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P2 Developer Starter Bundle -- will I miss 32MB? — Parallax Forums

P2 Developer Starter Bundle -- will I miss 32MB?

I've started to contemplate the possibility of maybe dipping my toe into the P2 waters. The P2 Developer Starter Bundle is very tempting, but it comes with the plain P2 Edge, not the 32MB version. If I go for it, will I regret not getting the 32MB version? What do people even do with 32MB?!

Comments

  • pik33pik33 Posts: 1,813
    edited 2022-11-17 17:42

    Yes, you will :)

    We have for example several retro console emulators. They will not work without external RAM

    The main use of PSRAM is of course a frame buffer for a video driver, but I also used it for audio (eg. bigger Amiga modules)

  • MaciekMaciek Posts: 586
    edited 2022-11-17 17:23

    That depends on what you intend to do with it.
    For the control applications you will not but if you're into retro computing or video applications that need big buffers then most probably yes.

  • @pik33 said:
    We have for example several retro console emulators. They will not work without external RAM

    Indeed :)

    Infact, 32MB is meager for the Neo Geo emulator.

    Perhaps important to note: P2EDGE and external RAM expansion boards don't mix. They only work on P2EVAL.

    Also perhaps interesting: Given you're somewhat known in the community, you can try e-begging Ken for discounts or freebies. Don't ask me how I know this works.

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266
    edited 2022-11-18 17:27

    Thanks for the info so far. I doubt I'll be doing anything related to emulators, but I suppose I would like video output for UI & debugging.

    Question 1: Is the P2's internal memory sufficient for that?

    I'm hoping to do something musical with the P2, so my current shopping list is

    • P2 starter bundle
    • P2 HD Audio Add-on Set
    • P2 Eval Digital Video Out Add-on Board
    • P2 Mystery Box
    • P2-EC32MB (maybe)

    Question 2: Will the video board work with the P2 Edge Breadboard?
    Question 3: Am I missing anything?
    (Edit) Question 4: Do we know what's in the mystery box?

  • ElectrodudeElectrodude Posts: 1,540
    edited 2022-11-18 22:38

    The current Mystery Box, of which there are still four more in stock, contains a Universal Motor Driver P2 Add-on Board, a suitable motor, and a P2 Digital Video Add-on Board. So you won't need a second Digital Video board if you get the Mystery Box.

    If you're going to be doing music stuff, you'll probably want the P2 A/V Breakout Board in addition to the P2 HD Audio set. You might also want the USB Host board for e.g. a USB keyboard. It might be worth considering just buying the whole 64006-ES add-on set, or at least everything but the Digital Video board that you'll get with the Mystery Box.

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266

    Ooh, great info, Electrodude! I'm not much into motors so I guess I'll forgo the mystery box, maybe get the 7" monitor instead.

    Thanks for the pointer to the USB host board.

    Curious about the A/V breakout board. Is there a particular reason you recommend it?

  • evanhevanh Posts: 13,849
    edited 2022-11-18 23:50

    @mpark said:
    Curious about the A/V breakout board. Is there a particular reason you recommend it?

    Just as it looks: convenient set of VGA socket, RCA sockets, and headphone/mic sockets. Works well with Prop2 DACs. Probably the most often demo'd is the VGA socket.

    Prop2 VGA modes can go a lot high resolution than its DVI/HDMI modes. The TMDS encoder is locked at sysclock/10 pixels per second, or max of about 33 Mpix/s. That said, I've taken a liking to the digital video add-on because modern HDMI displays have become flexible. They 're finally disbanding the old tendency of fixed display modes and going back to the more flexible range limits instead. Later day CRTs were like that before LCDs took over. LCDs with VGA signalling often had a lot of limitations on video timings.

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266

    OK, hmmm, maybe I'll hold off on HDMI and HD audio for now and just get the A/V board. Composite video! I still have some old school teevees.

    I assume there are some video objects for the P2? TV vs VGA vs HDMI: which one is easiest to use?

  • evanhevanh Posts: 13,849
    edited 2022-11-19 00:06

    Well, composite wasn't any good for high resolution either. Modern HDMI displays can easily do those sorts of resolutions by adding lots of blanking to the timings.

    @mpark said:
    I assume there are some video objects for the P2? TV vs VGA vs HDMI: which one is easiest to use?

    Chip has/had a couple of simple editable examples in the Pnut zip file. Eric has a decent editable set with Flexspin. I've used Roger's full blown driver with some modifications of my own to make its custom mode setting gymnastics easier. Its data structure is both overly packed and fragmented too!

  • @mpark said:
    OK, hmmm, maybe I'll hold off on HDMI and HD audio for now and just get the A/V board. Composite video! I still have some old school teevees.

    I assume there are some video objects for the P2? TV vs VGA vs HDMI: which one is easiest to use?

    If you're "hoping to do something musical", you're probably going to want the HD Audio set in addition to the A/V board. The A/V board has a stereo headphone amp (which you can use simultaneously with the VGA, although the VGA and the RCA jacks do conflict), but it has no ADCs besides the P2's own built-in ADCs, which aren't quite what you'd want for audio.

  • pik33pik33 Posts: 1,813
    edited 2022-11-19 09:08

    OK, hmmm, maybe I'll hold off on HDMI and HD audio for now

    There are cheap Adafruit HDMI breakout board for Raspberry Pico - https://www.adafruit.com/product/4984 - $1.95. I bought and tested this - the only problem is the board has built-in serial resistors. The solution is simple: in HDMI driver, change the constant which configures the HDMI output, so it outputs full logic instead of BITDAC. Then it works. Simpler than replacing these resistors.

  • @mpark said:
    I've started to contemplate the possibility of maybe dipping my toe into the P2 waters. The P2 Developer Starter Bundle is very tempting, but it comes with the plain P2 Edge, not the 32MB version. If I go for it, will I regret not getting the 32MB version? What do people even do with 32MB?!

    I'd be willing to bet that sales at Parallax will quote you a price for the P2 Developer Starter Bundle with the 32MB version of the P2 Edge substituted for the one with out the RAM chip.

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266

    @"David Betz" said:

    ....

    I'd be willing to bet that sales at Parallax will quote you a price for the P2 Developer Starter Bundle with the 32MB version of the P2 Edge substituted for the one with out the RAM chip.

    Welp, they didn't . Which is fine. I have a lot to learn before I'll need more memory.

  • evanhevanh Posts: 13,849

    mpark,
    There is a possible alternative to the EC32MB. It's not a Parallax product and is still in development but looks very promising - https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/174317/new-p2-module/p1

  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 14,487
    edited 2022-11-23 15:28

    @mpark said:

    @"David Betz" said:

    ....

    I'd be willing to bet that sales at Parallax will quote you a price for the P2 Developer Starter Bundle with the 32MB version of the P2 Edge substituted for the one with out the RAM chip.

    Welp, they didn't . Which is fine. I have a lot to learn before I'll need more memory.

    That's surprising. They are usually very flexible about this sort of thing. Maybe they have an excess of the P2 Edge modules without the RAM chip that they're trying to unload with the bundle. How much do I owe you for losing the bet?

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266

    @"David Betz" said:
    ...How much do I owe you for losing the bet?

    One P2-EC32MB, of course :D

    Nah, no bet; we never shook on it, plus I actually got my negative answer before you even posted.

  • I could place a safer bet though.:)... I know Parallax would love to "go the extra mile" like they used to, but things just haven't caught up since the global obliteration last year. Staff are still working remotely and in shifts, etc.. etc.. That just makes it really difficult (almost impossible) to "go grab a different board from stock, and swap that into the parcel" like in the good old days when sales were sat next door to the stock and shipping area. Remote working really blows certain aspects of customer service and flexibility.

    Eventually it will come back, but for now- it's the best they can do to ship using pre-defined packs.

    That said.. now is the time to get the P2-EC32MB... pretty good TG discount, plus an extra amount to charity ! :)

  • mparkmpark Posts: 1,266

    Good point. I certainly don't blame them for not offering a 32MB option, although I do wonder why, on the website, the starter bundle has a "Select options" button instead of "Add to cart". That kind of implies, you know, options.
    Anyway, all good. I decided to start small and ordered just a starter bundle early this week. Then I got the Thanksgiving sale announcement, shook my head at my great timing, and ordered a few of the little boards discussed above. 32MB will have to wait until I know what the heck I'm doing.

  • @mpark said:
    ... will have to wait until I know what the heck I'm doing.

    :smiley:

  • @VonSzarvas said:
    I could place a safer bet though.:)... I know Parallax would love to "go the extra mile" like they used to, but things just haven't caught up since the global obliteration last year. Staff are still working remotely and in shifts, etc.. etc.. That just makes it really difficult (almost impossible) to "go grab a different board from stock, and swap that into the parcel" like in the good old days when sales were sat next door to the stock and shipping area. Remote working really blows certain aspects of customer service and flexibility.

    Eventually it will come back, but for now- it's the best they can do to ship using pre-defined packs.

    Ah, that makes sense. I hope Parallax is able to bring staff back in house soon as long as it can be done safely.

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