Pocket-Term

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Pocket-Term

Postby mike3 » Dec Mon 29, 2008 1:33 pm

Hello ,, Vince...

Wondering about your Pocket Term Project.. will It be avaliable Soon... I have been looking for something like this a long time... Regards... Mike
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Postby vbriel » Dec Mon 29, 2008 7:28 pm

Hi Mike,

Yes, I just ordered prototype boards today and with the holidays it will take about 2 weeks to get them. After that it is just a matter of cleaning up the code a little and then I can do a production run. There's always a chance for error on the design or board layout but I'm trying to get things right the first time.

As of right now, the terminal is simply a "dumb terminal" meaning it can't do any VT-100 special commands such as clear screen, or cursor movements but I will be starting on those soon. The firmware will be user upgradeable so any improvements will only require a PC to PockeTerm connection.

For anybody who doesn't know, I finished my Propeller terminal board that gives computers a singleboard terminal that can run VGA and TV uses a PS/2 keyboard and has duel serial ports. The second port has programmable Tx/RX lines so you don't need to have special cables made.

I didn't want to post anything until I had working hardware but it was such a simple project, I'm sure the prototype will turn into a production run.

Vince
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Postby vbriel » Jan Sun 11, 2009 12:38 pm

I have prototype boards arriving tomorrow and I'll be testing it out. I have been writing the code on my demoboard for the last week with some help have most of the VT100 character controls working. I got inverse video working yesterday so this will be close to a VT100 terminal.

There are some features like extended character set, underline mode, blinking characters, that will not be possible at this time.

This board can be used with the Micro-KIM as a keyboard and Video display.

I will be dropping the composite video on the production run because of the amount of programming space required by the VT100 code.

I'll post pictures when it is working.

Vince
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Postby vbriel » Jan Sun 18, 2009 8:50 pm

I haven't really posted much about this project since it has mostly sat on the shelf for about a year but I am really close to a production run. Here's a few of the details of the specs of this little 4"X2.5" board:

PockeTerm specs:

VGA output of 80X35 text and inverse characters with VT-100 screen control of the characters. VT-52 compatibility in the works.
Standard PS/2 keyboard for typing
Simple 7-9V DC power supply with a 5V tap to connect to current project.
Duel serial port: 1 to connect to a PC, the other to the host device so you can upload software to the host device and still have a screen and keyboard
Baud rate of up to 19200 (faster may be possible in the future)
Firmware upgrade ready- updates can be emailed or posted for user to do, no EEPROM's to program.

Designed to work with S100 computers, KIM-1, Micro-KIM and other computers.

Estimated kit cost is $59. More details to follow shortly.

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Postby Bill Loguidice » Jan Mon 19, 2009 4:38 pm

Exciting stuff. Looking forward to it...
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Postby mike3 » Jan Tue 20, 2009 8:37 am

Great .. glad to hear it... been waiting for somthing like this a while....

Mike
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Postby hanso » Jan Wed 21, 2009 12:23 pm

vbriel wrote:Designed to work with S100 computers, KIM-1, Micro-KIM and other computers.

Estimated kit cost is $59. More details to follow shortly.

Vince

Keep us informed, this is really interesting!
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Postby vbriel » Jan Wed 21, 2009 11:45 pm

Ok, I have an update :)

The terminal is functioning, firmware is a work in progress but is coming along very well. Most of the VT100 cursor and screen controls are working. There is no underline characters, or flashing video but inverse is working.

You can now change BAUD, terminal color, and turn on/off the PC serial port. The reason to turn it off is that at some baud rates, there is data drops when left running. Once again, a work in progress. I've cleaned up the look of the display and have a nice layout of the status. I'd like to find a way to store the settings if possible in the program eeprom but not sure if that is even possible. If so, it would be nice so you don't have to set the baud every time.

Kit price is looking like $59 with the high quality machined sockets! I'll probably be ordering boards within the next day or two and they should arrive in about 2 weeks.

This is a propeller based board so you can get the advantage of programming the propeller if you want and the code will be open source for people to learn and break :)

So, we are looking for around the first part of Feb for the kits to be ready. I still have to start a manual and CD package. This should be a nice addition for KIM-1 owners!

I'll be creating a page shortly and trying to get as much info as I can. I need 6 more arms to get this all done.

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Postby vbriel » Jan Sun 25, 2009 2:26 pm

I'm going to order the production run of boards tonight! I've gone
over things carefully and here is a picture of what the board looks
like before I pour the ground plane on top and bottom of the board.

Image


Any last minute changes that you see it needs? Let me know ASAP if you
see something not right or that needs changing. I'm going to start on the manual this week and that will take a good week+ to write.


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Postby hanso » Jan Mon 26, 2009 11:56 am

Looks good!

SD adapter? Hm, something a Propellor can handle indeed. Would be great for loading programs or data in the SBC, or store!
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Postby vbriel » Jan Mon 26, 2009 3:31 pm

Yeah, the SD card option will work with ucontroller.com's (I don't personally know them) SD adapter. I only had a little room and their adapter was cheap. With the proper code in the propeller, you can dump text files out through the serial port or as some have done, xmodem transfers! this requires the xmodem software on host device, so we would need one for the Micro-KIM.

Here's a blurry screenshot I took of the pocketerm showing the updated display functions below. The Baud, color, cursor and force 7 bit incoming ascii is controlled via Function keys. To avoid accidently pressing the Function key, I made them CTRL-Fn.

Image

BOM cost anaylysis shows the kit price at $60, which I think is a good bargin in the economy :)

The VGA is 640X480 so it will work with most monitors. My 20" LCD widescreen works great as well as my 21" CRT.

I'll be writing the manual over the next week and when I test the production run I'll update the website to show the project. No more posting projects until I'm ready for production.

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Postby dbetz » Jan Mon 26, 2009 4:06 pm

vbriel wrote:This is a propeller based board so you can get the advantage of programming the propeller if you want and the code will be open source for people to learn and break :)


This sounds like a fun board! Good price too! Is the source code written in SPIN or assembler? How many of the COGs are you using for the terminal code?
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Postby vbriel » Jan Mon 26, 2009 4:42 pm

Spin for the main code, the VGA and other drivers have spin mods I did to them. Actually, its pretty fun language, need to spend more time with it to get really good at it. It was fun taking the driver that makes the screen scroll and mod it so the screen scrolls from only the cursor position, or from the position down the screen. I didn't think I could do it but I started thinking about it one day and just did it. I have a list of the VT-100 commands that are implimented so you see what is compatible, I'll post that soon too. What I need is to find some BASIC games or something that uses VT-100. Even CP/M files would be good.

Number of cogs, well, 2 for VGA, 1 for keyboard, 2 for serial ports, 1 for basic i2c driver, and 1 for main? I never counted but I guess all 8. Ouch, room for improvement there. I could be counting wrong, I'll have to check. I'll need to mod if adding sound or SD card.

I need the i2c driver to store the terminal settings in the EEPROM. Nobody wants to have to change the Baud, color, etc every time they power it up.

Once I get everything together, I'll release the code for people to hack and improve on. It will be on a CD with the kits too.

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Postby hanso » Jan Wed 28, 2009 12:29 pm

Can I pre-order? :)
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Postby vbriel » Jan Wed 28, 2009 12:46 pm

Hey Hans,

I don't like doing preorders. Do you want 1 or more? I'll make sure you get what you need.

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