Started building

Talk about the PockeTerm, updates, and uses

Started building

Postby mfortuna » Feb Tue 24, 2009 8:22 am

Got all the discretes in (yet another guy that doesn't follow the manual) and hope to finish up tonight. I hate working with lead free solder.

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Postby vbriel » Feb Tue 24, 2009 12:29 pm

The manual is a general reference, not a rule. Everybody has their own style. I've always stuck with the smallest first, then moved up so as you flip the board over, the parts stay in the board.

Keep us updated.

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Tue 24, 2009 9:48 pm

Success but with two issues, one minor. First, thanks Vince for nice well designed product. It went together well and is nicely layed out.

Now for the issues:

IMHO the host serial port should be male since that is what a PC is and one of the uses is to replace a terminal emulator running on a PC with the Pocketerm. I can't use my existing cable to connect my replica1 or microkim to the pocketerm.

My Polaroid LCD TV with VGA input doesn't display. It says not supported. That is kind of a bummer since that is the display I was hoping to use. A regular computer LCD monitor works fine.

The keyboard works fine so I'm of in search of a different cable or gender bender.

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Postby vbriel » Feb Wed 25, 2009 8:03 am

The resolution is 640X480 which most monitors work with. Bummer that you can't make that work. That is the most common display setting and the best I could do for compatibility.

I almost went male on the connectors but I couldn't because the standard for terminals is female DCE standard. I wanted to keep the terminal the way other terminals are. This means a different cable or genderbender is required for using the Micro-KIM or replica 1 as a display terminal.

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Wed 25, 2009 11:17 am

I will find the TV manual and see what modes it supports. I tried to do an auto-config and it displays not supported after a while. Maybe I will have to tweek the prop code.

A debug hint that lets you test the serial port with no host:

Place the jumpers on pins 1&2 and pins 5&6. That will allow you to echo typed characters back.


I did find a DB9M to DB9M cable at work so I will try connecting to a host tonight.

Mike
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Postby vbriel » Feb Wed 25, 2009 3:49 pm

LOL, I was going to post the loopback test with the jumper but I wanted to post pictures first. That's a sweet way to test the terminal.

The nice thing about the jumpers, if you don't know if that is a null modem cable or not, try STD, then switch if that doesn't work.

I just realized that the slowest BAUD is only 1200 and this means my OSI Superboard II serial port wouldn't work since it only works at 300. I need to update the PockeTerm firmware to allow 300 & 600 Baud for those really slow machines.

Mike, how long did your build take?

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Wed 25, 2009 4:05 pm

I'd say about 2.5 hours total.

90 minutes for all the discretes
30 minutes to solder everything else
30 minutes to clean, inspect, measure voltages, install ICs, and test.

BTW, my TV manual implies it only supports 1024 x 768 resolution. I will see what I have it set to on the PC because I don't think that is what it is set to.

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Postby vbriel » Feb Wed 25, 2009 8:04 pm

The driver is able to be changed. Do you have any info on the TV, such as a link to a supplier?

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Wed 25, 2009 10:30 pm

Its a Polaroid 15" LCD TV. It handles 800x600 fine, that is what I have it set to. The PC graphics card/driver doesn't go any lower. Model # is TLA01511C.

Good news is my Replica1 SE works fine with pocketerm and I can connect to it via teraterm on the PC.

What was weird is once I connected with tera term the PT seemed to reset and make my monitor auto-config. May be a crappy wallwart for the PT.

Anyway, the pocketerm is up and running fine with no assembly related issues. I give it a thumbs up.

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Postby vbriel » Feb Wed 25, 2009 11:30 pm

No, that is normal. What is happening is the serial port has the reset pin on the propeller connected to the serial port which is required for programming. When you plug in on that port, it can reset the propeller chip.

There are different video rates for the video driver of the PT, if you have used spin before you will know where to look, if not I can guide you. Changing the resolution will change the screen size of the characters. For example, 800X600 will make the 100X50 columns and rows of characters instead of 80X40. Seems like an improvement but there are drawbacks to VT100. Plus, since I was aiming at VT100 which is 80X25 I never even used that video rate.

Find the VGA_HiRes_Text file to figure out how to mod it, you'll find it.

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Thu 26, 2009 8:29 am

Thanks Vince. I remember seeing that reset in the schematics but forgot all about it.

I have messed with prop code a little and will try making it work at 800x600. I did look at the code yesterday and the only challenging part will be the split screen stuff. I think it will be easy to just not use the whole display. I will make the split higher and either center or move horizontally so blanks are displayed to maintain the 80x40.
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Postby vbriel » Feb Thu 26, 2009 1:54 pm

First hack on the PockeTerm code. Actually, you can dump the split screen stuff if you want, I was going for the authentic terminal look and feel. There are some things like scrolling and stuff that all can be hacked and if you hose the code, there's a copy on the CD.

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Fri 27, 2009 11:52 pm

I built a version using 800x600 and can see the difference on my LCD monitor. The font is smaller and now I'm skewed to the left. Monitor sees the difference in refresh rate.

But the Polarod TV still complains about not supported. I guess i will try 1024 by 768 next.
Mike

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Postby mfortuna » Feb Sat 28, 2009 9:01 am

1024x768 looks great on the computer monitor but alas the Polaroid TV displays "Not Support". I noticed my monitor lists the vertical frequency as 57 hertz. I wonder if this is off enough to mess up the Polaroid. I bought the Polaroid since it has composite video and an HD TV tuner. The composite video lets me use my Replica1 and AppleIIs.

Oh yeah, stay away from the cheap mi keyboards and mice available at sprawlmart. I bought two about a year ago and both mechanical mice and one keyboard have stopped working. Their optical mouse works but I don't have high hopes for how long it will last.

Next up for the pocketerm will be hooking it up to my microvax. That should be a good test for the VT100 codes.
Last edited by mfortuna on Feb Sat 28, 2009 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike

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Postby vbriel » Feb Sat 28, 2009 1:02 pm

While I've used the Propeller chip with composite video more than VGA, I'm sure there are some monitors that just won't work. Funny, I tried finding a really old monitor to try it with and it sync'd up perfect.

I was thinking of getting one of those small 10" VGA monitors on ebay, I'll have to check into it a little more.

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