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Sigmarion 2 mod: Adding USB port

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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-07 11:47 AM
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C:Amie - 2020-11-08 5:49 AM
To use AS, the port has to be a client port instead of a host port. It won't support USB OTG or Type-C, so I believe that the physical wiring spec has to be different and logically terminate in a Type-B or Micro-B.


So if the original FOMA port (being USB host) doesn't work, so in principle modding the serial port to a USB client one should do (perhaps by implanting a PL2303 board)?

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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-11-07 12:59 PM
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hpcboy - 2020-11-07 1:46 AM

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CE Geek - 2020-11-06 8:39 AM

These files are available for the Sig 3 - we have the package here in H/PC:Update:

https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/update/aggregator.asp?cid=7

But they're ARM and CE 4.1. Are you trying to recompile?

If you could solve this, maybe we could finally cure the loss of USB support in the NEC MobilePro 880 with the 790 (H/PC 200) ROM (what some of us call an "890" ). ...


The link is dead. Not sure what it is supposed to be.


I guess you have to go through the device selection manually. Just go to the H/PC:Update main page and select the manufacturer (NTT DoCoMo) and then the device (Sigmarion III):

https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/update/
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-07 1:43 PM
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In the Sigmarion III page, there is only one item under "Application Software". When I clicked that the website reported an error and couldn't show program or link.
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-07 3:14 PM
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Found this very interesting driver in the Downloads section:
232usb-RS232 USB driver for Windows CE

It will be another dream come true if there is a way to rewire the serial port on Sig2 to a micro B USB client ...

EDIT: Wait... how about: buy a normal 9-pin RS232C to USB cable, remove both connectors, solder the serial wiring to the pins of the Sig2's serial port on the motherboard, then rewire the USB end to a USB micro B connector, and finally replace Sig2's serial connector with a USB one ... Does this sound too crazy?


Edited by hpcboy 2020-11-07 3:25 PM
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-11-07 9:53 PM
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So, it seems like if you get a PC connection cable N001M, you can connect to a Windows PC as a client. I think it sometimes shows up on Yahoo Japan auction. Not sure if it supports Windows 2000 or XP.

Refer to:
http://www.wince.ne.jp/snap/ceSnapView.asp?PID=383

The N001M cable is serial on one end and USB on the other.

Edited by stingraze 2020-11-07 9:54 PM
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-08 2:58 AM
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stingraze - 2020-11-08 4:53 PM

So, it seems like if you get a PC connection cable N001M, you can connect to a Windows PC as a client. I think it sometimes shows up on Yahoo Japan auction. Not sure if it supports Windows 2000 or XP.

Refer to:
http://www.wince.ne.jp/snap/ceSnapView.asp?PID=383

The N001M cable is serial on one end and USB on the other.


Looking for the cable "N001M" (model number 0an70631) is quite a challenge today. The only one I have spotted was in June. And it seems it was not necessarily listed as Sigmarion or WinCE item, making searching even harder.
Even worse, "N001M" was used by NTT DoCoMo for not just the cable but also AC adapter and large capacity battery pack!

Up to this point there are three viable solutions:
(1) Wait for another N001M cable to pop up somewhere on the web.
(2) Find an equivalent cable. It seems Pocketgame PDA in Japan once made such a cable:
http://www.kawa.net/text/sigmarion3/usb.html
(3) (Most challenging) Research the pins and wiring of the serial port on Sig2. Then convert them to usb via PL2303 and the like.

Well, then, the question is, why don't I just use Sigmarion III (with both USB host and USB client) instead? Quick answers: I actually like the keyboard and the wider (and shorter) screen of Sig2 better. To me Sig3 is not good for typing because fonts are super small on its much higher resolution and narrower display, and Sig3's keyboard feels more squishy than Sig2's. And I like the light greyish scheme of Sig2 better. It gives a more retro look and looks more like a computer than a PDA.

EDIT: On kakuku someone pointed out that the driver for N001M for PC seems to be PL2301 which was older than PL2303 https://bbs.kakaku.com/bbs/00308010188/SortID=4140442/




Edited by hpcboy 2020-11-08 3:26 AM
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-09 10:00 AM
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Mr. stingraze has dropped me yet another pointer. This time it's the pin assignment of Sigmarion II's N001M serial cable!
http://blog.livedoor.jp/yuukin77/archives/50115265.html

Of particular interest is this diagram:


Yesterday I bought a simple RS232 to USB convertor using "T340C" chipset (not the older and more commonplace PL2303). It is a barebone version that provides only basic data transfer. The official schematic is this:


It looks like what's actually needed here is to connect RxD (pin 2), TxD (pin 3), and Gnd (Pin 5), while the remaining pins are not used at all. Is that really the case?

Also, as the pin assignment diagram above is for the N001M cable, this means the pin assignment of Sig2's serial port is actually the mirror (i.e. 1->9, 9->1, etc.). Am I right here?

If so, then modding Sig2's serial port would be relatively straightforward by wiring the three said pins on the serial end and the USB mini B on the other.

I am just a total noob in electronics. Any expert advice is so so much appreciated!



Edited by hpcboy 2020-11-09 10:13 AM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-11-09 10:40 AM
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hpcboy - 2020-11-07 5:43 AM

In the Sigmarion III page, there is only one item under "Application Software". When I clicked that the website reported an error and couldn't show program or link.



It's under "Patches & Fixes."
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-09 10:59 AM
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CE Geek - 2020-11-10 5:40 AM

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hpcboy - 2020-11-07 5:43 AM

In the Sigmarion III page, there is only one item under "Application Software". When I clicked that the website reported an error and couldn't show program or link.



It's under "Patches & Fixes."


Yes, found it under the Hardware Compatibility List. Thanks!
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-09 11:37 AM
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Just created an alternate version of the protection cover for the custom USB port.



Available from the same Thingiverse link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4645949


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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-09 12:00 PM
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Okay, I have this crazy plan. I hope to get help from your expertise here before implementing it.

As you can see, the serial connector is small proprietary RS232 make (the one marked with "A2 01X" ).


Probably I don't have to remove this connector as I can simply solder directly to the pins here at the back of the serial connector. The pins are supposed to be from 1 (leftmost) to 9 (rightmost).


EDIT: I just saw the tiny numbers (1 and 9, right under "HONDA JAPAN" ) engraved on the serial connector. Looking at the pins this way, Pin 1 is actually to the left and Pin 9 the right.


My plan is quite simple.
Step 1: Solder the right pins between Sig2's serial port and the CH340 board.
Step 2: Solder the color wires to the USB min B connector.
Step 3: Piggyback the CH340 board onto the chip right behind the serial connector. There is just enough space for this tiny board to be housed here. Insulation should be added to the bottom of the CH340 board of course.
Step 4: Remove the phone connector to the right of the serial connector. Replace the phone connector with the USB mini B. A small adjustment of the casing may be needed, which can be easily done.


What do you think? Is there anything I miss or misunderstand here?



Edited by hpcboy 2020-11-09 12:37 PM
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-10 9:48 AM
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Just finished soldering the wires. Tested on my Win2000 WM. The CH340 was detected, but on the HPC end, connection with PC failed to be established. I suspect it's due to the incompatible chipset or lack of driver.



Sigmarion II serial port pinout

1 = DCD

2 = RTS

3 = RxD

4 = DSR

5 = TxD

6 = CTS

7 = ?

8 = DTR

9 = GND

CH340 pinout

2 = RxD

3 = TxD

5 = GND

Wiring (Sig 2 <-> CH340)

Pin 3 (RxD) <-> Pin 3 (TxD)

Pin 5 (TxD) <-> Pin 2 (RxD)

Pin 9 (GND) <-> Pin 5 (GND)



Another question: Are RTS and CTS necessary after all? It seems CH340 does not use these pins in my simplified version.


Or should I buy another serial to usb adapter using the more common PL2303 chipset, which was used in numerous Sig2 cable mods in the past?



Edited by hpcboy 2020-11-10 9:50 AM
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hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-11-10 11:25 AM
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Just ordered a new RS232 to USB adapter using PL2303 chipset online. Will try again when the thing arrives. Meanwhile I am going to finetune my DOS experience by installing a complete MS DOS 6.22 under PocketDOS ...
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-11-11 2:31 AM
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Good Luck!
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2020-11-11 8:48 AM
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hpcboy - 2020-11-09 10:59 AM

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CE Geek - 2020-11-10 5:40 AM

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hpcboy - 2020-11-07 5:43 AM

In the Sigmarion III page, there is only one item under "Application Software". When I clicked that the website reported an error and couldn't show program or link.



It's under "Patches & Fixes."


Yes, found it under the Hardware Compatibility List. Thanks!
I'm super confused now. H/PC:Update wasn't working, but you found the app patch in the Hardware Compatibility List Can you show me where this is in the HCL please because it shouldn't be in there? Additionally, are you able to remember/reproduce the H/PC:Update error so I can fix it?

Thanks
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