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HardMPU, anyone?

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Reply 260 of 575, by gdjacobs

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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.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 265 of 575, by dogchainx

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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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Reply 266 of 575, by the Goat

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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.

Reply 268 of 575, by smbaker

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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 2017-08-27, 18:23. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 270 of 575, by Ariakos

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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.

Reply 271 of 575, by ab0tj

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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.

Reply 272 of 575, by ab0tj

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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. 😁
I'll update you guys again when they're here.

Reply 273 of 575, by smbaker

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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.

Reply 275 of 575, by ab0tj

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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 😁

Reply 276 of 575, by smbaker

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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 😁

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.

Reply 277 of 575, by smbaker

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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.

Reply 278 of 575, by ab0tj

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Got a delivery today...

More to come soon.

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Reply 279 of 575, by DigitalBrains

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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.