1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Controlling 'STUFF' from your additional PIA and beyond

Discussion in 'SIG: Atari 8-Bit Hardware' started by Graham, Jan 26, 2021.

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  1. by Graham
    Graham

    Graham Chief Officer

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    Having been prompted to build some hardware to add an additional PIA port what can we do about with it ?

    PIA_800_10.jpg

    Well I'd guess using @M.D.Baker 's Atari Lab modification's along with the joystick ports you could have a go at these two articles.
    http://www.retrobits.net/atari/armyouratari1.shtml
    http://www.retrobits.net/atari/armyouratari2.shtml
    These of course use the PIA PortA for joystick 1 &2 (And PortB on joysticks 3 &4, 800 0nly) along with Trigger and Pot lines on GITA and POKEY respectively, note PortB on an XL/XE is used for Memory access.
    I've designed these for @M.D.Baker two of these to give four additional Ports, they dont have additional Trigger or Pot lines
    but can be jumpered to give CA OR CB 1&2 on the added PIA instead
    PIA two port board4.jpg

    Of course going back in time a Centronics Printer Port would have been useful, there are several versions I've found on the net, usually adding an additional PIA chip and using one of the 8 bit ports, along with the CA1&2 or CB1&2 lines for the strobe and ready. All down to how the software was written...
    Computer House had such an addon known as C.U.P.I.D. The software for which required their O.S.Controller or DeskTop controller as I've seen it called.
    As you can see below, the upgrade was very much ugly bug style, not very pretty at all.
    Stacked PIA_A.jpg

    2019-08-22 17.35.26.jpg


    MORE TO COME
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  2. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

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    Very interesting, Graham.

    Anything to do with Atari and "ComputerHouse" pretty much gets my attention!
     
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  3. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I'm just getting back around to these right now, and was actually looking for the other thread we had the on-going discussion about it and all the great info from @Graham that I was too busy to study when he posted it.And I just remembered it's in my WEFAX thread and some in PMs.

    But those two articles 'Arming Your Atari' was the spark that started all of this for me. At the time I didn't have an 800, and decided I wanted to give my 1200XL dual PIA's and extra ports and I'd modify the programs in the articles for the new ports. But then Tim gave me the 800 and the rest is history there, so now it's the 800 with 8 ports and after getting the upgrade installed, and assembling my robot arm, I will then be starting at square one with the 'Arm your Atari' articles, modifying instructions and programs as needed to fit my modern robot arm with servos and maybe and Arduino and using AtariLab Interfaces in place of direct wiring or plugs like with the original article instructions.

    This will be my first steps into not only building an entire robot controlled by an 800 mobo through the Dual PIA's and Pokey (POTS) and the robot I hope to include other hardware, both modern and vintage. The modern stuff mostly being sensors and extra electronics if need be (beyond the 800) as well as adding stuff to the robot like a Voice Master so it can both accept voice commands from me and speak too (I'd just go with S.A.M but that's for speech only, not voice recognition too), and much more like that.

    But the robot is just the first of many projects and research and proto-typing I plan to do using the 800 with 8 ports and AtariLab interfaces for easy connection at the lab stages of any given project. Final prototyping of any given project will eventually use standard 9-pin controller plugs to connect with the Atari, the Interfaces provided convenience of easily plugging and unplugging any given line on the ports one or more at a time, without removing all or using small pin connectors directly on the ports.

    One of the other things I intend to do with all those ports and AtariLab Interfaces is create my own X-10 like software and hardware combination to make a "Smart Home," 80's style!

    Actually, that same Analog magazine with part 1 of 'Arm your Atari' also has an article on building a parallel interface that works through the ports and PIA, and also the 'Bits & Pieces' column in that issue also deals with using PIA(s) and ports to control things in the external environment like "lamps, motors, stereos, TV's, alarm bells,sirens, beepers and so on..." Which will probably be my first starting point in my DIY X-10 controller.

    20210522_234940.jpg 20210522_232645.jpg 20210522_232253.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  4. by Andy Barr
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    Absolutely enthralling, riveting and 'can't wait for further installments' stuff, Matt.

    I lurve to read about how talented Atarians / retronauts bring out the best in our old classics in the pursuit of doing incredible stuff like controlling and sensing projects in the real world. You've already mentioned that weather fax facility, Matt, via your other smart interface (apols fellas, I forget it's name...Fujinet?), and so further port i/o adventures just make me really sit up n listen.
    Relays, switches, controlling things like trains on model railways - it's amazing what can be done.
    Please keep us posted, Matt - it's fascinating stuff.
     
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  5. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    The WEFAX was a planned project, but then I got Fujinet with Weather.xex and thought I didn't need it. But Fujinet's weather service is just the basics and you don't get radar/satellite imagery like with WEFAX, so I'm going to be building a WEFAX too, after all. IIRC, it does use the controller ports too, I have to pull out the magazine with article again.

    But I've got myself backed up with Atari computer and peripheral upgrades, and a couple of peripheral repairs too, so all of those are coming first, which includes adding the dual-PIA board and controller ports. Once the upgrades are all installed and repairs made, then the external projects I talked about here will begin, probably even the WEFAX interface first, as I think it's the simplest and get it done quickly, then on to the robot arm, etc. Controlling stuff around the house will probably be a concurrent on-going project with the rest of the robot, after I can control the arm and get some learning and experience under my belt.
     
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  6. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

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    Spot on, Matt.
    Whilst this unseasonal wet and cool weather we seem to be stuck with persists, I say why not get cracking with some great retro micro projects.
    What's everyone else up to at the mo?
    I know Klyde's trying to get his Oric-1 working with Richie's support... haven't heard from Graham and Vulcanman in a while.
    Al's always adding some Subutteo to the mix (thought about controlling the floodlights yet with your Atari, Al?!) and I wonder what Tim's up to meanwhile as well as Alex Drito (Dazza) and Mr K in Greece?
     
  7. by nysavant
    nysavant

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    How do fellow Atarians :)
    Not a lot happening at the moment apart from work, work and more work.

    Had a few quick go's on the Atari and Amstrad but really just been taking it easy at night. Some Subbuteo and Roy of the Rovers additions being made though ;)
     
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  8. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    I've been assembling the dual-PIA board today (pictures will be posted in my 800 modding blog and details of the full installation), and with my mind on the subject, it occurs to me that what you say here about a lack of additional Trigger and Pot lines is assuming one POKEY or a Pokeymax (where the extra POKEYs don't have Trigger or Pot lines either). But if one were to install a traditional dual-POKEY upgrade with two real POKEY IC's, then the additional Trigger and Pot lines would be available to use wouldn't they? And couldn't one then have a combination of some Trig and Pot lines as well as CA or CB 1&2? In fact, couldn't I also install some simple DIP switches to allow me to choose between Trig, Pot and CA or CB lines on these ports? Allowing me to use what I want in any of the 4 ports?

    I'll most likely leave my Pokeymax Quad installed in this 800, but on the robot's 800 motherboard I could do the traditional dual-POKEY upgrade and have the extra Trig and Pot lines and CA or CB 1&2.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
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  9. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    Good lord Matt, you mod everything...I'd be worried to use your toilet!

    No need for a sack and crack clean...

    My luck it would have an automated tampon remover and I'd be down a testicle in 1 sec..
     
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  10. by M.D.Baker
    M.D.Baker

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    Yes, I do mod just about everything. If I can improve something, anything, to make it work better or do more, beyond original engineering and design, I do if I'm passionate enough about the thing. In life, in general, I consider myself a renaissance man and want to learn and do all that I can that interests me, and live by the old adages "If you want something done right, do it yourself" and so I'm a big DIY person when it comes to everything in life, electronics, construction, mechanics, you name it, and take pride in being as self-reliant in life as I can and learn and know as much as I can intellectually. A Jack-of-all-trades rich in skills and knowledge since I'm not rich with money. I consider self-ability and knowledge to be what makes one really successful in life, instead of wealth and power and position or station like others do.
     
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  11. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
    Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine

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    Totally agree, I left school with almost no qualifications, well an O'level in Art and awful math and english grades, there's a reason for it and its called alcoholic mum and dad. I'd just bunk off as no one cared. Stupid but life was a mess for us.

    What I discovered once I'd left school was that if I wanted to learn something, be it work or educational I could actually learn at a high rate so anything I set my mind on I'd pick it up very fast. So over the years I've just learnt stuff to a decent degree, take assembly language programming, picked the basics of it very quickly by my poor maths held it back and maths in the one thing that I didn't get far in with trying to learn. But other stuff like cabinet making seemed to come naturally. I watch one guy for a week at the factory and the next week I was producing furniture from creating the panels, building and the staining and spray lacquering it. Matt, the guy I had watched said he had never seen someone pick it up so fast and the work was top notch.

    I just seem to have a knack of picking stuff up and managing to improve my IQ along the way. I'm no genius but I've advanced one hell of a lot from the daft kid who left school and proud of it as you should and rightly are of. My big ambition was to learn to fly a helicopter and I got very close to doing it before my job went sour, was about to start the lessons.

    I can do all the stuff life needs of me, I seemed to be a bit of a Joe 90 but with Poundland glasses :)

    So you keep up the modding, it's great to see ingenuity, life's all about giving yourself a challenge to keep you mentally active (physically as well), the worst thing you can do is just sit back and just waste time..
     
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