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Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

RapidRoad USB Review
« on: November 27, 2014, 06:03:40 AM »
RapidRoad USB Review

Received my RapidRoad USB module from AmigaKit yesterday, installed it today.

Hardware: It probably took longer to unscrew my case than it did to install. I purchased the A1200/clockport compatible version since it was the only one in stock at the time. This also gives me the option if I want to install it in an A1200 or other system at a later date. The plastic cover for these other applications is nicely designed, and attached with two nylon screws for easy removal. After removing its cover the board fit snugly into the designated port on my X-Surf 100. Install was unambiguous; board can only fit one way so that's the way I put it. I chose to run the optional 4-pin power wire as well, this gives the ability to output up to 1.5A instead of the standard 500ma through each port. Figured this might come in handy if I want to charge my phone or other devices more quickly. I ran the power wire beneath my other cards, if I'd really wanted to "fancy it up" I could've run it all the way under the motherboard, but that's a whole lot more screws to remove. ;-)

Software: I downloaded the 4.5 version of Poseidon from wiki.icomp.de. I couldn't find the link at first, that's because it's listed at the top under "If you are a RapidRoad customer, please click here". It's not listed under the "Products" heading, where I expected to find it. Install went smoothly; it detected my previous version of Poseidon and upgraded it. Removed my old thylacine.device and added rapidroadxs100usb.device and it fired right up. No issues with the software.

I previously had a Thylacine USB card and found it slow to the point of being unusable. The system would grind to a halt even trying to detect a device. I think this was due to the Zorro II bus, many other users have reported that card works well in ZIII systems. Whether it's by better design or software improvements, the RapidRoad had no such issues. As one test I plugged a generic Dell USB keyboard in. The RapidRoad immediately detected it and Poseidon played its "happy charm". By comparison, I plugged the same keyboard into a 3.33GHz PC sitting right next to my Amiga. Despite being approximately 100x the speed (in terms of MHz, anyway), my 33MHz A2000 detected the device much more quickly than this modern PC.

I tested several devices with the hardware:

Generic Dell USB mouse: detected fine, lights up, although I'm an idiot and can't figure out where in Poseidon I need to select the option to use a USB mouse instead of a standard mouse? So I couldn't actually use it. No big deal, I already have a modern PS/2 optical mouse with scrollwheel connected via my Cocolino, but if someone could point me in the right direction for the setting that would be helpful. Surprisingly I couldn't find much on Google or the Help manual for Poseidon.

Generic Dell keyboard: plugged in, detected quickly and was immediately able to type. I noticed the "numlock" function doesn't work (i.e., I can't toggle between numeric keypad and arrow keys). This might be down to a learning curve or configuration issue?

USB hub: connected one port of the X-Surf 100 to the four-port USB hub built into my monitor. Was able to access the additional ports with no issues.

Phone: I plugged my Galaxy Nexus smart phone into the hub. Poseidon immediately recognized it, but didn't know what to do with it. No surprise there. It was able to charge it, at least, which is probably what I'll use it for most. Just charging my phone while I'm sitting there. I'm sure if I poked around more I could probably figure out some way of accessing it as a mass storage device?

Digital camera: Plugged in a Canon digital camera that I had lying around the office. Poseidon detected it and I was able to browse the files on it. Multiview couldn't show the pictures but that may be because they were too big (7.1 megapixels). Will have to experiment further with lower res shots, I see no other reason why this wouldn't work.

Flash drive: This was the big winner here, and I am still amazed at how well it worked. A little bit of back-story: I have a FAT32-formatted SD card that I access through my card reader to transfer large files back & forth with my PC. I still recall what a PITA it was getting that working right. So to test a flash drive I scrounged through my spare parts bin, the first one I found was a 16GB cheap-o Adata model. Plugged it into my PC and saw it was formatted as FAT32 (I assume NTFS wouldn’t work), with a few hundred .jpg pictures loaded on it from an old project. So without any setup work, I plugged it in to my RapidRoad. Device was immediately detected and an icon showed up for it on the desktop. I was able to access the entire 16GB of data, and copied and saved a few files to it as a test. I ran it through several speed tests with SysInfo and SysSpeed, and was getting a solid 1.5-2.1MB/sec transfer rate. This is faster than my FAT32-formatted SD card, and nearly as fast as my PFS-formatted "600x" 8GB CF card that I use as my main hard drive. On that I'm limited by the SCSI speed of my GeForce '040.


Overall, I am very, very impressed by this little card. I'm so used to Amiga's always having problems with devices larger than 4GB, or partitions larger than 2GB, and having to spend hours mucking about with file systems (PFS was a huge challenge for me) that being able to just plug in a 16GB flash drive and have it instantly work makes this card well worth the money I spent on it.

Rating: 10/10, I look forward to testing more USB devices in the future and learning more about configuring the Poseidon software for optimal use.


On a side note, I really, really need some of those 16MB GVP SIMM's for my GeForce '040 board. I know someone on Amibay cloned them last year but I missed out on the run. Why isn't someone else making these? 64MB of 32-bit fast ram would be so much better than 16MB. :(


System specs at time of testing: Amiga 2000, 2MB Chip|24MB Fast|33MHz 68040|3.9 + BB1-4|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 06:11:37 AM by Oldsmobile_Mike »
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos
 

Offline pVC

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 07:42:18 AM »
Quote from: Oldsmobile_Mike;778358
Generic Dell USB mouse: detected fine, lights up, although I'm an idiot and can't figure out where in Poseidon I need to select the option to use a USB mouse instead of a standard mouse? So I couldn't actually use it. No big deal, I already have a modern PS/2 optical mouse with scrollwheel connected via my Cocolino, but if someone could point me in the right direction for the setting that would be helpful. Surprisingly I couldn't find much on Google or the Help manual for Poseidon.

You shouldn't need any configuration, mouse should just start working when plugged in. You should be able to use both USB and standard mouse simultaneously and there isn't any need to disable either of them. In fact, if you plug several USB mice they all should work simultaneously too :) At least that's how it works with my A1200/SpiderII and MorphOS machines.

If you go to Poseidon/Trident preferences and look the devices list, can you see mouse as HID class? If you double click it, does it say it's mouse interface?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 07:45:47 AM by pVC »
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Offline Ancalimon

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 07:52:54 AM »
Quote from: pVC;778362
You shouldn't need any configuration, mouse should just start working when plugged in. You should be able to use both USB and standard mouse simultaneously and there isn't any need to disable either of them. In fact, if you plug several USB mice they all should work simultaneously too :) At least that's how it works with my A1200/SpiderII and MorphOS machines.

If you go to Poseidon/Trident preferences and look the devices list, can you see mouse as HID class? If you double click it, does it say it's mouse interface?

You are right. It detects mouses immediately.

Click devices and look for the second device. It should ve a HID class. If it detects it wrong, I think you can select it yourself. You can also double click the HID device and once again double click the device to configure it further. For example, I had to configure the horizontal wheel of my Logitech G7 gaming mouse because it was not detected.

I tried a usb stick and was able to copy stuff to and from it.

I also plugged a Sony Cybershot and could copy pictures back to my Amiga. Opening those pictures crash the Amiga so I think they were corrupted.
 When I connected my Samsung Galaxy S4 (it's possible to choose an older picture transfer protocol), it crashed when I was trying to list the contents using Workbench or Dopus. (on my second try it did not crash and I was able to copy one picture to my Amiga.. That picture froze multiview. On the third try it once again crashed while trying to list the contents and I couldn't list the contents again).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 07:58:29 AM by Ancalimon »
A4000T, 604e@400&060@66, 128MB+16MB+Zorram256, CVisionPPC, VLabMotion, Toccata, XSurf100&RapidRoad, Prisma Megamix

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Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 08:40:05 AM »
Thanks guys.  I tried it with a different mouse and it worked fine.  Guess it just didn't like one of my cheap-o mice, good thing I've got a drawer full of em!  ;)
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos
 

Offline rockape

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 10:25:56 AM »
Hi Oldsmobile_Mike,

Now this sounds like another brilliant piece of Amiga engineering from Jens Schoenfeld :)


Many thanks for your very comprehensive report.


Regards, Michael

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Offline Niding

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 01:45:30 PM »
Just chiming in agreeing its a 10/10 product. Simple to install the hardware, software and it works immidiatly. Brilliant product for your Amiga.
 

Offline amigakit

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2014, 02:26:05 PM »
Many thanks for buying the Rapid Road USB from us and thanks for taking the time to write this comprehensive review.
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Offline fitzsteve

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2014, 04:18:22 PM »
Nice review.  I was very curious to hear how it works in Zorro II mode, 2mb/sec is a nice speed.

I tested it recently for my review on A1200/A4000:

http://www.fitzstevesamigaworld.co.uk/?p=253

I'm going to be testing out a USB Sound Card this weekend, just arrived from eBay yesterday :)

PS.  Very nice A2000 you have there by the way.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 04:26:11 PM by fitzsteve »
 

Offline klx300r

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 04:37:46 PM »
thanks for the great review Mike! I've got mine still in the box and can't wait to have some spare time to get her in my 1200D
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Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 06:58:27 PM »
Quote from: klx300r;778504
thanks for the great review Mike! I've got mine still in the box and can't wait to have some spare time to get her in my 1200D

Sweet!  Post some speed results when you can.  I'd be curious to know how ZII via the X-Surf 100 compares to a clockport connector on an A1200.
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos
 

Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 07:04:33 PM »
Quote from: fitzsteve;778501
Nice review. I was very curious to hear how it works in Zorro II mode, 2mb/sec is a nice speed.

I tested it recently for my review on A1200/A4000:

http://www.fitzstevesamigaworld.co.uk/?p=253

I'm going to be testing out a USB Sound Card this weekend, just arrived from eBay yesterday :)

PS. Very nice A2000 you have there by the way.


 Thanks!  Just saw your speed test results.  It looks like ZII via X-Surf 100 is about 2-3 times as fast as A1200 clockport, and ZIII about 3 times as fast as that.  Impressive speed, all around! :)
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos
 

Offline giZmo350

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 08:15:48 PM »
Quote from: fitzsteve;778501
I'm going to be testing out a USB Sound Card this weekend, just arrived from eBay yesterday :)

Great! Can't wait to read!

Great review Mike! I just received my parts too.... can't wait to get time to put the A2000 on the bench!
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Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2014, 09:57:09 PM »
@gizmo350 - once again we are neck-and-neck for upgrading our A2000's.  I'll get you someday, haha! :roflmao:
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos
 

Offline fitzsteve

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Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 10:41:50 PM »
Quote from: gizmo350;778544
Great! Can't wait to read!


As promised, I tested a Creative USB Sound Card which I picked up cheap on  the other Bay, I'm pleased to say it works with the RapidRoad!  Plugged  in and immediately it was picked up by Trident and the lights came on...

Went to AHI Prefs and as expected right at the bottom of the list USB Audio 16bit Stereo++ :D

First  test was to try an MP3, sadly my 040 @40mhz wasn't man enough to decode  the MP3 and drive the USB Audio, it worked but the audio was very  choppy and the system was unusable while the track played.  Even with  128kb MP3 @ 11025khz.  I think a fast 060 or PPC would be able to do it  just fine since AmigaAMP works on PPC too this would be ample speed.

However  some good news for 040 owners, as long as you're not running something  that obliterates the CPU it works perfectly, I was able to test ASP  which is a spectrum emulator which has AHI and the sound was crystal  clear.  I imagine Amiga CD Games that work on 020/030 with AHI support  will be fine too, I need to do some more tests.  I tried Quake but as  above there was too much CPU load to do clear sound, it was breaking up  just like the MP3's

Overall a successful test and yet again the RapidRoad just works!
 

Offline Oldsmobile_MikeTopic starter

Re: RapidRoad USB Review
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2014, 11:25:37 PM »
Thanks @fitzsteve! Could you post the exact model of sound card you tried, in case others want to attempt to duplicate your efforts?


I hardly ever listen to mp3's on my Amiga, but as a test I've played a few mp3's off flash drives through Amplifier and my AD516 card. Works okay, a bit of popping, not any different from playing them off a hard drive/CF card. Best playback results I've gotten come from playing an mp3 back directly from RAM:. USB overhead when streaming music files from a flash drive seems minimal. :)
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
 Amiga videos and other misc. stuff at https://www.youtube.com/CompTechMike/videos