Author Topic: MegaFlash Progress  (Read 24305 times)

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Offline Bryce

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MegaFlash Progress
« on: 21:25, 03 March 11 »
Hi All,
      I haven't said much about the MegaFlash (writable version of the MegaROM) lately, because I hadn't made any real progress in the last few weeks, mainly due to lack of time, but yesterday and today I had a few hours spare and managed to at least produce a first prototype PCB. I've broken my own rules however (Rule 1: Don't make a PCB until all functional tests have been successfully completed) because if I hadn't made the PCB this time, it could be weeks before I get this much spare time in one lump again, so I went for it, even though it may still have mistakes. Anyway, here's what it looks like at the moment, it's a single sided PCB with waaay too many bridges for my liking (the final layout will have to be a double-sided PCB). It's about 82mm x 70mm, so around the same size as the MegaROM. If I get time at the weekend I'll solder on the components and start doing the first tests.

Bryce.

Oh, and just for MacDeath: Tonights music (while developing the PCB) was JM Jarre - Equinoxe Parts 1 to 8 and (while drilling the 255 holes in the PCB) I chose The Pixies - Surfer Rosa followed by Rage Against The Machine and some Nirvana (it needs to be something loud while the drill is running).
« Last Edit: 21:26, 03 March 11 by Bryce »

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #1 on: 04:09, 04 March 11 »
Great news! Wonderful news! Can't wait to read your progress report ;)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #2 on: 09:05, 04 March 11 »
The thing I like most is the CPC etched on the corner :D

Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #3 on: 10:18, 04 March 11 »
I drew that CPC6128 around 1992 when I was sent on an AutoCAD course (version 10 as far as I can remember) by the first company I worked for. I found it again on a 3.5" disk a few years back and decided it would look cool on CPC PCBs, but it takes up quite a bit of space, so I only put it on larger PCBs (no point in doubling the size of the PCB just for a Logo. It's actually quite detailed, when zoomed you can see all the individual keys and even the text on the monitor is readable, but obviously that level of detail isn't possible in copper at that size.

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 10:22, 04 March 11 by Bryce »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #4 on: 12:12, 04 March 11 »
What can I say - it's really cute :)

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #5 on: 20:05, 04 March 11 »
I drew that CPC6128 around 1992 when I was sent on an AutoCAD course (version 10 as far as I can remember) by the first company I worked for. I found it again on a 3.5" disk a few years back and decided it would look cool on CPC PCBs, but it takes up quite a bit of space, so I only put it on larger PCBs (no point in doubling the size of the PCB just for a Logo. It's actually quite detailed, when zoomed you can see all the individual keys and even the text on the monitor is readable, but obviously that level of detail isn't possible in copper at that size.

Bryce.

That's a good reason for using only very high quality equippment for PCB production, so everyone can see all details ;D
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #6 on: 15:28, 05 March 11 »
Even professional PCB production methods and equipment wouldn't show all the detail at that size.

Bryce.

Btw, This is why the PCB really needs to be doubled sided. That many bridges is not only silly, but also a serious pain in the arse to have to solder:
« Last Edit: 17:38, 05 March 11 by Bryce »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #7 on: 20:11, 05 March 11 »
This reminded me of the Amiga prototype pics I had seen, everything wired by hand and all that... :D

Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #8 on: 21:05, 05 March 11 »
Ah that's nothing for an early prototype, they're always an indecipherable tangled mess of wires. This is what the first working MegaROM looked like. I still have this one here, and it still works!!! if you insert the ICs :D

Bryce.


Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #9 on: 10:25, 06 March 11 »
Good grace, the patience...

Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #10 on: 22:59, 09 March 11 »
As I said above, never break your own rules, because several changes did have to be made and there are quite a few optimisations yet to come before it's completely finished and ready for release. Ignore the "floating" IC you can see in the picture it's a temporary addition required for debugging. This is however the first working MegaFlash :) and it's passed all of it's tests :) Hopefully I will get some time next week to optimise it and build the final version.

For those who don't know, this is a DIY 16 slot ROMBoard which is programmable directly from the CPC (Thanks to TFMs Software) and it doesn't require a battery for backup :)

More news as it happens,
Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #11 on: 08:39, 10 March 11 »
But I like the floating IC!

Other than that: oooh!

Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #12 on: 10:18, 10 March 11 »
Well then I'll make a special "floating IC" version especially for you :) Where you can attach you Logic Analyser and Frequency Counter.

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #13 on: 10:44, 10 March 11 »
Oh yes, please, I have a few of them lying idly about... a shame not to use them.

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #14 on: 23:52, 17 March 11 »
We're getting forward. After an overwork of the MegaFlashROManager Bryce is currently testing the new software. After the weekend we may made a step forward to the final solution.
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #15 on: 00:23, 18 March 11 »
From the first Prototype I've made several improvements / optimisations to the hardware and even squeezed some new features in. I'll be building the latest version at the weekend, parts arrived today :) More news when it's built and tested. BTW, I'm in discussions with a PCB producer to have a batch professionally produced, more info later on that too.

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #16 on: 09:03, 18 March 11 »
Any cost estimates? :)

Offline Bryce

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #17 on: 09:52, 18 March 11 »
I'll let you know as soon as I can. My first plan was to let an external company produce the entire board including components, but the price is too high, so I will have the PCBs produced professionally and solder the components myself, that brings the price down a bit. As soon as I have price for the PCB I will start a new thread with the "Who wants one" question. Obviously the quantity made plays a big role in the price too, so the more that order, the lower I can get the price.

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #18 on: 00:41, 19 March 11 »
Great! Thanks for the update and ... Happy weekend!  ;D
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #19 on: 00:43, 26 March 11 »
We have the beta prototype software running now...
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #20 on: 11:17, 26 March 11 »
Great! Can't wait :) Any screenshots?

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #21 on: 22:41, 26 March 11 »
Great! Can't wait :) Any screenshots?

Well, yes. But it looks like always, since I see no need to invent a new interface. No big deal at all.
 
Take a look here:
 
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/MegaFlashROManager
 
However, before April 6th I will have no time to work on it. Please be patient.
In addition Bryce had some good ideas and I will try to integrate at least some of them.
 
The take home message is just... we're still working on it  ;)
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Offline SyX

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #22 on: 16:28, 12 April 11 »
Any news Bryce or TFM? I LOVE THIS PROJECT!!!  :)

Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #23 on: 00:21, 13 April 11 »
 ;D  I hope soon!  ;D
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Offline TFM

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Re: MegaFlash Progress
« Reply #24 on: 07:21, 13 April 11 »
The ROManager Software has been updated, download it at www.FutureOS.de in the download section. You can already use it to check out how it will work. There is a version for BASIC (99.9% running) and a version for FutureOS (will run a bit later with real hardware, but can be checked out to see advanced file-menue).
 
Questions? Comments? Please here! Wonders? Not before 2012 ;)
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