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NP-41 Emulator (may be)
12-13-2017, 03:16 AM
Post: #301
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
got my np-41 today. works great.
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12-14-2017, 12:04 AM
Post: #302
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-12-2017 02:28 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  +Sylvain
Let me know the outcome of the additional key-press to identify if there is a genuine problem. Also do you have a USB-Serial cable?

Hello Chris,

I have tried lots of things and my unit has the same behaviour as mwthomasjr.

I have a FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 cable (manual) on hand.
It has Ground, 5 Vcc and Rx/Tx at 3v will that be ok ? if not then I would have to order one like yours.

Regards,

Sylvain
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12-14-2017, 05:10 AM
Post: #303
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
+mwthomasjr
I had sent out the replacement unit with a serial dongle a few hours ago.
Please let me know how it goes after receiving it.

+Sylvain
I will prepare your replacement unit with a serial dongle and will send it ASAP.

Looks like this batch had became pre-beta testing, if others receive their unit, please refrain from using the serial menu and ROM loading for now.
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12-14-2017, 08:20 AM
Post: #304
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 05:10 AM)Chris Chung Wrote:  if others receive their unit,

if ??? :)

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12-14-2017, 10:32 AM
Post: #305
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 05:10 AM)Chris Chung Wrote:  +Sylvain
I will prepare your replacement unit with a serial dongle and will send it ASAP.
Chris, wait!
I will send you my unit back and take the time to investigate the issue, there is no hurry here.
I will send you back my the two older units as well, they are not working but you may be able to salvage some pieces out of them.
I will ship the package tomorrow morning.
Best regards,
Sylvain
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12-14-2017, 12:39 PM
Post: #306
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 08:20 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(12-14-2017 05:10 AM)Chris Chung Wrote:  if others receive their unit,

if ??? Smile
Pardon my english, not a native English speaker. I mean "when".
Jokes aside, when you received the unit. I would recommend the current steps.

1. insert battery (cold start)
2. press all keys and ensure they register
3. ON-CLR sequence to get into "MEMORY LOST" state
4. could just play around w/ some simple calculations
... new steps here
5. press ON to turn off (put to sleep) calculator
6. do a TAN+ON warm start (i.e. hold TAN and press ON to turn calculator on)

Step 6 is the only way to clear the ROM spaces. And there is no option to clear ROM spaces in cold-start except serial menu.

I am trying to back trace possible issues here. I had done a firmware upgrade to all the units a few days before I offered them on sale. The firmware upgrade might cause memory spaces corruption and lead to warm-start failure (emulator core failed to start but microcontroller still runs).

Of course it could be some other problems.

The fact that we see the NP41 indicates the h/w test is good, bootloader (runs before cold-start) and serial menu (runs at the NP41 prompt) should also be operational.

I hope I can solve this mystery soon and secure a stable platform.
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12-14-2017, 12:42 PM
Post: #307
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 05:10 AM)Chris Chung Wrote:  +mwthomasjr
I had sent out the replacement unit with a serial dongle a few hours ago.
Please let me know how it goes after receiving it.
Chris,

I will send my unit back to the return address on the package as soon as I can, hopefully today or tomorrow.

Thanks,

Milton
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12-14-2017, 12:48 PM
Post: #308
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 12:39 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  
(12-14-2017 08:20 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  if ??? :)
Pardon my english, not a native English speaker. I mean "when".
Jokes aside, when you received the unit. I would recommend the current steps.

Me neither. Of course it was all tongue-in-cheek.

Thank you very much for your step by step procedure.

Anyway, still waiting... :(

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12-14-2017, 01:13 PM
Post: #309
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 12:04 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  I have tried lots of things and my unit has the same behaviour as mwthomasjr.

I have a FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 cable (manual) on hand.
It has Ground, 5 Vcc and Rx/Tx at 3v will that be ok ? if not then I would have to order one like yours.

Regards,

Sylvain
Hi Sylvain

I was reading your post on my phone and thought your cable is not suitable. Looking at the pdf, it seems suitable as it's a 3.3V model and has 0.1" female headers.

You will however, need to have 0.1 male-male jumper wires to connect the unit to your Serial dongle. If you are able to establish this setup (also shown in the photo share), please try previous mentioned bootloader firmware upgrade procedure.

1. remove battery
2. connect dongle via 4 wire (Rx to Tx, Tx to Rx, Ground and 3.3V)
3. connect dongle to PC while holding USER key. Blank screen is expected
4. run Tera Term or Realterm (now I prefer Tera Term)
5. press any key on PC, unit replys w/ a single '?'
6. press @ key only, unit reply w/ a '>'
7. perform file transfer (select np41_??????.bin), make sure it is a BINARY transfer.

Be careful w/ step 7, select the right file, ensure it's binary mode and do not interrupt during transfer. Transfer is about 1 min.

* when connecting the unit w/ 0.1" jumpers, they are not a tight feed and you may need do press against them on the PCB to ensure proper connection. They are not proper connectors and I just design the PCB to have smaller holes to friction-fit the jumpers.

(12-14-2017 10:32 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  I will send you my unit back and take the time to investigate the issue, there is no hurry here.
I will send you back my the two older units as well, they are not working but you may be able to salvage some pieces out of them.
I will ship the package tomorrow morning.
Best regards,
Sylvain

Thanks. In this case please hold on w/ your units. And we try to get the serial interface work. I am more eager to see this working on any shipped units. As the firmware is not mature, it is important that initial users be able to upgrade via serial.

If you are not able to have a USB-Serial connection, please let me know and I will send you a serial dongle w/ the appropriate wires. This can be done in letter mail and should just be a couple of days.
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12-14-2017, 01:18 PM
Post: #310
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 12:42 PM)mwthomasjr Wrote:  I will send my unit back to the return address on the package as soon as I can, hopefully today or tomorrow.
Hi Milton,

Just send them back when you got a chance, no need to rush.

I have spare boards and had ordered the microcontrollers (just take 1 or 2 days to get them). I am lacking only the piezo buzzers (only 2 left) and it will take 3 or 4 weeks from ebay China seller. I can produce more replacement units.
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12-14-2017, 02:37 PM
Post: #311
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
The displays arrived today. Thanks !

I hope I find some time soon to work on the nut core, I don't want to leave the saturn core aside now. Seeing that widening the ALU path to 64 bits doesn't pay off as I hoped, I'll have to reduce it to 16 bits or so to be able to rise the clock and recover some luts. Let's make it work first.
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12-14-2017, 03:26 PM
Post: #312
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 12:39 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  [W]hen you received the unit. I would recommend the current steps.

1. insert battery (cold start)
2. press all keys and ensure they register
3. ON-CLR sequence to get into "MEMORY LOST" state
4. could just play around w/ some simple calculations
... new steps here
5. press ON to turn off (put to sleep) calculator
6. do a TAN+ON warm start (i.e. hold TAN and press ON to turn calculator on)

I received my NP-41 this morning and followed the suggested steps without any issues.

I have the necessary USB to serial adapter, cable and male-to-male header pins. Please let me know when you have a potential fix to the firmware and I'll be glad to beta test.

Warmest regards,

Mark Hardman

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12-14-2017, 07:48 PM
Post: #313
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-12-2017 11:22 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  I've done a quick speed test with a prime test program, the NP-41 is 2.3 times faster than my 41CX: it takes 17.8s to find that 1000003 is prime vs. 41.2s on the 41CX.

The 3D printed case is a nice addition, I'm thinking to design a similar one for the NP-25. There is just one thing I need to improve: the keyboard is very noisy with the case, maybe some foam in the case under the keyboard will reduce the noise.
Hi Didier, thanks for the quick note.
I understand the issue w/ the keyboard. They are not only noisy but not comfortable to use (hard on fingers). This is why my daughter abandon the NP41 over a Sharp EL-531 for school (she's starting Trigonometry).
If you have any suggestions / ideas, S/W, H/W or otherwise, I would love to hear.

(12-14-2017 02:37 PM)Alejandro Paz(Germany) Wrote:  I hope I find some time soon to work on the nut core, I don't want to leave the saturn core aside now. Seeing that widening the ALU path to 64 bits doesn't pay off as I hoped, I'll have to reduce it to 16 bits or so to be able to rise the clock and recover some luts. Let's make it work first.
Good luck, wish to see your project / progress soon.

Quote:I received my NP-41 this morning and followed the suggested steps without any issues.

I have the necessary USB to serial adapter, cable and male-to-male header pins. Please let me know when you have a potential fix to the firmware and I'll be glad to beta test.

Warmest regards,

Mark Hardman
Thanks Mark,
If you can try and make sure you can access the Serial menu.
Especially able to ERASE the ROM segments. I am suspecting the current problem got to do w/ these ROM spaces being dirty.

With the ERASE capability, if there is a freeze up, one may be able to unbrick the emulator.

You may want to try the ROM erase and loading via USB-Serial. Please only load one ROM for now as during my last try w/ 2 ROMs, the 2nd ROM messed up and shown garbage on a "CAT 2".

For the bootloader, since once you started the binary transfer, program area will be written on-the-fly so there is more risk. The fact the Sylvain's unit failed after he try the bootloader menu (w/o actually connecting via cable) make me reluctant to ask you to try the same.

I was hoping to work w/ him to recover his unit first. He's in Canada and can communicate / exchange w/ me easier.

In hindsight, this 1st batch should have been organized as a beta group w/ less units. I thank you all for your patience.
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12-15-2017, 12:14 AM
Post: #314
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-14-2017 07:48 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  The fact the Sylvain's unit failed after he try the bootloader menu (w/o actually connecting via cable) make me reluctant to ask you to try the same.
I was hoping to work w/ him to recover his unit first. He's in Canada and can communicate / exchange w/ me easier.
Hello Chris,

I am currently working 15h/day to reactivate a production line to refurbished 90k embedded devices before the end of the year.
Due to cut off and peoples leaving, I am doing almost everything by myself. Sad

It is 19h00 EST here and I am currently on the commuting train, I expect to be at home at around 20h30.
I will look into this later and will come back here with my test results.
Sorry about that.

Sylvain
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12-15-2017, 02:48 AM (This post was last modified: 12-15-2017 03:50 AM by Sylvain Cote.)
Post: #315
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Chris,

1) battery install
2) initial display: NP41 = 3613
3) key code tests
4) [ON] + [ON] -> display off
5) [SST] + [ON] -> display still off
6) [RETURN] [RETURN] on the terminal, no menu is displayed

I am using the SERIAL application from the macOS App Store.
Its a great terminal application and it works at up to 1.2Mbps.
I have tried: with: 9600-8-n-1 / 19200-8-n-1 / 38400-8-n-1 / 57600-8-n-1 / 115200-8-n-1

Sylvain

Edit #1: I just soldered a header on the PCB just to be sure that the serial connections was ok, but still no communication

Edit #2: I have also tried the [USER] press + [plug-serial-connector] + [USER] release
-> no display, again tried all baud rates, no avail

Edit #3: calc is starting to behave strangely, keycode test no longer works,
it stays on the initial screen but voltage changes when I press different keys
[USER] now close the calculator and [PRGM] bring it up on the initial screen.
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12-15-2017, 02:30 PM
Post: #316
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-15-2017 12:14 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  I am currently working 15h/day to reactivate a production line to refurbished 90k embedded devices before the end of the year.
Due to cut off and peoples leaving, I am doing almost everything by myself. Sad

It is 19h00 EST here and I am currently on the commuting train, I expect to be at home at around 20h30.
I will look into this later and will come back here with my test results.
Sorry about that.

Sylvain
Sorry to hear that you are loaded w/ work when we are closing in for the holidays. No worry on the testing. I look a 6 month leave on the project too. It's just a hobby project and I won't do it when it's stressing on myself.

It is more on my bad that this first batch did not went that well. I remember we do have little issues for the 1st batch NP25, mostly quality issues (not firmware). I should have limited this batch to less units and take another iteration to refine the firmware etc.

Sylvain Cote Wrote:2) initial display: NP41 = 3613
It's kind of odd to register 3.6V, the MCU runs between 1.8V to 3.6V.

Sylvain Cote Wrote:Edit #2: I have also tried the [USER] press + [plug-serial-connector] + [USER] release
-> no display, again tried all baud rates, no avail

Edit #3: calc is starting to behave strangely, keycode test no longer works,
it stays on the initial screen but voltage changes when I press different keys
[USER] now close the calculator and [PRGM] bring it up on the initial screen.
#2 would be the last resort as I had placed the bootloader far away from the main firmware location. The bootloader don't do LCD initialization, it only setup a most basic UART and the only purpose is to replace firmware.
So it this fails, it's more like a hardware problem.

#3 It appeared that it was rebooting itself upon keypress, so you got back the "NP41 V=????" initial display.

I am going to replace your unit next week. Please only ship back the deflect units when you have time after the holidays. There is no rush.

I have enough PCB and parts to produce replacements should the need arise.

Also a reminder for other users, I forgot to mention that you will need a 4 pin 0.1" header pins for building the USB-serial cable.

I shall order this dongles in the future and included them in kits.
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12-15-2017, 08:24 PM
Post: #317
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-12-2017 11:22 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  I love this LCD display !

So do I, but I am obviously by now completely lost between the existing options:

Hiw does one get to order one with this fabulous segment display?!

Plus: I get the impression that the current badge is rather beta stage. Will there be a formal notification, when the problems are ironed out and what options will be acailable then?

Thank you for any info!

a
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12-16-2017, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 12-16-2017 08:08 PM by Egan Ford.)
Post: #318
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
Mine arrived yesterday. Thanks! I have not had any issues that I am aware of. Everything worked as expected. All keys good, etc...

Questions/comments:

1. When I press PROG I get 00 REG 46, shouldn't the CV report 00 REG 319? Or is this a C? I may have missed something in the previous threads. EDIT: NM forgot about SIZE.

2. I didn't have any problems getting to the serial menu at 9600 using GNU Screen from my Mac, however I have not tried to do anything like upload a ROM yet. I'll need something other than screen to do that. I may write something custom for that.

3. The 3d printed case is a very nice touch. Easy access to back and front.

4. Suggestion. If possible consider the staggered header holes that the pocket chip uses (e.g. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1065/9...5947226880). This will allow header pins to be snugly connected. However I didn't have any problems dropping a 4-ping header in there and using the tension of the jumper wires to hold it firm.

5. I used this for the USB to serial: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019I3CAIE. I use these for other embedded and SBC use. The pic is wrong in that link however. Its the correct size but has FTDI vs PL2303. It also ships with headers and jumper wires. Everything you need.

6. The build quality IMHO is spectacular.

7. What are the other non-serial headers for?

Thanks again.
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12-18-2017, 02:50 PM
Post: #319
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
I hope every owner had either received their unit and have them working, or have their issues being addressed by myself.

If you have USB-Serial dongle, Loading 2 ROMS (on two slots) always results in the 2nd one not working / showing up on "CAT 2". You will need to erase 1 of them afterwards. You may try different ROMS, slots and provide feedback to me as I am very in-experience w/ the working of the ROM modules.

If you had succeeded w/ ROM loading, you can try the bootloader to upgrade your firmware. Over the weekend I tried it and found it to be robust. I try to mess it up by sending garbage, ascii mode instead of binary mode on the firmware, etc. And of course it failed to load. But the bootloader was still intact and can accept another try.

The design is a very small / simple bootloader set aside in memory far away (from the firmware). And subsequent firmware updates do not touch the bootloader code space.

The latest firmware has only one small change, it allows a ON-TAN key sequence during cold start / key test mode and this will clear the 4 ROM memory sections.

Please try it if you have a reliable USB-Serial setup and a experimental mind.

(12-15-2017 08:24 PM)anetzer Wrote:  
(12-12-2017 11:22 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  I love this LCD display !

So do I, but I am obviously by now completely lost between the existing options:

Hiw does one get to order one with this fabulous segment display?!

Plus: I get the impression that the current badge is rather beta stage. Will there be a formal notification, when the problems are ironed out and what options will be acailable then?

Thank you for any info!

a
The LCDs were custom made for the NP41 project. I am actually reluctant to sell them. A lot of effort was made to realize this, not to mention that I was lucky to meet the right / kind people to help me out. There were a lot of proxy / relay on the design, prototyping, production, payment, shipping, custom clearing, etc. I doubt I will want to do that often.

The few pieces I sold I didn't put much thought as it's a fellow member doing his similar project and wants them. I am getting PMs for more LCDs. I am going to be selective and only offer them to active members who will be using it in concrete projects.

If you want 1 or 2, please at least show your project framework (how are you going to drive them, which MCU are going to be used, etc) as I only want them to be utilized properly.

Yes, we are experiencing quite a bit of intermittent H/W issues in this batch. Until I can iron this out, I really don't want to rush into a second batch as it will benefit no one.

(12-16-2017 07:51 PM)Egan Ford Wrote:  Mine arrived yesterday. Thanks! I have not had any issues that I am aware of. Everything worked as expected. All keys good, etc...

Questions/comments:

1. When I press PROG I get 00 REG 46, shouldn't the CV report 00 REG 319? Or is this a C? I may have missed something in the previous threads. EDIT: NM forgot about SIZE.

2. I didn't have any problems getting to the serial menu at 9600 using GNU Screen from my Mac, however I have not tried to do anything like upload a ROM yet. I'll need something other than screen to do that. I may write something custom for that.

3. The 3d printed case is a very nice touch. Easy access to back and front.

4. Suggestion. If possible consider the staggered header holes that the pocket chip uses (e.g. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1065/9...5947226880). This will allow header pins to be snugly connected. However I didn't have any problems dropping a 4-ping header in there and using the tension of the jumper wires to hold it firm.

5. I used this for the USB to serial: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019I3CAIE. I use these for other embedded and SBC use. The pic is wrong in that link however. Its the correct size but has FTDI vs PL2303. It also ships with headers and jumper wires. Everything you need.

6. The build quality IMHO is spectacular.

7. What are the other non-serial headers for?

Thanks again.

Thanks for your comment / review.

2. I don't use IOS, I guess it will be similar to Linux, may be cp to the raw device. If you succeed w/ method or utilities, please post it here.

3. Yes, I want something simple and easy to produce, still it requires almost 2 hr for my slow 3D printer to do one. I am working on some kind of protection for the LCD before I let my kids to bring one to school.

4. I will look into that, the PCB designer I used (Fritzing) is quite limited but there are always ways to work-around.

5. Yes, some of my older USB-Serial also works, they work if you PC OS sees them. We need 3.3V though, I now see there are many offers in amazon and shipping is quick, some w/ jumpers already, just need a few header pins to get them going.

6. They are far from that. I do now get a hang of it. The ordered PCB is pre-tinned. I actually will not add solder to the pad. I now position the chip and use my solder iron to secure the corners, and then use hot air gun + flux to reflow.

The issue I have now is that the H/W reset itself intermittently. I think I will need to invest in a scope to pinpoint things in more detail. It could be ESD, will put ground shields on next PCBs and see. This problem is running around and difficult to chase.

7. They are unused I/Os (some with ADC / I2C / Uart and other capabilities) that I just draw them out. There are also a 4-pin block for native TI programmers to flash firmware. It allows possibilities like device network, printer, IR, etc. And I don't have knowledge on them (i.e. HP devices).
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12-18-2017, 03:22 PM
Post: #320
RE: NP-41 Emulator (may be)
(12-18-2017 02:50 PM)Chris Chung Wrote:  I hope every owner had either received their unit and have them working, or have their issues being addressed by myself.

Alas, still waiting.
But since I am also waiting for the USB dongle and cables...

Thank you for the updated firmware!

Greetings,
    Massimo

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