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Author Topic: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.3 - WIP  (Read 11196 times)

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Offline XeNoMoRPH

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CPC Dandanator Mini 1.3 - WIP
« on: 21:58, 17 March 18 »
It seems that an interesting project for Amstrad is being developed. Something that already exists in Spectrum and such a good result gave the game The Sword of Ianna:



source: http://www.va-de-retro.com/foros/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=6823
« Last Edit: 17:15, 15 January 19 by XeNoMoRPH »

Offline tjohnson

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #1 on: 22:43, 17 March 18 »
Please excuse me for my ignorance, but what is it???

Offline XeNoMoRPH

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« Last Edit: 23:10, 17 March 18 by XeNoMoRPH »

Offline GUNHED

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #3 on: 00:04, 18 March 18 »
That's nothing than a copy of the MegaFlash from Bryce. The same SST 39SF040 chip, so 512 KB Flash, that's it. And if you need a nice menu-system for it... paint it!  :) :) :)
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Offline robcfg

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #4 on: 09:53, 18 March 18 »
I don’t know if you could bankswitch with the megaflash.


The idea is to have a game cartridge where you can have access to all 512kb, and the ability to save games to the eeprom chip.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #5 on: 10:11, 18 March 18 »
Yeah, it appears to be a bit more advanced in function, though whether it'll keep that functionality on the CPC remains to be seen I guess?


Any more info?

Offline robcfg

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #6 on: 13:09, 18 March 18 »
Oh, and the pcb is designed so it fits inside a standard electronics plastic case like the BB-6 if I remember it right.


So it makes affordable to publish games in cartridge format, as the pcb and components are cheap, and you don’t have to manufacture plastic cases.

Offline GUNHED

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #7 on: 20:24, 18 March 18 »
I don’t know if you could bankswitch with the megaflash.
The idea is to have a game cartridge where you can have access to all 512kb, and the ability to save games to the eeprom chip.

Bankswitch:
LD BC,&DF00 + ROM-Number (0...31)

To write a "cartridge" use ROManager or the source I released.

There is no difference. The spectrum only has some menu, but that's it.  :) :)
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Offline robcfg

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #8 on: 21:18, 18 March 18 »
Well, didn't knew that about the megaflash, thanks!


I soldered myself the ZX Spectrum version, found the plastic case readily available in my favourite electronics shop and with a little work got a nice bankswitched programmable cartridge where I put The Sword of Ianna.


Everything reasonably cheap.

Offline Dandare

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #9 on: 22:14, 18 March 18 »
There is no difference. The spectrum only has some menu, but that's it.  :) :)


I beg to differ, but I guess you know exactly how it works already.  :D  I'm still figuring it out
« Last Edit: 22:19, 18 March 18 by Dandare »

Offline GUNHED

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #10 on: 17:45, 19 March 18 »
The main "difference" seems to be the menu system. However I can only talk about what I see from the PCB and video.  :)
http://futureos.de --> Get the revolutionary FutureOS (Recent update: 2019.01.14)
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Offline Bryce

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #11 on: 11:33, 20 April 18 »
First I've heard about this. Although it uses a similar Flash chip and most likely is just a MegaFlash type of ROMBoard, the big difference here is the CH340 which means that the data / games are loaded via USB instead of via the CPC. So you could see it as a sort of mix between the MegaFlash and the C4CPC.

Bryce.

Offline khaz

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #12 on: 21:23, 04 May 18 »
So basically a cartridge slot for the CPC? That's super cool if so.

Offline XeNoMoRPH

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Offline XeNoMoRPH

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Offline Dandare

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #15 on: 11:07, 25 May 18 »
Some progress in the project.


- Now loads compressed games from memory, any game in SNA format
- USB transfer and memory update work so content can be updated from the PC/MAC
- USB port is now bidirectional
- Minor changes in hw (basically adding some buttons and moving around things)
- Board is now compatible with "ZX Dandanator Retroworks" case (an under 2€ ABS case)


PC/MAC tool adaptation from the current ZX Romset creator is in progress. You just drop games there and transfer via USB to the CPC Dandanator, all-in-one tool.
Component pricing fluctuates, but I believe it will amount under 10€, pcb/case included. This is for an unassembled board.

Offline khaz

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #16 on: 12:59, 25 May 18 »
- Board is now compatible with "ZX Dandanator Retroworks" case (an under 2€ ABS case)

Cool! Do you have pics of the case?
I remember someone here mentioning that the edge male connectors were somewhat difficult to source. Your first PCB picture is of a male connector, while on the videos you have soldered a female connector. Which is meant as the final design/product? I believe having cartridges as Male and using an extra Female/Female adapter to connect to the computer would be the cheaper and more interesting option for the end user.

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #17 on: 13:56, 25 May 18 »
Go Ahead !!! Dandare !!!  8) 8)

Offline roudoudou

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #18 on: 15:42, 25 May 18 »
Some progress in the project.
- Now loads compressed games from memory, any game in SNA format


Which version of SNA supported? v2? v3?
use RASM, the best assembler ever made :p

I will survive

Offline Dandare

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #19 on: 17:15, 25 May 18 »
Cool! Do you have pics of the case?
I remember someone here mentioning that the edge male connectors were somewhat difficult to source. Your first PCB picture is of a male connector, while on the videos you have soldered a female connector. Which is meant as the final design/product? I believe having cartridges as Male and using an extra Female/Female adapter to connect to the computer would be the cheaper and more interesting option for the end user.
Male edge is simply a pcb board, no need to add any other component. The female connector goes soldered to what you've seen. Although what you say about the F-F adaptor is true, the cartridge will be used for game distribution (starting by 4Mhz with some incredible games of theirs coming) so we're aiming at a compact approach.
Case is Supertronic PP6N, custom machined from factory.  --> https://www.tme.eu/es/details/pp6n/carcasas-universales/supertronic/pp6-n/



Which version of SNA supported? v2? v3?

Both

Offline Dandare

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #20 on: 17:24, 25 May 18 »
Although I'll publish all details, code, schematics as "public domain" once I put it all together, here are some technical details


- board can map up to two simultaneous slots of 16k anywhere in the memory (16k aligned)
- It does not use IO ports, but OPCode traps and bushacking for communication
- It does not interfere nor changes the rom settings (rom configuration and upper rom mapping). Instead it "overlays" when requested.
- USB is bitbanged and uses a serial USB chip, ch340g, to do the hard USB communication part.
- Actions may be delayed until an optrap. This means you can send a command, do whatever you want and the mapping will only happen when an specific opcode is issued
- All logic is done in VHDL for a XC9572xl, 44 pins. A lot of Z80 code is also needed for all to work.
- No CPC has been damaged or harmed during the tests  :laugh:


Offline khaz

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #21 on: 18:00, 25 May 18 »
Male edge is simply a pcb board, no need to add any other component. The female connector goes soldered to what you've seen. Although what you say about the F-F adaptor is true, the cartridge will be used for game distribution (starting by 4Mhz with some incredible games of theirs coming) so we're aiming at a compact approach.
Case is Supertronic PP6N, custom machined from factory.  --> https://www.tme.eu/es/details/pp6n/carcasas-universales/supertronic/pp6-n/

Thanks, that's a pretty cool case!

I get the compact approach, but I believe people will buy more than one cartridge, and on your side it would be easier to make a few adapters and streamline the cartridge manufacturing process to a PCB in a shell. As you want to open source the whole project for other people to use it, It would be beneficial for them too, people wanting to make cartridges only needing to make a PCB.

An adapter would also have the added benefit of being able to be used as a pass-through, with an exposed edge connector at the back so that conventional expansions can be kept plugged in the computer. Another benefit is that it would mean the cartridge would fit vertically, for an easier access, less depth space needed, and a constant display of its label.

But I get the simple approach of a cartridge that is simply plug-and-play on a naked CPC. It's certainly a worthy approach. I just fear it may be "too" simple and end up annoying people who would need to constantly disconnect their expansions, or have to reach blindly behind the computer to pug the cartridge. The current scene is one of enthusiasts, and I suspect most have extra stuff plugged to their computer at all times, and none would be deterred by having to use an extra adapter.

Sorry, just resting my case (eh) as it's something I gave a bit of a thought some time ago when I learned about Lower ROM overwrite.
« Last Edit: 18:03, 25 May 18 by khaz »

Offline Dandare

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #22 on: 23:30, 25 May 18 »
Little video showing SNA loading of 7 different games. No menu yet!



https://youtu.be/e36xb0Pwqmc

Offline Audronic

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #23 on: 01:39, 26 May 18 »
@Dandare


Thanks for the good work.


Are there 3D Printer files for the Box to suit CPC Dandanator Mini and The ZX Dandanator Please


I am unable to find these boxes (PP6n)over here in Australia.


Thanks    Ray
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Offline Audronic

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Re: CPC Dandanator Mini 1.0 - WIP
« Reply #24 on: 06:10, 26 May 18 »

I have found some boxes on ebay, ordered 2


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/302742232269

Ray
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