Fabricating Timeline Micro Lynx transport cables

jpmorris

Tape Wolf
It is indeed strange that TimeLine would have used the 50 pin Transport Port, as I have explained that to my knowledge the Alesis would need the RS-422 data lines, and for the Lynx-2 there were no such signals named on the port. Perhaps they were "faking it" by utilizing some pins that were usually assigned to some other function, and changing the meaning of the data lines virtually, i.e. in software.

I would assume so. The Lynx 1 uses the 50-pin transport cable for everything transport-related, and since different decks have different interpretations of the parallel sync protocol (or just made up their own) there has to be something clever going on to repurpose or internally reroute the pins under software control, otherwise the menu to select the tape deck type would be pointless. I'm fairly sure that the deck/model selection determines what the pinout is actually doing, and reusing TTL pins that are normally either high or low to send serial data shouldn't be too hard.
 

brainditch

New member
Oh, jpmorris - regarding the odd conclusions about the Lynx-2 side of the cable -I simply had a "senior moment" which I only found out about a couple of hours ago- back on page 6. By the era of the Lynx-2, (then later on the Microlynx) they were apparently serving up deck control and serial streams on the same connector.
But you're right, that would surely be the most economical way to do it, since there wouldn't be any other way that I can think of to be able to change configurations on the fly- keep it virtual, but only program the new variations of pin assignment when you had to. Reusing what works, in a word.
 

brainditch

New member
Actually, part of the reason they have different menus for the different decks is that the programmers were clever enough to realize that every model number, in fact every individual unit, can have differing transport "ballistics"- that correspond to differences with the way they respond in realtime.

Not to mention the fact that there were other model variations to keep track of: Capstan Frequencies, Control Voltage ranges, etc. As I was digging deeper in the manual that was one of the things that swayed me towards the TimeLine products- they recognized that to keep a solid lock on analog decks they needed to juggle a lot of different variables.
 

brainditch

New member
Announcement: New Cable Schemo

Hi folks, just a quick announcement for those interested in this thread, much new cable information/documentation is now available in the following thread:

Techno-Archeology: TimeLine Product Documentation and Upkeep

See particularly Post #46, as there is now a new cable schemo - never before available on the web (AFAIK) - which describes in detail a re-creation based on a physical specimen of a Lynx-2 to Alesis AI-2 Transport Cable (TimeLine Catalog #71384). Even though there are some possible differences on a per cable basis, the raw cable configuration is described in exhaustive detail in the accompanying Observation Document, which may be of value to anyone re-creating many of the TimeLine Transport Cables.
 

brainditch

New member
FYI - Firefox Browser Users - RE: Missing Post Images

For those thread readers who may be confused by apparently missing photo (.jpg) images (particularly from timkroeger's post #33, and sweetbeats posts #37 & 38), there appears to be a bug in certain versions of the Firefox browser (Rev. 5) which do not allow viewing of them.

Nothing further is known as of the time of this post about this issue. Firefox is providing no visible clues to the reader that the post contained such images- however other browsers are displaying some indication that the post(s) contain images, even if they are unable to load them currently.
 

jpmorris

Tape Wolf
For those thread readers who may be confused by apparently missing photo (.jpg) images (particularly from timkroeger's post #33, and sweetbeats posts #37 & 38), there appears to be a bug in certain versions of the Firefox browser (Rev. 5) which do not allow viewing of them.

Nothing further is known as of the time of this post about this issue. Firefox is providing no visible clues to the reader that the post contained such images- however other browsers are displaying some indication that the post(s) contain images, even if they are unable to load them currently.

I should perhaps point out that I'm using Firefox myself. I'll have to check what I have at home but I've just tested with 59.0 and I'm not seeing any problems with that. I take it you've done things like CTRL-F5 to force a reload and discard any (possibly damaged) cached images?
 

brainditch

New member
[MENTION=31942]jpmorris[/MENTION] - Bingo! The cache flush & refresh trick worked! Thanks for that hot tip. I wasn't aware of the Cntrl + F5 combo before, chalk it up to a naive user. Still a weird behavior for a Browser of any variety to not show some indication of content existence, even if unreadable. Not something I'd noticed before when I was using IE. Thanks again!
 

timkroeger

Custom Title User
Explanation is in this post. Too long, didn't read: it's not a bug, but a security feature of newer browsers. I fixed the server redirects on my end so the images work again.
 

ramsammy

New member
Of course you're right about the specific IC's or even IC families being different. After all, the concept of Application Specific IC's was fairly new for the '80's, such that the Uncommited Logic Arrays and Programmable Logic Arrays you mentioned as being possibly involved were "best in class" for that era.

The overall concept of wide-word parallel to serial conversion for the purpose of quasi-realtime Phase Lock Looping is what I was referring to as similar between the Microlynx and Lynx 1/ Lynx 2 units.

Do you still have the .bin files from your EPROM refresh/copy somewhere? Might be cool to post those up for posterity's sake, as I'm going to try to do just that for my Microlynx when it arrives (and I can get a decent burner purchased).

Hi brainditch, did you ever get to upload copies of the Microlynx eprom images. I have recently aquired a Microlynx with (I think) corrupted eproms. versions CP 1.35 and MC 1.34. I am assuming electrical connections are good. There are LEDs on the circuit board that are all lit, and I am led to believe that these things either flash or not light at all if there is a contact fault. The two LEDs on the front panel flash for a while on boot up and then go out. The keyboard Data led flashes but no valid LED. I live in hope.
Thanks Garry
 

brainditch

New member
[MENTION=202237]ramsammy[/MENTION] - Thanks for your query. I still haven't managed to get the EPROMs copied, never was able to get an affordable, reliable, and versatile PROM burner that could cover all the devices I needed copying/maintenance of. I see you found my original thread "Techno-Archeology..." about TimeLine devices. When I can get it together - that's where I'll try to post them, now that the forum (apparently) allows for those types of files to be uploaded.
 
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