USIfAC II:Convert a PC or USB stick to Amstrad HDD,access dsk's,and many more!

Started by ikonsgr, 09:17, 01 December 20

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ikonsgr

Quote from: Fran123 on 22:06, 10 February 22
will be the usifac II placed on the 2-row socket?

  Yes, the dual row 50pin socket can be used by any board using pin connectors (final board will be a bit different with extra components, but roughly at same size):
 [ You are not allowed to view this attachment ]  

This means that anyone already having USIfAC II with edge/centronics connector cable, can simply unplug it from USIfAC ,plug it to the RAM/ROM board and then plug USIfAC II on 50pin socket, e.g. no need for having extra EDGE/CENTRONICS connector cable!  ;)
There is also an edge connector at top of the board, where you could also connect USIFAC II or any board with edge connector. So practically RAM/ROM board will also act as "mini" M4 expansion board, that will offer 1X50pin socket + 1X50pin edge connector!  ;)

Fran123

the worst, it's seems a big board for only two chips (I don't know if components are missing)

ikonsgr

Quote from: Fran123 on 22:29, 10 February 22
the worst, it's seems a big board for only two chips (I don't know if components are missing)
Indeed, final board will have extra components (including a 16pin hex buffer chip), BUT the main problem for having a seeminlgy large size of board, is the fact that there are too many connections to be routed which  must be placed on top & bottom layer of the board! In theory i could make the board using multiple layers, but this would skyrocket the cost of the board (5-10times more than having top/bottom layers) even if it will be smaller. In anycase, board size will be ~120mmX75mm, which i dont think can cause any "placement" problems at the back of your Amstrad, dont you think?  :)

Fran123


issalig

Are you routing it manually or with an auto router?

Quote from: ikonsgr on 22:41, 10 February 22there are too many connections to be routed which  must be placed on top & bottom layer of the board!

Audronic

@ikonsgr


Hi John

A Small concern ?

Using a CPC464 and USiFAC II I wish to load a Basic Program from the USB stick
and SAVE it to TAPE.
I am able to load the Basic Program to Memory.

I have tried most things but am unable to save the Basic Program to tape

I am unable to access the tape once I use |USB ?
I have used |USB to turn off the USB but it will not allow me to access the Tape recorder.
I have used Amsdos and Parados as the rom to try to overcome this concern BUT still cannot save to Tape ??

The tape recorder works OK without |USB, Replays/Records ?

Thanks

Keep Safe.

Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

Devlin

Quote from: Audronic on 04:28, 11 February 22
@ikonsgr


Hi John

A Small concern ?

Using a CPC464 and USiFAC II I wish to load a Basic Program from the USB stick
and SAVE it to TAPE.
I am able to load the Basic Program to Memory.

I have tried most things but am unable to save the Basic Program to tape

I am unable to access the tape once I use |USB ?
I have used |USB to turn off the USB but it will not allow me to access the Tape recorder.
I have used Amsdos and Parados as the rom to try to overcome this concern BUT still cannot save to Tape ??

The tape recorder works OK without |USB, Replays/Records ?

Thanks

Keep Safe.

Ray


Once you've used |USB I believe you need to type a |TAPE to make it work again
Amstrad fan! | CPC464 + USIfAC II | Administrator of Amstrad Discord : https://discord.gg/ksWvApv

Audronic

@Devlin


Ok Thanks. Grrrrrr I missed that I will give it a try.


No That coms back with "UNKNOWN COMMAND"


Keep Safe. 


Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

ikonsgr

Quote from: issalig on 23:35, 10 February 22
Are you routing it manually or with an auto router?
Both. First i use auto routing, and then i manually route any connections that auto router couldn't fit in board. I also reroute other lanes, in order to make board a bit smaller  :)

@Audronic, indeed, on cpc 464, i'm afraid you can't use tape recorder once you enable usb host module. Fortunately CPC 6128 has an |TAPE command (which restores the old 464 tape accesss routines) just give |DIS and then |TAPE commands and you will be able to use tape.

Audronic

[quote
@Audronic, indeed, on cpc 464, i'm afraid you can't use tape recorder once you enable usb host module. Fortunately CPC 6128 has an |TAPE command (which restores the old 464 tape accesss routines) just give |DIS and then |TAPE commands and you will be able to use tape.



Hi John


Ok Thanks I thought I missed some command.


Keep Safe. Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

wolfgang

Quote from: Audronic on 13:32, 11 February 22
[quote
@Audronic, indeed, on cpc 464, i'm afraid you can't use tape recorder once you enable usb host module. Fortunately CPC 6128 has an |TAPE command (which restores the old 464 tape accesss routines) just give |DIS and then |TAPE commands and you will be able to use tape.



Hi John


Ok Thanks I thought I missed some command.


Keep Safe. Ray


Hi,
I guess its the same the other way around, I would like to load some Amsword texts from tape and save them to USB, won't work either, right?

When the RAM/ROM board becomes available will it be possible to put the CPC 6128 system in the ROM and make a CPC 6128 from the CPC 464 (functionwise)? 


wolfgang

Sorry, I wanted to send a picture but I don't know how to do it properly, could somebody explain it to me?

greetings
Wolfgang

ikonsgr

Quote from: wolfgang on 13:31, 12 February 22
I guess its the same the other way around, I would like to load some Amsword texts from tape and save them to USB, won't work either, right?
Actually i think this will work.Boot your CPC 464, load what you want from tape, and then give |USB. After this, you will be able to save your program to the usb flash drive  ;)

Quote from: wolfgang on 13:31, 12 February 22
When the RAM/ROM board becomes available will it be possible to put the CPC 6128 system in the ROM and make a CPC 6128 from the CPC 464 (functionwise)? 
Unfortunately neither 6128 firmware nor BASIC 1.1 seem to work on a CPC 464 (i've tried both, but 464 hanged or keep rebooting).
BUT, what WILL work is, load Amsdos on 512k sram, and by activating the Rom board mode, have a CPC464 with a real Amsdos Rom installed! This means that you could access all dsk images without Amsdos emulation (with |464 command) but directly, using |FDC command, just like with 6128 (=much faster access to images compared to Amsdos emulation)!
Still, the MAIN usage of the board, will be to have exta 512K Ram (yes i finally make it work on CPC 464 too ::) ), meaning that many 128k games, will run on CPC 464:D

Animalgril987

Quote from: ikonsgr on 19:49, 12 February 22Unfortunately neither 6128 firmware nor BASIC 1.1 seem to work on a CPC 464 (i've tried both, but 464 hanged or keep rebooting).
You need both at same time. Firmware needs to be in a Lowerrom position.
I have @Dukes M4 on my 464, with 6128 firmware in slot 31 set as lower ROM and BASIC 1.1 in slot 0. It works perfectly, with the 464 thinking it's a 6128.

ikonsgr

Quote from: Animalgril987 on 01:50, 13 February 22
You need both at same time. Firmware needs to be in a Lowerrom position.
I have @Dukes M4 on my 464, with 6128 firmware in slot 31 set as lower ROM and BASIC 1.1 in slot 0. It works perfectly, with the 464 thinking it's a 6128.
Hopefully i'll verify this with my last board design of RAM/ROM board  :) . And i suppose CPC 464 truns more to CPC 664 as it still has 64k ram, right?
Of course  the main advantage of having 6128 firmware + Basic 1.1 on a cpc 464, is to get rid of the tiresome way of giving  arguments to Basic commands (a$="arg": |Command,@a$ instead of directly give: |Command,"arg").
BUT,i think that even more useful  on a CPC 464 ,would be to have Amsods Rom AND extra RAM at the same time!
This would give you the ability to load most of 128k games AND access dsk images at "Full speed" (using |FDC like with 6128) without amsdos emulation (using |464)
Of course this would require to have Rom selection + Setting Ram Configuration Logic activated at the same time, which seems quite difficult thing to do, but i think that with some "tricks" it might be possible...  ::)

wolfgang

Quote from: ikonsgr on 19:49, 12 February 22
  Actually i think this will work.Boot your CPC 464, load what you want from tape, and then give |USB. After this, you will be able to save your program to the usb flash drive  ;)
`

Yes that would work with programs which can be just loaded (without running immediately).Actually I wanted to load a textfile written in Amsword (cassette version) and save it then to USB. Probably impossible as the Amsword cassette version will not work with disks and vice versa. 



  Unfortunately neither 6128 firmware nor BASIC 1.1 seem to work on a CPC 464 (i've tried both, but 464 hanged or keep rebooting).
BUT, what WILL work is, load Amsdos on 512k sram, and by activating the Rom board mode, have a CPC464 with a real Amsdos Rom installed! This means that you could access all dsk images without Amsdos emulation (with |464 command) but directly, using |FDC command, just like with 6128 (=much faster access to images compared to Amsdos emulation)!
Still, the MAIN usage of the board, will be to have exta 512K Ram (yes i finally make it work on CPC 464 too ::) ), meaning that many 128k games, will run on CPC 464:D
`
I see, just wanted to know what a 6128 would look like and feel  ;) Anyway more RAM and an AMSDOS ROM will be perfect, looking forward to it.


eto

have you tried to replace both at once? At least according to Bryce in one recent thread, this should work.

If not, here is a thread where Audronic published a Basic 1.1 ROM patched for the 464.

https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/hardware-related/amstrad-cpc464-40009-rom-replacement/msg176126/#msg176126

Animalgril987

Hi @ikonsgr .
It behaves kind of like a 6128, as I have a Revaldinho 512k ram expansion, but using the M4s' SD card as a giant floppy disc.

Animalgril987

Quote from: wolfgang on 15:18, 13 February 22Unfortunately neither 6128 firmware nor BASIC 1.1 seem to work on a CPC 464 (i've tried both, but 464
Hi @wolfgang , you need both at the same time, with the firmware in a slot that can behave as a lower ROM, and BASIC 1.1 in upper ROM slot 0.
As I said above, it works perfectly with my 464.

wolfgang

Quote from: Animalgril987 on 16:11, 13 February 22
Hi @wolfgang , you need both at the same time, with the firmware in a slot that can behave as a lower ROM, and BASIC 1.1 in upper ROM slot 0.
As I said above, it works perfectly with my 464.
Sounds very nice but right now I have only the USIFACII expansion, so I have to wait for ikonsgr new RAM/ROM board. Maybe it will work with that.

Animalgril987

Quote from: wolfgang on 16:26, 13 February 22Sounds very nice but right now I have only the USIFACII expansion, so I have to wait for ikonsgr new RAM/ROM board. Maybe it will work with that.
@ikonsgr , will your new board be able to use one slot as a Lower ROM?

ikonsgr

Quote from: Animalgril987 on 16:46, 13 February 22
@ikonsgr , will your new board be able to use one slot as a Lower ROM?
YES!In fact this is one of the reasons that it took me so long for the RAM/ROM board to finish it! :)
I wanted to have BOTH upper and lower rom emulation (in ROM board mode) at the same time working in real time (initial version could emulate upper rom or lower rom, but not both together). So in rom mode you should be able to have:
- Up to 32 upper roms in rom slots 0-31
- Lower rom at slot 0
- Lower rom at slot 0 and up to 31 upper roms to slots 1-31 (ability to relocate an upper rom 0 to different rom slot in SRAM is also provided, in order to have both upper rom 0 and lower rom 0 like with firmware+basic roms)

wolfgang

Quote from: ikonsgr on 17:36, 13 February 22
YES!In fact this is one of the reasons that it took me so long for the RAM/ROM board to finish it! :)
I wanted to have BOTH upper and lower rom emulation (in ROM board mode) at the same time working in real time (initial version could emulate upper rom or lower rom, but not both together). So in rom mode you should be able to have:
- Up to 32 upper roms in rom slots 0-31
- Lower rom at slot 0
- Lower rom at slot 0 and up to 31 upper roms to slots 1-31 (ability to relocate an upper rom 0 to different rom slot in SRAM is also provided, in order to have both upper rom 0 and lower rom 0 like with firmware+basic roms)
Does "in ROM board mode" mean that someone must select either ROM board mode or RAM board mode? So in ROM board mode additional RAM will not be available?


ikonsgr

Quote from: eto on 15:38, 13 February 22
have you tried to replace both at once? At least according to Bryce in one recent thread, this should work.
If not, here is a thread where Audronic published a Basic 1.1 ROM patched for the 464.
https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/hardware-related/amstrad-cpc464-40009-rom-replacement/msg176126/#msg176126
I take a look at this rom and it seems that it's actually a 32K rom e.g. both lower (firmware) and upper (basic 1.1) roms together. I've tried to cut the 2nd half (e.g. basic 1.1) and use it as upper rom 0 along with the on board cpc464 firmware but after booting, screen rolls downwards indefinetely (just like when i tried to use Basic 1.1 from amstrad cpc 6128). So it seems that even with this rom you still need to replace and operate both upper and lower rom 0...  ::)

ikonsgr

Quote from: wolfgang on 17:41, 13 February 22
Does "in ROM board mode" mean that someone must select either ROM board mode or RAM board mode? So in ROM board mode additional RAM will not be available?
Yes, for the moment, you can have either a 512K RAM expansion or a 32X slots rom board, but obviously you can't have them both at the same time, as this would require to have 2 X 512K SRAM chips, one for ram and one for rom! BUT, i think i might be able to create another "uinique" mode having 256k ram and at least one rom at the same time! Soon, when i receive the new prototype boards, we will know... STAY TUNED!  ;)

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