Saturday, July 21, 2018

Euro DL PCB arrived today!

Thanks to Matteo Marioni, I now have a Euro Dragon's Lair PCB on loan for Dexter development.  The molex connector that I soldered up for the Dexter add-on board seems to fit!  Phew!

I just happened to have the 36-pin connector type (which isn't available to buy anymore!) so my next step is to create a test bench wiring harness and then hook up a logic analyzer to sniff the serial I/O.  This is exciting progress!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Star Rider arcade game in action (using Dexter)

Aside from a few tweaks to the control panel, it seems to be fully working!  I can't believe that I've come this far!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Philips VP932 ptototype add-on board for Dexter now ready for testing

I've now finished soldering up my first prototype of the Philips VP932 add-on board that I've designed for Dexter.  As you can see from the picture, it plugs into the DB25 port and has the molex connector on the end.  I won't be able to fully develop/test it until I can get my hands on a Dragon's Lair Euro boardset, but hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Philips 22VP932 connector cable made!

I got my feet weight crimping molex pins.  I made a prototype connector for the Philips 22VP932 that Dexter will be replacing.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Gigabit Fiber: How to replace Century Link provided router with your own

So I've had Century Link gigabit fiber for about a year now and have been leasing their "zyxel C2100Z" supplied router the entire time.  I think it's $10/month.  I've basically paid them $120 just to borrow their equipment for the past year.

It just so happens that I previously already owned an EdgeRouter Lite (back from when I used to be on Comcast).  This is a highly-rated router which is also fairly inexpensive which is a win in my book.  The downside is it can be a little hard to configure at first.

The ZyXel C2100Z seems to perform well, but is kind of annoying.  It tends to forget port forwarding features occasionally.  Plus, I don't like paying to lease it when I already have a router which I suspected I could get working.

So today was the day.  I broke down and decided to get my EdgeRouter Lite working with Century Link fiber.

I pulled out a LOT of hair (figuratively) but was eventually successful so I am documenting my journey.

  1. Call Century Link to get your PPP username/password.  Phone number is 1-800-247-7285.  If you don't know which options to choose, they have one about 'internet not working' and 'getting help with wireless password'.  I chose this one and got on the phone with someone who could help me.  I just asked him for my PPP username/password and explained that I wanted to use my own router.
  2. Upgrade firmware on EdgeRouter Lite to ensure that PPPoE is in their web UI (no one likes messing with config files!).  The latest version at the time of this writing is v1.10.5
  3. Backup your existing config (if you have one) using System->"Back Up Config" from the web UI.  You can restore it later (and modify it) once you have gone through the rest of these instructions successfully.
  4. Restore factory settings (for the purpose of this tutorial).
  5. Plug your LAN into eth0 of the EdgeRouter.  Change your IP address to 192.168.1.x (not 1) and connect to (after router reboots, it takes a few minutes)
  6. Log in using ubnt/ubnt for username/password.
  7. If the 'basic setup' wizard doesn't launch, start it (I think it auto launches).
  8. Setup eth0 as your gateway, and eth1 as your LAN (via separate gigabit switch).  Ignore eth2 for performance reasons.  Ignore PPPoE options for now.
  9. Save settings and reboot as prompted.
  10. Move your LAN cable from eth0 to eth1 and plug your centurylink WAN cable (ethernet, the one that plugs into the zyxel's WAN port) into eth0.
  11. Log back into the dashboard after the router reboots (via
  12. From the dashboard, click "Add new interface".  Choose VLAN.  For the VLAN id, choose 201. (Century Link uses 201, this is the part that got me stumped!)  For interface, choose eth0.  Leave MTU at 1500.  Leave address as "no address".
  13. From the dashboard, click "Add new interface".  Choose PPPoE.  For the ID, choose 0.  For interface, you should have a new interface called eth0.201; choose that.  For account name, put in your century link PPP user, for password put in your century link PPP password, for MTU put in 1492.
  14. If all goes well, your dashboard should now show your new PPPoE as 'connected'.  You can now configure your router as you choose or restore your previous config and try to apply these steps to it.  
Config settings that are important (the wizard sets these):
Using "Config Tree" from the web UI:
- System->Offload->PPPoE  (this may be blank, be sure to set it to 'enabled' or your performance will be under 100 mbit instead of near 1000 mbit).
- Make sure your NAT masquerade outbound interface is pppoe

If it didn't work, double check that you are indeed using the VLAN id of 201 as shown earlier. If you don't use this, the Century Link equipment will completely ignore your router's attempts to authenticate which is very frustrating.

Good luck!

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