Latest Page Update: 1st November 2020


Hello, welcome to my new website with the new hardware modules I've released for the RC2014 and other systems that share the RC2014 expansion bus.

With a long background in developing for the Z80 based SAM Coupe computer it was due to several suggestions that I started to bring my knowledge to developing for the RC2014, so thanks to David who asked if I could make an interface to allow RC2014 peripherals to connect to the SAM, and Shiela who asked if my SAM Coupe SID Soundchip Interface happened to work with the RC2014! Thanks to them I'm now enjoying developing for a new, but familiar, platform! If there's any peripheral you'd like to see for the RC2014 drop me a suggestion!

To keep up to date with new developments please follow me on Twitter.
Any questions or comments use this contact form on my main website.

Scroll down to see the released interfaces or use these quick links:

- SID Interface (June 2020)(8580 SID Adapter option added 01/11/20)
- Graphics OLED Interface (July 2020) (New video + Twitter links added 21/08/20)




SID INTERFACE

I first produced a SID soundchip interface back in 2003 for the Z80 based 'SAM Coupe' computer. This all stemmed from my own small pet projects exploring old forms of computer sound - with its unique sound, the SID soundchip remains very popular with computer audiophiles to this day. Adapting the interface to work with modern Z80 based systems, in this case the RC2014 and similar which share the RC2014 I/O bus was a logical step to follow.

This interface connects to a standard RC2014 slot and allows the Z80 to write to the registers of the SID chip. To assist timing I've also added an interrupt generator which can be set to generate approximately 50/60/100Hz interrupts (timed to match the frame rate of the Commodore 64). There are jumpers on the interface to allow the base I/O address to be configured, with the default set to 0x54.

The sound output is via a stereo 3.5mm socket on the side of the interface into which you would then connect an amplified speaker. With the SID output being mono the same signal is fed to both the left and right channels.

Please note that the interface is supplied without a SID soundchip - you'll have to fit your own SID chip. As there are two types of SID (6581 - from the original C64, and the 8580 from the redesigned new-look C64C) the interface has to be built up specifically for the chip that is going to be fitted due to different supply voltages and filter capacitors. When purchasing below please select the type of chip you would like the interface configured for.

(01/11/20 Update!) I've now released an adapter to allow a 8580 SID to be connected to hardware designed for the 6581 so I can provide a solution to allow you to use either SID type with this interface. I've added an option in the Buy Now drop down menu for the SID Interface configured for the 6581 plus the 8580 Adapter module bundled in with it. (Also available separately here: 8580.samcoupe.com)

The interface also supports modern SID replacements, I've used the SwinSID, SwinSID Ultimate and the ARMSID myself. These operate independantly of the power circuitry and filter capacitors and the likes of the SwinSID Ultimate and ARMSID can be configured by software as to what chip type they are emulating, as well as advanced filter settings in the case of the ARMSID.

Currently, there's no specific software for the RC2014 to drive the interface, so please don't purchase the interface and think you'll be playing SID music within seconds! Programming information with regards to how to write to the SID's registers and enabling the interrupt controller is covered in the guide with the interface along with some Z80 routines. There is Z80 code on github (as originally written for the Z80 based SAM Coupe) for emulating the C64's 6510 CPU to play .sid files, someone could rise to the challenge of porting that to the RC2014!

As software appears for the interface I'll link it, or have it downloadable, from the resources section below, along with links to anything else that's interesting.




PURCHASE

The SID Interface for the RC2014 costs £49.99, plus insured/tracked shipping. Supplied built, you just need to plug in your SID chip.

Please select from the drop down menu the shipping area (UK, EU countries, or Rest of World) and click 'Buy Now' for checkout through PayPal (either using your PayPal account or as a guest for payment by credit/debit cards.)

Please also select in the drop down options if you wish the interface to be configured for the 6581 or 8580 SID chip, or if you wish the 6581 version with the 8580 SID Adapter included to allow the interface to use both types.

Configuration + Extras + Shipping



IMAGES / VIDEO

One of the first tests of the SID Interface. I've got it plugged into a SAM Coupe via a RC2014 Bus Interface and using SID playback software on the SAM to drive it.



This demonstation shows my SID Soundchip Interface which is configured for the 6581 SID type using my new 8580 SID Soundchip Adapter to allow the use of the 8580 variant. This interface is then connected to a SAM Coupe computer via my RC2014 Bus Interface and using SID playback software on the SAM. The audio goes through my prototype audio OLED display and then into an X-mini speaker.



SID Interface configured for the 6581 using the new 8580 SID Adapter plug in module.


COMMUNITY

- Early work on a RC SID Driver by @shieladixon on Twitter. (12th July 2020)
- Updated RC SID Driver by @shieladixon on Twitter. (27th July 2020)




RESOURCES / DOWNLOADS

No downloads currently available.






GRAPHIC OLED INTERFACE

My second interface for the RC2014 is a graphic OLED display. Utilising a 128x32 pixel monochrome (green) OLED display it provides a quick and simple way to add a screen to your setup, easily controllable as an I/O device with jumpers to set the base I/O port.

I decided to go the OLED route rather than LCD as there are some nice very benefits. There's no backlight or contrast issues. More importantly, instant transition of pixels from off to on and vice versa, rather than the often very slow (and too blurry for animation) response time you generally find with small LCD modules.

A graphic module also gives far more scope in terms of possiblities and uses than an alphanumeric display. A simple text display using it can be easily achieved with a little bit of coding. I'm finishing off some routines for this, see the media section below for an image with my current text display code.

The user guide I've written explains how to initialise and write to the display, with Z80 source code examples. As just mentioned, I'm working on routines for easy text printing which I'll add to the download section below when ready.




PURCHASE

Supplied built ready to go, the Graphic OLED Interface for the RC2014 costs £49.99, plus insured/tracked shipping. Please select from the drop down menu the shipping area (UK, EU countries, or Rest of World) and click 'Buy Now' for checkout through PayPal (either using your PayPal account or as a guest for payment by credit/debit cards.)

Shipping


IMAGES / VIDEO

Demonstration of the Graphic OLED Interface displaying 158 frames of animation. Created in an hour and a half with an online logo maker, virtualdub, custom ditherers, exporting 158 BMP files, BASIC on the SAM Coupe to read in BMP and convert to pixel layout of OLED, combine to one data file, wrote ASM to blit the images to the interface with BASIC to control!


Test assembly code for displaying text. Using a 6x8 pixel font gives 4 rows of 21 characters on the display, with the font (for ASCII characters 0x20 to 0x7F) taking up 576 bytes.



Exploring animation for possible game ideas to use the Graphic OLED.



COMMUNITY

- Behinds the scenes of creating the test animation in the media section above (17th July 2020)
- Conway's Game of Life (@shieladixon on Twitter) (17th August 2020)
- Bitmap characters being displayed (@shieladixon on Twitter) (17th August 2020)
- Sine wave scroller (@shieladixon on Twitter) (18th August 2020)



RESOURCES / DOWNLOADS

No downloads currently available.