Author Topic: Cool little and cheap expansions for the CPC using a 5V serial interface...  (Read 455 times)

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Offline GUNHED

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Well, for a long time we had no serial interface (SI). Then the CPC-Booster was made... and a Booster+ and the Mini-Booster. They did provide SI.

Now, todays, SI use 5 Volt rather then +/- 12 Volt like back in the day.

And now - good for us - we do have cheap and reliable SI for the CPC. For example the LambdaSpeak and the USIfAC I and II for our beloved computers.

Also there are plenty of cheap and funny expansions for a 5V SI.
Examples are the MP3 Player and the MIDI Breakout board for the LSF and LS3.
But there is of course way more of that kind around.

Question is.... Which device would you like to see being supported with the CPC's SI's?
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Offline RetroCPC

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Serial GPS modules??? - be great to see the CPC graphics rendering a world Globe showing a view of satellite positions...

Are any of the serial interface compatible with the original Amstrad interface? I connected to the world at a speedy :) 300baud !!! with my Amstrad CPC and a MASSIVE old gray BT modem which had cream yellow plug-in modules... (and got myself in a whole load of trouble)....
« Last Edit: 07:56, 02 May 21 by RetroCPC »

Online Bryce

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I have a really old GPS -> RS232 module that was an extension for a PDA or non-smartphone back in the day. Maybe I'll hook it up and see what data I can pull from it. Might be a bit difficult though as my lab is completely shielded and doesn't even have radio reception. I'll need to move my equipment somewhere else to test it.

Bryce.
 

Offline RetroCPC

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I was thinking along the lines of these kind of modules:-

https://www.ebay.com/itm/272498610287?hash=item3f722ed06f:g:imkAAOSwNe9cMBvx

Or the latest generation NEO 8M modules (adding all the current GNSS systems such as GLONASS, BeiDou & Galileo)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/174652939726?hash=item28aa205dce:g:9FYAAOSweFlgN6oS

This is the best option (latest 8M Ublox + SMA connector ) with decent external patch antenna (which will work for Bryce - unless your in a basement!)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/264461410997?hash=item3d9320e2b5:g:cqIAAOSwT3VdeMCf

The Ublox modules are the best place to start, you can install UBlox's "U-center" software on a PC (U-Center displays many graphic windows which would be great to see on the CPC) and connected via USB or serial to any UBLOX module and evaluate the modules / commands protocals etc.

Separate Patch antenna - Serial Comms... plenty of example software (in C)....

They are great fun to play with  :)  its fun to see a 1980's computer with GPS :)

The hardware is VERY easy to work with, the default module baud rate is 9'600 (this can changed) its ALL about the software really.

Precise RTC :)
« Last Edit: 07:56, 02 May 21 by RetroCPC »

Offline GUNHED

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WoW! You posted some real gems. This will open new gates for the CPC (and windows too, but who needs them?).

Well, then it's time to make our nice CPC battery packed, to have fun with GPS too!
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2021.01.24)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.05.24)

Offline RetroCPC

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WoW! You posted some real gems. This will open new gates for the CPC (and windows too, but who needs them?).

Well, then it's time to make our nice CPC battery packed, to have fun with GPS too!

If your where interested in playing with one and writing some software I can order you one and a wire up the USB port, then you can operate the USB & Serial interfaces concurrently.

So connected to a PC via USB and running U-Center software (allowing you to see all the interface traffic including the serial Comms) and also wired by the serial port to the CPC.

The U-Center software gives you a sky view of the GNSS constellation / Deviation maps, Satellite signal levels, health status etc. All this can be recreated on the CPC, be so cool to see an Amstrad CPC from 1980's displaying a GNSS sky view constellation etc.

In U-Center you can see each "Command line" sent and received to the module so you only need to copy and paste the relevant commands - UBlox's U-Center is a very powerful software tool for working with the U-Blox GPS modules.

Offline GUNHED

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Thanks for the kind offer, but first I do need to code something for CPC + MIDI (just getting into this topic).
Later on it would be awesome to come back to this. However I don't like to depend on an PC. We got the CPC and it shall be enough to do things. GPS is another 'unknown' land for me. But I guess all we need are coordinates and data - to receive with the module. The data-world-map can be converted for the CPC too. It shouldn't be too big (when getting the right balance to know which data is needed and which not).
Of course it weil not be Google Maps - no question. (Because we will not cover up the holes at both ends of the world  :laugh: ).
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2021.01.24)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.05.24)

Offline GUNHED

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BTW: Does somebody know and ADC converter for serial port? I only ask, because it would be great to record (and analyze) voice. So eventually having speech commands for the CPC.
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2021.01.24)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.05.24)

Offline RetroCPC

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Thanks for the kind offer, but first I do need to code something for CPC + MIDI (just getting into this topic).
Later on it would be awesome to come back to this. However I don't like to depend on an PC. We got the CPC and it shall be enough to do things. GPS is another 'unknown' land for me. But I guess all we need are coordinates and data - to receive with the module. The data-world-map can be converted for the CPC too. It shouldn't be too big (when getting the right balance to know which data is needed and which not).
Of course it weil not be Google Maps - no question. (Because we will not cover up the holes at both ends of the world  :laugh: ).

Oh you dont need the PC, its just so you can run U-Center when your debugging / initially working with the module, U-Blox modules are very easy to work with (they do all the heavy lifting)...

Offline RetroCPC

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BTW: Does somebody know and ADC converter for serial port? I only ask, because it would be great to record (and analyze) voice. So eventually having speech commands for the CPC.

I would have thought that a CPC serial port would be too slow for a voice quality ADC.


Offline GUNHED

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I would have thought that a CPC serial port would be too slow for a voice quality ADC.
It's not about quality, more about basic understanding of voice commands.
Lets say we get around 100.000 Baud, this is 10 KB/second. Somehow not a bad 'sampling rate'.
Anyway it's just an idea I have sind quite some time.
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2021.01.24)
http://futureos.cpc-live.com/files/LambdaSpeak_RSX_by_TFM.zip --> Get the RSX-ROM for LambdaSpeak :-) (Updated: 2021.05.24)

Offline ajcasado

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BTW: Does somebody know and ADC converter for serial port? I only ask, because it would be great to record (and analyze) voice. So eventually having speech commands for the CPC.
Hi GUNHED,
I think it would be useful to port the firmata protocol for using a microcontroller's I/O hardware from the CPC (including the analog inputs). It's based on the MIDI protocol.
https://github.com/firmata/protocol