Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Time to talk about what other machines can run on the Next hardware!
PiyoTaro
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:13 am

Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:40 am

Since last month, the image of "Pentagon 128" demonstration program has been posted on official Facebook. I tried to discuss the possibilities as a "multi-core system" of ZXSpectrum Next, and posted this thread on the bulletin board of "Other Cores".

A video of a demonstration program for "Pentagon 128" is pasted on the official Facebook and a demonstration of TBBlue's "profile change function" is released.

Also, the profile of "Pentagon" has a comment that it will not work with HDMI because the vertical sync frequency will be 49 Hz. (To be exact, this upward compatible machine has a VGA or HDMI terminal and it has a 640x480@60Hz screen Will it be converted?).
Jim Bagley
2018/11/7 9:41
And the "Across the Edge" demo by demarche.
Jim Bagley
Also, for those interested, this is over the SCART cable.
David Saphier
Note that this is a Pentagon demo and uses NO Next features 🙂
Jim Bagley
The HDMI and VGA are different timings, and the Pentagon ( russian clone ) needs 48hz which HDMI won't support, so if you want to run the border and colour effect timing specific games, you will need to use a SCART cable
Vadim Akimov
at 4:00, it is clearly seen that not the whole visible border range of the original Pentagon machine is visible. The original Pentagon had approx. 384x304 visible screen. However, even ZX-Evo does not show the whole pentagon screen.

How it should look: https://youtu.be/b-kkzl2foaQ?t=243
David Saphier
2018/11/23 16:18
Normally switching between personalities has to be done via the boot menu. If you need to do this a lot, then a quicker way would be nice, so .boot! Not super special but super useful - for me anyway!
Peter Brozyna
Does personality changing flash the FPGA?
David Saphier
That's a good question, I believe the core is flashed to FPGA upon startup, not sure about hard reboots. Sure someone else more inclined on matter could answer that.
Allen Albright
The core is not flashed... the personalities are all using the next core but have features disabled and timing changed depending on what the machine is.
There are 32 available slots to hold cores in the flash. Slot 0 is the anti-brick core that will rescue the machine if something goes wrong during a flash. Slot 1 is the zx next core and the other 30 are currently empty.
Although "Pentagon 128" is compatible with ZXSpectrum, it has evolved independently, and the aforementioned "demo program" adopts a "wide" resolution graphic screen.
(Continue)
Last edited by PiyoTaro on Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

PiyoTaro
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Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:45 am

PiyoTaro wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:40 am
A video of a demonstration program for "Pentagon 128" is pasted on the official Facebook and a demonstration of TBBlue's "profile change function" is released.

Although "Pentagon 128" is compatible with ZXSpectrum, it has evolved independently, and the aforementioned "demo program" adopts a "wide" resolution graphic screen.
(Continue)
And "ZX-Evolution" has its own "Tile & Sprites" graphics hardware added.

Other basic features such as CPU with cache and DMA with 22-bit memory address (added memory bank number) are also expanded.
While gathering information on the emulator "ZXsarUX" and FPGA computers, I understood that these proprietary specifications are "TS-Config".
TS-Configuration
https://github.com/tslabs/zx-evo/blob/m ... conf_en.md
  • Advanced video features:
    Pixel resolutions 360x288, 320x240, 320x200, 256x192
    Up to 720x288 Hi-res pixel resolution
    Hardware scrolled graphic planes
    256 and 16 indexed colors per pixel
    Programmable color RAM with RGB555 color space and 256 cells
    512 and 256 bytes per line addressing
    Text mode with loadable font and hardware vertical scroll
    Up to 256 graphic screens
  • Hardware engine for Tiles and Sprites graphics
    Up to 85 sprites per line
    Sprites sized from 8x8 to 64x64 pixels
    Up to 3 sprite planes
    Up to 2 tile planes with 8x8 pixels tiles
    Up to 16 palettes for sprites per line
    Up to 4 palettes for tiles per line for each tile plane
  • Z80 Memory addressing enhancements:
    Programmable RAM page for any 16kB window
  • Z80 acceleration features
    Selectable CPU clock 14MHz, 7MHz and 3,5MHz
    512 bytes of zero-wait RAM for 14MHz
    On-the-fly programmable maskable interrupt position
    Separate IM2 vectors for different interrupt sources
  • Advanced hardware features
    DRAM-to-Device, Device-to-DRAM and DRAM-to-DRAM DMA Controller
I wanted to know the format of "Tile & Sprites" graphics hardware, I was looking at the forum of TS-Lab.
When I came back after a long interval I could not see English documents. It is the above specification document and the GitHub site of the emulator that hits on Google search.
I do not need a concept, so I want a simple document of "Tile & Sprites" graphics processor. The manual of pdf version of "F18A" of FPGA VDP was easy to understand by comparison with TMS9918 memory map.
(Continue)
Last edited by PiyoTaro on Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

PiyoTaro
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Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:50 am

PiyoTaro wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:45 am
PiyoTaro wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:40 am
A video of a demonstration program for "Pentagon 128" is pasted on the official Facebook and a demonstration of TBBlue's "profile change function" is released.

Although "Pentagon 128" is compatible with ZXSpectrum, it has evolved independently, and the aforementioned "demo program" adopts a "wide" resolution graphic screen.
(Continue)
And "ZX-Evolution" has its own "Tile & Sprites" graphics hardware added.

I do not need a concept, so I want a simple document of "Tile & Sprites" graphics processor.
Recently I saw an article that vlad is distributing "DivGMX".

Hardware equivalent to "TS-Conf Basic config" can be realized with FPGA (Altera Cyclone IV EP4CE10) of the scale of 10000LE even if adding a sound card such as "GeneralSound 512 K (Intelligent DAC)" I understood.

I think that adding a "Tile & Sprites" graphic hardware and a Sound chip with "synthesizer" like FM or SID will re-evaluate the old computer as a Gaming machine.

Ped7g
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:11 pm

Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby Ped7g » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:45 am

"and the aforementioned "demo program" adopts a "wide" resolution graphic screen."

?? it's using ordinary ZX Spectrum graphics - but does use the precise timing to change border colours in sync with paper/ink area, and does "multicolor" paper/ink attribute area changes to get the desired result at screen. Actually I'm not even sure if that demo does use some "pentagon"-only features extensively, in principle all the scenes I can recall from head are do-able on ZX 48k, sans the overall speed (the mere 48.xHz vs 49.yHz may be prohibitive in certain screens, making perfect 48k version impossible). I also don't know what those Soviet clones had for extra :/ ... usually any webs are in russian, and while I can mostly read particular letters, I don't understand it that much. I would love to see one day some summary table with all the clones vs basic 48 and 128k, to get somewhat better idea.

PiyoTaro
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Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:38 pm

Ped7g wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:45 am
My language's "wide" resolution is meant to say the "384x304" video mode expanded with the Pentagon 128. http://speccy.info/Pentagon

Why is the vertical sync frequency 48 Hz? I was misunderstanding that it was a television system.
https://github.com/tslabs/zx-evo/blob/m ... conf_en.md
  • Graphics
    • Video signals
      The hardware generates video signals for TV (PAL) and VGA. Originally video signal is generated for PAL TV. Each TV frame contains 320 lines and each TV line contains 448 7MHz pixel periods.

      320 lines are non-standard for TV signal and support for this was made for historical reasons. The ZX clone 'Penatagon-128' has an error on its board which adds extra 8 lines to 312 lines of TV PAL standard. This increases number of T-states that CPU executes during the video frame and thus became a feature of ex-USSR demoscene. Some displays may be incompatible with such video signal and won't show the picture properly.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby Alcoholics Anonymous » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:31 am

Ped7g wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:45 am
?? it's using ordinary ZX Spectrum graphics - but does use the precise timing to change border colours in sync with paper/ink area, and does "multicolor" paper/ink attribute area changes to get the desired result at screen.
Yeah there is nothing special about a Pentagon. It's another zx spectrum clone with some minor differences that factor into the demo scene especially. As pointed out above, the frame is longer so the vertical frequency decreases from 50Hz to 48Hz. There is no memory contention. Border colour changes affect the display output hw immediately whereas on the spectrum the border colour is sampled at character boundaries. This means the pentagon can change border colour at pixel resolution every two pixels (due to cpu speed) whereas the spectrum can only change border colour every 8 pixels.

Demos like "Across the Border" and "Rage" use the pixel resolution of the border colour to draw graphics into the border. These types of demos cannot run properly on a stock zx because the stock zx cannot change border colour at pixel resolution.

The pentagon is a sequence of minor improvements over the zx. The zx evo and its ts-config, though, is a decided step into the modern, perhaps going further than the zx next as the zx next hw is tethered to the idea of "what might have been".

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chernandezba
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Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby chernandezba » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:54 am


I wanted to know the format of "Tile & Sprites" graphics hardware, I was looking at the forum of TS-Lab.
When I came back after a long interval I could not see English documents. It is the above specification document and the GitHub site of the emulator that hits on Google search.
I do not need a concept, so I want a simple document of "Tile & Sprites" graphics processor. The manual of pdf version of "F18A" of FPGA VDP was easy to understand by comparison with TMS9918 memory map.
(Continue)
Hi

The main (and almost the one) document about TSConf specs is this xls file:
https://github.com/chernandezba/zesarux ... TSconf.xls

You will find almost everything that you need to know about TSConf there. It's very schematic but also very useful.

You can find also some info in my ZEsarUX tsconf core emulation:
https://github.com/chernandezba/zesarux ... c/tsconf.c

And, if you have more questions, you can check some of my posts on the tslabs forum, that one was the first I open and they answered me all the questions I had:
http://forum.tslabs.info/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=758

As you may see, the "TS-Labs" user in the forum is the author of TS-Conf, he is Russian but he also speaks English, and he is very helpful

The rest of the information I got was browsing that forum + google chome translation from Russian (and some other documents translated from Russian too)

You can also ask me; I haven't coded much in TS-Conf emulation for almost 1 year but I remember the basic concepts.

Take a look also at some TS-Conf games and demos:
http://prods.tslabs.info/

Many of them use Tiles; I suppose you know what tiles are, they are widely used on old video consoles (NES, Master system, etc): a memory region with all the graphics, divided in square regions (16x16 for example) and a map which associates every square region to the display
If you load them in ZEsarUX, you can debug sprites and tiles from the ZEsarUX menus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE57nw4GRqE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02HlOZ_eEvQ

Cheers
Cesar
----

ZEsarUX
ZX Second-Emulator And Released for UniX
https://github.com/chernandezba/zesarux

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vbi
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:27 am

Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby vbi » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:39 pm

not so long ago Im ported Sonic from SegaMasterSystem on Ts Configuration:
http://prods.tslabs.info/

PiyoTaro
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:01 pm

vbi wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:39 pm
not so long ago Im ported Sonic from SegaMasterSystem on Ts Configuration:
http://prods.tslabs.info/
Please give me a manual or wiki that summarizes the specifications of "sprite chip" in English! :lol:
I can also use TSConf on the FPGA machine, so I would like to create something application.

PiyoTaro
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:13 am

playing a 4 channel sample mod - utilising the "Soundcdrive" Re: Demonstration of "Pentagon 128" and about TS-Conf

Postby PiyoTaro » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:06 pm

Synopsis.
"ZX Spectrum Next" can be adjusted to specification of Spectrum clone machine by TBBlue config menu or dot command.
A video of a demo program for "Pentagon 128" has been posted on official facebook since last month.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_(computer)
David Saphier
2018/11/30 17:51
ZX Next in Pentagon mode, playing a 4 channel sample mod - utilising the "Soundcdrive", which is 4 DACs, two left, two right. I am unsure of the song artist as it was included on the Extreme Tracker music disks. ET was coded by Alexey Porfiruv.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/specnex ... 989839390/
Evgeniy Barskiy
I know a modplayer for spectrum. but it requires full trdos support. msdos disk format for input.
Jan Petyy Peterka
There was one for +3 in the 90'. Don't remember name though...
David Saphier
WildPlayer is one, as Evgeniy says it requires MSDOS disk format which doesn’t seem possible via esxdos.
Jan Petyy Peterka
That's not the one I'm talking about. This one was Czech, made around 1995-1996 and I think it read mod directly from Amiga floppy disk (but maybe I'm wrong about this). +3 was 3,5" floppy disk moded and now I found out, that it used four 8bit D/A connected to UR4 interface...
Last edited by PiyoTaro on Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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