VOGONS


First post, by dreamblaster

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Hi,
i completed a new project : MPU-232
An RS-232 to MIDI interface, compatible with SOFTMPU

[EDIT] available now :
https://www.serdashop.com/MPU-232

  • small size, high quality PCB
  • fits on 9 pin serial port
  • MIDI output DIN connector
  • 5V supply through USB mini connector
  • DIP switches for advanced settings

DIP positions :
DIP 3 : OFF = binary mode, ON = ASCII mode
DIP 1 + 2 : baud rate selection (38400, 19200,9600,4800)

Usage with SoftMPU :
SoftMPU uses 38400 baud, binary mode.
--> Set all dips to OFF to use with SoftMPU. (this is the default state of the dips).
Set the output device of softmpu to your com port : for example :
SOFTMPU.EXE /MPU:330 /OUTPUT:COM1

Youtube demo : https://youtu.be/qi-hlBWUysM

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Last edited by dreamblaster on 2021-05-15, 12:33. Edited 4 times in total.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 2 of 50, by Kamerat

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Neat little device.

Roland has some Windows drivers for serial MIDI that could be useful:
Serial MIDI driver for Windows 95/98/ME.
Serial MIDI driver for Windows 2000/XP.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
YouTube channel

Reply 3 of 50, by Cloudschatze

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The MPU-232 looks like a great option for anyone who either lacks an RS-232-capable tone generator, or is looking for a smaller, less-expensive alternative for performing standard-rate RS-232-to-MIDI conversion.

It's worth noting that the MPU-232 should to be compatible with the subset of game drivers and MPU routines that I've modified for direct serial-port usage, in lieu of SoftMPU. I've pre-ordered one, and will do some validation testing once I receive it.

It's also worth noting that several "super I/O" chips can be software-configured to operate at the standard MIDI rate of 31250bps, precluding the need for any intermediary rate conversion device, and requiring just a passive current-loop adapter instead. Tandy's PSSJ chip falls into this category, as do the SMC/SMsC FDC37C663, FDC37C664, FDC37C665, FDC37C666, FDC37C667, FDC37C669, FDC37C9XX chips.

Reply 4 of 50, by Jo22

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keropi wrote on 2021-05-11, 19:26:

name is perfect 😀
I can see this being used in retr0-laptops

My first thought exactly! ^^

What's next ? 😉 Some random ideas..
- MIDI-Out via PC-Speaker Pin (via optocoupler)
- MIDI-In via plain game port (fire button or NE558)
- MIDI-Out via plain game port (rapid polling method)
- MIDI I/O via Parallel Port
- MIDI-Out via Keyboard LEDs

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 7 of 50, by digger

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@dreamblaster Just my luck. One day before you anounced this, while I was ordering some stuff at Serdashop for the first time, I was thinking why there wasn't exactly such a product available. For the longest time I had been putting off my intention to purchase an OPL3LPT and some other items. But had I waited just one more day, I could have included one of these in my shopping cart to save on shipping costs. 🤣 (I wouldn't have minded waiting another week or two for everything to be delivered.)

Oh well, I guess I'll have to place another order then. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well done, though! I'm looking forward to hooking up my MT-32 and getting DOS games to work with it on a more modern system. I might make a video of it too.

Thank you for your continued work on all these lovely retro add-ons. ☺️

By the way, if I may be so bold as to suggest an idea for your next project? A Disney Sound Source clone. Even better: a parallel port device that is switchable between DSS mode, Covox mode and stereo-on-1 mode. 😇 You could call it the CVX5. Shouldn't be hard to make either, since the DSS doesn't really contain all that much complex logic, and there's proper documention for it.

I'd definitely buy one, even though I have just purchased a CVX4. 😅

Reply 8 of 50, by dreamblaster

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yes, DSS is also in the pipeline

MPU-232 is available now

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 10 of 50, by dreamblaster

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Sam and max demo : https://youtu.be/qi-hlBWUysM
Realms of chaos demo : https://youtu.be/ONyJQxwRuVI

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 11 of 50, by Jo22

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Thank you.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 12 of 50, by digger

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dreamblaster wrote on 2021-05-15, 11:33:

yes, DSS is also in the pipeline

Ooh, goodie! 🥳

I'm going to refrain from asking you for a timeline and await your next announcements patiently. 😁

Reply 13 of 50, by dreamblaster

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-05-15, 11:43:

Now, E-Wave when? 😁

E-wave coming in about 2 weeks

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 14 of 50, by dreamblaster

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digger wrote on 2021-05-15, 17:25:
dreamblaster wrote on 2021-05-15, 11:33:

yes, DSS is also in the pipeline

Ooh, goodie! 🥳
I'm going to refrain from asking you for a timeline and await your next announcements patiently. 😁

Don't hold your breath, many other projects queued

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 15 of 50, by digger

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dreamblaster wrote on 2021-05-15, 17:59:

Don't hold your breath, many other projects queued

Hmmm, in that case, is it still in an early enough stage of development that the design is open for suggestions? I have some ideas about such a device that I'd be happy to run by you. If feasible, of course. I totally understand if you prefer to focus on a simple clone without any additional features first. 🙂

Reply 16 of 50, by dreamblaster

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digger wrote on 2021-05-15, 18:36:
dreamblaster wrote on 2021-05-15, 17:59:

Don't hold your breath, many other projects queued

Hmmm, in that case, is it still in an early enough stage of development that the design is open for suggestions? I have some ideas about such a device that I'd be happy to run by you. If feasible, of course. I totally understand if you prefer to focus on a simple clone without any additional features first. 🙂

hmm yes, probably will start simple, but you may pm me if you like

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 17 of 50, by dreamblaster

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MPU-232 3d printed cover

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Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 18 of 50, by Cloudschatze

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Received the MPU-232 today - thanks so much, Serge!

The behavior of the device is similar to that of the RS-232-capable Yamaha units. Consequently, the drivers that I've modified for direct serial port output should indeed all be compatible (once the serial port baud rate has been appropriately set).

I'll have to put together something more proper (that doesn't include the sound of the garage door being opened), but here's a quick demonstration of Ultima VII with the MPU-232:

https://youtu.be/vvyhT3NSrWs

Reply 19 of 50, by digger

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Great work, Serge and Cloudschatze!

@Cloudschatze Can you give an update on which drivers (and perhaps also which individual games) you've managed to patch for RS-232 MIDI support? And which ones you're working on, or intend to tackle?

I've been doing some sound-related DOS assembly language projects in my spare time myself, but I'm not very experienced with it yet. Nevertheless, I'd be happy to help, if you think that would be useful. I'm eager to learn. 😀