Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

threads for previous physical ABug events
Post Reply
User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:07 pm

Hi Folks,

Well, 2019 is about to come to a close and so it is with joy we close out our 2019 season with our final ABUG Canada West meeting of this year.

I'll say that it was a very good meeting where we didn't achieve everything we wanted to but we did have a lot of fun, shared gifts (that turned out to be decidedly non-Acorn in nature) and learned more about Acorn things as we usually do.

As usual, I'll give my perspective on the meeting and Paul will follow up with his goals/objectives and perspectives on how that went.

My first goal was to see if I could manufacture a battery connector for my PocketBook II. I bought it knowing the connector was rusted out. My aim was to use a dremel and the existing good one to create one out of a lid off my cat's food, a challenge to be sure.

Below are some pictures just showing the effort that went into this and the results.
1-PocketBook Battery Connector.jpg
.
Here I'm just starting to use the dremel to cut out the basic (not BASIC) outline of the part needed.
.
2-PocketBook Battery Connector.jpg
.
Call the fire department, it looks like it's getting warm in here.....actually no real danger but it was an interesting effect. Good catch Paul!!!
.
3-PocketBook Battery Connector.jpg
.
Bending the piece so it would fit properly in the PocketBook
.
4-PocketBook Battery Connector.jpg
.
Trying to fit the piece into the PocketBook. This was surprisingly difficult. I eventually used long needlenose pliers to help achieve the task.
.
5a-Manufactured Piece.png
.
This is what the piece looks like. I did polish it up so it's more tinny looking and also scraped where I needed to solder it so the solder would take.
.
5-No Life Yet.jpg
.
Well, it doesn't seem to work. I did test to ensure there was continuity so the device itself may have a problem. I found the piece I made to be a bit flimsy so I will take it and add solder to the parts that need to be more solid. Perhaps the connection is not 'solid' enough to pass a current. This is for a bit further down the road as it seems to busy right now at this time of year.
.
6-A3010 used to check joysticks.jpg
.
Paul wanted to check his joystick to see if it worked on my A3010 and I had a joystick that came with a Commodore machine that I wanted to check so as Paul brought one of the few games that used 2 joysticks in it to play, we got set up.....
.
7-Squash anyone.jpg
.
This is the game that Paul found - Squash.......I thought that was a vegetable......
.
8-Playing Squash.jpg
.
Ok, this is early on and we were both learning the game. Paul's joystick worked fine on the A3010 and mine did too in spite of it not having a spring in the fire button.
.
9a-More Squash.png
.
This was further on and we were really having fun. One thing we discovered is how our hands were somewhat bruised after using these archaic joysticks. I'd forgotten about all that.....ouch!
.
The reason Paul wanted to check out his joystick on the A3010 was because it didn't work on his A3020. We realized of course it couldn't unless a proper joystick pod was installed on that computer. The serial one won't interpret the signals correctly. The reason i wanted to check mine out was I wasn't certain it would work on Acorn products.

So, the future may hold an A3020 upgrade that will allow Paul to play on it using a joystick. Seems a worthy project.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:20 pm

9-Qwak got played.jpg
.
We had a bit of a go at Qwak. I wanted to show Paul a couple tricks on the game to help him through some of the levels.
.
10-Gift from Paul.png
.
Paul's very generous gift was a Roamer which works really well. Though not strictly Acorn, it certainly has it's roots in Acorn.
.
Canada West ABUG group picture.png
.
A happy ABUG group in Canada sharing the joy of the season and learning more and more about Acorn with great happiness. My head is not usually as flat as that........

That's it from me so now I turn it over to the very capable Paul Klintworth to give his take on the ABUG meeting.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

User avatar
klintworth
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by klintworth » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:37 am

It all started with a very atmospheric drive along the Sea to Sky Highway encountering torrential rain, flooding, mist and fog! I was very appreciative of the hot coffee along with treats once I arrived at Ed's. First Ed showed me his new acquisitions for his Commodore family. I used to have an Amiga back in 1994 which I just used for playing games (all my other micros were 8 bit) so it was interesting to see Ed's in action. Then Ed showed my his C128, which was the last Commodore 8 bit machine - interesting that it had 3 operating systems. Imagine my surprise when Ed gave me a big box with my very own C128 in it!! Back in the day we always viewed the Commodore machines as games machines, whereas the Acorn micros were the ones for serious users!
IMG_5020.JPG
All loaded up
IMG_5021.jpg
Open the box!!

There were just two main goals for me: try out my new Midi to Music 4000 adapter from danielj
danielj wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:30 pm

As described in the topic here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17146
and look at CF/SD formatting for my new A3020. I'd recently picked up a Roland PC160 Midi keyboard from Craigslist, and I'd followed a very clear YouTube tutorial for converting a Music 500 to Music 5000 so that it would work with a Master. https://bit.ly/35L5nK4 Dan's Midi to Music 4000 adapter works flawlessly - Ed tested the system by playing a lovely piece (which he didn't want recorded!) Too bad I couldn't find a ukulele voice (Ed is a very accomplished uke player!) I also had to research how to set up the Shift/Break for the Master Music 5000 ssd on my Gotek - been a while since I'd set that up.
IMG_5030.JPG
My Hybrid Music set up - includes Ed in the background as he's the musician!!

Next up was the A3020 CF/SD formatting. I'm using an old IDE - CF adapter, and found a 256mb formatted for Acorn. Ideally I'd like a bit more free space so we tried formatting both a 512mb CF card as well as a 2Gb SD card. Both cards wouldn't format, so I guess they're not compatible with my system. What would you recommend for an A3020? Further down the line I'd like to use solid state storage for my A7000+ - what would be the best recommended IDE adapter?
IMG_5037.JPG
Opening up the A3020
IMG_5038.JPG
We tried using !Hform but received errors
IMG_5044.JPG
Only the 256mb card works
IMG_5054.jpg
CF - IDE adapter

We had fun playing RiscOS games, especially Jahangir Khan squash - it took me a while to master the joystick control! Then all too quickly it was time for me to hit the road and venture out into the driving rain for most of the journey back home. Really looking forward to what 2020 holds for ABUG Canada West - I have a feeling there'll be new members!! Merry Christmas everyone :P

PS When I got home I tested my new C128 and managed to get an image on the RF cable
IMG_5051.JPG
It's alive!
IMG_5053.JPG
Interesting to see these two side by side!
BBC B Issue 4 & 7, BBC B (USA), BBC Master, Electron, BBC Master Compact, Olivetti PC128S, Castle A7000+, A3020, Valiant Turtle (sans IR Communicator!)

Kazzie
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by Kazzie » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:52 pm

KarateEd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:20 pm
Paul's very generous gift was a Roamer which works really well. Though not strictly Acorn, it certainly has it's roots in Acorn.
I've got one that my wife salvaged from a primary school cupboard a few years back. Rather than fashion a charger for the two lead-acid lantern batteries it uses, or spend a fortune on regular zinc-carbon ones, I found some plastic adapters that allow each battery to be replaced by four 'D' cells. Those are far easier to get hold of!
KarateEd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:07 pm
This is the game that Paul found - Squash.......I thought that was a vegetable......
I sympathise with you there. Trying to explain what zucchini bread is to people this side is a bit challenging. ("What do you mean it's bread with courgette in it?")
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:14 pm

Kazzie wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:52 pm
KarateEd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:20 pm
Paul's very generous gift was a Roamer which works really well. Though not strictly Acorn, it certainly has it's roots in Acorn.
I've got one that my wife salvaged from a primary school cupboard a few years back. Rather than fashion a charger for the two lead-acid lantern batteries it uses, or spend a fortune on regular zinc-carbon ones, I found some plastic adapters that allow each battery to be replaced by four 'D' cells. Those are far easier to get hold of!
.
I'd be interested in how you created that charger and how it fits/works within the roamer, if you still have the plans or description of it.
.
KarateEd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:07 pm
This is the game that Paul found - Squash.......I thought that was a vegetable......
.
I sympathise with you there. Trying to explain what zucchini bread is to people this side is a bit challenging. ("What do you mean it's bread with courgette in it?")
.
Yeh, I think I understand you there because I have no idea what 'courgette' is, though i suppose I could google it.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

Kazzie
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by Kazzie » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:05 am

KarateEd wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:14 pm
Kazzie wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:52 pm
KarateEd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:20 pm
Paul's very generous gift was a Roamer which works really well. Though not strictly Acorn, it certainly has it's roots in Acorn.
I've got one that my wife salvaged from a primary school cupboard a few years back. Rather than fashion a charger for the two lead-acid lantern batteries it uses, or spend a fortune on regular zinc-carbon ones, I found some plastic adapters that allow each battery to be replaced by four 'D' cells. Those are far easier to get hold of!
.
I'd be interested in how you created that charger and how it fits/works within the roamer, if you still have the plans or description of it.
I bought them "off-the-shelf" , as it happens, the problem was finding out that they existed (and then finding a seller). Here's an example image and a link:
41-0805_1.JPG
6V Lantern to 4x D Adapter
KarateEd wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:14 pm
Yeh, I think I understand you there because I have no idea what 'courgette' is, though i suppose I could google it.
That illustrates my point perfectly! (They're both names for the same vegetable, but most people here seem to consider it a salad vegetable, and are confused at the idea of putting it in a bread.)
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:15 am

Thanks very much for this Kazzie.......
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

User avatar
klintworth
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by klintworth » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:22 pm

Kazzie wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:05 am
41-0805_1.JPG
41-0805_1.JPG (14.81 KiB) Viewed 664 times
Thanks Kazzie! =D> Great idea to use a battery adapter - off to the battery store today!! :D
BBC B Issue 4 & 7, BBC B (USA), BBC Master, Electron, BBC Master Compact, Olivetti PC128S, Castle A7000+, A3020, Valiant Turtle (sans IR Communicator!)

User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:06 am

Hey Kazzie,

Another question for you or any other guru on here......Do you know where a person could source the rubber 'tires' for the wheels on the Roamer?

Thanks in advance,
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

Kazzie
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by Kazzie » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:23 pm

KarateEd wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:06 am
Hey Kazzie,

Another question for you or any other guru on here......Do you know where a person could source the rubber 'tires' for the wheels on the Roamer?

Thanks in advance,
There's the outside chance that the OEM (Valiant) may still have some spares, but they's been selling their miniaturised successor model (Roamer Too) for roughly a decade now, so they may be out of them. They do have some manuals and paperwork hiding on some archived web pages here and there, though. An alternative would be to buy another old one and scavenge the parts needed (I'd be happy to buy one in the UK and only ship the needed parts overseas for you if needed).

If you've got a problem with the Roamer not driving straight, there is a means of adjusting the rotation of each wheel independently to straighten things up. Try http://www.valiant-technology.com/us/pa ... faqs07.php
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

User avatar
KarateEd
Posts: 4599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: ABUG Canada West Dec 20 2019 Meetup #17

Post by KarateEd » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:39 pm

Thanks Kazzie, that may prove very useful. I don't think I'll need parts for this Roamer, just have to source neoprene rubber for it. There may be a store in Squamish that would have something I could use to create the rubber that will help the Roamer drive better on surfaces. Without the rubber on the wheels, it tends to be really inaccurate. I'll source the rubber first and then use this test, again thanks this looks really good.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken Beeb Motherboards, 1 Omnibus A7000+ server, 1 A7000+ Desktop, 1 PET, 1 C64, 1 C128, 1 Amiga 500 and 1 Roamer.

Post Reply

Return to “past physical ABug events”