XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Wolfgang M » Sat, 16 Aug 2003 20:32:34


Hey Jon,



Oh yes, there are some. Since the XA1541 cable incorporates
transistors at it's output lines, the signal levels are
inverted in comparison to the XE1541 cable. Furthermore with
the XA1541 cable two lines are twisted (input as well as
output pins), which also needs to be supported by the
software.


Since I don't know all of the software, that has been written
in the last 10 years, I'm unable to tell you a complete list.
Most of the transfer solutions still only support the X1541
cable. Most of the ools, that were actively developed until
1998 also support the XE1541 cable. But nearly no software
except the ones specified at Joe's pages (cbm4linux, The
Star Commander, mnib, mtap, ptap) support the XA1541 or
XM1541 cables.


64HDD does not support the XA1541 cable.


I don't know of such a reference.
Some good starting points may be:
http://www.yqcomputer.com/

and this recent news thread, where the whole protocol was
discussed in depth:
http://www.yqcomputer.com/ %24edu%241%40newsreader2.netcologne.de

To learn something about programming printer ports you may
have a look into the sources of one of my programs (header
documentation of LPTDETCT.H):
http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ~womo/sourcen/lptdct11.zip


Womo
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by sta » Sat, 16 Aug 2003 20:55:48

Hi Jon,


I tried to collect softwares that are _still_ being developed. Yes,
the old ones are also mentioned (X1541, VC1541 etc. on the X1541
page) but only for historical purposes as there's no point using
them anymore...

I'm sorry but I don't have time to do some Net surfing and collect
_all_ softwares that support this or that X1541-series cables. So I
only mention the most popular ones (no pun intended to those not
mentioned on my pages!). If anyone knows more, please, gimme the URL
of the homepage of the software...!


Well, e.g. Norton Commander and PCAnywhere don't support it... ;-)
Seriously, what sense would such a list make?

Actually, the XA1541 cable is _not_ supported by many programs
(yet? hopefully!). I would say that the list you can read on the
XA1541 info page is pretty comprehensive.

(Why I didn't reply to your mail when my web site was down... Simple:
my mails and my homepage are on the same server: c64.rulez.org. If
it's down, neither is the homepage accessible nor do I receive any
E-mail... :-/ )

Joe Forster/STA
XXXX@XXXXX.COM

 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Jon Robert » Sun, 17 Aug 2003 05:23:56

Some VERY useful information here. Thanks!




confirm
but
http://www.yqcomputer.com/ %24edu%241%40newsreader2.netcologne.de
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Jon Robert » Sun, 17 Aug 2003 05:28:02

> I'm sorry but I don't have time to do some Net surfing and collect

I wasn't critizing you. By saying that I was disappointed with the list
of compatible software didn't mean I was disappointed with your effort.
If that truly is the only software that is compatible, then I'm
disappointed.

I was wondering if I could get a better perspective from the whole
community, instead of one person. That doesn't mean you haven't
done an excellent job with the pages you maintain.

Man, we all need a chill pill it seems (me included).


Decent user response to this question alone could be used to update your
page.


Seriously, for someone just getting started with CBM emulation who
wants to buy a cable, who uses both Windows and Linux, and who
would rather not buy THREE cables, it would help to know not only
the hardware capabilities/limitations of each one (which your page
does an EXCELLENT job of), but also the software capabilities/limitations
of each. What I can or CAN'T do with it in the practical world is just
as important as whether it will work with my hardware.


Ah, makes sense now... :D
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Wolfgang M » Mon, 18 Aug 2003 19:52:29

i Jon, you wrote:

I think, this is, what Joe already did on his pages.
Except for the "all of everything", because that
would become an endless story. You would have to
always search for old and new unknown software,
that also supports one of the cables.


It's mostly _not_ the software, that should let
you decide, which cable to use.


Something about the history of the X-cables:

All the modern cables were introduced with the
developement of the Star Commander in the last 6
years. First there was the X1541 cable, introduced
in 1992/93 by Leopoldo Ghielmetti and his transfer
program of the same name: X1541. In the mid
1990'ies similar transfer solutions and cables
came up, Trans64, Disk64e and the Disk64E cable.

This was the time Joe started work on the Star
Commander, to create a fast all-in-one transfer
tool, read more about the early steps at:
http://sta.c64.org/schistory.html

Since 1997 Joe, Nicolas, I and many other users
detected more and more problems with the most
modern LPT port of this time. This was a hardware
issue and could only be circumvented by inserting
an additional old-style ISA-LPT-Port card.

Therefore Nicolas and I investigated the problem
and we proposed a new design. We made it a way,
so that Joe had to do only minimal changes to his
software. The XE1541 cable worked a long time
with many future LPT hardware implementations.


Somewhere around 1999/2000 two things happened:
1. Users reported about mainboards/chipsets, that
did not work with the XE1541 and X1541 cable.
2. Michael Klein introduced cbm4linux, but he
desperately needed to use a modified
X1541/XE1541 cable, where two lines were
twisted.

We first defined a new "standard", the XM1541
cable. It was designed in a way, so that Michael's
cbm4linux as well as Joe's Star Commander are able
to support it best by the software. The XM1541 is
nothig more than a XE1541 with two lines exchanged
at the CBM side of the cable.

To solve the problem with the newly not working
LPT ports (chipset/mainboards), we defined the
XA1541 cable on top of the XM1541 spec. Nicolas
invested several days measuring out several
proposed transistor types at his university's
laboratory to find the best working ones.
Until now only one single chipset/mainboard could
be found, that does not work with the XA1541 cable
(Gigabyte GA-5AX, revision 3.0). The reliability
of the XA1541 cable heavily depends on the
transistors beeing used, the BSV52 high speed
saturated switching SMD transistors.


Since the XA1541 cable is most compatible to all
known and most probably to all unknown future
LPT port hardware, Nicolas, Joe and I always
recommend this cable and try to encourage
developers to support this cable.

Since the sources of cbm4linux and the Star
Commander are available, this can't be too
difficult.


To answer your question directly:

The XE1541 does not "just work fine" on one or
another hardware. Even, if more than one external
CBM device is connected, the communication breaks
at a hardware level and that cannot be fixed by
software.

Therefore it's mostly a question of hardware
compatibility, which cable you have to choose.

If you want to have a nearly perfect, reliable and
compatible solution, then get the XA1541, built it
with the recommended BSV52 transistors (which are
hard to get) and only use software, that supports
this cable.


Some more links:
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Nicolas We » Mon, 18 Aug 2003 20:17:58


I think Joe even sent Nick Coplin one of the prototype XA1541 cables so he
can implement support without having to worry about the hardware. But without
his registered users asking him for support, I don't think he'll do it. It
also took him a *very* long time to support the XE1541 cable. It's really
sad, because the software changes from the XE1541 to the XA1541 are very
small, compared to the changes needed for the change from X1541 to XE1541.

Nicolas


--
--> Email address is valid for replies (requires Re: in the subject) <--
- See my Commodore hardware projects at http://www.yqcomputer.com/
- Visit the German X1541 Shop at http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Jon Robert » Mon, 18 Aug 2003 21:32:05


To: Christian Link < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >
Re: Re: XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD
By: Christian Link < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > to comp.emulators.cbm on Fri Aug 15 2003 03:55 pm

> ...but, Joe, my close friend, you surely received an evaluation copy
> of "Rickommander", Joe, the 64-supportive NC clone that's much better
> than yours, Joe, but probably still not quite as good as Trans64 ;-) ?
>
> "Give a look" at Google, maybe there's already a public version out
> there :-) .

Google returned nothing on Rickommander. Groups.google only returned your
message. :(

--- Synchronet 3.11a-Win32 NewsLink 1.64
* A Byte of Commodore 64 - Little Rock, AR - telnet://bytec64.synchro.net
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Jon Robert » Mon, 18 Aug 2003 21:43:35


To: Wolfgang Moser < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >
Re: Re: XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD
By: Wolfgang Moser < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > to comp.emulators.cbm on Sun Aug 17 2003 01:52 pm

> It's mostly _not_ the software, that should let
> you decide, which cable to use.

Well for me, it's both. My opinion from what I've read from everywhere else:
The XE1541 is compatible with *most* hardware running DOS/Windows.
The XA1541 is compatible with all hardware with 1 known exception.

If I'm not going to use Linux, and the XE1541 works with my hardware, then the
software supported by each cable is the deciding factor.

My goal is to "modernize" my C64 configuration without spending more money then
I would on a P4 3Ghz. :)

--- Synchronet 3.11a-Win32 NewsLink 1.64
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XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Nicolas We » Mon, 18 Aug 2003 22:50:13


He, I don't think I was gone for long :) There was just too much traffic
caused by stupid trolls in one group and no traffic at all in the other one.


I don't think he needs help at all, seeing his impressive list of products. I
really think once he really wants to implement the support for the "new"
cable, he'll know how to do it or whom to ask for info. I remember it was the
same with the XE1541 cable. He always said that 64HDD is targeted at low end
PCs which still support the X1541 cable. Once that Pentium class PCs also
became low end, he implemented the XE cable support. Maybe we'll just have to
wait a while until some notebooks and 1GHz class PCs also become low end ;)

"Nicky" (sigh)

--
--> Email address is valid for replies (requires Re: in the subject) <--
- See my Commodore hardware projects at http://www.yqcomputer.com/
- Visit the German X1541 Shop at http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Wolfgang M » Tue, 19 Aug 2003 05:33:29

Hi Jon,



Yes, as for now, this would be true.


This really depends on the point of view :-)
As beeing in the process of developing for a long
time now, I can't and don't want to share this
opinion with you. But this doesn't matter.

Please don't forget about the hardware
compatibility issue, if you should exchange your
LPT port hardware (mainboard/chipset) and don't
complain about malfunctioning software, when it
actually depends on the hardware.


Womo
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Jon Robert » Tue, 19 Aug 2003 22:07:53


To: XXXX@XXXXX.COM (Joe Forster/STA)
Re: Re: XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD
By: XXXX@XXXXX.COM (Joe Forster/STA) to comp.emulators.cbm on Mon Aug 18 2003 04:11 pm

> This is true. However, if I were a 64HDD user, it would be very
> comfortable for me if I had _one_ cable that I could use with most
> (all?) (current) transfer and file server programs _and_ all of my
> PC's, too (the 286 laptop and the Gigahertz Athlon desktop ;-) ).

I completely agree here. I started this journey (multiple threads, multiple
frustrations, multiple debates) simply because that is what I wanted.

I want to buy ONE cable. Which one?

Well, it doesn't work that way. :(

--- Synchronet 3.11a-Win32 NewsLink 1.64
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XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by sta » Tue, 19 Aug 2003 22:11:03

Hi guys,

[Nicholas' reply to Todd's question about XA1541 support in 64HDD]

This is true. However, if I were a 64HDD user, it would be very
comfortable for me if I had _one_ cable that I could use with most
(all?) (current) transfer and file server programs _and_ all of my
PC's, too (the 286 laptop and the Gigahertz Athlon desktop ;-) ).
Bye,

Joe Forster/STA
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

XA1541 Compatibility, particularly 64HDD

Post by Wolfgang M » Tue, 19 Aug 2003 22:50:34

Hello Todd, Jon, Joe, Nicolas and Nicholas (BCCed),



Answer from Nicolas Coplin:

Huh? I don't see the point. To make one thing
absolutely crystal clear here:

The XA1541 does _not_need_ a GHz class computer.
The XA1541 does _not_need_ Windows NT/2k/XP.

The XA1541 cable should really support all kind of
PC LPT port hardware, from a 286 style computer up
to the most modern ones. As Joe said in a parallel
branch of this thread, it should be supported by all
current transfer software, so that users only need
to buy _one_ cable (the XA) for all of their
hardware.


Womo