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Old 14 June 2017, 17:35   #621
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plasmab View Post
I am not being aggressive. Apologies if it seems that way. I have canvassed opinions on the CD32 expansions and found that basically everyone likes the idea of one but no two people want the same thing. I don't see that it makes any difference if it's an MCA or PCI connector.

But when people tell me things I want to do are ludicrous then I will tell them that my stuff is not for them.
I understand your position, do not get me wrong, and thanks for the clarification, when you reply in a dry way with "I don't care", yes, it is construed as aggressive, because this is a discussion mostly within end users who do care what they get, because they can't make their own accelerators.

I agree too that there is not one consensus to do this thing according to this thread, but if you do count majority opinion, you can define one way that would be liked by most (Fast RAM + IDE only).

This idea is not shared by you and you want to do your own thing and that's fair, it's your free time. In which it makes even more sense to make one design that fits two machines!


I just am upset that this thread has led for YEARS (literally, thread started 2014) to believe we had an option going forward if we had someone making an adapter with two female MCA-182 connectors.

Kipper made such adapter, even though he didn't finish it (keyboard created serious issues with audio, SCART port never worked, kipper disappeared from this thread), and some of us, CD32 users, bought them to support further development, but nothing happened 3 years on and now we're told by two expansion developers that they will not be supporting this standard that another developer (spidi) has recently made another adapter for too, that now we need a new PCI adapter (made by kipper?) we cannot currently buy (will we ever?) to have any expansions, be it yours or Stedy.

If even Stedy who was posting here almost from day one changed his mind, the adapters we were lead to believe were what we needed for future development are useless and I cannot help but feeling cheated, especially if it is kipper who made a new option with connection to PCI and is now pushing this new form factor to developers like you.

He forgot those of us who bought his CD32 adapter, even if it didn't fully work, to support further CD32 expansion developers, and I think that's not nice. We were forgotten enough already when Vampire took over and he never came back to this project and never fixed the issues with said adapters.

It might seem like something minor to most people, as these adapters are not a lot of money, but to me, every little penny counts and I don't like spending money on paperweight.


And to be fair, I never expressed such frustration regarding Amiga developments, especially not those made by kipper, but I think this is just a bit too much.



[edit] re-reading the latest messages, I have to recap a bit because I think things have changed quite a lot.
I read Stedy's message again, and I am thinking that, from his words, Project HERMES is cancelled. Is this right Stedy? Please clarify.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stedy View Post
This project is still on the development list. I have created a rise/shuttle board to provide a keyboard interface, Minimig SCART and serial debug. Once I finish testing the keyboard fimware, I'll release it. It will have the PCI slot connector so you can plug in one of plasmab's boards.
It is my understanding from your post that you will NOT be making a Fast RAM + IDE expansion, only a "loop" adapter, much like what kipper and spidi have made, but having a PCI slot inside so it would fit plasmab's accelerators. Is this what happened and Project HERMES is cancelled? Or am I confused and you will still be making HERMES after you make your own adapter? We really need an option with no acceleration.

Also if this is indeed what happened, would you care to explain why the departure from MCA-182 now that adapters for such a connector are available rather easily, and even the connectors are to be found (I am guessing, if you are making an adapter, you already have access to them)?


In any case if you are going to make an adapter that has keyboard and SCART that actually work, I am all in for buying that, because this kipper adapter is just not doing anything for me.

Last edited by Akira; 14 June 2017 at 18:30.
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Old 14 June 2017, 18:07   #622
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@Akira
Unfortunately, I think that's just how it goes with hobbyist projects like this. Anyone with the knowledge and skill to make expansions for the cd32 is likely not in it for the money, otherwise they are targeting the wrong platform! When that's the case, these sort of projects can't be run or supported like a normal business would.

The idea of having some ultimate expansion for these old machines is very tempting, but I don't think it's realistic to expect it to ever happen, at least not in a way that would make everyone happy.
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Old 14 June 2017, 18:13   #623
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This is my final version of the adapter for Amiga CD32.
Shortly there will be available in retailers.

I am currently working on a card offering an IDE controller and FastRAM.
Please be patient and track the news

https://retro.7-bit.pl/?lang=en&go=p...&name=CD32EXSL

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Old 14 June 2017, 18:29   #624
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I suppose we can just design a small passive MCA to PCI form factor adapter & get it made at DirtyPCBs, so that we can still use the Kipper video out boards with the accelerator and solve both problems.
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Old 14 June 2017, 18:41   #625
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Originally Posted by alenppc View Post
I suppose we can just design a small passive MCA to PCI form factor adapter & get it made at DirtyPCBs, so that we can still use the Kipper video out boards with the accelerator and solve both problems.
Well only if it all fits inside the CD32 after so much adapter'ing.

Personally I would definitely buy a new adapter board if it works as intended. The kipper adapter is a shitshow because it is unfinished. As I said, the keyboard interface creates some problem that makes the CD32 audio volume really low (So it's messing with something nasty), and the SCART connector wasn't working because it's not wired as standard (there was some discussion in this thread). If you have the older version, that one works better. Mine was the last one he made, with Amiga 23 pin video connector, SCART and PS/2 keyboard connector

If I understood Stedy correctly (the second time only :P) and he is making a new adapter that not only will have keyboard and SCART working properly, but a connector inside that will allow for more than one developer's expansions to be connected, I'm all in for switching. Which doesn't mean I am not salty for having this other adapter which I wasted money on.

Then Spidi weighed in saying he is making an expansion himself, but he is using the MCA-182 standard. This means that maybe we will need two adapters, or "choose your poison". But in my view, Stedy's adapter would be far superior to Spidi's because it will have a keyboard connector too, and SCART instead of VGA. So it sucks that when you choose your adapter you also choose which expansions you can connect. That is the main point of my argument here.

I guess I was too gullible to think the Amiga community will ever agree to anything and we could all have one standard for a greatly underappreciated and not very popular machine as the CD32. I guess the fact that there is such a low user base for CD32 makes a conjoined opinion even more improbable.
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Old 14 June 2017, 18:51   #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by th4t1guy View Post
@Akira
Unfortunately, I think that's just how it goes with hobbyist projects like this. Anyone with the knowledge and skill to make expansions for the cd32 is likely not in it for the money, otherwise they are targeting the wrong platform! When that's the case, these sort of projects can't be run or supported like a normal business would.

The idea of having some ultimate expansion for these old machines is very tempting, but I don't think it's realistic to expect it to ever happen, at least not in a way that would make everyone happy.
Thats why my stuff is open source. Can be tweaked and customised.
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Old 14 June 2017, 18:56   #627
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Yeah that's great for the very few who can actually do that.
God bless you all, but the majority of us, just want to buy something already built and made. And this becomes a problem We become dependent.
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Old 14 June 2017, 19:14   #628
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Akira, I have the original version adapter that only has the Db23 & a non working keyboard adapter. But to be fair, I never really cared about the keyboard adapter since you can plug in an A4000 keyboard directly into the CD32.

I'd be definitely be willing to build a few of plasmab's CD32 boards for those interested in prebuilt boards, I am having lots of fun with TF530s right now
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Old 14 June 2017, 19:26   #629
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I am glad someone is taking plasmab's designs and building them because they look fabulous but I am a moron who would never be able to build one. At least not now.
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Old 14 June 2017, 22:57   #630
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The only thing that Amiga users can agree on is that they disagree. No wonder commodore went bankrupt!

I do see a bit of a concensus though -
*ram only card is no use as nothing would use it
*ram + ide is most compatible solution to A1200-ify the CD32. But CIAs.
*accelerators are cool but break existing software. Must be disable-able
*nobody can agree on a connector

I get the reason behind not wanting to do work twice with a1200 and cd32 accelerators. How small can a mca-to-pci adapter be? Presumably not much bigger than the connectors themselves. Is this ultimately a moot point?
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Old 14 June 2017, 23:02   #631
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Originally Posted by E-Penguin View Post
The only thing that Amiga users can agree on is that they disagree. No wonder commodore went bankrupt!

I do see a bit of a concensus though -
*ram only card is no use as nothing would use it
*ram + ide is most compatible solution to A1200-ify the CD32. But CIAs.
*accelerators are cool but break existing software. Must be disable-able
*nobody can agree on a connector

I get the reason behind not wanting to do work twice with a1200 and cd32 accelerators. How small can a mca-to-pci adapter be? Presumably not much bigger than the connectors themselves. Is this ultimately a moot point?
MCA-182 and PCI are the same pitch. All we're effectively doing is chucking away a bunch of un-needed lines (unless you want to make an mpeg card i guess). It makes more sense to use the video and audio lines on the riser anyways and just make a connector that will accept the A1200 boards. Maybe they'll need slightly different firmware but who cares?
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Old 14 June 2017, 23:31   #632
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Penguin View Post
The only thing that Amiga users can agree on is that they disagree. No wonder commodore went bankrupt!

I do see a bit of a concensus though -
*ram only card is no use as nothing would use it
*ram + ide is most compatible solution to A1200-ify the CD32. But CIAs.
*accelerators are cool but break existing software. Must be disable-able
*nobody can agree on a connector

I get the reason behind not wanting to do work twice with a1200 and cd32 accelerators. How small can a mca-to-pci adapter be? Presumably not much bigger than the connectors themselves. Is this ultimately a moot point?
Its no mystery that people do different things with their stuff so each one with their own needs, ey? But I think we can agree 100% that if Spidi makes a RAM + IDE board, it WILL make the CD32 a more useful and versatile machine. Period.
It will be a good expansion for some but not for all, so at least there will be fewer ppl left complaining
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Old 15 June 2017, 01:37   #633
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Hi,

Now I remember why I left some Amiga forums behind, things being taken out of context and childish behaviour.

Let me clarify again.

At the moment, development on all Amiga related projects has been suspended, not cancelled due to other things, like enjoying the summer weather, going out and having a holiday soon. This is a hobby, not a full time job.

Creating a prototype design is easy, getting it manufactured, sold and supported takes a lot more work. I am considering open sourcing the Hermes design as the support side of it could easily take too much time. I don't make much out of the items I sell, any profit goes back into the development of new products and paying the sub-contractor who sources and assembles my products. I have started to open my projects much more, https://github.com/istedman

With regard to the CD32 riser/adaptor. It makes sense to take Plasmab's design and add the common PCI form factor connector so you can have a choice of boards. Removing one of the hard to source MCA connectors makes sense too. I have not had time recently to test the keyboard firmware, once done, I'll release it on github. I also added logic to convert the Amiga video sync signals to be compliant with SCART and VESA VSIS standards (no more 5V CMOS).

I design things with most of the features I want and need. I don't have an Amiga keyboard but I do have PC keyboards, hence the adaptor. I have a simple floppy interface that does not need a CIA, it can be implemented using 74 series TTL logic that's old school, a CPLD can easily fit the logic. The Hermes logic design has provision for a disable switch for backward compatibility.

I have an SX32 Pro with 50MHz 68030 + 68882 FPU and 16 MB of RAM. So for me, an accelerator is not something I want to do. The project was initiated to improve my VHDL/FPGA skills, which it has. If anyone want to make their own cards derived from my work or Plasmab's they are welcome, that's the beauty of open source.

I'm just finishing off another project I started 7 years ago. Outside of the day job, I need to chill out and work at a more relaxed pace, that suits me, if I don't I'll have a nervous breakdown for sure!
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Old 15 June 2017, 01:41   #634
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Emphatically agree with Stedy there! I'm also going more slowly right now due to life.


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Old 15 June 2017, 02:17   #635
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wow good to hear you are embracing the open source too Stedy! I've starred some of your repos
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Old 15 June 2017, 15:20   #636
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Good idea to use the kippert2k PCI connector/pinout (that needs a snappy name) for the top slot on a riser. It should add quite a bit of real-estate to the riser for additional components or for a cut-out (for mounting optional connectors) and compatibility with a new series of A1200 trapdoor add-ons in the CD32.

Fastram for a CD32 without read/write mass storage makes little sense. Compact Flash mounted on the back of a riser card would be a good solution, allowing easy access to the CF card. I imagine it would be possible to fit the RAM, CF slot and the rest of the components needed directly on a riser with no internal loop back top slot needed.
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Old 15 June 2017, 16:21   #637
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Big grin

Quote:
Originally Posted by spidi View Post
This is my final version of the adapter for Amiga CD32.
Shortly there will be available in retailers.

I am currently working on a card offering an IDE controller and FastRAM.
Please be patient and track the news

https://retro.7-bit.pl/?lang=en&go=p...&name=CD32EXSL

spidi that's great news thanks!
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Old 15 June 2017, 18:25   #638
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Originally Posted by Stedy View Post
Now I remember why I left some Amiga forums behind, things being taken out of context and childish behaviour.
I am really sad that you think my post was childish, even after I edited and corrected myself leaving the first text so people see I was a mis-reading knobhead. I read your post again and came to a few conclusions but asked for your clarification, which you did, and I am glad. But I don't think it is childish of me to have a first reaction of being upset into being led to belive (NOT by you, NOT by plasmab, but by kipper) that MCA-to-MCA was the way forward for an IDE+RAM expansion. As I said, I don't really have much money to use on these things unfortunately, so every penny counts, and now I basically have a very technological paperweight in my hands that I wish I had not bought. Again, none of this is related to you or plasmab, you are the guys that keep pushing forward this project and I am glad for that. So sorry if you understood I was getting upset about your design choices. But read the first post on this thread to understand what was going on with my thought process.

I just really wish I had not bought kipper's MCA to MCA adapter because it is basically useless, as I want to buy your adapter because I have bought stuff from you because it's great and I have much respect for your work and I know everything you will put on it will work as intended, and all the features you describe are what I want.

This goes back to stuff discussed in another thread, about fragmentation, as E-Penguin clearly and briefly explains. This shitty Amiga world we like to live in from time to time, is so divided regarding opinions on what should or should not be done with/for Amiga, that it creates a LARGE problem for developers, especially hardware ones. I think in most cases, the best course of action is to listen a bit to what people have to say, but then just go with your gut and wishes, just like you and plasma are doing.


Going back to the topic, what I needed clarification on, mostly, is on Project HERMES, which I thought was going to be the "IDE+Fast RAM" card. I realize you are not "cancelling" it but will not make it through to a produced product, instead opting to open source it so others can produce it.
You WILL produce, though, the "riser" card, that will include a keyboard adapter, SCART video and a floppy connector.

Did I get that right?

Quote:
I'm just finishing off another project I started 7 years ago. Outside of the day job, I need to chill out and work at a more relaxed pace, that suits me, if I don't I'll have a nervous breakdown for sure!
Again, please don't think I am one of those classic Amiga assholes that are demanding things from developers. If I demanded anything, and it wasn't really a demand, more of a plea, was clarification on the current status of your CD32 project. No pressure, as always, you do them when you want/can, and we will be happy and lucky receivers of anything you work on. End of.

Thanks for sticking with us even if this community is annoying as fuck.
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Old 16 June 2017, 09:30   #639
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I thought people were joking about the self destructive nature of the Amiga community... In this context it's quite miraculous that anyone is still making anything.
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Old 16 June 2017, 17:58   #640
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@plasmab

So the idea is that A1200 and CD32 then can use same expansion board?

I am curious then, how the CIA issues are solved. I got the impression earlier (... from Jens?) that any expansion for CD32 (beyond very basic RAM expansion), would need CIAs implemented on the board. If so, it would make sense to put the CIAs on the CD32 "bridge board", I guess.

Anyways, cool - keep on experimenting
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