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Gotten hold of a CPC464

I've finally managed to get hold of a CPC464 so I can see what compatibility is like with TZXDuino.

One of the first things I did was add a DIN so that I could connect the TZXDuino to it. Rather than the normal 5-pin DIN that the CPC664/6128 use I decided that as I already have the cable for the MSX I would add an 8 pin DIN.
After some testing I found the best places to solder the connections and now it is up and running with full motor control.

As there are no TOSEC like downloads for CDT files I have been using both CPCRulez and CPCPower for the downloads.
TZXDuino compatibility is quite good with CDT files although there are a few that use the ID15 block which currently is not compatible but I did notice some issues.
Some games seemed to have insufficient pause blocks and whilst they worked on emulators they did not with either TZXDuino or WinTZX playback. These were quite easily fixed by adding a pause block to the CDT file (Aliens, Ghouls and Ghosts, Turbo Outrun).
Others however posed greater difficulty with the latest version of the firmware (Rainbow Islands, and Salamander). These contained a Speedlock 1 followed by a Speedlock 2 block and adding a pause block between them sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. I've now gone back on some of the improvements that were made to the speed of the TZXDuino to something more akin to version 1.0 and added "newTime += 12" back to the Wave function in TZXProcessing and this has had some success but it is erratic. Unfortunately I'm no longer sure as to whether it's my fault due to how I've wired in the DIN or if it's due to the TZXDuino code itself. I will however keep on persevering.

Comments

  1. I'm on 1.5 firmware, and I am having soo many issues with this hardware.

    I format a SDCard, nothing special, just a class 8 2Gb card formatted to Fat32. Put all my ZX Spectrum tzx files on it in folders A-Z. Pop the card in the TZXDuino and I get garbled text right at the top of the screen.
    I can only see folders A - L. If I go into any folder then try to back out it crashes and locks up, so I have to unpower and repower it up.
    I have tried a few different SDCards, Fat32, Fat16. Long filenames, short filenames. Taps AND tzx files. Just Taps. Same problem.

    It does load a game if I can get to one.

    Any help or suggestions would be most welcome. Look forward to trying Amstrad tape images in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The garbled text is a bug that doesn't actually affect the performance of the hardware but the sd problem is unusual.
    Did it work fine on earlier firmware?
    Is it a TZXDuino you built yourself or did you buy it from somewhere?
    I know the Zaxon hardware has issues with Class 10 sd cards so it's possible it has issues with 8 as well.
    The issue is that the USB 5V is just not enough and external power needs to be added.
    CDT files do load with 1.5 but some can be difficult. It also works better if you are able to use motor control as well.

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  3. I am powering it via one my PC's USB ports, a usb to mini cable. Would you suggest a proper 5v wall adapter ?

    I bought this pre-built, not much of a tech dabbler now I'm in my 40's.
    I can't answer about earlier firmware since the device shipped with the latest 1.5. I could try it if it possible to downgrade. Would you recommend this ?

    I also just tried a micro sdcard class 10, 8Gb, and formatted fat32. All the folders showed up but navigating them was painfully slow. I mean really slow, nearly 10 seconds delay between every file.

    I might order a wall power adapter and see if that helps.

    Thanks for your reply and time. If you can suggest anything I would be most grateful.

    One last thing, is there any limit for directories and files ? Could I have 26 folders, A- Z, in the root of the sdcard and it would still be ok ? Is there a limit of files-per-folder ?

    Many thanks,

    John.

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  4. Pc USB ports are notorious for not supplying the correct voltage.
    If you have to power by USB then I would recommend using a phone charger.
    If your model has a DC socket then I would use that supplying 6V or 7.5V.
    The limit on folders is a FAT file system and it's in the thousands. I have a TAP folder with 27 sub folders, A TZX with subfolders, CDT and subfolders. When you have a lot of files in those subfolders it can take a few seconds but not as long as 10 or at least not in my experience.

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  5. Thanks again, Duncan.
    Well, I found a spare phone wall charger with a usb connection and that made no difference.

    I tried another card and this time moved taps to a taps sub-folder, and tzx to a sub-folder. This was just incase the formats were conflicting. Same issue.

    If I switch on the TZXDuino without a sdcard in it, then insert it, the garbled text has gone and it now reads "Device Ready". I can see all the folders, A- Z, but go into a folder and there is nothing there and the device locks up, none of the buttons respond.

    I know the files are good because they came from worldofspectrum, and work fine in a emulator.

    Kind of at a loss now. My DivMMC Enjoy is now looking like the only device that works well, even using the same sdcards.

    Do you have links to older firmware ? And instructions for uploading the firmware ? I'm in I.T. and deal with PCs and Windows on a large scale, so I've no problem using and understanding Windows and PCs.

    Sorry about the replies, I don't want to overload your blog with my problems. The seller only sells them, doesn't really know much else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like Zaxon.

      You can look at how to change the firmware here.
      http://arduitapemarkii.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/how-to-change-firmware-on.html
      It also has a link with it all on pdf format if you want it.

      You can also download earlier firmware from the following.
      V1.0
      https://mega.nz/#!Tc1SEK6B!Ij3diz6l0ZrY_fqnBfAr37f2hgsyerGAeXSl8aureds
      v1.3
      https://mega.nz/#!yIsVRCbC!v_U9ZMD0x0tkAwyAPWERDkd8uG-JuoO5AMqleLWGQHk

      Although those versions are specifically for the Zaxon shield so you may find the buttons in a different order to the one you are used to.
      from Left to Right the order will now be
      Down, Up, Stop, Play/Pause, Root.

      I'm not entirely sure the firmware will make much of a difference as the issue is the voltage getting to the card.
      For my Zaxon shield (which he kindly donated to me) I added a 5.5x2.5mm DC Socket, wired it to the VIN and GND pins on the Arduino Nano, and then used a DC adapter at 6v to 7.5v to power it and I no longer have any issues with the SD card.

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    2. I am happy to help with any questions you have. If you don't want to do it on here you can always go to the Facebook page www.facebook.com/Arduitape and message me there and I will endeavour to help you as much as I can.

      Delete
    3. This is a copy of the pic used by the seller. I think it's a copy of the Zaxon one, not a direct Zaxon tzxduino.

      http://imageshack.com/a/img922/8302/9C3GJP.jpg

      I will look into the power issue.
      Many thanks for the links.

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    4. Hmmm. That's a new one on me. Similar to what I was doing with my CAS/TZXDuino shield. At least it has the motor control built in so you won't have to add that.

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    5. Well, so far I have had some luck.
      I re-flashed the device with 1.5, this may or may not have had a effect on the device, I don't know.
      I then tried a micro sdcard + adapter, rather than a standard sdcard.
      I then copied over one folder at a time. 0-L folder and it worked. Every folder seen, as well as every file. And fast access.
      I then copied over the M-Z folder and it too worked. So I copied over other folders, I have a Arcade folder, Fave Games Folder, and a Publisher folder with my fave game publishers in. This all worked, and still does as I type this. Access is a bit slower, but there are now over 13,000 files on it.

      The micro sdcard was a Kingston class 4, so just incase anyone coming to your blog has a similar issue then try this.

      I understand that I can use Amstrad ctd files as well ? I have a CPC6128, so not sure it this model has a tape input or not. My 464 isn't in great shape, so I won't try that.

      If I flash the other firmware I understand that MSX, and possibly Dragon cas files work ? I have both the hardware so I will try and find some time to test on real hardware.

      Any chance of Oric support in the future ? The Oric has taps like the Spectrum, and my Atmos loads tapes similar to a Spectrum. For now, I use tap to wave and load wavs via a mp3 player. Works, but very sensitive, so volume is key.

      Thanks for your help, Duncan. Appreciate it.

      Delete
    6. Hmm. Maybe it just needed a good FAT sort. There is a programme called FATSorter that arranges the folders and files alphabetically rather than the default first in first shown.

      The 6128 has a 5 pin DIN at the back which you can attach the appropriate cable to and you'll be able to load CDT files.

      If you flash CASDuino 1.13 you'll be able to load MSX and Dragon CAS files.

      We're not sure about Oric. A few people have asked but a lot of old computer tape files share the same filename like TAP or CAS but they are actually totally different and it's finding if there's a way to differentiate the files to run the different decoding routines.
      We are looking in to it but TZXDuino is pretty much at its limit as to what it can do and CASDuino does things slightly differently and may not be able to handle the files.

      Delete

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