Search Posts:

Raspberry Pi as Gateway to Internet

SHARE

Return to Threads

  Raspberry Pi as Gateway to Internet by Bill Degnan - 01/03/2015 13:48
Raspberry Pi as Internet Gateway for Vintage Computers
The Raspberry Pi can be used to connect vintage computers to the internet. This image shows my preference - A USB wireless dongle and a USB to serial cable. One could also use the serial port of the Pi, but that method is not covered here.
The operating system I chose is a version of Debian Linux tailored for Apple II use (search the web for "IvanX" to download a copy with directions), but this Pi distro is also good for most other terminal software-driven vintage computers. Click for larger view.

The first thing I attempted was to connect a Digital VT102 terminal to the Raspberry Pi. I used a cabled ethernet conection rather than wireless. I also had a regular display connected to the HDMI port and a wireless USB keyboard attached. Once the VT102 was 100% working I then started experimenting with vintage computers running terminal software. The CBM 256-80 and Apple /// don't really have a lot to choose from, so I was limited in what I could use. Still, I was able to more or less get both of these running well enough to check/send email, Tweet, telnet/ssh, and run command line operations from a linux prompt. Up and running I elimiated the wired internet connection, hdmi display and usb keyboard. It takes a few minutes for the Pi to boot up.

Commodore CBM 256-80 Rear ports with RS232 connector to Rasbperry Pi
Pictured is the rear of a Commodore CBM 256-80 computer. Note the use of the null modem adapter, this is required to connect to the Raspberry Pi as a terminal. The serial to USB cable connects to one of the two USB ports of the Pi. Click for larger view.


Apple III rear ports with RS232 connection to Rasbperry Pi
The rear of an Apple /// computer and the necessary RS232 serial port connection. Click for larger view.


Commodore B Series BeeLine Terminal Software
You will need a terminal program that is compatible with the version of Linux you're running on the Raspberry Pi. BeeLine For the B series CBM line provides enough options to allow a connection with minimal garbled characters. It's not easy and a lot of little Linux-y tweaks and experimenting will be necessary to get things just right. I already configured inittab to open ttyUSB0, but I had to noodle with the baud rate and terminal type. See /etc/inittab. I ended up settling on 1200b 7/1/E/N. Click for larger view.


BeeLine Connection
Here is a good example of what to expect when you boot. At first, while the system initializes, you may see garbled characters, this is normal. Eventually however you should expect a login prompt. Click for larger view.


Apple III running terminal software MicroTerminal while connected to Raspberry Pi
Here is the Apple III after successful connection. Click for larger view.


Apple /// connection, not quite right...more adjustments are needed. I eventually settled on a program called MicroTerminal for the III. Pictured is a screen shot from EasyTerm. Click for larger view.


mutt email program output
This is the Commodore using the email program mutt to pull email from my gmail.com account. Click for larger view.


A few tips...Make sure the terminal is powered on before you fire up the Raspberry Pi so that it will detect that something is on the other end. If you're having trouble, try 1200 baud. That seems to work best for machines that return a lot of garbled characters even if the protocol setting are what you believe to be correct. I'd say start with 1200 baud and use VT52 or VT100 in your inittab for ttyUSB0. Look up legal getty options for terminal types/find an example online. I was not able to find a list of all of the legal emulation names. I am happy to help you if I can.

More photos

Reply
  Demonstration Video by Bill Degnan - 02/28/2015 22:54
Youtube.com demonstration video
CBM 256-80: http://youtu.be/-f1QLJxK49g

Apple ///: http://youtu.be/9bnqrXgHg44


Reply
  IRSSI IRC slashnet.org #vc by Bill Degnan - 06/13/2015 16:54
$ irssi -n billdeg

(IRC for raspberry pi)

/connect irc.slashnet.org
/join #vc

[when done]
/disconnect

MORE COMMANDS:

/clear /c, /cl Clears a channel buffer
/msg /m Send a private message to a user
/names /n Lists the users in the current channel
/query /q Open a query window with a user, or close current query window
/topic /t Displays/edits current topic. Tip: use /t[space][tab] to automatically fill in existing topic.
/window close /wc Force closure of a window.
/whois /wi WHOIS a user. Displays user information

Reply

Resources:


Buy a Commodore Computer Poster

Popular Topics and FAQs


  • Commodore B Series Tips and Tricks
  • Aerocomp TRS 80 M 1 Expansion Unit DDC
  • Items Wanted
  • Lobo Max 80
  • Zenith Z-19-CN
  • Prototype PET 2001 photo
  • Using Toggle Switches to Analyze Memory
  • Commodore Disk Archive Project
  • PET 2001 Prototype at Gametronics 1977
  • Jim Butterfield Photo
  • IMSAI 8080 With Processor Tech. Cutter
  • Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny
  • Cromemco System Three
  • Northstar Horizon - Boot Problem
  • Computer History and Restoration Links
  • Commodore BX-256-80 - 8088 Co-processor
  • S-100 board testing with Z-80 ICE
  • Donner 3500 - an early portable computer
  • Digital (DEC) PDP 11/05 NC Assembly
  • Univac 1219 rescue
  • IMSAI 1.4 BASIC vs. MITS 8K BASIC
  • Fido BBS listing node list 6-13-1986
  • PDP 8e
  • MITS 88-2 SIO (2SIO) for BASIC
  • Visual Technology Inc Model 1050
  • Amiga 2500 Restoration
  • The Evolution Of IBM Computers
  • Replacement teletype print hammer head
  • Archiving and Copying Software 101
  • Computers Built 1940 - 1950
  • CBM B-520 (a.k.a B256-80 or B500 256)
  • RCA COSMAC Microkit
  • Commodore 64K C-116 Mods
  • MITS 8800b Turnmon 9600 baud
  • Catweasel, 8in and 5 1/4
  • Raspberry Pi as Gateway to Internet
  • Digital PDP11 late 1969 early 1970
  • PDP 11/40 72 inch cabinet model
  • PDP 11/40 Industrial 11 model
  • Digitial MicroVAX 3100 30 System
  • Digital VAX 4000-200
  • Commodore 64 / 1541 DRIVEKNOCK
  • Booting the System Using RL02 drive
  • PACS: Reflections by Kathleen Mauchly
  • Tele-Graphic Computer Systems Inc.
  • Commodore B Series SID Jukebox?
  • Installing Core into PDP 11/40
  • Setting Up OpenVMS 7.1 DNS CLERK
  • Felt-Tarrant Comptometer Model J
  • NextStation Color
  • Digital Rainbow (PC100-B2)
  • 1970 Compusad Compulogical Tutor
  • Archiving Papertapes Using DSI NC 2400
  • 1976 P.C.C. Features the MAI JOLT 6502
  • 1961 Beckman DEXTIR Computer
  • UNIVAC 1 and UNIVAC File Computer 1
  • Past Issues:


    misosys catalog

    This image was selected at random from the archive. Click image for more photos and files from this set.