'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:DonM (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 12:56 ( . )

As we all know, newer motherboards have no parallel ports.

I've seen the xu1541 project, but it unfortunately cannot communicate with the 1541 at a low enough level for mnib.

I also read that Nate Lawson ( [link] is interested in making a USB to parallel cable for newer PC's to communicate with the 1541 through mnib but it doesn't look like he's completed that project yet.

I've also read that the PCI parallel port cards do not work with mnib...

Will connecting a XMP1541 cable to a USB to DB25 converter work? Has anyone even tried?


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Wed, Feb 27th, 2008 @ 16:30 ( . )

No, I think that has already been tried and does not work. This is why a custom interface must be made as Nate discussed.

It's a low priority, though, so it may be years. Keep around a machine with a parallel port for a while- we should have a few years. :)


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:DonM (guest: search)
Date: Sun, Mar 02nd, 2008 @ 04:27 ( . )

Thanks for the info Pete; I guess I won't waste my money on an adapter. I have some old PC parts lying around so I guess I'll throw them together and build a temporary PC so I can rip all my original C64 disks. I have between 100-150 originals. When I'm done I'll let you know so you can let me know how to get them to you.

So far I've tried about 15 disks and they all worked except one, which was Gauntlet. It has VMAX! protection. I'm going to clean the drive heads and hopefully I'll be able to get it to read by the time I start ripping the disks. I don't know how accurate Vorpal is, but Vorpal (original disk) says my drives alignment is good, which I expected.


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Nate (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Mar 03rd, 2008 @ 16:07 ( . )

Hi DonM. The project I'm doing is probably not for public release. I'm using an FPGA and USB microcontroller and will have to hack nibtools to use this backend. The idea is that all the logic that is currently in nibread for clocking out a track one byte at a time moves into the FPGA. It stores the 8KB track internally. The PC just reads each track from the FPGA. The latency of the USB bus is too slow for the current mnib approach of toggling bits directly to the 1541. However it's plenty fast for actually transferring blocks of data back to the PC.

The reason my work won't be generally usable is that it's too complicated and expensive. I'm using a 3.3V printer port converter since the FPGA can't handle 5V. The FPGA board is adapted, not custom so it's like $200 alone.

After I've prototyped this and tested it, I may look into doing a cost reduced version. It will still probably be too complicated for "build it yourself" (needing active logic and onboard ram) but is achievable.


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:DonM (guest: search)
Date: Sat, Mar 08th, 2008 @ 05:12 ( . )

Hi Nate, thanks for the reply. It's great to see that you're working on a solution to the problem. Too bad the cost is so high due to the FPGA, but I guess there's not a lot that can be done about that.

And for the most part I would imagine that once people have copied their C64 software onto the PC they will probably never use the cable again anyway.


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Rixa (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Mar 03rd, 2008 @ 02:39 ( . )

On 02/27/2008 @ 12:56, DonM wrote :
: I've also read that the PCI parallel port cards do not work with mnib...

That is bad news, I always thought add-on cards would solve the problem.

What is the problem with them, and can it not be overcome? Is the entire concept flawed or are some cards simply better than others? I know I had to try out several BIOS settings before even my integrated parallel port worked with opencbm. Mayhaps add-on ones could be tweaked in similar manner?


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Pete Rittwage (registered user: 558 posts )
Date: Mon, Mar 03rd, 2008 @ 08:46 ( . )

Hi Rixa,

I am not sure of the technical problems with PCI cards, but I rely on the OpenCBM libraries to speak with the drive and they say it does not currently work.


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Joe Smith (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Mar 03rd, 2008 @ 14:51 ( . )

I had a old 486 MB, that I had to burn MR.BIOS onto it to get the PP to work with a XM1541 cable, so I could use Star Commander, I since upgraded it to a XMP1541 so that MNIB would work, I had to add the four diodes and rework a few of the wires, but I had a old tower case, so I took the guts out of a 1541 and mounted the drive in the top bay, and then mounted the circuit board in the top of the tower it had room, and I took out both regulators and jumpered them and wired it into the PC's PS, nice setup running WIN98SE, and I use MNIB for DOS works great !!



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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Joe Smith (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Mar 03rd, 2008 @ 14:54 ( . )

Never thought of it til recent, you said you could still compile the DOS binaries, and you had no way to test them, well I can with my setup above. I will see if I can make a new XMP cable for a XP windows and try the opencbm MNIB ver. but so far the DOS ver works fine.


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Mayhem (guest: search)
Date: Mon, Mar 10th, 2008 @ 07:26 ( . )

Well I'm still using the DOS version of the MNIB tools so Pete has at least one reason to still compile them ;)


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Wolfgang Moser (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Mar 04th, 2008 @ 13:45 ( . )

Hi Rixa,

with OpenCBM and standalone PCI (or PCIe) parallel port cards:

It is that when an IRQ is generated on such parallel port cards, then it does not get routed into the OpenCBM driver somehow. Generating an IRQ and getting it into the openCBM driver does work flawlessly with mainboard integrated parallel ports, but not with dedicated I/O cards.

Spiro and I already invested several weeks three years ago without finding out what the true reason for this could be. From time to time I am buying a new PCI or PCIe card here and there without having had any success ntil now.

Take note: It all depends on the the ability to generate and route IRQ requests for the Windows and Linux ports of MNib/Nibtools. As long as you are using the DOS port, such dedicated I/O cards probably _do_ work, since no IRQ is needed for DOS being a non-multitasking system.


Womo


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'USB to DB25 adaptors'
Author:Nate (guest: search)
Date: Wed, Mar 05th, 2008 @ 20:25 ( . )

womo, perhaps it has to do with the lpt device class OpenCBM is assuming. Perhaps some of them offer the irq and others don't. I'll take a moment to look at the DriverEntry to see if I can figure out why. There's no hw reason why a PCI lpt port shouldn't work.


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