[NTLK] NewtonTalk Digest, Vol 26, Issue 15

Mark Crutch mark.crutch at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 12:41:24 EST 2016


> How about making it a short cable that stops at the USB-serial bridge,
> > terminating with a USB type B socket? That way users could source their
> own
> > type A to type B cable (I'll bet that most of us have one or two kicking
> > around from old printers), letting them choose a length that's
> appropriate
> > for their setup.
> I did consider this: either a type B or perhaps a Micro B.
> Pros:
> Maybe cheaper (type-B socket vs. cable and type-A plug)
> You can choose the length of the cable
> Cons:
> You?re back to needing a dongle again
> You need to either have or obtain a suitable cable

I'm not sure what you mean about needing a dongle in this case. Time for
some ASCII art...

1) Your current proposal:

USB A                                FTDI                            Newton

2) My Suggestion

USB A                     USB B - FTDI                         Newton

So the only real difference is that the user would need an easily obtained
USB A to USB B cable for the connection on the left of the diagram, rather
than having it permanently fixed to the FTDI adaptor. The whole thing could
be treated as a single cable by simply not unplugging the USB B connection;
a spot of glue could make it permanent if you really wanted that.

The plus for me would be the possibility of using a shorter/longer USB
cable, rather than having to deal with an extension lead (if your lead is
too short) or carry around an excess of cable (if your lead is too long).

Perhaps you could clarify what you mean by "dongle" specifically. I had
assumed you mean the standard interconnect port adaptor, but now I'm not so

> One other idea might be to break it down entirely into two detachable
> leads
> > and an FTDI dongle in the middle.
> The Interconnect signals match old-style Apple serial exactly.
> Pros:
> Supports OMP-MP130 Newtons
> Very flexible
> Cons:
> More expensive to make
> Requires carrying/not-losing two cables plus a dongle
> MP2k+ / eMate300 only
> Tape (yuck)
> Again, for me, the real win is having a single thing to connect my Newt.

I'm confused again. Under Pros you list "Supports OMP-MP130 Newtons", then
under Cons you say "MP2k+ / eMate300 only". AIUI the former is correct,

I was (half) joking about using tape, but a little glue would turn the "two
cables plus a dongle" into one cable with a small lump in the middle for
anyone who wants that.

The big plus, I think, is that it expands the target base for the project,
which might make it more viable as a Kickstarter. It's no longer just a USB
to MP2000 lead, but instead becomes (a) a USB to Apple Serial adaptor, or
(b) a USB to MP2000 lead, or (c) a USB to OMP-MP130 lead, depending on what
combination of leads you use.


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