So, the RC2014 is a great little computer. We all know that. However, to communicate with it, it is easiest to use the serial port and hook it up to a laptop or desktop PC. This makes detracts from the fact that it is small, portable and cheap as well as missing the point of running code on such a basic computer. So I’ve been looking for a solution to this.
Back when this was still running on a breadboard, I hooked up an Atmel ‘328 that was connected to a keyboard and 4 x 20 LCD display. It communicated with the RC2014 over the serial port and kind of worked ok, although 4 lines was very restrictive and the Atmel couldn’t really keep the screen running and listening at the same time. I have thought about using a ‘328 to drive a composite output, or maybe some kind of bigger LCD panel, but nothing really struck me as just right.
That is, until the kind people at Raspberry Pi released a cheap multifunction interface device a couple of weeks ago!
Just a quick update to about the SD Bootloader I designed a few posts ago. Well, the PCBs have arrived and last week I took a soldering iron to one of them and gave it a quick test
One side of the board is effectively an Arduino, so without plugging it in to the RC2014, I connected up an FTDI lead and uploaded the Arduino Blink sketch. A quick check with a multimeter and one of the pins was altenating between 5v and 0v. So far, all good! (more…)
So, the RC2014 is great. I can run Microsoft BASIC and program it from there, and as long as I am using a terminal emulator, I can copy & paste to save and load programs. Alternatively, I can write Z80 code using an online compiler then download it, copy it to USB stick, move it to my old Windows 2000 laptop (which has a parallel port) so I can burn it on to EPROM to see if it works, make adjustments and repeat with another EPROM.
I will be the first to admit, however, that this is probably not the most efficient workflow. Not to mention the time and effort involved in wiping the limited stock of aged EPROMS.
So, I am in the process of designing an SD Card based bootloader.