Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ethernet board working in Alto, optical mouse working as well


Today we met to work on the Alto again. We had a guest, David Boggs, who is the co-inventor of Ethernet and the designer of the Alto ethernet controller board, accompanying Ron Crane. 

Ethernet efforts

We traced signals and worked on the board. I had brought an Ethernet transceiver, but we don't yet have the cable that connects the transceiver to the controller board. Therefore, we used Ken's testbed for his ethernet bridge, monitoring the packets sent from the system. 

By the end of the day, we had good packets, thus only the transceiver and cable needs testing to wrap this up. Of course, we have to test Ken's bridge once it is through development. 

Optical mouse efforts

The optical mouse we have came with the wrong connector on the cable, which was incapable to hooking to the Alto. Al Kossow had a broken mouse with the correct cable and connector for the Alto - he donated the PCB and cable from inside.

The broken mouse he had was the Hawley mechanical type, which direct soldered one end of the cable to the PCB, whereas the Lyons optical mouse has a ten pin connector on the mouse end. I unsoldered the cable and Marc soldered the new connector on. When I reassembled the mouse and tested it, it was working properly.


I finally found my working 500K gate fpga board and began to resynthesize my logic so that I could continue testing with that board later today when I returned home. However, events conspired so that I did not get to work on the debugging at all today.

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