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Possible Cheap Alternative to SIO2PC-USB?


mytek
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Jameco has these listed for just under $9.00, and although they do not have any handshake lines there might be a possibility for this to work in the Windows version of RespeQt by going to Tools>Options>Handshake method: NONE (Windows ONLY - Experimental). Might be interesting to give this a try and see if it works.

 

new.gif

USB to TTL Serial Cable - Debugger/Console Cable (Jameco Part no. 2223937)

 

Features
Serial port communication
User-friendly
Chip: PL2303HX
Light: 1 Meter (39")
Wire pinout:
Red: +5V
Black: GND
Green: TxD
White: RxD

2223937.jpg

 

- Michael

 

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Prolific PL2303 works but only with slow speed and I don't remember how reliable. Compared to FTDI FT232.

 

 

 

I agree. The PL2303 is bad. Only use FTDI USB-Serial...

 

After reading your replies, I did a quick search on these forums (should have done that first before I posted this Topic) and I can see that this chip is held in low esteem. However I did see a positive post that seemed to indicate that someone was getting good results using it for SIO operation (link). So it makes me wonder if it still has possibilities assuming ultra high speed is not required. Might also boil down to what version of driver was used. Anyway I appreciate your guys feedback, and likely you are correct that this wont work for anything over 1X, but just for giggles and curiosity I think on my next Jameco order I'll add one of these to find out how bad it really is (what the hey its only $9).

 

- Michael

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I'm tempted to try one of each. The cable version from China would probably be easiest to piece together, just stick a SIO plug on the end and done. However, the arduino breakout looks about right for mounting inside the atari. Nice finds pricewise too. :thumbsup:

 

I ditto that :thumbsup:

 

Great finds at a cheap price!

 

I presently have both a Lotharek and an Atari8warez SIO2PC-USB, and they both work great. But I was looking to build something into my 1200XL and for the price of the one Gozar linked to, it's hard to justify anything else.

 

Perhaps it was good that I started this thread :-D

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols
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I ditto that :thumbsup:

 

Great finds at a cheap price!

 

I presently have both a Lotharek and an Atari8warez SIO2PC-USB, and they both work great. But I was looking to build something into my 1200XL and for the price of the one Gozar linked to, it's hard to justify anything else.

 

Perhaps it was good that I started this thread :-D

 

- Michael

If you want something inexpensive to build into a 1200XL here's one, it has all the signals accessible and a female mini-USB connector. The downside is that the FT232 chip is probably counterfeit.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3218491733631?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=321849173363&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER].

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If you want something inexpensive to build into a 1200XL here's one, it has all the signals accessible and a female mini-USB connector. The downside is that the FT232 chip is probably counterfeit.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3218491733631?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=321849173363&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER].

 

Wow that is cheap !!!

 

Any problem associated with it being a counterfeit chip? Is it inferior in some way?

 

- Michael

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Wow that is cheap !!!

 

Any problem associated with it being a counterfeit chip? Is it inferior in some way?

 

- Michael

it is potentially inferior, but also even if it works perfectly fine, the FTDI drivers and firmware are designed to brick counterfeit devices. So even if it works fine, it may stop working, although this may only happen as a result of an attempted firmware upgrade. There's probably lots online about this, if you look for it.

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If you really want a cheap solution, go for this one ($1.40).
Otherwise the recommendation from Kyle22 seems to be the most compatible.
In both cases, do not forget a diode:

SIO 3 (DATA IN)  -->|--- TXD


I do not like the implementation of so called "Experimental Handshake method: NONE", because it is not robust and fails under some error conditions.
If you are interested in details, please look here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/228860-sio2bt/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3065388
I have implemented "SOFTWARE" handshaking method for AspeQt (the emulated SIO devices are analyzing data coming from the Atari to detect incoming Command Frames).
I did it for Bluetooth, but it works great with cheap USB2Serial cables without hardware handshaking.

The source code (and Windows binaries) of this patched AspeQt (based on 0.8.8 ) can be download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3-191R-U_S1blpUTFBsRW1iRUE
I compiled and tested it with cheap RxD/TxD only cable under Linux, too.

Last but not least, there is a great command line tool SIO2BSD from drac030:
http://drac030.krap.pl/pl-inne-pliki.php
It works with cheap USB2Serial cables without hardware handshaking, too.

Regarding FTDI issue, the chips can be easily "recovered" under Linux, see http://www.minipwner.com/index.php/unbrickftdi000
If you unintentionally update the FTDI driver under Windows, you just need to roll it back. That's all.

Edited by TheMontezuma
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it is potentially inferior, but also even if it works perfectly fine, the FTDI drivers and firmware are designed to brick counterfeit devices. So even if it works fine, it may stop working, although this may only happen as a result of an attempted firmware upgrade. There's probably lots online about this, if you look for it.

Yes, these cheap devices will work absolutely fine under older drivers i.e. 2.10.00 and earlier. Even if some one upgraded the firmware, the devices will not be bricked with the newer driver 2.12.06, but will not work properly.

For bricked devises, one can either use modified drivers (inf file) or Un-brick it using Mprog 3.5 which is a utility from FTDI, followed with driver rollback to 2.10.00.

The cheap devices perform very well and transmission speed is steady at 0 divisor.

I have tested one of the the cheap devices recently. SEE HERE

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I just bought a couple of these:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/381197697994

 

And with some header wires I should be able to plug them in and try them out. At $4.47 a piece if they don't work it's not a big deal. :-)

 

After all things considered, I decided to go for the one that gozar linked to. This should work well as an internal SIO2PC-USB for my 1200XL, and at that price with free shipping it's really a no brainer for me. So I bought two of them today, and they should be here a week from tomorrow.

 

After going to the link that Madi provided, I found a very good thread that he linked to from within his thread that really dives into this whole DIY SIO2PC-USB by using a TTL USB serial break-out board similar to what I ordered. It was started by netbeui back in 2011 LINK HERE. It may not be as slick as the internal versions AtariMax produces and sells, but it should do the trick, and be $50 cheaper which is nothing to sneeze at.

 

I'll try to post some images of what I end up doing.

 

BTW; thank you everyone who took the time to respond to this thread and provide such great information.

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols
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I just bought a couple of these:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/381197697994

 

And with some header wires I should be able to plug them in and try them out. At $4.47 a piece if they don't work it's not a big deal. :-)

If you want something inexpensive to build into a 1200XL here's one, it has all the signals accessible and a female mini-USB connector. The downside is that the FT232 chip is probably counterfeit.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 3218491733631?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=321849173363&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER].

I ordered the two above today. I have been using a sparkfun FT232 basic breakout board for a while now with no issues. I'll post my experiences with these two as well, when I get them. :)

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I ordered the two above today. I have been using a sparkfun FT232 basic breakout board for a while now with no issues. I'll post my experiences with these two as well, when I get them. :)

 

This should be both interesting and add to the possibilities for cheap SIO2PC-USB :thumbsup:

 

- Michael

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this one has all the signal and is prob the best bet as posted earlier in the thread

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321849173363?rmvSB=true

a usual there are million of them within a dollar of each other on further search

with all the control lines available it could be used to simulate all the peripheral with the right code driving it...

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first board suggested in post #6 by gozar, arrived yesterday. Here it is pictured wired directly to my 800XL for testing. The CTS line was broken somewhere between the chip and pin header so it only worked with handshaking turned off in RespeQt. I ended up soldering a bit of wire wrap between the chip's CTS pin (not fun) and the solder pad underneath the board to get the handshake/control line working. Maybe mine was an isolated case of poor quality control.

 

This board is tiny and should fit nicely into a SIO plug enclosure. It's virtually identical to the arduino FTDI board (right) from sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9716

 

post-15209-0-55068700-1443645051_thumb.jpg post-15209-0-13678800-1443645084_thumb.jpg

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If you really want a cheap solution, go for this one ($1.40).

Otherwise the recommendation from Kyle22 seems to be the most compatible.

In both cases, do not forget a diode:

SIO 3 (DATA IN)  -->|--- TXD

-

Very timely thread, for me, but I have a question regarding the diode. This is the first time I've seen one used with the FTDI. It appears to me, it will only allow the TxD pin to pull SIO Rx low, yes? Is SIO Rx an open collector input? It would make sense, now that I think about it, when you can have multi slaves on the buss.

Most of the SIO2PC I've seen have been external plug in set-ups so there wasn't much chance of a disk drive also being on the buss; so they didn't need the diode?

Yogi

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You will not need a diode if you are using FTDI - FT232R based device (5V) even in mixed mode (virtual and physical devices).

However, the story will change if one uses FTDI - FT231R device (2.3V). A diode to stimulate an open collector is a must.

 

Note that, if you use a diode to allow mixed devices operation (e.g. real and virtual Drives), you can not use the device as an 1050-2-PC. This applies to FT232R and FT231R.

 

madi

Edited by Madi
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Yes, you don't need it as long as you use 1:1 connection (no other devices on the SIO bus)

 

oh!! Thanks for this info, am working on an internal board so this saves me possible headaches later. The FTDI will be in parallel with the Mobo SIO socket, so could have any number of SIO devices on the buss as well as the built-in SIO2PC.

Yogi

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