PiTubeDirect on an Electron

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rmbrowngr
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PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:39 pm

Has anyone tried using a PiTubeDirect on an Electron with the modern AP5? Can you expect a general performance increase? Is there any existing software available for a second processor?
Richard B
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:55 am

All very quiet here, so I guess not many people have tried this. Can I be a ground breaker?

Reading the AP5 manual for the tube interface a support ROM is needed. The good news is that if you have the replacement Plus 1 ROM from retro hardware this is included in it. Well I have the AP6 which contains this. Off to Retro Clinic next which has a ready kit.
Richard B
Acorn Electrons issue 4 and issue 6 with Master RAM Board, Acorn Plus 1, AP6, AP5, Pegasus 400, BeebSCSI, Gotek, Raspberry Pi 2nd Processor, GoSDC MBE with Elk2GoSDC and Cart2GoSDC.
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by markdryan » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:13 am

I have tried this and it does work. I used a pi zero with a level shifter from kjell. However, I moved house shortly after getting my AP5 and my electron’s been in storage ever since so I haven’t really tried out much software yet. I think all I did was switch between some of the various co-processors and check I could access the beeb scsi mini. One thing to note is that the *fx command used to switch between co-processors is different on the electron. I think it begins with 147 rather than 151.

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:21 am

The latest version of the Plus 1 support ROM 1.31 has an extra command:

*TUBE (ON|OFF|<num>)

So you can change between co-pros a lot easier. Thanks to JGH =D>

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by hoglet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:42 am

rmbrowngr wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:55 am
All very quiet here, so I guess not many people have tried this. Can I be a ground breaker?
I've tested this a fair bit during the development.

Make sure you set elk_mode=1 in the cmdline.txt file, which patches the Z80 Client ROM (which contains 6502 code run on the host). Otherwise, CP/M on the Z80 Co Pro doesn't work.

It's not yet possible to run DOS Plus on the 80x86 Co Pro, again because it embeds 6502 code that include the tube address (which is different on an Electron). This time it's DOSPlus itself that is at fault.

There are other possible issues if you try to run software that uses large files (>64KB). You'll need a file system that supports this.

Dave

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by BigEd » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:11 am

rmbrowngr wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:39 pm
Can you expect a general performance increase? Is there any existing software available for a second processor?
Basic will run faster! And anything written in Basic. Anything which accesses hardware directly - which is most games - won't be able to use the second processor. Only software which uses the OS will use it - other Acornsoft languages and applications might get benefit. Basic should get more RAM to play with and I would expect you could run HiBasic for much more RAM.

Tube Elite is much better on the Beeb or Master, but I don't know if it runs on the Electron. That's the most obvious and well-used program to run on PiTubeDirect.

Other than the go-faster and super-speed 6502 second processors, you can also choose one of many others, and each one has some choices of applications and operating systems. See here:
https://github.com/hoglet67/PiTubeDirec ... CoPro-core

(As noted, the *fx command will be different for an Electron)

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by Prime » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:04 pm

I'm going to have a play with PiTube on the AP5 once all the bits arrive (Pi0 and RetroClinic adapter!).

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:22 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:21 am
The latest version of the Plus 1 support ROM 1.31 has an extra command:

*TUBE (ON|OFF|<num>)

So you can change between co-pros a lot easier. Thanks to JGH =D>

Dave H :D
Just arrived today PiTubeDirect. It seems the Rom version in the AP6 doesn’t support it 1.30. I guess I need to update it.
Richard B
Acorn Electrons issue 4 and issue 6 with Master RAM Board, Acorn Plus 1, AP6, AP5, Pegasus 400, BeebSCSI, Gotek, Raspberry Pi 2nd Processor, GoSDC MBE with Elk2GoSDC and Cart2GoSDC.
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:27 pm

image.jpg
*FX command works! :D
Richard B
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:24 pm

Did some testing with some of my favourite games with theTube configured for Acorn 6502 second processor. Planetoid mostly works and Elite works perfectly so far. With Elite it seems a bit more responsive, but this could just be wishfully thinking from me.

The PiTubeDirect came just in time for some basic programming I was doing as I had just run out of memory using Mode 1 and was think of sacrificing colours and switching to mode 4.
Richard B
Acorn Electrons issue 4 and issue 6 with Master RAM Board, Acorn Plus 1, AP6, AP5, Pegasus 400, BeebSCSI, Gotek, Raspberry Pi 2nd Processor, GoSDC MBE with Elk2GoSDC and Cart2GoSDC.
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by jms2 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:15 pm

Are you saying that Tube Elite works on the Electron? :shock: Surely not.... Also Planetoid won't work with the Tube switched on.

I think you must be playing the normal version of Elite with the tube switched off. In this case it will work fine, but there won't be any speed up unfortunately.

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by rmbrowngr » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:37 pm

Haven't got the Tube version of Elite to load yet. It throws an error.

The "normal" version of Elite works happily with the Tube turned on.

Twin Kingdom Valley runs, but the pictures of rooms have some problems rendering. Looks like the fill doesn't work.
Richard B
Acorn Electrons issue 4 and issue 6 with Master RAM Board, Acorn Plus 1, AP6, AP5, Pegasus 400, BeebSCSI, Gotek, Raspberry Pi 2nd Processor, GoSDC MBE with Elk2GoSDC and Cart2GoSDC.
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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by paradroid90 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:43 pm

This looks very interesting, and may have to buy a present for my AP5 :-)
6502 Junkie :-)

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Re: PiTubeDirect on an Electron

Post by jms2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:10 pm

rmbrowngr wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:37 pm
Haven't got the Tube version of Elite to load yet. It throws an error.
That's not a surprise to me... it is definitely BBC only.
The "normal" version of Elite works happily with the Tube turned on.
That is a bit of a surprise. It must do something specific to avoid using the second processor. Most games don't, and fail as a result.
Twin Kingdom Valley runs, but the pictures of rooms have some problems rendering. Looks like the fill doesn't work.
That's consistent with a game which uses legal OS routines for text output, and line plotting but which is writing directly to the screen to do fills. In other words, it's not working! In the case of TKV, it's fortunate that the resulting game is still playable. Adventure games (particularly text ones) are an example of a type of game which ought to be quite well-suited to second processor operation.

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