Author Topic: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.  (Read 88833 times)

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Offline TotO

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X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« on: 22:41, 26 April 14 »
Hello everyone,

Like you know, I have open pre-orders about a new memory expansion for ALL CPC, some weeks ago.
The X-MEM is an all-in-one ROM/RAM board measuring the half of a 3" floppy disc!
It's compatible with the MotherX4 multi-slots. (can be used with your existing ribbon cable)

[attachimg=1]

The ROM part is a flash memory than can be programmed from the CPC for adding common resident programs.
The main advantage is to allow to customize the boot by replacing the Lower/Upper ROM 0 for a full softwares compatibility.

Exemple:
- 464 with switch to BASIC 1.1 and FW3.0
- 6128 with switch to BASIC 1.0 and FW 1.0
- 6128 with switch to BASIC 1.1 and FW3.x

The RAM part is compatible with Amstrad / DK'Tronics / Dobbertin expansions.
The main advantage is to allow to handle all the PAL modes (RMR) over the 512K of memory (C0-FF).

The memory should be used as a RAM Drive C and can be shared with CP/M. (here boot from FW3.13 and CP/M ROM)
 [ Invalid Attachment ]  

* RAD2.JPG
(67.36 kB, 640x479 - viewed 1729 times)


The X-MEM push all CPC to the same level of compatibility.
 
The package includes:
- X-MEM board
- Get started! notice
- 3" tools floppy disc

You can preorder here: CentPourCent [dot net]

I will try to add informations to this post if you ask nice questions.  ;D
I would like to thanks SyX and gerald for their precious help and support.  8)
« Last Edit: 09:13, 27 April 14 by TotO »
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Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #1 on: 23:38, 26 April 14 »
Here a video showing Discology using the X-MEM as big buffer to copy a 3"1/2 80 track floppy in one pass only.  ;D

DISCOLOGY 512K - YouTube
« Last Edit: 00:00, 27 April 14 by TotO »
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #2 on: 04:17, 27 April 14 »
can't wait to get my hands on mine... the 1st may in "hand-clean" ?

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #3 on: 09:36, 27 April 14 »
can't wait to get my hands on mine... the 1st may in "hand-clean" ?
May be...
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Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #4 on: 09:43, 27 April 14 »
Without surprise, you can now use SymbOS as alternative operating system on your CPC.
Sadly, SymbOS don't support the standard CP/M Ram Disc on drive C.

 [ Invalid Attachment ]
« Last Edit: 14:20, 27 April 14 by TotO »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #5 on: 12:28, 27 April 14 »
Can't wait to get mine :)

Any chance for a Wiki article?

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #6 on: 13:19, 27 April 14 »
Can't wait to get mine :)
Any chance for a Wiki article?
May be, if someone start it... Because I'm not "wiki friendly".
(we have already spoke about that in the past)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #7 on: 13:44, 27 April 14 »
Oh yes, and as I always say, if you can write it, I can do the editing :) You can send me a PM or email; that is, if you feel like it!

Offline pelrun

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #8 on: 15:00, 27 April 14 »
Well my order is in, can't wait!

Offline jbaudrand

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #9 on: 15:01, 27 April 14 »
Does it helps for existing games? Like Black land or defender of the crown?

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #10 on: 16:10, 27 April 14 »
Does it helps for existing games? Like Black land or defender of the crown?
It help for all games/programs that need more than 64K RAM on 464/664. (and ROM games released on 2013 contest)

But, I doubt that some games use more than 128K "actually". (tools does)
Except if someone does patched version of games for storing them in RAM to avoid floppy toasting. :D
Note that I have not tested games in files version into the Ram Drive. (they probably try hard access to A)
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #11 on: 20:50, 27 April 14 »
just to know : how many units ordered yet ?


Also I can see you put a bigger notice on the fact shipping solution has to be ordered as well.

Offline MartinW

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #12 on: 21:06, 27 April 14 »
Oh the irony! I logged on to CPCWiki for the first time in months today. Why? Because I finally got hold of a drill to drill out the holes in a MegaROM PCB a friend of mine etched for me last year and I wanted to check the details on the jumper wires. And now I find this  :laugh:


Dilemma! Do I even bother with my MegaROM now? I guess I may as well still...


This however, looks awesome! And the MiniBooster too :)

Offline Cholo

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #13 on: 22:10, 27 April 14 »
Just order one. Oh, and perhaps make a link in the Hardware forum section as well .. probably most people looking for hardware just checks for new posts in there i could imagine.

Offline Prodatron

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #14 on: 00:58, 28 April 14 »
Very very cool, great work, TotO! :)
Ordered 2 pieces + 2 "slot expanders" :P
Ram disc support in SymbOS: Ok, makes sense, if you only have floppy discs available (which is not the case for most MSX configs and my CPC config).
I will think about a possibility to add this...


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Offline pelrun

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #15 on: 06:31, 28 April 14 »
Dilemma! Do I even bother with my MegaROM now? I guess I may as well still...


Tell me about it - I spent ages redesigning a new MegaFlash board I could produce and up pops this one with a ram expansion too! TotO's definitely got a great sense of timing :D

Offline Bryce

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #16 on: 10:25, 28 April 14 »

Tell me about it - I spent ages redesigning a new MegaFlash board I could produce and up pops this one with a ram expansion too! TotO's definitely got a great sense of timing :D

I knew this was about to arrive, but I didn't (couldn't) say anything :)

Bryce.

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #17 on: 10:48, 28 April 14 »
Yes, I have asked first to Bryce some month ago to be sure that it will not work on a close "RAM" project to not conflict with him.
Now, I'm waiting your "FDD-2" for 464.  ;D

@pelrun: But, has I read, Macdeath said that the X-MEM was in pre-order before that you sent your prototype to the manufacturer.  :P
« Last Edit: 11:00, 28 April 14 by TotO »
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Offline Bryce

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #18 on: 11:47, 28 April 14 »
If only I had the time! I need to finish 2 different projects I'm doing (one for Amiga and one for PC). As soon as they have been completed I'll be back on the DDI-2 project.

Bryce.

Offline pelrun

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #19 on: 12:03, 28 April 14 »
As I said, I mostly did it for my own benefit, not with the intent to supply. So I'm not actually inconvenienced in any way. :)

Offline Hicks

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #20 on: 13:50, 28 April 14 »
This is the perfect extension to continue native development on CPC!
Big thanks to TotO for the hardware side and to SyX for the software side!

Offline Prodatron

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #21 on: 15:43, 28 April 14 »
The main advantage is to allow to handle all the PAL modes (RMR) over the 512K of memory (C0-FF).
[...]
The X-MEM push all CPC to the same level of compatibility.

Btw, I wonder if mode #C1, #C2 and #C3 work on the 464 as well?? I thought especially #C3 would be impossible on the 464 (and 664)?

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Offline TotO

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #22 on: 18:16, 28 April 14 »
Ram disc support in SymbOS: Ok, makes sense, if you only have floppy discs available (which is not the case for most MSX configs and my CPC config).
I will think about a possibility to add this...
Should be nice. :)



Btw, I wonder if mode #C1, #C2 and #C3 work on the 464 as well?? I thought especially #C3 would be impossible on the 464 (and 664)?
I'm using 64K CPC for testings and that work fine. The DK'Tronics RAM expansions does it using transistors in 80's.

Only one problem caused by the GA :
6128 &4000 access with active ROM in C3 mode = RAM in &C000
464/664 &4000 access with active ROM in C3 mode = ROM in &4000

But, if your are not in this configuration all work fine.
No problem with CP/M without patch, Pacman or Phortem double buffering.

TFM will said: "so FutureOS pointer will not work" ... And it's true. (tested yesterday)
Hey Stephan! Time to make it a great command line OS only!!!  ;D


 
« Last Edit: 18:27, 28 April 14 by TotO »
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Offline Prodatron

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #23 on: 19:17, 28 April 14 »
Should be nice. :)
Still wonder, why you would need a ram disc, as you can load all applications at the same time and don't need to quit them again ;D

I'm using 64K CPC for testings and that work fine. The DK'Tronics RAM expansions does it using transistors in 80's.

Only one problem caused by the GA :
6128 &4000 access with active ROM in C3 mode = RAM in &C000
464/664 &4000 access with active ROM in C3 mode = ROM in &4000

But, if your are not in this configuration all work fine.
No problem with CP/M without patch, Pacman or Phortem double buffering.
Did you try SymbOS with your expansion on a 464? It doesn't use #c3, only #c1,#c2 and #c4-#c7. But I was sure, that it doesn't work on a 464... :o

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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: X-MEM, a new memory expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #24 on: 19:36, 28 April 14 »

The memory should be used as a RAM Drive C and can be shared with CP/M. (here boot from FW3.13 and CP/M ROM)
 [ Invalid Attachment ]   [ Invalid Attachment ]



Is there a ROM image of FW3.13 around somewhere? Lookng at the screenshots in includes Silicon Disc support as standard, Unfortunately my 6128plus cartridge images are all built around FW3.12 which is missing this support. If I could rebuild them with this then I'd be very happy. I mean who does not want a 444k Silicon disk under AmsDos or CPM without needing to initialise it (|sdisk) first.


Regards

Craig