HC110 expansion slots

  • Hey all,

    I've got an HC110 which won't recognise anything in the bottom expansion slot. I've only got TTL/LIF-PFS and printer modules to test, but they all only seem to work in the top slot. Both SSD slots are fine.

    The bottom is getting power - so it's not that. Is there anything else I can do to diagnose this?

    Also as an aside - the expansion module I have is a TTL & LIF-PFA (type B). Will the link program default to the LIF connector? Can I make it use the TTL connector instead?

    Thanks!

  • Good morning,

    aladds
    Is there anything else I can do to diagnose this?

    Have you looked inside the HC110 bottom compartment to make sure that none of the connector pins are bent ?

    aladds
    Can I make it use the TTL connector instead?

    As far as I remember, you won't be able to establish a [PsiWin] link between your PC and the HC TTL port Sad

    Regards,
    Jacques

  • psion_5f00_jgourmel

    Have you looked inside the HC110 bottom compartment to make sure that none of the connector pins are bent ?

    Yep, they're all good and straight. I also popped the back off and re-seated all the little daughterboards, took some contact cleaner to the expansion slot pins and checked all the various voltages are present on the two expansion connectors.

    psion_5f00_jgourmel

    As far as I remember, you won't be able to establish a [PsiWin] link between your PC and the HC TTL port Sad

    That's annoying. How does one normally address the TTL interface, anyway? All the docs. seem to refer to serial ports '1' and '2' referring to each slot. Or is the link program special, using the LIF-PFS port whenever it's present?

  • aladds
    How does one normally address the TTL interface, anyway?

    Here follows the HC RS232/TTL expansion module logical port names

                              +---------------------------+
                              | Expansion module location |
                              |---------+--------+--------|
                              |   Top   | Bottom | Cradle |
    +-------------------------+---------+--------+--------|
    | RS232 logical port name |  TTY:A  |  TTY:B |  TTY:C | [1]
    |-------------------------+---------+--------+--------|
    |   TTL
    logical port name |  TTY:D  |  TTY:E |  TTY:F | (non inverted)
    |                         |---------+--------+--------|
    |                         |  TTY:G  |  TTY:H |  TTY:I | (inverted)
    +-------------------------+---------+--------+--------+

     [1] To start the link program on one of these RS232 ports, use one of the below commands

    • LINK [-sTTY:<portname>] [-b<baudrate] or
    • LINK [-p<portnumber>] [-b<baudrate>]

      where -p can take one of the below values:

               +---------------------------+
               | Expansion module location |
               |---------+--------+--------|
               |   Top   | Bottom | Cradle |
               +---------+--------+--------|
               |   -p1   |  -p2   |  -p3   |
               +---------+--------+--------+

    For example, to open the link on the RS232 port of an expansion module connected to the bottom of the HC unit, you could use the below commands:

    LINK -sTTY:B -b9600

    or

    LINK -p2 -b9600

    aladds
    Or is the link program special, using the LIF-PFS port whenever it's present?

    LINK -p2 should automatically open the LIF-PFS port of the HC expansion module connected to the bottom of the HC unit.

  • Aha! I hadn't spotted the TTL ports had different TTY names; I'll give that a shot. Thanks!

    Am I right in thinking that the LIF-PFS is electrically the same as 3-Link? (Aside from the fact that 3-Link only implements the synchronous serial protocol and has none of the extra interrupts and such available.) 3-Link is supposedly based on an ASIC9, which, as I understand it, is a superset of the ASIC1, ASIC2, and some other stuff. Obviously the connector is different, though.

    That's not really a problem if I can get the TTL port to work, mind you. Although I'm still a little worried about the lack of detecting anything in the lower socket... I'll play with different TTY names and report back!

  • Well, I can't seem to establish a psiwin link with TTL, but it does at least appear to be working to some extent - I get 5v on pin 4 (which is powering my MAX232). I'm using PsiWin 2.3.3 (with the SIBO registry hack) on a PC with XP. I've tried built-in serial ports as well as a USB-serial adaptor (pl2303).

    I've tried letting it figure out the baud rate on its own, and explicitly telling it to be 9600 or 19200 and that doesn't seem to do anything at all. Interestingly, if I put it in 'inverted TTL' mode and inspect it with a terminal program, I get regularly spaced garbage, so something is being sent... I assume I'm not meant to be using inverted TTL mode, but I guess that depends on which way Psion deemed to be up!

    Does PsiWin have problems with timing? Would an older computer have more chance of establishing a connection?

  • For completeness, I dug out an old PC with Windows 2000 on it, tried again and had the same problem. Interestingly something is happening - although it fails in every case, when it's not plugged in it fails immediately, whereas when it is it thinks about it for a little while before failing to connect.

    I also tried PsiWin 1.1 (albeit on the XP box) which didn't work either.

    I found a (16 bit) ISA ASIC-2 card on eBay (sadly without cables) which should be able to interface with the PFS port if I can determine the pinout, but as I understand it that's certainly DOS only. Failing that, does anyone know if the SSD drive has any clever electronics inside it or if it directly connects the SSDs to the card? A hi-res photo of the insides of one would probably be enough to tell me if that's the case - there are few enough data lines that it's probably not too hard to work out the pinout purely by looking at where each line goes on the card. (Yes, I've tried Google image search - it's somewhat lacking, sadly!)

  • Worked out the problem!

    A single pin has snapped on the expansion module with the TTL port on it - I've tried to repair it but with no success. It's entirely possible that this being missing has wrecked other parts anyway.

    Does anyone have an expansion module they wish to sell me? I don't care what it has on it as long as I can connect to a PC with serial with it. (TTL, RS232 is great).

  • aladds
    Does anyone have an expansion module they wish to sell me?

    eBay might be a good start...
    E.g. PSION HC110 Handheld Computer with HCP 384 Printer

  • Alternatively, feel free to contact Mr. Christoph Pulster who resells Psion equipment

    E.g. you will be able to order a "HC RS232/Printer XMOD" (part nº  1502 0001 10) on this page
    http://www.pulster.eu/index.html?psion_workabout_mx_accessories.htm

  • Thanks; I'd actually found the eBay listing already - but I was hoping I could find the interface for a bit less than that! I've messaged the seller, so hopefully I can find an interface!

    The Pulster prices seem a little inflated, to be honest. Especially since I can get a whole unit for just over £20...

  • Thanks Jacques for pointing to my little Psion shop. I have the full range of HC modules on stock (also usable with Workabout docker), we can talk about prices. Just contact me: christoph@pulster.de

    The quoted ebay offer arrived to my door yesterday, all units have faulty screen (common problem with HC-range after so many years).

    Christoph