C64: Kung-fu Flash!
Last year, I was stuffing about with trying to make my Commodore 64 speak RS232, with not much success. Well, it was my birthday last month, and Sabriena and Duncan bought me a Kung Fu Flash cartridge pre-assembled, and it arrived today. I had to go buy an SD card for it, but this should let me start up Novaterm/CCGMS/Striketerm and play properly!
Well no, not really… from the looks of things it wasn’t the IEC emulator I was using that was the problem. Novaterm crashes on the KFF as well, except for older versions, which have the decency to work until they receive two or three characters and then freeze.
Striketerm starts great (though I’m quite sure it started normally anyway?) but I still had that issue where I was receiving garbage. So I wondered if, since I was not receiving anything through the loopback, maybe there was something wrong with my C64? After all, it’s been quite abused, so the user port having some dodgy stuff going on would be still quite lucky.
After tracing things around for some time, following the schematics, and testing continuity with my multimeter, I finally got around to testing something… if I pull the pin that connects to FLAG2, I get nothing (presumably because it’s not firing the interrupt to say “read a bit” or something, I dunno how the user port works on the C64). But, if I replace that pin and remove the other one (PB0), I get the same garbage back!
So I double-checked that the pin was actually reaching a good spot on the utterly hosed user port edge connector, and no it wasn’t. Connect that up, and what do you know? I can send and receive characters if I don’t use a null modem cable (which makes sense, the MAX232 adaptor I have, from the DB-9 perspective it is a modem).
Unfortunately on Striketerm and CCGMS, the upper and lower case are reversed and I’m not really sure why that is. An older version Novaterm works correctly, but again, freezes after some time. So I’m really not anywhere where I can use it as a VT100 terminal or anything. But it’s progress! I’m pretty confident if I end up getting the WME64 I was hoping to get one day that it’ll “probably” work, but we’ll see.
I wish they did reproduction boards of my specific revision, because the connectors on this board are absolutely rat shit. :(
I ended up just playing a bunch of games like Super Pipeline, Ghostbusters, and Hunchback instead!