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#191
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/1/31 7:03
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/25
USA
1507 Posts
PVBCC 1stCoderContributor#3 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2010 EntryPVBCC 2013 Entry
This is still on... I was really hoping to have something together by the end of last year (VB's 20th), but it just didn't happen. :/

Yes, regarding the pins... I purchased a large lot of complete USB connectors and just pull the pins from that. It comes out no more expensive than any standard pin (Molex, etc.) from Digikey.

Regarding the USB link... an FTDI circuit (FT2232C) is what I originally created many years ago, and then created a really crammed version (with the updated FT2232D) to actually fit in the VB link shell (I think I posted a pic of it earlier in the thread). I wasn't particularly happy with how it turned out (difficult to manufacture, expensive, not enough room for an EEPROM, etc.), so I completely redesigned the USB link circuit to be simpler (and IMO, better). But getting the USB link just right is really the main reason for the whole delay. :(

I'd say the link connector shell itself is nearly perfect... I think one final revision will get it.

DogP
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#192
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/2/10 20:18
Newbie
Joined 2016/2/10
1 Posts
Long Time User (3 Years)
I am at a point in my life where I finally have a space for a retro game room. Part of this room is my virtual boy console from when I was a kid. Anyways I am getting ready to purchase my second VB and reading these posts about your commitment to the homebrew for VB is commendable. You sir deserve a well earned pat on the back. :D

As soon as these cables are available I will be buying each and possibly sending one of my VB to my brother on the West coast to do some sweet online VB multiplayer gaming.


Respect Sir,
Chris
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#193
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/2/11 4:14
PVB Elite
Joined 2013/6/17
Canada
1175 Posts
Top10 Poster10+ Game RatingsLong Time User (6 Years)
I seriously won't be able to believe my eyes if I saw it possible to play VB with someone over the internet. I mean, has any classic game console gotten a homebrew online solution before? Seriously, kudos guys for even trying.
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#194
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/2/11 5:15
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/3/10
USA
917 Posts
Top10 PosterLong Time User (8 Years) 30+ Game Ratings
there are projects which have restored online functionality to consoles that supported something at one time or another. i also recall the hdmi nes project board that was going to have a high score leader board function. other than that, i can't recall a retro console that was given online functionality as a brand new feature.
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#195
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/2/11 18:57
PVB Elite
Joined 2008/12/28
Slovenia
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Quote:

DogP wrote:
But getting the USB link just right is really the main reason for the whole delay.

Would it be easier/cheaper to make a RS-232 version (if the VB can even do one of the standard speeds) and have everyone buy their own adapter if needed? They're quite cheap.
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#196
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/2/12 2:15
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/25
USA
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Quote:

HorvatM wrote:
Would it be easier/cheaper to make a RS-232 version (if the VB can even do one of the standard speeds) and have everyone buy their own adapter if needed? They're quite cheap.

The VB isn't compatible with asynchronous serial like RS232... it requires a clocked serial port, similar to SPI. What I'm using now isn't expensive... just requires some code that I just haven't had time to tweak to get it just right.

DogP
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#197
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/3/5 1:45
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
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@DogP: Have you seen this one?

Microchip MCP2221 USB-to-UART/I2C Bridge

It's about $3 in single quantity on Ebay, and under $2 each for 100 from the usual places. It even comes in tiny TSSOP14 and ultra-tiny BGA16 (4x4x0.9mm) packages.

There's some open-source software for it, too.
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#198
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/3/5 9:09
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/25
USA
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I don't think that chip will work... it does I2C and UART, but not SPI (AFAICT).

I've already got the basic mode of transfer working... I'm working out the specific details for data direction, flow control, etc. I really want to do everything out of band, but sharing a single open collector pin makes things a bit more difficult, so I'm trying a few different ways to see what's the least complex, most robust, etc.

DogP
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#199
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/3/6 15:41
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
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Quote:

DogP wrote:
I don't think that chip will work... it does I2C and UART, but not SPI (AFAICT).


That's true, but its four GPIO pins sound very capable, and I was thinking they could be used for the actual link port communication (which I probably should have mentioned in the first post...)

I mainly suggested it because of the prices and package sizes. I don't know if it would be cheaper or smaller than FTDI or AVR options, though. But if you already have a sufficiently cheap/small solution, and the software is almost ready, there's no reason to switch.
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#200
Re: Link Cable project interest
Posted on: 2016/3/6 19:24
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/25
USA
1507 Posts
PVBCC 1stCoderContributor#3 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2010 EntryPVBCC 2013 Entry
Ah... yeah. It's plenty small and simple already.

Here's a pic of it as it sits on my bench (I was working on it last week... got sidetracked this week). I still need to get the bootloader going too, so anyone can upgrade to newer and better firmware in the future... but that should be very straightforward.

DogP

Attach file:



jpg  vb_usb_link.jpg (89.62 KB)
10_56dc75d3346f7.jpg 314X591 px
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