ZXmore - infos & updates

Any discussions related to the creation of new hardware or software for the ZX80 or ZX81
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PokeMon
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ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:12 pm

It is hard to maintain the overview of the ZXmore development thread and to follow some technical hints and instructions as there are many discussions about this and that. So I decided to divorce this thread and made one for technical infos and updates of hardware and software and the latest revisions and another one for discussions, questions and problems. So I would ask you to keep both separate and post your questions in the FAQ thread.

This is the thread for all questions and discussions about the ZXmore (FAQ):
http://sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1833

SO PLEASE NO QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR RESEARCH ISSUES HERE.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. ;)

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:17 pm

Sometimes people ask what the ZXmore exactly is or don't know how it works or what is very special.
So one week ago I recorded a video of ZXmore used in the IRC chat and some other applications in parallel.
Here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8z8AFU9kK8

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:32 pm

I am working at the next release which will be 1.8 with some new features like saving programs and data and some configuration options for the instances - coming soon. Next week I hope. The revision 1.9 is not far away with ZX Spectrum monochrome option and having a clock or more important having time and date stamp for creating files and maybe some solved bugs. The next release will then be CP/M published in mid to end february.

I did already startup ZX Spectrum which requires a hardware update of the CPLD to work and a minor modification of the interrupt routine which is used to set the frame counter and read of keyboard. So there is a CPLD update available at sellmyretro. The CPLDs of type Altera EPM3064 could be reprogrammed by users as well if somebody owns an usb blaster and a programming adapter using a plcc-44 socket and some wires to build up a JTAG interface - wasn't room for it on the main board.

So the chip is not too expensive and probably cheaper to buy a new one than posting the old one back to me to program it new.
So this is GBP 2.50 plus shipment GBP 1.50
http://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/11490

I think this will be the last update for a longer time - covering four solutions now in a changed chip logic.
Whoever is attending the meeting at Mahlerts in march may bring his chip to program it new there for free.

This is the main use of the CPLD update:
* timing optimized for RAM based NMIs (no 47pF required to CPU)
* hrg files at addresses > $8000 are shown correctly
* new status line feature for software revision 1.8 or later
* ZX Spectrum monochrome support with fixed i/o address conflict at $FE
(border setting versus switching on NMI)

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:01 pm

So here are the schematics of ZXmore:
ZXmore-V11- Schematic.pdf
(300.37 KiB) Downloaded 149 times
The link to the construction manual (for the parts kit):
ZXmore-V11-ConstructionKit.pdf
(1.13 MiB) Downloaded 96 times
And the link to the latest software revision 1.7 (december 2015):
http://www.ginger-electronic.com/Downlo ... terV17.zip

The user manual for first steps with ZXmore:
http://www.ginger-electronic.com/Downlo ... manual.pdf

The ZX81 manual for first steps with ZX81:
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/ZX81BasicProgramming/

If anybody is interested in the construction kit for the ZXmore - it is still available at sellmyretro.com:
http://www.sellmyretro.com/user/profile/PokeMon

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:29 pm

So here is the new release 1.8 for download including manual.

http://www.ginger-electronic.com/Downlo ... terV18.zip

Last changes:

Code: Select all

## [V1.8] - 2016.02
### Added
[+] iobase address programmable with update utility ZXMORE18.p and later versions
[+] save via usb flash media with new USB controller update (rev. 1.8, 01.2016)
[+] save via usb flash media for partly RAM contents with MEMORY.BIN:<address>,<size>
[+] configuration tool for instance configuration (config data written to flash)

### Changed
[*] flash rom programming with partly data of a sector (4kB) supported
[*] exit of load routine with empty filename only
[*] debug and loader moved to tools menu

### Fixed
[-] NTSC display option fixed with correct lines per frame with new CPLD (rev. 01.2016)
[-] NMI generator lockable for ZX Spectrum ROM usage with new CPLD (rev. 01.2016)
Most important for overseas candidates is the fixed NTSC display which allows to change this setting with the PAL/NTSC jumper again (a bug in the last release). Additionally the SAVE was implemented to save data or programs (using DS-S), individual configuration of io addresses (no longer fixed) and individual configuration of instances. This configuration can be stored in the flash rom as well. More information in the ZXmore Q&A thread, see link in the first posting.

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:48 pm

Here is a changed update utility revision 1.8 of ZXmaster.
This is the ZXmore18.p only.
From revision 1.7 to 1.8 the code increased from 7k to 10k while the old update utility only flashes the first 8k - this is corrected now.

This is not harming during update from 1.7 to 1.8 as the area above 8k is filled with $FF (erased status) but may cause problems when other data was programmed before in the area above address $2000. As result the character set is not shown correctly (with hieroglyphic characters) and some code/function may not work either.
Attachments
ZXMORE18.p.zip
(8 KiB) Downloaded 57 times

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:25 pm

There are two proposed hardware hacks depending on possible problems using the ZXmore.

1) small vertical bars between letters
On the start screen of ZXmore or in configuration masks may appear small vertical bars. There is an interdependency between different production runs of the video shift register 74HCT165 and different delays from parallel load to output. As workaround can be used a capacitor of 47pF connected between pin 1 and pin 7 of IC21 (74AC86) which delays the inverter signal (inverted char) and match the incoming (delayed) video data from the shift register. This may increase picture quality and let the bars disappear - at least mostly.

2) multi tasking / switch back in instance 6 not working
If multitasking or switching back to ZXmaster does not work in instance 6, the reason is a voltage level of A16 out of tolerance (ca. 1.5-1.6V). As workaround you can reduce R30 from 220R to 120R or 100R which decreases the voltage loss at this resistor and increase level at A16 (around 2.0V). This modification increases brightness of the LED as well but without changing the mixed instance colors.

Both modifications are optional depending on desire. The vertical bars are only an optical effect and using instance 6 could be restricted to ZX80 or without multitasking or switch back to ZXmaster. Anyway it is not guaranteed that there will be no problems when using instance 6 this way - so it is recommended to change this if you want to use it.

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:40 pm

There is a new update available as release 1.9:

http://www.ginger-electronic.com/Downlo ... terV19.zip

The ZIP archive contains all necessary data and an updated manual. Update can be done easily with ZXMORE19.p which can be copied onto an usb flash media and loaded into a ZX81 instance with DS-L and started with RUN and followed screen instructions, similar to release 1.8.

Following is new or changed:

Code: Select all

## [V1.9] - 2016.06
### Added
[+] multi tasking mode (automatic instant switching with time slice)
[+] added support for vdrive protocol with minimalistic driver
[+] backup of single instances as *.BAK and continue session later (after power-off)
[+] saved single instances maybe continued on any other instance, easy cloning possible
[+] backup and restore of complete ZXmaster including all active instances in tools menu
[+] restore of previously saved backup with pressing NEWLINE during reset or power-up

### Changed
[*] instance switching moved from top margin to bottom margin due to technical reasons

### Fixed
[-] frame synchronisation between instance switching (smooth switching)
[-] video timing precised
[-] ZX81 FAST mode display A15 fix with new CPLD (rev. 06.2016)
More information in the Question & Answers thread. 8)

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by PokeMon » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:05 pm

An issue occurred, resulting in an empty screen for ZX81 instances with the new release 1.9 (when updating from 1.8 or 1.7).
This showed up only if configuration data (instance configuration) was previously stored in the flash rom using edit(E) and write(w) in instance configuration. The data loaded after reset point to older video driver addresses and point to an empty display driver used for multi tasking mode.

Default configuration data can be created during restart (reset or power-up) when pressing SHIFT and C (for config). This is only for temporary purposes and will not overwrite previously stored configuration. This has to be done additionally with edit/write configuration data in instance 0.

So press
SHIFT-C and reset and write new config with E (edit) and W (write) - that's it. ;)

For further questions please use following thread (to keep this clean from discussions):
http://sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1833

jegs2
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Re: ZXmore - infos & updates

Post by jegs2 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:24 am

Dang, I drop off the grid for a year or so ... and somebody develops LAN hardware for the ZX-81?

Cool! Have a ZXspand ... will this new gizmo work in conjunction with it on my T/S 1500?

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