Author Topic: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB  (Read 3967 times)

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Offline Chinnery

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Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« on: 12:02, 27 May 19 »
I'm releasing my current design for the Amstrad Plus Cartridge PCB.


There is one known issue as far as I'm aware - if you have a reset switch on your Plus machine, there is about a 50/50 chance the board will not initialise properly if not using the Acid option. A power cycle ALWAYS initialises properly. I know there is a fix for this but help has not been forthcoming.


The 2 diagrams attached aught to help with component options for the Acid variant and Non-acid variant. Obviously you will always need an eprom. I have labelled on the silk screen what components go where so it should be easy to sort out.


The ZIP file contains both the eagle design schematics and the board layout file, so people who like to tinker can. There is a sub folder called "gerbers" which you can just upload to your PCB manufacturer of choice to get them produced. I've tried both JLCPCB and Seeed Studio Fusion with great results.


Enjoy!
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Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #1 on: 12:39, 27 May 19 »
Cool! Any project with it?  :)
Yes, the no acid design (nocash) have this known problem.
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Offline 00WReX

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #2 on: 12:40, 27 May 19 »
Very nice of you to provide this to the community.

Excellent work.

Thank you.
Cheers,
Shane
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Offline Chinnery

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #3 on: 13:31, 27 May 19 »
Cool! Any project with it?  :)
No projects - all my project seem to reference the wrong items anyway  ;D  (Eagle noob)

Yes, the no acid design (nocash) have this known problem.
I've heard there is a workaround, but I've had no joy in finding this out. I use these for GX4000 stuff anyway, so no great harm.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #4 on: 13:41, 27 May 19 »
No projects - all my project seem to reference the wrong items anyway  ;D  (Eagle noob)
I've heard there is a workaround, but I've had no joy in finding this out. I use these for GX4000 stuff anyway, so no great harm.

The workaround would most likely involve taking the reset signal to the cartridge which wouldn't be praticle or at least mean modding the CPC.

Bryce.
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Offline 00WReX

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #5 on: 10:44, 23 June 19 »
Thanks to @Chinnery for providing the Gerbers, I had a batch of boards made up just for fun.

I have just finished 5 boards for my own 'Arcade Classics" collection, and they work perfectly.

Cartridges made:                                                  EPROM USED:
1)Frogger - The 'Executioner' arcade port 2007          M27C2001
2)Ghosts'n Goblins GX4000 - Xifos 2018                    M27C2001
3)Space Invaders Arcade Emulator - 40Crisis 2016     M27C2001
4)Bomb Jack I - Phantomz conversion update             M27C4001
5)Scramble - PuzCPC 2019                                        M27C4001

Next plan is to get some 3D printed cases made up, and put some stickers on them to make them appear somewhat professional.

 
Amstrad Cartridges - Arcade Classics Collection--1.jpg
* Amstrad Cartridges - Arcade Classics Collection--1.jpg
(Filesize: 1.13 MB, Dimensions: 2078x1494, Views: 1064)


Cheers,
Shane
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #6 on: 16:22, 24 June 19 »
How long till copies of Pang and Chase HQ XIII appear on ebay? :D
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Offline tjohnson

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #7 on: 00:55, 25 June 19 »
How long till copies of Pang and Chase HQ XIII appear on ebay? :D
Good point, I'm sure people would like to see Chase HQ 2 appear, one day maybe one day.....
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Offline BeaglzNZ

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #8 on: 01:59, 24 August 21 »

Just wondering if you have managed to create a STL for a case for these cartridges? I have got a few PCBs and awaiting parts to assemble - any idea if there is enough clearance for a ZIF socket?
Cheers,
Antony

Thanks to @Chinnery for providing the Gerbers, I had a batch of boards made up just for fun.

I have just finished 5 boards for my own 'Arcade Classics" collection, and they work perfectly.

Cartridges made:                                                  EPROM USED:
1)Frogger - The 'Executioner' arcade port 2007          M27C2001
2)Ghosts'n Goblins GX4000 - Xifos 2018                    M27C2001
3)Space Invaders Arcade Emulator - 40Crisis 2016     M27C2001
4)Bomb Jack I - Phantomz conversion update             M27C4001
5)Scramble - PuzCPC 2019                                        M27C4001

Next plan is to get some 3D printed cases made up, and put some stickers on them to make them appear somewhat professional.

 

Cheers,
Shane
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #9 on: 10:15, 24 August 21 »
Just wondering if you have managed to create a STL for a case for these cartridges? I have got a few PCBs and awaiting parts to assemble - any idea if there is enough clearance for a ZIF socket?
Cheers,
Antony

There's definitely not enough space for a ZIF socket. Even a standard low profile IC socket will require a hole in the lid for the IC to poke through.

Bryce.
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Offline Philippe Lardenois

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #10 on: 21:30, 24 August 21 »
There one STL on Thingverse for normal Cartridge.


quite easy to modify. Will have a look next week.


Done - the bottom is the same that is avalaible on Thingverse thanks to Wolfiem.
The top has 2 versions : Hole to seen the eeprom and change it without opening the cartridge / hole covered otherwise.

+
« Last Edit: 15:21, 25 August 21 by Philippe Lardenois »
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Offline Cwiiis

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #11 on: 20:16, 27 August 21 »
I took it on to design a shell that's a bit closer to the original. There are some compromises due to FDM printing limitations and laziness, so it's a little bit boxier than the original and the details aren't all 100%. Biggest/most obvious changes are that the front and back sticker recesses are marked out but not recessed as that makes them near-impossible to print well, and the sides of the cart aren't tapered. Smaller differences are that the bottom edge also isn't tapered and the grips are a little different because it's impossible to print that detail with a 0.4mm nozzle.

This should be printed with the flat surface on the print bed and with supports everywhere. They print side-by-side fine and with my personal settings, it's a bit under a 4-hour print. It's designed to be printed with a 0.4mm nozzle and 0.2mm layer height. Once support is cleared, the pieces will snap together - if you're lucky, you can also pry them apart, but that may break the clasps (done it a few times here and no breakages yet, but that surprised me). Enjoy!
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Offline Shining

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #12 on: 16:10, 28 August 21 »
Somewhere else I've written that already.


after analyzing the oszillograms from octoate and nilquader in the past I found a solution for the reset problem with a simple rc-combination on the preset pin.
I never had any issues with a cart using this and I always use a reset-key.



« Last Edit: 16:12, 28 August 21 by Shining »
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Offline Chinnery

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Re: Amstrad GX4000 / Plus cartridge PCB
« Reply #13 on: 15:13, 30 August 21 »
I've attached my Eagle project (Sch/Brd) should anyone wish to implement Shining's reset fix. If you do and it tests well can you please repost back here? (I have no plus machine to test with)
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