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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Fran123

Quote from: eto on 23:00, 21 April 22
Quote from: Fran123 on 20:42, 21 April 22d what I get are:




(The numbers between { } are the ascii code.)
There is nothing to see in your post.
I have just upload the images

eto


Fran123

If  you do a request from PC you don't get something like base64 encoded

ikonsgr

Did you try to use the transparent transmission mode? It should be activated by giving: AT+CIPSEND once. After that, you can send bytes directly without needing to use AT+CIPSEND command,and you also receive bytes without extra headers (the '+ipd,1460:' in the received text is definetely such a header).
Also, don't forget that you must set the serial speed of USIfAC II's UART port to be the same with ESP01 serial port speed. This is usually done automatically, using |WIFI command, but you can set speeds manually, using: |SET command for USIfAC, and: AT+UART_DEF=speed,8,1,0,0 for ESP01. Finally, you can use |COM for initial  set up of ESP01 module and enable transparent mode. After that, you can directly send and receive bytes using &FBD0/&FBD1 ports.


ikonsgr

You must first set CIPMODE to passthrough mode using command AT+CIPMODE=1. Then you can give AT+CIPSEND and you will get: OK
Also, did you try to update esp firmware? Check here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkq6ghmf39a0qx7/ESP8266_flasher.zip?dl=0
You can also find all the details, in User's guide in "Configure ESP8266 WiFi Module" section

Fran123

I read the ESP01 has 512kb of memory.

Could be it possible to use that memory to store other ROMS?

The process was: at booting CPC read a file on USB, that file has the ROM filename and slot number, and then put the ROM files in ESP01 memory, so the access would be faster

You said you could do custom ROM, but this way is more flexible.

ikonsgr

Quote from: Fran123 on 13:13, 24 April 22I read the ESP01 has 512kb of memory.
Could be it possible to use that memory to store other ROMS?
The process was: at booting CPC read a file on USB, that file has the ROM filename and slot number, and then put the ROM files in ESP01 memory, so the access would be faster
You said you could do custom ROM, but this way is more flexible.
I don't recall any commands that allow placing of files in ESP module RAM directly. But even if there is such a procedure, any RAM of the esp module would be only accesible through USIfAC's serial interface. But unfortunately ROMs require real time access to Amstrad's address and data bus, in order to function properly.
 Loading and using rom files, will be done with my upcoming RAM/ROM board,and a future board that will hopefully "merge" USIfAC II and RAM/ROM board into a single board!  ;)

Zeit

I've just received my USIfAC II. I'm truly amazed! It's like a swiss knife and now my Gotek used as B: unit is sitting in a nice place in a shelf  :D.

I have also received the ESP8266 module and its corresponding adapter.
I have some doubts about it that maybe you can explain to me:

1 - The ESP8266 module must be flashed to be used with the Usifac II?
2 - Inside the material that I downloaded there is a folder called "Connect to BBS", where there is a .DSK and a .TXT that indicate flashing with a specific firmware. I guess it will only be in the case of wanting to use the module to connect to BBS
3 - Can the access to the ESP8266 and the USB host module work together? It has happened to me that if I have the ESP8266 connected, I get error messages about the USB, or that the module cannot be found.
I turn on the machine with a USB stick connected and the ESP8266 in place.

Thanks!

ikonsgr

Quote from: Zeit on 18:46, 05 May 221 - The ESP8266 module must be flashed to be used with the Usifac II?
2 - Inside the material that I downloaded there is a folder called "Connect to BBS", where there is a .DSK and a .TXT that indicate flashing with a specific firmware. I guess it will only be in the case of wanting to use the module to connect to BBS
3 - Can the access to the ESP8266 and the USB host module work together? It has happened to me that if I have the ESP8266 connected, I get error messages about the USB, or that the module cannot be found.
1: Esp modules are already flashed with firmware so if they work ok, there is no need to update fw.
2: Yes, this is for connecting to bbs not for general use.
3: Yes you can. First you should set the esp module using |WIFI command. Then,from BASIC,you can use the |USB command,to enable or disable usb host module. When disabled, USIfAC II automatically goes to UART serial mode. You can also use OUT FBD1,8 to disable usb host module and OUT &FBD1,51 to re-enable it. Also, you should change the serial port speed accordingly (using |SET command or OUT &FBD1,X refer to user's guide for required X value for setting various speeds),as USB host modules works only on 1mpbs, while ESP module can work with many different speeds,so when you switch between the 2 modes, you should also re-set the UART port speed accordingly.

eto

Quote from: ikonsgr on 00:57, 09 February 22@Audronic You can't verify the code because firmware created with "code protection" flag enabled, thus chip can't be read after flashing it.
@eto, there are some older firmware available but i don't remember if the 464 reboot process was included or not. In any case, i don't think that the auto boot is causing the problem, there must be some other thing that causes this abnormal behavior. One usual suspect is bad connection, usually at the edge connector, so make sure contacts are clean of dirt/oxidation etc.
Anyway, unfortunately 35+ years old electronics can give you a lot of headaches that sometimes is almost impossible to treat... but then again, is there a cure for aging?  ::) So

So I thought "well, maybe just this computer has an issue" and I sold the 464 and got a new (well, old of course old) one. And guess what: Exactly the same issue. Edge connector properly cleaned.

USIFAC attached to the 464, works fine until I enter |USB and then do a reset a=> the 464 reboots in an endless loop.

The model I have now is identical to the one before (German 464, first mainboard revision, tall keys). If other 464 are not affected, it might be related to this model.

Does anyone have a German 464 (tall keys) with Usifac and can verify if they have the same issue?

GUNHED

You should have bought a 6128 then.  ;) :)
Hope there's a solution for 464 too.
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http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.12.26)

Audronic

Quote from: eto on 19:56, 08 May 22So I thought "well, maybe just this computer has an issue" and I sold the 464 and got a new (well, old of course old) one. And guess what: Exactly the same issue. Edge connector properly cleaned.
USIFAC attached to the 464, works fine until I enter |USB and then do a reset a=> the 464 reboots in an endless loop.
@eto 
I have 2 CPC464s that I use the USIFAC II on and do not have any problems.
Perhaps there is problem with the USIFAC II
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.

eto

Quote from: Audronic on 02:27, 10 May 22
Quote from: eto on 19:56, 08 May 22So I thought "well, maybe just this computer has an issue" and I sold the 464 and got a new (well, old of course old) one. And guess what: Exactly the same issue. Edge connector properly cleaned.
USIFAC attached to the 464, works fine until I enter |USB and then do a reset a=> the 464 reboots in an endless loop.
@eto
I have 2 CPC464s that I use the USIFAC II on and do not have any problems.
Perhaps there is problem with the USIFAC II
Keep Safe
Ray


I have tested with three different USIFACs. They work fine on a 6128, but they all have the same issues on those 464 machine(s). 


shacpc

Quote from: eto on 02:40, 10 May 22
Quote from: Audronic on 02:27, 10 May 22
Quote from: eto on 19:56, 08 May 22So I thought "well, maybe just this computer has an issue" and I sold the 464 and got a new (well, old of course old) one. And guess what: Exactly the same issue. Edge connector properly cleaned.
USIFAC attached to the 464, works fine until I enter |USB and then do a reset a=> the 464 reboots in an endless loop.
@eto
I have 2 CPC464s that I use the USIFAC II on and do not have any problems.
Perhaps there is problem with the USIFAC II
Keep Safe
Ray

I have tested with three different USIFACs. They work fine on a 6128, but they all have the same issues on those 464 machine(s).
I have a CPC464 and a CPC6128 versions from Spain (with Ñ key on the keyboard) and I have no problem with the same USIFACC II device in both. Try to format the USB in default mode and that it does not have more than 2 gb of capacity.Do not use external hard drives or standard USB 3.0 or 3.1, but old 2.0 or microsd adapters that use little voltage.

Audronic

@eto 
Have you tried a USB Stick with just 2-3 images/programs on the stick

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.

eto

Quote from: Audronic on 02:27, 11 May 22Have you tried a USB Stick with just 2-3 images/programs on the stick
no. Didn't come to my mind it would make a difference if there is anything on the USB stick or not. I don't even have to mount a disk or run a program from the stick. As soon as I execute |USB the problem occurs. But only on the 464s, not on the 6128, not on the Plus.

I can try of course but out of curiosity: Why would the contents of the USB stick make a difference if I don't even use them?

ikonsgr

@eto, can you program PIC mcu? I can send you a custom firmware to try and see if it works.

eto

Quote from: ikonsgr on 18:26, 11 May 22@eto, can you program PIC mcu? I can send you a custom firmware to try and see if it works.

Yes, I already programmed several updates. I would be happy to try a custom firmwares. I also try to get another model of the 464 (more recent maybe) to check if it will work with this one. But this probably takes some time ;-)

ikonsgr

Quote from: eto on 19:00, 11 May 22Yes, I already programmed several updates. I would be happy to try a custom firmwares. I also try to get another model of the 464 (more recent maybe) to check if it will work with this one. But this probably takes some time ;-)
Ok, try this fw: https://www.dropbox.com/s/osgxv2adxn3maev/18f47q10_6d.zip?dl=0
Does this fixes the problem?

eto

Quote from: ikonsgr on 19:51, 11 May 22Does this fixes the problem?
unfortunately not. It's worse. The 464 now resets after I turn it on and when booting again, it immediately hangs. After a reset it also (always) hangs. So now I can't use it at all on the 464.

GUNHED

Sorry, I'm sure you excluded this, but somehow I have the feeling it could be connected to a power problem (Voltag drop).
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Update: 2022.03.09)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.12.26)

eto

Quote from: GUNHED on 14:57, 12 May 22Sorry, I'm sure you excluded this, but somehow I have the feeling it could be connected to a power problem (Voltag drop).

Yeah... I somehow thought this too, but it's unlikely


  • usifac only requires very little power
  • I have no issues with other extensions
  • I tried different power supplies with 3A to 5A
  • happens to two completely different 464s in exactly the same way
  • only happens during reboot but otherwise device is working nicely
  • also happens when I attach it to a MotherX4 board with external power. 

pelrun

No, excessive voltage drop is still *entirely* possible.

Inadequate current rating *can* result in the voltage sagging under load, but it's not the only cause and ensuring your PSU is giving out a rock solid 5v is *not* enough.

There's sufficient voltage drop inherent in the CPC itself that the voltage at any particular point on the board can easily be 0.5V or more below the input voltage. And all it takes is for one critical bit of logic to need more voltage than it has at that instant to corrupt a bit and cause a crash.

In some cases, the only way to solve it is the same way the Raspberry Pi's (which had the same issue prior to the 4) did - use a 5.1v or higher input voltage to compensate. My own 6128 only became stable when I adjusted my ctm644 to output 5.3v. It still only ever draws an amp, but the extra 0.3v makes all the difference.

eto

tried with 5.2 and 5.3V: still the same problem

voltage on the USIFAC was then 5V +/- a bit

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