TAP/mulator

This is the right place to discuss on how to implement hardware vsync, adding a VIA or AY chipset, puting multiple roms, or how to design a new flash expansion card.
User avatar
Chema
Game master
Posts: 2078
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Gijón, SPAIN
Contact:

Re: TAP/mulator

Post by Chema » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:20 pm

If I grasped the idea correctly this emulator is like a digital tape player. The problem is how to choose the file on the SD to reproduce. Once this is done, then it would be loaded as if it were a real tape player, but it is digital, so nearly zero loading errors. That alone would make such a device an incredible add-on for our orics. Imagine you can select if the emulator uses a normal speed wav or a fast wav (using tap2cd). You'll load most games reliably and in a few seconds!

Problem is how to select the file to reproduce. It could have an LCD display with some buttons, such as an mp3 player does, so you choose the file inside the SD and press a PLAY button. For recording something similar, just press the RECORD button and it would create a new empty wav (or tap) file with the name passed from the Oric CSAVE or a default one.

But that would require quite a lot of hardware, and will make it more expensive. The smart idea here is manipulating the selection of the file from the Oric side, and using the relay output (which starts the tape on some tape players) to indicate the emulator that reproducing should start. Problem I see is that there is no way to indicate that you want to CSAVE a file and not to CLOAD one, unless some other command is sent to the player from the Oric, but that would be incompatible with programs which save data. So maybe in the end a kind of button or selector is needed to do this.

Anyway this should be compatible 100% with the old hardware. Granted I'd prefer something for disk emulation, but this is a different project completely. Though they could be merged :)

User avatar
ibisum
Squad Leader
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:56 am

Re: TAP/mulator

Post by ibisum » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:03 pm

Seems like its something that could be hacked together pretty quickly, as a prototype, using a small PC - like the OpenPandora, or something. Or heck, even an Android/iOS app .. ?

User avatar
kenneth
Flying Officer
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: France PdD
Contact:

Re: TAP/mulator

Post by kenneth » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:44 pm

Chema wrote: Anyway this should be compatible 100% with the old hardware. Granted I'd prefer something for disk emulation, but this is a different project completely. Though they could be merged :)
It could be a mix

We can create a new protocol to connect the sd interface via the tape recorder plug

The process could be like this

Type CLOAD""
The ORIC relay makes "call" a sound file from SD interface.
Oric load a bootstrap in the page 4, a kind of "SD Dos": the "!" instruction is now available
Then we can send instructions to sd interface via the tape audio output like
!CATALOG""
!LOAD""
etc
Normally that could be compatible with almost all .TAP files :D

User avatar
Chema
Game master
Posts: 2078
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Gijón, SPAIN
Contact:

Re: TAP/mulator

Post by Chema » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:08 am

That is indeed a nice idea (and quite challenging!); as long as you have a mode in the thing so that it plays a tap file which loads into the Oric with the usual CLOAD "".

That kind of OS could be used to select a file in the SD, for instance, but still you need a simple mode to load a file or else any multipart game (Defence-Force), any custom loader game (The Hobbit or L'aigle d'or, IIRC), any saved game from any game which supports that (Impossible Mission), any game which loads from #400 upwards (don't know for sure), basically anything which calls the ROM (or its own routines) for CLOADING something wont' work.

And still there is a problem with saving...

It is a matter of taste, really, but I'd prefer something simple, small and cheap which emulates a tap player reliably.

The minimum for me, which I would be delighted with, could be something with a pair of buttons to select a file (even with no subdirs would be ok for me), a button to play if the relay cannot be used, and another to record anything saved from the Oric side (starting with a noname000.tap filename and maybe renaming it if the first saved block has a name or something like that). Even if I have to manage my files with a PC (copying those I want, renaming, etc...).

Maybe a selector to make it use normal or 10x speed (similar to tap2cd) would be a really nice addition! Not as the only mode, because some games won't load.

Oh, and regarding the comment above, not sure if an Android tablet/phone or even a modern PC has any kind of digital outputs/inputs. Certainly it has an audio output, but that is not what we are talking about... or is it? I doubt you can manage it as a digital output (setting 5v for a precise time, then 0v, then...)

(Maybe I am totally confused)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest