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 Post subject: SIO2PC Interface Card vs. Homebuilt Circuit, Strange Problem
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:58 pm
Posts: 6
Hi - I purchased an SIO2PC/ProSystem Univ. Interface Card (DB-9 & SIO jack type) a while back. I have also constructed a homebuilt SIO2PC cable using the standard MAX232 IC design on a perfboard. To make a long story short, my homebuilt circuit didn't work correctly the first time I tried it out, but I was able to troubleshoot it (the typical cold solder joint was causing one of the capacitors to be open and throwing off the voltage values being output by the MAX232) after I had taken some time away from this project.

Anyway, when I finally got around to testing both my homebuilt cable and my SIO2PC/ProSystem, my homebuilt cable works great but my ProSystem card is only able to work with Nick Kennedy's SIO2PC.com software.

Here is a brief listing of my HW/SW setup for my A8bit & PC:
* 800XL (I have 2 floppy drives an Indus GT along with a A1050, but I currently have them disconnected for the purposes of this test)

* Very old PC with an Aopen motherboard in it, Pentium 100 processor, running MS-DOS 6.22 (I know this is archaic in PC terms, but it still works - I even have Linux on running on it), 32MB memory, 2 serial ports with the SIO2PC always connected to COM1

The software I'm using to drive the interface circuits: I have both SIO2PC.com v4.19 from Nick Kennedy and APE v1.18D which I downloaded from atarimax.com

My homebuilt cable works with no problem with both kinds of software. The ProSystem interface I can only get it to work with SIO2PC.com when I select the "K" option from the main menu, which is "Lock Data Line". When I do that, it works just as well as my MAX232 homebuilt. Is there some configuration item I am missing in the APE software? Or do I have to run a later Windows based version?

According to the documentation at Nick Kennedy's website http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/readme.txt
the "K" option allows locking the data out line into the enabled state. Is this reason for my problem because the ProSystem interface circuit has a GAL IC in it in addition to the 14C89 line driver?

Any help with this would be appreciated - I need to get this resolved because I have a friend coming over in a couple of weeks for an A8bit software copy party, and I want to have disk image file backups of all my Atari software.

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: SIO2PC Interface Card vs. Homebuilt Circuit, Strange Pro
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:58 pm
Posts: 6
Oh, another detail I forgot to mention about using the APE 1.18 SW with my ProSystem interface is that when I power up my 800XL, I am only seeing the TX LED flash, no data is being sent from the PC to the Atari.


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 Post subject: Re: SIO2PC Interface Card vs. Homebuilt Circuit, Strange Pro
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1039
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
APE 1.18 should be compatible with the universal interface. Any other SIO2PC software will need to clear the RTS line to enable SIO2PC mode. The default state on opening the port is usually set, so the interface would be stuck in ProSystem mode if the software never changes it.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: SIO2PC Interface Card vs. Homebuilt Circuit, Strange Pro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:58 pm
Posts: 6
What are my options to troubleshoot this then? Try APE 1.18 running MS-DOS on another PC and see if it works? Or should I download and install the Windows version and try it on one of my spare XP boxen?

I'll also recheck the pinouts of the DB-9 male/female serial cable I'm using to see if it's straight through, but it should be since it works with my homebuilt SIO2PC cable...

I'm hoping this isn't a HW problem with my Universal Interface...


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