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One Step Forward One Step Back

The Bad News
In the last blog I said I was trying some new hardware. It was a nice cheap MP3 player SDcard combo that would've taken the need for some of the libraries out of the Ardui code and freed up memory for conversion on the board.

Unfortunately the MP3 player could not recognise filenames and would not be able to display them on the screen making it difficult to choose what games you wanted to play and making that board a dead end. 


The Good News
Whilst playing with the MP3 player we realised that some games didn't convert properly with cas2wav at any frequency so whereas we thought it may have been a frequency issue it was actually a conversion issue when using players. By adding a couple of seconds silence at the end of each WAV all loading issues have been solved even at higher baud rates so now the only games with issues are bad archives.

The new version of CasTools for MSX games can be found at the following link.

Arduitape CasTools



The Ugly
The Ugly isn't accurate because the next step for Arduitape I'm hoping will be beautiful but it is a major step and a test of my abilities. 

After finding cheap STM32F4 Discovery boards on the internet I'm hoping to convert the project to that board and set of chips. This will be able to do all the conversions for all machines on board without anything having to be done beforehand by the user. It will also mean less construction so it will be much easier to build. 

However the change in code and the coding skills required is ugly.

Also Andrew Beer is still working on the original to see if it is possible to do the conversion on board. The project is still very much alive.


I will keep you all updated

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TZXDuino 1.7

TZXDuino 1.7
This fixes issues with pause lengths that we never noticed before. It should fix games like Top Gun and Street Hawk for the Spectrum and make CDT files behave as they should for the Amstrad CPC.Changes.
*Maximum pause length of 8.3 seconds due to the TimerOne library has been worked around.
*ID20 Pause Block fixed.
*Temporary fix for pause after motor control removed.https://mega.nz/#!aEt1VJKZ!ZFw-fP3bkNTtiPlbG_IllmR94Xni3KvIGUn6Jggfof8

New Firmwares With New Features

Thanks to the help of Rafael Molina Chasserot some new features have been added to the TZXDuino and CASDuino firmwares which has freed up some memory as well, which may lead to more features being added in the future.
A percentage counter and a timer counter have been added to all screens so that you know how much is left of a file to play and how long it has taken to load.
The OLED1306 and PCD8544 use completely new routines for the firmwares saving a lot of memory.
Folder navigation is now different. Rather than using the Menu button on TZXDuino or the Stop button on CASDuino to return to the ROOT directory, if you press the stop button when no file is playing you will go up one folder only making it easier to navigate.

TZXDuino
The TZXDuino has had a menu added so that MSX users can set the Baud rate of TSX files so that they can load faster than normal.
A few more emulator only IDs have been fixed so that they are skipped by TZXDuino.

CASDuino
CASduino has had a Baud Rate of 3675 added to…

Latest Firmwares

Whilst it may seem there han't been much going on in recent months we have been working behind the scenes on improving and adding more options to the various firmwares and trying to improve the hardware.

The main difference with these firmwares is that OLED 1306 screens are now fully working on all of them and that the PCD8544 has added as a screen option.
I will go into the hardware changes needed for that at a later date.

ArduiTape 1.5
What's New
Added support for the PCD7544.

Download from here.

CASDuino 1.15
What's New
Improved support for CoCo and Dragon
Added support for OLED1306 and PCD8544.

Download from here.

TZXDuino 1.8
What's New
Added ID2A
Added support for PCD8544

Download from here.

TZXDuino 1.8.1
What's New
TSX support for MSX TSX files added by Natalia Pujol. Not officially supported and any bugs should be reported to her.

Download from here.