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MicroSD disk controller for PDP-11

Roland Huisman

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What I would do in this situation, I would rather write an emulator of the board for some existing pdp-11 emulator that supports booting unix, such as simh, and then develop driver on that platform.

Sounds like Joerg Hoppe's Qbone which is in proto/test stage at the moment...
 

vldmrrr

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Aug 20, 2016
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The kit arrived in less than 3 week, plus it took me another week to get to post office to sign for it. Everything is in good shape. Thanks.

Now I need to find time to get it assembled. And the first hurdle will be to clean the room and work table from few current projects in progress. Such is life :)
 

SuperMax

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The kit arrived in less than 3 week, plus it took me another week to get to post office to sign for it. Everything is in good shape. Thanks.

Now I need to find time to get it assembled. And the first hurdle will be to clean the room and work table from few current projects in progress. Such is life :)


excellent!

I understand that well
I had almost the entire October due to a lot of work
I didn't even go to the forum

found the time and collected:
AZ 2020 and AZ V2 (instead of daws there EPM240)

over the weekend drew a new project - controller AZ
for the Soviet PDP-11 machine BK-0011M

this controller will have a whole set:
1.RAM 32MB
2.VGA video controller with legacy video modes interception
3.Sound DAC 16bit stereo for emulation of AY, OPL2, Covox
4. RS232
5. Floppy controller
6. AZ with network card

test board in september

test video vga
 

vldmrrr

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Cool, I might be interested in this one. I've got BK-011M with busted keyboard and used its motherboard for tower conversion project: it is fitted inside minitower together with power supply, PS2 keyboard adapter and vga converter. It is still waiting for me to start and finish assembly of storage controller. But maybe if I would get hands on this one thats what it will get

over the weekend drew a new project - controller AZ
for the Soviet PDP-11 machine BK-0011M

this controller will have a whole set:
1.RAM 32MB
2.VGA video controller with legacy video modes interception
3.Sound DAC 16bit stereo for emulation of AY, OPL2, Covox
4. RS232
5. Floppy controller
6. AZ with network card
 

SuperMax

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Messages
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Krasnoyarsk/Russia
Cool, I might be interested in this one. I've got BK-011M with busted keyboard and used its motherboard for tower conversion project: it is fitted inside minitower together with power supply, PS2 keyboard adapter and vga converter. It is still waiting for me to start and finish assembly of storage controller. But maybe if I would get hands on this one thats what it will get

excellent
I'll keep you informed

parts have already been ordered
I plan to order printed circuit boards today
 

bqt

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Sep 15, 2019
Messages
506
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Zurich, CH
What is the state of these things? Is it still no DMA, and an ethernet controller which is not compatible with any DEC model?
(For me, those are major painpoints. Ideally, it would work like MSCP and DELUA, at which point you would have a killer product for anyone with a Qbus PDP-11.)

But if it just did DMA, and behaved differently than any DEC disk controller, it would still be pretty ok. I would still volunteer to do a driver for that. It would not be a controller you can boot from, obviously, but otherwise perfectly usable.

The ethernet I would probably not bother trying to get working in such a case. Or maybe for my TCP/IP, but not for DECnet. Writing drivers for DECnet/RSX is rather complex, and not something I'm keen on. It would take a lot of work.
 

SuperMax

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What is the state of these things? Is it still no DMA, and an ethernet controller which is not compatible with any DEC model?

state now:

controller for soviet clones PDP-11 with MPI
- V1.02 without DMA but with interrupt and network
drivers for RT11

- V2020 - printed circuit boards already assembled
on board
* 6MB of static memory, it is planned to issue 4MB to the bus, and 2 to leave for the cache of the MicroSD card
* STM32F407VET6 as brains and 100Mbit network controller
* FPGA EP2C5Q208 (you can also put C8)
* connector for MicroSD


controller for UKNTs MC0511 - Soviet clone with built-in VT100 / 200 terminal (on this machine 56KB of memory and no dispatcher memory)
- V1.02 without DMA but with interrupt and network
drivers for RT11

controller for QBUS PDP-11
- V1.02 without DMA but with interrupt and network
drivers for RT11


I also started developing a version of the controller for the popular Soviet compatible computer BK-0010/11 / 11M




this computer has graphics memory and many games developed (you can use google translator for reading)
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/БК_(семейство_компьютеров)



For me, those are major painpoints. Ideally, it would work like MSCP and DELUA, at which point you would have a killer product for anyone with a Qbus PDP-11.
Accordingly, AZ2020 is just designed to implement
- DMA
- MSCP
- DELUA
- memory controller (memory for QBUS is not as cheap)

However, we have just started working in this direction.

now it would be nice to make a draver for RSX for the first version of the controller without DMA


I can quickly make a version of the AZ2020 board for QBUS if there is a willingness to engage in joint development
it is planned to make the code in verilog for FPGA

are you ready to participate?
 

SuperMax

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Krasnoyarsk/Russia
Great news!
in our team is now an RSX specialist and he has successfully written the AZ driver for RSX-11M!

AZ disk image with RSX-11M-PLUS V4.6 distribution.
The AZ device in the system is called DA.

The device driver is located in the [3.54] directory.
It is vectorized and can be freely transferred to another RSX-11M-PLUS.
The driver determines the size of the disks by itself without the participation of HRC.

Distribution changes compared to the original:

* fixed errors detected in HELP files
* BOO added DA device support
* in the BOO program, when performing a hardware boot (/ HW option), a reset is performed before transferring control to the hardware bootloader (this allows you to boot any systems in this way, and not just RSX of older versions for which the option was added)
* the BRU program has added a rights check when recovering to a mounted disk, so that a simple user cannot recover files where he should not have access
* FLX marked DA device as valid for RT-11 file system
* added setting of AZ11 device type for DA device in HRC program
* in the MCR program for the DEV / LOG command, the date alignment is made for a more pleasant display
* in the MCR program for the CLI command, the / LGO option was renamed to / LOG (as written in the documentation and HELP file)
* in the RMD program, the display of free space for large disks on the VT52 terminal has been fixed
* added support for DA device in SAV program
* in the SAV program, when the VM3 processor is detected, the Q-Bus is set in the parameters
* added permission check for the opened image file in the VMR program
* fixed a bug in the generation routine that would crash if the system does not support dividing the instruction and data space



We also continue to work at the AZ BK
The enclosure specialist has developed an excellent enclosure



 

cbscpe

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Messages
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Switzerland
Oh I see Oleg has written an RSX-11M-Plus driver, very nice. I'm still struggling with the MSCP Emulation on my RLV12 Emulator hardware. Perhaps might be using this driver as a base for an intermediate solution. Having a proprietary driver with RSX seems not to be too complicated, I just need to modify Olegs version to support NPR and modify my RLV12 Firmware to accept 24-bit block numbers.
 

bqt

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Talked some with Oleg. It's some nice progress.

Obviously there are still the question of booting, where the normal boot roms don't have any support. And there are some other places where it stands out a little. And, using programmed I/O obviously affects the performance, but it works, and works very nicely.

With regards to "having a proprietary device driver not being complicated", the answer is yes and no. If you don't care about booting, and some tools, it is pretty easy to add a driver for a new disk.
The problem becomes a bit more complicated when you want to be able to save a bootabe image, because then you need a special device driver integrated in the SAV program, and a boot loader somewhere.

And to comment something I said earlier. If you are on the Qbus you obviously would not want to emulate a DELUA, but a DELQA.

And if I got things right, the card uses FAT on the SD card, so no disk image larger than 4GB. But otherwise I would recommend considering supporting 32-bit block numbers at the hardware level. I am thinking about testing getting support for 32-bit block numbers in RSX enabled.
 

cbscpe

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Yes booting is a different subject, but as I have the RLV12 Emulator I can always boot off an RL02 image. Whether the maximum disk size is 24bit or 32bit block numbers is purely software driven, my internal SD-Card drivers use 32-bit block numbers and besides disk image files on a FAT-32 volume it also supports partitions on a SD-Card.
 

bqt

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Well, if you (or anyone else) wants a bit of help/support when writing device drivers for RSX, just send me a message.
I've done enough to do those with just one eye by now. :)
 

SuperMax

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vldmrrr

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i talk about the AZ BK controller at the festival about the history of technology, the human mind and progress - demodulation 2021
https://yandex.ru/museum/yaretrocomp
Nice talk, I really enjoyed it. It gives an interesting perspective how the project expanded from narrow niche to a wider niche (if I can say so), with the narrowest niche of all -- BK -- seemingly taking most of efforts and new features. There is still one other wide area of the PDP11 platform for the project to expand: I am talking about Pro series (and its soviet clone Электроника 85). Have you ever considered bringing AZ to that form factor? I know it is not Q-bus, but maybe it is about as much an effort as BK?
 

SuperMax

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Nice talk, I really enjoyed it. It gives an interesting perspective how the project expanded from narrow niche to a wider niche (if I can say so), with the narrowest niche of all -- BK -- seemingly taking most of efforts and new features. There is still one other wide area of the PDP11 platform for the project to expand: I am talking about Pro series (and its soviet clone Электроника 85). Have you ever considered bringing AZ to that form factor? I know it is not Q-bus, but maybe it is about as much an effort as BK?

yes, there is a desire to make AZ for DecPro
Let's start with a clone - Electronics 0585

I have already drawn a connector with the location of the printed circuit board

AZ BK requires more effort due to the fact that the functionality is much wider

there is also an idea to bring the developments of AZ BK to QBUS for example,
make a video adapter with memory on the bus and a sound module with a DAC and AY

in the case of DecPRO it would be interesting to replace the video adapter with a new module with VGA output
 

ajacocks

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This is a really interesting disk and network solution. Have you considered creating drivers for 2.11BSD or UNIXv7? It’d be great to use this with a nice *nix.

I really like your thoughts on DEC Pro. I have a 350 here that would love to have a nice VGA output.

- Alex
 
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vldmrrr

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yes, there is a desire to make AZ for DecPro
Let's start with a clone - Electronics 0585
I vaguely remember that the bus on E85 was the same as on its pro--totype, including even inch based pitch. I might be wrong on that, but E85 is certainly a rare species on this side of the ocean. Pro 350/380 should be much more common
I have already drawn a connector with the location of the printed circuit board
Cool. What part did you plan for physical connector? I realized later after writing that those board have weirdest jaw-pinch connector type. I would certainly be willing to sacrifice my color bit map board to de-solder the original DEC part connector, but that would not be a sustainable plan for a (limited) mass production. The main section of connector seem to be equivalent to ISA-8, but second section is shorter and closer to main than on ISA-16.
in the case of DecPRO it would be interesting to replace the video adapter with a new module with VGA output
That would be very intriguing with respect to existing pro software that was using graphic capabilities of pro. But maybe from the point of view of available software it would better to be compatible with DVK/BK graphics. I was enjoying the native version of LAND for E85 on my 350 though
 

SuperMax

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This is a really interesting disk and network solution. Have you considered creating drivers for 2.11BSD or UNIXv7? It’d be great to use this with a nice *nix.

I really like your thoughts on DEC Pro. I have a 350 here that would love to have a nice VGA output.

- Alex
Alas I don't have enough understanding of UNIX internals to write a driver
but most importantly, I don't have much time

yes VGA is convenient
 
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