jrIDE - time for another production run?

Hardware questions and modifications

Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby alanh » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:20 am

I updated the public SVN. Sorry for the delays.

The B version adds two more by-pass caps on either side of the board, adds support for a crystal resonator and battery holder so the non-potted Dallas clock chip can be used (or the potted if desired), and improved some silkscreen markings.

The B+ version adds more silk-screen clean-ups, a reset switch, and corrects a mistake in the B version where the crystal through holes were tinted with soldermask and needed to be scrapped off.
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby Jjona5 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:35 pm

Jjona5 wrote:Well now I want the updated version and I don't even have the original. We are in Dallas regularly and I used to live about an hour from Atlanta and my dad retired there.


Must have stayed up too late.
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby vonhelmst » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:31 pm

If there is truly another production run in the works I am more than happy to pay up front to get on the list.
Please keep me posted.

Thanks,
Sonny
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby TexElec » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:55 am

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the delay, I do finally have all of the parts to do a run of these. I did make a bonehead move and ran the Rev A boards, but everything seems to be working great, except, the RTC. I built a small circuit board to install on top of the DS12885+ IC to add a battery and the crystal. I thought about building these a long time ago, so this was an excuse to finally make one. I bought all of the chips from Mouser, so I know they are real RTC's, but it seems retrieving the date from the RTC is failing. I suspect setting it is really failing as well. Someone posted the same error I received in another thread and it seems Alan replaced the card, so there is no reason given for the issue. The error is "unknown unknown, etc..." on retrieval. Other than my ground plane under the crystal not really being the recommended layout (should be fine, there are no signals except the battery and it's nowhere near the crystal), I'm not sure why this would be happening. While I've been working with Lo-Tech IDE cards for years, I'm a noob on the JrIDE, so I'm still working out the kinks. I still need to find out how Alan pressed these Amp connectors to the card, it's truly terrifying. :-)

Before I bust out the analyzer, I just wanted to ask if anyone had any thoughts on what might be happening here? The onboard LED display works fine, so I'm confident the 1504 is programmed properly. Heck, I've reprogrammed it a dozen or so times now, so it should have worked at least once. The Rev B board only really seems to have added what I added to the clock board, and another cap I believe, and I've checked the PCB like a hawk.. Not sure what else makes sense.

The only other thing I can't think to try is to order a DS12887 and give it a shot, to make sure I didn't do something wrong on my clock board. It's so stupid simple, and I can't help but think that the IC would actually work without the crystal anyway. The registers would at least set the time, and then probably never increment it, or do so weirdly. It really feels like a failure to communicate with it.

I'm trying to get this worked out ASAP, and as soon as I do we will have them ready to go! I swear!

Thanks!
-Kevin
TexElec.com


BTW, yes, I know the 1508 is in there the wrong way. I hastily jammed it in there for the photo, but noticed before I programmed it.
Attachments
JRIDE1.jpg
(911.28 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby Sharkey1331 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:06 pm

OK.. I must confess: I LOVE MY JRIDE CARD! :-)

I bought a "kit" version of the jrIDE- when they were Rev A boards. Just assembled it this last weekend. Works great- all features. I wanted to thank Alan and Mike and all the others that made this product a reality. TexElec- if you are selling the Rev A version, I selfishly think the Rev A is the best looking board! :D

Question for AlanH: How many kits did you sell versus the fully assembled version? Do you remember?
Jason
IBM PC Jr. NEWB! Parallel sidecar, jrIDE, NEC V20, JRCONFIG, Xircom PE3 + IRCjr!
Also, check out my clone of the Altair 8800micro Clone:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y19zdzP ... yX5JoOO4qA
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby alanh » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:48 pm

The LED display has a disable register bit that is set at the end of the current option ROM BIOS's execution. Look at the cpld_rtc.pld file for register level documentation.

Yes, the only changes from A to B were an extra decoupling cap, addition of external battery and crystal options for the RTC so that the non-potted 12885 can be used, and some additional markers on the silkscreen

The way I press in the connectors involves sacrificing one to the gods. I clipped all the pin-tails off a female connector with cutters. I use it as a protective stop inserted into the male side of the JR-IDE board. Then I press very solely, carefully, and uniformly with a workbench pana-vise.
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby FortMax » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:39 pm

I definitely want one of these.
PCjr w/ Rapport Drive 2 + 384KB Memory Expansion Package, jrIDE
Wanted: light pen
Docs (inc new/updated Guide to Operations pages) from:
Compact Printer
IBM 128k sidecar (exc Memory Options guide/disk)
Speech Attachment (exc installation instructions)
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby toddvernon » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:43 pm

New to the forum. How do I find, get, make, buy a Jr IDE? Thanks in advance!
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby alanh » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:05 pm

Sharkey1331 wrote:Question for AlanH: How many kits did you sell versus the fully assembled version? Do you remember?


I'm estimating 10 kits and 290 assembled..
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Re: jrIDE - time for another production run?

Postby TexElec » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:59 pm

Hello Everyone!

We were finally able to get the jr-IDE boards up and running. They can be found here: https://texelec.com/product/jr-ide-for- ... rotronics/

So why the delay?

We ran into an issue for some time that was very perplexing, and I searched long and hard for an issue which turned out not to exist after all. I downloaded all the files Alan had in his repository which included rtc.com. (The version I was using is located here: https://www.retrotronics.org/svn/jride/ ... jr/rtc.com) Because we ran the rev A PCB, we decided to build a DS12885->DS12887 board to make it easier to replace the battery down the road. When we ran this version of rtc.com, it failed to retrieve the time. I thought perhaps my clock adapter board wasn’t working, so I found an old motherboard with a DS12887, removed it, and it too failed. I did a ton of other troubleshooting, analyzing the traces, and finally hooking up the logic analyzer. Interestingly, I saw a lot of data flowing to the chip when setting the time, but not much on the retrieval. It looks like it was setting but failing to retrieve, so I decided I must have somehow corrupted my copy of rtc.com.

I went back to retrotronics.org, and then noticed a link on the left hand-side. (https://www.retrotronics.org/download/j ... pdmdl=1545) I assumed it was the same file, but it was not! This one worked immediately! I tested for a solid day with several different clock chips and did in fact seem to have the ability to set & retrieve the time now. One interesting side note is that each version of rtc.com has a different quirk. The former link I mentioned will not retrieve the time, but it will enable and disable the 7-seg LED display. The latter will set and retrieve the time, but it will not enable or disable the display. The source code is out there in Alan's directory, and I may take a crack at it someday...

I was a bit of a noob to the jr-IDE when I started, but I've learned quite a bit now and think I have all her mysteries worked out. We have enough to make 50 right now, as I know 300 or so are already out there. It's super expensive to get the parts together for this many, and it's really the smallest lot we can do. Each lot will be a play it by ear situation for us, but it is fair to mention that I let the cat out of the bag about an hour ago on facebook and we have sold 6 of them already. :-)

Thanks!
-Kevin
https://texelec.com
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