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Convert to Papertape V2.2

On the Utilities page I have two programs to convert to MOS Technology papertape format: KIMpaper, a command line utility, and ConvertHexFormat, a GUI app.

All in Freepascal/Lazarus source format, and tested on Linux (Raspberry PI OS) and Windows 10 64 bit. So the programs will run everywhere Lazarus is available (MS DOS, WIndows, Linux Mac OS).

KIMPAPER  is written at the time the Micro-KIM appeared. CLI utility.  Supports Binary to/from Papertape.  Still runs fine on all platforms supported by Freepascal (Windows, MS DOS, Linux etc) after a recompilation, source available.

ConvertHexFormat is a more recent GUI utilitilty with many more 8 bit hex formats as input and output.

There were some bugs of course in older versions. V2 added the ability for multipart hex formats, records having a non-consecutive load address. That seems to wok fine since V2.1
In 2.2 a bug in MOS Papertape format for bigger files is fixed, the end-of-file record (record type 00, total line count) had a bug in the checksum calculation. KIMPAPER is and was correct in the calculation.
But in ConvertHexFormat it was wrong (as it still  is in the well known srec utility in the Unix world!).

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PC utilities updated

The PC utilities page has seen an update of th4 Conversion hex formats utility.

Programs to manipulate the binary and hex formatted files of interest for SBC owners. Intel hex, MOS papertape, Motorola S-record, binary, hex conversion fort eh 8 bit world.
Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac due to Lazarus and Freepascal. Source included.

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SerialTester

A program, SerialTester,  a guide and test results.

Also updated Prolific PL2303HXA driver misery solution.

Serial USB adapters testing


So I have a collection of those USB to serial adapters, some with cables and DB-9 connectors, some with cable and Dupont connectors, and some USB TTL type connectors on a PCB with male or female Dupont pin connectors for USB-A, mini or micro USB. Most not documented or unsure if the voltage levels are 3.3V or 5V ..

First some background. These are all descendants of the EIA RS232 standard in some way. Terminology, asynchronous serial format, voltage levels, start bits, stop bits, 7 or 8 data bits, hardware and software handshake, and the way it is abused in many of these devices. And so common nowadays in Arduino and ESP8268, ESP32 and even Raspberry Pi world.

If you are new to the serial world and want to use these devices and understand how, study the next chapter. You will learn and know what I am talking about: DCE, DTE, DSR, DTR, TxD, RxD, CTS, RTS, DTR, RI, CarrierDetect, UAR/T’s, TTL voltage levels being reverse to RS232 voltage levels, a ‘0’ being negative RS232 voltage up to 15V, a ‘1’ being as low as -15V.

 

RS232 asynchronous information


This picture shows where RS232 came into being about 50 years ago,


Read these PDF’s:
RS232 Protocol – Basics
EIA RS232-C Standard Protocol
EIA RS232-E Standard Protocol
Fundamentals of RS–232 Serial Communications
RS232 Physical Layer Interface Standards
RS232 (TIA/EIA-232-F)
RS-232: Serial Ports

USB Serial TTL devices

These little devices came into use to communicate with small computers like SBC’s, Arduino and ESP’s and PC’s. Throw out the overhead of the + and -15v, limit or leave out the handshake signals, (mis)use the DTR signal to reset the Arduino, use it to download firmware or collect data from sensors on the small computers and process it on bigger machines. And act as the power supply the little computer.
Based on special UAR/T IC’s, very small footprint, and dirt cheap.

Testing USB Serial TTL adapters

What you need:
– A PC, Raspberry Pi or another Linux or Windows PC. Any PC platform supporting USB ports will do.
– The program SerialTester, see below
– A small breadboard
– A collection of Dupont cables with male and female connectors
– A multimeter, a most simple one will do

SerialTester

Testing USB serial adapters is not that difficult, you need a terminal emulator, which are available in lots of formats and capabilities. Putty, Minicom etc all allow to choose a serial port, set baudrate and other parameters like hardware handshake, software handshake, number of data and stop bits. With a loopback test (which means connecting serial out TxD to serial in (RxD) you can test the serial connection by typing characters and seeing the characters appear on screen.

What I miss in these programs is a way to inspect the modem control lines. So I wrote a little program for that.
SerialTester allows to do the loopback test and shows the state of the modem control lines.
You can change the DTR and RTS lines since these are set of cleared by the USB serial port. The other lines are read from the USB serial adapter.

Get the program here:
Windows 10 installable executable
source (Lazarus + Freepascal) and executable for Windows, Linux and executable for Raspberry Pi

Use the program as follows to completely test and document (write down test results on the next steps!) the adapter.

1. It is a GUI/Windows program, so start as usual on your operating system. Raspberry runs this program fine, but Linux is not so forgiving in plug and play of USB devices, so expect some hangs and reboots. CH340 chipsets can have a temper, and SerialTester sometimes fails, where Minicom succeeds.

2. Insert the USB adapter, do not connect anything yet to the adapter
For the USB-A types it is handy to have an USB-A male -female cable to bring the adapter to the table

– Check if the USB adapter is recognized by the operating system
For Windows start Device Manager and look for COM Ports, like COM8 in the example below
On Linux start a terminal and type “lsusb”, insert the USB serial adapter and look for added USB device serial adapter, in the screenshot an FTDI adapter.
The command “ls -l /dev/ttyUSB*” will show devices like “ttyUSB0”.

3. Click Port settings and click in the field Port drop down button. A list of serial adapters will be shown, pick one. Note that on a Raspberry the serial port ttyAMA0 on the GPIO connector will be shown also. Here we want the ttyUSBxx device.

Select 300 baud as baud rate, this will help seeing the transmit with the multimeter., leave the rest default.

Press OK

4. Open the Port by clicking the button Open Port. Look at the status displayed, it should tell the port is opened. If not opened, you might have a driver problem, see the sections below on CH34x, FTDI and Prolific 2303HX devices.
You will also see the DTR and RTS fields light up red, as opening also sets the DTR and RTS pin high.

5. Switch on the multimeter and read the prints on the USB or the color of the wires.
– First find Gnd. Indicated with the label GND or a black wire.
– Now find Vcc, indicated with VCC or the red wire. Measure the voltage, should be 5V, 3.3V. Some adapters have a jumper to select the voltage. Some adapters also change the voltage on the other lines, some do not. Measure!

6. Find the TxD pin. Connect the multimeter to the TxD pin. It should be +3.3V or 5V. Also check if changing VCC to +3.3V or 5V makes any difference, some adapters do, some do not change the voltages on the pins.

7. Enter a long string in the Send field, and press Send (or Send CR for a line ending). Observe the readout on the multimeter, it should be lower than the value in rest. Nothing will be shown in the received fields.

If not, then this is not the transmitting pin. Check RxD if that is the transmitting pin, for all my adapters it was TxD, but who knows what manufacturers do ..

8. Inspect the adapter for a DTR line if any. Connect the multimeter to the corresponding pin and measure the voltage. Press the DTR button in SerialTester and check if the voltage changes on the pin.


9. Repeat for the RTS line.

10. Locate the RxD line. Connect this line to the TxD pin and send a string again. Now you should see the Receive and Receive hex fields filled with the send string.

11. Now if any pins are not tested yet, they have to be the other modem control lines. The labels on the adapter will tell or experiment and measure. Connecting to ground or VCC with a 2k2 resistor (to be safe) will show on the display of the SerialTester program the corresponding level.

Chipsets: FTDI, Prolific, Silicon Labs, CH340

The USB Serial adapters contain a UAR/T IC, made by a small group of manufacturers.

1. FTDI. Comes with the highest recommendations. Many types. Well supported in Linux and Windows.
Due to fake IC’s made in China the current drivers check and try to make a fake inoperable.
If you encounter in Windows a non-working FTDI adapter, you cna only use it in Linux, after ‘repairing it. See here how to do that

2. Prolific. Supported in Linux and Windows.
Also due to fakes, older (not fake!) IC’s made by Prolific are not supported by the current Prolific driver in Windows. Device manager shows PL2303HXA PHASED OUT SINCE 2012. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIER.

Easy to solve with an older version of the drive, like in this archive. Unpack in a folder, Update driver, Look on this PC, Have disk, Browse to the folder.
Windows may ‘update’ the driver again, just rollback the update in Device Manager. For permanent fix, see also this page how to enable group Policies on Windows 10 Home and prevent any updates.

3. CH34x. I sometimes encounter problems under Linux with this chipset. Windows runs fine.

Reports

‘Blue’ closed connector with cable
Prolific PL2303
Male Dupont connectors
Black Gnd
Red +5V
Green Tx (sending data) 3.3V
Yellow Rx (receiving data)
Betemcu CH340
Status LED red, send LED blue
Edge pin connector maleGND Gnd
VC +3.V or 5 V slide switch
TX 5V Sending
Rx 5V receiving
DTR 5V
CTS connect ground for ‘on’
Button switch of Vcc
D-Sun-V3.0 CH340
Status LED red Send blue led Received blue led
Edge pin connector male
GND Gnd
RxD receiving
TxD sending at 3.3V or 5V
3V3 3.3V
Vcc jumper to +3.3V or 5V (no jumper 3.3 V)
5V 5V
Tienu ZX2H1911A1 PL2303HXA
Status LED red Sending green LED Receiving Yellow LED
Edge pin male
5V 5V
3.3V 3.3V
TxD sending 3.5V
RxD receiving 3.5V
Gnd Gnd
FTDI DCORSO FTDI 232
Red status LED send receive green LEDs
Edge pin male
Jumper +5V Vcc +3.V
Jumper 5V – Vcc – 3.3V
All modem signals to edges RI CTS RTS
110 baud not supported
DTR 5V or 3.3V following jumper
TX sending 5V or 3.3V following jumper
RX receiving 5V or 3.3V following jumper
VCC 5V or 3.3V following jumper
CTS 5V or 3.3V following jumper
Gnd Gnd
4D Programming Cable CP2102
Dupont female
RES ?
Gnd Gnd
Tx Sending 3.4V
Rx Receiving 3.4V
+5V 5V
FTDI cable no ident,
lights in cable red (receive) green (send)
Dupont female
Black Gnd
Blue CTS 3.4V
Red +5V
Green Sending 3.4V
White Receive 3.4V
Yellow RTS 3.4V
Tienu FTDI232H
USB-A FTDI edge pin red status LED green send, yellow receive
GND Gnd
RXD Receive at 3.5V
TXD Sending at 3.5V
3.3V 3.4V
5V 5V
FDTI basic Sparkfun female dupont bottom
Mini USB
GND Gnd
CTS 5V
5V 5V
TxD sending 5V
RXI receive 5V
DTR 5V
Square CP210X Red status
LED Red LED send Red LED receive
Micro USB Male Dupont Edge
3V3 3.3V
DTR 3.4V
RXD sending 3.4 V
TXD receive 3.4V
GND Gnd
+5V 5V
FTDI232 Mini USB
Jumper 5V – Vcc – 3.3V
All modem signals to edges. Voltages follow Jumper setting.
MBC2 cable Prolific 2303
black GND
red 5V Vcc
Green TX sending at 3.4V
White Rx
UC-2102 Cable CP210X
Male edge pin connector
DTR 3.4V
RxD
TxD sending 3.4 V
+5V +5V
GND
GND

 

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Convert hex formats V2

A program to convert between hex or binary files for 8 bit systems with a 64K address space.
V2 adds the Wozmon Apple 1 format and allow multipart Intel Hex, MOS Papertape and Motorola S records.

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6809-Einplatinen-Computer

EMUF with CPU 6809E, PIA 6821, 2x 2114 SRAM, 2716 EPROM MC 1982 Issue 7

From “Mit Computern Steuern’