Membership Card Control Panel

My Windows application for controlling the Membership Card is called, with very little imagination, the Membership Card Control Panel. The application provides a simple interface to the Membership Card that will be familiar with any person who has used an ELF-class computer or emulator. It has a hex keypad, a two-digit hex display, four command keys for setting the Membership Card operation mode, and an input button.

The control panel also includes an indicator for the mode that the Membership Card is in and a button to open a file in Intel HEX format and load that file on the Membership Card.

The control panel used "COM4" by default. If you need to use a different port, open the installation directory (Program Files\BramblyHill\MCControlPad is the default) and edit the text file with a called "SerialPort.txt" to change the port name in the file to the one that you want to use.

Running the Membership Card from the control panel is straightforward. Connect the Membership Card to the serial port adapter, connect the adapter to the PC, and start the Membership Card Control Panel. The gestures needed to load and run a simple program are:

  • Press R to reset the Membership Card.
  • Press L to put the Membership Card in LOAD mode. 
  • Press MP to set the memory to read-write.
  • Press "7A" to send the first byte.
  • Press "3F" to send the second byte.
  • Press "00" to send the third byte.
  • Press "7B3001" to send the rest of the bytes.
  • Press R to reset the Membership Card.
  • Press G to run the program.
  • Press I to turn on the Q LED, release I to turn the Q LED off.

As with direct control of the Membership Card with a terminal, it is not necessary to press INP between each byte that you are sending to the Membership Card. After each byte is loaded, the hex display is updated with the value on the Membership Card data bus.

Once the program is running, the Q LED on the Membership Card should turn on when you press the input button on the Membership Card Control Panel, and turn off when you release the input button. You can also press and hold the input button on the Membership Card to illuminate teh Q LED.

The mode indicator will show one of the following.

Display Membership Card state
READING LOAD mode with memory set read-only.
LOADING LOAD mode with memory set read-write.

The File... button opens a standard Open File dialog box that you can use to open an Intel HEX format file. After pressing OK, the control panel puts the Membership Card in LOAD mode with memory set to read-write, and then sends each data byte from the file to the membership card. At the end of the data the Membership Card is reset and memory set to read-only.

The control panel only does rudimentary validation that the file is in Intel HEX format. It only sends data to the Membership Card if the line starts with a colon (":") and has a zero ("0") as the eight character in the line. The control panel then sends all data to the Membership Card, starting with the ninth character and ending two characters before the end of the line, ignoring the CRC value at the end of the line.

I've tested file sending with files from the A18 assembler and the example Intel HEX file from Wikipedia.

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