 23:00, 16 November 14

As long as it doesn't have wasted TFT space either side of the game screen such as the C64P did pre zoom, then that's perfectly fine :) . If the TFT screen is a 4:3 and the game is 4:3 then that's all good

Well the CPC screen is/was 4:3, so the aspect ratio always fills the screen as it would on a CPC.

Bryce.

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