Author Topic: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more  (Read 199102 times)

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Offline gerald

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CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« on: 17:39, 01 November 14 »
Looks like the plus cartridge replacement hot topic poped again while I was away  :laugh:

I therefore feel the need to give an update on the work I started one year ago and hinted in the cartridge filesystem topic.

The current status is rather good
  • Form factor prototype, fitting in the original cartridge shell.
[ Invalid Attachment ]
  • Direct accessed to 16 cartridge image (.cpr) using dip switches. Images are stored on a micro SD card.
  • A cartridge selector running on the CPC if you need more than 16 images.
  • Loading of cartridge from PC using USB port.
What still need to be done
  • Fix PCB from some stupid bug  ;D . (double check is not enough !!!)
  • Improve cartridge loading time (currently 6sec for a 512k)
  • Find a way to assemble cart at reasonable price
  • and maybe think about a shell for this  ;)

10/05/2015 : Status update
  • All 1st batch interested people have been contacted and most of the cards have been shipped. If you have stated interest in the cards before the 23/03/2015 and have not been contacted ( :o ) by PM: PM me ASAP
  • I am still taking reservation for the second batch. If you are interested in  a card, just PM me.
  • Second batch card price is not fixed yet, first batch cards were 60 euro.
  • New price will be fixed according to component price (linked to dollar/euro parity) and number of cards reserved.
  • Target date for 2nd batch is end of June (but may be earlier)
More info on the card are on the wiki dedicated page : C4CPC - CPCWiki


23/06/2015 : Second batch assembly and shipping started. I will contact everyone in due time  ;)
06/07/2015 : Vacation time  :o . 2nd batch shipping will resume during last week of july with reservation done after the 10th of May.

8/8/2015 : All second batch people have contacted.

13/11/2016 : All cards have been sold.

04/08/2017 : Batch 4 exhausted. Time for a small break  ;)
« Last Edit: 18:08, 05 August 17 by gerald »

Offline TFM

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #1 on: 20:08, 01 November 14 »
Awesome work done!!! I bet you had a lot of fun soldering all that SMD parts.  :o


So each of your Cartridge images can store 512 KB, right? That's pretty neat!


Can you upload data from the CPC or do you need a PC? (You told about a cart selector, but I got no idea what this is).
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Ast

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #2 on: 20:10, 01 November 14 »
Does it run on real Cpc plus?

Ps : same Times as Tfm as lastest Time ^^ we are so connected.... Arrrr
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Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #3 on: 20:19, 01 November 14 »
Awesome work done!!! I bet you had a lot of fun soldering all that SMD parts.  :o
Not sure 'fun' is the right word  :laugh:
So each of your Cartridge images can store 512 KB, right? That's pretty neat!
Yes, 512k, no less.
Can you upload data from the CPC or do you need a PC? (You told about a cart selector, but I got no idea what this is).
The cart selector is a CPC side SW that allow you to browse the file on the SD card and load it. The SD is fully handler by the uC, the CPC only get the file list and control the uC.
You cannot put data on the SD nor the emulated EPROM from the CPC. While this is not impossible, it is not planned mainly because I am running low on code space in the uC  >:(

Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #4 on: 20:21, 01 November 14 »
Does it run on real Cpc plus?
As far as I know, even on GX4000 ;)

Offline mr_lou

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #5 on: 20:36, 01 November 14 »
Where can I get one?!  :)

Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #6 on: 20:41, 01 November 14 »
Where can I get one?!  :)
Well, I need to sort the "when" first.
My biggest issue is manufacturing.
Soldering 0.5mm pitch IC is ok for few pieces, not for a production.

Offline andycadley

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #7 on: 20:49, 01 November 14 »
This is awesome.  :D

Offline TFM

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #8 on: 00:13, 02 November 14 »
....The cart selector is a CPC side SW that allow you to browse the file on the SD card and load it. The SD is fully handler by the uC, the CPC only get the file list and control the uC.
You cannot put data on the SD nor the emulated EPROM from the CPC. While this is not impossible, it is not planned mainly because I am running low on code space in the uC  >:(


Oh well, that's not a big problem. I mean how often does one need to update the content of the SD-Cart? Maybe once a year? Of course such a Cartridge will motivate people to do Cart software, but still it takes it's time.


It's really great that you can select from CPC side in an easy way...  :) :) :)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #9 on: 02:16, 02 November 14 »
Well, I need to sort the "when" first.
My biggest issue is manufacturing.
Soldering 0.5mm pitch IC is ok for few pieces, not for a production.
"when" you sort that out, I'll have 2 please LOL


Craig

Offline mr_lou

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #10 on: 07:26, 02 November 14 »
Well, I need to sort the "when" first.
My biggest issue is manufacturing.
Soldering 0.5mm pitch IC is ok for few pieces, not for a production.

Well... maybe production isn't even necessary.
Maybe there's not such a big demand.
I mean, it's not like the topic has come up repeatedly multiple times within the last year with the exact same questions over and over again......  oh wait. Right.  :D

Hm... I'd say, a few devoted developers should be allowed to buy one of the manually soldered ones, to boost their CPC cartridge-game development urges.
What do you reckon' the price for one of those will be, fully assembled?

Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #11 on: 10:52, 02 November 14 »
Well... maybe production isn't even necessary.
Maybe there's not such a big demand.
I mean, it's not like the topic has come up repeatedly multiple times within the last year with the exact same questions over and over again......  oh wait. Right.  :D
It's not easy to correlate the demand to the number of topic  ;D
Hm... I'd say, a few devoted developers should be allowed to buy one of the manually soldered ones, to boost their CPC cartridge-game development urges.
That's on the plan, 1st to beta test, second to get a full box of eggs ;)
What do you reckon' the price for one of those will be, fully assembled?
It's down to the batch quantity, but I hope to keep it below 80 euros for small quantity batch (without casing).

Offline Ast

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #12 on: 13:07, 02 November 14 »
How do you make this cartridge working without acid rom?
Can you use old Cpc Plus cartridge games ? (All .cpr games?)


Take one for sure..... Just to know, How will it cost ?

« Last Edit: 13:13, 02 November 14 by Ast »
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Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #13 on: 13:38, 02 November 14 »
How do you make this cartridge working without acid rom?
ACID is emulated within the PLD
Can you use old Cpc Plus cartridge games ? (All .cpr games?)
I've tested all CPR available. While I did not played all the games, I did not get any problem so far.

Offline Ast

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #14 on: 13:50, 02 November 14 »
Can you give us an idea of price ?


Just to know, who Will be interested in this project? This can give an idea to Gerald for a future development....
« Last Edit: 13:55, 02 November 14 by Ast »
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Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #15 on: 14:43, 02 November 14 »
It's down to the batch quantity, but I hope to keep it below 80 euros for small quantity batch (without casing).

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #16 on: 15:45, 03 November 14 »
I'm away for a week......

and when I get back we've got this fantastic cart.

I want.. I want ;)

My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource

Offline Ast

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #17 on: 20:13, 03 November 14 »
1 more Gerald.
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Offline TFM

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #18 on: 21:07, 03 November 14 »
Well, I would be interested too. Would speed up my game development.  ;)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline gerald

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #19 on: 22:39, 03 November 14 »
5 pieces so far  ;)

Offline CraigsBar

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #20 on: 22:43, 03 November 14 »
Yay.

Offline seanb

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #21 on: 00:02, 04 November 14 »
If its within my budget I'd be interested too
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Offline TFM

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #22 on: 00:10, 04 November 14 »
As Gerald told, about 80 Euros. Which makes sense. However one can always expect some change, depends on prices for parts. IMHO that's really worth.
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Offline seanb

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #23 on: 02:16, 04 November 14 »
Exactly. If it hopefully gets released I'll see what the price is then and my budget might be a bit more favourable then
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Offline mr_lou

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Re: CPC Plus cartridge replacement : one more
« Reply #24 on: 08:34, 04 November 14 »
5 pieces so far  ;)

Are you taking pre-orders? Is that what you're doing?
Putting together a list of people who has pre-ordered the device?

If so, make sure my name is on that list too.  :)