Unicard - is it possible to get it?

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by hlide » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:03 pm

Gortho wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:41 pm
And Dirty PCB price, it is not that cheap I am afraid, you have to put custom size 10.6 cm x 11.6 cm and it becomes $44 + shipping (per 10) still not as expensive as EU prices.
Right, I didn't check properly the size and ignore the warning.

KnaxMax
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Munich - Germany

Simpler Unicard based on RPi Zero possible?

Post by KnaxMax » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:41 pm

Question to all the people with more HW knowledge:

would it be possible to so some kind of Unicard-like Sharp Extension based on Raspberry Pi [Zero[W]] ?

The RPi should have more than enough power for most to all Unicard features, and it should be much simpler to construct some adapter card for MZ-slots. Surely some latches and 5V<->3.3V level convertes would be needed.

There are also some frameworks for RPi Bare Metal programming in C/C++ and FreePascal, so no Linux needed.

My main question: does the RPi have enough capable GPIO to hook up to the MZ extension bus?

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by hlide » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:52 pm

RPI is based on Linux. I'm not sure it is quite responsive: if I'm not wrong, the µC is answering to I/O requests raised by the CPU through the BUS. I don't see Linux as a good candidate.

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Simpler Unicard based on RPi Zero possible?

Post by hlide » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:54 pm

KnaxMax wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:41 pm
There are also some frameworks for RPi Bare Metal programming in C/C++ and FreePascal, so no Linux needed.
Is that so? you would need to program more stuff missing. I won't consider that road as simpler.
Last edited by hlide on Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by hlide » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:06 pm

You'll need to get access on the bus which means 8 DATA pins + 16 ADDR pins + a half dozen pins.
pi3_gpio.png
pi3_gpio.png (240.32 KiB) Viewed 3024 times
I count 26 GPIO, supposedly you don't need I2C, SPI, UART on them.

KnaxMax
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Location: Munich - Germany

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by KnaxMax » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:04 pm

Do you think the NUCLEO-F429ZI board could be used instead ?

It seems reasonably priced and one would not have to solder the MCU and a ton of small SMD stuff.

For my needs, the Unicard is really over-the-top - the features I really would wish for is SD card and VGA out.
No need for fancy stuff like Ethernet with Webserver or USB, RS-232, real-time clock with battery.

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by hlide » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:38 pm

I already bought several NUCLEO cards for this perspective.

Right now, I want to explore the extensions through Arduino MEGA (tape emulation & faster transmission), then devices emulation (QD ROM + ROM emulation on bus) because MEGA has plenty of pins and programming is quite simple. Right now, I'm studying a way to transfer the fastest way a MZF file from/to SD by using /SENSE, READ and WRITE as serial signals SCK, SDO, SDI. Arduino will output SCK to clock the data, output SDI to send a bit to MZ (needs 8 for a byte) and input SDO to receive a bit from MZ (also needs 8 for a byte), using tape pins. I hope to achieve the fastest serial transfer speed for the MZ. A USB serial terminal may also allow to upload/download a file to transfer as well.

If some people want to contribute upon my work, I can add the necessary stuff on GitHub.

Then, step by step, I'll start with NUCLEO cards to do something close to Unicard and add more hardware emulation and a PCG emulation on VGA.

I also have another project I like to do:

1) an "accelerator" card (well not necessarily to "overclok" the CPU frequency) which may put a Z80 CPU, 128 KB DRAM and a µC like AVR1280 together to add devices emulation inside with ROMs emulation to better use of those virtual devices and which is to plug in the CPU socket.

2) a stand-alone one which could emulate the MZ series with some true chips (CPU, DRAM, etc.) and a µC to emulate devices.
Last edited by hlide on Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

hlide
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by hlide » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:45 pm

here is my list of NUCLEO I have:
- 1 x NUCLEO-F767ZI
- 1 x NUCLEO-H743ZI
- 1 x NUCLEO-F429ZI (the closer to Unicard mk3b)
- 1 x NUCLEO-L432KC
- 1 x NUCLEO-F446RE
- 1 x STM32F429I-DISC1 (the Unicard mk3b source appears to have some references to it)

fitus
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by fitus » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:49 pm

Hello to all MZ fans

After 15 years in garage, I started my old sharp MZ 800 with disk drive interface WD 2797 (probably) and floppy drive 3,5 , CP/M. Only a few of disks were usable. What about connecting Floppy disk emulator (Gotek...)? Any experience with this issue? (My hardware experience is limited) :cry:

Martin8bity
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:23 pm
Location: Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: Unicard - is it possible to get it?

Post by Martin8bity » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:46 pm

The DirtyPCB link is correct. I think that the 20140520 is the current version. If anyone has the skills to make one, just do it. Please do not expect help from NOBOMI. He is pretty busy in work and has just a little time for hobby. If you build the HW correct, it is easy to program the bootloader and the firmware. We are trying to consider ways how to make more cards, but the quantites are low for commercial manufacturing or it would go quite expensive.

There is a plenty of updates in firmware, which si now available for MZ-700/1500/800 and more people are working on it. Source code is not public at the moment, as development still goes quite fast, but I can send anyone current binary files and also sources on request if anyone is willing to help with development.

We have also almost finished wiki site with a lot of Unicard information in Czech language and are starting to prepare English. If anyone can help with translation form Czech to English or other languages, please contact me at martin at 8bity dot cz.
Martin's 8-bit blog
www.8bity.cz

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