BeebSID

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
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MartinB
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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:59 pm

Thankyou gentlemen - Creative what now ? :?

Sounds err.. great, but how do we 'slap one on' then ?

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:26 pm

Add this text to stuff:


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.



Place it by your normal copyright notice (ie Copyright (C) yourname year)

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Re: BeebSID

Post by iomanoid » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:04 pm

What's wrong with people making them for profit? Like I said, I'd be amongst those happy to pay someone to build it all up for me, as I'm all thumbs and thumbs (and thumbs) when it comes to electrickery - and I certainly don't think they should go to all that trouble for free...! :shock:

(well..... unless they really want to ;))

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:19 pm

That's where the ability to wavier the license it comes in... I think we just don't want people selling them on eBay to unsuspecting non-STH viewers for ridiculously inflated prices.

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MartinB
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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:13 pm

Hmm... I think I’m perhaps being misquoted and/or misunderstood here.

/me pauses from BeebSID PCB routing to explain……/

[abridged intro] Many moons ago, Tom Walker contacted me and asked about the possibility of interfacing a SID chip to the Beeb. I drew up a design and passed it to Tom. He had a fair crack at building it but found he was pushing his (at the time) soldering skills so he sent the bits to me and I built the prototype and sent it back to him. Tom wrote and converted lots of wonderful ditties for the gadget and he showcased it at various events. BeebSID was born.
Tom, myself and Dave M then discussed at length how we could perhaps make BeebSID available to our friendly STH community at a sensible price – especially when there are so many demands on our pockets already with all the other attractive gadgets around.
Therefore, the initial plan was simply to publish and be damned! However, as soon as I’d done that I realised that this wouldn’t help the majority of people because building something like BeebSID on Veroboard is not an easy thing to do and is an impossible thing to do if you don’t ‘do’ electronics. By the same token, it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect each of our handful of ‘builders’ to knock out several Vero versions. Therefore, I decided that we needed a BeebSID PCB and, in the absence of volunteers, the job was mine. I’ve never really done any significant PCB design before beyond a couple of chips and this is the reason it’s taken me a while – basically, I’ve had to learn how to do it! I also decided not just to publish the design but also to explain it, discuss it and share my learning traumas as BeebSID moves from a scruffy bit of paper to a shiny PCB. [/abridged intro]

I’ve now spent hundreds of hours on this project and we’re still not there yet but I’m still devoting as much time as I can to BeebSID and I will see this to completion. I’ve asked for volunteers to build one or two for those who can’t (and it’s not a major task to assemble a small project onto a PCB) because I just wouldn’t have the time. I have no problem at all with the ‘builders’ charging something for their time – it’s none of my business at the end of the day – just as long as BeebSID gets to the people on STH for an affordable outlay.

Now, given all of the above, the only point I was trying to make is that once we are all equipped with BeebSID we could have a collective discussion about the way forward for the project. I don’t even see any decisions as being mine to make and if anyone, I’d redirect the question to Tom – the IP is his as far as I’m concerned.
Cutting to the chase then, if we were to try and turn a profit, I would personally suggest that any such profit were directed for example to this very site (aka Dave M) or Retrosoftware (aka Samwise) to encourage them to keep up the good work from which we all benefit. There’s so much free stuff that we all enjoy and so many people doing so much work simply for the love of it that I for one am happy to give something back. How about a donation to Mike Wyatt for our beloved BeebEm for example? (Especially when we’ll be wanting a BeebSID emulator in the next version… :wink: )

Anyway, those are just my sketchy thoughts – they’re not gospel and they’re not a potshot at anyone, the question is a fair one but is also one I feel that we, the STH community, should make collectively.

/me returns to BeebSID PCB routing/

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:50 pm

BeebSID has now been terminated... :D
BeebSID top.JPG
BeebSID top.JPG (30.27 KiB) Viewed 3624 times
BeebSID bottom.JPG
BeebSID bottom.JPG (25.82 KiB) Viewed 3625 times

After hours of juggling, we now have pass-thru AND the option of termination packs - Yay! (This will serve to get Mark off my back but will also guarantee that they'll never be needed :wink:) It took some significant head-scratching and no end of tantrums but hey, who needs Nintendo Brain Training when you've got a BeebSID to design!

It passes all the design rule tests and aligns with the schematic so I just need to print out a scale version (DipTrace does support this) and trial fit the analogue discrete components etc. and then I think it'll be ready for quotes :D

This is the time for any final input people....

Martin
Last edited by MartinB on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:19 am

YAY! =D> Nice job!

Mark.

...although you could have put the 3 logic chips into a PAL.... :lol: Just kidding.....
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Re: BeebSID

Post by sirmorris » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:50 pm

Seconded! =D>

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Lion
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Re: BeebSID

Post by Lion » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:01 pm

I'm concerned about the noncommercial aspect of the license you have chosen. Do you not want to encourage people to make and sell PCBs for you?

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MartinB
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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:52 pm

Thanks for the input David and I'm sure you guys know way more about this side of things than I do :(. In fact, I have to admit that I haven't a clue about this licence stuff and just did what was suggested. I'm probably being terribly naive but loosely...

Let's say that 20 STH residents say they'd like one but 10 of those can't build their own. I was hoping that the 10 who can would offer in some permuation to build one for the rest. I kind of hoped also that the builders would only charge a nominal 'handling' fee so that the cost doesn't rocket and prove to be a barrier to owning one. I really do think that the more of us who have a BeebSID, the more enjoyment we'll all get out of owning one.

Once everyone here is sorted, I then envisaged us having a discussion as to whether folk could then go off individually and build and sell as many as they like for whatever they like (not my favourite) or whether we could suggest that anyone feeling willing could build and sell one or two with a view to donating the profit to some agreed and deserving pot.

Does that licence prevent any or all of that and if so, what do I need to do instead :?. In the short-term, I just want to do as Charlie suggested and prevent random profiteering pirates from lining their pockets from our stuff. (Don't say that I shouldn't therefore have worked in public because that's part of the enjoyment for me and I otherwise probably wouldn't have bothered!)

Help....?

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by Lion » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:55 pm

It doesn't really prevent that, all it does is require people who want to sell PCBs for profit - even a tiny profit - to gain permission from you first. In effect you are re-licensing your designs to them under a new license that does allow them to sell the boards commercially.

What it does prevent is people selling PCBs made from your design, for profit, without your permission.

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:12 pm

Which, or at least how I interpreted it, is what he wants...

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:00 pm

I think this is now the final PCB layout and I'm therefore ready to get quotes... :shock:
BeebSID Iss 2 PCB Top.JPG
BeebSID Iss 2 PCB Top.JPG (45.25 KiB) Viewed 3472 times

It's titled Issue 2 to reflect the associated update of the schematic when I added the termination packs. I've also conducted a review of the discrete components and realised that right back at the beginning (when wearing L plates) I'd just lobbed any old patterns in there meaning to check them later and so I've...

* Set the four electrolytics to 2mm pin spacing reflecting 25v radial types. 2mm sounded small but does seem to be the common 'A' package for these four values.

* Reworked the C1 & C2 SID filter cap region to allow upto 18mm wire spacing since axial Polystyrene caps are quite large. The default 6800pf ones will have a length of approx. 15mm but there's plenty of room in case these need to be tinkered with. (As audio electronic buffs will know, Polystyrene is the material of choice in applications such as this.)

* Increased the pin spacing for the five decoupling caps to 5mm because I'm specifying 0.1 disc ceramics for true retro authenticity :wink:

* Beefed up the trace width for the Vcc and ground tracking.

* Added component ID's and polarity markers etc. to the silk screen layer but note that if the PCB's can be had for significantly less by omitting the silk screen then it'll be gone!

So, I think we're there at last! Thus far, not that many people have declared an interest in having a PCB so I guess I'll initially just have to play it by ear regarding numbers.

@ Mark, Alan, Phill etc... any particular tips on getting quotes, negotiating prices etc. etc. ?

Martin
Last edited by MartinB on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

irrelevant

Re: BeebSID

Post by irrelevant » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:44 pm

MartinB wrote:Thus far, not that many people have declared an interest in having a PCB so I guess I'll initially just have to play it by ear regarding numbers.
OK... put me down as a tentative interest in a board .. I used to have great fun playing music on the beebs in the 80s, so would be interesting to see what this can achieve. (but don't expect any original compositions from me!) Hope the price doesn't work out too much.. I'll also have to find a SID chip - is it basically just rip apart any old C64 for one, or are there certain models to look for/avoid ?

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:17 pm

Yep, tentative interest is all I'm looking for at the moment Rob. I intend to get several quotes and then ask for a commit to buy only once we know the exact price. I will only be looking to recover the actual price paid per board plus a small p&p charge - i.e. whatever it costs me to pack & post.

For up-front interest, I filled in one on-line quote and with a fair degree of (at this time) ignorance, I selected probably the best of everything (and then some :roll:) and it quoted a unit price of 13 Euros per board for 25 pieces. That's probably then an upper-end guide price and once I start shopping around and reducing to 'no frills' I think it could well come down somewhat but don't quote me just yet!

'Sourcing SID' knowledge is not really my specialist thing so can all SID sourcing experts please start chipping in now please.... Yes, information is power but without SIDs for the lads, my hope for BeebSID en-masse surely will crash and burn :(

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:29 am

Hi.

Try contacting http://www.p-m-services.co.uk/ and send the files to Vicky. Tell her I recommended them. I would hazard a guess that 50 boards would be about £4.00 each, plus a one of tooling of £60.00, but they'll give you a no obligation quote.

Mark.
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Re: BeebSID

Post by Elk Towers » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:32 am

I am interested in a board as well :D
Nick

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:59 pm

Mark wrote:Try contacting...
Yes, I now recall you mentioning them before and I will indeed make them my first (perhaps only) port of call. Had a look at the website and it makes me feel very 'comfortable' - not least because they're based in a mill in Todmorden and anything 'up North' can only be good =D>. My family history is rooted in the Todmorden mills so I think I'll check the ledgers first - you never know, P+M might owe me some ground rent :wink:

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:28 pm

:-k

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0454769829

Elektron SID? :lol:

Nice price tho...I'll take 6 :^o

Mark.
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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:41 pm

And on the subject of obtaining SIDs...

Click me

brings up quite a few hits, but bear in mind, some of those sellers are simply black holes for your $$$, or sell counterfeit stuff, whilst others are perfectly legit.

I've put the feelers out to a few of the contacts I trust, see if we can get some at a decent price.

Mark.
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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:09 pm

Thanks Mark - very good of you :D

Anyone else got, or knows of SID stocks....?

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by Samwise » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:14 am

Guys,

IANAL, but I think the discussion about the creative commons license is a bit off the point. By my understanding, it doesn't have any bearing on someone selling the BeebSID hardware which is the concern MartinB has raised. The creative commons license will protect the design diagram itself - so it can be used to stop someone publishing the design in a book of PCB projects, for example. As creator, MartinB doesn't have to mark his design as being copyrighted by him (though it wouldn't hurt) - it is automatically attributed to him. The only reason for applying a creative commons license is if you want to encourage people to re-use the design diagram. Perhaps to encourage people to take the design and re-publish it on other websites. In this case, I'm not actually sure that's something MartinB is actually wanting to promote so he may well be better off removing that license. Also, if it is to be used, the license text should be printed on the design diagram itself, not just listed underneath it in the forum post.

Protecting the physical hardware from being copied and sold for profit, which is what I think MartinB is concerned about here, requires a different mindset and is generally protected by patent law rather than copyright law. It is possible to apply a license designed for software, like the GPL or LGPL, to a hardware product but there are hardware-specific open licenses, such as the TAPR Open Hardware License which may be more appropriate.

That all said, this isn't my area - I don't know of any such licenses that would stop people selling the product for profit. Generally, the idea behind open source hardware is to encourage people to make and sell the product being designed, but to feedback to the community any upgrades that are made - like open source software. This is also why FLOSS software licenses generally don't have not-for-profit clauses either.

Upshot - as MartinB is wanting to keep an eye on the selling of the product for now at least, I suggest the diagrams would probably be better off without any attempt at applying a license at this point and are left simply as copyrighted designs. Perhaps a little "(c) MartinB / TomW 2009" notice on each design picture, if that is to be made clear (though I don't think it's legally required). If this mod really does need legal protection down the line, I suspect the expensive patent route would have to be looked at - though whether you could do that when someone else owns the design of the SID chip? *shrug* ... wha' do I know? :wink:

Sam.

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:09 am

Thanks as ever for that comprehensive input Sam :D

It's funny how the simplest (most naive?) of motives can lead to such a complex discussion. I guess I'll just pop the blinkers on and hope that the bad guys have got better things to do with their time :roll:

We'll just progress in easy stages now - as soon as the quote is back I'll ask for a definitive list of 'wanters' and then there'll probably be some manoeuvering to balance the price and the demand. It could be though that the issue of 'selling-on' may need to be addressed quickly because if that means I can move more boards and hence achieve cost viabilty then ke sera 8)

Anyway, watch this space as they say...

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Hi.

You should concider assembling some yourself and selling them on eBay. Put them in a neat little Beeb colored case, plenty of LEDs - people love LEDs :lol: You could even use the same ones I use for DC - make it a neat little stack! Put Tom's software with it as a package and see how popular they are.

I would think they should fetch £49.50 ish, but a lot would depend on how easy it would be to get the SIDs themselves.

Mark.
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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:56 pm

Sounds good Mark and that's precisely the type of suggestion and discussion I'm looking for but sadly, I don't think it'll be me - no room at the Inn of Life :roll:. As I suggested earlier, if the boards are not cheap (in context) then it might well be that the project 'rights' should be handed over to someone who can give BeebSID a deserved crack of the whip. (I'll note you down as a potential candidate then.. :wink:)

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:11 pm

Not-very-great news as far as me buying this is concerned! I took a look at the old C64, and it turns out that it is the SID causing the problem! Taking it out causes it to work fine! So now I need 2 SIDs, rather than 0...

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:27 pm

That's not necessarily a definite diagnosis so don't chuck it just yet! If, for example, the SID chip select (/CS) circuitry has a fault such that the SID is being offered the data bus in error, removing the SID would indeed clear the fault but without the SID being faulty. Once we're overrun with BeebSIDs, someone could test it for you before it hits the bin :wink:

(In other words, you're not getting out of buying a PCB that easily [-X)

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:46 pm

There was a loud buzzing coming from the speaker when the SID was inserted, so I'm guessing (might be wrong) that it's more than that.

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Re: BeebSID

Post by MartinB » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:37 pm

Good news people - the BeebSID boards are being made and should be with me in a week to ten days :D

I talked to several manufacturers and managed in the end to get full specification boards with solder resist on both sides and silk screening on the top. (The screen gives printed component 'shadows' and circuit references.) A particularly rewarding aspect for me was the fact that none of the manufacturers had any complaints about the design and it passed all their checks first time. I did have some err.. , fun, getting my head round the world of Gerber RS274x files (industry standard PCB ‘instructions’) and those manufacturers that didn’t support native DipTrace needed the Gerber export option. All in all though, considering I was virtually clueless a couple of months ago, the idiot-to-expert learning curve was steep but satisfying 8)

Numbers ordered have a significant bearing on unit PCB prices so after much anguish I compromised on 25 which has set me back a total £143.70 inclusive and means the unit cost from the manufacturer is £5.75. I'm going to round this up to £7 per board (delivered) to STH members because I have incurred some costs along the way and there'll be a jiffy bag (pre-loved of course), a stamp and a visit to the PO but you can rest assured that £7 still represents zero profit as promised. I’m actually quite pleased at that price because it was very much looking like a full spec board was going to be more in the region of £10-12 or, to keep the price realistic, the boards would have to have been track only – i.e. no resist and no screen :(. However, my persistence paid off and we got there in the end so I hope that the price meets favourably with everyone’s expectations.

I plan to keep two for myself and will possibly be building two for other folk so let’s assume that there’s 21 up for grabs. Now, I really do need to pass these on to people because I don’t want to be sitting ad-infinitum on £110+ pounds worth of gear. Please remember that this isn’t the normal sales pitch, I’m not trying to maximise profits, I’m trying to minimise my losses [-o<. So, even if you’re not sure whether you might get round to building a BeebSID, get a board anyway and support the project. Elk owners, don’t think this isn’t for you, one way or another there will be a 1MHz bus interface along in the future (won’t there Mark :wink:) and these boards will take their place in the continuing Acorn story and there may never be another batch. As soon as these are all taken I can embark another project and I’ve already got half an eye on that no frills ram/rom board (the Bucon) we talked about. However, if this project backfires on me financially then I won’t be doing the like again [-X

Anyway, once the boards arrive I will be building a BeebSID asap in order to prove the PCB but I’m quietly confident that all will be well. I’ll have to leave it to you all to sort out whose doing what for who and how you go about sourcing components etc. because I haven’t the time to project-manage the whole supply activity – my work here is done :wink:

As discussed already, I have no objection to builders charging for their services but at this time I don’t want anyone to be flogging them on the open market (e.g. eBay). This is something that we can talk about further down the line but I hope that I can unload this batch of boards without that being an issue. If there is a subsequent demand for more then either I’ll hand over the BeebSID rights to others or we’ll find some other mutually agreed way forward. Is that fair?

So people, don’t be shy, stake your claim, dust off your wallets and support this ground-breaking approach to pimping yer Acorn kit. Remember, it's not a case of 'Do I really want one', it's a case of 'Martin really needs me to have one' :D

@ Tom W – If you haven’t already done so, can you be thinking about modifying a suitable demo proggy to support the new $FC20 address please?

Martin

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Re: BeebSID

Post by retroclinic » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:51 pm

Nice one Martin. As said before, please put me down for 2!

@ Tom, what would be REALLY good, would be to modify the Keyboard program on the Welcome disk/tape, to work wioth the BeebSID? I've seen 2 versions, one that does one note at a time, and a later polyphonic version, make sure to do the latter - if you haven't got it, I can mail it to you.

Mark.
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