In a significant update on the Commander X16 front Kevin Williams posted some information on the upcoming Network, MIDI and Serial cards coming soon for the Commander X16.

Utilizing a UART based connection with an ESP32 module, the Network/Serial card achieves a maximum speed of 921,600 baud. While this enhancement brings the card close to supporting one megabit of network speed, it does come with a trade-off. The new crystal configuration lacks compatibility with MIDI baud rates, despite initial efforts to align it accordingly in the first version of the card. Prioritizing the acceleration of network speed to 921.6K over the previous 576K, the decision was made to develop the Network/Serial card. This card features a single physical port with all pins present (RTS/CTS/DSR/DTR/RI/CD/RX/TX), capable of operating at speeds up to 921.6k, in conjunction with the ESP32-based network card.

The MIDI card has been upgraded to a dual port MIDI card. One set of ports is accessible through 3.5mm->DIN adapter cables, while the other is linked to the wavetable header. Additionally, a 9-pin port has been incorporated, providing access to power and both MIDI ports. Although not yet constructed, there are plans to develop a daughter board featuring physical 5-pin DIN ports, potentially equipped with MIDI through functionality for each port. This addition will be optional and deemed unnecessary for users utilizing only one MIDI port or solely relying on the wavetable feature.

A compact general-MIDI wavetable board has been crafted using the Dream SAM2695 chip, which is identical to the one employed by Serdashop in their Dreamblaster S2 board. This board is compatible with any standard wavetable card, extending beyond the Commander card. An additional feature has been integrated: the SAM2695 supports karaoke mode and a microphone input. Although untested at present, it is anticipated that this feature will seamlessly blend your voice and even facilitate various echo/delay effects, all controllable through MIDI commands.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments