Post Reply 
NP-41 Emulator (may be)
12-05-2017, 01:37 PM
Post: #281
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Thanks, now waiting for this nice little package !
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 01:57 PM
Post: #282
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Looking forward to checking it out, thanks Chris.

Is there any means to get a program in or out, other than keying?

--Bob Prosperi
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 07:52 PM (This post was last modified: 12-15-2017 02:24 PM by Chris Chung.)
Post: #283
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
mwthomasjr, Massimo Gnerucci, Guenter Schink, Den Belillo, Didier Lacieze, Sylvain Cote, Mark Hardman, rprosperi, Raffzahn, Egan Ford

payment received for the above, will try and ship out 4 units later today.

(12-05-2017 01:57 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Looking forward to checking it out, thanks Chris.

Is there any means to get a program in or out, other than keying?

You will need to get a usb-serial cable, 4 female-female jumper wires, and a 4 pin 0.1" pin header. And you need a terminal program that can do binary transfer. I use RealTerm under windows successfully, also tried TeraTerm recently, also works greate.

I had added a photo showing the hookup and the usb-serial device.

The following is the instructions included in your box. Please see the "serial menu" section.

Code:
    Chris Chung 2016-2017
    based on work from Eric Smith

    Operation:

    upon new battery, displays shows "NP41__=????" where ???? is the battery volatage
        pressing any key will show the internal key code, this is meant to check the soldering
        pressing "ON" then "<-" will start calculator and resets calculator memory
        pressing "ON" then "ON" will start calculator w/o resets calculator memory
            * if you lost the last value display pressing "ALPHA" a few times will force it out
        calculator will auto-shutoff in about 2 minutes of inactivity

    upon wake up from sleep, via the "ON" key, special function when press-n-hold another key
        hold "<- " while pressing "ON" key resets calculator memory
        hold "SST" while pressing "ON" key reboot calculator
            before showing "NP41  =????", display will show "V??? 201?-??" firmware version and release date briefly
            press and hold "USER" key at this point will allow calculator to enter bootloader mode
            this allows you to flash new firmware via attaching a usb-serial dongle
        hold "TAN" while pressing "ON" key clears ROM images
            this clears all four ROM slots, sometimes needed when calculator locks-up due to ROMs

    bootloader only, when main program corrupted / bricked
        remove battery, connects usb-serial dongle, then insert battery while holding "USER" key
        there will be no display shown, start Realterm on PC
        under Realterm, press "Enter" once, you should see a '?' prompt
        to flash calculator program binary, press "@" key, pressing any other key will not work
        terminal will show a '>', meaning it's ready to accept file
        select the 'Send' tab from Realterm, select bin file (i.e. NP41.bin) and send
        NP41 display will show the keytest screen when bin file flash is successful
        there will be no indication from the terminal when finish

    serial menu
        attach usb-serial dongle to calculator and PC
        enter test mode either by initial power up or via "SST" + "ON" key combination
        starts Realterm and press 'Enter' twice, the following menu will be displayed

                                         NP41 Monitor V001 2017-03
                                         (A,B,C,D) clear rom at page 1,2,3,4
                                         (1,2,3,4)  load rom at page 1,2,3,4
                                         (X) reboot
                                         (F) load focal 46 .END.

        pressing appropriate keys for corresponding action.
        for loading roms, select Realterm 'send' tab, then select and send desire rom files
        (F) to local focal program is experimental, i.e. I have not finished it

I might do a video instruction later on to show how it's done. I only tried a couple of ROMs though, Math-1C.bin and PHYSICS.bin. Focal program is non-functional.

/EDIT serial cable required, added 4 pin 0.1" pin header
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 09:30 PM
Post: #284
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-05-2017 07:52 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  You will need to get a usb-serial cable, 4 female-female jumper wires. And you need a terminal program that can do binary transfer. I use RealTerm under windows successfully.

I had added a photo showing the hookup and the usb-serial device.

Thanks, this is surprising good news!

It would be helpful if you could post a link to the proper (or at least equivalent) USB-serial cable - there are MANY different brands, configurations, chipsets, etc. and it would be nice to not waste time creating a list of the ones that don't work.

I've not read the full doc yet, but I'm sure it's straightforward, terminal programs are all about the same (what they do, not how).

Thanks again Chris!

--Bob Prosperi
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 10:12 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2017 10:13 PM by Massimo Gnerucci.)
Post: #285
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-05-2017 07:52 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  I had added a photo

Hey! My packet is the top one. :-)

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 11:00 PM
Post: #286
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-05-2017 10:12 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 07:52 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  I had added a photo

Hey! My packet is the top one. :-)

I blurred your address but I guess you reckon the Italiano.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 03:09 AM
Post: #287
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
I had shipped out another 4 units a few hours ago. Still waiting for Raffzahnz's confirmation.

Sylvain should be able to receive his in a few days. US orders would take 7 to 10 days was told. EU orders may be up to 2 weeks.

I will look up the usb-serial chipset and driver tomorrow.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 03:15 AM
Post: #288
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-06-2017 03:09 AM)Chris Chung Wrote:  Sylvain should be able to receive his in a few days. US orders would take 7 to 10 days was told. EU orders may be up to 2 weeks.

I will look up the usb-serial chipset and driver tomorrow.

No rush, it looks like I won't need it for 7-10 days Wink

--Bob Prosperi
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 09:02 AM
Post: #289
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-05-2017 11:00 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 10:12 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Hey! My packet is the top one. :-)

I blurred your address but I guess you reckon the Italiano.

Nice touch, thank you.
But it was easy for me to decode name and address, hopefully harder for others not formerly knowing it.
Being targeted by some novel H-bomber via GPS coordinates could be a problem... ;)

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 09:58 AM
Post: #290
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
My Prototype has just died on me. A couple of days ago it wouldn't turn on.
The battery was drained so I replaced it. But it still didn't turn on and the battery was drained again quickly. I'll have to see what is going on....
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 10:59 AM
Post: #291
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-06-2017 09:58 AM)Harald Wrote:  My Prototype has just died on me. A couple of days ago it wouldn't turn on.
The battery was drained so I replaced it. But it still didn't turn on and the battery was drained again quickly. I'll have to see what is going on....

Sad to know, egoistically I hope this is not the estimated ttl! :(

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-06-2017, 12:43 PM
Post: #292
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-06-2017 10:59 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 09:58 AM)Harald Wrote:  My Prototype has just died on me. A couple of days ago it wouldn't turn on.
The battery was drained so I replaced it. But it still didn't turn on and the battery was drained again quickly. I'll have to see what is going on....

Sad to know, egoistically I hope this is not the estimated ttl! Sad

Too bad for you Harald, hope you will be able to fix it, it might just need a reflow on the chip area. My very 1st builds had problems when I applied too much solder, didn't use tools properly (they were mostly soldered, before I got the hot air gun). Those had ended as scraps.

The units I am shipping I had them assembled between March and May this year, the later ones you will find a date label on it. I knew they could have intermittent problems so I don't want to sell them ASAP and let them sit on their batteries. I would turn them on and run some calculations once or twice a week. The standby current is about 0.6uA while the active current should be around 10 mA (or less, can't remember). Over the summer I went travel and forgot about them. When I looked at them after 3 months, I found 1 unit couldn't turn on and 1 unit w/ "ghosted" LCD segments. The LCD is easy to fix by a simple reflow as I know the traces. The other unit I had to reflow the whole chip area. Only last month I decided to sell them as they appeared to be fine. I understand the chance of failure is higher on these units and reserved 2 units as replacements in case one of yours failed within a year. If it failed after one year, consider you paid for one year of entertainment.

(12-05-2017 09:30 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  It would be helpful if you could post a link to the proper (or at least equivalent) USB-serial cable - there are MANY different brands, configurations, chipsets, etc. and it would be nice to not waste time creating a list of the ones that don't work.

Any usb-serial that works on your computer should do. if you happens to have one, try it first.
The one I am using is the cheapest I can find that has 3.3V pin, plastic wrapped and it's $1. It is of a PL2303 chip and under Windows it reports a Polific USB-to-Serial Comm Port. Having one w/ 3.3V is better as it will ensure proper voltage during communication. Some devices have only 5V and you should avoid.

You will need also 4 female-female jumper cables, these are 20cm, mine in the photo are 10cm, there are longer ones if you need them on a desktop PC. Be sure to get those that can be separated as they need to be criss-crossed. At the back of the NP41 PCB you will find 4 pins marked "Rx Tx + G" for the serial connection. You will connect them to the Ground (G), 3.3V (+), Rx (Tx), Tx (Rx) signals from the usb-serial dongle.

Details / parameters for the download can be found here, they are the same as the prototype units Sylvain had before.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-08-2017, 01:51 AM
Post: #293
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
The last unit for Raffzahnz has been shipped out.
Thank-you for the orders.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-09-2017, 10:19 AM
Post: #294
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Hello Chris,
I'm also interested in an unit from the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) batch.
Many thanks in advance.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-10-2017, 10:33 PM
Post: #295
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
I received my NP-41. Looks great! Powered up.

I am stuck in the Keyboard test. If I hit On then <- I get the battery voltage and it goes back to the keyboard test. What am I doing wrong?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-11-2017, 06:01 PM
Post: #296
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-10-2017 10:33 PM)mwthomasjr Wrote:  I received my NP-41. Looks great! Powered up.

I am stuck in the Keyboard test. If I hit On then <- I get the battery voltage and it goes back to the keyboard test. What am I doing wrong?


I am afraid it might be DOA.

The key combo of ON + CLR should show MEMORY LOST.

I guess you had already tried
1) taking out and putting back your battery and retry.
2) make sure battery is relatively fresh.
3) try the ON-ON key sequence.

3) You should try to press all keys in the key test to make sure they are register different values to confirm the button solder points are good and working. If not, if you are able to, correct the problematic buttons.

4) The fact that you are seeing the version screen and can run the key test indicate this is not likely a hardware problem. It could happened that the firmware is corrupted and lead to a reset (say random machine code leads to some exception). I had it happen before that after trying to load a ROM via serial interface (which writes to the FRAM memory on the fly) and failed, the emulator got confused when trying to do an internal CAT during power-up, leading to failing to enter calculator mode.

In this case the thing we could try is to reload the firmware, except that it will require you to either have a TI programmer, or a USB-Serial setup.

If you tried the simple tricks and cannot get it resolved, please send it back and I will swap it w/ a replacement unit.

I guess I should have done a remove-and-insert battery check routine before shipping these units out. Instead I just did some calculations w/ the units and take their battery out for shipping.

Sorry for having disappointed you.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-11-2017, 06:11 PM
Post: #297
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Attention initial users.

If you have received your unit, please provide a quick initial report on any anomaly here so that improvements / corrections can be made if needed.

Also as I had not done a lot of testing on the units. Please refrain from using the USB-Serial until I take a closer look at it w/ the current firmware. I will need a couple of days to re-test the USB-Serial to ensure it won't mess up w/ memory.

Thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-11-2017, 09:14 PM
Post: #298
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-11-2017 06:11 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  If you have received your unit, please provide a quick initial report on any anomaly here so that improvements / corrections can be made if needed.

I received my pkg today, I am the proud owner of a lime green NP-41.

No problems powering up, all keys recognized in key test, and several short programs I entered seem to work fine. I thought I read somewhere above that there should be some ROM images installed, but in my case, CAT-2 is empty.

I noticed that [Shift]-[7] is labeled "FF" and should be "SF" (Set Flag).

Well done Chris, I'll report any weirdness or errors if I encounter them.

A nice little Holiday present...

--Bob Prosperi
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-11-2017, 11:17 PM
Post: #299
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-11-2017 06:11 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  If you have received your unit, please provide a quick initial report on any anomaly here so that improvements / corrections can be made if needed.

Hello Chris,

I have received the unit today, Thank you!
I see that you have made it a little wider than the previous two beta units, I like it.

This is what I have tried:
  • initial tests (version, key scan, beeper & display) -> works
  • return to calculator mode [ON]+[ON] -> works
  • basic calculation -> works
  • beeper -> works
  • program & alpha modes -> works
  • master reset [<-]+[ON] -> works
  • calc reboot [SST]+[ON] -> works
  • boot loader mode [USER] in startup program -> lost the calculator at that point
    • remove battery + re-insert battery -> startup program -> works
    • initial tests (version, key scan, beeper & display) -> works
    • return to calculator mode [ON]+[ON] -> failed, blank screen
    • I have never plugged any USB cable to the calculator, I only done keyboard manipulation
Help! Sad

Sylvain
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
12-12-2017, 01:37 AM
Post: #300
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-11-2017 11:17 PM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  [*]boot loader mode [USER] in startup program -> lost the calculator at that point
  • remove battery + re-insert battery -> startup program -> works
  • initial tests (version, key scan, beeper & display) -> works
  • return to calculator mode [ON]+[ON] -> failed, blank screen
  • I have never plugged any USB cable to the calculator, I only done keyboard manipulation
[/list]
Help! Sad

Sylvain
When you are in bootloader mode, screen blank is expected as the bootloader must be very small code size, the main firmware space is to be overwritten. You will only know it's running via the serial terminal with one single prompt. This is by design.

I hope that the ON-ON command works but it is just that the screen buffet did not get updated so you don't see it.

Please try to view the display in an angle and toggle ON to see if there are ghosting on the display. Sometimes it takes a few press on the ALPHA, CLR, and or the ENTER key before it refreshes. You can also reinsert the battery and use ON-CLR to do a memory lost reset. Please leave battery out a few seconds as sometimes the capacitor will hold charge and avoid a true hardware reset.

I am on my phone right now and will reply more. Had did testing on the serial menu, will report.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: Alejandro Paz(Germany), 1 Guest(s)