ZXpand-Commander

Any discussions related to the creation of new hardware or software for the ZX80 or ZX81
sirmorris
Posts: 2813
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by sirmorris » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:17 am

I don't know how evolution works, but if you're talking about firmware updates then hmm, I think that ZXpand does that already - the firmware for the ZXpand can flash itself, but as commander is just a normal P file then all you need to do is copy it to your SD card. Are you concerned because the source files are there in the archive too? They're only present in case anyone wants to add a feature - the P file is all most people will actually need.

Have I understood correctly?

C

User avatar
yerzmyey
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:11 am
Location: Rubber Planet
Contact:

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by yerzmyey » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:59 pm

sirmorris wrote:I don't know how evolution works, but if you're talking about firmware updates then hmm, I think that ZXpand does that already
Hmm. I see. Does it mean there is something more to flash, beside of the Firmware?
And this particular thing cannot be "re-flashed" from the level of ZX81?
(Sorry, You realize I know crap about hardware ;) ).
IN NIHILUM REVERTERIS - a big text-adventure game for ZX81: http://tiny.pl/g2m6m
"MONOCHROME" issue 5 - (Spring 2014) free paper/PDF magazine about ZX81: http://tiny.pl/q2m44
ZX81 COMPETITIONS 2007/2009: http://zx81.republika.pl/

sirmorris
Posts: 2813
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by sirmorris » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:58 pm

The only thing that ZXpand can update is the firmware for the controller chip on the interface. This is done by placing a file on the SD card. The interface also contains an EPROM which holds the 'operating system' program - this can't be updated unless you have access to EPROM programmer hardware. The chip needs to be removed from the board, erased, then programmed with new code.

The string printed at machine reset 'ZXPAND X.Y' indicates which version of the controller firmware you have. Doing the SD card flsh will update this. The EPROM also has a version number, but this can only be displayed from BASIC:

PRINT PEEK 7679 / 10

I hope that helps, Yerz!

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 1933
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:56 am
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:10 am

What SirMorris is saying, is that ZXpand has two main parts (not including the 32k RAM):
1) a small independent micro-controller (a small computer on a chip) which has it's own FLASH "ROM" memory to control it, all in the same physical chip, it is this chip which interfaces between the Z80 CPU and the SD card,
and
2) a EPROM that has the code in it to add the commands and functions executed by the ZX81's Z80 CPU so that a user can control ZXpand from BASIC :D

Mark

User avatar
yerzmyey
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:11 am
Location: Rubber Planet
Contact:

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by yerzmyey » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:28 am

Ah, thx guys.
So I have no access to EPROM programmer. So that's what I meant.
OK, just asking anyway. ;)
IN NIHILUM REVERTERIS - a big text-adventure game for ZX81: http://tiny.pl/g2m6m
"MONOCHROME" issue 5 - (Spring 2014) free paper/PDF magazine about ZX81: http://tiny.pl/q2m44
ZX81 COMPETITIONS 2007/2009: http://zx81.republika.pl/

sirmorris
Posts: 2813
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by sirmorris » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:06 am

Dammit, I should have listened more closely in 'explaining things better' class..! ;)

User avatar
yerzmyey
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:11 am
Location: Rubber Planet
Contact:

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by yerzmyey » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:58 pm

No dude, this is my crap English appearing in its full majesty.

Anyway, returning to the main topic - on Eva it is still dangerous. I can re-flash both - baseconf and ROM but if it goes dead while re-flashing...... Hehe.

They made accessible some small "emergency prog" and seems like it solves the possible "unpredictable" problems, that's another thing.

Anyway - I don't suppose it would be possible to make the existing ZXpand fully "flashable" (haha) from the ZX81 level.
Maybe in some next version. ;)
IN NIHILUM REVERTERIS - a big text-adventure game for ZX81: http://tiny.pl/g2m6m
"MONOCHROME" issue 5 - (Spring 2014) free paper/PDF magazine about ZX81: http://tiny.pl/q2m44
ZX81 COMPETITIONS 2007/2009: http://zx81.republika.pl/

sirmorris
Posts: 2813
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by sirmorris » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:19 pm

Actually it is.. Both Siggi and I have fully flashable boards. You need a new memory decoder chip though.
If you need a new EPROM I can sort you out, but I thought you already had an up-to-date (ish) ROM.


C

User avatar
yerzmyey
Posts: 1237
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:11 am
Location: Rubber Planet
Contact:

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by yerzmyey » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Yes yes, I have. And I don't complain at all.
So who knows - maybe in Germany, if we'd be going next year, heheh.
OK, thx!
IN NIHILUM REVERTERIS - a big text-adventure game for ZX81: http://tiny.pl/g2m6m
"MONOCHROME" issue 5 - (Spring 2014) free paper/PDF magazine about ZX81: http://tiny.pl/q2m44
ZX81 COMPETITIONS 2007/2009: http://zx81.republika.pl/

User avatar
gammaray
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: ZXpand-Commander

Post by gammaray » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:50 pm

I have been using COMMANDER 1.8 with ZXPAND 2.3 and it locks up when trying to create a DIR (shift+K). I type the name hit ENTER and "freeze frame".

Problem with SDHC 16GB card?

:cry:
Finish what you start. Truth is over the mountaintop or six feet under.
4 x TS1000, 2 x TS1500 , 2 x timex 2040 printer, 1/2 x timex 2020 cassette deck, ZXPAND+AY, ZeddyNET, ZXBlast..., unfinished Spectrum...Still no life!

Post Reply