Archive for the 'Uthernet' Category

May 21st Update

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Uthernet Status – Invector has informed me that they received the new modules but need some time to test them and mount the connectors. I believe the earliest I would be able to ship out new cards will be the end of June. So there is light at the end of the tunnel :o)

SRAM Status – Last update I mentioned I wanted to “get the existing slinky hardware working rock solid on the //c+ so I have a good foundation in which to try and implement the AUX style memory interface.”      I have still not figured this one out and it’s got me stumped, so that’s putting damper on //cmxp progress. :o(

Apple II Emulators – I have spent some time doing some Applewin and kegswin coding. The Applewin update (in code review) is to enable paged EEPROM support for the possibility of a future ROMable version of IP65. The kegswin update adds Uthernet support in slot3 (alpha binary available).

SPI/SDCard status– I haven’t done much with the //c version of this hardware/software since last time but I am designing a 4 port 65SPI/EEPROM(32K) “development” card for the Apple //e in the meantime. This is the hardware equivalent to the software support I have/will code into Applewin.

Posting from OneNote

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This is a test blog post from OneNote – been organizing my ideas and projects in it. It’s a pretty cool application.

Uthernet Status

    • Base Cards are out in manufacturing
    • Modules are delayed from Invector- no ETA at this point.

Been busy doing a few things in the background …

    • No progress on the CP2200 driver
    • Ordered 2 Applicard remakes from Alex Freed
    • Reorganizing my basement work area
      • Reorganized my desk space and filing areas
      • Put most loose stuff in see through plastic containers
      • Reviewed document Filing system
      • Documenting A2 Card collection
      • Documenting Embedded hardware kits
    • Deciding which SRAM chip to use
      • CYC1049
      • CY62148
      • CY62158 ( I think this is it) 1M x 8
    • Choices for a larger SRAM are
      • CY62167DV30 (2MB)
      • CY62177DV30 (4MB)
      • MT45W8MW16BGXMT (16MB)
    • Reviewing how to add battery backup to the SRAM circuit
    • Spent some cycles on possible breakout boards to ease further developments
      • Apple 2 Multi-bus breakout board ( org Apple II bus FPGA card got me thinking about this one)
        • Similar concept to 8 bit baby but with only Apple Bus connectors on it
          • 50 contact Apple II slot
          • 60 contact Apple II AUX slot
          • 44 contact IIgs Memory slot
          • 34 pin //c memory expansion connector
        • Center area would have room for a Large CPLD XC95144/288XL – probably be a TQ144 to PGA adapter
        • Connectors for daughter piggy back card to hold the downstream circuit. They would have the other mating side of the board connectors on the main board.
        • All signals are routed from the edge connector to closest board connector. They are also routed (san any power lines) to the closet usable pins on the cpld. Pins from the other side of the cpld are routed toit’s closest board connecter. These signals have possibly had logic applied to them and are for use by the down stream circuit. Since only one bus can be active at a time, having the other busses connect should not affect the downstream circuit.
      • Apple 2 EEPROM support on a 32 DIP DIP.
        • I took Rich Dreyer’s EEPROM circuit from the CFFA card and designed a PCB that mounts the required chips on a 32 pin DIP format to be used with a breadboard like the Littleproto II
        • This would make it easy to add EPROM support to cards under development.
      • Been refining a PSRAM breakout board for this chip MT45W8MW16BGX
      • Working with a few others on a Apple 2 SDRAM interface

  • Next on the Agenda
    • //cmxp going to start looking at 65SPI and SDCard circuit next


Monday, December 8th, 2008

Timing is something that has been frustrating me a lot lately … first with the //cmxp project and now this potential Ethernet card.

The short of it is, I can’t seem to come to grips with the necessary delay required at machine lanuage speeds. Any other method of doing things slowly seems to work and that includes entering the right values in the monitor or single stepping stepping via NoIce. In fact i have written the init program in basic (some peeks and pokes) and even that works fine … grrrr

In trying to port the driver from c over to assembly I’ve come to realize once again how rusty my assembly skills are. So I am doing a combo c/asm dirver just to verify the hardware functionality.

Going to have to shelve things for a bit, probably till after the holidays – too much stuff going on in other areas. If I mange to sneak any time in i’ll post an update ..


Quick update

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

All my Uthernet back orders except for one have shipped (Sean I am sorry – we’ll talk) and I am stockless once again. The issue this time is the base cards. I have 12 modules on hand and 50 more on order. I want to make a minor update to carrier and will be submitting an order for more PCB’s real soon now.

On the Ethernet next generation front … I plugged in a new prototype tonight I built a while back. It is based on Silabs CP2200 chip. Some benefits to this chip are that it’s about 30% cheaper then the cs8900a, it has a lot less pins and it’s easier to solder. On the software side not sure from a driver perspective if it will be better or not from a space or performance point of view. For this particular prototype I have chosen to use the non multiplex address method which means most of the registers are directly mapped to the Apples memory in the slot i/o area .. ie c400.c4FF .. The first signs of life are that i can read a few registers and they have the correct power on defaults (although some don’t) and i can change a registers contents and it stays and can be changed back. More info to follow.


Dropping the ball

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

That usually happens with me over the summer .. not much gets done in the hobby space as we are outside enjoying the sunshine … or trying to  … it was quite the rainy summer up in TO this summer.

Uthernet update – I have just received another shipment of modules, so some back orders are going out.   I have been advised that the module I use is being discontinued.  In the short term I plan to stock upon another 50 modules. That should hopefully see me through a decision on what to do next.

The options are

  1. Make my own version of the module
  2. Redesign the card as an all in one (perhaps add some ROM to it)
  3. Replace it with a completely new design (Silabs CP2200 perhaps)

If you have any input I’d like to hear it

Stay tuned …

//cmxp update– When the ball went bouncing down the road back in May, I was stuck on a glitch that still has me scratching my head …. This appears to be random but perhaps my analyser sample isn’t large enough for me to see the big picture.  Something is causing the data-bus to load up with all FF’s prior to it settling down on the vaule i actually want to write and that somehow triggers the address counter to increment prematurely. I have been staring at timing diagrams trying to make sense of it.

Today I recalled that memory cards built for the original //c could not be used in the IIc+ due to a timing problem. I had originally decided to test on the IIc+ so that once i had things down, I figured it should be backward compatible with the original memory expandable //c. On a hunch or perhaps an act of desperation I decided to un-mothball a //c and plugged my memory card into it.  I fired up the diags ($C40AG) and crossed my fingers .. the line of dots kept going and going and going … it made one complete pass .. I let go of my breath then .. I think I was blue  … I kept watching and it didn’t fail … after 10 passes I knew I was out of the woods … so far it has made a total of about 250 passes and no failures yet .. whoopee

Clearly I now have to figure out whats different with the IIc+ from a timing perspective as far as this glitch goes .. at least I know what I have works so far and that’s a step in the right direction. Bring on winter … it’s back to Apple ][ land.


Uthernet cards sold out Again!!

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Wow, they went fast … I have already ordered 25 more modules and PCB’s – realisticaly it will take about 1 month before I am ready to sell again … so send me a email if you want to get on the notification list.

Uthernet cards available for sale again

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

I have 3 prepaid orders to fill and then a supply of 28 cards available for sale. Anyone on my interrested parties list should have gotten a note from me.

Also I am half finished wiring up the 5v SRAM interface for the IIc. Hope to try that out in a few days.


If anyone knows of a PCB assembly house that will do microBGA or CP scale packages for a reasonable price then please drop me a line.

Uthernet Update

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Well we are well into our 3rd run of Uthernet cards… As I make this entry there are still approximately 30 cards left.

I would like to recap what has happened on the software front with Apple II ethernet. Adam Dunkels Contiki 1.2 was released by Oliver Schmidt with support for the Uthernet and LANceGS based cards. Contiki 1.3 was released after that with improvements to the memory map, added mouse support and included the web server demo app (among other refinements).

A Marinetti link layer driver was developed by Ewen Wannop and I, that included code from the IP65 library from MagerValp. This is will be available shortly as a non beta release, the source will be added to the MOSP Marinetti cvs repository.

I added support for virtual Uthernet to AppleWin, based on the code developed by Spiro Trikaliotis for the VICE emulator. You can run Contiki, IP65 based apps or ADTPro under AppleWin if you want.

David Schmidt has added Uthernet support (based on IP65) to ADTPro … this is cool as it allows you to dump your ProDOS volumes over the wire back to a host PC for safe keeping.

I know some other folks have developed software that makes use of the Uthernet card but I can’t really mention it as it has not been released.

My next posts in these categories will be discussing the tcp/ip applications that I am working on or would like to see developed in the future ….

till next time ….