Sunday, September 06, 2020

Commodore Educator 64 Mini: Part 3

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Here we are at the final article in the Commodore Educator 64 Mini series and there are a surprising number of loose ends to tie off; very probably the reason why it's taken a while to actually get around to documenting them.

This article more or less sums things up and provides some instruction on how get the project up and running. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, I'd suggest starting from the beginning so that it all makes sense.

All files required to build the Educator Mini are made available at the end of the post.

The Final Producst
The Final Product: The Commodore Educator 64 Mini

Fitting the Keyboard and Daughter Board

The keyboard is designed to sit quite firmly in the Educator case, it shouldn't require any glue but you may need to file and / or sand the 3D printed case lightly to gain that perfect fit.

The Raspberry PI Daughter Board and monitor cables should be fitted before placing the Raspberry Pi in it's Educator case, as there is not a lot of height to play with right up the back. Cabling running to the keyboard can be inserted at any time.


Raspberry Pi Daughter Board
Educator Min Keyboard to Raspberry Pi Daughter Board / Interface

When fitting the keyboard you need to pay attention to the labels at the header pins. The numbers and letters correspond with a similar arrangement found on the PI Daughter Board. As a plus, the naming scheme also matches that used on a real 64 keyboard.


Keyboard Fitted / back view
Commodore 64 Mini Keyboard fitted Snuggly: Pay attention to the jumper setting.

In addition there is a jumper setting to be made, for use in the Mini. A Jumper should be set across pins 1 & 2. The Jumper determines the behaviour of the Shift Lock key, unfortunately there are not enough free GIPO pins on the PI to take advantage of this feature for now.


The Educator Internals
Inside the Educator MIni

Finalising Model Styling

You'd have noticed by now that the Educator Mini 64 has a somewhat different set of stickers to Lorenzo's PET (much like the real thing really). I've made up a couple of additional mini replica decals to suit the 64, the most obvious of these being the BASIC reference panel.

The BASIC keyword panel is a fairly good approximation the original full sized version and depending on how good your eyes are and the resolution of the printers used to produce the decal sheet could well come in useful.

I've also included Lorenzo's decals for the back of the monitor and the Serial Number Name Plate for the sake of completeness.

Educator 64 Mini Decal Sheet, Including everything an old computer needs.

Getting the Educator Mini up and Running

RetroPie is normally your friend for an easy Linux retro solution. Disclaimer time, I decided not to use RetroPie for this build and went with a standard versions of Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian).

There are a number of reasons I'm using Raspbian, the main ones for me being,
  1. It's just simpler to get the keyboard working with the Vice emulator.
  2. I'm only intending to use Vice and Commodore Emulation on the Mini.
Of course your needs may vary, and what ever I've done is really only a suggestion.

Installing the Vice Emulator

Raspberry Pi OS does not include the Vice Emulator as a standard package, or even an optional downloadable package, so you'll need to install it manually. I simply followed the Installation guide on krystof.io 

Once Vice is installed you'll be wanting to add a configuration file to get the emulator looking and feeling right.

Run the following commands to create a sdl-vicerc config file:
mkdir -p ~/.config/vice
nano ~/.config/sdl-vicerc
[C64SC]
MenuKey=293
MenuKeyUp=273
MenuKeyDown=274
MenuKeyLeft=276
MenuKeyRight=275
MenuKeyPageUp=280
MenuKeyPageDown=281
MenuKeyHome=278
MenuKeyEnd=279
WarpMode=1
Sound=1
SoundDeviceName="sdl"
SoundSampleRate=8000
SoundBufferSize=100
SoundFragmentSize=0
SoundVolume=100
SoundOutput=1
AspectRatio="1.000000"
SDLCustomWidth=480
SDLCustomHeight=320
SDLWindowWidth=480
SDLWindowHeight=320
SDLGLAspectMode=0
VirtualDevices=1
IECReset=1
CIA1Model=0
CIA2Model=0
VICIIVideoCache=1
VICIIDoubleScan=0
VICIIDoubleSize=0
VICIIFilter=0
VICIIModel=0
SidEngine=0
SidModel=0
JoyPort4Device=0
JoyDevice1=4
JoyDevice2=4
AutostartBasicLoad=1
AutostartPrgMode=0
DriveSoundEmulation=0
Drive8Type=1571
GlueLogic=0
ETHERNETCARTBase=56832
Acia1Base=56832
AutostartWarp=1
KeyboardMapping=1

Setting Up the keyboard

There are multiple was to of configuring a keyboard for use with the vice Emulator, I've chosen the path of least resistance. Feel free to delve deeper into the heavy customisation that Vice affords. That said intense configuring is a little above what's really required for what is essentially a very cute desk toy.

For the initial steps, we'll basically be following those documented in PJ Evens's MagPi issue 67 article on page 26, make some changes specifically for the Commodore Educator 64 keyboard.

1) install Libsuinput: From your home directory:
cd
sudo apt install get libudev-dev python-dev python-pip
sudo pip install wiringpi
cd git clone github.com/tuomasjjrasanen/libsuinput
cd libsuinput
./autogen
./configure
make
sudo make install
Add the following line to /etc/modules-load.d/modules.conf
uinput

2) Install Python-uinput: From your home directory:
cd
git clone github.com/
tuomasjjrasanen/pythonuinput
cd python-uinput
sudo python setup.py build
sudo python setup.py install

3) Install cbmscanner python scripts:  Download these scripts and uncompress the file. We'll mimic the original Magi Article and install them in a subdirectory off the home dir.
cd
wget  -P ~ "http://dasteph.com/cgi/pet/files/cbmscanner.tar"
tar -xvf cbmscanner.tar

4) Create a new Service: We need to setup a new service to run keyboard scanner on boot by creating a new config file.
sudo nano /usr/lib/systemd/cbmscanner.service
[Unit]
Description=Commodore 64 Keyboard Scanner
After=multi-user.target
 
[Service]
Type=simple
ExecStart=/usr/bin/python /home/pi/cbmscanner/cbmscanner.py
Restart=on-abort
 
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
sudo systemctl enable /usr/lib/systemd/cbmscanner.service

5) Configure Keyboard Layout: Edit the keyboard file and ensure we're setup for a US keyboard layout.
sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard
# KEYBOARD CONFIGURATION FILE
# Consult the keyboard(5) manual page.
 
XKBMODEL="pc105"
XKBLAYOUT="us"
XKBVARIANT=""
XKBOPTIONS=""
 
BACKSPACE="guess"
We can the reboot the Raspberry Pi, the keyboard should then work as intended.


All the Educator 64 Files to Download

Please be sure to refer back to the official  Commodore PET Mini site for the full build details and project history not covered in this series of blog articles.


See all entries for this project:  Part 1Part 2 and Part 3


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