Search found 261 matches

by Ramtop
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron ULA Basic Board
Replies: 89
Views: 5983

Re: Electron ULA Basic Board

Very, very nice! If you're going to make these I'd absolutely buy one. From hard experience I know you can't trust the motherboard 16MHz clock signal; on early versions of my SD interface I rather naively just ran it straight into the CPLD and ended up with a circa 5% failure rate because the raw cl...
by Ramtop
Sun May 31, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Elksd-plus1 Interface
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: Elksd-plus1 Interface

I should have remembered to post something about this, sorry! The new, faster revision 2 cartridges are finished and presently on sale via Ebay. I haven't made them available at a discount in the For Sale forum yet because sales on Ebay have been far higher than I expected - the rev 2 is proving to ...
by Ramtop
Wed May 27, 2020 10:32 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: 3D printing advice
Replies: 235
Views: 13662

Re: 3D printing advice

Has anyone tried Amazon basics? That is a good price but has been sold out since the start of Cov19 generally. I have been using Sunlu, which was the cheapest named brand that anyone had in stock at the time. That is £25/kg, so interest in cheaper if good (and in stock). Amazon Basics is generally ...
by Ramtop
Wed May 27, 2020 12:12 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: HELP NEEDED - BBC Master Compact & SD2BBC Not Working
Replies: 25
Views: 1666

Re: HELP NEEDED - BBC Master Compact & SD2BBC Not Working

May be a good idea to speak to the supplier of the SD interface and ask if they can take it back and test it. Although it does sound like you might have a bad 6522 VIA, which is not trivial to fix as it's soldered in place.
by Ramtop
Mon May 25, 2020 12:41 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: XC9500XL phaseout
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: XC9500XL phaseout

IanB wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 2:21 am
Farnell prices for the XC9572XL -10 and -7 have just quadrupled. The -10 is now £14.736 inc VAT!
Meanwhile Mouser and Digikey are back to normal pricing. (£3.58 inc VAT)
Farnell being as amazingly efficient as normal :(
by Ramtop
Tue May 12, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Elksd-plus1 Interface
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: Elksd-plus1 Interface

Yep. More should be available shortly, possibly as soon as next week. Can't say a date for sure yet as the next batch is the first run of the new revision 2 boards, which are quite a bit different from the old rev 1 model. I'm still testing the new ROM that's required for the rev 2 hardware, but it'...
by Ramtop
Sat May 09, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: XC9500XL phaseout
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: XC9500XL phaseout

I've been doing the same and have actually been surprised how quickly CPLDs stop making sense from a cost perspective. Small FPGAs are so incredibly cheap now, and the buffers needed to wire one to the 6502 bus only add up to about £2. The big unknown for me is the packaging. A lot of the cheaper pa...
by Ramtop
Sat May 09, 2020 12:44 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: XC9500XL phaseout
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: XC9500XL phaseout

Prices have (mostly) gone back to normal, at least at Digikey, and stock level looks very healthy.

I do wonder what the point of this was, all it seems to have achieved is to make buyers of XC9500XLs take a good hard look at other parts.
by Ramtop
Mon May 04, 2020 11:44 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: XC9500XL phaseout
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: XC9500XL phaseout

So might be worth waiting a couple of days and seeing if the price drops back down again. That is a very odd explanation. The March 30 date does sound plausible though, as I ordered some XC9500XL parts in the middle of March and the prices were still normal then. Oh well, we'll see soon enough if t...
by Ramtop
Mon May 04, 2020 11:01 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: XC9500XL phaseout
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: XC9500XL phaseout

Given that pretty much every board designed here uses an XC9572XL or XC9536XL, what are everyone's plans? Stock up on still-affordable ones from China? Many, many thanks for posting this! You may have saved me a significant amount of money and hassle. I have multiple products both for sale and in d...
by Ramtop
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:10 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Re: Electron graphics card

Comes DVI also with ridiculous licensing fees? DVI-I would make it compatible with both VGA and HDMI. The market would probably be larger if it could also directly provide digital signal. DVI is free to use as I understand it. But there are two issues; generating both analogue and digital outputs a...
by Ramtop
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Re: Electron graphics card

Well, if you provided palette registers somewhere up above &8000, probably above &FC00, then software could be written to manipulate these on each scanline, so it's not something the hardware would need to take care of. The current palette registers are located at &FCxx, so they can be fairly easil...
by Ramtop
Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Re: Electron graphics card

I spent the morning porting over some of the images from the Bitshifter's VideoNuLA slideshow disk, which look pleasingly colourful.
by Ramtop
Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:00 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Re: Electron graphics card

One enhancement that would be interesting is to define a palette for each scanline in the page just below the screen start. I used two pages of memory for my palette experiments, though maybe you wouldn't want to reuse the ULA's palette formats. The big limitation I have to deal with is that VGA ou...
by Ramtop
Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Re: Electron graphics card

Multiple reasons. For retro machines I think CRTs are impossible to beat as a display, but 15Khz RGB CRTs are getting rare now. Good quality VGA CRTs are still common, though, and all the CRTs I have personally are VGAs. So VGA output made sense. And almost all LCD screens still have a VGA input any...
by Ramtop
Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:09 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron graphics card
Replies: 18
Views: 1452

Electron graphics card

Hi all, I waffled a bit about this on twitter, so now I’ve got to stop being lazy and write a post with some actual detail. Since about the middle of last year I’ve been working on and off on a new piece of hardware for my Electrons. Due to an abundance of lockdown enforced spare time I’ve gotten it...
by Ramtop
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:53 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Obtain an Amiga
Replies: 32
Views: 1937

Re: Obtain an Amiga

I set my station to 280C and mask the plastics with tinfoil and Kapton tape or a metal shield. No problems. If you do a Louis Rossmann and heat the board at 350C or 400C you will likely delaminate it but 280C is fine. I had to go to an indicated 350C for my 1200s, but I'm not convinced that my chea...
by Ramtop
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Obtain an Amiga
Replies: 32
Views: 1937

Re: Obtain an Amiga

Can’t be worse than replacing the caps on an A4, surely? It's not fun. The PCBs on Amigas that have surface mount components (600/1200/4000/CD32) are quite poorly made, add years of corrosion to that and it's very easy to lift pads. The boards seem quite susceptible to heat damage, so using hot air...
by Ramtop
Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Obtain an Amiga
Replies: 32
Views: 1937

Re: Obtain an Amiga

An Amiga is the main machine I don’t have and particularly want, although I’m somewhat torn between an A500 for its originality or A1200 for its extra features. (I’m resigned to the fact that it’ll ultimately probably be both, but am hoping that if I get the A1200 there’s a chance I’ll be happy wit...
by Ramtop
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:43 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron Joysticks (and Creeping Madness...)
Replies: 7
Views: 544

Re: Electron Joysticks (and Creeping Madness...)

Hmm. That's certainly a puzzler. Given how much hardware you've managed to eliminate, the first answer that comes to mind is some form of interference. ADCs like the one used for the joystick port are notoriously sensitive. Are you using the same PSU to test both Elks? I guess there's also the possi...
by Ramtop
Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:11 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Electron Screen Mode at startup
Replies: 5
Views: 539

Re: Electron Screen Mode at startup

I'm somewhat sure Mode 6 is purely an OS selection, not a hardware default. On multiple occasions I've managed to short either the address or data bus on one of my Elks, which obviously prevents even a single instruction from being executed, and the display always consists of random red/yellow diago...
by Ramtop
Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:07 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Elksd-plus1 Interface
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: Elksd-plus1 Interface

Ah, yes. I remember now! I did post a tidied up version of that menu not long after our conversation that fixed some issues. But the menu's author, Ray Harper, has produced a new and much improved version that you can find here: http://rayharper.co.uk/stardot/Stardot.html The ElkSD is slower than a ...
by Ramtop
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Elksd-plus1 Interface
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: Elksd-plus1 Interface

I think you were, yes :D And I agree about special use cases like Bad Apple; performance that's fine for loading 20-something KB of game code isn't necessarily up to streaming data. The dilemma I have is just how many people would be willing to pay extra for higher speed? Not many, I think. The ElkS...
by Ramtop
Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:35 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Elksd-plus1 Interface
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: Elksd-plus1 Interface

Well, I can possibly help you as I designed the ElkSD-Plus1! Can you elaborate on the problems you're having? 'messed up' doesn't really give me much to go on. As for the speed, I've sold about 40 of these and I think you're only the second person to mention it as an issue. The ElkSD can fill the El...
by Ramtop
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:24 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: UniMenu for Datacentre, BBC & Electron MMC Games, ADFS Hard Discs
Replies: 10
Views: 1062

Re: UniMenu for Datacentre, BBC & Electron MMC Games, ADFS Hard Discs

Gave the Electron menu a try - very nice, Ray! Seemed to be quite a lot faster than the older one, too.
by Ramtop
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:16 am
Forum: other events + general event chat
Topic: BBC B meeting Glasgow
Replies: 13
Views: 1349

Re: BBC B meeting Glasgow

Very interested in this! The venue would need to be convenient for public transport, though, as I don't drive.
by Ramtop
Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:47 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Beeb 1MHz Bus FPGA Adaptor
Replies: 152
Views: 13439

Re: Beeb 1MHz Bus FPGA Adaptor

I suspect they may have some trouble sourcing new stock as getting multi-layer PCBs made in China is basically impossible right now, all the major PCB fabs are either closed, limiting production to 2 layer boards only, or tentatively quoting 30-60 day lead times. Assembly services are also, from wha...
by Ramtop
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:19 pm
Forum: for sale / freebies
Topic: Electron SD Interface & SW Ram Expansion
Replies: 58
Views: 7789

Re: Electron SD Interface & SW Ram Expansion

Glad to hear you both got your interfaces ok. The Elk is a funny machine. I don't have any history with it, for me the 80s were filled with various Sinclairs and Commodores, and there were plenty of better specced machines even BITD, but I find myself using it more than any of my other 8-bit machines.
by Ramtop
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:33 pm
Forum: for sale / freebies
Topic: Electron SD Interface & SW Ram Expansion
Replies: 58
Views: 7789

Re: Electron SD Interface & SW Ram Expansion

Just the same as above, drop me an email at my username @gmx.co.uk
by Ramtop
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:36 pm
Forum: off-topic
Topic: Which soldering iron?
Replies: 22
Views: 2176

Re: Which soldering iron?

Other common problems are: mains wiring that does not meet reasonable electrical practice or U.K. standards. Possibly including fused neutral (only the line should be fused), switched neutral (where the line is not switched), inadequate earthing, U.K. type mains plug with no fuse, undersized U.K. t...

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