[NTLK] Newton USB Dongle

Jake Bordens jake at allaboutjake.com
Sun Feb 5 14:15:38 EST 2017

Thanks for the background.  I’m always sad to hear stories like this.

My internal slot is currently taken up with one of my WiFi boards, so I was looking for some interconnect based solution..  I actually have 2 of the interconnect connectors sitting in a box somewhere, but I realize they are nearly impossible to come by in any quantity.

I think a USB-C solution would be pretty cool though -- I believe can provide 12v at 1.5amps, which could be regulated down to 7.5v to provide charging as well as serial.

My Wifi card uses a pretty proprietary module, wondering if an ESP32 could be used.

I have done all of the reverse engineering needed to properly drive the serial port select pins and enable/disable devices in the internal slot, so the software side is pretty much done.


On 2/5/17, 1:14 PM, "newtontalk-bounces at newtontalk.net on behalf of Jeff Sheldon" <newtontalk-bounces at newtontalk.net on behalf of jeffsheldon at gmail.com> wrote:

    I've had problems with the Prolific chipset in many applications. IMHO, it's a cheap product cloned the world over and the drivers aren't well maintained. FTDI is the way to go. 
    Adriano is scrupulous. 11 years ago, he privately pushed me to provide details on adapters I was creating for the community to interface with iPod devices and a homebrew keyboard using the internal port. He even wanted me to store my progress on his personal storage space. When I resisted, he backed down and suggested I contact Daniel Padilla to help with the software side. After some back-and-forth, Daniel stopped responding. It seemed strange. Unexpectedly, Adriano and Daniel released new products based on the idea, though far less capable.  It watered down the idea and I shelved my Newton, then dropped off the list for some time, also hiving up on my 2100 PCB mapping project (for the sake of creating minimized designs).
    If the community needs a USB solution, what would be the preference? Internal card with port, Interconnect to USB end, or RS422 to USB? Seems like the last--which people are talking about here--is the easiest and cheapest solution. All three are doable, though those JAE ports are hard to find. 
    > On Feb 5, 2017, at 06:47, Jake Bordens <jake at allaboutjake.com> wrote:
    > I recently purchased a FDTI serial cable for use in Mac OS Sierra and it worked without drivers.. I had a prolific-chipset cable but the driver was causing my machine to crash, so I decided to get the FDTI since it was more compatible, and apparently did not need drivers (though I do a lot of tinkering so its possible I had a driver installed for another device. 
    > I find it suspicious that it doesn’t show up as a USB device with a PID/VID in the profiler… that would indicate that it isn’t even showing up on the USB bus.  However silly, maybe try a different USB cable, sometimes cheap USB cables are charge-only. I’ve gotten bitten by that before.
    > Side note, I would like to acquire one of these “Adriano” dongles, if anyone has a stash of them and is willing to part with one. Would make development a little easier. My guess is that they are rare, and folks don’t want to part with them, and for that I’d understand.
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