VOGONS


Newly made PCMCIA sound card

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First post, by hard1k

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Guys. Guys.
We've been waiting for this one for too long already. It's time to build it.
I've just purchased a Media Vision PCMCIA card from eBay, and I'm ready to sacrifice it for a modded replica project, but first I'd like to understand better your expectations, so please take a quick questionnaire here:
https://forms.gle/h4mGt95XzQXNu5YaA

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Fortex: Vortex2+YMF744
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 1 of 155, by Bondi

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This is a truly great idea! I've filled in the questionnaire, but will post some thoughts here as well.
Personally my main expectaion would be SB compatibililty in DOS, including protected mode.
True OPL3 would be also nice, but some good clone is also acceptable.
Gameport supporting MPU-401 would be great. Let alone the onboard wavetable! But there comes the question of price... A fully featured card will cost too much, I guess. So some sort of compromise has to be found. Let's see what others think.
Definately ready for a donation/prepayment.

BTW, does Media Vision do digital sound in DOS (real mode games)?

Reply 2 of 155, by jaZz_KCS

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1) I have several laptops that would greatly benefit from a PCMCIA sound card that is both DOS (with correct SB emulation) and W3.11 compatible!
2) I have filled out the questionnaire!
3) I am ready for pre-orders and donations to make this happen!
4) (closely linked to 3) Shut up and take my money!

Reply 3 of 155, by Vynix

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Filled the poll as well though there is one thing I'd really like, it would be a intelligent MPU-401-compatible interface (I'm fine if it's not a 1:1 replica of a MPU401 as long it is very close)...

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 4 of 155, by Bondi

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Just came to my mind. There are cards based on es1688 chip. These are Ratoc cards, some of the Panasonics and others. This chip actually has almost everything is needed - SB, OPL3 and MPU-401/Joystic compatible.
Isn't it just matter of divers/TSR for proper SB emulation in DOS? IBM had patented the software DMA emulation (https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=5784595 and https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/9 … e/US5768631.pdf), but most probably the patent is expired. I think It's worth looking at the option of making a card based on ESS chip.

Last edited by Bondi on 2020-05-17, 16:42. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 155, by cyclone3d

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That might be a good idea. I actually have an old Altec Lansing setup the uses a pcmcia card with an external unit that also houses a CD-ROM drive. It is ESS based if I remember correctly. It it also supposed to have some sort of hardware wavetable from what I could find. I could take pics of the internals of the external unit if that might help.

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 6 of 155, by hard1k

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Sure! It would help a lot.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Fortex: Vortex2+YMF744
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 8 of 155, by lolo799

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hard1k wrote on 2020-02-09, 01:41:
Guys. Guys. We've been waiting for this one for too long already. It's time to build it. I've just purchased a Media Vision PCMC […]
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Guys. Guys.
We've been waiting for this one for too long already. It's time to build it.
I've just purchased a Media Vision PCMCIA card from eBay, and I'm ready to sacrifice it for a modded replica project, but first I'd like to understand better your expectations, so please take a quick questionnaire here:
https://forms.gle/h4mGt95XzQXNu5YaA

That's a pretty good idea, but I'm not sure if you can mod a card to have every functionality possible (SB compatible under DOS, MPU401, joystick, etc)

Bondi wrote on 2020-02-10, 07:08:

Just came to my mind. There are cards based on es1688 chip. These are Ratoc cards, some of the Panasonics and others. This chip actually has almost everything is needed - SB, OPL3 and MPU-401/Joystic compatible.
Isn't it just matter of divers/TSR for proper SB emulation in DOS? IBM had patented the software DMA emulation (https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=5784595), but most probably the patent is expired. I think It's worth looking at the option of making a card based on ESS chip.

The Ratoc and some of the Panasonic cards are based on the ES1688P chip and aren't SB compatible.
The Eiger Labs/Fujitsu 16-bit Stereo Sound use the ES1688 chip and offer SB digital audio only under Win9x.

One thing I'd consider pretty important is the audio output from the card to the onboard speakers, it's a part of the PCMCIA specs, rarely used but it's very handy if you have a laptop with decent speakers but incompatible audio chip under DOS.

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 9 of 155, by Bondi

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lolo799 wrote on 2020-02-10, 12:47:

The Ratoc and some of the Panasonic cards are based on the ES1688P chip and aren't SB compatible.
The Eiger Labs/Fujitsu 16-bit Stereo Sound use the ES1688 chip and offer SB digital audio only under Win9x.

One thing I'd consider pretty important is the audio output from the card to the onboard speakers, it's a part of the PCMCIA specs, rarely used but it's very handy if you have a laptop with decent speakers but incompatible audio chip under DOS.

Oh, I did not remember Ratoc ESS chip had this P in the end. But Panasonic uses es1688S chip. It can be seen on your picture above. Yet, not sure what it stnads for.
Anyways, it should be possible to use the fully featured chip for the newly made card. If only it's possible to make it work with DMA emulating TSR.
And yes, it's a very good point to include the audio output to the pc speaker feature.

Reply 10 of 155, by cyclone3d

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I'll get the pics of the inside of the Altec Lansing AMC2000 probably tomorrow. I was wrong about what the main chip is. It is a custom deal made by DSP Solutions.

I'll scan the manual as well before I upload the install disk and some other drivers to vogonsdrivers.

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 11 of 155, by keenmaster486

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I am very interested in new PCMCIA cards, but not just sound. More things too like (modern) WiFi or media decoding.

One idea I had was to embed a small SBC (like a Raspberry Pi Zero or something) into a PCMCIA card and make it accessible via the serial port or an internal LAN connection.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 13 of 155, by hard1k

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Media Vision card received, repacked, consolidated and is currently travelling to Russia.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Fortex: Vortex2+YMF744
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 14 of 155, by digger

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Cool project! 👍

But if you are going to recreate a PCMCIA sound card anyway, wouldn't it be better to recreate the New Media .WAVjammer? Apparently that's the only PCMCIA sound card (and thus the only sound card in general not requiring ISA DMA) that was ever natively supported in any DOS games: Re: PCMCIA Sound Cards

By the way, does anybody here know whether PCMCIA sound cards would also work in pure MS-DOS on a modern (post-ISA) PC equipped with a PCMCIA/PCI-adapter?

Reply 15 of 155, by Ariakos

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Man, this would be sweet project. Serdashop's OPL3LPT is a nice way to add FM to your laptop as long as that laptop has an LPT port... but with a proper PCMCIA card we might be able to get bonus features that OPL3LPT lacks (Wavetable, MPU-401, Game port). I'd say functional game port for joysticks might be the real game changer and a truly coveted feature!

Reply 16 of 155, by boomlinde

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I'm not sure which option best reflects my preference, but most of all I'd like joystick+MIDI (UART or full MPU-401). It's relatively easy to find a laptop with decent SB Pro compatibility but I don't know of a single laptop with a built-in SB compatible joystick port.

Reply 17 of 155, by Menkau_ra

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My perfect PCMCIA card would have SB and DB50XG compatible mode in DOS and Windows 98. I have plenty different PCMCIA cards that either SB compatible or WT only (Roland and Yamaha).

Reply 19 of 155, by hard1k

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Well, yes, you're right.
The number 1 priority is the AWE64 Legacy project, and then there is another one going on right now (I won't disclose any details at this point). These two will keep us busy for quite some time, I think, till September at least, and only then we'll be able to think about PCMCIA again. The community support would be taken into account, but the current two projects have higher priority for us, so albeit it would be great to see some kudos, it won't speed up the thing too much 😀

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
Fortex: Vortex2+YMF744
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)