VOGONS


Reply 41 of 56, by MAZter

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Borsuq wrote on 2021-04-25, 23:53:

8 available and sold. I guess everyone rushed to eBay after watching LGR's video 😀

Of course, the 201 model is not so interesting, but still curious to try it out.

By the way, if anyone looking for replacement 9V adapter for 201 (not transformer heavy one), here a little cheaper replacement with right plug:

Dokocom DK-S12C-12 9V 1A

Doom is what you want (c) MAZter

Reply 42 of 56, by Paralel

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Bondi wrote on 2021-04-23, 15:57:

LGR has released a comprehensive review of this device https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf39mEPUuJA

That is awesome. I can't believe someone actually did a video on one of these rather obscure little devices.

Reply 43 of 56, by digger

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MAZter wrote on 2021-04-26, 18:05:
Of course, the 201 model is not so interesting, but still curious to try it out. […]
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Borsuq wrote on 2021-04-25, 23:53:

8 available and sold. I guess everyone rushed to eBay after watching LGR's video 😀

Of course, the 201 model is not so interesting, but still curious to try it out.

By the way, if anyone looking for replacement 9V adapter for 201 (not transformer heavy one), here a little cheaper replacement with right plug:

Dokocom DK-S12C-12 9V 1A

I happened to order two DS201s from that eBay seller shortly before LGR posted that video. I have a suspicion that many of the people who cleaned out the stock after his video didn't realize these were DS201s and not DS301s.

The DS201(A) is quite an interesting device in its own right though. It's a shame LGR only mentioned them in passing.

As for the AC adapter, I have a European replacement adapter on order, but the delivery got delayed, so I still can't play with it. (The DS201s from eBay came with non-universal US adapters that don't take 230V.) I searched my entire apartment for spare adapters, but I couldn't find a single 9V DC one anywhere. Most adapters I have are either 5V or 12V. 9V is apparently quite uncommon for electrical devices these days.

Reply 44 of 56, by Benedikt

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digger wrote on 2021-05-01, 09:00:

As for the AC adapter, I have a European replacement adapter on order, but the delivery got delayed, so I still can't play with it. (The DS201s from eBay came with non-universal US adapters that don't take 230V.) I searched my entire apartment for spare adapters, but I couldn't find a single 9V DC one anywhere. Most adapters I have are either 5V or 12V. 9V is apparently quite uncommon for electrical devices these days.

Watch out for the polarity! Since computer hardware typically uses center-positive while analog audio equipment like guitar effects tends to use center-negative, this could be either.
I hope it's labeled.

Reply 45 of 56, by Jorpho

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cyclone3d wrote on 2019-05-28, 04:07:

I don't see how the hardware is the hard part. The software is what is going to be capturing the DMA and the Sound Blaster and Adlib I/O addresses and then just sending those commands to the device on the parallel port.

So, does this work independently of motherboard features? Like, could you use this on a newer motherboard that wouldn't ordinarily support PCI sound card access in DOS?

Reply 46 of 56, by Benedikt

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-01, 16:14:
cyclone3d wrote on 2019-05-28, 04:07:

I don't see how the hardware is the hard part. The software is what is going to be capturing the DMA and the Sound Blaster and Adlib I/O addresses and then just sending those commands to the device on the parallel port.

So, does this work independently of motherboard features? Like, could you use this on a newer motherboard that wouldn't ordinarily support PCI sound card access in DOS?

You obviously still need a port to plug it into.
Everything else is emulation/forwarding, anyway, and therefore shouldn't cause any additional problems.
With that kind of emulation, however, you could theoretically make every kind of sound hardware work in DOS.
You wouldn't be limited to hardware that connects to a parallel or serial port.

Reply 47 of 56, by Jorpho

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Benedikt wrote on 2021-05-01, 19:59:

With that kind of emulation, however, you could theoretically make every kind of sound hardware work in DOS.
You wouldn't be limited to hardware that connects to a parallel or serial port.

I wonder if you could use it to just spool the audio to disk, or even to a network device? Or would that just be impractical on older hardware? I mean, there has to be some reason why no one has done that before?

Reply 48 of 56, by matze79

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Will it work in 32bit DOS4GW and other Extender Games ?
i guess it must run some V86 Mode Driver.

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Reply 49 of 56, by cyclone3d

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-01, 21:28:
Benedikt wrote on 2021-05-01, 19:59:

With that kind of emulation, however, you could theoretically make every kind of sound hardware work in DOS.
You wouldn't be limited to hardware that connects to a parallel or serial port.

I wonder if you could use it to just spool the audio to disk, or even to a network device? Or would that just be impractical on older hardware? I mean, there has to be some reason why no one has done that before?

I've actually thought of doing this before. It should be possible to send the data over a NIC to another computer. It would have to be a server / client type setup with the computer running the games capturing and sending the data to the computer with the sound card.

Then the computer with the sound card would get that data and send it to the sound card.

Still, the tricky part would be capturing the sound/music data from the games through fake sound card emulation. The receiving application should be pretty easy as your just capturing the data and sending it on to the real sound card.

And you would most likely get a noticeable delay between when the sound /music is supposed to happen and when it actually plays.... or maybe not.... depends on if you have to have buffers on the receiving program for everything to work right.

And at that point, what would be the point as you would already have a correct system to run the older games anyway... It would just be for the coolness factor... or maybe you want to just use the second computer as a host for additional sound cards.

It is an interesting concept for sure.

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
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Reply 50 of 56, by Benedikt

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matze79 wrote on 2021-05-01, 22:09:

Will it work in 32bit DOS4GW and other Extender Games ?
i guess it must run some V86 Mode Driver.

IIRC, the documentation specifically said that the emulation driver for DOS is for real mode, only, i.e. presumably uses V86 mode.

Reply 51 of 56, by Jorpho

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Benedikt wrote on 2021-05-02, 09:14:

IIRC, the documentation specifically said that the emulation driver for DOS is for real mode, only, i.e. presumably uses V86 mode.

Yes, that is indeed noted in the LGR video.

cyclone3d wrote on 2021-05-02, 03:03:

I've actually thought of doing this before. It should be possible to send the data over a NIC to another computer. It would have to be a server / client type setup with the computer running the games capturing and sending the data to the computer with the sound card.

I suppose the bigger problem is that network drivers are likely to take up a big chunk of conventional memory, which would be at a premium for real-mode games.

Of course, there's also the possibility of just outputting things through the PC speaker, but I guess no one did that because the necessary signal processing would cause a huge lag in the gameplay, and also because it would sound like crap?

Reply 52 of 56, by digger

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Benedikt wrote on 2021-05-01, 15:26:

Watch out for the polarity! Since computer hardware typically uses center-positive while analog audio equipment like guitar effects tends to use center-negative, this could be either.
I hope it's labeled.

Thanks for the warning, but it was indeed clearly labeled on the adapter, along with the amperage as well as the voltage. 😉

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Digispeech 201A with bundled 9V adapter
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As you can see when you click on the thumbnail, it's center-positive. You made a good point, though. The other day I was surprised to see the DC power port on my Roland MT-32 marked as center-negative, for instance. Always important to check these non-standarized specifications for each device and adapter. 👍

Reply 53 of 56, by digger

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-02, 18:12:

Of course, there's also the possibility of just outputting things through the PC speaker, but I guess no one did that because the necessary signal processing would cause a huge lag in the gameplay, and also because it would sound like crap?

Actually, VSB, the "Virtual Sound Blaster" written by Andrew Zabolotny, has just such an option. It emulates a Sound Blaster 1.x, and you can choose to have it output to either a Covox Speech Thing clone (LPT DAC) on a parallel port, or through the internal speaker, the latter of which will of course sound much worse than the former option.

I've been trying to dust off the source code and getting it to assemble with an open source assembler, so that it can be worked on further, for instance by adding support for more modern sound devices. I've gotten it to the point where it builds with WASM, but it crashes on startup, at least in a VM. Any help is welcome!

https://github.com/volkertb/temu-vsb

As for getting Sound Blaster emulation to work with protected mode games, I believe the trick would be to use an open source DOS extender that you can use as a drop-in replacement for DOS/4GW (there are several), but which will also run the game at a lower privilege level (ring 3) than the DOS extender itself and then having the DOS extender itself perform the port trapping and sound card emulation.

It would require someone skilled enough to work on this, though. "Extend the extender", so to speak. 😉 I know of two open source DOS extenders that can be used as drop-in replacements for DOS4/GW, namely DOS/32A and Causeway. (Perhaps there are more?) If I'm not mistaken (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), DOS/32A runs the application/game at the same privilege level as the DOS extender itself (ring 0?), whereas Causeway runs the application/game in ring 3 mode, meaning that it should be able to trap any hardware access by the application/game. Next step would be to actually trap the necessary Sound Blaster and DMA ports and perform the emulation, as well as the actual hardware access to whatever sound device we want to support.

Any takers? 😁

Reply 54 of 56, by Jorpho

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Egads! Are you suggesting that it would be possible to use PCI Sound Blaster cards (and AC97 codecs and other things only supported by mpxplay) ? It seems until now no one has ever suggested these things would be even vaguely feasible.

Reply 55 of 56, by digger

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Oh, it's feasible, and it's been done, at least for real mode games. For protected mode games, it hasn't yet been accomplished in pure DOS, but even those kinds of games can be made to work if you run them in a DOS session under Win9x using something like VDMSound.

But it should be possible in pure DOS too, if enough people knowledgeable enough can be bothered (perhaps bribed? 😉) to work on something like that.

See also this discussion: https://github.com/volkertb/temu-vsb/issues/4

It gets quite technical as you scroll down (even for me), but the gist is that some DOS hackers way smarter than me believe that it would indeed be possible in theory to develop a Sound Blaster emulator that would work with both real mode and protected mode games (at least the vast majority of them that use a proper DPMI-compatible DOS extender).

Again, any takers? 😁 I'd be happy to assist in such an eandeavor, but my low level coding skills are limited, so I would require someone both skilled enough and enthusiastic enough to take the lead in such a project.

Reply 56 of 56, by cyclone3d

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If I had time, I would be working on it.

Before that happens, one of my other projects will be getting sounds cards working through DOSBox using a usb to isa adapter. Some of the code is already there and the company provides a custom DOSBox version as well as the source code but it won't work as-is for sound cards.

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