Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Arduitape Firmware Update

Following from yesterdays CASDuino update I've now added the same function to Arduitape.

Rather than needing a file called ROOT to get to the root of your SD card just press Stop when nothing is being played. Everything else stays the same.

You can download the update from here.

Monday, 26 December 2016

CASDuino Firmware update

A minor update to the CASDuino firmware negating the need for a ROOT file in every folder. Now if you press the stop button when nothing is playing it will go to the root directory.

You can download the latest firmware from here.

Work on Dragon compatibility is still ongoing but due to work pressures it may take a while. Sorry.

TZXDuino in the wild

One of the things we've wanted from this project is for people to go out and build their own versions and show us pictures.

Well Piotr Bugaj not only has built his own but 3D printed his own case and designed a Shield for the Nano.
 

 SMD version.

 









 Non SMD version














 

Piotr has also released the schematic, pcb, and gerber files. They can be downloaded from here.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

How to change Firmware on the Arduitape/TZXDuino/CASDuino.




Before you start.
Before starting you will need to download and install the Arduino IDE from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

You will also need to install the libraries that are required. You can download them from
https://mega.nz/#!OU0QHbSB!g-LwaCPSBogsWWY-Rtq6-0W1DtJOe3wVFBZre28jIF8
To install these you will need to unRAR the file and copy the folder “Libraries” to the following location on your PC.
C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Arduino

Now plug your device into your PC using a Mini USB cable and your PC should install the drivers automatically. If it does not then go to the following website for a good howto guide for the correct drivers.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Nano-CH340/

The latest firmware files for your device can be found on the following website.
http://arduitapemarkii.blogspot.co.uk/







First time set up.
One you have downloaded and unpacked your firmware you should double click on the .ino file to start the Arduino IDE.

You will need to check that you have the correct board set up.
Go to Tools > Boards and select Arduino Nano.
 
Next you need to Select the correct processor.
Go to Tools > Processor and select ATMega328

Now, with your device plugged in to the PC you need to select the correct port. 
Go to Tools > Ports and select any Port other than Port 1.

If only COM1 shows then your drivers have not installed correctly.

Uploading Firmware
Before you upload the new firmware to your device you will need to check if the LCD settings are correct for your device. Not all I2C interfaces use the same address and for LCDs it’s either 0x27 or 0x3f. For those devices have been manufactured by myself you will find a label on the rear of the LCD with the address written on.
Instructions on how to find an I2c Address can be found here.
http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/I2cScanner

Find the line that says
LiquidCrystal_I2C lcd(0x3f,16,2); and change it to the address you require for your device.

Once that has been done you need to click on the upload button.

You should get a message “Done Uploading” and the new Firmware will be ready to go.

You can download a copy of this from here.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

TZXDuino v1.0

TZXDuino has moved out of Beta and is in it's first release version.
Little has changed from v0.8beta3 except extra motor control for Amstrad CPC .CDT files.

TZXDuino v1.0


The files can also be found on GitHub

Sunday, 6 November 2016

TZXDuino Update v0.8b3

Andrew has made a huge leap forward with this update with almost every TZX I've tried working (one fail out of 100s) on the Spectrum and reports of similar compatibility with Amstrad files too. TAP files are also working with no fails too.

With over 5,000 TZX games for Spectrum it's still a beta release but probably the last beta for a while before a final release.

TZXDuino v0.8b3

Monday, 31 October 2016

Software Updates for CASDuino and TZXDuino

Onward and upward. CASDuino is now on v1.11. The MSX side is working normally but there has been an update to the Dragon/ Tandy side. It's still not working properly but getting closer.

TZXDuino is now of 0.7beta2. This update has improved the compatibility by getting Speedlock games to work but has broken some of the normal TZX games. V0.5Beta is working on the more regular TZX files so I've included this as well but it doesn't work with TAP files.We are working on these issues.


CASDuino v1.11
TZXDuino v0.5Beta

TZXDuino v0.7Beta2

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Library files for the Arduino IDE

The Arduino IDE has updated several of it's Library files but I haven't posted the latest updates of the on here for a long time so unrar this file and put it in the c://Users/[Name]/Documents/Arduino/Libraries/ folder.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Introducing the TZXDuino

A Giant Leap For Nerd Kind.

I'm not usually one for silliness but Andrew Beer has been working hard in the background trying to programme the Arduino to play ZX Spectrum .TZX files without the need to convert to a .WAV. Today he has managed to do that with some .TZX files but also with .TAP files as well. The code is still very much in the early stages so the compatibility with.TZX files is still relatively low but in theory all .TAP files should work. I only have 5,246 to test.
What's even better is that the code will work on both the Arduitape and the CASDuino hardware by just uploading the programme to the Nano.

Simply download this file, unzip and load in the Arduino IDE.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Minor Update

Just a minor update. Andrew and I are working on a TZX version of Casduino. Much more complex than loading .cas files but if it works it will open up more possibilities.

We have also added Dragon/Tandy .cas files to the Casduino but without one of the computers ourselves it's very much at an alpha stage and may well require the volume control mod to the amp.

Also there is now a Facebook page where you can read latest development, ask questions, and even order a prebuilt PP9 version. The Facebook page can be found here.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Arduitape on the ZX Spectrum

How to use the Arduitape with the ZX Spectrum.

Sorry I've been a little quiet recently but I've managed to get my grubby little mitts on a ZX Spectrum + 48k and have been testing it with the Arduitape. Unlike the MSX and other 8-bits the only limitations on frequency of the .WAV files is no higher than 22050 Hz due to the limitations of the software used. I was expecting to have all the difficulties of the MSX but I've tested lots of files at different frequencies and they all work fine.

I've been using TZX2WAV to do the conversions. Open a command window. Type 
tzx2wav -f [desired frequency] [filename].tzx [filename].wav 
and that's it.

I have been trying to experiment with a programme called OTLA which can output various formats of Spectrum, ZX81, Amstrad, and MSX files that playback at a higher rate and essentially turn a 5 minute loading game in to a 30 second loading game however it outputs at either 44100Hz or 48000Hz which is too high for the Arduitape to play back and any attempts to lower the frequency have met with failure so far. I'm not sure whether it's been my settings on OTLA that have been the fault or the resampling. I am trying to reprogramme a version of OTLA to output at 22050Hz as well but the original programme was compiled with Borland C++ and it can only be recompiled with Borland.

Experimenting with the possibilities of a Spectrum version of Casduino which will play PZX files is ongoing.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Audio Filter redesign and more MSX games.

Audio Filter Redesign

After building the more compact Casduino design I started thinking about building an Arduitape in a PP9 case as well which meant adding an extra GND pin to the main Casduino board but most importantly a smaller Audio filter to fit snuggly within the case. I managed to get the design down to 25mm by 15mm so there should be more than enough room. The components are exactly the same as the previous filter.
Here is what the build looks like. 5p for scale.


More MSX .CAS Files

Going through the TOSEC MSX .CAS files I noticed a few more games that were not available in English were on eBay so I quickly bought them and converted them .CAS files for everyone to enjoy. In the .ZIP files are the instructions, box art, etc as well.

Football Manager - World Cup Edition.


Next Plans

My next plans are to build an Arduitape in a PP9 box and hopefully do a full write up on how to build it with all the components and instructions downloadable in .pdf format.

We are also looking in to the viability to if a .PZX version of the Casduino for the ZX Spectrum. A .TZX version doesn't look viable due to the memory available on the Nano, and the extra compression and complexity of the .TZX file format. Andrew is also looking at possibilities for something for the UEF file formats too.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Building a Casduino

Building The Casduino

The main board for the Casduino is very similar to the MarkII board but as I had a specific project case in mind the dimensions needed to be changed.

I had used an Evatron PPN Case in another project and wanted to use one for this to make a more compact and stylish product however the internal dimensions would make things a little more tricky.



Although the actual board design in mine is slightly different I feel that the following one should give the best fit.


 
The only difference I would make to the design is add right angled pins for the GND and VCC connectors on the right of the board. Also I soldered the Arduino Nano directly to the board as adding a DIL socket would just make it more difficult to fit in the Case

Rather than the usual buttons I ordered  some with different coloured caps, again to give a more polished look.

Here is a template of how to cut out the hole for the LCD (Thanks to spcbm from Amibay for his template for the Tapuino)


A template for where to drill the holes for the front.


And a template for the rear.

 A template for the left side for the USB port
And a template for the Right side for the SD card. Some modifications for the SD card reader have to be made to get it to fit this.


These are the alterations I made to the SD card.






This is how the final product looked.




Hopefully we will be able to alter the software so that a version can be uploaded to the Arduino Nano for whichever 8-bit machine you use.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

New Archived Games For The MSX

As the title suggests these are two new games that have as far as I know never before been archived on cassette for the MSX. Each file contains pdf instructions and box scans.

Cluedo

Scrabble

Monday, 1 February 2016

Update of .CAS files for the MSX

Some new, different, patched, and now working game for the MSX.

I've recently been building a smaller version of the CasDuino and have now finished it but I've also been able to buy a few games on cassette that are either not working or downloads are not in English (using the last TOSEC MSX_MSX_TOSEC_2012_04_23 download). I've converted these to .CAS files and am making them available to download.

Football Manager was only previously available as a disk file
Les Flics was listed to use BLOAD"CAS:",R as the load command but to get it to work you actually should type BLOAD"pss",r
Uchi Mata previously only worked if you pressed CTRL+STOP once the .CAS file stopped loading. This has now been fixed
Vampire This was not in the last TOSEC download and I have two slightly different versions. The game is still the same but the loading is different.
Xenon was a game only available in Spanish and had a terrible bug where you couldn't use a joystick. This version is in English and the bug has been fixed.

I've also included the three tapes that came with my Toshiba HX-10. They are available elsewhere but I just thought what the hells.

Download from here

Friday, 22 January 2016

CasDuino MSX Update

Yet another MSX CasDuino software update
The joy of projects is they are never quite finished. This update fixes an issue I found with class 4 and above SDHC cards, a strange problem with Vampire by Codemasters, and now has a indicator for folders.

Download here.


Library Files required for CasDuino


Update on testing

I have been continually testing .cas files to make sure that they work on the CasDuino and so far the only games that I've had difficulty with have either been at 3600 baud but are fixed by lowering the baud speed or are faulty .cas files that don't even work on emulators. e.g. Uchi Mata.

This week I've been using a programme called caslink2 to convert up to 32k .rom images to .wav files and then castools to convert them to .cas files and then testing them. CasDuino has been able to load every game I've tried so far so I'm very pleased indeed.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Software updates for Arduitape and Casduino

Andrew Beer has been working hard on updating the software for the original Arduitape and the MSX specific Casduino.

Software update for Arduitape.

Here is an update for the Arduitape software. It is now compatible with the latest Arduino IDE and supports Long File Names. The quality of play back has also improved.

Download here.



Software update for Casduino the MSX specific version of Arduitape.

This software update now includes the ability to change the playback baudrate between 1200/2400/3600. 1200 and 2400 baudrate works perfectly on a Nano based machine and an Uno based machine. 3600 is somewhat experimental and works on about 95% of games on both machines with a standard 2GB sd card, 100% on an Uno based with a class 4 SDHC card and 98% on Nano based machines with a class 4 SDHC card. Also with Long File Name support.

Download Here.