VOGONS


First post, by radiance32

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Hi all!,

It's the new guy with the HP200LX videos again 😀

I've been playing around with a serdaco COVOX clone (the CVX4) with one of my 200LX Palmtop PCs,
and I've had some great results with Mod Master, which I found through this forum in it's thread:
GLX Player the only XT player ? Check Mod Master...

This is a nifty bit of software, much better than GLX imo... (another 8086 and up MOD file player)

I tried GLX first (found it online with a google search),
and it worked somewhat but was unstable, it would hang/lock up halfway during playback and at other seemingly random moments...
It played the MODs, but there was no display as the interface doesn't support CGA graphics...

Then, I found this thread and I downloaded the latest beta 26 of Mod Master, and it's WAY better 😉

I've uploaded 2 videos to youtube of Mod Master playing two 4 track MOD files,
using a parallel port PCMCIA card and a Serdaco CVX4 Covox-clone,
I've attached the links to the youtube videos to this post.

I soldered a 32MHz oscillator crystal in this unit,
so the Hornet SOC's CPU (80186) is running at 16MHz, twice as fast as a stock ~7.91MHz 200LX.

I've got a stable playback of 4 channel MOD files at 28KHz 8-bit mono...
I've tried 30Khz but that's just a tad too much and the audio starts to stutter...
For 8 bit audio, it sounds pretty good, somewhat comparable to regular audio cassettte 😉

It's a real drain on the batteries though, the double speed CPU, the optical serial mouse AND
the CVX4 are all powered from the 200LX's main 2 AA batteries,
and with this setup, I reckon the batteries drain at 2x to 3x the normal speed...

Anyways, If I load a bunch of MODs on my 200LX, I'll have a "27-year-old MP3 player-like device" that fits in your pocket...
(if you have very large pockets that is, with the parallel cable and CVX4 and all... 🤣 😀 )

Hope you like the videos, I just downloaded a few random MOD files,
if you have any really good ones (MOD files), please post a link so I can listen 😀

Here are the youtube videos of Mod Master in action!:

hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEcCOADEI4CSFXyq4qpAw4IARUAAIhCGAFwAcABBg==&rs=AOn4CLAgcAkiy0gtc38vYi6fzeq-CF1i9Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOjwy-1CLC4
Mod Master playing a Drum & Bass mod file I found online on the CVX4...

hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEcCOADEI4CSFXyq4qpAw4IARUAAIhCGAFwAcABBg==&rs=AOn4CLBCqpRHyoU68aBEuy3RqikmDrf6lw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ0IVZ9FOkE
Mod Master playing a techno mod file I found online on the CVX4...

Cheers,
Terrence

PS: I've also got some videos of serdaco's OPL3LPT (adlib compatible LPT soundcard)
running some games on the HP 200LX, check them out here:
HP200LX early 90's Palmtop PC with Adlib sound games videos

Reply 1 of 3, by radiance32

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Hi everyone,

Since I was'nt very happy with the sound quality (having the camera's microphone record the audio from 2 tiny speakers),
I re-recorded both MODs with the CVX4 connected to the line-in of a PC, then edited the videos and replaced the poor audio with the clean line-in source version.

Sounds much better! 😀
Here the are:

hq720.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEcCNAFEJQDSFXyq4qpAw4IARUAAIhCGAFwAcABBg==&rs=AOn4CLBr6Py4NjnkOkFAB2o0VoBlzYeR1g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGxO2fZ6aHM
Updated video: Mod Master playing a Drum & Bass mod file I found online on the CVX4 recorded directly via line-in on PC.

mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CMCYnYEG&rs=AOn4CLAjhAQJrRHoUn8W_9eaeC5yCBKP1Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8T5SJJIuoc
Updated video: Mod Master playing a techno mod file I found online on the CVX4 recorded directly via line-in on PC.

Cheers!,
Terrence

Last edited by radiance32 on 2021-02-13, 03:55. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 2 of 3, by Thermalwrong

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Nice selection of tracks 😀 That little setup is incredible - especially knowing it's all coming from an 8086/80186 class processor, the mouse really tops it off I think. Have you tried out PS/2 to serial mouse adapters with their own power source to see if that helps? Then you're not tied to that mouse pad.

edit: just so you're aware, the techno line in version seems to have a bit of clipping going on near the end of the video?

Reply 3 of 3, by radiance32

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Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-02-12, 23:00:

Nice selection of tracks 😀 That little setup is incredible - especially knowing it's all coming from an 8086/80186 class processor, the mouse really tops it off I think. Have you tried out PS/2 to serial mouse adapters with their own power source to see if that helps? Then you're not tied to that mouse pad.

edit: just so you're aware, the techno line in version seems to have a bit of clipping going on near the end of the video?

Thanks, it's a nice little setup, I have to change swap and recharge the 2 AA batteries every day though,
as with all that hardware attached to the unit (and the double speed crystal clock upgrade) it really drains the batteries fast...

I don't think PS/2 mice work with PS/2 to DB9 serial converters, I think the converters are meant for old serial mice that specifically support PS/2 when using the adapter,
as the RS232 2400baud microsoft or mouse systems protocol if very different from a PS/2 mouse's...
I wrote 3 mouse drivers for a Psion Series 3a/c/mx publishing application i'm developing, one for microsoft serial protocol (2 button) 2400baud 7n1 with 3 byte packets,
one for an updated version by logitech with adds one extra byte for the 3rd button/mouse wheel, and one for mouse systems mice, which use 2400baud 8n1 with 5 byte packets,
and during my research I thought the same as you, but I read that PS/2 mice have a completely different protocol and require a PS/2 port, they are not RS-232 compatible,
only a few mice during the transition years from serial to PS/2 support both excplicitly and when connected to a PS/2 port with the adapter, they sense it and switch into PS/2 mode,
so you can't connect a modern/pure PS/2 mouse to any RS-232 port, unless you put a microcontroller or arduino or something in between that does the translation...
I'm not %100 sure of this though, maybe the adapter you speak of that's powered has active RS-232C -> PS/2 conversion circuitry in it ?

I'm aware of the clipping... it's not a recording issue, but it's mod master.
I think at certain points (there's another one somewhere in the middle of the song),
where you get this climax with all samples playing together and I think the CPU just does'nt have enough juice to handle it so it produces this clipping/distortion.
I'm sure if I lower the KHz it will not happen, but the overal sound quality will be less... 🙁
You can't have it all I guess...

Currently I'm trying to do a playback of an 48KHz 8-bit PCM . WAV file using covox compatible dos command line audio players,
but haven't found one yet that runs on a 8086/80186, most of them are all 386+ only...
Tonight I'm going to try and use a waveplayer someone suggested in another topic in the sound forum, let's hope that works 😀
I was quite suprised when converting a high quality 48KHz 16-bit sample to 48KHz 8-bit actually sounds MUCH better than what i was expecting,
it's only slightly noticeable (it does add a little bit of pink background noise, but not much)...

Cheers,
Terrence