Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

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Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 11:46 am

Hi,

I have a serial to WiFi modem and would like to connect it to my Q68 so that I can do some good old BBSing. Does the Q68's serial port support this, and if so would somebody be kind enough to guide me through the steps I need to follow on the SMSQE end of things? I must confess that I was completely lost when reading the SMSQE networking section of the manual :/

The modem is set (by default) to 300 baud, 8 bits, No Parity, 1 Stop bit and software flow control (XON/XOFF). The baud rate can be upped to 115200. It supports the AT Hayes command set which I am having fun re-learning from a manual! It's been a while.

If this is not possible on the Q68, I assume that it is on the QL black box with suitable adapter cable (which I have from Mutant Caterpillar) . I have a JM ROM, Hermes 2 and SGC, if that makes any difference. Which of the two serial ports would normally be used for this?

And any recommendations for a good QL terminal program? VT100 compatibility would be great.

Apologies for the number of questions, but I've never tried serial comms on a QL or derivative before.


a.k.a. Jean-Yves
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sat Jul 23, 2022 1:25 pm

Hi,

The Q68 has one Serial port on the rear of the case, which is 9 Pin D Connector, which is designated SER1

The WIFI modem may connect directly to the Q68 Serial port or use a straight 9 cable, (not a null modem).

The Baud Rate for the serial port speed to the modem is set with the BAUD command.

BAUD ser_no, rate

For SER1: BAUD 1,19200

The default is 9600 Baud

Once you connected tge modem, set the serial port speed, load a suitable Terminal programme:

QTPI, QEM, QTERM... therecare quite few, but one that supports ANSI and VT100

and co figure the connection to Serial, set the modem speed to highest available.

To test the Q68/QL to modem conne tion is correct, type into the terminal:
AT
should return OK

Then follow the procedure to dial a BBS from the modem manual.

I have used a Simulant Retro WIFI on a Q68, QL with fairly good results.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 1:56 pm

Many thanks Derek, that is super helpful. :)

I'll have a try tomorrow hopefully .


a.k.a. Jean-Yves
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sat Jul 23, 2022 2:44 pm

Hi,

The Simulant Wifi Retro Modem, has the same bolt arrangement, as the Q68, which inhibits direct connection.

So I removed the bolts on the Q68, so the Simulant Modem could engage with the Q68 serial port.

You could also use a straight 9 pin cable.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 3:10 pm

Hi Derek,

I could not wait until tomorrow to try! :) However, when I enter BAUD 1, 300 (say, to match the Q68 to the modem's initial start speed), I get "not implemented". I have tried other speeds too.

VER$ gives me "HBA", which is SMSQE (I believe?). so i have not inadvertently loaded another ROM ... what did I miss?

Thanks,
JY


a.k.a. Jean-Yves
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sat Jul 23, 2022 3:36 pm

Hi,

Sorry, made mistake the Q68 has only one serial port so the SER nimber is not required, Try BAUD 300

But the baud rate from the computer to modem can be a different speed than the Baud rate of the modem connect speed

A Baud Rate of 300 is slow, you need to look at the modem configuration settings.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Sat Jul 23, 2022 3:53 pm

Ahah! Thanks again Derek :)

Seems like 300 baud is not available though - BAUD 300 gives me "Not implemented" still. However, BAUD 9600 worked :)

I may need to get my QL out of it's box so that I can connect to the modem for the first time and set its BAUD rate up to 9600 at that end too.
Will report back on my progress, and again, thanks.


a.k.a. Jean-Yves
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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Peter » Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:43 pm

As long as you set the serial port to software flow control, nothing speaks against using 115200 Baud. This rate has been extensively tested with SERNET, even without any flow control. Just don't try to use hardware flow control - I did not have enough signal lines left and had to omit it on the Q68.


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Re: Q68 and serial to WiFi modem. Doable?

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:41 pm

Hi,

This old knowledge from the BBS days in the 1980s, I have forgotten most of it, but here is a little summary.

I think there is an area of confusion here, when using modems, there are 2 serial speeds or Baud Rate to consider:

1. The Baud Rate from the Computer to the Modem

I usually set the Q68 Baud Rate to the Modem to 9600 with the BAUD command: BAUD 9600,

This can be higher like BAUD 115200

2. The Modem connect Baud Rate

The modem serial connecting speed to the BBS is the maximum speed of the modem this is setin the modem setup. This is not the same as the Q68 Baud Rate.

Set the modem to the maximum Baud Rate the modem supports. The connection to the BBS is negoiated and the BBS software will send connecting Baud Rates starting at the highest to lowest.

You coukd set a low modem connect speed of 300 Baud, but the transfer if data slow, old POTS systems, were connecting at 33600 Baud, while X2 rates of upto 57600. Which my Pbox BBS coukd connect at 56K Baud assuming the other modems coukd support that serual speed, most used slower cinnect speeds.

The flow control of the modem should be set to Software Control.

The Wifi Serial modem has the wrong connector fitted and will not connect to the Q68 serial port without removing the cable securing bolts on the modem, or use a straight 9 pin D male to female cable.

They should of fitted screw bolts to screw into the Q68 or PC serial port Connector.

But with this done, the Wifi modem works great with the Q68 using QLTER, QTPI, QEM


Regards,

Derek

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