newb: with a 464plus, how to load game images

Started by iainjh, 00:19, 08 February 10

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iainjh

Hi

a classic newb question this, I have read a fair few posts of the forums and the wiki but I cant find a current answer. Google may yet be my friend but after looking for all the terms I can think of I have to ask ! :(

I have a 464plus. Had it in the loft for a few years and have one of the sinclairshop's power /scart leads.

What are the options for getting game images working on it? Any IDE adaptors, programmable carts, etc etc?

(My Atari has programmable cart and flash and SD card options with selection menus etc) -  what of that ilk are available to the 464plus please? I'd like to get it going, but don't want to rely on tape!


thanks all.

Iain

arnoldemu

#1
Quote from: iainjh on 00:19, 08 February 10
Hi

a classic newb question this, I have read a fair few posts of the forums and the wiki but I cant find a current answer. Google may yet be my friend but after looking for all the terms I can think of I have to ask ! :(

I have a 464plus. Had it in the loft for a few years and have one of the sinclairshop's power /scart leads.

What are the options for getting game images working on it? Any IDE adaptors, programmable carts, etc etc?

(My Atari has programmable cart and flash and SD card options with selection menus etc) -  what of that ilk are available to the 464plus please? I'd like to get it going, but don't want to rely on tape!


thanks all.

Iain
Your best choice is to download some tape images (.CDT) files and use a tool like playtzx to convert the tape into a sample file.

You can then connect your cpc464 to a pc, play the sound through the pc into your cpc464 using one of them fake cassettes (the ones which have a 3.5mm jack comming from them).


Other choices are available but are more trouble:

1. for disc you need a disc interface (DDI-1), then you can use a SDEmul adaptor to simulate a disc drive.

2. It is possible to use a parallel cable connected to pc, but this is often restricted to disk files so is effectively useless for you. In addition you need one file games/programs, because loading each part is a pain.

Really the 464Plus is not so well supported with this style of transfer as say the cpc6128.
It is a shame.
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource

iainjh

thanks for the info. I'll give the tape idea a go.

I'll take a look at the other routes too.

cheers!

:)
Iain

MacDeath

QuoteI have a 464plus.
I wouldn't the 464+ is a bad machine, I mean "hey", after all, you get what's availlable.

But it was a shamefull or faulty model.

Only 64Ko is a bit "not enough" to get the Plus capabilities working well IMO.
But as only few productions exist on Amstrad Plus range... and cartridges work well of course.


Also the lack of proper easy Disc solution as the "rom/drivers" are not there..

On the other Hand the 6128+ also lack the Tape-in port.
Too bad as Amstrad managed at once to use the same motherboard/Keyboard for both model, yet both are incomplete.

The "fake cassette" adapter is good, as it allows to use modern MP3 signals, so a much cleared signal with a faster remastering.
I suppose getting a proper adapter for the external tape-in port alors to use a €pod or any MP3 or even CD audio device.

Yet it may depends : do you need to write datas ?

So, a 464+ is good to read good old games, or cartridges.
But to developp really or to get access to the more complex games, it is not a viable choice until you manage to upgrade to a 6128 standard.

And this my friend need some heavier electronics mods and electronnics components are not that easy to find nowadays.

Yet remember that the slots are present on the motherboard.
If you are good at soldering, and manage to get the proper componnents, why not.


I wish I could find a proper how-to/DIY to put the cassette port on the 6128+.

OCT

Quote from: MacDeath on 20:37, 08 February 10
I wish I could find a proper how-to/DIY to put the cassette port on the 6128+.
There is one at pages 40-41 of http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/aa092.rar (albeit a little short on specs for the components, which they proposed to sell as a kit), and http://logon.system.free.fr/down/Service%20Manual%20Amstrad%20Plus.zip suggests Q101 is a KTC1815Y with its base driven through an R104 of 1k just as ever since ye olde first-gen 464.
A more detailed description would indeed make a great addition to the Wiki - but I've yet to get my hands on a UK 6128+ anyway, or could a French one be converted by just changing the cartridge rather than the keyboard membrane? Rien contre les claviers AZERTY (bien adaptés à la langue pour laquelle ils sont faits, and which is a pain to enter on QWERTY/Zs OTOH), but my typing skills never fully recovered ;) from having to use various layouts concurrently (these doigts-twisters included) for extended times, and I wouldn't want to risk what is left of them. :)

redbox

Quote from: arnoldemu on 11:53, 08 February 10
2. It is possible to use a parallel cable connected to pc, but this is often restricted to disk files so is effectively useless for you. In addition you need one file games/programs, because loading each part is a pain.

It looks like the SEND2 program recently mentioned in the parallel cable thread works with the 464+ and tapes.

MacDeath

@ Oct :

I think a first start may be to simply solder some proper sockets on the mainboard

The extra Ram or perhaps some other parts may be easier this way : less risk to heat them too much, and ability to change them

On the other hand, the contact/connection may fail...sometimes.
But their is no reason.

To had a Tape-in port on a 6128+ may be easier IMO.

less components perhaps and a simplified way can be found as there may be no real need to use the advanced tape management.
A simple audio-jack-in would suffice as it is mostly to be used with modern remasterised sound file or for dumping purpose.

And of course no real use of it indeed, just to say "this computer is complete". :)

OCT

#7
Quote from: MacDeath on 04:54, 09 February 10
I think a first start may be to simply solder some proper sockets on the mainboard

The extra Ram or perhaps some other parts may be easier this way [...]
To had a Tape-in port on a 6128+ may be easier IMO.

less components perhaps and a simplified way can be found as there may be no real need to use the advanced tape management.
A simple audio-jack-in would suffice as it is mostly to be used with modern remasterised sound file or for dumping purpose.

And of course no real use of it indeed, just to say "this computer is complete". :)
Not sure what you mean by RAM etc.; the article I referred to, and which can be found in a more accessible format at http://cpcoxygen.fxwebdevelopment.com/amstrad_action/AA092/jpg/scans/aa92-40.jpg and http://cpcoxygen.fxwebdevelopment.com/amstrad_action/AA092/jpg/scans/aa92-41.jpg, proposes to use just the simple circuitry that hasn't changed much since the first CPC 464, in the flavour found in the 464+, as can be seen from the http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Service_Manuals:
A 5-pin DIN socket connected to a transistor with base resistor and a relay with flyback diode (the words "all that's missing" in the article seem to suggest the latter two are already present on the 6128+ circuit board, which could be found out by checking for an audible click after |TAPE:RUN" of course, while it would surprise me if Amstrad had thrown in a relay in the 6128+ as well for the one or two legacy games that (ab)use it as an audio effect).

The mod was easy enough for several people to offer it for a few pounds through AA small-ads back in the day.

@Moderator: Maybe the posts referring to adding the tape port to a 6128+ could be moved into a seperate thread.

Bryce

#8
Hi All,
      had a look at the CPC Plus schematics, to add a tape socket you will have to add the resistor R104 (1K) and the transistor  Q101. It is highly unlikely, that you will be able to find the transistor mentioned (KTC1815Y) but any general purpose high-gain NPN switching transistor will do the job, such as a 2N3904 for example. You won't hear a click on the 6128+ for the simple reason, that the relay was mounted on the tape PCB which isn't present in the 6128+ so you will have to add a 5V relay whose coil (negative pin) would connect to pin8 of the header connector, with the other side of the coil connected to the 5V rail. The relays contacts should be connected to the "Remote" pins of your new external tape connection (Pins 1 +5 if you decide to stick to the CPC standard). The ouput of your tape device needs to be connected to Pin5 and the input (mic) of your device needs to be connected to pin4. Pin2 of the header connector should be used as your ground for both reading and writing data. And add a diode across the relay coil to avoid reverse polarity feedback.

I can put together a schematic if anyone is really interested in doing the upgrade.

Bryce.

Bryce

Ok, did it anyway, whether anyone builds it or not :)

You can find it here:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/DIY_Plus_Tape_Socket

Bryce.

MacDeath

THX.


I may give some ideas to peoples...
Perhaps myself...

Bryce

#11
Sorry, mistake on the page, will update in a minute...

Edit: The KTC1815 had it's base and collector pins swapped compared to the 2N3904, have updated the page and picture to reflect these changes.

Bryce.

redbox

Quote from: Bryce on 13:58, 09 February 10
Ok, did it anyway, whether anyone builds it or not :)

That's cool, I want to put a tape port on my 6128+   :)

OCT

Quote from: Bryce on 12:06, 09 February 10had a look at the CPC Plus schematics, to add a tape socket you will have to add the resistor R104 (1K) and the transistor  Q101. It is highly unlikely, that you will be able to find the transistor mentioned (KTC1815Y)
Probably not at Maplin.co.uk or Conrad.com, but the first try at http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=searchProducts&searchTerm=2SC1815 already seems to get close enough. :)

Bryce

Yeah the 2SC1815 is the exact transistor you need, and for someone like me who gets through 20 transistors a week, buying a pack of 25 is not a problem, but if you only need one, then you're better off getting something equivalent that you can buy just one of. That's why I suggested something else.

Bryce.

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