Thursday, October 16, 2008, 08:25 PMI already received some orders, but last weekend my father-in-law decided he needed my help with some work on his house.
So my plans to get some interfaces ready failed.
Anyway, here's the proof I'm working on them, and I will assure you that the first ones will be sent to you this weekend!
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 05:55 PMFinally, sales are open, orders are accepted!
Miguel finished the great PC Keyboard Interface (PCKI) firmware, supporting US keyboards and... the marvelous flash-by-Spectrum function!
Take a look at the pictures and read further for more information.
Updating the firmware from the Spectrum:
The flash-utility can be loaded by playing a WAV-file from your PC or laptop, or by loading a TAP-file from e.g. DivIDE.
Like this setup where the TAP-file is on the CF-card:
To enable updating the interface, a jumper should be set:
This way a failsafe mode is entered (recognizable by the Scrollock led lighting up).
After the update-utility is loaded, Esc should be pressed on the PC keyboard and the update starts.
The utility has some protections to avoid the update being corrupt, but even if it's corrupted, the failsafe mode can still be entered to try the update again; the failsafe mode is not re-written by the update.
Some information about the interface:
- Only works on Spectrum 48K / 128K / +2 (grey model) - +2A/B/3 is only supported when some small modification is done inside the computer
- Supports all IBM/AT keyboards with PS/2 connector, or even USB keyboards with USB->PS/2 convertor (often included with USB keyboards)
- Can be updated by the Spectrum itself with Miguel's utility
It should be noted that most PC Keyboards support only a limited set of key-combinations that are used often in Spectrum games.
Most of the time this is about situations where three keys are pressed, so please know that a PC keyboard will never be able to simulate the original Spectrum keyboard, how perfect the interface may be ;)
Orders are accepted!
I have components for 25 pieces at the moment.
The price is 30 euro or 25 GBP.
Post and packaging is:
- 7,50 euro for The Netherlands
- 10 euro for Europe
- 15 euro worldwide
If you want, I can include a PC (US) keyboard, ask me for details.
The postage costs may be a bit higher with a keyboard included, I'll have to look that up.
If you want to be the first, send your payment to my Paypal account: email@example.com.
You can also pay by bank transfer. Mail me for details.
Also I will put the interfaces on eBay soon!
Sunday, September 7, 2008, 01:16 PMIk tested the interface this morning with Miguel's latest fixed firmware, and it works perfectly!
Although he had to temporarily disable the fail-safe mode, and so also the flash-by-Spectrum function, but he will enable it in the next version of the firmware.
So expect to hear me yelling 'Come and get one!' very soon!
A close-up of the final interface (note it's a lot more easy to plugin the power cable):
Tested situation with final PCKI, a KMT and a MB02+IDE:
Saturday, August 30, 2008, 10:31 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2008, 10:55 AMToday I've contacted Miguel once more, to talk about the last troubles with the firmware.
The newly implemented FIFO buffer (firmware v1.3) causes a delay that I find unwelcome, but maybe others don't bother about it.
But I still may start producing the interface this week:
Miguel implemented an update-function so you are able to flash the interface to new firmware by the Spectrum!
To be able to do this, you can set a jumper on the interface that starts the 'fail-safe'.
You can then load the flash-update tool on your Spectrum, press ESC, and start programming the interface.
There is no chance of failing, because the fail-safe mode is permanent, including the flash-part of the interface's firmware.
You only update the normal operation software.
I'm waiting for Miguel's acknowledgement that the update-function works correctly.