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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:37 am 
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Hi guys,

Just in time for Christmas! Here's my latest C64/128 project.

Image

The FB-NET is yet another Ethernet adapter for the C64/128 that's compatible with both the RR-Net and TFE (The Final Ethernet).

Any of the following memory addresses can be selected using two jumpers.
$DE00, $DE08, $DF00, $DF08.

I was inspired by the TFE project.
http://www.dunkels.com/adam/tfe/

However, I'm using a different embedded NIC. It's from Olimex and the part number is CS8900A-H
http://www.olimex.com/dev/cs8900a-h.html

My cartridge is basically a "sub board" that interfaces the Olimex CS8900A-H to the C64/128.
There's no soldering required. You simply plug the Olimex CS8900A-H into my cartridge board.

Since Olimex have a number of worldwide distributors for their products, my thinking was that users would purchase the CS8900A-H from Olimex and the FB-NET sub board from me.

It not cost effective for me to purchase a heap of these boards from Olimex, pay shippings costs and then resell these assembled. This allows me to sell the FB-NET boards as cheap as possible and keep the postage costs down since I can send these as normal letters (no parcels) due to the small size.

What do you guys think?

Cheers
Fotios


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:51 pm 
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mangelore wrote:
What do you guys think?

Great news :-). Beside the TFE the Uther for the Apple2 is a similiar approach based on an embedded NIC:

Image

Image

BTW: It was my idea to mount the embedded NIC upside down to reduce the overall height in order to not block neighbour slots in the Apple2. The embedded NIC manufacturer was willing to deliver the NICs with the pins soldered on the upside without surcharge :-).

But back to the FB-NET:
- What's your idea on the price of your sub board?
- I see a hole in the middle of the board, but wit the Olimex thing mounted a standard cart box won't work(?)

Best, Oliver


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Looks like a good idea.

What c64/128 software have you had working on this unit.

Fits a nice little hole in the market where you don't need to buy a
RetroReplay and a RRNet card to get networking on the Commodore.

:) How much are these cards. :)

Nice to see you and your apple adapter on here Oliver.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:16 pm 
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Oliver wrote:
Great news :-). Beside the TFE the Uther for the Apple2 is a similiar approach based on an embedded NIC:


Fantastic! Which embedded NIC are you using?

Oliver wrote:
But back to the FB-NET:
- What's your idea on the price of your sub board?


I hope to sell the sub-board with the logic chip, jumpers, header socket for only AUS $10 each. That's about US$8.60 or 5.96 EURO (at the moment). I could have saved a dollar or two but I decided to use gold contacts on the edge connector of my sub-board so that it's more durable.

Oliver wrote:
- I see a hole in the middle of the board, but with the Olimex thing mounted a standard cart box won't work(?)


The hole in the middle is for a PCB support like this one when plugging it directly into the rear expansion port of a C64/128
http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=H1403

The other option for the middle hole is to use a screw to secure the PCB into the bottom case from an old Commodore cartridge. The makes it more stable when used with a cartridge expander. Here's what it looks like.
Image

I'm sure others will figure out better ways to mount this in a plastic case.

Do you think people will be interested in the sub-board? I have also ordered a small batch of the Olimex CS8900A-H boards which I will sell to a few friends at cost.

Cheers
Fotios


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:31 pm 
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zap wrote:
Looks like a good idea.

What c64/128 software have you had working on this unit.

Fits a nice little hole in the market where you don't need to buy a
RetroReplay and a RRNet card to get networking on the Commodore.

:) How much are these cards. :)

Nice to see you and your apple adapter on here Oliver.


Thanks!

A Retro Replay cartridge with the RR-Net adapter will set you back around 100 Euro!

The Olimex CS8900A-H is 25 Euro and my sub-board is around 6 Euro.
:wink:

Currently, I've only tested with Contiki. What other programs should I use for testing?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:54 pm 
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Hi Fotios,

You should test these products too:

Guruterm (PETSCII terminal for TelBBS purpose)
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=38908

Singular Browser (HTML browser from Soci, Singular)
http://singularcrew.hu/browser/compile.php

64net/2:
http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=57951

EPCLINK (IDE64):
http://singularcrew.hu/idedos/

That's the stuff I can think of right now, but there is probably some more applications too.

-sledge


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:20 am 
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This is very cool, and the price is right. Shame it won't fit in a normal cartridge case - I bought a transparent case just for holding an ethernet cart someday :wink:

mangelore wrote:
The other option for the middle hole is to use a screw to secure the PCB into the bottom case from an old Commodore cartridge. The makes it more stable when used with a cartridge expander. Here's what it looks like.


But if the Ethernet cable gets pulled on, won't the daughterboard pull out of the socket? :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:34 am 
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mangelore wrote:
Fantastic! Which embedded NIC are you using

It's not my NIC, I was just the one to propose the upside-down mount! The embedded NIC is the IP Dragon by Invector Embedded Technologies:

http://www.invector.se/iet8900.asp

The second picture shows actually the customization for Uther :-).

mangelore wrote:
I'm sure others will figure out better ways to mount this in a plastic case.

Do you think those cases have the right size / screw position:

http://www.vesalia.de/e_c64cartshell.htm

If yes I'd go for the transparent one and make a hole in the top for the OLIMEX board...

Best, Oliver


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:26 am 
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Schema wrote:
This is very cool, and the price is right. Shame it won't fit in a normal cartridge case - I bought a transparent case just for holding an ethernet cart someday :wink:


Yeah, I would have liked it to fit in a standard cartridge case but it's too bulky. :cry:


Schema wrote:
But if the Ethernet cable gets pulled on, won't the daughterboard pull out of the socket? :shock:


Yes, it will. The other option is to solder the Olimex board directly onto my sub-board. I'm happy to provide the sub-boards without the header socket for those that have soldering skills. But then if the cable is pulled the cartridge will probably jump out of the expansion port. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:39 am 
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Oliver wrote:
The embedded NIC is the IP Dragon by Invector Embedded Technologies:

http://www.invector.se/iet8900.asp

The second picture shows actually the customization for Uther :-).

Cool! Very nice!


Oliver wrote:
Do you think those cases have the right size / screw position:

http://www.vesalia.de/e_c64cartshell.htm

If yes I'd go for the transparent one and make a hole in the top for the OLIMEX board...

Best, Oliver


I don't have one of those transparent cases but if they are based on the standard Commodore cartridge dimensions then the screw size/position should be OK.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:10 am 
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Seems to me its a winner i will buy one from you will PM.
I will order one without the mount so i can solder it directly
onto your board this will also make it a little lower.

When i get it i will place it into a cartridge case and put a picture showing how it was done this will be great for c64web as i would like to release my RetroReplay from there.

Great news very affordable hopefull this will start a wave of
c64/128 onto the internet :)

I would expect to pay more for this.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:43 am 
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Schema wrote:
This is very cool, and the price is right. Shame it won't fit in a normal cartridge case - I bought a transparent case just for holding an ethernet cart someday :wink:

mangelore wrote:
The other option for the middle hole is to use a screw to secure the PCB into the bottom case from an old Commodore cartridge. The makes it more stable when used with a cartridge expander. Here's what it looks like.


But if the Ethernet cable gets pulled on, won't the daughterboard pull out of the socket? :shock:


A day with this product ill make it fit $15 donation it i dont :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:55 am 
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mangelore wrote:
Currently, I've only tested with Contiki.

Have you already checked out 2MHz compatibility?

Best, Oliver


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:24 am 
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Oliver wrote:
mangelore wrote:
Currently, I've only tested with Contiki.

Have you already checked out 2MHz compatibility?

Best, Oliver


Yes, but it still doesn't work at 2MHz. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:14 pm 
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mangelore wrote:
Yes, but it still doesn't work at 2MHz. :(

I see. If I understand it right the C128 goes down to 1MHz on access to the I/O port address range. The same is true for an accelerated Apple2. I really don't know if that comparison makes sense but nevertheless I wanted to mention that the Uther works without any issue in an 2.8MHz Apple IIgs...

Best, Oliver


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