HardMPU, anyone?

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

Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-8-19 @ 01:37

I'd be interested in a bare PCB. I've got an initial PCB design of my own mostly mapped out, but yours is probably going to be 100x cleaner.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby TheMobRules » 2017-8-19 @ 01:54

I'd be interested in a kit! One question: would the ATMega come pre-programmed? I don't think that 40-pin chip will fit in the slot of my crappy Willem programmer.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-8-19 @ 02:24

You can program the ATMega with ISP.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2017-8-19 @ 10:02

Yes, excellent! I'd buy two bare PCB's. Great work, congratulations!
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2017-8-19 @ 16:08

Yes, in kit form the microcontroller would come preprogrammed.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby dogchainx » 2017-8-19 @ 18:42

I'm always for these projects. I'd probably be interested in buying one preassembled, or at least a kit. Doesn't look too difficult, but then again, I suck as soldering (for now)
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby the Goat » 2017-8-20 @ 00:33

ab0tj wrote:So.... It's been a while and there have been no bug reports yet. I guess that means it is time for me to order some PCB's from China. If I were to do so, I'd estimate a bare PCB would cost around $15, $60 for a kit, and $100 for an assembled and tested board. Would there be any interest from the group?


I am definitely interested in a kit. Thank you for doing this.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby AEV80 » 2017-8-22 @ 09:01

Definitely interested.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby smbaker » 2017-8-23 @ 15:19

I'd be very interested in a bare PCB.

I don't have my MT-32 yet; the primary thing holding me back in acquiring one is the lack of an MPU-401 intelligent interface that I could use on an XT-class machine. Last night I started thinking "how hard would it be to implement this in hardware using a microcontroller ?", and then I was excited to come across this thread and find that it had already been done!

Is the board available on Osh Park? Osh Park is a pricey way to go, but does have the advantage that they handle all of the order processing, with the disadvantage that the board designer makes no money from the sales.
Last edited by smbaker on 2017-8-27 @ 18:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby obaltus » 2017-8-24 @ 10:39

Hello,

I am also interested in having two bare PCB.

Thnak you
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby Ariakos » 2017-8-31 @ 08:01

ab0tj wrote:I'd estimate a bare PCB would cost around $15, $60 for a kit, and $100 for an assembled and tested board. Would there be any interest from the group?


Yes, I'd buy a kit in a blink. I'd love to get some soldering activity and at the moment my MT-32 sits all alone while LAPC-I gets all the games because I have no MPU ISA card.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2017-8-31 @ 14:35

Ok, looks like there's enough interest to make it worth putting something together. I'll get an order in for some boards. It will take a little longer to organize kits though, so I'll update and post the Mouser saved cart for those who don't want to wait.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2017-8-31 @ 20:40

Order has been placed. The boards are coming from China, but the last time I ordered from this manufacturer I ordered parts the same day from Mouser and the boards beat the parts by a day. :D
I'll update you guys again when they're here.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby smbaker » 2017-8-31 @ 23:41

That's great news.

In the meantime, I'd like to start collecting software. Never having had a MT-32 before (I was an AdLib owner), I'm assuming many of my old games (yes, I kept them all, from KQ1 on, every last game I ever bought) will work, but what about .MID music players? I can see there are some old DOS players, but most of the .MID players I've found use UART mode. Are there any .MID players that support intelligent mode?

Reading the MPU-401 technical manual, playback seems pretty simple. You put the MPU-401 into playback mode, and it'll interrupt the host whenever it wants track data. I'm tempted to write a player to work with this. It'd be fun.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby corgiest » 2017-9-01 @ 05:21

Also interested in a kit.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2017-9-01 @ 14:17

smbaker wrote:That's great news.

In the meantime, I'd like to start collecting software. Never having had a MT-32 before (I was an AdLib owner), I'm assuming many of my old games (yes, I kept them all, from KQ1 on, every last game I ever bought) will work, but what about .MID music players? I can see there are some old DOS players, but most of the .MID players I've found use UART mode. Are there any .MID players that support intelligent mode?

Reading the MPU-401 technical manual, playback seems pretty simple. You put the MPU-401 into playback mode, and it'll interrupt the host whenever it wants track data. I'm tempted to write a player to work with this. It'd be fun.

I've never heard of an intelligent mode MIDI file player, but that certainly doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Please share with the class if you find one or write one.
BTW, the HardMPU supports UART mode as well :D
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby smbaker » 2017-9-01 @ 16:17

ab0tj wrote:I've never heard of an intelligent mode MIDI file player, but that certainly doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Please share with the class if you find one or write one.
BTW, the HardMPU supports UART mode as well :D


Thanks, I figured UART mode would be an available fallback. Intelligent mode would just be ... "funner". Maybe I could write this player as a TSR.

I think another wrinkle is that the MT-32 (and MPU-401 intelligent mode) only support 8-track playback, whereas many .MID files probably have the assumption that 16 track playback is supported. Maybe for .MID file playing, UART mode together with an SC-55 is the most sensible choice.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby smbaker » 2017-9-03 @ 01:15

My Intelligent Mode Midi Player is written and minimally tested in DOSBox. It causes DOSBox to make noise that sounds like music, though I haven't checked to see just how correct it is. There any many limitations, for example it doesn't support conductor yet, so there are no tempo changes or sysex messages. I've limited myself to playing relatively small and simple .MID files.

I'll share more with the thread when I have some actual hardware, and am able to show that this thing actually works on an x86 class machine, and have some confidence it's playing things correctly.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2017-9-08 @ 03:38

Got a delivery today...

More to come soon.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2017-9-08 @ 09:36

That looks really good, ab0tj!

ab0tj wrote:It will take a little longer to organize kits though, so I'll update and post the Mouser saved cart for those who don't want to wait.


Could you please post your Mouser saved cart, by way of detailed BoM? I can get parts cheaper than usual, with the downside that it takes a lot more time before I get them. So I'd like to order them.
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