Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby eeguru » 2019-6-25 @ 04:11

Do you plan to sell these commercially? Any idea what the assembled/shipped price will be for an initial full run? ballpark?

Thanks
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby 640K!enough » 2019-6-26 @ 23:59

eeguru wrote:Do you plan to sell these commercially? Any idea what the assembled/shipped price will be for an initial full run? ballpark?

Thanks

The last time we touched on this subject, the expectation was that some number of cards would be generally available, after the run for donors/contributors. Pricing has not been discussed as yet, and it is not known if fully-assembled cards will be offered, or if the assemble-it-yourself arrangement will be maintained. As yet, there is no possibility to reserve a card or confirm a spot on the list.
Last edited by 640K!enough on 2019-6-27 @ 01:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Sev80 » 2019-6-27 @ 00:53

The current boards being shipped off are for beta testing, correct?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby 640K!enough » 2019-6-27 @ 01:05

The boards being shipped now are still prototypes, but no additional features are being considered. Barring major problems, the current design is the same as the one that will be made available to donors and contributors once testing is complete.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2019-6-29 @ 11:04

Some small updates:
I've had the chance to test one of the ARGUS Prototypes with an MT-32 (Rev. 0), seems to work as expected, complete with occasional Buffer Overflows, sometimes instruments not being properly reprogrammed or songs randomly hanging (same happened with a Terratec Base 1).
Most programs we've run (Tempest 2000 [excessive instrument reprogramming], stunts [some reprogramming, custom LCD messages], Lotus3 [generic test since I know the tunes quite well]) sounded alright most of the time ... the only game that didn't work was "The hidden below" which very likely assumes the Midi Interface to be located at 0x330, IRQ 9 when he had to put the IRQ to 10 (no idea what exactly blocked it ... setup kept complaining, updating IW.ini manually yielded no improvement). Contrary to the classic GUS boards, there's no breakout box required, an ordinary "soundblaster style" DB15 -> 2x DIN5 cable works.

Also be "careful" when using the "InterWave EEPROM Toolz" and you have a board that prints out the ANSI strings for PnP cards on POST (my test setup doesn't, but the board from in a friend's machine does) ... it will rename your card to "Gravis Ultrasound Plug'n'Pray" ;) This can easily be changed back - starting from the 16th value the EEPROM (can be read out/written back with PNPMAP) there's string of ASCII characters which can be adapted to ones content. Having figured that out now/looked into things I will likely do a custom EEPROM file with a custom ARGUS string.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby 640K!enough » 2019-6-29 @ 15:05

I was rather planning on putting together a custom ARGUS resource map anyhow. It may actually be a good idea to deviate slightly from the old Gravis map for our purposes. I'm still looking into that and a few other details related to resource allocation.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby the Goat » 2019-7-01 @ 16:44

shock__ wrote:it will rename your card to "Gravis Ultrasound Plug'n'Pray"

Is "pray" a typo, joke or is that really what it renames it to?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Tiido » 2019-7-01 @ 17:06

Definitely not a typo, PnP often doesn't work :P
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2019-7-01 @ 18:22

Basically what Tiido said ... even tho i'd replace "often" with "sometimes" :P

Also on sunday we gave MIDIFIER a spin, it's a small tool that was originally designed for the classic GUS but also works with the ARGUS which turns your PC + GUS into a full blown midi synthesizer that can be controlled with a midi keyboard (confirms MIDI IN on the ARGUS works).
Just think of the possiblities! ARGUS powered wedding chapels!
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Phreeze » 2019-8-16 @ 06:57

matze79 wrote:Today i recieved a Email from Digikey.

IC FLASH 8M PARALLEL 44SOP is EOL.
MX29F800CBMI-70G

Seems its buyable until 04/01/2020.

funny that i got that mail yesterday. And i was wondering why i do not get mails from vogons because of new replies here ? I have missed 5 pages of thread....grrrrrr :angry:

what is the current stand of "shipping": are you shipping out all the remaining boards ? i had donated for 3 and already got the first prototype months ago (green one), so are the 2 others meant to be shipped now or later?
ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby 640K!enough » 2019-8-16 @ 15:23

Phreeze wrote:what is the current stand of "shipping": are you shipping out all the remaining boards ? i had donated for 3 and already got the first prototype months ago (green one), so are the 2 others meant to be shipped now or later?

Unless you made arrangements to be part of the release candidate run, there is nothing to be done for now. We are still working on final validation of the design, before orders are accepted from donors/contributors. When the time comes to request your boards, there will be enough activity in this thread to make it obvious.

There has been a bit of a shipping delay with the RC1 boards, but those involved will get shipping details as the boards go out.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Phreeze » 2019-8-17 @ 08:21

ok, makes sense. I'll wait for the final design and am happy so far with the prototype until then ;)

(funny enough i now get the email notification again..seems to turn itself off after some months of no activity in a thread...)
ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2019-8-19 @ 20:52

Another update:

Let's say my life is currently chaotic, part of hectic and somewhat existential.

On the good news, I just started a new regular job today (previously I did restore vintage computers as a contractor with less and less jobs coming in since a while).

On the bad news ... well, my flatmate moved out and cancelled the contract for the flat, which I can not take over ... so I'll be busy looking for a new place to stay - which is anything but easy or cheap here (Berlin supposedly is the second worst city for finding a place in Germany). Luckily I have 3 months to find a new place ... but definitely no longer a shared flat with me living in a sublet, as in my experience you'll always end up being abused as an "useful idiot". Apart from losing the place which is the first one I've called "home" in over 10 years, along with a few neighbours I really enjoy/enjoyed living with. I could go on writing as this is a pretty fucked up story, but I guess that's enough info for now.

On the good news again, the bad news didn't affect my mental health ... 2 years ago I'd probably have turned into a paranoid wreck.

With those 2 news, I'll have to postpone the ARGUS project for the next few months and pretty much anything related to retro hardware (except for selling some of my personal collection to finance a deposit for a potential new place) ... being already way beyond the timeplan, I hope that's acceptable to most supporters - if not my PM box is open to find a suitable solution. I know I don't have to repeat myself here, but keep in mind this is a one person project for the most part. I'll _try_ to finally send out the RC2 boards in the near future, but can't make any promises at this point ... funnily enough they've been wrapped up a few weeks ago already and have been sitting there without shipping labels ever since.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby 640K!enough » 2019-8-19 @ 22:00

shock__ wrote:With those 2 news, I'll have to postpone the ARGUS project for the next few months

Sorry to hear about the unpleasant turn of events. In the case of the ARGUS project, people will have to understand that it is a spare-time project. Delays and the unpredictable happen sometimes. The InterWave waited over twenty years for someone to take an interest in it again; a little while longer won't harm anything. Take your time to get your affairs in order. We'll be here when you get back.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby eeguru » 2019-8-19 @ 22:36

shock__ wrote:...but keep in mind this is a one person project for the most part.


Isn't that an intentional decision? Or is the project source open at all?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby root42 » 2019-8-19 @ 22:41

Any way we can help? Do you need / want to stay in Berlin? Do you have any Patreon/PayPal/KoFi where people can support you for doing that project?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2019-8-20 @ 06:18

No need for financial support ... that regard is pretty much save for now. Appreciate the offer tho. The problem is more or less that renting a place here is ridiculously expensive, unless you're verified as poor/socially weak.
18-24€ per m² is something only the rich can affort, but extremely common here. Problem is I'm falling just right between rich and poor - meaning the offers which come into question are extremely limited and very demanded.

I'm more concerned about not finding a proper new place before the 3 months are over. There are emergency sublets/couches available by friends - but yeah, I'd love to stay in my general area which has become my home, but definitely need to stay in Berlin for the job (which is currently in walking distance). If the company wouldn't have taken me, I'd pretty much already be living with a friend at the border of berlin since a few days.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2019-8-20 @ 06:19

eeguru wrote:
shock__ wrote:...but keep in mind this is a one person project for the most part.


Isn't that an intentional decision? Or is the project source open at all?
It's a very intentional decision ... don't get how that's relevant tho.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Phreeze » 2019-8-20 @ 14:49

are you looking to live in Charlottenburg? 18-24 is very expensive and reaches Luxembourg-Prices (which are really premium...but for new flats).
Anyway: we waited years after the GUS release for a card, we can wait any more months required to finish the project ;)
ArGUS Parts list: http://bit.ly/2Ddf89V
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby eeguru » 2019-8-21 @ 00:19

shock__ wrote:don't get how that's relevant tho.


I hope everything works out smoothly for you. But once you get settled, this thread will hit is's 5th birthday. I'm not sure what the long term goals are. If the idea is to get cards in the hands of other people, why not release board files with conditional attribution so other people can build cards?
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