WIFI for all ataris over serial!

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Re: WIFI for all ataris?

Postby Greenious » Wed May 03, 2017 5:33 pm

christos wrote:
Greenious wrote:
czietz wrote:Woohoo, I'm in! Though for the time being with the very limited KA9Q network stack. I'll still have to figure out how to get STinG to work.

IMG_2329.JPG


Awesome!

a $3 wifi solution... who would have thought that possible... :D

Only STinG left then, but SLIP is so old and I wonder if they really tested it's functionality in the last versions of STinG... might be broken. If you have no success I'll see if I can squeeze some info out of Ronald (who co-wrote it) next time I talk to him. Sadly he sold everything and completely left the scene some 10 years ago. Might be worthwhile checking documentation from stik(?), since I believe sting was derived/inspired by that previous SLIP stack...


Slip absolutely works with Sting. I've done it with a null modem cable:
http://atariage.com/forums/blog/199/ent ... ari-to-pc/


SLIP is a predecessor to PPP, it's not the same, and since noone in their right mind would choose SLIP over PPP given the choice, I wondered if STing bothered to keep testing SLIP once they had PPP working, and if they might have broken it by mistake.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris?

Postby Greenious » Wed May 03, 2017 6:05 pm

czietz wrote:And now with STinG and CAB. :D I think the key was to load the HSMODEM serial drivers -- even though 19200 bit/s should also have worked right out the box, imho.
But I've already spent way too much time on this today. I'll see if I can write down some details about my setup during the following days.

IMG_2333.JPG


Sweet!

:cheers:
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Re: WIFI for all ataris?

Postby joska » Wed May 03, 2017 6:19 pm

czietz wrote:I think the key was to load the HSMODEM serial drivers -- even though 19200 bit/s should also have worked right out the box, imho.


IIRC STiNG *requires* HS-Modem, and use features not provided by plain TOS.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris?

Postby Greenious » Wed May 03, 2017 8:35 pm

czietz wrote:And now with STinG and CAB. :D I think the key was to load the HSMODEM serial drivers -- even though 19200 bit/s should also have worked right out the box, imho.
But I've already spent way too much time on this today. I'll see if I can write down some details about my setup during the following days.


I changed the topic to reflect that it works, and I also had a chat with Ronald Andersson about STing, he's saved his sources and if someone wants to take up further development of STing I think he'd will be willing to release them.

Anyway, great work czietz! Please include the updated firmware and write a guide. And I'll pin it at a suitable place. :)
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Re: WIFI for all ataris?

Postby czietz » Thu May 04, 2017 7:04 pm

Greenious wrote:Anyway, great work czietz! Please include the updated firmware and write a guide. And I'll pin it at a suitable place. :)


As promised, here is my tutorial how to connect the ST to the Internet using the low-cost ESP8266 WiFi-enabled microcontroller. The tutorial includes schematic, firmware, and software for the Atari. It's my first version, I may go into more detail, depending on your feedback.

https://www.chzsoft.de/site/hardware/co ... -internet/

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby itaboy » Thu May 04, 2017 9:20 pm

Interesting...

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Moulinaie » Thu May 04, 2017 9:43 pm

Hello,

This is very interesting!
But, if I am using a TT, there is not the limit of 19200. The TT is able to use the standard 115200.
Is it always required to change the firmware?

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby wongck » Thu May 04, 2017 10:58 pm

Wow. fast and great POC.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby czietz » Fri May 05, 2017 5:26 am

Yes, the speed is fixed in the firmware. I might recompile it for different bit rates if people tell me what they need, though. For 115200 you can also try the original firmware at https://github.com/martin-ger/esp_slip_router/.

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby christos » Fri May 05, 2017 10:03 am

I am pretty sure you can get 38400 with HSMODEM. Anyway, excellent work, this is my next atari project!

Any suggestion on where to get the parts etc? Also, is it too hard to make the connections? What is the maximum speed of the device (my MSTE has a VME serial port that IIRC can do 232KBps). And, I'd really like to see how the finished device looks like. A pic would be appreciated.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Greenious » Fri May 05, 2017 11:16 am

czietz wrote:Yes, the speed is fixed in the firmware. I might recompile it for different bit rates if people tell me what they need, though. For 115200 you can also try the original firmware at https://github.com/martin-ger/esp_slip_router/.


In the firmware that ships with the ESP8266, you can change speed by AT commands. Isn't that possible with that SLIP firmware?
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Greenious » Fri May 05, 2017 11:24 am

christos wrote:I am pretty sure you can get 38400 with HSMODEM. Anyway, excellent work, this is my next atari project!

Any suggestion on where to get the parts etc? Also, is it too hard to make the connections? What is the maximum speed of the device (my MSTE has a VME serial port that IIRC can do 232KBps). And, I'd really like to see how the finished device looks like. A pic would be appreciated.
Thank you very much for your work


No, 19200 is max on ST without hacking the serial port hw. (and if you hack it, the MFP is also capable of 115200 if you do it right)
And regardless, you need better serial port drivers than the built-in one in TOS, so HSMODEM is a must.

the MSTE, TT & Falcon got a SCC, Zilog 85C30, serial port, capable of 115200. In "lan-mode" even faster, but how to get that working with the ESP8266 I have no idea, since I really don't know what "lan-mode" means. Maybe someone can enlighten us...
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby mzry » Fri May 05, 2017 12:37 pm

Greenious could this possibly turn into an actual product that less hardware-guru-style people could actually get and use? You guys are kind of amazing! :)

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby joska » Fri May 05, 2017 1:01 pm

Greenious wrote:the MSTE, TT & Falcon got a SCC, Zilog 85C30, serial port, capable of 115200. In "lan-mode" even faster, but how to get that working with the ESP8266 I have no idea, since I really don't know what "lan-mode" means. Maybe someone can enlighten us...


I used 230400 baud on my Falcon. I used scc.xdd under MiNT, connected via nullmodem cable to a 486 running Linux. IIRC you must select 200 baud (or 150? It's been a while!) to activate 230400. I believe HS-Modem offers the same functionality.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Greenious » Fri May 05, 2017 1:27 pm

mzry wrote:Greenious could this possibly turn into an actual product that less hardware-guru-style people could actually get and use? You guys are kind of amazing! :)


It works. Someone will I'm sure. Even if it isn't fast, and demand may be low, someone will build it for themself and likely offer to make a few extras for others (ppl usually do). Just keep your eyes open.

joska wrote:
Greenious wrote:the MSTE, TT & Falcon got a SCC, Zilog 85C30, serial port, capable of 115200. In "lan-mode" even faster, but how to get that working with the ESP8266 I have no idea, since I really don't know what "lan-mode" means. Maybe someone can enlighten us...


I used 230400 baud on my Falcon. I used scc.xdd under MiNT, connected via nullmodem cable to a 486 running Linux. IIRC you must select 200 baud (or 150? It's been a while!) to activate 230400. I believe HS-Modem offers the same functionality.


Tbh, I haven't used the serial port, or even looked at it, for like 25 years now. I just looked a bit at the SCC spec and it is capable of higher speeds than that, like 4-5Mbps, and people have had the ESP8266 go upwards 20Mbps from what I just read. So this might turn out way more fun than expected, atleast for MSTE, TT & F030 owners...

HSMODEM is just a serial port driver, although better and faster than the ones built into TOS, and really does not change the HW in any way.
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby czietz » Fri May 05, 2017 3:43 pm

To answer the questions that came up during the last hours:

- No, it is really not possible to change the bitrate with a command with the SLIP firmware. It is hardcoded in the C code, believe me. Yes, it would be a worthwhile addition to the SLIP firmware, but in the short-term I probably won't have time to do this. The original's FW source code is published, though, so feel free to add such a feature there.

- ESP-01 boards can be found on Aliexpress, eBay and probably also at an electronic parts store in your country. The same applies to level shifters and 3.3 V regulators. All is available as through-hole and can be soldered on a piece of veroboard, no fabrication of a PCB required. So, imho the hardware is quite easy to assemble.

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby czietz » Fri May 05, 2017 5:15 pm

As for the maximum speed: According to Espressif's (the maker of ESP8266) Technical Reference the serial link of the ESP8266 supports data rates up to about 4 MBit/s. I don't know if the firmware imposes additional limits, i.e. because the routing of the packets at such a high data rate consumes too much computing power.

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby czietz » Fri May 05, 2017 7:03 pm

Greenious wrote:In the firmware that ships with the ESP8266, you can change speed by AT commands. Isn't that possible with that SLIP firmware?


You wish, I deliver!

Leveraging the existing code for configuring the firmware, it was easier than I thought to add an option to configure the serial port speed / bit rate used by the SLIP firmware. It will still default to 19200 bit/s, but you can change it to match your Atari's capabilities. See my web site for this improved firmware as well as instructions. But note that speeds faster than 19200 bit/s I did not test with STinG because sadly I don't own a MegaSTE, TT etc.

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Greenious » Fri May 05, 2017 7:37 pm

czietz wrote:
Greenious wrote:In the firmware that ships with the ESP8266, you can change speed by AT commands. Isn't that possible with that SLIP firmware?


You wish, I deliver!

Leveraging the existing code for configuring the firmware, it was easier than I thought to add an option to configure the serial port speed / bit rate used by the SLIP firmware. It will still default to 19200 bit/s, but you can change it to match your Atari's capabilities. See my web site for this improved firmware as well as instructions. But note that speeds faster than 19200 bit/s I did not test with STinG because sadly I don't own a MegaSTE, TT etc.


I must admit that I kinda like this way of developing things. I ask/wish, and someone else delivers... :wink: (Now I need to go and wish up something else... :mrgreen: )

Defaulting to 19200 is probably a good idea. That makes it accessible to everyone without having to mess around, just start out at 19200, set speed and then off you go. Now the only question is, how fast is it possible to go in reality? The SLIP-firmware may not be as fast as the original, and how fast the MSTE/TT/F030 SCC will go reliably is also a question. Hopefully someone with one of those (or a hacked ST serial port) can continue testing soon. I've ordered an ESP8266 off Aliexpress, but cheap as they are ($1.62 with freight), it'll also take a few weeks to arrive... lol

Anyway, excellent work czietz! You deserve the credit for this!
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Greenious » Thu May 11, 2017 10:32 pm

After looking around, knowing what to look for, this is all the rage in several retroscenes.

C64 owners got ready kits selling on ebay for $40.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Commodore-64-Te ... Sw5cNYKPef

Basically they telnet into various telnet based BBS's...

Which I must admit is really kinda cool, before internet I spent many years on BBS's... and I kinda miss them in a way.

Anyone know if any Atari telnet BBS's exist?
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby czietz » Fri May 12, 2017 6:15 am

It's one thing to use the ESP8266 for one protocol, such as Telnet or the HTTP downloader that I wrote for it about a year ago. Then the network on the ESP8266 handles all the IP packets. It's another thing though, to pass raw IP packets back and forth, as it is required if a network stack on a computer (such as STinG) should handle things. That's why I initially said in this thread it couldn't be done -- until Martin Ger.'s SLIP firmware proved me wrong.

There used to be Darkforce BBS http://www.darkforce.org/index2.html. I connected to it once with my ESP8266 for the retro BBS feeling. But it seems to be down now.

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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Zarchos » Fri May 12, 2017 7:40 am

Great job !
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby Cyprian » Fri May 12, 2017 9:12 am

Greenious wrote:After looking around, knowing what to look for, this is all the rage in several retroscenes.

C64 owners got ready kits selling on ebay for $40.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Commodore-64-Te ... Sw5cNYKPef
?


there is also ESP8266 WiFi for 8bit Atari:
http://www.atari.org.pl/forum/viewtopic ... 36#p227836
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Re: WIFI for all ataris over serial!

Postby DarkLord » Fri May 12, 2017 8:12 pm

czietz wrote:There used to be Darkforce BBS http://www.darkforce.org/index2.html. I connected to it once with my ESP8266 for the retro BBS feeling. But it seems to be down now.


We're still around. Note my sig - we had to change our port because of out of country probes. It's now 520 instead of the usual 23 for telnet.

HTHs! :)
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