VOGONS


New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy

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Reply 360 of 378, by Rawit

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I recall this being discussed before, perhaps in a thread with the GUS claiming the Adlib port before init and such. I want to say Simon the Sorcerer, but not sure. Perhaps there is a list of games not working with the OPL2LPT for this exact reason.

My build: Speedsys

Reply 361 of 378, by cyclone3d

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hard1k wrote on 2020-06-21, 20:00:

Hey guys, a quick question: is anybody aware of any game or software that can access OPL3 only at the SB base port (220/240) and not at the classic Adlib port (388)?

We're thinking about adding some circuitry to mirror the OPL3 at SB base port, but unexpectedly haven't found a single game that wouldn't make it through the 388 port. So, if that is the case, then we wouldn't add that unnecessary circuitry to save time, money, efforts and avoid another prototype run.

Might & Magic III might be a candidate. If you use a card that only has OPL at the 388 address and you select Sound Blaster as the card, it only lets you select the SB ports and will lock the game when it loads. I need to test because I think with the Sound Blaster setting it should have digital audio with OPL music.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 362 of 378, by maxtherabbit

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hard1k wrote on 2020-06-21, 20:00:

Hey guys, a quick question: is anybody aware of any game or software that can access OPL3 only at the SB base port (220/240) and not at the classic Adlib port (388)?

We're thinking about adding some circuitry to mirror the OPL3 at SB base port, but unexpectedly haven't found a single game that wouldn't make it through the 388 port. So, if that is the case, then we wouldn't add that unnecessary circuitry to save time, money, efforts and avoid another prototype run.

Going from memory here - but I could swear there was an issue with one of the star trek adventure games. Either judgement rites or 25th, I can't remember exactly what it was but I think it was related to getting stereo opl3 maybe?

Reply 363 of 378, by mkarcher

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-06-21, 20:54:

Going from memory here - but I could swear there was an issue with one of the star trek adventure games. Either judgement rites or 25th, I can't remember exactly what it was but I think it was related to getting stereo opl3 maybe?

Stereo OPL3 on a soundblaster pro 2 should work perfectly at ports 388-38b. I don't know of any reason to prefer 220-223 over 388-38b for OPL3 access on non-PNP cards. On PNP cards, the 388 range might be disabled by the operating system due to resource conflicts, but the 220-223 range still assigned to the card.

On the other hand, Stereo from 2*OPL2 on a soundblaster pro (version 1) does not work at 388/389. The soundblaster pro (version one) worked like this: Write access to 388/389 is routed to *both* OPL2 chips at the same time, so sound is generated on both channels, which is compatible to the previous Sound Blaster cards. The same applies to the alias address at 228/229 (or 248/249). I am not aware of anyone using the alias at 2x8/2x9. As Creative Labs dropped Game Blaster / CMS support on the soundblaster pro, ports 220-223 were freed up for different usage. Any access to port 220/221 is routed to the left channel OPL2 only. Any access to port 222/223 is routed to the right channel OPL2 only. So to get non-centered sound, you *have* to access the OPL2 chips seperately by using the ports 220-223. This is the only way to get stereo music from the soundblaster pro (version one).

Last edited by mkarcher on 2020-06-21, 21:42. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 365 of 378, by 640K!enough

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The discussion of OPL3 addresses is a bit of an odd one. Scali (who doesn't seem to be as active here lately) mentioned a number of times that OPL3 Sound Blaster Pro cards do not direct accesses on 38A/B to the second channel; that access via 22x was the only way to get proper stereo. Creative's old documentation lists 38A/B as "reserved", but does not say whether that range can be used to address the OPL3. Curiously, as of the Sound Blaster 16, they no longer list those as reserved, but also say that 388/9 can be used for FM, with no mention of 38A/B.

One way to check would be to look at the resource maps on Plug and Play cards from Creative; check if they request a two- or four-byte region at 388H. If only two, then stereo is definitely not supported there. If four byte, then stereo may be supported, but more testing/evidence would be a good idea.

Reply 366 of 378, by nukeykt

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hard1k wrote on 2020-06-21, 20:00:

Hey guys, a quick question: is anybody aware of any game or software that can access OPL3 only at the SB base port (220/240) and not at the classic Adlib port (388)?

We're thinking about adding some circuitry to mirror the OPL3 at SB base port, but unexpectedly haven't found a single game that wouldn't make it through the 388 port. So, if that is the case, then we wouldn't add that unnecessary circuitry to save time, money, efforts and avoid another prototype run.

I think games that use Apogee Sound System (Duke Nukem 3D, Rise of the Triad, and other major BUILD games) only can access OPL3 on SB port. In adlib mode it will be restricted to OPL2 mode. Though maybe OPL3 on 388 could work with other sound card option selected.

Reply 367 of 378, by CMB75

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daikatana_ wrote on 2020-05-28, 23:40:

Yeah, I'm going to buy any AWE64 I'll come across to save them all.

Well, I’m desperately sorry, fellow Vogon, but you couldn’t save this one. 😉

Bought it from a seller in Hungary just for the eventuality this project sees the day of life.

The only chances for survival of this card are option A, I can get hold of a preassembled “AWE64 Legacy” card, option B, the project fails or option C, there’s no general availability of a PCB or the scheme.

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🎶"... time to saaayyyy goooodbye ..."🎶

Reply 368 of 378, by daikatana_

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CMB75 wrote on 2020-06-27, 13:11:
Well, I’m desperately sorry, fellow Vogon, but you couldn’t save this one. 😉 […]
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daikatana_ wrote on 2020-05-28, 23:40:

Yeah, I'm going to buy any AWE64 I'll come across to save them all.

Well, I’m desperately sorry, fellow Vogon, but you couldn’t save this one. 😉

Bought it from a seller in Hungary just for the eventuality this project sees the day of life.

The only chances for survival of this card are option A, I can get hold of a preassembled “AWE64 Legacy” card, option B, the project fails or option C, there’s no general availability of a PCB or the scheme.

CT4520.jpg

🎶"... time to saaayyyy goooodbye ..."🎶

Damn it, another one lost 😀

Game MIDI soundtracks

Retro games and HW reviews

Reply 370 of 378, by CMB75

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jaZz_KCS wrote on 2020-06-28, 20:17:

Do I have to organize myself a Value/donor card to for this fine object in preparation? Or are enough prepared/laid aside for the whole batch?

You never know. I'd like a fully assembled AWE64 - if that's not possible a PCB - if that's not possible the schematics to order a PCB - if that's not possible OK - I'll stick with my GOLD.

Reply 371 of 378, by hard1k

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The current plan is to produce some ~50 PCBs, assemble ~20-25 with our stock of donors and needed parts, and the rest (~25-30) will be available as loose cards for your soldering pleasure. So we don't need any donor cards at the moment, nor are we planning to offer any discount, etc, if these are offered. So, if you are fine with soldering, you'd better keep it and get the loose PCB later, thus you'll be able to build the card yourself and save some bucks 😀
The PCB design will not be released (at least in the next few years), other production batches will depend on the demand and overall success of the project.
The PCB is a 6-layer one, so doing a reverse engineering should be quite complicated (at least I hope so), and we'll try to put more Easter eggs inside in order to prevent pirates from making copycat boards.
As far as the price is concerned, the only thing I can mention at this moment is that we're struggling to keep the price tag for the loose PCB under $100.

Expect the first review soon (in Russian, but we hope to make English subtitles). The official VOGONS beta test is being delayed due to Covid - the package with the prototype card left Russia on May 05, and hasn't reached the Australian shore yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope they haven't lost the parcel on the way.

The final design is still pending some minor bug fixes, and we're still thinking if we should expose the OPL3 at the SB base port(s).

Other than that, we need somebody to tweak the PnP EEPROM firmware a bit - just edit the device description so that it matches the project name. Moreover, it would be great if that could be done from within the known CT4520 flashing tool, thus there won't be any need for an EEPROM programming device to flash it. There is a bit more than just pure esthetics in this need - some distinctive name will enable the UNISOUND tool to distinguish the card from a regular CT4520, thus we'll be able to implement some custom routines (CQM and mixer-related, actually). So if anyone wants to collaborate on that, feel free to PM me.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted at Amibay)

Reply 372 of 378, by SquallStrife

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Yep, still waiting sadly... 😒

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Reply 373 of 378, by darry

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SquallStrife wrote on 2020-06-28, 23:01:

Yep, still waiting sadly... 😒

I hope there is tracking and insurance on that parcel .

I have had some stuff in transit from Europe for over 6 weeks, yet more recent shipments have come in with days . At last notice, the Montreal, QC, Canada sorting centre had 250-odd semi-trailer truckloads full of unsorted mail to process . My guess is, some of my stuff is in that backlog that is slowly getting caught up .

I would not be surprised if similar situations exist around the world .

Good luck to all of us playing the waiting game .

Reply 374 of 378, by hard1k

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Yeah, in Russia it's the same. One of my outbound parcels to Germany appeared there after a month of silence. Another package from the US (Express Mail) took 2 months to arrive. It's a worldwide problem now, we just have to be a bit more patient, and that will be rewarded 😀

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted at Amibay)

Reply 375 of 378, by SquallStrife

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I heard somewhere that the majority of "economy airmail" at the moment is actually going via surface mail (aka, by sea).

So yeah, if that's happening then no surprise things are taking so long.

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[retro swim] | Link | Release Thread
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Reply 376 of 378, by darry

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Express shipping with third party shippers does not seem problematic, at least to my part of Canada. I got a parcel from City of Industry (CA, USA) within essentially 24h (Fedex) and one from Japan in about 36h (DHL). Both of these during the COVID-19 period .

Reply 377 of 378, by cyclone3d

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darry wrote on 2020-06-29, 02:00:

Express shipping with third party shippers does not seem problematic, at least to my part of Canada. I got a parcel from City of Industry (CA, USA) within essentially 24h (Fedex) and one from Japan in about 36h (DHL). Both of these during the COVID-19 period .

Yeah, but how many people was to pay the crazy prices for express shipping? I ordered a motherboard from Europe and if I wanted expedited shipping (maybe a week to get to me), it would have been an extra £45. No thanks... I can wait a while.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 378 of 378, by darry

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-29, 02:05:
darry wrote on 2020-06-29, 02:00:

Express shipping with third party shippers does not seem problematic, at least to my part of Canada. I got a parcel from City of Industry (CA, USA) within essentially 24h (Fedex) and one from Japan in about 36h (DHL). Both of these during the COVID-19 period .

Yeah, but how many people was to pay the crazy prices for express shipping? I ordered a motherboard from Europe and if I wanted expedited shipping (maybe a week to get to me), it would have been an extra £45. No thanks... I can wait a while.

The kicker was that I did not request express shipping on either of those. I very rarely do, in fact, unless I am really impatient .

The one from the US was 38 US$ shipping for a 158 US$ item (CYP CP-254 scaler). The one from Japan was 148 US$ including free shipping and was actually the cheapest Roland SC-D70 on offer!