Mystery object, fits Econet socket

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ajw99uk
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Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am

Turns out what I had assumed was an Econet interface for Arc/A5000 (or Master) isn't, at least none of those show on BeebMaster's page. Apologies to myelin, whose hopes of Econetting his two Masters have been dashed.

It is a little over two inches wide and long, with 4 and 17 pins underneath. Under the black plastic you can make out four ICs and 2 or 3 small bumps which I guess are capacitors/resistors. There is also a small wire pool protruding from the topside, midway along the same edge as the 4-pin plug on the underside.

Having ruled out Econet, I have been looking for Econet-socket interfaces. The Serial Port did a MIDI card and a SCSI card, but its neither of those. EcoSCSI had a 50pin plug on top and the MIDI interface has its components on the underside.

Any ideas as to what it is or how to identify it without removing the plastic? (I fear doing so may cause damage).

As the part could fit a Master, this topic might belong in 8bit hardware but let's start with 32bit!

Image
ecomystery-topside.jpg
(14.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet

ecomystery-underside.jpg
Last edited by 1024MAK on Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to allow the top side photo to show as a picture
Running RISCOS: A5000, A540, R140, RiscPC, RPi B
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danielj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby danielj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:01 pm

If you try plugging it into one of the Arcs which doesn't have networking installed, if it is econet it should result in the network icon appearing in RiscOS 3?

d.

sirbod
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby sirbod » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:09 pm

What's on the other side? The chips will help identify it.

Get a high power lamp on it, see if you can identify the ones under the resin.

RobC
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby RobC » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:12 pm

sirbod wrote:What's on the other side? The chips will help identify it.

From the attachment, it looks like the whole thing is potted/covered in resin.

Makes me think it might be somewhat unusual as it seems like a lot of effort to protect standard hardware...

ajw99uk
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:37 pm

danielj wrote:If you try plugging it into one of the Arcs which doesn't have networking installed, if it is econet it should result in the network icon appearing in RiscOS 3?

d.

No sign of any network icon in an Archimedes (RO 3.11). Pretty sure it's not Econet, after looking through BeebMaster, Chris' Acorns and Retrokit pages.
RobC wrote:From the attachment, it looks like the whole thing is potted/covered in resin.
Makes me think it might be somewhat unusual as it seems like a lot of effort to protect standard hardware...

Whatever the coating is, it is not scratched by fingernail (admittedly not applying massive pressure) and what seemed to be a loose edge by the pins resisted a gentle scrape/pull, so I am very concerned that trying to remove it would damage the components.

Have just found this http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~theo ... /ecosp.zip as a possible candidate (very speculatively!) but again think there are too few components to be seen (and the resin shroud would prevent connections for power and clock crystal)
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ajw99uk
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:52 pm

sirbod wrote:What's on the other side? The chips will help identify it.
Get a high power lamp on it, see if you can identify the ones under the resin.

I did attach a 'topside' photo but only the underside is displaying in-line - let's try again
ecomystery-topside.jpg
(14.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet

The coating is about 1mm thick on top of the ICs so I fear the only way to find out more will be to try removing it.
Running RISCOS: A5000, A540, R140, RiscPC, RPi B
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1024MAK
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby 1024MAK » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm

If the size of the image/picture/photo is below a certain size, the forum software will not create a 'thumbnail' image.
In this case, click on the highlighted link in the preview display window, which will display the image, then copy this URL. Now go back (back button) to the post, use the Img tag and insert the URL :wink:

I have edited your first post so that both photos now show up.

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

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danielj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby danielj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:15 pm

it's a bit dongley, isn't it :?

d.

ajw99uk
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:00 pm

1024MAK wrote:I have edited your first post so that both photos now show up.

Mark

Thank you - the topside view is only 15KB and slightly smaller dimensions.
Running RISCOS: A5000, A540, R140, RiscPC, RPi B
Running *nix: SGI Fuel & Indigo2, RPi2, x86, amd64, RiscPC, A540, R140

ajw99uk
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:19 pm

danielj wrote:it's a bit dongley, isn't it :?

d.

You mean a hardware key required by some software? For a non-Net machine, not a bad way of doing it - less awkward than a box sticking out of the back where space may be tight. Offset by the risk you forget it's there when disposing of the machine!
Running RISCOS: A5000, A540, R140, RiscPC, RPi B
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danielj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby danielj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:30 pm

Aye... The thing is, I'm not aware of anything that required a dongle on the Master, and for the arc I think it was mostly impression etc, and they used the printer port...

d.

crj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby crj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:43 pm

It looks to me like there's way more stuff under there than would be needed for a dongle. Just a PAL ought to do the trick.

Have you tried plugging it in and checking it's actually... an Econet interface? Maybe someone bodged one up themselves, or it's a prototype thata somehow entered the wild, or something?

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danielj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby danielj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:53 pm

I did consider that, but there isn't a big chunky MC6854 in there that I can see... (and it didn't cause the net icon to appear on an arc!)

d.

RobC
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby RobC » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:59 pm

It seems that the Econet Level 3 fileserver real time clock module was also potted:
http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/individual/newprodpages/prodinfo.php?prodcode=ACO-ECONETRTC

Maybe this is a Master/Arc equivalent? (Not sure how it would work in place of the Econet module though.)

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lazarusr
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby lazarusr » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:19 pm

RobC wrote:It seems that the Econet Level 3 fileserver real time clock module was also potted:
http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/individual/newprodpages/prodinfo.php?prodcode=ACO-ECONETRTC

Maybe this is a Master/Arc equivalent? (Not sure how it would work in place of the Econet module though.)

Off topic, but seriously? That thing is marked as not working and as it is potted it is probably unrepairable. Yet they are asking £50 for it.

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danielj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby danielj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:40 pm

Given some of the obscure gannet like behaviour I've witnessed around useless hardware, I'm inclined to say if someone wants to pay £50 for it then more power to CJE's elbow...

d.

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paulv
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby paulv » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:08 pm

.. and it's not an RTFM Joystick interface which also plugs into the Econet port...

http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/content/RTFM-Joystick-interface/

Image

EDIT:

Also, that component to the back left looks bigger than an IC, more like one of those blocky CMOS battery type things...

Paul

crj
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby crj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:25 pm

My guess was that there are some RF cans hiding under that epoxy.

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vanpeebles
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:36 pm

Roswell Alien Technology! 8)

ajw99uk
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Re: Mystery object, fits Econet socket

Postby ajw99uk » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:09 am

crj wrote:My guess was that there are some RF cans hiding under that epoxy.

paulv wrote:Also, that component to the back left looks bigger than an IC, more like one of those blocky CMOS battery type things...

Good point, both - as I tried to reply last night (but must have closed the tab before submitting ...):
The long/thin oblongs have 14, 24 and 20 pins respectively, visible (though only just in parts) as small bumps on the underside. The short/fat one has a tiny bump at each corner. In one corner a protruding blob that may be a small capacitor, and a handful of small bumps. Plus the wire loop.

Paul, thanks for the joystick controller photo. I had seen and discounted that, but forgot to add it to my list.
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