Recreation of the Organiser II

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amenjet
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:56 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by amenjet »

NickKostelidis wrote: Thu Dec 09, 2021 1:43 pm Hello again.
I read that you plan to install bluetooth communication on the Psion II organizer as well. I would like to urge you, that the psion can function both as a slave and as a master also, in terms of bluetooth communication. I would also like to be able to communicate with 7 data bits during bluetooth communication.
Finally, I would like to ask you if it is absolutely necessary to replace the original screen with another one in the new Psion II lz.
Best regards.
Nick Kostelidis.
Hello,

i have put a Wroom module on the power PCB and that does wifi and BT, so it's up to the code what happens. The communication with the module is good old fashioned AT commands. How it is configured is down to what it supports and the At commands used to configure it.

The recreation has been designed so that the processor PCB can run as a standalone organiser with no IO and the power PCB contains the datapack slots and the wireless module. This means that you can design different power PCBs and get different feature (obviously the code has to support this)
So you could have a power PCB that has:

* 2 SD card slots instead of datapack slots
* 1 Sd card slot and 1 datapack slot
* No top slot connector but USB or I2C or a GPIO port
* Any wireless module you wish

The only constraint is that it fit in the space available and not take huge amounts of power.

As to replacing the screen. The reason for that is that:
1) You can't get new screens as far as I'm aware
2) The interface for the new screen is I2C (24 pin connector) while the old screen is interfaced using all the segment connections. So you would need to drive all of the LCD segments directly with the LCD waveforms, which is a lot more hardware than an I2C bus.
3) It can be seen at night. If there was a way to get transparent keys or make the original keys transparent then you could backlight the keyboards.
4) The OLED display has slightly more dots than the original display
5) The OLED display is a graphics display so you could draw things if you could arrange some protocol to do that.

Cons though:
It take a lot more power. In fact the low power arrangement of the recreation is different to the original. The original relied on low power components run off the battery. The Pico I am using isn't a very low power device and so I am using the philosophy of storing things in non volatile storage (SD cards, peril EEPROMs) and powering down the device altogether. So it's a different way to hold data when the device is off. I'm also not very keen on batteries.

So, the short answer is that it is probably not practical to use the original display.

The recreation is intended as a sort of platform for creating a new version of the organiser, hence the customisable power PCB (the original processor PCB would not operate with no power PCB), and a very standard processor. The code I have at the moment runs emulated ROMs (XP or LZ, I need to test more), bbut there is no reason why the organiser code could not be re-implemented in C and run as native ARM code on the Pico. That would be 100 times faster. Or you could run a completely different system on it.

Regards

Andrew
NickKostelidis
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Location: Athens - Greece
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Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by NickKostelidis »

Thank you very much for your response and answers to my questions.
I continue to watch the development of the new organizer and I look forward to seeing the final result.
Best regards.
Nikos.
Lepowerfulpierre
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:29 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by Lepowerfulpierre »

Regarding the difference between the cases, the CM and XP screen size is smaller than the LZ/LZ64.
An interesting example was the transparent case that has an XP size screen but contains an LZ64 (sold to Jaap Scherphuis and now on his website). I am pretty certain that the other 2 transparent ones I had were LZ sized screens, but it was a long time ago.
One thing that bugs me is that the original dies for the cases probably still exist. If anyone ever comes across them I would pay kings ransom for them, because every Psion collector would like a transparent case, and probably every Psion II user!
NickKostelidis
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:23 am
Location: Athens - Greece
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Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by NickKostelidis »

Lepowerfulpierre wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:01 am Regarding the difference between the cases, the CM and XP screen size is smaller than the LZ/LZ64.
An interesting example was the transparent case that has an XP size screen but contains an LZ64 (sold to Jaap Scherphuis and now on his website). I am pretty certain that the other 2 transparent ones I had were LZ sized screens, but it was a long time ago.
One thing that bugs me is that the original dies for the cases probably still exist. If anyone ever comes across them I would pay kings ransom for them, because every Psion collector would like a transparent case, and probably every Psion II user!
I know that Peter.
That is why I wrote before that I have to start buying XP models.
But let's wait for the final result.
amenjet
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:56 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by amenjet »

Lepowerfulpierre wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:01 am Regarding the difference between the cases, the CM and XP screen size is smaller than the LZ/LZ64.
An interesting example was the transparent case that has an XP size screen but contains an LZ64 (sold to Jaap Scherphuis and now on his website). I am pretty certain that the other 2 transparent ones I had were LZ sized screens, but it was a long time ago.
One thing that bugs me is that the original dies for the cases probably still exist. If anyone ever comes across them I would pay kings ransom for them, because every Psion collector would like a transparent case, and probably every Psion II user!
If the cases were modelled in 3D you could then go to, for xample, Shapeways and get a pretty good 3D print done. They could do different colours and maybe transparent. I've seen stereolithography prototype cases in the 90s that were transparent-ish.
Andrew
Lepowerfulpierre
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:29 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by Lepowerfulpierre »

If anyone is wanting XPs or CMs, I have a quantity for sale, £10 & £7.50 respectively. Postage extra at cost. I will be selling the best condition ones first. If I get down to ones that are a bit worn I will reduce the price accordingly.
Lepowerfulpierre
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:29 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by Lepowerfulpierre »

Apologies to Andrew, 10 of them were functional, the extra free empty cases were of course empty (free) cases with some screws, carbon/rubber keypads etc.
Try a battery in them!
PaulK
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:22 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by PaulK »

Andrew,

Progress on the Org2 recreation is amazing! Looking really great!

A few questions.

* can the display be inverted so it's more like the original - so black text on "white" background?

* do you plan to make kits/complete machines available once it's finished? I'm sure you'd sell a fair few!

* Will your datapack gadget work in the machine?

Keep up the great work! It's all WAY above my head, but great that geniuses like you are able to figure it all out for the rest of us!

Thank you.
amenjet
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:56 am

Re: Recreation of the Organiser II

Post by amenjet »

PaulK wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 9:31 am Andrew,

Progress on the Org2 recreation is amazing! Looking really great!

A few questions.

* can the display be inverted so it's more like the original - so black text on "white" background?

* do you plan to make kits/complete machines available once it's finished? I'm sure you'd sell a fair few!

* Will your datapack gadget work in the machine?

Keep up the great work! It's all WAY above my head, but great that geniuses like you are able to figure it all out for the rest of us!

Thank you.
Hi, glad you like it, it's been an interesting project.

Answers to your questions:
1. Yes the display could be inverted, but that would lead to more pixels being on than off and each pixel contributes to the power consumption of the unit so the inverted configuration would draw more power. having said that, the unit itself doesn't run at anywhere near the low power of the original, as it has to run the processor at full speed to emulate the processor and so on. This means that the recreation will need a beefy power supply, so the extra taken by the display isn't really going ot make that much difference.

If a low power device was needed then you could re-write (I don't mean you here! I suppose I mean me) the organiser features in native code running on the Pico and then take advantage of the lower power operation of the processor, It could actually go to sleep now and again.

2. I could make kits or units available, I'm not sure it's quite at that point yet. I'm hesitant to use the word finished with a project like this, it's probably never going to be finished, there's always something that can be improved or added to. If there's demand then I'm sure something an be arranged.

3. The datapak gadget should work in the machine as it emulates a datapak and I can read EPROM datapacks. I haven't tried one yet though. It should be possible to write to these gadgets too as they don't require high voltages. I was hoping to get some sort of faster interface to the gadget datapack when the main unit recognises it is a gadget. I haven't worked out how to do that yet.

I'm still working on it, the next milestone is going to be V1.1 PCBs with all the problems fixed. Then more code... :-)

Regards

Andrew
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