Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

discuss PC<>Acorn file transfer issues & the use of FDC, XFER, Omniflop/disk etc.
Commie_User
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Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:54 pm

Anything for that, even if only to put data to tape as a new first generation recording? MTAP/PTAP for the Commodore 64 does exactly so in that universe.


Sorry if the question's already been asked.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:02 pm

Have a read about what a UEF actually is here.

Once you have read about how complex this type of file is, you will understand why it is not practical to use the serial port (too slow and you need to run a machine code program to decode the incoming data before storing it in the RAM). Assuming that is what you were meaning?

However, there is UPCFS

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:41 pm

Thanks. That's certainly the kind of thing to interest me, though it looks I need to make it myself. On balance, I think I'll try to get my SD system back on the road.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:45 pm

Commie_User wrote:Thanks. That's certainly the kind of thing to interest me, though it looks I need to make it myself. On balance, I think I'll try to get my SD system back on the road.

If you don't have the skills to make a cable, shout out for help! :lol:

I don't have much ribbon cable at the moment, otherwise I would offer to make a cable for you.

I can program a EPROM for you though.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Whoa. I didn't expect that! Thank you.


If you did want to make one, how much would I be looking at?

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:16 pm

I've made countless of these, in fact they're burnt into my dreams :shock: (and those of Paul Vernon I suspect!) but just now, I really don't have the bandwidth for even one more. However, I have recently re-stocked with all the necessary parts so as a one-off, I'd be happy to supply a full set of bits (new connectors and components plus a suitable length of re-cycled ribbon cable) to a willing 'maker' for £3.50 inc. First Class P&P. Said maker could then add a little hobby-funding labour charge and postage if that would still be in Commie-User's budget? If so, any takers...? 8)

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:35 pm

MartinB wrote: If so, any takers...? 8)


Yeah, if you're prepared to build it for a tenner or fifteen. That would be lovely.

If you need time, let's leave it a few weeks. Let me get the cash for even that together.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:14 pm

Well, in that case, if you're not rushing for a week or two, I would be able to make one up in slower time for my normal cost which is £8 delivered. I'd let you know when it's ready and you can thereafter take it whenever suits, even not at all if you change your mind :wink:

(If you want a rom too, it's £11 for both inc postage.)

Whatever suits, I'm easy if we're not rushing.... 8)

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:17 pm

That's brilliant! Wonderful.

Thanks for that. I'll take the whole package, ready to go. Why not give me a message when you are ready to roll? If you take Paypal, it can be done in a jiffy.

(Will I need a disk filing chip?)

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:28 pm

The DFS side depends on what you want to do with UPURS as a package. A disc interface in any form is not needed for the UPCFS UEF loading or for rom image handling (export/import/SWR loading) but all the rest of the features are disc-based so for the remainder, yes, you would need a disc interface.

Have a proper read up on UPCFS on retro-kit by the way, (including the mega-thread on here if you dare!), especially regarding games compatibility. Not all will load from UEF including some biggies like Elite. I don't want to mislead you - UPCFS hits about 86% compatibility but conversely therefore there's still many that don't work. The disc transfer side of UPURS generally plugs the gap but you won't be using that.

Don't want to disappoint.... 8)

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:36 pm

No no, it seems as I expected. I've a chip coming but I learned from the site that disk was one option instead of a chip to start the BBC receiving (though correct me if I'm wrong) and that, from the video, it was the PC feeding the games straight into a Beeb booted cold.

86% success is about fine, especially for this BBC which is incomplete.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:45 pm

Yes, UPCFS loads UEF-format games direct from a PC (Windows or Linux or whatever) into a basic no-frills Beeb providing the latter has the User Port (with 6522 chip) fitted.

One final point though, unless your intended PC has a very capable RS232 port (and most don't), you will also need, for any of the UPURS facilities to work, including UPCFS, a good quality USB<>RS232 adaptor. The one I recommend is about a tenner I'm afraid so that can sometimes be a deal-breaker for folk.... :(

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:52 am

Well I've a user port. And if the 6522's standard issue in Beebs, it's either in there or one of the spare boards lying around. How about this picture to see for yourself, if you can pick any details out.

And I've PCs with the RS232s on, so at least there's no problem there. Though I'm also a bit puzzled as to this FTDI business. I don't know what that is but I gather from the instructions this is probably for that USB issue anyway.
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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:33 am

Yes, you have the User Port 6522 fitted being the 40-pin chip at IC59. You also have most of the hardware for a DFS kit fitted! I say most because there's an 8271 FDC and support chips present but not quite all of the latter because it looks like someone has at some point robbed the the two 7438 buffer chips at IC positions 79 & 80... :roll: Still, I'm sure you'll be able to get replacements from somewhere in the community when & if you want to upgrade to disc. Other than those, assuming it all works, you just need a DFS rom (or eprom etc.) as we have already mentioned and of course a disc-drive. Anyway, that wasn't what we were looking at and you are ok for a User Port :)

PC serial port-wise, it'd have to be a suck it and see but there's a good chance that they won't work with UPCFS - legacy ports aren't so good at short intermittent data bursts at 115K Baud as required by the UPURS engine, hence the recommendation for a USB adaptor. (FTDI is the recommended brand of adaptor btw because many brands are no better than legacy serial ports :( ). However, if you do take an UPURS package and your PC serial ports don't work, we can always sort a refund in the event that you don't want to get an adaptor 8)

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:40 am

Hmmm. Thinking about it, I probably don't. Not due to the cost but because a second SD interface seems more attractive if I'm spending anywhere near real money. And because it's way more convenient to set up than this tape thing looks.

Actually, the picture's the spare board, now duff. It gives me the white screen of death but I figured at least I could have taken chips if I needed them for the running machine, screwed up and wall-mounted. And if my SD chip seems as screwed as other ROMs did when I swapped them, I'm spending money anyway.

Cheers, all the same. I'm really learning. And I may still require one, if I could PM you sometime in the future. I want a whole new BBC to pack out with such gubbins, as after past experience I'm too afraid to maul my only working BBC too much.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby DutchAcorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:58 am

Commie_User wrote:Hmmm. Thinking about it, I probably don't. Not due to the cost but because a second SD interface seems more attractive if I'm spending anywhere near real money. And because it's way more convenient to set up than this tape thing looks.

Actually, the picture's the spare board, now duff. It gives me the white screen of death but I figured at least I could have taken chips if I needed them for the running machine, screwed up and wall-mounted. And if my SD chip seems as screwed as other ROMs did when I swapped them, I'm spending money anyway.

Cheers, all the same. I'm really learning. And I may still require one, if I could PM you sometime in the future. I want a whole new BBC to pack out with such gubbins, as after past experience I'm too afraid to maul my only working BBC too much.

So what's wrong with the SD system you have? Or did I miss a thread?
Paul

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:19 pm

I'm not sure it works or not. I had an old BBC break down, so bought a whole fresh motherboard. This works but lacks the disk chip(s). Yet I had no joy when I inserted those chips from the broken Beeb into the fresh one, so I presume the SD chip may be broken too.

I should be getting a spare ADFS chip soon but I may not install it because the analogue port is faulty anyway. I like my games with a joystick, so I will certainly wait for another BBC again.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby MartinB » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:21 pm

Commie_User wrote:And I may still require one, if I could PM you sometime in the future. I want a whole new BBC to pack out with such gubbins...


No worries whatsoever my friend... 8)

I'll have to build some more cables anyway over the coming weeks because the orders never stop coming in. I'm of course happy that folk find UPURS useful and that it help keeps our hobby alive but sometimes I could just do without the work.... :roll: #-o :wink:

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:29 pm

There's always emulation..........! :lol:


I like emulators - especially the Commodore ones because they're solid enough for even music studio work - and I keep telling myself to play on them. I can use my Playstation controller. But just looking at my BBC, CUB, cassettes and the music software I love for it, I know that having that feel back is just the sweetest feeling on its own.

I've even not played on the Xbox I was given, which is mad because I can plug my guitar into it!
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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby sydney » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:38 pm

Commie_User wrote:I'm not sure it works or not. I had an old BBC break down, so bought a whole fresh motherboard. This works but lacks the disk chip(s). Yet I had no joy when I inserted those chips from the broken Beeb into the fresh one, so I presume the SD chip may be broken too.

I should be getting a spare ADFS chip soon but I may not install it because the analogue port is faulty anyway. I like my games with a joystick, so I will certainly wait for another BBC again.


Which SD system did you have?
If it was TurboMMC/MMBEEB/MMFS then all you need is the ROM and a cable+sd card slot. I'm sure someone could supply you with the latest MMFS on eprom for a couple of quid. When you moved the 'chips' from one board to the other did you move the rom as the other disc chips have nothing to do with the sd card.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby DutchAcorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:43 pm

Commie_User wrote:I'm not sure it works or not. I had an old BBC break down, so bought a whole fresh motherboard. This works but lacks the disk chip(s). Yet I had no joy when I inserted those chips from the broken Beeb into the fresh one, so I presume the SD chip may be broken too.

I should be getting a spare ADFS chip soon but I may not install it because the analogue port is faulty anyway. I like my games with a joystick, so I will certainly wait for another BBC again.

<Getting somewhat off-topic>
Assuming you have a SD system that works off the user port it does not need a (working) disc interface present. Unless you physically broke off a pin from the eprom it is unlikely that "the SD chip" was broken when transferring.

ADFS (Advanced Disc Filing System) will only work in the BBC if you have a working 1770 disk interface. Using ADFS is also not very helpful when using floppies; it claims more memory than DFS and most programs will need special attention to run on ADFS.

If you'd like some help getting the SD-card system up and running again, please start another thread and. But if you're simply waiting for a new beeb I guess that can wait (but please don't bin your current one, members here are quite sensitive to that kind of violence) :D
Paul

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:10 pm

I wouldn't be chucking that one either, especially as it does all I need it to for music.

I don't know what I've got, really. I just know some stuff worked and now it doesn't. And what's left, I'm now sure I'll leave alone.


I was looking at this chip: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222185574167? ... EBIDX%3AIT

And this is the picture of my board I'm running now. It's still in my Ebay purchase history.
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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby DutchAcorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:23 pm

Commie_User wrote:I wouldn't be chucking that one either, especially as it does all I need it to for music.

I don't know what I've got, really. I just know some stuff worked and now it doesn't. And what's left, I'm now sure I'll leave alone.


I was looking at this chip: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222185574167? ... EBIDX%3AIT

And this is the picture of my board I'm running now. It's still in my Ebay purchase history.

I would not buy the eBay ROM. It is meant for a B+ and won't function in a regular BBC model B. It is most likely a 32K EPROM, where the BBC can only handle 16K EPROMs (without modification).

The picture of the issue 3 board shows a BBC model B without a disc interface and with only the OS and BASIC roms fitted.

Do you have a picture of the SD card system?
Paul

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:32 pm

No but I know it's this one here.

Thanks for taking a look. I just knew that you bought ROMs and put them in, the way I insert C64 utility cartridges.
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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby DutchAcorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:09 pm

Commie_User wrote:No but I know it's this one here.

Thanks for taking a look. I just knew that you bought ROMs and put them in, the way I insert C64 utility cartridges.

It can be like putting a C128 cart in a C64. What you have is a MMC card system. It will not work with SD cards.
If you type "*HELP" you should see DFS 0.90 reported. If you do, the rom is probably ok.

To access it, type *card or make sure it is in the rightmost rom slot. It will only function if the reader is connected to the user port and a properly formatted MMC card is inserted.
Paul

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:29 pm

Yes, it worked with the card it came with, which does resemble an SD.

That ROM there is all I need today? I do recall the MMC manual telling me I did need a disk chip for it to run, as I vaguely recall confirming when I took the disk chip out. Before one or other of my old boards died, chip functionality went on and off until I reseated them.

I do hope I get the right BBC next time, so it just works when I put the chip in. Like last time. I know to ask if it has what it needs to run disks.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby DutchAcorn » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:53 pm

Commie_User wrote:Yes, it worked with the card it came with, which does resemble an SD.

That ROM there is all I need today? I do recall the MMC manual telling me I did need a disk chip for it to run, as I vaguely recall confirming when I took the disk chip out. Before one or other of my old boards died, chip functionality went on and off until I reseated them.

...

All you need is the MMC ROM, it works fine in a cassette-only system.
Paul

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:56 pm

Thanks.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby Commie_User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:37 pm

Ah, I remember trying it without the disk chip - in the new one - and it failed.

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Re: Loading/Porting UEFs on a BBC via serial?

Postby sweh » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:24 pm

You need a DFS ROM chip if you want to use a floppy disk.
You need an MMC ROM chip if you want to use an MMC adapter.
You need both chips if you want to use floppy+MMC.

So if you don't care about floppy disks you only need an MMC ROM. That's how I have my Beebs setup. (And once I rescued all the floppies I could, and decided I wouldn't use the floppy drive any more, then I even removed all the additional interface chips from one of them).

I've tested this with the original TurboMMC ROM and the MMFS ROM ( https://github.com/hoglet67/MMFS ; also viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10621&start=300#p140999 ) and they both work just fine without a DFS ROM.
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