Node MCU

Modding and Technical Issues

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beamrider
Vic 20 Nerd
Posts: 872
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:28 pm
Location: UK

Node MCU

Postby beamrider » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:45 am

Thinking of a new long term project for the Vic...

Looking for some advice on what would be involved in getting one of these to inter-operate with the Vic-20 in the form of a cartridge.

The ESP8266 is a very powerful device and cheap that can be had for as little as $3..with WIFI, an 80mhz risk cpu, on board 1MB flash and 64K RAM (more powerful versions available too). At present it is mainly used as a Wifi modem, but I think it could do so much more.

What would be involved in mounting it onto a cartridge so that it can write directly to the cartridge memory without interfering with the Vic? I also would like to be able to reset the Vic etc to run any downloaded software after creating the appropriate cart boot sequence in memory.

I am not a hardware guy and have only limited bread-boarding experience etc, so would appreciate some advice on how feasible this would be and steps in getting started/required learning. Presumably some glue logic would be required. The firmware side wouldn't be an issue, just the hardware...

I would eventually like to develop on "online" cart for the Vic-20. Various possible uses come to mind, it could be a kind of Xbox-live experience, online forum etc, game of the day etc, high score support multiplayer online etc...

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toby405
Vic 20 Amateur
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:33 pm
Location: USA

Re: Node MCU

Postby toby405 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:10 pm

I've been playing around with connecting a NodeMCU to the Vic-20 userport serial interface and building various TCP and/or HTTP clients and servers with micropython. I was thinking how cool it would be to use the ESP8266 as a serial to UDP converter for multi-user games. I've seen threads on other forums floating similar ideas over the years and there wasn't much interest. So I don't know if the idea has a future but I'd be interested in helping out.

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beamrider
Vic 20 Nerd
Posts: 872
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Node MCU

Postby beamrider » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:38 pm

This has been done already, check out the WiModem from CbmStuff. I have one, quite good but I find limited use for a Vic-20 serial modem, other than "proving it works"...

Serial is way too slow though for online games etc..

I was after something a bit more... up/downloading at Wifi speeds - also possibly using the ESP8266 as a slave/accelerator CPU..


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