Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2 days solid progress

The PS/2 woes bug me no more! After a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of head-scratching, troubleshooting and trying new sockets, USB keyboard adapters, alternative keyboards etc I discovered that the 2 pins on the FPGA which were linked to the PS/2 socket were permanently shorted to ground. This wasn't down to wiring or anything on the board - the inputs themselves were buggered. A bit of testing later found that my original PS/2 keyboard was dead as a Norwegian Blue and appeared to be the original source of my woes.

Wiring the PS/2 clock and data inputs to two spare FPGA pins, and using a newly acquired PS/2 keyboard finally got ZX Prism responding to key presses. Hurrah! Some changes to interrupt generation which I'd made whilst troubleshooting the original problem got reverted and tuned over a nice game of Pssst.

Pssst was "loaded" by way of using an image of the Psst IF1 cartridge in place of the Spectrum ROM. This was all well and fine, but I decided tonight that I'd try my hand at a tape interface. I started out by using the RXD input of the RS232 UART as the source of the "tape in" bit of the ULA port (IN 0xFE). The UART is tolerant of (relatively) high voltages and thus protects the FPGA from the crappy old 80s cassette players. Between the RXD pin of the UART and the tape socket is the usual circuitry found on an issue 3B spectrum between the tape socket and the ULA. I expected to have to do some tweaking, but no. Horace and the Spiders loaded first time.

So in the last couple of days, there's been some good solid progress! Next, I'll try to get an MMC slot wired up and ESXDOS working. The MMC slot on ZX Prism was initially going to mirror the way ZXMMC works (same ports etc), which is the same way Mike Stirling implemented MMC on FPGA Spectrum, however DivMMC has recently been released and is very popular, so I'll use DivMMC's ports - this has a number of advantages, not least that the DivMMC version of ESXDOS will be able to be used.

No comments:

Post a Comment