Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-29 @ 13:59

matze79 wrote:Thats why it makes sense to have 3/4 Support.
A mouse on COM3 port can cause much more problems. This port is completely abnormal for mouse.
If the Feipoa board conflicts with the adapter on IRQ after changing the Serial port1 from 3F8 to 3E8, then COM3 will not help also.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-8-29 @ 15:23

In other words, AMI WinBIOS can't disable onboard COM ports properly or it's a specific bug of that motherboard. Good thing that BIOS wasn't very common, at least on typical AT boards.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-29 @ 15:40

The Serpent Rider wrote:In other words, AMI WinBIOS can't disable onboard COM ports properly or it's a specific bug of that motherboard. Good thing that BIOS wasn't very common, at least on typical AT boards.

My friend from the Russian forum claims that there were a lot of bugs in AMI WinBIOS, including non-working options.
I still hope that we can defeat the Feipoa motherboard.
I remember that I also had a motherboard with such BIOS. I will try to find it and test.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-8-29 @ 17:32

I think that you can't replicate this bug without integrated COM ports, i.e. normal BabyAT 486 VLB board with WinBIOS won't do.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-29 @ 18:13

The Serpent Rider wrote:I think that you can't replicate this bug without integrated COM ports, i.e. normal BabyAT 486 VLB board with WinBIOS won't do.

Yes you are right.
Perhaps a Pentium board with such BIOS will be found.
I hope there were such boards.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-29 @ 19:33

On the screenshot, the enabled COM1 is the emulator card. The disabled COM1 is the MB's serial port set to 3E8. If I sent the MB COM1 back to disabled in BIOS, the disabled COM1 address goes back to 3F8.

Yes the mouse works in that screenshoot, but the BIOS-disabled COM1 must also be double disabled in Windows, even if MB BIOS COM1 is at different port address, for the mouse to work.

This is not the first motherboard I've used in which Windows re-enables disabled ports. The most frequent culprit is onboard IDE.

I am again wondering about the Emulator card is set to COM 3, it seems that we'd still need to disable COM1 in Windows, because they share an IRQ. In the above test, if I left 3E8 enabled, the computer frooze up just after GUI displayed. I personally think it would be beneficial to use the emulator card on COM 3 with IRQ 12 as an option, but this would require a longer 16-bit ISA card instead of the current 8-bit. IRQ 12 is normally used for the PS/2 mouse, so computers without PS/2 could use this IRQ by default.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-29 @ 19:52

feipoa wrote:On the screenshot, the enabled COM1 is the emulator card. The disabled COM1 is the MB's serial port set to 3E8. If I sent the MB COM1 back to disabled in BIOS, the disabled COM1 address goes back to 3F8.

Yes the mouse works in that screenshoot, but the BIOS-disabled COM1 must also be double disabled in Windows, even if MB BIOS COM1 is at different port address, for the mouse to work.

Please explain again, in this screenshot in Windows, one СOM1 port is disabled (onboard 3E8), the other COM1 port is enabled (adapter). Does the mouse work at this time?
If it works, then what do you dislike?
You do not like the disabled port COM1 in Windows?
Image

feipoa wrote:I am again wondering about the Emulator card is set to COM 3, it seems that we'd still need to disable COM1 in Windows, because they share an IRQ. In the above test, if I left 3E8 enabled, the computer frooze up just after GUI displayed. I personally think it would be beneficial to use the emulator card on COM 3 with IRQ 12 as an option. IRQ 12 is normally used for the PS/2 mouse, so computers without PS/2 could use this IRQ by default.
This makes no sense. Using IRQ12 for the COM port will cause even greater compatibility problems than COM3/COM4 for the mouse. It will be necessary to write special mouse drivers with IRQ12 support. In addition, the size and cost of the adapter will increase, because only 16-bit ISA cards have IRQ12.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-29 @ 22:25

Rio444 wrote:
feipoa wrote:Enabling COM1 as 3E8, then you can see under properties that the disabled COM1 is set to 3E8. But if I re-enable this COM1 in Windows and reboot, the system hangs once the desktop is shown.

3E8.jpg
In this screenshot COM1, is it the adapter?
Does the mouse work?
If the port is disabled in Windows, and does not interfere with the adapter, this is normal.


I have always asserted that the emulator card works in Windows when Windows disables the motherboard's onboard COM1 port. I thought this was understood. See below.

by feipoa » 2019-8-21 @ 02:53
feipoa wrote:I never said the mouse was inoperative. The adapter works just fine in DOS (its natureally setup as COM1) and Windows 95c, but I must disable COM1 for it to work.


by feipoa » 2019-8-28 @ 03:05
feipoa wrote:to use the serial ISA emulator card, I must disable the corresponding COM port from within Windows Device Manager


The additional testing was to demonstrate that Windows was re-enabling the RS-232 ports and that it must be manually disabled.

Rio444 wrote:
matze79 wrote:Thats why it makes sense to have 3/4 Support.
A mouse on COM3 port can cause much more problems. This port is completely abnormal for mouse.
If the Feipoa board conflicts with the adapter on IRQ after changing the Serial port1 from 3F8 to 3E8, then COM3 will not help also.

Yes, because the IRQ is the same. If you are interested, a longer ISA card with COM3/4 and IRQ12 as an option could be more plug-in-play for such WinBIOS systems.

Rio444 wrote:Please explain again, in this screenshot in Windows, one СOM1 port is disabled (onboard 3E8), the other COM1 port is enabled (adapter). Does the mouse work at this time?
If it works, then what do you dislike? You do not like the disabled port COM1 in Windows?

I've mentioned this probably four times now that the emulator card works fine in Windows if you manually disable COM1 in Windows. I don't understand your confusion. I have never said there wa said there was a problem with this, but you kept requesting additional testing, I think because you were in disbelief that the BIOS wasn't completely disabling the COM ports. The work-around for this was discovered several pages ago. I can live with the disabled MB COM1 port in Windows, even if it isn't entirely elegant. Better than using a bus mouse or serial mouse.

Rio444 wrote:Using IRQ12 for the COM port will cause even greater compatibility problems than COM3/COM4 for the mouse. It will be necessary to write special mouse drivers with IRQ12 support. In addition, the size and cost of the adapter will increase, because only 16-bit ISA cards have IRQ12.

OK, so using COM3 or even COM5 and IRQ12 would still require special mouse drivers? Then nevermind that idea. I am happy with the current solution, but there are caveats that people need to lookout for when using the emulator card in "affected" BIOSes. It is not always so straight-forward to get COM1 disabled in Windows with the emulator card installed because the system hangs. What I need to do is remove the emulator card and use a standard serial mouse on COM2 to go into Windows and disable the MB's COM1, then reboot with emulator card.

What I am struggling to understand now is the practical benefit of COM3 on this card. On my system, I've shown that having COM3 and COM1 both enabled result in a hung screen because they share the same IRQ. You'd have to give-up IRQ 5 or 7, but at that point, you just as well disable COM1 and use the adapter on COM1. I suppose if you don't use your parallel port, you could take IRQ 7.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-30 @ 04:46

feipoa wrote:I have always asserted that the emulator card works in Windows when Windows disables the motherboard's onboard COM1 port. I thought this was understood. See below.

No, I missed it. I apologize again for my poor English, some of your messages elude me. You will do it right if you repeat them again.

feipoa wrote:Yes, because the IRQ is the same. If you are interested, a longer ISA card with COM3/4 and IRQ12 as an option could be more plug-in-play for such WinBIOS systems.

OK, I'll think about it. But I note that the interruption IRQ12 is not typical for serial ports. It may be more appropriate to use IRQ2/9 or IRQ5, which is present on an 8-bit ISA card. Although IRQ5 is usually occupied with a Sound Blaster.

feipoa wrote:I've mentioned this probably four times now that the emulator card works fine in Windows if you manually disable COM1 in Windows. I don't understand your confusion. I have never said there wa said there was a problem with this, but you kept requesting additional testing, I think because you were in disbelief that the BIOS wasn't completely disabling the COM ports. The work-around for this was discovered several pages ago. I can live with the disabled MB COM1 port in Windows, even if it isn't entirely elegant. Better than using a bus mouse or serial mouse.

I apologize, I seemed too stupid and did not understand you.
Maybe I misunderstood you again, but I’ll ask you again. If you have time, in the last configuration (when 3E8 is assigned to Serial port1), try to remove the disconnected COM1 port in Windows and search for hardware using "Add New Hardware" in the Control Panel. I hope Windows finds the onboard Serial port1 as COM3.
If this does not help, assign this port in the BIOS value 2E8 and do the same again.


feipoa wrote:OK, so using COM3 or even COM5 and IRQ12 would still require special mouse drivers?
I suppose yes. All drivers and programs expect to see a mouse in COM1 or COM2, with standard resources 3F8/IRQ4, 2F8/IRQ3. I know that only one CuteMouse driver at startup allows you to manually specify any IRQ. As for Windows - it's need to check. But as I wrote above, for an 8-bit card, IRQ2/9 or IRQ5 are more acceptable. By the way, the same interrupts can use a Bus Mouse.


feipoa wrote:What I am struggling to understand now is the practical benefit of COM3 on this card. On my system, I've shown that having COM3 and COM1 both enabled result in a hung screen because they share the same IRQ.
IRQ will still remain the same.
Now you have built-in COM3 port and the mouse on COM1.
If the mouse is on COM3, and the built-in port is COM1, they will simply swap places, but the interrupt will remain the same - IRQ4.
As I wrote above, you can try to assign both built-in ports to one interrupt. To do this, change the Serial port1 to 2E8 and it should get the resources of COM4 = IRQ3/2E8. The same IRQ uses the built-in COM2 port.
At least it must use it. It will not be superfluous to verify this.

feipoa wrote:You'd have to give-up IRQ 5 or 7, but at that point, you just as well disable COM1 and use the adapter on COM1. I suppose if you don't use your parallel port, you could take IRQ 7.

This is your phrase I did not understand. Google-translator did not help. Could you retell it differently, in simpler words?
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-30 @ 07:28

The most ideal solution for the serial emulator card is for broad compatibility in systems, and ease of setup. Since IRQ 12 is normally associated with PS/2 mice, I thought IRQ 12 would be a nice fit. If your computer doesn't have a PS/2 mouse, IRQ 12 is usually available. IRQ 5 is often used by audio cards. IRQ 7 is used by LPT, but rarely used these days. IRQ 2/9 is also a nice idea, but some motherboards like to assign IRQ 2/9 to VGA. For future PCB/firmware revisions, the option for IRQ 2 could benefit some, as well as IRQ 12 and maybe IRQ 7. If you make a longer 16-bit ISA card, it can still go into 8-bit slots, but won't be able to use IRQ 12.

I think there will be a good number of WinBIOS users who want the serial emulator card, because in my experience, very few WinBIOS motherboards have PS/2 mouse support.

RIO444 wrote: "when 3E8 is assigned to Serial port1), try to remove the disconnected COM1 port in Windows and search for hardware using "Add New Hardware" in the Control Panel. "
...
I did remove the 'disabled COM1 (3E8)' from device manager, then I rebooted. Windows finds a new "Communications Port", but did not assign a COM# to it. When I reboot the system, the computer freezes shortly after the desktop appears. I rebooted again, and the computer froze again shortly after the desktop appears. Perhaps a problem due to IRQ 4 sharing? I booted into Safe Mode and opened the Device Manager, I see COM2 and COM3 listed, but COM1 is not listed.

Is it typical that two COM ports can share an IRQ and both be functional and different times? What about simultaneously? From the above test results, my NexGen system does not allow two COM ports to have the same IRQ (freezes). If you were to add some features to the adapter, I think IRQ's 2, 12, and maybe 7 could benefit some people, but only if standard mouse drivers work. If you add these extra IRQ's, COM 3/4 (and maybe COM 5?) should be added.

For others who obtain this emulator card, if you run into my issue and can't boot the system, I recommend connecting a standard serial port to COM2. Then boot Windows and disable COM1 in the device manager. Then put the RIO444's serial emulator card back in.

Even if you do not add additional IRQ support, I am very satisfied with the emulator card. It works fantastic and there is no noticeable lag when using my KVM, even with a trackball mouse. All other serial-to-PS/2 protocol converters I've tried, which is about 6 different devices, have all had mouse pointer lag issues when used through a KVM.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-30 @ 08:58

feipoa wrote:

Please look further, there you will find answers to some of the questions.
I used the same system as in previous tests (motherboard PCI590-2, Windows 95 OSR 2.5).
To start, I assigned value COM3 to Serial port1 (equivalent 3E8 in your BIOS).
Image
After that, I started up Windows.
This is a screenshot immediately after loading Windows.
I did not make absolutely any tuning!
Image
Please note that Windows indicates that the same interrupt (IRQ4) uses the COM1 port. But this does not interfere with the functioning of both ports (when they are not used simultaneously). And this ability was intentionally done when developing the adapter.
Here is similarly with the COM4 port. Also, absolutely no settings were made.
Image
Image
COM4 uses the same IRQ3 as COM2.
I have the assumption that you have some kind of malfunction in Windows.
What do you think about it?

Thanks so much for the positive feedback! It motivates me a lot.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-30 @ 13:02

Certainly, there is some combination of hardware and software which aren't getting along well together on my system. Perhaps you can source a motherboard from 1994-1995 with a WinBIOS to test further? At this point, we don't know for sure if it is just my NexGen board, or the majority of WinBIOS boards.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-30 @ 18:32

feipoa wrote:Certainly, there is some combination of hardware and software which aren't getting along well together on my system. Perhaps you can source a motherboard from 1994-1995 with a WinBIOS to test further? At this point, we don't know for sure if it is just my NexGen board, or the majority of WinBIOS boards.

Could you show a photo of your mainboard?
It is not difficult to find a board with WinBIOS. I even have such 486 board. But it is VLB, without built-in COM ports.
Most likely I should have boards with WinBIOS and built-in ports, but they are made much later. Most likely they are pentium 2-3. In any case, I will look for.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-8-30 @ 19:21

with WinBIOS and built-in ports, but they are made much later. Most likely they are pentium 2-3.

WinBIOS died somewhere around 1996. You need brandname desktop 486 or Pentium, they usually have everything integrated.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-30 @ 19:38

The Serpent Rider wrote:WinBIOS died somewhere around 1996. You need brandname desktop 486 or Pentium, they usually have everything integrated.

OK, I'll see what I have. But it seems to me, I saw WinBIOS on a much later board. Now it’s hard for me to recall, because I never attached importance to the type of BIOS.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-31 @ 03:44

I have at least two more boards with the WinBIOS - Shuttle HOT-433 and a PC Chips M919. I probably have more but don't recall. I might see what happens on those boards. The HOT-433 has both AWARD and WINBIOSes, so this could shed light on if its soley a WinBIOS issue.

You sent out 5 of these emulator cards? What motherboards did the others 4 test the emulator card on in W95?
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-31 @ 07:05

feipoa wrote:I have at least two more boards with the WinBIOS - Shuttle HOT-433 and a PC Chips M919. I probably have more but don't recall. I might see what happens on those boards. The HOT-433 has both AWARD and WINBIOSes, so this could shed light on if its soley a WinBIOS issue.
It would be great if you checked!
Unfortunately, I do not have such boards.
I have quite a few 486 boards with PCI on Sis496/497. But there seems only Award BIOS.

feipoa wrote:You sent out 5 of these emulator cards? What motherboards did the others 4 test the emulator card on in W95?
Yes, of course. I have already sent out much more than five adapters. But few give feedback. And no one reported the exact configuration.
The Serpent Rider uses the adapter with Win95. I hope he will give the motherboard model.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-8-31 @ 10:00

LuckyStar LS486-E. Most of the boards in my possession are using Award, Phoenix or normal AMI.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby feipoa » 2019-8-31 @ 11:02

Rio444 wrote:Yes, of course. I have already sent out much more than five adapters. But few give feedback. And no one reported the exact configuration.

In my experience, it takes people quite some time fully test new hobby hardware. I have boxes of stuff waiting to be tested.

It might be sufficient to test the motherboard without needing the emulator card. Simply boot with your motherboard and disable COM1 in the BIOS. Then boot into Windows 95 to confirm that COM1 has vanished. Then emulator card should run on COM1 without any problem.

Did you confirm if the DOS and Windows drivers would work as-is if they used IRQ's 2, 12, or 7?

I'll try to get to the other motherboards next week. I'm getting some SD (via SCSI2SD) and CF (via IDE) cards ready for this test.
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Re: Another PS/2 Mouse ISA (ISA8) card adapter

Postby Rio444 » 2019-8-31 @ 17:47

feipoa wrote:It might be sufficient to test the motherboard without needing the emulator card. Simply boot with your motherboard and disable COM1 in the BIOS. Then boot into Windows 95 to confirm that COM1 has vanished. Then emulator card should run on COM1 without any problem.
OK, I'll try it.

feipoa wrote:Did you confirm if the DOS and Windows drivers would work as-is if they used IRQ's 2, 12, or 7?
No, I haven’t done it yet. I need more time for this.
Today I tried to find a motherboard with WinAMI BIOS. But all boards with any AMI BIOS turned out to be 486 or older, without built-in COM ports. :depressed:
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