update or modify the NC100 rom to add software or a command line?

Started by Baracus, 05:24, 06 June 22

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Baracus

Just wondering if there is a way to replace or modify the NC100 rom, to add new features.

One thing that would be really appreciated would be a command line, kinda like what CPM port does, but in the ROM itself. Also the ability to boot from the SRAM card would be a nice extras.

Is this something that anyone attempted? Saw that my NC100 has the 1.0 release of the rom, and there is a 1.06 rom too floating online, but I am not sure what is the difference there. Also the NC200 ROM would not work on a NC100? That device seems to be able to boot a software from the SRAM card from my understanding, so it would be nice to have on the NC100 too.

Last but not least, is there a way to update the internal LCD to something bigger or high res? would like to get the same number of lines of the NC200 on  the NC100 :)

pelrun

The NC100 rom is socketed under an access panel on the bottom. You could just replace it with an eprom.

Also, it already has the ability to boot off the card - ZCN uses it to go back to CP/M from the ROM software.

The NC200 rom won't work as a replacement, there's far too many differences. If you want an NC200, you're better off actually finding a real one.

Baracus

Thanks; is there anyone that burn EPROM with updates? I was looking at ebay but it doesnt' look like anyone sell them. Is there a list of changes between the 1.0 ROM and the latest ROM usable from the NC100? I wonder if it is even worth to hunt for a new rom chip at this point; since looks like can't add much on the device

I didn't realize that the NC100 would boot ZCN from the card; I didn't get on the ZCN install task yet; got the card and the zip file but didn't try it yet.

As far as LCD replacement, did anyone try to update it? I am hoping to use something that can display more lines; like the one from the NC200. Are those interchangeable in terms of connection or the NC200 screen has a different connection?

Baracus

Bumping this one in case anyone have some useful info.

The main things I am trying to address are the LCD replacement to a larger one maybe (or even adding a backlight would be better than the current state), especially now that I have ZCN running

Also not sure if it is "by factory" but the top of the screen cover is kinda cloudy, like if it was a modern LCD screen with anti-glare coating. It is great when you look at it during daytime perpendicularly; but if you are at an angle and the light is not hitting it precisely from the top, the text look blurry. I am almost tempted to cut out the LCD opening to improve visibility, but I would rather go for a less destructive approach if possible.

pelrun

Quote from: Baracus on 05:24, 06 June 22Saw that my NC100 has the 1.0 release of the rom, and there is a 1.06 rom too floating online, but I am not sure what is the difference there.

I just saw the answer to this in ZCN.TXT - v1.0 has a bug with the time that wipes saved context when it isn't set, and it's fixed in v1.06. Once the time is set on v1.0 the issue doesn't reoccur (until the batteries go flat, at least)

robcfg

You can find the 1.06 rom here: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/bb/Dreamwriter225_ROM.zip

Turn out that The first Tandy/NTS Dreamwriter, the Dreamwriter 225 was a rebadged Amstrad NC100. Later on, they'd use Nakajima's models with the NEC V20 processor instead the Z80.

GUNHED

Quote from: robcfg on 14:20, 28 June 22You can find the 1.06 rom here: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/bb/Dreamwriter225_ROM.zip

Turn out that The first Tandy/NTS Dreamwriter, the Dreamwriter 225 was a rebadged Amstrad NC100. Later on, they'd use Nakajima's models with the NEC V20 processor instead the Z80.
Yes, and sadly my Dreamwriter is one of the latter ones with the bad (non-Z80) CPUs.

However, can't the NC150 ROM not be used inside the NC100? Or do I remember wrong?
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robcfg

If I remember correctly, the difference were the keyboard layout and the amount of ram.

So maybe you can actually swap the roms, but will fail if any of the programs try to use any ram over 64kb.

Edit: You could try using MAME and see what happens if you force the rom swap.

Baracus

Quote from: pelrun on 11:02, 28 June 22I just saw the answer to this in ZCN.TXT - v1.0 has a bug with the time that wipes saved context when it isn't set, and it's fixed in v1.06. Once the time is set on v1.0 the issue doesn't reoccur (until the batteries go flat, at least)
I see, so there is one bug fix basically (which is a big one); at this point I am not sure it is worth to go in with a new EEPROM for that fix, since my data is saved anyway in the ZCN partition. But thanks for sharing this info

Baracus

Quote from: robcfg on 14:20, 28 June 22You can find the 1.06 rom here: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/bb/Dreamwriter225_ROM.zip

Turn out that The first Tandy/NTS Dreamwriter, the Dreamwriter 225 was a rebadged Amstrad NC100. Later on, they'd use Nakajima's models with the NEC V20 processor instead the Z80.
Thanks; I would need a specific EEPROM and the associate burner to get that on the chip, right? Seems more work than what is worth (I was hoping I can use the 150 ROM but that seems out of the question). Curious how the ROM can work with 2 different CPU; I guess there was a version of the 1.06 ROM for the NEC V20?

Baracus

Nothing I can do for the LCD? I am tempted to add at least few LED around the screen to give it some sort of backlight... Since there is no way to replace the actual LCD being merged with the actual video driver chips. There is plenty of space in the NC100 to fit an extra LiPo battery with a charger to power up the LED; although I need to figure out how to recharge the battery and how to turn the LED without modify the case or electronics (which is why I was hoping to find a replacement LCD with backlight)

robcfg

Quote from: Baracus on 20:16, 28 June 22
Quote from: robcfg on 14:20, 28 June 22You can find the 1.06 rom here: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/bb/Dreamwriter225_ROM.zip

Turn out that The first Tandy/NTS Dreamwriter, the Dreamwriter 225 was a rebadged Amstrad NC100. Later on, they'd use Nakajima's models with the NEC V20 processor instead the Z80.
Thanks; I would need a specific EEPROM and the associate burner to get that on the chip, right? Seems more work than what is worth (I was hoping I can use the 150 ROM but that seems out of the question). Curious how the ROM can work with 2 different CPU; I guess there was a version of the 1.06 ROM for the NEC V20?

The 225 has still a Z80 cpu while later models switched to Nec v20, so you should be able to use the 1.06 rom on your NC, or the NC150 one.

Baracus

Quote from: robcfg on 22:44, 28 June 22The 225 has still a Z80 cpu while later models switched to Nec v20, so you should be able to use the 1.06 rom on your NC, or the NC150 one.
Good to know, thanks!

jimmyd

Quote from: Baracus on 20:20, 28 June 22Nothing I can do for the LCD? I am tempted to add at least few LED around the screen to give it some sort of backlight... Since there is no way to replace the actual LCD being merged with the actual video driver chips. There is plenty of space in the NC100 to fit an extra LiPo battery with a charger to power up the LED; although I need to figure out how to recharge the battery and how to turn the LED without modify the case or electronics (which is why I was hoping to find a replacement LCD with backlight)
I have been looking into creating backlight for the LCD as well. Unfortunately it seems that the display it self makes it kind of hard to add LEDs.
Be extra carefull with the ribbon-cable if you take your NC100 apart and want to have a closer look a the LCD. I broke mine and had to order a new one from rs-components (stock-no: 468-2662)

If you do manage to create backlight for your NC100, please share how you did as I would love to have that as well.

GUNHED

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)

Baracus

Quote from: GUNHED on 17:29, 29 June 22BTW: Dreamwriter ROM 512 KB. NC100 ROM 256 KB.  :o
Is the rom of the Dreamwrite including 512K as rom with apps plus 128K of usable ram? I remember that the RAM is on the mainboard, so the size of the rom should not affect the available ram, right?

GUNHED

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)

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