RetroBSD

2.11BSD operating system for microcontrollers
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 Post subject: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:50 pm 
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Hi guys,
Just sharing my little PIC32MX470 laptop with you. Wondering could it be made to run the Retro? Can the Retro run on MX470?
https://hackaday.io/project/9692


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:37 pm 
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I love it! I really love it! That is an amazing piece of work!

Not sure if it'll run Retro or not TBH. The chip is capable of it (128KB RAM, which is the important thing), but it uses PPS for all the pin assignments, and I am not sure if we have any PPS code in Retro yet - we haven't had any call for it since all the chips we normally use (the '695 or '795) lack that functionality.

It could, of course, be added.

What would be even better would be an MZ...DA version (when the MZ...DA is finally released), which would absolutely rock! Then it could run LiteBSD and everything. Add WiFi to it (when we finally have that working) and bam - a real laptop :)

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:47 pm 
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majenko wrote:
What would be even better would be an MZ...DA version (when the MZ...DA is finally released), which would absolutely rock! Then it could run LiteBSD and everything. Add WiFi to it (when we finally have that working) and bam - a real laptop :)

You read my mind!

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:43 pm 
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Thanks!

As to the MZ/DA... Ah, can't beat the greed :D

Anyway, I was considering making even this one around the MZ/EF initially, but eventually didn't because I wanted to run the MMbasic straight away, and that only works on MX470. But I am working on an alternative MZ/EF board to be a direct replacement of the current one.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:25 pm 
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So when are these awesome bits of kit going on sale? And how much will I have to shell out to get one?

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:26 am 
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A pity we do not have retrobsd for mx470. I advertised the chip few y back as a "better" alternative to venerable 795. If the PPS is the only barrier to overcome.. - a shame :)
@knivd - great! What are the other flatpacks there?

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:28 am 
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Now that we have the same (or similar) configuration system to LiteBSD, which has PPS, it shouod be a fairly simple matter to add PPS support to RetroBSD and get the mx470 working in it.

I don't have an mx470 system to hand right now, so I will have to build one to play with (I think I have some chips in my pic32 chip tray though). If I get some time this weekend I may take a look and see what I can fathom about the config and how to make PPS work.

Sent from my SM-T555 using Tapatalk

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:30 am 
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For sale... I don't know. As soon as I overcome my chronic funding issues (hopefully very soon) :D

@Pito: Sorry, I didn't understand question about the flatpacks... Happy to answer once clear, though.

Hopefully there will be a MX470 revision for rBSD...
I will publish the full schematic and other design information when I make some website where to store it.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:35 am 
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Have you considered kickstarting it?

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:40 am 
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(Note to self: need to port my SSD1963 driver from DisplayCore to the RetroBSD LCD driver)
(Second note to self: need to write a virtual TTY driver)

I shared the link with the guys (and gal) on the chipKIT steerage committee (so now people inside Microchip are aware of your work :) ) and an instant reply I had back from one of them:

Quote:
That is serious PCB porn right there. Wow. Getting those board fabbed wasn't cheap, but the look is really nice. Can you see one of these at every lab station in an undergrad microcontroller class?

It would make a seriously useful teaching tool - completely self contained like that.

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:03 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the link! :)

Actually the fabing these PCBs isn't that much expensive once the tooling is made, but of course I had to make more than one iteration in order to get everything cleared.

Kickstarter is a possibility, however they way things have gone there it needs serious campaigning to actually do something. I will consider it anyway if there is no other chance to make more of these.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Kickstarter has somewhat gone downhill recently, yes. There's so much crap being posted on there these days that it's hard for a decent project like yours to get any traction. And then of course there was that drone fiasco - that kind of knocked people's confidence in it somewhat.

It'd be nice if Microchip themselves fell in love with it - there's the possibility that they might - and want to buy it off you (or sponsor you to make them and sell them on their site or something).

Do you have a schematic available by any chance?

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:23 pm 
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I do have a schematic (well, obviously... :lol: ), but I still don't make it too much public yet so that will give some time to work out what to do next. I will PM it to you, though, or to anyone who request it personally.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:23 pm 
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Hi KnivD,

Nice piece of work.

I think I have found your 7 inch display on e-bay for $45?

Is that the one you are using? i.e.- costs about $45 USD?

Very impressive design. I am not sure what you see the cost of your 'terminal' as being,

but I am interested!

It would be neat as a vt100 terminal connected to LiteBSD box.

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:31 pm 
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I am actually using TST070COBT-01P from Team Source HK. $23 in single piece purchase. The thing is actually many 40-pin panels share the same pinout, so it is quite possible there are even cheaper options out there.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Hi KnivD,

Thanks. I don't find that display when I search for it? Or that exact company name.

I do find some things that appear close. But 1000 piece minimum and not that exact part number.

Then again, I probably don't speak the correct language?

I do find the Microchip parts :).

Lots of fun :).

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Ok, things are progressing on my end...
With the valuable input from @majenko, the device might just come ready for rBSD, and I decided to make a quick revision and patch it for the MZ/EF as well (not on the same board, of course).
Maybe a little kickstarter campaign will be after all. I hope you guys will give me a shoulder there :D


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:02 am 
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@knivd
Quote:
@Pito: Sorry, I didn't understand question about the flatpacks... Happy to answer once clear, though.

I see two big chips there on the pcb (except the mx470) - what they are for? ("flatpack" comes from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_Flat_Package )

Btw: @120MHz 72mA, @80MHz 40mA - the half of the 795.. :)
With 120/120/30(sdcard)MHz.. a killer platform for RetroBSD :)
And with double precision SmallerC - The Ultimate Platform - TUP :P

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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:16 am 
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Pito wrote:
@knivd
Quote:
@Pito: Sorry, I didn't understand question about the flatpacks... Happy to answer once clear, though.

I see two big chips there on the pcb (except the mx470) - what they are for? ("flatpack" comes from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_Flat_Package )

Btw: @120MHz 72mA, @80MHz 40mA - the half of the 795.. :)
With 120/120/30(sdcard)MHz.. a killer platform for RetroBSD :)
And with double precision SmallerC - The Ultimate Platform - TUP :P



Aaah... how could I not think of that? :D

Anyway, the three QFPs are - the MX470, SSD1963 video controller (that's the fat one), and PIC16F1517 which serves as keyboard and power controller. You might see that keyboard layout is a mixture of a few standards. I have developed it in the way that looks most universal. Dumped the useless 'Alt', 'Caps Lock', 'Win',... etc. keys, added 'Accent' key which lets you generate the full ISO-8859 table (in the current firmware 8859-15) with the support of non-English and special characters. Double press of either 'Shift' or 'Accent' locks them to the upper register.

The smaller chips are the RTC, the power, LCD backlight, touch screen, and a multiplexer to select the uSD drives.

The module on the bottom left is the extremely nice RFD21733 module.

There is also another 8-pin soic which is not in this picture because I added it later for the final release. It is optional external SPI memory (SRAM/FRAM or flash) - maybe swap file or other data.


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 Post subject: Re: my pic32 computer
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:54 pm 
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I made the MZ/EF revision of the main board as well, so now there is a choice - traditional MX470, or MZ/EF for the more brave-hearted ones :-)


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