Author Topic: Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...  (Read 679 times)

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Offline JonB

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Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...
« on: 16:12, 13 January 17 »
Hi


Today I received a CPS8256 serial / parallel adapter from Audronic. Cheers! :)


I tried it on my PCW 9512 but it didn't seem to work. On the back of the 9512 are some mounting holes and if I plug the adapter in so they line up, the 9512 will not boot. On the other hand, if I flip the adapter, so it is (apparently) plugged in the wrong way round, the 9512 boots, you see the SIO message, but it will not send or receive any data. In fact, the PC connected to it just sees spurious signals.


On the other hand, plugging the adapter into a PCW 8512 with the mounting holes lined up yields a fully working serial port.

So my questions are:
  • Is there any known difference between the 8000 and 9000 series expansion ports? I'd think not because I am using both for this IDE project, and they are interchangeable.
  • It's possible that what I am seeing is some sort of contention between the adapter's parallel port and the 9512's parallel port. Is this likely, and if so, how can I get round it?
  • Anything else I can try?

Thanks
JonB

Offline Bryce

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Re: Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...
« Reply #1 on: 16:27, 13 January 17 »
I don't think PCW8xxx expansions were meant to be compatible with the PCW9512 at all. The orientation of the connector was different for a start (which is why you need to connect it upside to get it to work) and possibly the port address assignments may not be compatible either.

Does it react or accept the SETSIO commands?

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 16:33, 13 January 17 by Bryce »

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...
« Reply #2 on: 17:10, 13 January 17 »
Jon,


Just for clarity here, are you talking about a 9512 or a 9512+.   I've checked some of your postings, many seem to refer to 9512, in a couple of places you say 9512+.   The two are different machines, in a number of ways.


Geoff

Offline JonB

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Re: Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...
« Reply #3 on: 11:24, 14 January 17 »
9512, nor 9512+


@Bryce: yes, it responds to SETSIO.COM. Or rather, I get no errors when I run SETSIO or MAIL232, and these will both complain if they don't find a serial port present. Nice to know the bus is upside down and I'm not imagining it! Very surprised Amstrad would leave the holes in a place that looks compatible with their 8000 series machines, yet when an 8000 series accessory is connected so as to align, it is upside down. Damn them.


Now I am going to have to start developing on the horrid blurry green screens, because I need a serial port. Yuck. There's no way to adjust focus on these, either (that I can see on the monitor board). The only other choice is to use 2IN1.COM (Moonstone Computing, 1993) on the 9512 (after replacing the misaligned 3.5" drive - replacement in the post) and do the two disk shuffle. I wouldn't mind, only it takes 2IN1 ages to load. Is it written in BASIC?




Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Some PCW 9512 / SIO oddness...
« Reply #4 on: 15:24, 14 January 17 »
Jon,


Thanks for that.


As far as I can tell from a certain amount of reading between the lines in John Elliott's stuff, and other places, is that the SIO ought to work normally with the 9512, but there MAY (??) be a problem with the 9512+.


Looking at pics of the two machines, on the Dutch website, the 9512 is supplied with the interface looking normal, i.e. the recessed bit of the main board protruding.  As Bryce says, the thing may well be - in effect - upside down - to what might be expected?   However, on the 9512+, the machine is supplied with a plastic plate covering the interface, and the holes that have been causing confusion are the holes for that plate (it seems) and NOT holes for the interface.   Or someone's intending to confuse?
The implication is that you should not use the SIO, etc, but the Dutch site suggests that the interface CAN be used, although it's not too specific.   In fact, they refer to the 9512+ as really being a 9512-, as the extension connector is disabled (or at least discouraged)?


Generally odd.


John Elliott refers to the 9512+, and the 9256 (both with the 3.5" drive fitted as standard, as being a 'later generation' of the PCW family, whereas the 9512 is still within the parameters of the earlier generation.


Geoff