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'[PIC]: PIC in a PC'
2001\11\08@155748 by Jinx

face picon face
I'm trying to tidy up a couple of projects, and one thing that would
help enormously is to get the circuitry inside the PC. Does anyone
have links to or practical examples of how to get a board working
in an EISA or PCI slot ? I've got a couple of 486's that are spare
for this, more than likely I'd want to do it in DOS (under BASIC ?),
although if it's easy (ha !!) to do with Win I can go that way. I've read
up on the hardware and have some experience making plug-in boards
on smaller machines (eg Commodore 64), but don't have a clue as
yet about the PC s/w to do it. For example, how do you get the PC to
recognise the board, assign an IRQ to it etc etc

TIA

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2001\11\08@163658 by Josh Koffman

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face
Hi Jinx. I think http://www.epanorama.net has a section about doing stuff like
this. And IIRC Gord McComb's Robotics Handbook (I think that's what it's
called...subtitled something like 99 inexpensive projects) had something
about interfacing with a PC. The original version (that I have
somewhere) only deals with older PCs, but there is a new edition out
that may have more info.

Hope that helps,

Josh

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Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\08@172240 by Jinx

face picon face
> Hi Jinx. I think http://www.epanorama.net has a section

Cheers !! I'd seen that page yonks ago and forgot to bookmark it.
Bound to be heaps more, the trick is finding just the one you want

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2001\11\08@172257 by Andy N1YEW

picon face
www.qsl.net/n1yew/

andy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jinx" <spam_OUTjoecolquittTakeThisOuTspamCLEAR.NET.NZ>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 3:54 PM
Subject: [PIC]: PIC in a PC


{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\08@181717 by David Venz

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face
Having worked on a few ISA interfaces, I am assuming PCI would be the same
in the following respect:  Use buffers/line-drivers wherever you can, to
protect your poor PCI bus!  At least while you're prototyping, and probably
good to keep them if you don't have high speed requirements.  Some sort of
current limit on your power inputs - not sure if the PCI bus protects
agains over-loading...

Starting with a dedicated PCI controller IC might be a boon in the end,
too.  Have a look in the Piclist EE archives - I think this has been
discussed before.

Cheers,
-Dave.




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> Hi Jinx. I think http://www.epanorama.net has a section

Cheers !! I'd seen that page yonks ago and forgot to bookmark it.
Bound to be heaps more, the trick is finding just the one you want

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2001\11\08@182952 by Jeff DeMaagd

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face
What bandwidth do you need?

A lot of PCs seem to have a System Management Bus which as far as I've seen,
is pretty much an I2C bus.  My motherboard has header connectors to
interface with it.  I know Linux has drivers for it, not sure about Windows.
I think it is worth an investigation.

Jeff

{Original Message removed}

2001\11\08@184030 by Jinx

face picon face
> What bandwidth do you need?

Nothing special. Obviously with a potential 33MHz or 66MHz (~100Mbps)
available on a PCI slot the data to and from the PIC will need to be managed
somehow. Still reading up on PCI specs/protocols/requirements. I imagine
the EISA/ISA would be more friendly, being an older system with more
user board specs available

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2001\11\08@184244 by Jinx

face picon face
> Having worked on a few ISA interfaces, I am assuming PCI would be
> the same in the following respect:  Use buffers/line-drivers wherever you
> can, to protect your poor PCI bus!  At least while you're prototyping,

Too true - I'd rather stuff a PIC than a motherboard

> Starting with a dedicated PCI controller IC might be a boon in the end,

I've seen references to MAX i/f chips, yet to look them up and see
if they're necessary

> too.  Have a look in the Piclist EE archives - I think this has been
> discussed before.

I thought so too, couldn't put my finger on a title

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2001\11\08@195322 by steve

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face
> Having worked on a few ISA interfaces, I am assuming PCI would be the
> same in the following respect:  Use buffers/line-drivers wherever you
> can, to protect your poor PCI bus!
> Starting with a dedicated PCI controller IC might be a boon in the
> end, too.

More than a boon - pretty much essential.
PCI is orders of magnitude more complex than ISA. Just at the
hardware level the interface uses the reflection on the bus to get a
valid logic level and the plug-in board is only allowed one inch (IIRC)
between the connector and the bus receiver/driver.
Bridge chips will package most of the interface up for you and your
circuit will live in its own little (logical) world. It's do-able but way
out of the realms of a few logic chips on a home etched PCB.

Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: .....stevebKILLspamspam.....tla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================

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2001\11\08@200334 by John Ferrell

flavicon
face
Old fashioned DOS:

IRQ's are hardwired in ISA.  An active interrupt results in an instruction
address (vector)being loaded that corresponds to a given interrupt. Some of
the interrupts share a common vector.

DOS does not recognize boards: You tell it what you want it to know.

I don't remember Basic supporting interrupts. The Macro assembler (MASM) has
been placed in the public domain by MicroSoft! There is a Newsgroup.
Difficulty of MASM is on par with PIC code. You can go a long way with a
limited vocabulary.

DOS byte mode (non-file) drivers are pretty simple to write.
Expect to reboot a lot while programing in assembler.
Get familiar with bat files, they will make your life simple.

If you shop around you can find game control adapters & serial ports pretty
cheap at swap meets. modify them to suit your needs.

FWIW: I am going the other way. I hope to interface things to the popular
ports with PIC's to make upward migration less of a hassel. I have acquired
a couple of DOS laptops to interface PIC projects.


John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



{Original Message removed}

2001\11\08@200945 by David Venz

flavicon
face
Yeah, I remember now.  That's why I steered clear of it.  I was considering
creating an H/W MP3 decoder board & device driver that would use DMA to
take the load off older systems, but took one look at the PCI spec and ran
screaming...   It was enough fun for me and a mate getting the (fairly
common) MAS3507D MP3 decoder IC working under the control of two PICs,
hanging off a parallel port.  Especially since the revision of the IC I had
didn't support parallel data loading, but wanted it clocked in serially at
1MHz!

Cheers,
-Dave.



PCI is orders of magnitude more complex than ISA. Just at the
hardware level the interface uses the reflection on the bus to get a
valid logic level and the plug-in board is only allowed one inch (IIRC)
between the connector and the bus receiver/driver.
Bridge chips will package most of the interface up for you and your
circuit will live in its own little (logical) world. It's do-able but way
out of the realms of a few logic chips on a home etched PCB.

Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: EraseMEstevebspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================

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2001\11\08@203448 by Dale Botkin

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face
Interfacing to the ISA bus is dead simple...  in fact, you can buy
prototyping boards (from JDR? Jameco? One of the two...) with the
interface circuitry already etched and ready for the $.50 worth of parts
it will take.  Buffer the data bus, decode the address bus to select a
memory or I/O address range, you're pretty much done.  It's *very* close
to an 8086 processor bus, buffered and latched.  I've done it on a couple
of products, one of which was even a little bit of a commercial success,
at least by my standards of the time -- I think the Air Force may still be
using them.  The ISA interface was a single Lattice GAL16V8, I seem to
remember, plus a 4-position DIP switch for address selection and an LS24x
something or other buffer.  No need to use an IRQ or DMA unless you need
'em, which is unlikely in most cases.  Figure a few bucks and a couple of
hours to do the whole thing.

EISA - forget it, it's dead.  VESA - use the ISA portion of the slot.
Microchannel - again, forget it, it's dead, but if you must you could
maybe do it for a couple hundred bucks and a few thousand hours of work.
PCI - well, I would guess you best bet would be to use a PCI interface
ASIC.  That, or use the ISA slot still present in most systems, or go USB
if you're worried about volume sales to new systems purchasers.  In any
case, figure a ***lot*** of time and some substantial money getting it
figured out, I think.  It's great for volume production, lousy for
one-offs.

Someone mentioned the SM bus - I have not looked for any docs on this, but
I would be downright astonished if all system board vendors were using the
same hardware and interface methods.  If they are, though, it would be
cool -- though not one of my system boards has a header to connect to that
bus.

Overall, barring strong reasons to the contrary, I'd go with an 8-bit ISA
board.  Not glamorous, but effective.

Dale
--
Hallo, this is Linus Torvalds and I pronounce Linux as Leennuks.
Hallo, this is Bill Gates and I pronounce 'crap' as 'Windows'.

On Fri, 9 Nov 2001, Jinx wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\11\08@203658 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Starting with a dedicated PCI controller IC might be a boon in the
> > end, too.
>
> More than a boon - pretty much essential.
> PCI is orders of magnitude more complex than ISA. Just at the
> hardware level the interface uses the reflection on the bus to get a
> valid logic level and the plug-in board is only allowed one inch (IIRC)
> between the connector and the bus receiver/driver.

That's the sort of info I've been picking up. If the product I'm thinking
of is to stay current then I'll have to learn the ins and outs of PCI as
new motherboards don't have ISA. Early AT's are going to be around
for a long while on the 2nd-hand market so no big rush. Once I get
one circuit working then I'll always have PICs in PCs in the back of
my mind for any future projects

> Bridge chips will package most of the interface up for you and your
> circuit will live in its own little (logical) world. It's do-able but way
> out of the realms of a few logic chips on a home etched PCB.

Ooooh, we'll see about that ;-)) Maybe a good excuse to get my head
up off the PIC bench and try ruining some other hardware for a change

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2001\11\08@203900 by Jinx

face picon face
> FWIW: I am going the other way. I hope to interface things to the
> popular ports with PIC's to make upward migration less of a hassel.
> I have acquired a couple of DOS laptops to interface PIC projects

Where would we be without being able to hang a PIC off LPT1: or COM

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2001\11\08@204748 by Jinx

face picon face
> Overall, barring strong reasons to the contrary, I'd go with an 8-bit
> ISA board.  Not glamorous, but effective.
>
> Dale

ISA definitely seems to be the hobbyist's choice, PCI looks to be
more used on the commercial side. As any of us that have tried out
h/w projects like robotics know that speed isn't all that important.
Convenience in this case is more desirable (and it gets rid of a
pile of cables too)

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2001\11\08@205635 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Fri, 9 Nov 2001, Jinx wrote:

> > Overall, barring strong reasons to the contrary, I'd go with an 8-bit
> > ISA board.  Not glamorous, but effective.
> >
> > Dale
>
> ISA definitely seems to be the hobbyist's choice, PCI looks to be
> more used on the commercial side. As any of us that have tried out
> h/w projects like robotics know that speed isn't all that important.
> Convenience in this case is more desirable (and it gets rid of a
> pile of cables too)

Very true.  If I were starting a commercial product now, I'd pretty much
have to make it PCI unless the target market were very specialized and
using known or old hardware.  PCI looks like a real bear -- I'm really
glad I haven't had a killer PC card idea for quite a while now.

What I'm truly concerned about, though, is the impending loss of all
things serial and parallel other than USB.  This looks like a problem.  I
have yet to see s USB solution that's as simple as a MAX232 and an async
serial I/O driver, and doubt I will very soon.  On the other hand, USB
kind of eliminates the need for a power supply in most PIC_scale
products...  so maybe it's not ALL bad.

Dale

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2001\11\08@210844 by Randy Glenn

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face
Don't forget about IEEE1394... anyone have any idea how someone might go
about designing a device around THAT beast?

All of these new technologies that leave hobbyists out - BGA packages,
multi-layered PCBs, PCI bus, IEEE1394, protection against encryption reverse
engineering, etc. - give me a sense of a bad future in the field of high
tech. Where do the innovators come from if they didn't grow up able to
tinker to their hearts' content with current technology?

-Randy Glenn

Measure twice, cut once, curse, discard.
Repeat.=================================================
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          http://picxpert.dyndns.org
   Not that the site works yet, of course...
=================================================

{Original Message removed}

2001\11\08@211522 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
If this is for personal use and you have old machines around with ISA slots
it isn't too difficult.

Otherwise, you'd have to figure on using PCI and is Complicated with capital
"C".

In the ISA case the system typically doesn't assign the interrupts and
ports: you do.

An ISA bus is pretty easy to decode and buffer with just a few chips.
Several companies sell (sold?) prototyping boards with prewired decodes and
buffers, allowing you to use the rest of the board for your custom
circuitry.

Access to your hardware from DOS is trivial.

From Win31 a little trickier.

From Win95/98/Me still trickier

From WinNT/2000/XP the trickiest.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems



{Original Message removed}

2001\11\08@214627 by steve

flavicon
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> > It's do-able
> > but way out of the realms of a few logic chips on a home etched PCB.
>
> Ooooh, we'll see about that ;-)) Maybe a good excuse to get my head up
> off the PIC bench and try ruining some other hardware for a change

ROFL. It took you 5 weeks to get your modem going, didn't it ? :-)

I've changed my mind. It might be do-able with less than a few logic
chips and a home etched PCB. Maybe even veroboard.
Pedal on down to Dick Smith and get a PCI serial card. Cut the
tracks somewhere there are TTL level signals and bolt it onto a PIC
with a bootloader installed. You have my address for the royalties.

Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: KILLspamstevebKILLspamspamtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================

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2001\11\08@223131 by Steve Campbell

flavicon
face
I had similar project in the past. Take a look at this link
http://www.scidyne.com/hpb7585.htm
They have a PIC on a board that plugs into an ISA bus and have the Windows
drivers to make it work.
It uses the PIC as sort of an I/O processor.  It uses the PIC's bus
interface ports (RD and RE) and comes with source code that makes the PIC
part easy to do.
They have been very supportive when we used this product a year or so ago.

I agree that PCI is a lot trickier but there are several chip makers that
have PCI interface chips that make this easier.  The software task is still
fairly complicated.
You might also consider USB if your boards have that built on.  Some new
PIC's make this easy

{Original Message removed}

2001\11\08@233623 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Ooooh, we'll see about that ;-)) Maybe a good excuse to get my head up
> > off the PIC bench and try ruining some other hardware for a change
>
> ROFL. It took you 5 weeks to get your modem going, didn't it ? :-)

Oh, you shut up you ;-)) Now, that was a dead modem so I reckon I get
points for trying. That P75 m/b was wonky so it got swapped for a P100
Eventually got a 33k going on that, little difference to a 56k on this line

> I've changed my mind. It might be do-able with less than a few logic
> chips and a home etched PCB. Maybe even veroboard.
> Pedal on down to Dick Smith and get a PCI serial card. Cut the
> tracks somewhere there are TTL level signals and bolt it onto a PIC
> with a bootloader installed. You have my address for the royalties

Your confidence in me is inspiring. Misplaced but inspiring. Guess
I'll have to give it a crack now. Although I've tried neither PCI nor ISA
before, PCI and a PIC looks like something that will make for a "fun"
week. And there's always ISA to fall back on if the going gets tough.
Hell, maybe I'll do both

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2001\11\08@233636 by Jinx

face picon face
> I had similar project in the past. Take a look at this link
> http://www.scidyne.com/hpb7585.htm
> They have a PIC on a board that plugs into an ISA bus

Cool. Nice to know it can be done. The card basically does what
I want to do - relieve the host PC from hardware tasks. Which in the
product I want it for it really wouldn't have time to do properly anyway

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2001\11\08@235755 by Jinx

face picon face
> If this is for personal use and you have old machines around with ISA
> slots it isn't too difficult.
>
> Otherwise, you'd have to figure on using PCI and is Complicated with
> capital "C".

I'm nuts with a capital "N", I'll have a go

One project in mind is at the prototype stage and it's enough to demonstrate
a single PIC being instructed by "a" computer of some description. However,
this could well turn into a production run. There will be up to 256 PICs in
an
RS485 system, and the choice is to have them in a separate box and drive
them with COM or LPT or install them inside the puter. If inside, ISA may be
too slow to communicate with that many PICs without delays. But that's "may"

> In the ISA case the system typically doesn't assign the interrupts and
> ports: you do.

Yes, I've been looking over some scrap boards and ISA specs, could be
the one to practice with. Although even getting that to work is no mean
accomplishment in itself

> >From WinNT/2000/XP the trickiest.

If MS is leaving DOS behind, then compatibility with the majority of future
PCs would suggest not designing it using 9x

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2001\11\09@050810 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>PCI - well, I would guess you best bet would be to use a PCI interface
>ASIC.  That, or use the ISA slot still present in most systems, or go USB

There are prototyping boards with a PCI interface ASIC that looks like an
ISA bus on the prototyping side of the card. Gets you away from doing the
PCI hardware and just leaves the driver to be written. Elektor magazine
described one of these cards in the last year as a construction project.

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2001\11\09@050823 by Bond, Peter

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> Cool. Nice to know it can be done.

ISTR that Myke Predko's book has an example of ISA interfacing with PICs.

Peter
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2001\11\09@213949 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Jinx, as others mentioned, stick with ISA for your application. I was
looking for an alternative to the parallel port for in-house testing.
ISA cards are trivial to design but the slots have all but disappeared
in newer systems. I was going to do a PCI board using the Lattice Semi
CPLD reference design but it's a `timing and testing nightmare'... Since
this is just a one-off project I decided to look at USB in the long term.
In particular, I've been looking at Cypress' EZ series and another
product that included the above on a small PC board. They provide the PC
drivers.

  - Tom

At 14:41 09-11-01 +1300, Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

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2001\11\10@011843 by Jinx

face picon face
>  as others mentioned, stick with ISA for your application. I was

Pretty much what I've decided to do for the time being. I can always
swot up on PCI as I go. It would be nice to use a more up-to-date
slot like PCI and beyond, but I think I'll just prove the principle first

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