Z88 Serial Communication - part 2

I have been meaning to make a blog entry about this for ages, but haven't gotten round to it yet.  This is part 2 of my work on establishing serial communications with the Cambridge Z88.  In the first part I described how to install a small Basic program on the Z88 ... this part completes the process by running a matching program on Windows.  This allows data to be sent back and forth, but only a single file at a time.  It uses my own protocol, and allows binary files (like Basic programs) to be sent.

Z88 Serial Communication for Windows

This is program needs .Net Framework v2 (click here for the for the x86 version), so that needs to be installed first, but you've probably got it already.  I've only tried it on Windows 7, although I don't see why it shouldn't work on Windows XP or Vista.

If you have installed the Basic program on your Z88, you can now use this program on Windows.  Just copy the files to a folder and run the .exe file.

NOTE: anything above 9600 baud might work; but I have not found it reliable.  This program works with the genuine Z88 transfer cable, since it uses hardware handshaking to prevent the buffer from filling up.  The serial settings on the Z88 will be set up using the normal Panel settings.  I’ve been using these settings - Transmit baud: 9600, Receive baud: 9600, Parity: None and Xon/Xoff: No.

Sending from the PC
Run the Basic program on the Z88.  Press ‘R’ and <Enter> to say that you’d like to receive a file.  Then enter the name of the file, the name that will be used on the Z88 and press <Enter>.  The Z88 will wait for the file to arrive.  Now on the Windows program select ‘Send’ along with the COM port settings you’re using.  Click the ‘...’ button to browse for the file on your PC.  Finally, when you have selected the file click ‘Transfer’ and you should see the file being transmitted.

Sending from the Z88
In the Windows program select ‘Receive’ along with the COM port settings.  Click the ‘...’ button and select the file name and the folder where the file should be saved.  Then click the ‘Transfer’ button.  The PC will wait for the file to arrive.  Now, run the Basic program on the Z88.  Press ‘S’ and <Enter> to say that you’d like to send a file.  Then enter the name of the file on the Z88 that needs to be transmitted and press <Enter>.  The Z88 will now transmit the file to the PC.

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