Author Topic: DIY Cartridge  (Read 10360 times)

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Offline Bryce

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DIY Cartridge
« on: 22:18, 30 November 10 »
Hi all,
     I don't know if this is of any use to anyone else other than me, but just in case... I intend making a few Cartridge PCBs at the weekend, so I did a PCB layout, which I've uploaded here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/DIY_Cartridge

It has a few minor changes (Jumpers instead of LKs), but generally it's just the standard cartridge layout and fits in the original housing.

Bryce.

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #1 on: 22:33, 30 November 10 »
Hi all,
     I don't know if this is of any use to anyone else other than me, but just in case... I intend making a few Cartridge PCBs at the weekend, so I did a PCB layout, which I've uploaded here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/DIY_Cartridge

It has a few minor changes (Jumpers instead of LKs), but generally it's just the standard cartridge layout and fits in the original housing.

Bryce.
cool!
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Offline TFM

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #2 on: 22:59, 30 November 10 »
Great work! That's exactly what I need!!! Thanks a lot!!!!!
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #3 on: 09:42, 01 December 10 »
Niiice! Do post a pic of one once you've made them! :)

Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #4 on: 23:52, 01 December 10 »
I made three PCBs tonight, will do pictures tomorrow if I have time. I also uploaded a new version of the layout. In case anyone downloaded the old one already, the change is only cosmetic, the old one works too, but there was a chance that two pins might be shorted if the manufacturing process wasn't accurate.

Bryce.

Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #5 on: 22:30, 02 December 10 »
Another busy night and some pics to prove it :)

Here are some finished and partly finished Cartridges, and a comparison to an original:

Bryce.


Offline TFM

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #6 on: 22:34, 02 December 10 »
Awesome!!!
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline fano

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #7 on: 22:59, 02 December 10 »
Great stuff , thanks a lot  ;D
"NOP" is the perfect program : short , fast and (known) bug free

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Offline redbox

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #8 on: 00:03, 03 December 10 »
Yes, looks really great, very professional job.

I have spent this evening disassembling the ROM-RAM Booster ROM (which lets you access ROMs higher than 0-15) and have got somewhere with it - it definitely patches some OS stuff, so here's hoping...  ???


Offline Gryzor

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #9 on: 10:06, 03 December 10 »
Salivating over a peace of PCB=geekness.

Really great stuff...

Offline TFM

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #10 on: 19:43, 03 December 10 »
Yes, looks really great, very professional job.

I have spent this evening disassembling the ROM-RAM Booster ROM (which lets you access ROMs higher than 0-15) and have got somewhere with it - it definitely patches some OS stuff, so here's hoping...  ???

Well, you have to put it to ROM number 15, it will just initialize the ROMs 16-31. Then the usual ROM initialization process of the OS continues. The ROM booster, however, omits to get double initialized. The actual code is quite small. But since it was made with ROM Gen 1.16 there is other code, that is not really needed.
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline jbaudrand

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #11 on: 22:15, 03 December 10 »
Even if I'm still learning Z80, try to figure out how I will succeed to make a game, you have no idea how happy I am to see all these progress during this year on the CPC scene!

And I'm so happy to have my own CPC working now thanks to Fano!

Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #12 on: 22:52, 04 December 10 »
Yesterday Redboxes Cartridges arrived and luckily the ACIDs all seem to be fine, so I removed one for the DIY Cartridge and copied PANG to an EPROM to test everything worked fine (which it did :) ). I edited the original casing so that it all fits back together. You can see the results below. The cut-out is slightly larger than just the EPROM because the Jumpers need to be accessable and the ACID is also in a socket so that Redbox can remove it to test software with and without the ACID.

Bryce.


Offline redbox

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #13 on: 23:08, 04 December 10 »
This is simply amazing.  What a fantastic job Bryce.  :)
 
Did you find that Pang was infact a 128kb cartridge? I see LKs 1 and 6 are set in the photo...?
« Last Edit: 23:11, 04 December 10 by redbox »

Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #14 on: 23:28, 04 December 10 »
The BIN was 128K so I didn't check, I just copied it to a 27C1001 and everything worked fine. I've just made a few extra changes too, I added labels for the LKs and I've added a screw, because the cartridge casing was rather unstable once it's been opened and the tabs are broken. This is what it looks like now:
It'll be in the post on Monday, so you can try it out for yourself later in the week.

Bryce.

Offline redbox

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #15 on: 23:44, 04 December 10 »
The BIN was 128K so I didn't check, I just copied it to a 27C1001 and everything worked fine.

I just checked with a hex editor and Pang is 128kb.  The 512kb versions (as on the WinAPE website) are just the 128kb game copied 4 times in the ROM.

It'll be in the post on Monday, so you can try it out for yourself later in the week.

Can't wait!  :)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #16 on: 02:43, 05 December 10 »
I just checked with a hex editor and Pang is 128kb.  The 512kb versions (as on the WinAPE website) are just the 128kb game copied 4 times in the ROM.

Can't wait!  :)

Yeah, but still, why???

Offline redbox

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #17 on: 12:29, 05 December 10 »
Yeah, but still, why???

Not sure.  As Bryce pointed out, back then 512kb EPROMs would have been much more expensive than 128kb ones, so it doesn't make sense commercially.
 
I expect that the reason it was a 512kb cartridge is that this is what they had available.  However, I had a genuine Robocop 2 cartridge that contained a 128kb EPROM where as everyone else seems to have a 512kb one.
 
Maybe they were thinking of developing 512kb games and when they went to make the carts (which was a bit of a rush job by the sound of reports at the time, and there was also a lot of manufacturing delays which 'killed the market' because of a lack of games on launch) this was all they had so they used them for 128kb games just so they could get them out in time.

Offline fano

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #18 on: 14:12, 05 December 10 »
About theses 512K dumps , are original eproms 128K or 512K (i speak about commercial games , not polish awfull hacks) ? i suspect more some dumps to be 512K because you always "see" 512K with LKs system.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #19 on: 12:48, 06 December 10 »
Sweet, how much did it cost you ?

How much would it cost complete (but the casing..?) with the ACID chip sold on the net and à 512K ROM ?


Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #20 on: 14:54, 06 December 10 »
Well the case and the ACID came from an original cartridge that Redbox sent me, so they didn't cost anything. The PCB cost €2.10, but it's enough to build three of them, so (not including the chemicals to make the PCB or the time involved):

32 pole Socket:    0.50   (low profile / gold contacts)
16 pole Socket:    0.29   (low profile / gold contacts)
100nF Capacitor:  0.04   (X7R multi-layer ceramic)
Circuitboard:         0.70   (1.5mm double-sided 35µm Copper)
512K EPROM:        4.25   (27C4001)
Jumpers (3):         0.15
Jumper Pins:         0.07    (2x10 RM2.54 only 2x6 needed)   
                  Total:  6.00

....Owning your own configurable cartridge.... Priceless :D

The ACID was only put in a socket because Redbox wanted to use the cartridge to experiment with cartridge software, so I suggested the socket to allow ACID-less tests to be done, otherwise I'd normally solder this in. I also suggested that he should use a Flash for his experiments, because it will work exactly the same in this cartridge (except for the 512K 29F040) and saves an awful lot of time due to not needing UV deletion every time.

I don't know what the ACIDs cost online, so add the price of that to the total.

Bryce.

Edit: Oops, mistake: the 29F040 has a slightly different pinout to the 27C4001, so they are NOT compatible, the other Flashes 29F010, 29F020 are compatible with the 27C1001 and 27C2001 and can be used as a replacement.
« Last Edit: 17:06, 06 December 10 by Bryce »

Offline TFM

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #21 on: 18:22, 06 December 10 »
I don't know what the ACIDs cost online, so add the price of that to the total.

If you get 100, then n-tronics goes down to 8,211 Euro per piece (including taxes), which is quite a lot for such a small IC  >:(
 
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Offline Bryce

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #22 on: 18:39, 06 December 10 »
That's a ridiculous price. I can buy old cartridges on the interweb for cheaper and remove the ACIDs :D

Bryce.

Offline redbox

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #23 on: 18:40, 06 December 10 »
If you get 100, then n-tronics goes down to 8,211 Euro per piece (including taxes), which is quite a lot for such a small IC  >:(

You can buy a whole cartridge for that (well 9 EUR anyway).

Offline TFM

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Re: DIY Cartridge
« Reply #24 on: 20:13, 06 December 10 »
You can buy a whole cartridge for that (well 9 EUR anyway).

I would if I could  ::)
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