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Re: Retro WiFi

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  • Andrew
    I did something similar with my SBC6120 PDP8 replica. In my case it was to connect to the SBC6120 over WIFI rather than have it call out to the world. It is
    Message 1 of 27 , May 20, 2013
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      I did something similar with my SBC6120 PDP8 replica.

      In my case it was to connect to the SBC6120 over WIFI rather than have it call out to the world.

      It is based on a TP-Link WR-703N "3G Travel Router". These things are very low cost on eBay and can be flashed to run OpenWRT. They have build in WIFI and a USB port allowing connection of a USB/Serial adaptor (or several if you had a hub).

      I need to get around to a write up but some pictures here are:

      The first picture is the carrier board for the SBC CF adaptor but also showing the 703N, the USB/TTL Serial adaptor (small vertical board) and a MAX232 to handle level conversion from the SBC6120. I could have taken TTL serial directly from the SBC6120 but didn't want to change it from the stock configuration. Could also have got a USB/Serial adaptor with level conversion but I used what was in the parts bin.

      http://www.quicktrip.co.nz/jaqblog/images/BLOG_SBC6120_WIFI_1.jpg

      And another perspective.

      http://www.quicktrip.co.nz/jaqblog/images/BLOG_SBC6120_WIFI_2.jpg

      Mounted on the SBC6120

      http://www.quicktrip.co.nz/jaqblog/images/BLOG_SBC6120_WIFI_3.jpg

      And with all the cables in place

      http://www.quicktrip.co.nz/jaqblog/images/BLOG_SBC6120_WIFI_4.jpg

      Nothing really fancy here.... just OpenWRT running SER2NET which makes the SBC available to WIFI clients using TELNET to a specific port. I run the 703N as an access point so I am not tied to the home network if I want to take the machine out to demo.

      The 703N's are cheap enough that I will look at doing this for some of the other machines.... the 11/04 being the first candidate when I get it running.

      Enjoy following the threads here. I am based in New Zealand but my company headquarters is in Fairfield NJ. Next time I visit I will try and make an effort to come and visit the InfoAge Science Center.

      Regards

      Andrew

      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > A few weeks ago, we were speculating on the possibility of using a
      > Raspberry Pi, a serial level shifter and a USB wireless dongle to get
      > vintage systems online. I'm happy to report that the proof of concept is
      > successful. I'm typing this on a stock TRS-80 Model 4P, running IMP 2.45
      > under Montezuma Micro CP/M. There are some problems to be worked out, as
      > I'm seeing some weird echo effects, despite the serial setting being
      > correct. I'll update the group as I continue testing. With this
      > configuration, it's also possible to connect via 100BaseT.
      >
    • Evan Koblentz
      ... Welcome to the group. Email me whenever you d like a museum tour.
      Message 2 of 27 , May 21, 2013
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        > Enjoy following the threads here. I am based in New Zealand but my company headquarters is in Fairfield NJ. Next time I visit I will try and make an effort to come and visit the InfoAge Science Center.
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > Andrew


        Welcome to the group. Email me whenever you'd like a museum tour.
      • s100doctor
        ... I can barely connect to MARCH Yahoo email traffic! ;) But this subject is of interest to me. NOtes to little purpose: 1)
        Message 3 of 27 , May 21, 2013
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          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > A few weeks ago, we were speculating on the possibility of using a
          > Raspberry Pi, a serial level shifter and a USB wireless dongle to get
          > vintage systems online. I'm happy to report that the proof of concept is
          > successful. I'm typing this on a stock TRS-80 Model 4P, running IMP 2.45
          > under Montezuma Micro CP/M. There are some problems to be worked out, as
          > I'm seeing some weird echo effects, despite the serial setting being
          > correct. I'll update the group as I continue testing. With this
          > configuration, it's also possible to connect via 100BaseT.
          >

          I can barely "connect" to MARCH Yahoo email traffic! ;) But this subject is of interest to me. NOtes to little purpose:

          1) http://www.classiccmp.org/cpmarchives/cpm/Software/WalnutCD/beehive/comms/
          seems to have IMP software. MIke posted previously another link at

          http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/cdrom/CPM/IMP/

          All code....no docs....situation normal.... Seems to be one of many flavors of communications programs in the 1970's CP/M and related worlds. Googling for "IMP" isn't terribly productive. I don't know if IMP supports any particular network protocols or stacks.

          2) I presume Mike Loewen will make up a Web page on his site, when he's stabilized his project. We can all look there for the details, hardware, code, when he presumably posts the link here. I find discussing technical details in a Yahoo group a kind of exercise in futility.

          These are hints of course, suggestions. Congrats to Mike.

          Herb Johnson
        • Mike Loewen
          ... Herb: IMP doesn t support any network procotols. I m simply using the vintage computer as a terminal to login to a shell on the Pi. From there, I can SSH
          Message 4 of 27 , May 22, 2013
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            On Wed, 22 May 2013, s100doctor wrote:

            > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
            >>
            >>
            >> A few weeks ago, we were speculating on the possibility of using a
            >> Raspberry Pi, a serial level shifter and a USB wireless dongle to get
            >> vintage systems online. I'm happy to report that the proof of concept is
            >> successful. I'm typing this on a stock TRS-80 Model 4P, running IMP 2.45
            >> under Montezuma Micro CP/M. There are some problems to be worked out, as
            >> I'm seeing some weird echo effects, despite the serial setting being
            >> correct. I'll update the group as I continue testing. With this
            >> configuration, it's also possible to connect via 100BaseT.
            >>
            >
            > I can barely "connect" to MARCH Yahoo email traffic! ;) But this subject is of interest to me. NOtes to little purpose:
            >
            > 1) http://www.classiccmp.org/cpmarchives/cpm/Software/WalnutCD/beehive/comms/
            > seems to have IMP software. MIke posted previously another link at
            >
            > http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/cdrom/CPM/IMP/
            >
            > All code....no docs....situation normal.... Seems to be one of many
            > flavors of communications programs in the 1970's CP/M and related
            > worlds. Googling for "IMP" isn't terribly productive. I don't know if
            > IMP supports any particular network protocols or stacks.

            Herb:

            IMP doesn't support any network procotols. I'm simply using the
            vintage computer as a terminal to login to a shell on the Pi. From there,
            I can SSH into other systems to do email, or use Lynx to do text-only web
            browsing. It's a bit of a cheat, since the Pi is enormously more powerful
            than the vintage computer, but I'm just looking for a quick, portable and
            flexible way to connect to the network.

            If you look in the IMP245.LBR library at the link I listed, you'll find
            the IMP distribution, including the docs.

            > 2) I presume Mike Loewen will make up a Web page on his site, when he's
            > stabilized his project. We can all look there for the details, hardware,
            > code, when he presumably posts the link here. I find discussing
            > technical details in a Yahoo group a kind of exercise in futility.

            Will do (eventually). :-)


            Mike Loewen mloewen@...
            Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
          • Dan Roganti
            ... Mike, From an earlier thread, I recall you mentioned something about a requirement to have a secure protocol to make a connection at your facility - I
            Message 5 of 27 , May 22, 2013
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              On 5/22/2013 7:27 AM, Mike Loewen wrote:
              > Herb:
              > IMP doesn't support any network procotols. I'm simply using the
              > vintage computer as a terminal to login to a shell on the Pi. From
              > there, I can SSH into other systems to do email, or use Lynx to do
              > text-only web browsing. It's a bit of a cheat, since the Pi is
              > enormously more powerful than the vintage computer, but I'm just
              > looking for a quick, portable and flexible way to connect to the
              > network. If you look in the IMP245.LBR library at the link I listed,
              > you'll find the IMP distribution, including the docs.

              Mike,

              From an earlier thread, I recall you mentioned something about a
              requirement to have a secure protocol to make a connection at your
              facility - I don't recall which ones you mentioned last time, but I
              remember it was in that thread. Because we noticed the ordinary ethernet
              converters which are sold for vintage computers at various places don't
              normally support these additional protocols.

              I think for typical users on vintage computers at home with a Lan, where
              we have the standard ethernet controllers such as the basic CS9800 or
              the latest from Wiznet, they do the job for many users. And they already
              have the various internet clients written for some of them, email, irc,
              telnet, www - with only ascii of course. And the network drivers are
              also running on their computer alone. It would be nice to have support
              for things such as ssh too.

              But I still wonder if you can add these secure protocols to the network
              drivers directly on our vintage computers. Would those secure protocols
              be very compute intensive to cause a lag in the response that you can't
              run on a Z80 ?

              As for the WiFi option, I use a simple Lan to WiFi converter from
              Trendnet for about $30. I'm diving into some network gaming for the C64,
              using the drivers they have already, I know I don't need these
              additional protocols. And I'm forecasting the work done here will be
              portable to whichever vintage platform - to take advantage of the
              multiplayer arena. Possibly even making it universal, so an Apple II can
              connect with an Atari 800, and so forth, to widen the support for
              multiplayer.

              BTW, did you see the S-100 hardware crypto board on eb@y about a month
              ago, the Data Star Encryptor ENC 100-1. I really wanted to get that.

              Dan
            • Mike Loewen
              ... Right, I had some very specific requirements for this, including the ability to do WPA2-Enterprise with TTLS and PAP connections (at work). I looked at a
              Message 6 of 27 , May 22, 2013
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                On Wed, 22 May 2013, Dan Roganti wrote:

                > On 5/22/2013 7:27 AM, Mike Loewen wrote:
                >> Herb:
                >> IMP doesn't support any network procotols. I'm simply using the
                >> vintage computer as a terminal to login to a shell on the Pi. From
                >> there, I can SSH into other systems to do email, or use Lynx to do
                >> text-only web browsing. It's a bit of a cheat, since the Pi is
                >> enormously more powerful than the vintage computer, but I'm just
                >> looking for a quick, portable and flexible way to connect to the
                >> network. If you look in the IMP245.LBR library at the link I listed,
                >> you'll find the IMP distribution, including the docs.
                >
                > Mike,
                >
                > From an earlier thread, I recall you mentioned something about a
                > requirement to have a secure protocol to make a connection at your
                > facility - I don't recall which ones you mentioned last time, but I
                > remember it was in that thread. Because we noticed the ordinary ethernet
                > converters which are sold for vintage computers at various places don't
                > normally support these additional protocols.

                Right, I had some very specific requirements for this, including the
                ability to do WPA2-Enterprise with TTLS and PAP connections (at work). I
                looked at a lot of serial<->ethernet convertors, but didn't find anything
                in the under $100 range that would do the job. For my breadboard solution
                (Pi, Edimax EW-7811Un, MAX3232), I don't have to write any drivers or
                clients.

                > I think for typical users on vintage computers at home with a Lan, where
                > we have the standard ethernet controllers such as the basic CS9800 or
                > the latest from Wiznet, they do the job for many users. And they already
                > have the various internet clients written for some of them, email, irc,
                > telnet, www - with only ascii of course. And the network drivers are
                > also running on their computer alone. It would be nice to have support
                > for things such as ssh too.
                >
                > But I still wonder if you can add these secure protocols to the network
                > drivers directly on our vintage computers. Would those secure protocols
                > be very compute intensive to cause a lag in the response that you can't
                > run on a Z80 ?

                I would be pleasantly surprised if you could get a usable protocol
                like SSH running on a Z80. For example, I installed a 3rd party product
                on my VAX 4000/300 which supports SSHv2. It took in excess of 1 MINUTE
                for the initial handshake, but was then not too painful for the subsequent
                communication.

                > As for the WiFi option, I use a simple Lan to WiFi converter from
                > Trendnet for about $30. I'm diving into some network gaming for the C64,
                > using the drivers they have already, I know I don't need these
                > additional protocols. And I'm forecasting the work done here will be
                > portable to whichever vintage platform - to take advantage of the
                > multiplayer arena. Possibly even making it universal, so an Apple II can
                > connect with an Atari 800, and so forth, to widen the support for
                > multiplayer.

                Which Trendnet adapter are you using?

                > BTW, did you see the S-100 hardware crypto board on eb@y about a month
                > ago, the Data Star Encryptor ENC 100-1. I really wanted to get that.

                I did not.


                Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
              • s100doctor
                ... Thanks for the explanation and reference to docs. Several years ago, before Linux embedded computers were available, and even before embedded processor
                Message 7 of 27 , May 22, 2013
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                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Herb:
                  >
                  > IMP doesn't support any network procotols. I'm simply using the
                  > vintage computer as a terminal to login to a shell on the Pi. From there,
                  > I can SSH into other systems to do email, or use Lynx to do text-only web
                  > browsing. It's a bit of a cheat, since the Pi is enormously more powerful
                  > than the vintage computer, but I'm just looking for a quick, portable and
                  > flexible way to connect to the network.

                  Thanks for the explanation and reference to docs. Several years ago, before Linux embedded computers were available, and even before embedded processor "ethernet boards" were available, there was all kinds of chatter and efforts to "run CP/M on the Internet". I gathered up the usual suspects and wrote a Web page about the efforts:

                  http://www.retrotechnology.com/dri/cpm_tcpip.html

                  ..the open question being, could a CP/M-class computer "handle" a
                  TCP/IP "stack"? The answer was "yes, it DID", as part of packet radio in the radio amateur community. Other micros like C64's were used. Later, packet radio "modems" were built with Z80-class technology; then 8035-class microcontrollers. You can still buy TNC's cheap at hamfests, I have a few lying around somewhere.

                  But around 2009 when I wrote the note, the "ethernet on a chip" products appeared and those were put to use. Now, it appears, one can just buy "Linux on a chip" and it does it all.

                  I'm a little sad that the vintage computer is mostly used as a terminal for "internet" access. But, it works both ways, so in principle one can use the $35 Linux bug as an Internet server and provide Web-to-console-port access to, well, whatever vintage computer has a serial port. I suppose with more effort, the Rasp Pi could more robustly operate a vintage computer, micro or mini. Then Bill Degnan's boast would become a reality: "email sent from my PDP-8".

                  Oh, that I'll live long enough....

                  Herb Johnson
                  not yet PDPetering out
                • Dan Roganti
                  On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM, Mike Loewen ... This one, there s several others too
                  Message 8 of 27 , May 23, 2013
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                    On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:

                        Which Trendnet adapter are you using?



                    This one, there's several others too
                     
                  • Bob Schwier
                    I did miss the original discussion.  Did you solve the issues and if so how? bs   You may have missed the original conversation about this project. I m
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 11, 2013
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                      I did miss the original discussion.  Did you solve the issues and if so how?
                      bs
                       


                      You may have missed the original conversation about this project. I'm
                      going for something which will allow me to connect vintage computers to
                      wireless or wired networks. It should be small and flexible. One of
                      these days I'm going to bring my Osborne Vixen to a staff meeting and use
                      it to logon to the wireless network and access email, take notes, and
                      browse the web (via lynx). I'm not going be lugging other monitors, TVs,
                      keyboards or USB hubs with me. I might even hide it inside the Vixen.
                      :-)

                      I don't want this to degenerate into a discussion about the Pi, itself.
                      I'm noting my progress here because others had expressed interest in the
                      concept.

                      On Mon, 20 May 2013, Vince Fleming wrote:

                      > I just plugged a monitor (well, actually my TV) into the HDMI port and watched it boot. You can use a USB keyboard and mouse, too.
                      >
                      > Of course, if you haven't got an HDMI monitor or TV... that might be a problem. :)
                      >
                      > ________________________________
                      > From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Mike Loewen [mloewen@...]
                      > Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:00 PM
                      > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Retro WiFi
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > I am trying to get vintage systems online, but I also want the ability
                      > to see the boot messages.
                      >
                      > On Mon, 20 May 2013, Vince Fleming wrote:
                      >
                      >> Ah - I thought you said you were trying to get a vintage system online. I guess I missed the part about monitoring the Pi over Serial...
                      >>
                      >> ________________________________
                      >> From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com> [midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>] on behalf of Mike Loewen [mloewen@...<mailto:mloewen%40cpumagic.scol.pa.us>]
                      >> Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:37 PM
                      >> To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>
                      >> Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Retro WiFi
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> For one thing, I want the ability to see boot messages from the serial
                      >> console port, which (as I recall) isn't an option when plugging a
                      >> USB<->serial cable into one of the Pi's USB ports. For another, the
                      >> serial port is already there on the Pi, it just requires a level shifter
                      >> to make it useful.
                      >>
                      >> On Mon, 20 May 2013, Vince Fleming wrote:
                      >>
                      >>> I'm not a hardware guy, per se, but wouldn't a USB->serial cable work just as well, if not better?
                      >>> ________________________________
                      >>> From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com> [midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>] on behalf of B. Degnan [billdeg@...<mailto:billdeg%40degnanco.com><mailto:billdeg%40degnanco.com>]
                      >>> Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 10:24 AM
                      >>> To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com<mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>
                      >>> Subject: re: [midatlanticretro] Retro WiFi
                      >>>
                      >>>>
                      >>>> A few weeks ago, we were speculating on the possibility of using a
                      >>>> Raspberry Pi, a serial level shifter and a USB wireless dongle to get
                      >>>> vintage systems online. I'm happy to report that the proof of concept is
                      >>>
                      >>>> successful.
                      >>> <snip>
                      >>>
                      >>> Serial Level Shifter
                      >>> http://www.bitbox.co.uk/product/rs232-serial-level-shifter/
                      >>
                      >> Mike Loewen mloewen@...<mailto:mloewen%40cpumagic.scol.pa.us><mailto:mloewen%40cpumagic.scol.pa.us>
                      >> Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      > Mike Loewen mloewen@...<mailto:mloewen%40cpumagic.scol.pa.us>
                      > Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                      Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/

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