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Cluso's RetroBlade2 Single Chip Computer (small stock available for new orders/payment) - Page 8 — Parallax Forums

Cluso's RetroBlade2 Single Chip Computer (small stock available for new orders/payment)

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  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    edited 2020-12-15 00:34
    Here are the current orders (see the first post of this thread)
    Note there are 2 uncommitted microMAT boards going to Publison (Jim) should anyone want it/them.


    758 x 621 - 168K
  • I would like umat but I believe Peter will send more in his order for US stock.
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    @Ahle2
    @Mickster
    @Tubular
    @GHarris
    @Publison
    Do you require Flash? I am limited in flash chips so might be next run in a few weeks.

    @Ahle2
    @Mickster
    @frank freedman
    @Tharkun
    What country are you in? ie USA or not.

    Sorry Cluso for missing this, yes flash, I'm still in for the board, and happy to pay now for one if I have missed the first batch.
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,033
    Publison wrote: »
    I would like umat but I believe Peter will send more in his order for US stock.

    any idea when that will be?
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    GHarris wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    @Ahle2
    @Mickster
    @Tubular
    @GHarris
    @Publison
    Do you require Flash? I am limited in flash chips so might be next run in a few weeks.

    @Ahle2
    @Mickster
    @frank freedman
    @Tharkun
    What country are you in? ie USA or not.

    Sorry Cluso for missing this, yes flash, I'm still in for the board, and happy to pay now for one if I have missed the first batch.
    There is a board reserved for you with flash on its' way to Publison. It's USD $45 + $5 shipping (full details in the first post of this thread.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    Publison wrote: »
    I would like umat but I believe Peter will send more in his order for US stock.
    There are 2 uncommitted microMAT boards on their way to you, so one is yours! The other is uncommitted.

    I know Peter is currently working on his boards and will also be including some microMATs too.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    edited 2020-12-02 20:38
    A few asked at the last zoom meeting about my SD Driver, my OS, and my Z80/CPM.
    I’ve been working on updating the OS and CPM to use jonnymacs jm_fullduplexserial and my latest SD Driver. It’s not quite ready yet for posting.

    I might be able to post the updated so driver and a demo today/tomorrow.

    I’ll also include the spin2 version of Kye’s P1 FAT32 driver (without a demo) for those that want to take a look. I need to tweek it to use my updated sD driver tho.
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,033
    edited 2020-12-05 12:54
    Anybody know weather @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" has a P2 yet? If not, with such clean power as Cluso designed in through the lots of caps and linear regulators, this would be an excellent board for @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" to implement some of his radio and modem code. I would be willing to donate to get him a RetroBlade2 and a MAT if Cluso will take Bitcoin Cash, or someone will convert the Bitcoin Cash to something he would like. I would really like to see what PhiPi could do with the P2 since he did some pretty impressive stuff with the P1.
  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 10,066
    edited 2020-12-05 13:38
    @hinv - the P2EVAL has selectable LDOs for each group of I/O but the P2D2 switches down to 3.6V and then feeds this into a dual LDO for the A and B groups so has both high efficiency and low noise. The number of caps are actually an overkill so don't go by the number of them plus the P2EVAL uses 4.7uF rather than the usual and more useful 0.1uF or 0.01uF which are better suited for reducing high frequency CMOS switching noise etc. So don't just go by the number of caps because it also depends upon the type of cap and the placement and effective impedance.

    As for Phil and the P2, well, that is something you can ask him (as we all have).
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    edited 2020-12-05 21:42
    @hinv - the P2EVAL has selectable LDOs for each group of I/O but the P2D2 switches down to 3.6V and then feeds this into a dual LDO for the A and B groups so has both high efficiency and low noise. The number of caps are actually an overkill so don't go by the number of them plus the P2EVAL uses 4.7uF rather than the usual and more useful 0.1uF or 0.01uF which are better suited for reducing high frequency CMOS switching noise etc. So don't just go by the number of caps because it also depends upon the type of cap and the placement and effective impedance.

    As for Phil and the P2, well, that is something you can ask him (as we all have).

    Yes, my 100nF caps are overkill. I don’t have the gear to test so currently I’m fitting them all. It’s easy to leave them off, but if there is no provision for them in the first place, it’s impossible to add them in later. For best results, the decoupling caps need to be right at the pins, with bulk caps following close behind.

    Bulk caps alone have been proven to not work which is why bypass caps (100nF - 10nF) are used. This has been the philosophy for the last 50 years that I’ve been involved in computer design. This started with 100nF on every IC, and bulk tantalum caps at the ends of each horizontal/vertical rail. Today, 10nF, or even 1nF are added too, not instead of. The bulk caps have shifted to monos. And these monos have both improved, because of manufacture and size. You have to use the right X7R or X5R monos tho. Z5U, Yxx etc are just not up to the task.

    I also have 4u7F caps at the end of each run of 4 (well in fact there is 3 4u7F per 16 100nF as I couldn’t fit 4u7’s at the xtal corner. In addition there is 22uF on the input and output of the regs with an extra 100nF at the regs outputs and these are right at the reg pins.

    There is also thoughts that a few 100nF may in fact be better if they were changed to 10nF but I cannot really test this out.

    And while discussing caps, there’s a big misconception out there that bigger caps will solve everything, so let’s put a 1000uF on the input. This is absolutely false. There are too many reasons to go into here, but I did want it on the record because I see it far too often.

    However, it’s not just the caps that play a part, so does the ground and power planes or tracks. I have pretty solid planes doing as much as possible within the restrictions of a 2 layer pcb. Heat dissipation also comes into this equation too.

    Overall, I’m extremely happy with my layout. I achieved my objectives. You’re never going to be able to run this board flat out and overclocked, but this was intentional. There will be and are other boards that will do this. Maybe I’ll even do one although currently I don’t see the need.
  • GHarrisGHarris Posts: 8
    edited 2020-12-06 05:34
    Cluso, just paid $50USD :)
  • Boards have cleared customs here in the US! I should have them in hand in a few days.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    :smiley::smiley::smiley:
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,033
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    You’re never going to be able to run this board flat out and overclocked, but this was intentional.

    Is this because of the .5A output on the linear regulators? How much power does the P2 use running "flat out and overclocked". I'm guessing there's a table or graph somewhere.


  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    hinv wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    You’re never going to be able to run this board flat out and overclocked, but this was intentional.

    Is this because of the .5A output on the linear regulators? How much power does the P2 use running "flat out and overclocked". I'm guessing there's a table or graph somewhere.

    Yes. The regulators are 1A versions but heat will limit these to somewhere above 500mA. Also, there is a heat limitation to the P2 as well.

    Evan did some tests regarding current usage versus clock. Tubular did some temperature tests. You will need to search the forums for this info.
  • Your Retroblade2 turned up today Cluso, nice work!!

    I'm running some temperature checks on my own board and I know the P2 alone raises the temp around 25 C above ambient when running Micropython plus 4 cogs at 252MHz
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    Thanks Lachlan. Looking forward to seeing what you find with my board.
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 11,866
    edited 2020-12-08 18:33
    Shipment has arrived at my address. Stuffing envelopes now to ship. Those that order from ManAtWork will be included in the one envelope with this order.
  • Think mine is in first column, 2nd down? If not gone and you have an extra micromat to toss in that would be great. In either event, let me know shipping and how to cover you, paypal (PM) etc.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    @Publison (Jim),
    Excellent work. Thanks for a great job :)

    I'm covering shipping costs and will pay Jim directly :)
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    edited 2020-12-08 23:06
    When your orders arrive, could you please let me know, here or by email (address in first post) as I like to keep track of how long it takes :sunglasses:

    If anyone else wants boards just let me know here. I'm making some more this week.
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,033
    @Cluso99 I just got my RetroBlade2 a couple of days ago, and last night I finally got to play with it. It is such a cool little board. Thanks for producing it so quickly. @Publison thanks for your distribution.

    I forgot to preorder the usb2serial board though so I had to rig up another one with some jumper wires and a rubber band(because I didn't want to solder it in. Anybody got a link for where to buy the usb2serial port device like Cluso has from somewhere in the states?
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,033
    @"Peter Jakacki" I finally get to play with TAQOZ, and it is quite nice, but I have a lot to learn. To alleviate the need for the USB2serial adapter I forgot to buy, and to simplify things, what would it take to get TAQOZ to put the command line onto one of the USB ports RetroBlade2 and get it boot off of the SPI flash or SDcard so all I would need is a serial cable?
  • tritoniumtritonium Posts: 428
    edited 2020-12-14 19:50
    Hi Cluso

    Just paypal'ed $50 to you for 1 retroblade2 with flash.
    I assume paypal will give you the address. (UK)
    (the paypal note I attached to money transfer says retroblade when of course I meant retroblade2...)
    thanks

    Dave
  • K2K2 Posts: 684
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    When your orders arrive, could you please let me know...
    Mine came today (in a snowstorm somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of the US). Looks beautiful! Thanks Cluso. Thanks Parallax & Publison.

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    Pleased you like my RetroBlade2 :sunglasses:

    The 2 was to signify the P2 (there’s no RetroBlade). Still not sure if the 2 was a good idea.

    For USB-Serial, any board with DTR will do. You just need the transistor link enabled. Alternatively if you have a PropPlug you need the bypass transistor link enables. These are solderable links. Keep the wire a little long in an inverted U shape so if you need to change it you can grab the link with tiny pliers or wire cutters after heating the underside with your soldering iron. The transistor enable link is marked Q.

    Almost all my boards have microSD sockets fitted. I’ve never used push/pull sockets and never had problems.

    To boot straight from the microSD just copy your P2 binary on to a formatted FAT32 card and rename the file “_BOOT_P2.BIX”. This way you only need power (5V regulated eg a phone power supply, and GND), plus whatever the binary requires.

    I’ll try and post some code for you to try later this morning :)
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    FWIW to test these boards I downloaded code with flexspin and loadp2 without the reset (DTR) connected. So you can actually run programs (single stage loader) and use the serial connection.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    For those who have my RetroBlade2 board

    I suggest you solder the 1x6 female header to the J4 serial connections on the pcb. This way the USB-Serial CP2102 (with full size USB-A) will plug directly into this.

    Here is a fleabay link for the USB-serial board that I have used but they have increased the price and shipping dramatically since
    https://ebay.com/itm/2PCS-6Pin-USB-2-0-to-TTL-UART-Module-Serial-Converter-CP2102-STC-Replace-FT232/311278676648?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
    Be careful as many fleabay sellers are now adding shipping or expensive shipping as a default when you go to pay despite saying free shipping. There are many sellers with the same board so you will find them from ~$1.00 upwards.

    This one is a smaller version with microUSB connector, but it has a different pinout. Again from a supplier I've used. You will find cheaper ones too.
    https://ebay.com/itm/CP2102-MICRO-USB-to-UART-TTL-Module-6Pin-Serial-Converter-STC-Replace-FT232-NEW/401088539687?hash=item5d62bd6c27:g:mHoAAOSwna5cNq1Q
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,481
    edited 2020-12-15 00:28
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    When your orders arrive, could you please let me know, here or by email (address in first post) as I like to keep track of how long it takes :sunglasses:

    If anyone else wants boards just let me know here. I'm making some more this week.

    Mine arrived today (in California USA). The board looks awesome, and I can't wait to try VGA!
    I paid @Cluso99 $45 (with flash option). Now should I pay @Publison for his shipping cost? If so, is it $2.00?
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