Xbox Alpha sound

Discussion in 'Xbox (Original console)' started by CodeAsm, May 5, 2014.

  1. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    WIP:
    4-8-2014
    Currently designing the components for in Eagle

    You can help and/or see my progress:
    https://github.com/CodeAsm/AlphaSound

    -----------------------------------------------------
    Recent pictures of the WM9707 card appeared to have a WM9701A chip.
    This made me thinking of making this replica card sooner just to make sure I got a working chip and maybe ordering the WM9701A from a supplier I got details from.

    But what is this all about and why do you like to have one? this is the Audio card for a "franken" or real Alpha Xbox pc. If you dont know anything about it, about Xbox alpha pc, Alpha I or Alpha II. just google or search a bit on this website. Long story short, one can build a Alpha xbox one from parts on Ebay and other sources (its "just normal pc parts"... read: specific parts) its a predecessor of the Xbox 1 (the classic dark green, 2001ish gameconsole). its the prototype of some sort for developers and intern MS to make software for the real deal comming next year (when this came out).

    Anyway, here are some pictures and links:
    [​IMG][/SIZE]
    Thanks to vectrex_rox


    And an old Datasheet from the Archive:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040517010459/http://www.wolfsonmicro.com/uploads/documents/WM9707AMR.pdf


    With a snapshot of the PCB layout here.
    [​IMG]

    My idea is to make these pcb's somewhere not too cheap, just good and working. Have one (now proberbly wrong WM9707 ) and gonna order some WM9701A from a chinese suplier.
    Dunno if they work, cost me arround 3 euros each (the ic) the boards cost more. But I first need to get these pcb's manufactured. I think I need to make a gerberfile. Because the specifications note that the board size need to be atleast 2.7 Inch wide (68.78 Milimeters) and atleast 4.2 Inch heigth (106.68 Milimeters) its hard to find a cheap fab. I think I can redesign the board to 100 Milimeters so a 100 by 100 order should do it. Seeedstudio says it will be $20.9 for 5 boards of 100x100mil.
    Personaly a maybe/hopefully functioning board of arround 10 dollars is a awesome.

    Biggest 2 risks, the money ill need to spend and a high change of the IC's not working (its china, right to copy, all fake parts posible)

    What is your idea and are some of you willing to buy atleast the board if Ill make them? (i can try one board at school but if I know some of you like to try aswell ;P)
    The WM9701A I see at Aliexpress only sale at 10 pieces (wich in someway I find scary, and potencial fake) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/100-new-original-WM9701A-WM9701-WOLFSON-QFP48/1083083332.html
    with a total of 31 USD.

    Anway, I like to keep you guys/girls updated of about what I am about to do. I do have a loose WM9707 wich I ordered from ebay, can test that one at least at a board ill like to build. If that one works, we can also try using the WM9707, ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/WM9707CFT-V...068?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2771fd14

    But i want to keep the hardware as close as posible, and atleast want the games to work. So If people with the working card can confirm the used IC, more pictures?
    So, I only got the datasheets. 1 IC, and gonna spend some time this month in Eagle or send the PDF to a PCB fab (maybe seeedstudio or other cheap but proven OK fab accepts the pdf?)
    Hope you like the read, english isnt my native language and dont have alott of money. but I can handle this build, especialy if succesfull and people are intrested in buying :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
    amiga1200 likes this.
  2. dans87

    dans87 Site Supporter 2013,14,15

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    count me in for one (if its going to be a complete board)
     
  3. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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    Same, probably take 2 myself.
     
  4. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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  5. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    I think CodeASM has tried.
     
  6. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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  7. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    I never asked wolfson, Probebly closed or ended. You could try :p
    I got some IC's from chinese sellers and currently designing the pcb (copy the schematics and such from the pdf, 3 pcb fabs asked for gerber files and dont like the pdfs unless Ill pay lot more money)

    So it took a while to start and i lost some files, but I use GIT now, so they cant get lost, and maybe others can help:
    https://github.com/CodeAsm/AlphaSound

    Still a beginner in Eagle, but the components are getting there (done schematics before as well as routing)
    PCB making could be cheap, Would people prefer cheap or green and as original as posible?
    http://dirtypcbs.com/ is cheap, and good, used them for 2 other projects before. the original board is 106.68 mm X 68.78mm (4.2 inch X 2.708 inch)

    Lot of parts arent placed on the actual board in a alpha and I can fit it in a 10 by 10
    Anyway, first the parts and schematics in eagle, ill see where a cheap fab can make our board later this month

    Also have to source U3 and U4, but they are cheap and probebly work (of the now 2 kind of WM970x im not sure)
    I got 2 WM9701A, but slightly diferent printing than on the example picture.

    EDIT
    (I might try "Protoboarding" the IC also... first let me get the 2 missing other ic's, just to test the WM9701, but im afraid long cables and digital signals might not like this method)

    EDIT2:
    Asked Wolfson for the Gerber files and if they maybe have some boards left... low change with these companies, but hey, just try again :D)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  8. Teancum

    Teancum Intrepid Member

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    Very interesting. I imagine this will be neccesary should we ever figure out how to make our own alpha kits.
     
  9. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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    Great information, I'm also curious about the ICs used in the U3 and U4 locations, have you identified those yet? I wish I could hold one in my hand, would be so much easier to get information. Reading over the github files and looks like you identified the other U3 and U4...
     
  10. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    Basicly one could build the bare minimum (as the alpha used) or populate everything (not realy everything, because some parts are for specific WM970x or configurations)
    wonder what the SPIF would do on a alpha. it looks to me only the audio out of the codec is used, no audio in or any direct CD audio.
    EDIT: 9707 apears to have pins44 and 48 for Spdif, the WM9701 who is pin compatible, lacks Spdif, populating those pads will probebly do nothing. J11 is for enabling this, probebly not needed either. For buidling a working board, ill follow the Pictures when they correspond to setting up a WM9701A

    if my 9707 works and someone happens to get their hands on a 9704, a small trick might make finding working ic's easier. because of the AC'97 spec it might work with a wider series of Codec chips, as long as the XBox dashboard thinks its talkin to the correct chip (in theory that could be any codec ic, with the correct registers and pinout)
    EDIT: 9704 might have more options availeble, but not what we need. I could test my 9707 for compatiblity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  11. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I contacted wolfson, they ignored the emails.

    No fab house will accept the PDF, they want to charge you as they will basically have to make the schematic from the PDF by hand, then lay out the board by hand too.

    No offense, but it seems you are biting off more than you are capable of. Though its a good way to learn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  12. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    Intel and MS(duh) are the same. but could try wolfson again...:/

    anyway there are some who happily take your PDFs and make a PCB for you.... when you give lots of money that is.
    yes, I did found 2 or so pcb fabs that wanted to see money for a quote on PDFs to PCB... they dint wanted to start looking at it, money in first.. of course :)

    Internet and talking to each other with a screen between can make things appear different than reality.
    I dont know your history or skill set,but you've shown some nice mod-chip design skills and know your things around the gaming scene. Dont judge me on so little I (can*) show here.
    I certainly hope to learn more, I hope you enjoy teaching what you know to others because that is what I love: sharing the knowledge I gain.

    *NDA, even on the most crappy small projects
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  13. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    I know this too well
     
  14. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    To be honest, feelings are hard to express, especially because English isn't my native language (and I'm learning new words and meanings of word, or combinations of them everyday).
    I'm getting satisfied with how its going now, other feelings where taking my enjoyment away first.
    Thanks Amiga1200 ;) One of the reasons I like to put my ideas and findings online for everyone to read, even my mistakes, so others can learn or laugh at common mistakes.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/msadaghd Go watch some of them, there is some good info in these.

    Don't know where this is going, but people are trying to get this pcb of the ground. I wonder if the Chinese(Aliexpress, Ebay stores) really sell the working WM9701A.
    I just try to make one or so and we will see where we are going. I hope to get Audio out of my frankenAlpha someday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  15. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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  16. Syclopse

    Syclopse .

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    On another note, with all these franken-alpha's being built, might as well get as close as you can to the original case used on the Alpha's. They were GlobalWin YCC-802 cases that you could buy from 99-02. Microsoft had a front panel made and sent them off for painting. Here is an old review, http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/reviews/cases/YCC802_1.html

    So now you know why the floppy was installed ass-backwards, because of the front panel MS used.
     
  17. amiga1200

    amiga1200 Dauntless Member

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    @ CodeAsm. :smile-new:
    anytime.
    it's a blast reading this.
    different story putting me at a workbench and professional tools, probably make a lump of molten tin knowing my shaky hands.
    give me an arc/mig/tig welder (not Oxyacetylene) and i'm the man! :witless:
    ...
    appreciate the share all the same, i bookmark all the hardcore technical threads encountered, read em and pass links on to friends that 'can do'...
    they do projects for themselves, but rarely have the time to forum whore (like me apparently) and have to chase to the cut.
    ...
    in fact, a few users here they have to thank for their efforts too.
    thanks for all the hard work you put into your projects! :wink-new:
     
  18. shadow.wizzard

    shadow.wizzard Newly Registered

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    why dont we just work on leak kernel source and change the audio driver to make it work with other sound card that easy to get?
     
  19. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    Better late than never?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. HEX1GON

    HEX1GON FREEZE! Scumbag

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    Just start up a porn studio Borman :p

    Very nice photos of the sound card! This is the one out of your unit right, not another one?
     

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