User avatar
Mixel

Posted Tue May 12, 2020 3:57 pm

Hi!

I decided to try a graphics tablet on the Amiga so downloaded FormAldiHyd and bought an old Aiptek hyperpen 6000.. This tablet has a ps/2 socket, a 9 pin serial and a big chunky round thing that I don’t recognise..

Aaanyway, I thought using a standard PC 25pin to 9 pin serial adapter would work, but.. maybe not?

When I plug it into my A1200 the power light on the tablet doesn’t come on. It comes on if I plug it into the ps/2 port on the PC though.. (not that windows 10 supports such an ancient tablet and its drivers..)

So I’m sat thinking.. is there something wrong with the a) serial adapter, b) my Amiga’s serial port or c) the serial connector on the tablet...

Or maybe I have to do something special with the serial settings in AmigaOS (3.1.4) to get it to power the tablet? The formaldehyd readme says if it doesn’t have the power light there’s no point messing in formaldihyd’s settings, so it’s definitely a problem before the driver gets involved.. is there some sort of serial test application. I’m stumped.

I wonder what this means about “keyboard adapter stuff”?
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Sorry I’m coming here to ask these questions the software was last updated 19 years ago I doubt it’s still supported, haha!

I haven’t got any other serial device so don’t know what the next step should be.. is there a functional reason why this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-D ... B000087RYP adapter wouldn’t work? Ports wired differently on Amiga or something? If so, does anyone have any links/recommendations?

Thanks in advance if anyone knows anything. 😅

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue May 12, 2020 4:34 pm

Back in the day before USB was a big deal, I'm certain all of my art tablets were independently powered. I actually bought a NOS tablet for my Amiga, too, which I've yet to pull out of the box; it also is powered.

Based on research I had done last year, I picked up this one. It's far smaller than what I'm used to at work but I figured it would be fine for the projects I have in mind.
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Check out the "Not for resale" silkscreened right onto the tablet. Kinda neat, honestly. This was an "official" demo version that was never used.

I got a serial port adapter for it, but I'm also at a crossroads here. I've got two different serial port cards for my A2k/A3k machines and have been wanting to pop one in for this device specifically so I can leave my machine's default 25-pin port for the wifi modem, which is also powered by the way.

I worry all the pulling and pushing I do with that thing will eventually wear out the port, or the modem. I've just been too distracted lately.

My question around these things are the drivers. There are a few out there, but were there graphics programs that even supported hundreds of levels of pressure sensitivity? Or will it function more like a very natural mouse? That's my guess, but I look forward to finding out eventually.

User avatar
Mixel

Posted Tue May 12, 2020 11:56 pm

That’s a nice looking little tablet! I was thinking of getting an OG serial Wacom Graphire as that was my first decent usb tablet so it has some nostalgia for me but the FormAldiHyd drivers list the hyperpen 6000 as “full” rather than partial support, so I risked it.. the pencil is battery powered so many it doesn’t draw much power..

DPaint 5 theoretically has pressure sensitive tablet support (needs tablet.library) - that’s primarily what I wanted to experiment with. I’m really bad at getting the right adapters though. This one that at least has the right size/gender is my second attempt after I mistakenly bought one with the wrong 9pin side.. then bought an adaptor to change its gender.. then realised it was for the parallel port anyway.. 😅

At least the tablet only cost me £5, haha.

I probably have to find another device to establish the port works at all.

I had similar worries to you about the port as eventually I’ll probably want a modem and maybe even a midi interface.. is there any way to get those for the parallel port instead? Or add more serial ports? I’m a bit limited for options with my a1200 case. 😕

Back in the day I think we had a switch box for serial devices, but I can’t find a reference to them online, so maybe I imagined it!

Damn! You’re right about needing external power, haha.. found this post: http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=787426&postcount=12 how the heck am I going to get 5v into the PS2 port.. I guess I just get a 10foot long ps/2 extension cable and have it connect to my PC?! LOL. I’m a bit worried that’ll confuse it! 😂

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Wed May 13, 2020 3:24 am

Was also going to point out that the PS/2 connector most probably is for power. Might try USB to PS/2 converters, but make damn sure the Pinout is compatible. If so you could use a usb psu.

The serial connection seems quite flexible. It looks like you have the option to use a different board. The question is: where do you configure this?

As for the A1200, there are(were) clockport devices around for a high speed serial connection. Especially the so-called ‘silver surfer‘ units are more or less still available. Others were the Twister1200 and the Hypercom3cp. The latter was available as Zorro or clockport edition, be careful ;) .

If you feel bold you could also get a Rapidroad for the clockport to get usb and then add a USB2Ser adaptor.

Warning: attaching a clockport device the wrong way will create magic smoke!!

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Wed May 13, 2020 3:25 am

Oh and by the way.
No, parallel is not an option. 😉

User avatar
Mixel

Posted Wed May 13, 2020 7:25 am

Thanks for all the advise. 😁 I’m (eventually) going to try powering it from my pc that’s a few meters away, lol. Cable should arrive tomorrow..

Saying that, this all may be a moot point as I seem to have corrupted my cf card. It doesnt Mount my dh0: anymore, and I’m getting all sorts of weird behaviour apart from that. I should probably start a new thread for that, if I can’t solve it by tonight. 😭😭😭

(As a quick aside, to save it from being a whole other big story/faff.. is there a procedure to fix partitions and boot lock stuff? I can get Winuae to mount the partitions on the cf, just not boot from them. I wonder if there’s a repair tool I can run within uae, maybe?)

User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Wed May 13, 2020 4:14 pm

So you are a little further along the tablet installation route than me. I have a couple of Wacom tablets with serial ports. The actual serial port has a place to insert the power cable.

In all my years as a designer, Wacom has been the tablet that best served the pro community. Looking on a aminet, there are a fair amount of options for Wacom (http://aminet.net/search?query=wacom) along with loads of discussions on the eab.

My suggestion would be to sell your current one and locate an old Wacom tablet.

User avatar
Mixel

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 4:13 am

fxgogo wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 4:14 pm
So you are a little further along the tablet installation route than me. I have a couple of Wacom tablets with serial ports. The actual serial port has a place to insert the power cable.

In all my years as a designer, Wacom has been the tablet that best served the pro community. Looking on a aminet, there are a fair amount of options for Wacom (http://aminet.net/search?query=wacom) along with loads of discussions on the eab.

My suggestion would be to sell your current one and locate an old Wacom tablet.
Oh, I agree in principal! I’m a huge Wacom fan too, I’ve owned two Graphire, three intuos and a Cintiq over the years. 🙂 All USB though sadly. I went with this because it was so cheap (£5 lol) and claims to be perfectly supported easily. The only reason I don’t use really use a Wacom for work anymore is I prefer working on the iPad now.

But now my Amiga is dead until I can at least replace the psu.. and maybe longer as, who knows how serious it is. :(

If it works well enough that I do end up using it for much drawing I will probably upgrade to a Wacom, likely a Graphire because that was my first nice tablet. Or maybe the hyperpen will miraculously work ok? I guess I’ll find out, eventually, if/when my Amiga is alive again. :(

User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 4:02 pm

I saw that on your other post. Nothing worse than having your equipment flake out on you as you are setting them up. Hope it gets sorted.

User avatar
Mixel

Posted Tue May 19, 2020 5:57 pm

Thanks! It’s back up and running now with a new PSU, I’m so glad that fixed things. Boots nice and fast again and outputs a video signal. 😅

And the tablet works! It’s pretty nice so far but I can’t get pressure to work.. according to the drivers the best bet is ArtEffect, but when I try to run it (V2) I get software failure.. trying to troubleshoot it I disabled fblit, reduced resolution and so on, to no avail.. Even tried booting from a 3.1wb floppy.. same guru. ☹️
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I don’t know how easy to decode that is as an error message!

Even without pressure support it’s quite a nice experience, a lot like drawing with a biro or something. I’ll doodle something tomorrow regardless of where I get with pressure.. it seems like DPaint specifically needs a weird antique graphics tablet, and ppaint.. idk - it’s almost like their pressure setting is a placeholder as you can turn it on and off but it does nothing and I can’t find any mention of it in the manual.

Oh my god I just got it to work in Photogenics.. Sort of! My Amiga is NOT fast enough to pull it off convincingly, and pressing the stylus down harder makes the opacity lighter like some sort of inverse demon pencil, but it’s definitely.. something?! Learning to draw with that would be a bit like learning to draw with an etch-a-sketch.. I might be up for the challenge if I don’t figure out something that works a bit less crazily. :lol:
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This is so much fun!





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