Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

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Loungelover
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Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by Loungelover » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:33 pm

Hi i want to be able to transfer some files from my Acorn A3000 to my Linux machine.
The A3000 has 4MB ram Riscos 3.11 and the serial upgrade installed and and IDE interface card i got from IanS on this board

I have a serial card in the Linux machine and a null modem cable made to the specs here (arc to riscPC connection)
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/acorn-faq/ ... cable.html

i know i need to set up a PPP connection on the Linux machine
but what software do i need on the A3000 i have !connector (was installed on the DOM that came with the IDE card)
I wasn't able to find any comprehensive resources on how to set this up all i really want to do is be able to use telnet and FTP
i have some arcventure discs that i want to back up

Thanks

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IanS
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by IanS » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:48 pm

Loungelover wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:33 pm
i know i need to set up a PPP connection on the Linux machine
but what software do i need on the A3000 i have !connector (was installed on the DOM that came with the IDE card)
!connector will allow file transfer with XModem etc.
You may find some clues in this thread on PPP serial setup, but it doesn't go into much detail on the PPP setup - viewtopic.php?f=29&t=18148&p=252531#p252531

Loungelover
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by Loungelover » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:25 am

Thanks for your help I started trying to connect to my Linux machine using !connector but I cant seem to make it work.
I was able to get Minicom working on the Linux machine successfully echoing back to its self over a loop back.
However, I was not able to get !connector to do the same thing is there anything i need do to configure for the serial port ?
All i did was install the chips and try to run !connector.
does anyone have a manual for !connector ? all i could find was the help file packaged with it.

cmorley
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by cmorley » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:23 am

The DCD, DTR etc on the A3000 work differently to the bulk of other computers like PCs. You have to loop some of the pins together at the A3000 end in order to get it to do anything. I thought my serial port was broken until I worked this out.

I found out what connections are needed using google but can't remember them or the site I looked them up on. I sold my A3000 and dismantled the adapter I bodged together I think so can't check my one, sorry.

Try "Acorn A3000 serial DTR" and variations on that in your search engine.

Loungelover
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by Loungelover » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:57 pm

I found this http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... AN/234.pdf that has the schematic for the loop back adapter.
I was checking the connection and it looks like I mangled pin one on the connector for my Linux PC fortunately its one of those serial ports that use a ribbon cable so i will fix that.

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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by Loungelover » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:24 am

So i have had some more time to debug this i built the loop back adapter and still nothing in !Connector i think i may be missing something
I am running RiscOS 3.11 and i understand that i don't need to have any separate serial drivers ( when I enter modules in the command prompt i can see there are serial drivers loaded)

I tried writing a BBC basic script to test the connection I can read the baud rate and the Serial status word but when I try to send a char and then read it I get nothing back.
I am not experienced with BBC basic at all but i was reading the documentation and I was using

Code: Select all

SYS "OS_SerialOp",3,"T" TO R ,WCHAR, CFLAG 
to send and
and the response has the R is returned as 0 and the CFLAG as 3

Code: Select all

SYS "OS_SerialOp",4  TO ARG ,RCHAR 
to read but it always returns 0.
if i have !Connector running when i run the script once the script is done it has the number of chars i sent indicated in its IO buffer window i feel like i am missing something obvious but i cant see it if any one has any ideas

thanks

cmorley
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by cmorley » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:15 am

I used !Connector and TeraTerm on a Windows PC. With the correct cable it didn't need anything else or other configuring with RISC OS 3.11.

Some really simple questions:
You do definitely have the serial upgrade installed in the A3000?
Can you read any characters on the PC at all?
Is your TX & RX crossed - have you crossed over twice?

As I said I can't remember how I wired it. I'd have thought I'd have made a CTR/RTS flow controlled cable. I don't think I did what was in the Acorn App note. I am pretty sure I made a Arc->RiscPC type cable too. http://www.riscos.org/legacy/serial.html mentions the Chocks Away cable - I might have done that for the pin 6-8 swap. Then like the modem cable but crossed TX/RX & CTS/RTS to a USB<>serial adapter... I certainely ended up with a oscilloscope on it. It was a nuissance.

Loungelover
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by Loungelover » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:15 am

The serial upgrade is installed (bought from retro clinic on ebay) I thought I had a bad chip so I replaced the R65C51 serial chip
I get nothing on the PC or the loop back adapter in riscOS (The serial port on the PC works with a loop-back)
I made a null modem cable with this pin out and I tried with a standard PC null modem cable too

Arc (9 pin) RiscPC (9 pin)
----------- --------------

+---1---DCD RI-----9---+
| |
| 2---RxD------------------------TxD----3 |
| |
| 3---TxD------------------------RxD----2 |
| |
+---4---DTR------------------------DTR----4 |
| |
| 5---0v-------------------------0v-----5 |
| |
| 6---DSR------------------------RTS----7 |
| |
| 7---RTS------------------------CTS----8 |
| |
+---8---CTS DSR----6---+
|
9---RI-------------------------DCD----1---+


I can see serial data coming in from the PC with an oscilloscope on the Rx pin of the R65C51 but I get nothing coming out of the Tx pin
I took the board out of the acorn a3000, the chip sockets are good and I don't see any bad connections on the board

cmorley
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by cmorley » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:33 am

A standard PC null modem cable definitely does not work. I tried that first and contacted Mark because I couldn't get comms either.

I will not have connected DTR or RI thorough. Only CTS & RTS.

On the PC end you'd need to loop back DTR etc locally according to the normal PC standard if you've got a physical RS232 port. I used a RS232-TTL shifter and a USB<>TTL serial adapter with TX,RX,CTS,RTS & GND only.

Getting the A3000 to talk was all about the loopback of the DCD/DTR/DSR. It may have been all you need is to connect 2 & 8 or 2 & 4 (one combination worked). There was a magic combination.

Sorry I can't tell you specifically what it was I did - I simply don't remember. I do remember the serial on the A3000 being almost unusably slow at 19200 and unreliable (even with 3.11 which is supposed to have fixes). So when you do get it working prepare to be underwhelmed :|

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anightin
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by anightin » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:09 am

If you are considering alternatives, I use Zip drives I bought on eBay for about £15

I use a parallel one for the Archie/RiscPC and a USB one for my Mac and/or PC

Not quite solving the serial problem but my go to transfer method.

AndyMc1280
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by AndyMc1280 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:01 pm

anightin wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:09 am
If you are considering alternatives, I use Zip drives I bought on eBay for about £15

I use a parallel one for the Archie/RiscPC and a USB one for my Mac and/or PC

Not quite solving the serial problem but my go to transfer method.
Which Arch do you have? Zip Drive not liokely to work on an A3000 (unless scsi) as the A3000 doesn't have the later machines Bi-directional Paralell port which the Paralell Zip requires to function AFAIK

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anightin
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Re: Connect Acorn A3000 to linux machine

Post by anightin » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:38 pm

Which Arch do you have?
Ah, I use the parallel Zip drive on:
  • A3010
  • A3020
  • RiscPC
I haven't tried it on my A3000 yet I must admit, I sort of assumed it would work hence the suggestion. If not Bi-directional as you say then yes looks like a SCSI option.

I've learned something new tonight at least :)

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