MSX WiFi via RS232?

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Por Pencioner

Scribe (1093)

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26-07-2018, 00:31

It says MSX on this link - RS232 WiFi - but would it work and be actually useful? Does anybody know more about that?

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Por mxmy

Resident (39)

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26-07-2018, 08:08

I have one of those but I haven't used it yet as I need to get a terminal program up and running. The customer support at Simulant so far has been awesome. Hoping to do some BBS surfing once It's up and running Smile

Por dmr

Resident (37)

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28-09-2018, 23:22

An alternative, and probably cheaper, is to make a very simple wifi adapter for MSX by modifying an MT-Telcom modem... based on the description in:

https://docplayer.nl/28176578-Goedkope-rs232-msx-computer-ma...

However, instead of the 1488/1489 I connected an ESP-01 directly to the 8251. The ESP-01 is loaded with the NodeMCU firmware and a simple HTTP-server and Telnet-server. And it works, for now only with a terminal program (the one built into the MT-Telcom), but it should not be too dificult to do other stuff with it.

I am also working on a homebrew wifi adapter, using an Arduino, an ESP and a 74HC688, but that is a project I've been doing for years... and it does not go fast :-(

Por dmr

Resident (37)

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06-10-2018, 14:01

This is a picture of the MT-Telcom II modem with wifi-add-on:

... a fairly simple add-on. For now works only with a terminal program (for MT-Telcom this is inside the built-in ROM); Wifi can be accessed using standard NodeMCU commands. An example:

Por sd_snatcher

Prophet (3257)

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06-10-2018, 15:48

Does this WiFi module have hardware flow control? Otherwise the MSX probably will loose data under heavy load.

Por Pencioner

Scribe (1093)

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06-10-2018, 22:10

@dmr how did you get the Lua console on MSX? Shocked! is it built into the wifi addon?

Por dmr

Resident (37)

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06-10-2018, 23:14

The ESP is flashed with NodeMCU-firmware(*). The MSX talks to the ESP ( - Lua console) via serial; rx/tx only, so no flow-control For now I have set this to 2400 bps in the ESP, just for testing. The MT-Telcom should be able to handle higher speeds.

@sd_snatcher: the Wifi adapter (ESP-01/ESP8266) does all the networking stuff, it is -despite its size- a fairly sophisticated SoC; it even has an embedded filesystem where you can store programs (Lua) and other files. If you put a telnet server program on it, you can access it directly from PC's/Macs/etc; so you can put files via wifi on this "MSX wifi adapter".

This mini-project is a spin-off of a robot project I did, using the same ESP adapter. I have a description of it on a website: software, instructions, "manual" , etc.(**) And I thought: if an Arduino based robot can do wifi, then so can an MSX ;-). For now, it is not at all robust, but it seems feasible to make it a usable interface with some effort (maybe using a highspeed PiC for serial communication, such as the 18F4520).

(*) More info on NodeMCU: https://nodemcu.readthedocs.io/en/master/
(**) Leaphy Robot (in Dutch): http://bliekiepedia.nl/yarh/DroMoRobo/Artikelen/2018/2/28_We...

Por zett

Hero (606)

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07-10-2018, 09:06

oww nice.

Por dmr

Resident (37)

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21-02-2020, 13:01

... finally a found some time to experiment with this approach. I have now a Proof of Concept, doing IP on an MSX via a modified serial modem (an NMS1250 this time), using Erik Maas' Fossil Driver in MSX-DOS:

All the heavy wifi stuff is done in the ESP with a simple LUA script:

uart.setup(0,2400,8,0,1,0,1)

uart.on("data", "\r",
  function(data)
    if data=="hello\r" 
    then uart.write(0, "Hello, world")
    elseif data=="getip\r"
      then
        ip, nm = wifi.sta.getip()
          uart.write(0, ip)
    elseif data=="getnetmask\r"
      then
        ip, nm = wifi.sta.getip()
          uart.write(0, nm)
    else
      uart.write(0, "Huh!?")
    end
  uart.write(0,"\n\r")
end, 0)

And on the MSX a simple Pascal testprogram (a modified TERM.PAS that is delivered together with the Fossil.INC):

BEGIN
  IF TestDriver=TRUE THEN
  BEGIN
    Set_Speed (4,4); {2400 bps}
    InitRS232;
    SendString('getip');
    SendByte(13);

    REPEAT
      data:=RecByte;
      Write(char(data))
    UNTIL (data = 13);
    DeInitRS232;
  END
  ELSE WriteLn ('*** Wifi adapter not found!',char(7));
END.

... still very beta, but it works. This setup makes it possible to do filetransfers/webpage (HTTP), DNS lookups, etc. (No PING though :-O ).

Por ducasp

Champion (271)

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21-02-2020, 15:04

sd_snatcher wrote:

Does this WiFi module have hardware flow control? Otherwise the MSX probably will loose data under heavy load.

ESP-01 doesn't have flow control. The best way I've found out to make it work properly with a MSX was to have a custom firmware made for it using Arduino IDE with ESP8266 support. In case of SM-X I've implemented full UNAPI support in the ESP8266 firmware and the UNAPI driver is a simple tunnel sending the UNAPI commands and parameters and receiving back what it need to respond. The TCP-IP stack on Arduino IDE ESP8266 library is pretty good and handles the data not read scenario correctly, closing the tcp window, and also have bear ssl support, so it is possible to have a single ssl connection Cool

Por dmr

Resident (37)

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21-02-2020, 15:51

ducasp wrote:

[..] The best way I've found out to make it work properly with a MSX was to have a custom firmware made for it using Arduino IDE with ESP8266 support.

Yes, Arduino firmware can do the trick. However, I use NodeMCU firmware. This allows me to update new versions of the lua-code to the esp via wifi and NodeMCU allows easy event-driven programming. I have now a simple HTTP-server, a telnet server and a UDP "server" running simultaneously on the ESP (each in different Lua-scripts, optionally triggered during startup) as well as a serial-server to communicate with the MSX.

The HTTP server is used to configure wifi remotely via "http name_of_esp/config.html", and store the config on the flash of the ESP. The telnet server is used to transfer Lua-code to the ESP (and this can also be used to upload new wifi.cfg, which is a simple textfile).

Apart from the getip.com and getmask.com I have yet to add more commands to make it more useful (but that is just a matter of time Hannibal )

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