VOGONS


First post, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have an ESS Solo-1 card and it has a spot for a wavetable header on the board, just with no actual connector installed.

If a connector was installed, would this card work with a wavetable board?

Attachments

  • ESS-1 Solo.jpg
    Filename
    ESS-1 Solo.jpg
    File size
    571.67 KiB
    Views
    590 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 1 of 19, by MJay99

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:13:

If a connector was installed, would this card work with a wavetable board?

If pins 4, 20 and 24 can be traced to the ESS IC somehow (20 and 24 probably via an R and C), it'll work, I guess. Maybe one or two of the unused R/C footprints still need to be populated to connect it, but that's easy to figure out while beeping out those traces. I don't have this card to test, but I'd expect a coupling cap and resistor between the Header and the main IC's line-inputs.

The datasheet says that pin 55 on the ES1938 is the Midiout (MSO), which should go to the header pin 4, if I'm not mistaken. So, if that's there, I'd bet it's possible to get it working.

Reply 2 of 19, by Cuttoon

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I think I have that thing in any possible combination of SB-link, wave header and amp chips possible. And that doesn't even include variations in the CD-audio connectors and the rare black-gold edition.

Your's might be a somewhat later production where DOS midi via MPU401 was deemed less important.
And, that card must have been so cheap that soldering on a few pins actually made a difference.

So, what MJay99 writes and I read on multiple occasions that whatever is missing can be added.

If not, sure easy to find a card with wave header but not the SB-link, but that can be installed.

I like jumpers.

Reply 3 of 19, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Can confirm it can be added. I just added the header and it worked. See here:
Re: Question about Terratec TTSOLO

Interestingly, I've never seen a Solo-1 card with both SB-Link and Wavetable header. Terratec installed one or the other, not both it seems. Due to not having any boards with SBLink, I wasn't able to test if it still worked after adding the wavetable header, but can't see any technical reason they wouldn't both be possible at the same time.

Reply 4 of 19, by Disruptor

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Interestingly, I've never seen a Solo-1 card with both SB-Link and Wavetable header. Terratec installed one or the other, not both it seems.

I have both versions.

Reply 5 of 19, by MJay99

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Interestingly, I've never seen a Solo-1 card with both SB-Link and Wavetable header. Terratec installed one or the other, not both it seems. Due to not having any boards with SBLink, I wasn't able to test if it still worked after adding the wavetable header, but can't see any technical reason they wouldn't both be possible at the same time.

I haven't looked into SB-Link - but if they were to be using the same Line-In on the ESS, that might make them mutually exclusive (even though it'd have been technically solvable also - albeit with tiny extra costs).

Reply 6 of 19, by mkarcher

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
MJay99 wrote on 2022-04-12, 12:24:

I haven't looked into SB-Link - but if they were to be using the same Line-In on the ESS, that might make them mutually exclusive (even though it'd have been technically solvable also - albeit with tiny extra costs).

SB-Link is not an analog audio connection, but a way to give the card access to ISA DMA channels and IRQs for better Sound Blaster compatibility. SB-Link uses a serial protocol, that's why a 5-conductor cable (the sixth pin is missing as key pin) provides enough wires. SB-Link thus doesn't use any analog input on the ESS chip.

Reply 7 of 19, by Bancho

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Can confirm it can be added. I just added the header and it worked. See here:
Re: Question about Terratec TTSOLO

Interestingly, I've never seen a Solo-1 card with both SB-Link and Wavetable header. Terratec installed one or the other, not both it seems. Due to not having any boards with SBLink, I wasn't able to test if it still worked after adding the wavetable header, but can't see any technical reason they wouldn't both be possible at the same time.

I have a Labway card which has both SB-PCI and the Wavetable header, there are SOLO's out there fully populated

Attachments

  • ESS SOlo1.JPG
    Filename
    ESS SOlo1.JPG
    File size
    262.33 KiB
    Views
    443 views
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 8 of 19, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Bancho wrote on 2022-04-12, 13:11:
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Can confirm it can be added. I just added the header and it worked. See here:
Re: Question about Terratec TTSOLO

Interestingly, I've never seen a Solo-1 card with both SB-Link and Wavetable header. Terratec installed one or the other, not both it seems. Due to not having any boards with SBLink, I wasn't able to test if it still worked after adding the wavetable header, but can't see any technical reason they wouldn't both be possible at the same time.

I have a Labway card which has both SB-PCI and the Wavetable header, there are SOLO's out there fully populated

I was specifically referring to the Terratec Solo-1 card, not other ones with the ESS Solo chipset. I was aware they existed with both.

Reply 9 of 19, by Jackal1983

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:13:

I have an ESS Solo-1 card and it has a spot for a wavetable header on the board, just with no actual connector installed.

If a connector was installed, would this card work with a wavetable board?

I have the exact same card. Once I added the wavetable header and plugged a board in Win98se immediately picked it up with no issues.

Reply 10 of 19, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
MJay99 wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:57:
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:13:

If a connector was installed, would this card work with a wavetable board?

If pins 4, 20 and 24 can be traced to the ESS IC somehow (20 and 24 probably via an R and C), it'll work, I guess. Maybe one or two of the unused R/C footprints still need to be populated to connect it, but that's easy to figure out while beeping out those traces. I don't have this card to test, but I'd expect a coupling cap and resistor between the Header and the main IC's line-inputs.

The datasheet says that pin 55 on the ES1938 is the Midiout (MSO), which should go to the header pin 4, if I'm not mistaken. So, if that's there, I'd bet it's possible to get it working.

Haven't fully mapped things out, but initial trace for pin 4 did run to the ESS IC pin 55.

Pins 20 and 24 ran to the CN4 connector.

I haven't tested all the pins yet, but I'll probably test them to see if anything runs to any of the missing caps or resistors just in case.

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 11 of 19, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Can confirm it can be added. I just added the header and it worked. See here:
Re: Question about Terratec TTSOLO

That's good to know. Curious that yours didn't have the Amp ICs installed that my board does.

Does anyone know what those are used for on this board?

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 12 of 19, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-12, 19:50:
dionb wrote on 2022-04-11, 18:55:

Can confirm it can be added. I just added the header and it worked. See here:
Re: Question about Terratec TTSOLO

That's good to know. Curious that yours didn't have the Amp ICs installed that my board does.

Does anyone know what those are used for on this board?

Providing more power to the headphone/speaker jack, so you can use passive loudspeakers if you want.

Reply 13 of 19, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
dionb wrote on 2022-04-12, 20:05:

Providing more power to the headphone/speaker jack, so you can use passive loudspeakers if you want.

Interesting! Curious inclusion given the prevalence of powered computer speakers, but interesting nonetheless. Thank you!

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 14 of 19, by matze79

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:13:

I have an ESS Solo-1 card and it has a spot for a wavetable header on the board, just with no actual connector installed.

If a connector was installed, would this card work with a wavetable board?

Yes

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 15 of 19, by RetroGamer4Ever

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I think someone could make some good money from providing the service of adding a wavetable header to cards that have the paths on the board or reselling cards that have had the header added. Then, more people could enjoy the use of the wavetable boards in older PCs. A Dreamblaster in every desktop!

Reply 16 of 19, by MJay99

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
mkarcher wrote on 2022-04-12, 13:07:

SB-Link is not an analog audio connection, but a way to give the card access to ISA DMA channels and IRQs for better Sound Blaster compatibility. SB-Link uses a serial protocol, that's why a 5-conductor cable (the sixth pin is missing as key pin) provides enough wires. SB-Link thus doesn't use any analog input on the ESS chip.

Thanks for bringing me up to speed on that. Never been (consciously) running across this option, till now. 😀

Reply 17 of 19, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Bit of an update, I added the wavetable connector today. It was a bit annoying to have to first remove the solder from the holes, but otherwise went smoothly and functions perfectly.

Tested it under Windows 98 both in Windows itself and with DOS games, and it sounds great!

Attachments

Last edited by Shponglefan on 2022-04-16, 00:29. Edited 1 time in total.

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 18 of 19, by Cuttoon

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-15, 22:59:

Bit of an update, I added the wavetable connector today. It was a bit annoying to have to first remove the solder from the holes, but otherwise went smoothly and works perfectly.

Tested it under Windows 98 both in Windows itself and with DOS games, and it works great!

Seeing that solder is a really soft material - why don't you just bore out the holes with a dremel or similar tool? May not sound so elegant, but does the job.

I like jumpers.

Reply 19 of 19, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-15, 23:02:

Seeing that solder is a really soft material - why don't you just bore out the holes with a dremel or similar tool? May not sound so elegant, but does the job.

I didn't trust myself to try to drill it without risking damage to the pads. I ended up just heating one side with the iron and used a solder pump on the other side. It worked, it was just a little tedious.

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build