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General Category => Amstrad CPC hardware => Topic started by: abalore on 11:35, 27 May 21

Title: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 11:35, 27 May 21
https://youtu.be/DrrmoKaWEoU
Hello, I developed this small project to connect Plus cartridges to the CPC.
The goal is to be able to develop 512K games and release them into a single cartridge, compatible with Plus machines out-of-the-box and with CPC with this adapter. All in a single physical format.+
I tested it with the Alcon2020 Plus cartridge and other CPC compatible games.


Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Ast on 12:16, 27 May 21
seems interesting...
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: XeNoMoRPH on 12:40, 27 May 21
Awesome !!!  :o :o
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Gryzor on 12:42, 27 May 21
What sorcery level is required?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: XeNoMoRPH on 12:51, 27 May 21
Quote from: Gryzor on 12:42, 27 May 21
What sorcery level is required?
Wizard Level 70, Ray of Frost (http://us.diablo3.com/en/class/wizard/active/ray-of-frost), + Disintegrate (http://us.diablo3.com/en/class/wizard/active/disintegrate)  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Gryzor on 13:17, 27 May 21
Quote from: XeNoMoRPH on 12:51, 27 May 21
Wizard Level 70, Ray of Frost (http://us.diablo3.com/en/class/wizard/active/ray-of-frost), + Disintegrate (http://us.diablo3.com/en/class/wizard/active/disintegrate)  ;D ;D ;D

Need more manna to bypass the corporate firewall for those spells.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 13:24, 27 May 21
we - want - more - details

;-)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 13:27, 27 May 21
Quote from: Gryzor on 12:42, 27 May 21
What sorcery level is required?
Level 1, it's just a ROM box modified to work in the range > &80 and a lower ROM replacement, along with a cartridge connector. All discrete logic, no CPLDs, FPGAs or anything like that. Just OR and NOT gates ;)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: roudoudou on 13:30, 27 May 21

as CPC wont run Plus specific features, i guess it's easy to modify the macro for rom connection...
as CPC can handle up to 4M of ROM (256x16K) why AGAIN this limitation?



Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:03, 27 May 21
Quote from: roudoudou on 13:30, 27 May 21
as CPC wont run Plus specific features, i guess it's easy to modify the macro for rom connection...
as CPC can handle up to 4M of ROM (256x16K) why AGAIN this limitation?
In a plus cartridge you can have 4M, 8M or even 16M using some clever paging tricks.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: roudoudou on 14:09, 27 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 14:03, 27 May 21
In a plus cartridge you can have 4M, 8M or even 16M using some clever paging tricks.
on CPC 4M without tricks, it's standard and natively designed for this
paging tricks is not that easy on Plus because cartridge cannot see writes or IO => so you can page only with reads and dedicated zone
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:19, 27 May 21
Quote from: roudoudou on 14:09, 27 May 21
on CPC 4M without tricks, it's standard and natively designed for this
paging tricks is not that easy on Plus because cartridge cannot see writes or IO => so you can page only with reads and dedicated zone
So... you can
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: roudoudou on 14:32, 27 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 14:19, 27 May 21
So... you can
it's slower/bigger than regular rom switch (but not as slow, as big as dandanator bank switch  ;D )
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: norecess on 14:53, 27 May 21
This is very interesting @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595)
Is it a connector where you can plug a C4CPC, for example ? (knowing the limitation that the C4CPC has a menu using ASIC capabilities, but you can also direct-boot a game cartridge without that menu).
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:08, 27 May 21
Quote from: norecess on 14:53, 27 May 21
This is very interesting @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595)
Is it a connector where you can plug a C4CPC, for example ? (knowing the limitation that the C4CPC has a menu using ASIC capabilities, but you can also direct-boot a game cartridge without that menu).
I didn't try a C4CPC, because I don't have one. If someone wants to donate one for the cause I won't say no  ;D
I tested some converted games with a homebrew board and they work fine.
https://youtu.be/k-NKyX000r8
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: roudoudou on 16:11, 27 May 21
but C4CPC is cyphering data with "ACID" chip right?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Animalgril987 on 16:43, 27 May 21
 I think the ACID just sends a byte stream to the ASIC, so that ASIC knows the cart isn't bootlegged.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 18:25, 27 May 21
To support C4CPC would be really awesome!  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 18:38, 27 May 21
Quote from: roudoudou on 16:11, 27 May 21
but C4CPC is cyphering data with "ACID" chip right?
The EPPROM is directly on the Z80 bus (+ extended address for bank selection).
The ACID chip contains a LFSR that is updated on each access and state change according to some address bits. The ASIC contains the same one and compares the ACID bitstream to its own, and goes berzeck on mismatch.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 18:43, 27 May 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 18:25, 27 May 21
To support C4CPC would be really awesome!  :) :) :)
C4CPC should work out of the box.
The only think that need to be adapted is CprSelect that indeed use some plus feature (programmable interrupt and color). Should not be a big deal to adapt it.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 19:59, 27 May 21
15 preselect slots are totally fine! Looking forward to have C4CPC one day at CPC and 6128plus.  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Maniac on 20:56, 27 May 21
What a great idea! Simple but effective!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 22:17, 27 May 21
Quote from: gerald on 18:43, 27 May 21
C4CPC should work out of the box.
The only think that need to be adapted is CprSelect that indeed use some plus feature (programmable interrupt and color). Should not be a big deal to adapt it.
That would be awesome.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 04:05, 28 May 21
When plugged into a Plus expansion port, it serves as a secondary cartridge port, so you can leave the system cartridge always in the computer and use the secondary port to load games or to replace the operating system.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Kris on 07:44, 28 May 21
Really interesting device !
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 17:14, 28 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 04:05, 28 May 21
When plugged into a Plus expansion port, it serves as a secondary cartridge port, so you can leave the system cartridge always in the computer and use the secondary port to load games or to replace the operating system.
Wow, this is getting better and better!!!  :) :) :)


In case you're going to produce a batch of these cool boards, then please put me an the waiting list (taking one for the Centronics connector please).
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 18:43, 28 May 21
Cardboard prototype case. In the 6128 it rests on top of the table. The 464 users will have to be more careful pushing or to add some legs  :D



Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 18:48, 28 May 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 17:14, 28 May 21
Wow, this is getting better and better!!!  :) :) :)


In case you're going to produce a batch of these cool boards, then please put me an the waiting list (taking one for the Centronics connector please).
Hmm, I didn't think of making Centronics connector version, but why not? I can assemble one for you.
There is a waiting list indeed, you are in the position 11
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 20:33, 28 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 18:48, 28 May 21
Hmm, I didn't think of making Centronics connector version, but why not? I can assemble one for you.
There is a waiting list indeed, you are in the position 11
If you don't have a centronics connector at hand, no problem. Then I can solder them by myself.
The CPC6128 in German had Centronics like the 6128plus had.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 01:40, 29 May 21
Nice project, but i think that this new "trend" of releasing games/demos in "512k Rom only" formats, narrows a lot the usability potential....
Since now there are widely accepted devices, like M4 or USIfAC II (there are more than 1000 Amstrad users with M4 boards, and USIfAC II early reception looks very promising too), which offer very fast direct file access from massive storage devices like sdcards or usb flash drives (where practically there is no limit in size of game data, even creating a 100MB game is perfectly doable... ;D ), why not offer a "mass storage" option too?
For example, couldn't be possible to have a mass storage version of slapfight alcon (https://abalore.com/alcon2020.html) too?  ::)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 02:53, 29 May 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 01:40, 29 May 21
For example, couldn't be possible to have a mass storage version of slapfight alcon (https://abalore.com/alcon2020.html) too?  ::)
Mass storage devices have huge capacity, but only a minimal portion of the data is available in RAM at a given time. The process of loading a file into RAM, yet faster than a floppy disk, it's still very slow for high demand real-time games. A ROM game, one specifically designed for ROM like Alcon, needs to have immediate access to all 512KB of data at all times. In a typical gameplay frame in Alcon, about 50 bank switchings are required between about 20 different ROM banks. So definitely a game like Alcon can't be implemented in a mass storage version. Other games like slow paced, low RAM requirement graphical adventures could be, I think.

About if it's convenient or not a device like this, I don't feel authorized to give an opinion. I just offer things that are useful for me, then people will use them if they find useful too.
As a game developer, I'd like a quick and cheap way to distribute my 512K games. "One cartridge to rule them all". Alcon2020 is available in Plus cartridge format as a free download, many people made their own physical cartridges. But this is limited to the Plus users, if CPC users were able to make and play their own cartridges investing a small amount to add a cartridge port to their computer, I think that would be good.


Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 09:48, 29 May 21
Ok,i see. In practice ROM is treated like a "read only" RAM expansion :)
So, i suppose the other alternative,instead of making rom cartridges, could  be to utilize a 512k RAM expansion, right?
Of course this would require to implement  RAM bank switching instead of rom bank switching in your code, but if i'm not mistaken, this shouldn't be very hard to do, right?
Instead of constantly issuing Rom select address OUTS to &DF00, you would have to give Ram bank switching OUTs to  &7F00?  :)

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: TotO on 10:01, 29 May 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 09:48, 29 May 21
Ok,i see. In practice ROM is treated like a "read only" RAM expansion :)
Read Only Memory. You got it. ;D  (mass storage is not memory)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:37, 29 May 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 09:48, 29 May 21
Ok,i see. In practice ROM is treated like a "read only" RAM expansion :)
Yes

Quote from: ikonsgr on 09:48, 29 May 21So, i suppose the other alternative,instead of making rom cartridges, could  be to utilize a 512k RAM expansion, right?
No. In practice you have direct access to 128K only, because of the CPC RAM bank switching scheme. To be able to use the remaining 384K in any meaningful way you need to have a part of your program in ROM. And if you need a ROM anyway, do it all in ROM.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 17:18, 29 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 14:37, 29 May 21
No. In practice you have direct access to 128K only, because of the CPC RAM bank switching scheme. To be able to use the remaining 384K in any meaningful way you need to have a part of your program in ROM. And if you need a ROM anyway, do it all in ROM.

Well,i don't think this is quite right. Amstrad cpc natively supports direct access to, not only 128k, but up to eight 64k banks (+64 basic ram=576k of total ram)! Furthermore there are 8 different RAM configurations to select from, which gives you huge ram management flexibility!
And this selection of memory bank+ram configuration can be  done instantly (http://cpctech.cpc-live.com/docs/rampage.html) using a simple out &7fxx.


Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 17:35, 29 May 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 17:18, 29 May 21
Well,i don't think this is quite right. Amstrad cpc natively supports direct access to, not only 128k, but up to eight 64k banks (+64 basic ram=576k of total ram)! Furthermore there are 8 different RAM configurations to select from, which gives you huge ram management flexibility!
And this selection of memory bank+ram configuration can be  done instantly using a simple out &7fxx.

Easy, make a 512K RAM game and show us how it is done. Accessing all the 512KB without having to copy between banks and having access to 2 vram buffers at all times.

(By the way, Alcon uses 3 VRAM buffers, so it would be impossible anyway)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 17:58, 29 May 21
This is definetely not my field of expertise :)
But don't get me wrong, i just wanted to point out the fact that Amstrad cpc CAN natively direct access up to 576kb of ram, thourgh the existed ram bank & configuration scheme  :)
Now, if this is something that allows you an alternative way to make large ROM games, is something that i can't answer  :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 18:12, 29 May 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 17:58, 29 May 21
This is definetely not my field of expertise :)
But don't get me wrong, i just wanted to point out the fact that Amstrad cpc CAN natively direct access up to 576kb of ram, thourgh the existed ram bank & configuration scheme  :)
Now, if this is something that allows you an alternative way to make large ROM games, is something that i can't answer  :)
Yes, probably good games can be done in that way, not Alcon but other less demanding (in VRAM usage) games. But the premise of my project is to distribute big games in an easy and cheap way for the final user:
- Easy: plug the cartridge, turn on the computer and play the game.
- Cheap: Zero euros for Plus owners, and a cheap one time invest for CPC users (around 10 €).
The alternative of mass storage + RAM expansion:
- Not easy: You need to install 2 devices, probably requiring extra supply to power all the stuff, and type commands to run the games.
- Not cheap: You need a mass storage device and a RAM expansion. I doubt you can get both things for less than 50 euros in the best case.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: TotO on 19:22, 29 May 21
I'm still waiting the big adventure games and SCUMM ports that require more than 10MB storage to run properly on CPC since 5 years ago. I think that peoples are free to use the more appropriated media to release their games. Tape, Floppy Disc, Cartridge, DLC, ...
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: XeNoMoRPH on 19:32, 29 May 21
Orion Prime 2  :laugh:  !!! With massive graphics and sounds  :D
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 20:50, 29 May 21
Quote from: abalore on 17:35, 29 May 21
Easy, make a 512K RAM game and show us how it is done. Accessing all the 512KB without having to copy between banks and having access to 2 vram buffers at all times.
Easy. True. Did this years ago with "Tribute to the sisters". It can even use up to 4 MB.  8)  However I use 32 KB screen memory overscan, no screen switching, still 50 fps.  :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 16:30, 30 May 21
https://youtu.be/0chpufIZIh0
Above all I'm a player, so I made a cartridge with a compilation of some of my favorite games, to test the Plus2CPC board and to get some fun!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 17:47, 30 May 21
A reset button would save the power switch of your CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 17:51, 30 May 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 17:47, 30 May 21
A reset button would save the power switch of your CPC.
Yes. I probably will add one. It's good for compilations like the one I posted, but I must remind people than removing or inserting a cartridge requires to turn off the computer always. That's the reason the Plus locks the cartridge with the power button.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 17:55, 30 May 21
Yes, especially when using the C4CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 02:03, 02 June 21
I'm waiting for the parts to arrive, in the meantime I'm preparing an enclosure:

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 13:17, 03 June 21
this is awesome, as awesome as the other DES project https://auamstrad.es/des/


I'd love it if both carts could be plugged in
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 15:44, 03 June 21
Quote from: zhulien on 13:17, 03 June 21this is awesome, as awesome as the other DES project

IMHO it's even more awesome.

- Plus owners don't necessarily need an add-on
- DES is not compatible with the GX4000

Not quite sure about the pricing but it might even be cheaper than the DES base.

So in theory you produce a high quality physical release for ALL CPC based computers where many don't need the base at all and all others get it for (hopefully) a more acceptable price.

The only advantage that i see for the DES is, that it's currently still easy to get the cartridge cases in high quality and quantities, while for the Plus2CPC we probably would see 3d printed cases.







Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 16:00, 03 June 21
Quote from: eto on 15:44, 03 June 21
IMHO it's even more awesome.

- Plus owners don't necessarily need an add-on
- DES is not compatible with the GX4000

Not quite sure about the pricing but it might even be cheaper than the DES base.

So in theory you produce a high quality physical release for ALL CPC based computers where many don't need the base at all and all others get it for (hopefully) a more acceptable price.

The only advantage that i see for the DES is, that it's currently still easy to get the cartridge cases in high quality and quantities, while for the Plus2CPC we probably would see 3d printed cases.
You absolutely got the idea.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 13:30, 07 June 21
Would it be an option to add a simplified Playcity compatible sound to it? I am not sure if it requires a lot of logic or would drastically increase the price but if not, maybe it's an option to add the circuit/sockets for it to the expansion board already and then (for those that care) you can buy and put in in the YM chips. Or order them as an optional item.

With ROM based games, so much more is possible, but the 3 channel sound is still so limiting. I am not a big fan of adding high quality samples sound or MP3 capabilities as imho it always sounds strange and misplaced. But 6 more YM channels would just be plain awesome and no need to add another (not available) add-on card - and it's still 100% "era correct".

I am aware that you could end up with many requests to add more features but I am specifically asking only for the Playcity YM part which seems to be me as it could be a simple but game changing (pun intended) upgrade.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:21, 07 June 21
Quote from: eto on 13:30, 07 June 21
Would it be an option to add a simplified Playcity compatible sound to it? I am not sure if it requires a lot of logic or would drastically increase the price but if not, maybe it's an option to add the circuit/sockets for it to the expansion board already and then (for those that care) you can buy and put in in the YM chips. Or order them as an optional item.

With ROM based games, so much more is possible, but the 3 channel sound is still so limiting. I am not a big fan of adding high quality samples sound or MP3 capabilities as imho it always sounds strange and misplaced. But 6 more YM channels would just be plain awesome and no need to add another (not available) add-on card - and it's still 100% "era correct".

I am aware that you could end up with many requests to add more features but I am specifically asking only for the Playcity YM part which seems to be me as it could be a simple but game changing (pun intended) upgrade.
Yes, I have thought a lot on that and also in adding some non-volatile memory to store the scores and configurations. That would make all the Alcon2020 features available.
The debate is whether to do it in the adapter itself or in a separate small board.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 15:28, 07 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 15:21, 07 June 21The debate is whether to do it in the adapter itself or in a separate small board.

Awesome! Btw: I definitely want one. Please put me on the list ;-)

As long as it doesn't require the MX4, that's totally fine to have it on a different board. Don't get me wrong, I think the MX4 is great - for enthusiasts. But as soon as it becomes complicated for the average person who just wants to play great new games, it probably would limit the audience.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:40, 07 June 21
Quote from: eto on 15:28, 07 June 21
Awesome! Btw: I definitely want one. Please put me on the list ;-)

As long as it doesn't require the MX4, that's totally fine to have it on a different board. Don't get me wrong, I think the MX4 is great - for enthusiasts. But as soon as it becomes complicated for the average person who just wants to play great new games, it probably would limit the audience.
Added to the list. I must receive the PCBs very soon
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Shining on 16:57, 07 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 15:21, 07 June 21
Yes, I have thought a lot on that and also in adding some non-volatile memory to store the scores and configurations. That would make all the Alcon2020 features available.
The debate is whether to do it in the adapter itself or in a separate small board.


What I'm dreaming of for quite some time now is a plus-cart- 512kB pcb which can save some data like savegame/highscore and is not that expensive. Or some adapter between the cartridge-slot and the cartridge which is capable of this (perhaps also including a playcity?). The goal will be to write (plus)-games which also run on the GX4000 and can save some data.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Maniac on 16:33, 08 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 15:21, 07 June 21
The debate is whether to do it in the adapter itself or in a separate small board.
If it can be integrated in to the cartridge itself that would be preferable I think. For those of us with a Plus it would be great to mirror what was done in the past by the likes of Nintendo and Sega for added capability for certain games.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Shining on 17:07, 08 June 21
Problem with a solution in the cartridge itself will be the cost of producing such a cart. I for myself burn eproms for my carts and the only other components are a pcb, some resistors, condensators and one flipflop. So the cart without case costs less than 10€.


If you integrate playcity or else stuff direct on the cart, the cart will be way more expensive. If you want to release something it will be less attractive, I think.


So why not built a middleware-cart between the cart-socket and the cart with the rom-data itself.


Also a general problem on the plus will be, that you have to trick a little bit to be capable of writing something on the cart-bus. I think gerald managed this by an obscure chip-select sequence, where the mikrocontroller listens to....
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 18:10, 08 June 21
Quote from: Maniac on 16:33, 08 June 21
If it can be integrated in to the cartridge itself that would be preferable I think. For those of us with a Plus it would be great to mirror what was done in the past by the likes of Nintendo and Sega for added capability for certain games.
The Plus cartridge interface is nothing but a ROM interface. Adding anything else than read only memory is complicated and integrating a regular CPC extension is just not possible.

As Shining guessed, communication between the Plus and the C4CPC microcontroller use a specific read sequence that is detected by the PLD which then interrupt the C4CPC microcontroller. That makes the write really slow compared to read.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 20:00, 08 June 21
Quote from: gerald on 18:10, 08 June 21
The Plus cartridge interface is nothing but a ROM interface.
Will the C4CPC have a CPC compatible menu?  :D
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 02:28, 12 June 21
The first units are ready for delivering. Here is the price table. Pre-orders for next batch are open.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Maniac on 10:33, 12 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 02:28, 12 June 21
The first units are ready for delivering. Here is the price table. Pre-orders for next batch are open.
Great stuff! Is this the initial version and you're looking to add the additional capabilities later such as PlayCity and memory later please?


This is a great concept that enables Amstrad owners to have a consistent cartridge format.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: dragon on 11:19, 12 June 21
Quote from: gerald on 18:10, 08 June 21
The Plus cartridge interface is nothing but a ROM interface. Adding anything else than read only memory is complicated and integrating a regular CPC extension is just not possible.

As Shining guessed, communication between the Plus and the C4CPC microcontroller use a specific read sequence that is detected by the PLD which then interrupt the C4CPC microcontroller. That makes the write really slow compared to read.


You have finally implemented it?. I lost these  where is the info?.(if the info is published).
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 11:42, 12 June 21
Quote from: dragon on 11:19, 12 June 21

You have finally implemented it?. I lost these  where is the info?.(if the info is published).
If you mean write to the SD cart, no  ;D

But the communication protocol between the Z80 in the CPC and the microcontroller in the C4CPC involve read and write  ;)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 19:46, 12 June 21
STL files for enclosure available in project site:
https://abalore.com/plus2cpc.html

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 09:24, 17 June 21
any chance for an MX4 variant?  making the cart go upward with a different connector on the bottom?  would anyone else like an MX4 variant for those times they want to use a cart?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 09:32, 17 June 21
Do any commercial releases work on the Plus2CPC (on a CPC) given that some games don't use any plus features?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 10:48, 17 June 21
Quote from: zhulien on 09:24, 17 June 21
any chance for an MX4 variant?  making the cart go upward with a different connector on the bottom?  would anyone else like an MX4 variant for those times they want to use a cart?
For the MX4 I use a small IDC to edge adapter. But I can do a small batch with IDC connector if at least 5 people want it.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 11:41, 17 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 10:48, 17 June 21
For the MX4 I use a small IDC to edge adapter. But I can do a small batch with IDC connector if at least 5 people want it.


Add me down for 2 (if you can find another 3 sales).
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ajcasado on 12:15, 17 June 21
Hi,
I also want one with the IDC connector.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 13:54, 17 June 21
Quote from: zhulien on 11:41, 17 June 21

Add me down for 2 (if you can find another 3 sales).
Sure. Just to clarify, you want the IDC connector so the board lays horizontally and the cartridge is in vertical?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ajcasado on 14:17, 17 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 13:54, 17 June 21Sure. Just to clarify, you want the IDC connector so the board lays horizontally and the cartridge is in vertical?

In my case I prefer both vertical, in fact I guess it is the most practical setup with a MX4 board.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: XeNoMoRPH on 14:19, 17 June 21
(https://i.ibb.co/tDVkHpw/Ej8zrk-AXg-AE9-Ko-F.jpg)
Not my collection:  it's from David hernandez - @Benkenobi1976
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: nivrig on 14:36, 17 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 10:48, 17 June 21
For the MX4 I use a small IDC to edge adapter. But I can do a small batch with IDC connector if at least 5 people want it.
I would be in for a PCBv4 + IDC version.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:51, 17 June 21
I made a quick and very dirty test soldering an IDC connector to the edge connector footprint. Just to test everything works fine, and it does.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Bryce on 15:13, 17 June 21
You must have stretched the pins to their limit to do that. Obviously the better solution would be to make a double footprint on the layout to allow both types of connector.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:15, 17 June 21
Quote from: ajcasado on 14:17, 17 June 21
In my case I prefer both vertical, in fact I guess it is the most practical setup with a MX4 board.
Yes, it's doable.
Regarding the MX4, the plus cartridge slot uses the range >=128 but also overrides the lower ROM and remaps the <128 in weird ways (like the Plus does), so any other ROM expansion you may have is unusable. Also, there is no point on having other ROMs simultaneously since you don't have access to BASIC to launch/use them.

I don't recommend to put it along with M4, ROM boxes or Dandanator and derivatives (you'd need to be enabling and disabling devices when you are using one or another).
Non-ROM expansions, like Playcity, will work without problems.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:16, 17 June 21
Quote from: Bryce on 15:13, 17 June 21
You must have stretched the pins to their limit to do that. Obviously the better solution would be to make a double footprint on the layout to allow both types of connector.

Bryce.
Absolutely. In case of doing the IDC version I'll change the footprint
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:39, 17 June 21
Quote from: Bryce on 15:13, 17 June 21
You must have stretched the pins to their limit to do that. Obviously the better solution would be to make a double footprint on the layout to allow both types of connector.

Bryce.
Done

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 16:08, 17 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 13:54, 17 June 21
Sure. Just to clarify, you want the IDC connector so the board lays horizontally and the cartridge is in vertical?


I prefer both vertical
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ajcasado on 16:11, 17 June 21
Thanks for the advice @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595) .I'll use only the ram expansion.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: RockRiver on 16:28, 19 June 21
Please add me to the list. Add some boards for me, please...
one for edge , one for centronics and the third for mx4... all with (3d printed) case and Reset button. I'll buy some new C4CPC Yeahhh
A standard , re-birth... CPR , thanks Gerald and gx4000 people. And now Abalore.
(I suppose that famous "gx4000 ports" (not plus features) of CPC Classic works without problem)
Thanks for your great idea, Abalore


CPR for all the People !!!!
Fast Food for our loved system ha ha ha  ;D
if works, will be a Must Be Done for emulators
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 12:22, 20 June 21
Quote from: RockRiver on 16:28, 19 June 21
Please add me to the list. Add some boards for me, please...
one for edge , one for centronics and the third for mx4... all with (3d printed) case and Reset button. I'll buy some new C4CPC Yeahhh
A standard , re-birth... CPR , thanks Gerald and gx4000 people. And now Abalore.
(I suppose that famous "gx4000 ports" (not plus features) of CPC Classic works without problem)
Thanks for your great idea, Abalore
Yes, ports that don't use plus features work well. I also tried ROM games (with a simple loader) and converted dsk (with nocart), and everything works fine.
Your order has been added to the list!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 22:44, 20 June 21
Hi Abalore, interested in a V4 with Reset to send to France. MP if it's ok.
Thanks for this interesting product.
Phil
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 07:23, 24 June 21
Quote from: abalore on 10:48, 17 June 21
For the MX4 I use a small IDC to edge adapter. But I can do a small batch with IDC connector if at least 5 people want it.


Anyone tried a commercial Plus game on the CPC yet?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Redbug on 17:32, 24 June 21
Interrested too ;)
Thanks
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Shining on 09:54, 25 June 21
Quote from: zhulien on 07:23, 24 June 21

Anyone tried a commercial Plus game on the CPC yet?


Which commercial plus game is not using plus features?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: robcfg on 13:18, 25 June 21
I guess the question is if it would work but without the Plus features.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: RockRiver on 13:59, 25 June 21
Quote from: Shining on 09:54, 25 June 21

Which commercial plus game is not using plus features?
https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Mystical_(cartridge) (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Mystical_(cartridge))
https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Barbarian_2_(cartridge) (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Barbarian_2_(cartridge))


[ Ayor61 is working in a Barbarian II CPR version with real Plus Palette features ... ] [I love that covertions of Ayor61 for Plus Palette, thanks mate!!]
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: andycadley on 12:20, 26 June 21
Quote from: robcfg on 13:18, 25 June 21
I guess the question is if it would work but without the Plus features.
It would probably do something, quite what might depend a lot on how things are structured. Any attempt to actually use Plus features would end up corrupting RAM instead (since the ASIC registers won't be present to shadow out writes). Whether that matters in many of the cart games that were cheap dumps may depend on what exactly they have stored in that RAM at the time.


But if you're hoping to be able to play the properly Plus titles like Burnin' Rubber, RoboCop 2 or Navy Seals it's just not going to go well at all.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 16:25, 26 June 21
One question ... maybe I didn't see being asked before.


The 6128plus has some "special" ROM banking, does the Plus2CPC support that too?

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 19:23, 28 June 21
For the brave that have a Plus2CPC and a C4CPC, here is a updated version of CprSelect that handle both Plus and CPC.
If you see any issue with it, just report  ;)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 22:29, 28 June 21
Quote from: gerald on 19:23, 28 June 21
For the brave that have a Plus2CPC and a C4CPC, here is a updated version of CprSelect that handle both Plus and CPC.
If you see any issue with it, just report  ;)
Absolutely awesome and fast work  :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Phantomz on 22:45, 28 June 21
Quote from: gerald on 19:23, 28 June 21For the brave that have a Plus2CPC and a C4CPC, here is a updated version of CprSelect that handle both Plus and CPC.
If you see any issue with it, just report 

@gerald (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=250)

Thanks for this will check it out, if and when can get hold of a Plus2CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: andycadley on 01:15, 29 June 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 16:25, 26 June 21
One question ... maybe I didn't see being asked before.


The 6128plus has some "special" ROM banking, does the Plus2CPC support that too?
I'd assume it's very unlikely, given that would require the device to listen out for the ASIC unlock/lock sequence and handle gate array writes to RMR2 (I'm not even sure how the old GA acts if you write to it with the bit pattern of RMR2 - you weren't supposed to, but I guess disabling it when the ASIC was locked is probably because the old hardware ignored that bit)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 02:01, 29 June 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 16:25, 26 June 21
One question ... maybe I didn't see being asked before.


The 6128plus has some "special" ROM banking, does the Plus2CPC support that too?
Part of the Plus ROM mapping is supported:
ROM numbers starting at 128 are directly mapped into the cartridge ROM:
- 128 to slot 0 (first 16K)
- 129 to slot 1 (second 16K)
- and so on...

For ROM numbers lower than 128 the Plus mapping is applied:

- Lower ROM is mapped to slot 0
- BASIC ROM (Upper ROM 0) is mapped to slot 1
- AMSDOS ROM (Upper ROM 7) is mapped to slot 3

This allows running cartridges with full operating system replacements (Lower, BASIC and AMSDOS).
On the other hand, the Plus bank switching performed by the RMR2 register is not supported.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 19:15, 29 June 21
Thanks, good to know that facts.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: dragon on 02:43, 30 June 21
Don't worry about RMR2.


Nocart automatically fit all the first 8 roms of the cartridge..So the conversions can't use it to set the lower rom... And if someone use it in a cartridge made from zero, probably was made to use another plus features..
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 10:02, 30 June 21
Quote from: dragon on 02:43, 30 June 21
Don't worry about RMR2.


Nocart automatically fit all the first 8 roms of the cartridge..So the conversions can't use it to set the lower rom... And if someone use it in a cartridge made from zero, probably was made to use another plus features..
That's It. I use a modified Nocart version to fit several dsk into one cartridge in order to use the full 512k.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Syncmaster319 on 00:39, 01 July 21
Hi,


I would love an IDC version for my MX4 board.


Thanks in advance,  great work!
Mark

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 08:50, 01 July 21
has anyone got the Amstrad magazine which had the CPC 664 with Plus Upgrade?  (I think it was an april fools joke, but couldn't find which magazine or year it was)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 14:15, 01 July 21
Thanks a lot for the Plus2CPC, it arrived and it's just awesome!!!  :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 20:14, 01 July 21
Quote from: zhulien on 08:50, 01 July 21
has anyone got the Amstrad magazine which had the CPC 664 with Plus Upgrade?  (I think it was an april fools joke, but couldn't find which magazine or year it was)

which magazines were still in print in 1991? That should be easy to find ;-)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ukmarkh on 21:17, 01 July 21
Quote from: GUNHED on 14:15, 01 July 21
Thanks a lot for the Plus2CPC, it arrived and it's just awesome!!!  :) :) :) :) :) :) :)


Is there a link to buy this?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 10:07, 03 July 21
Quote from: ukmarkh on 21:17, 01 July 21
Is there a link to buy this?

Quote from: Syncmaster319 on 00:39, 01 July 21Hi, I would love an IDC version for my MX4 board. Thanks in advance,  great work! Mark

Hello, just send me a PM with the version you want (V3 or V4), if you want with or without enclosure, and your address to check the shipping costs. Thank you!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 10:26, 11 July 21
@abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595), Do you happen to know if there are other Rom cartridge games like Alcon2020, that can run on standard CPC machines?
Btw, soon, there will be another alternative (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/usifac-iimake-your-pc-or-usb-stick-an-hdd-for-amstrad-access-dsk-and-many-more!/msg204521/#msg204521) for loading Alcon2020 (or any Rom game) on CPC machines.
I'm planning to make this board with "dual mode" operation, that the 512k SRAM memory will function either as normal RAM expansion AND as ROM BOARD for 32X16kb roms!
Using a small utility for USIfAC II, you will be able to load any cpr file to SRAM, and by a simple pressing of a button board will act as rom board!  :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 11:54, 11 July 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 10:26, 11 July 21
@abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595), Do you happen to know if there are other Rom cartridge games like Alcon2020, that can run on standard CPC machines?
Btw, soon, there will be another alternative (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/usifac-iimake-your-pc-or-usb-stick-an-hdd-for-amstrad-access-dsk-and-many-more!/msg204521/#msg204521) for loading Alcon2020 (or any Rom game) on CPC machines.
I'm planning to make this board with "dual mode" operation, that the 512k SRAM memory will function either as normal RAM expansion AND as ROM BOARD for 32X16kb roms!
Using a small utility for USIfAC II, you will be able to load any cpr file to SRAM, and by a simple pressing of a button board will act as rom board!  :)
That's good news. It's similar of what we currently do with the X-MEM. There is an installation disk to fill the 32 roms with Alcon2020 directly from the CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 12:02, 11 July 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 10:26, 11 July 21@abalore, Do you happen to know if there are other Rom cartridge games like Alcon2020, that can run on standard CPC machines?

I don't know of any other games specifically designed for ROM. There are many conversions of tape/disc games to ROM, and you can convert many disc games to cartridge with Nocart.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 13:25, 11 July 21
Quote from: abalore on 12:02, 11 July 21
I don't know of any other games specifically designed for ROM. There are many conversions of tape/disc games to ROM, and you can convert many disc games to cartridge with Nocart.
Maybe it would be a good idea,to make a "CPR. ROM GAME ARCHIVE" here is cpcwiki, for games that utilize Plus Rom catridge, but they can run on any cpc machine (e.g. they don't use the extra hardware of plus machines like hardware sprites).
Btw, i suppose all these cpr rom cartridge games (https://www.zone640k.com/0/1/S2/S4/S1/) are for plus only, right?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Phantomz on 15:05, 11 July 21
Quote from: abalore on 10:02, 30 June 21
That's It. I use a modified Nocart version to fit several dsk into one cartridge in order to use the full 512k.


Any chance I could check this out?  :)


I could do with 80 track support as limited to 60 track with the current nocart.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:17, 11 July 21
Quote from: Phantomz on 15:05, 11 July 21

Any chance I could check this out?  :)


I could do with 80 track support as limited to 60 track with the current nocart.

I was trying to change the number of tracks, but it's not a proper solution because the required number of tracks to take advantage of the whole cartridge is 103 and the number of blocks exceed 256, so it can't be addressed.

What I did instead is to store different DSK starting at different ROM numbers and modified Nocart to get the base ROM number from a memory location instead of be fixed to &83, so you can simply change the number from BASIC to access different discs.
But this is only part of the process, the rest is to mount the final CPR in a hex editor putting the different DSK into the proper areas to maximize the cartridge usage, and finally adding a BASIC menu in the first disc to change to the proper ROM number for each game.
Please let me know in a PM your email and I'll send you the modified Nocart, I wouldn't like to spread the modified copy without the consent of the creator.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:20, 11 July 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 13:25, 11 July 21
Maybe it would be a good idea,to make a "CPR. ROM GAME ARCHIVE" here is cpcwiki, for games that utilize Plus Rom catridge, but they can run on any cpc machine (e.g. they don't use the extra hardware of plus machines like hardware sprites).
Btw, i suppose all these cpr rom cartridge games (https://www.zone640k.com/0/1/S2/S4/S1/) are for plus only, right?
That's a list of the original Plus releases, maybe Switchblade could work to some extent, but not the others. For a list of CPC working CPR take a look at this: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Converted_GX4000_Software
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: ikonsgr on 21:11, 11 July 21
Wow, all these games are converted to rom catridge format? I suppose the main usage for this is to play them using GX4000 game console, because, if you have a CPC equipped with Gotek drive or a board like USIfAC II or M4 (which can access directly dsk images or even files), there is no need for that.  ::)
Still, they can be a very good way for testing the "rom board" mode of my new board  ;D



Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 23:08, 11 July 21
Quote from: ikonsgr on 21:11, 11 July 21I suppose the main usage for this is to play them using GX4000 game console

Yes - but also, as a sideeffect, on the Plus with a gamepad. It's just very convenient with the C4CPC and also that it's so much more convenient to use the second button rather than a key on the keyboard.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: dragon on 01:24, 12 July 21
Add some support enable cheats.


And some have their original bug fixed as lemmings for example :).




https://youtu.be/n4ucwl1hOVs
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 11:02, 12 July 21
One advantage of the Plus cartridge format, in my opinion, is that it is plug & play in the literal sense.
I play much more on my 464 since I have the cartridge adapter and a set of cartridges with my favorite games, because it's boring to me to have to navigate through directories.
The "console feeling" of just plugging the cartridge in, turning the computer on and playing is very good for me.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Redbug on 16:20, 14 July 21
Received my mine today too.


It works great. Thanks
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 00:17, 15 July 21
Hi there. I got my Plus2CPC too. But I need to use a Centronics plug. Sadly I can't find them at ebay.
Does somebody please have a link fo me?
Any idea?

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 07:25, 15 July 21
Hello! IDC version for MX4 is in production now and will be dispatched soon!

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: zhulien on 14:03, 15 July 21
Quote from: abalore on 12:02, 11 July 21
I don't know of any other games specifically designed for ROM. There are many conversions of tape/disc games to ROM, and you can convert many disc games to cartridge with Nocart.


I think there were some games originally advertised on rom - like the pacman with legs platform game (forgot the name)...


Ghouls


https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p7oglLPoMgI/Vupkaa25uZI/AAAAAAAABew/_4ZVrZ7ek3094ZyajHyqPunD4ZIsFrUeQ/s1600/Gh2.png


Here also mentions Ghouls being available on ROM.
https://cpcrulez.fr/applications_coding-micropower-sideways_rom_ACU.htm


Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Gryzor on 14:07, 15 July 21
Pacland?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: TotO on 14:07, 15 July 21
Paclegs?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:50, 19 July 21
Quote from: zhulien on 14:03, 15 July 21

I think there were some games originally advertised on rom - like the pacman with legs platform game (forgot the name)...


Ghouls


https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p7oglLPoMgI/Vupkaa25uZI/AAAAAAAABew/_4ZVrZ7ek3094ZyajHyqPunD4ZIsFrUeQ/s1600/Gh2.png (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p7oglLPoMgI/Vupkaa25uZI/AAAAAAAABew/_4ZVrZ7ek3094ZyajHyqPunD4ZIsFrUeQ/s1600/Gh2.png)


Here also mentions Ghouls being available on ROM.
https://cpcrulez.fr/applications_coding-micropower-sideways_rom_ACU.htm (https://cpcrulez.fr/applications_coding-micropower-sideways_rom_ACU.htm)

Sure, but there is a difference between "being published in ROM" and "being designed for ROM". I mean, do they take advantage of the ROM capabilities or they are just the original game copied into a ROM?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 14:02, 21 July 21
Hi Abalore,
just wondering what cartridge template you use to build your own compilation for 464 to use with the Plus2CPC cart horlder ?
Is it a CPC+ cart modified with a Winbond27c256 ?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:37, 21 July 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 14:02, 21 July 21
Hi Abalore,
just wondering what cartridge template you use to build your own compilation for 464 to use with the Plus2CPC cart horlder ?
Is it a CPC+ cart modified with a Winbond27c256 ?
Hello!
It's this design: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/amstrad-gx4000-plus-cartridge-pcb/
with a normal 27c4001 eprom and the 74HC112N chip.
The 74HC112N chip is only needed for the cartridge to work in the Plus, to work in the Plus2CPC adapter is not needed.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 19:25, 21 July 21
ok. So according to what I read, we could use a Plus original cartridge, with a Zif Support and an eeprom.
Am I Right ? Is there a file containing a compilation like yours somewhere to burn on the eprom ?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 21:23, 21 July 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 19:25, 21 July 21
ok. So according to what I read, we could use a Plus original cartridge, with a Zif Support and an eeprom.
Am I Right ?
No, you can't use a plus original cartridge with a zif socket because that would mean destroying an original plus cartridge  ;D


->[]
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 22:53, 21 July 21
Why destroyed ? It's just putting the eeprom on a Zif....
It should work as well

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 11:29, 22 July 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 19:25, 21 July 21
ok. So according to what I read, we could use a Plus original cartridge, with a Zif Support and an eeprom.
Am I Right ? Is there a file containing a compilation like yours somewhere to burn on the eprom ?
Sure, find a couple of compilations here.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Bryce on 12:38, 22 July 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 22:53, 21 July 21
Why destroyed ? It's just putting the eeprom on a Zif....
It should work as well

Because you have to physically break open the case and cut a hole in the case for the EPROM on ZIF to fit. A new PCB and a 3D printed case is a much friendlier option.


Bryce.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 16:20, 22 July 21
Quote from: abalore on 14:37, 21 July 21The 74HC112N chip is only needed for the cartridge to work in the Plus, to work in the Plus2CPC adapter is not needed.

Are the resistors and/or capacitors needed then, if it's used in the Plus2CPC adapter?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: eto on 16:22, 22 July 21
Does anyone have a spare PCB or cartridge that he's willing to sell?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 17:18, 22 July 21
Quote from: eto on 16:20, 22 July 21
Are the resistors and/or capacitors needed then, if it's used in the Plus2CPC adapter?
In order to work with the Plus2CPC adapter, only the ROM is needed, resistors and capacitors are not required.
About the spare cartridges, I buy all the parts in Aliexpress and order the PCBs in JLCPCB. Obviously you'll need also an EPROM programmer to write the contents.
I would consider to sell DIY KITs if there is demand for it and is worth the work of putting the parts together and arrange the shipping. These kits would be with a blank EPROM to program yourself.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 17:33, 25 July 21
Here is compilation 3
Enjoy it!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 13:56, 28 July 21
I bought PCB to try to make some carts. Will let you jnow if it works...
Cheers
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 15:56, 28 July 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 13:56, 28 July 21
I bought PCB to try to make some carts. Will let you jnow if it works...
Cheers
Great! to make it work with the Plus2CPC you only need to put the EPROM in, all the other parts are for the Plus. Also, if you plug it in without the case enclosure, please pay attention to the pin alignment, because a bad alignment can damage something.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: RockRiver on 16:30, 28 July 21
Quote from: abalore on 07:25, 15 July 21
Hello! IDC version for MX4 is in production now and will be dispatched soon!


Time to order from U.
:)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 17:18, 28 July 21
let me check first if it works... :P
I'm on holidays for 2 weeks so gonna test it when I'm back

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 21:53, 09 August 21
Well, received the PCBs today, solder one and must admit that it works well.
Quote@Abalore
How did you make your compilations ? Is it possible to build an empty 360Ko Disk for example, fill it with games and then convert with no$cart ?


I listed the menu in your mega compilation and saw that you mixes a disk and Rom games. How to do that ?


Thanks.


(https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/%5Burl=https://ibb.co/3CnJ894%5Dhttps://i.ibb.co/qrvZ437/IMG-7243.jpg%5B/url%5D)
(https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/%5Burl=https://ibb.co/86hSfW2%5Dhttps://i.ibb.co/XSwvKhp/IMG-7244.jpg%5B/url%5D)


a little video [size=78%]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTifAVgPwO8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTifAVgPwO8)[/size]
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Richard_Lloyd on 14:11, 10 August 21
Thanks @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595)  - the Plus2CPCs arrived safely in the UK. I programmed an EPROM with compilacion.bin
Thanks @Chinnery (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2434)  - I used your Gerbers to get some cartridge PCBs made.

It all works really well. It's a really cool way to have lots of games ready to go on the CPCs.
The on/off switch and the reset are very useful.
I will be using this a lot!
Thank you.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 14:33, 10 August 21
Quote from: Richard_Lloyd on 14:11, 10 August 21
Thanks @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595)  - the Plus2CPCs arrived safely in the UK. I programmed an EPROM with compilacion.bin
Thanks @Chinnery (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2434)  - I used your Gerbers to get some cartridge PCBs made.

It all works really well. It's a really cool way to have lots of games ready to go on the CPCs.
The on/off switch and the reset are very useful.
I will be using this a lot!
Thank you.
I'm very glad to see people is enjoying my humble contribution to the CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 21:06, 18 August 21
@abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595) Hi Friend
I understood how to built a CPR from disk with nocart software.
But it seems you'are able to add rom slots on your compilations.


Can you explain us how you achieved that ? For example in your Compilation3, seems you added 5 roms.


Would be great to understand how to do that.


thanks.
Phil
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 22:44, 18 August 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 21:06, 18 August 21
@abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595) Hi Friend
I understood how to built a CPR from disk with nocart software.
But it seems you'are able to add rom slots on your compilations.


Can you explain us how you achieved that ? For example in your Compilation3, seems you added 5 roms.


Would be great to understand how to do that.


thanks.
Phil
Hello Phil,
I manually add the ROMs in free 16KB blocks of the cartridge binary using a hexadecimal editor, and then I call a small assembler routine from BASIC from the menu (located in the converted DSK) to switch the ROM and run the game.
This is the assembler routine:
org &8000
di
ld bc,&7f85
out (c),c
ld bc,&df85
out (c),c
jp &c009
And this is how it's called from BASIC :
POKE &8007, rom : CALL &8000
Where "rom" is the Plus cartridge range ROM number (from &80 to &9F)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 19:47, 19 August 21
Thanks a lot for your explanations.
Gonna try this.


Cheers.
Phil
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 21:26, 21 August 21
Hi,
successfully build and burnt my first compilation with my all time prefered games.
Working Great.
Also burned an Alcon 2020 and working great too.


Very happy with that.


My compilation attached for those interested.


contains : Arkanoid-Batty-Boulderdash-La Boule Infernale-Bruce Lee-Classic Invaders-Chuckie Egg-Donkey Kong-Fruity Franck-Gauntlet-Grand Prix Simulator 1-Harrier Attack-Mutant Monty-Paper Boy-Konami's Ping Pong-Daley Thompson Decathlon-Manic Miner-Moon Buggy-Green Beret-Haunted Hedge-Pac-Man-Tapper-Tempest-The Sentinel-Thrust


Cheers

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 20:55, 22 August 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 21:26, 21 August 21
Hi,
successfully build and burnt my first compilation with my all time prefered games.
Working Great.
Also burned an Alcon 2020 and working great too.


Very happy with that.


My compilation attached for those interested.


contains : Arkanoid-Batty-Boulderdash-La Boule Infernale-Bruce Lee-Classic Invaders-Chuckie Egg-Donkey Kong-Fruity Franck-Gauntlet-Grand Prix Simulator 1-Harrier Attack-Mutant Monty-Paper Boy-Konami's Ping Pong-Daley Thompson Decathlon-Manic Miner-Moon Buggy-Green Beret-Haunted Hedge-Pac-Man-Tapper-Tempest-The Sentinel-Thrust


Cheers
Excellent job!!
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 20:33, 23 August 21
Hi,
One more for the road. Still experimenting Abalore fantastic routines.


As I can't put a rom bigger than 16Ko, I learned with your second compilation to inject a second and partial third disk on the cart.


Struggling with Target Renegade but no luck- loading till the end but remains stuck on grey screen.
If some of you need a cartridge with roms inside, please PM. Have some PCB and eeproms to burn if I can help.


This one has 1942,1943,Army Moves, Astro Attack, Bombjack, Commando, Gryzor, Galapship, Gyroscope, Ikari Warrior, Rambo 1st Blood part II, Renegade, Silkworm, Victory Road.


Cheers.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: gerald on 10:31, 03 October 21
Updated CprSelect (V1.4) : only change is that I hopefully fixed the selection raster position  :doh:
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: TotO on 14:22, 03 October 21
Yeah! ;D
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 20:16, 03 October 21
Awesome stuff Gerald!
I'm sending some labels here for my game compilations.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 14:41, 04 October 21
Thanks for the labels.


Is there a way @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595) to launch a 32K or 48k rom from the cartridge ? 16k roms are ok for me. But wonder if it's possible ?
Title: Plus2CPC: Copy an original Plus cartridge using the CPC...
Post by: GUNHED on 18:03, 04 October 21
... can be done by using a LowerROM and a ROM-card (ROMs smaller than &80 of course!).
This allows to copy an original 6128plus cartridge in a non-destructive way.


Thanks for the Plus2CPC.  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 18:11, 04 October 21
Quote from: Philippe Lardenois on 14:41, 04 October 21
Is there a way @abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595) to launch a 32K or 48k rom from the cartridge ? 16k roms are ok for me. But wonder if it's possible ?
Do you mean a multi ROM converted game, like Pyjamarama (2 ROMS)? Most likely not without patching it. Because they have been converted for a very specific situation. You may need to find the ROM switching routine and adapt it to work with your ROM numbers.
If we are talking of a game designed for cartridge, like Alcon, of course you can have 32K, 48K and up to 512K.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 17:19, 05 October 21
After helping a friend to configure his system with MX4 board + M4 board + Plus2CPC, I can give some advices to make it all run flawlessly.
In the M4 board, do not use the slots 0,1,2. Also set the "Rom number" to other than those, and keep the option "Lower-rom Enabled" off.
With this setup, you should be able to switch between Plus2CPC and M4 just by using the switch button in the Plus2CPC.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Philippe Lardenois on 15:27, 06 October 21
Thanks Abalore


Cheers.
Phil
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: 00WReX on 02:15, 07 October 21
@abalore (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2595)
@Philippe Lardenois (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1881)

Hello,


I am interested in using these games compilations on my GX.


I am wondering if the compilation cpr's that you have created are using the games that have been converted to run on the GX4000 (no keyboard interaction required).
I'm not sure how others feel, but my thought is that .cpr files should maintaion GX compatibility as much as possible.


https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Converted_GX4000_Software

Cheers,
Shane
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 11:39, 07 October 21
Quote from: 00WReX on 02:15, 07 October 21
I'm not sure how others feel, but my thought is that .cpr files should maintaion GX compatibility as much as possible.
Hello,

There are many games that are not converted to GX (they require keyboard, or 128KB), and there is no reason for a CPC user to not enjoy them using the Plus2CPC board.
This is a thread about the Plus2CPC, so the files uploaded here are meant to work on it. Some will work on the GX, some others not, but it's not a must.
Regards
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: 00WReX on 12:36, 07 October 21
Fair enough, I was not intending to offend anyone.

I think this project is a great idea.
I'm want to purchase one myself, I will PM you.
Thanks for the compilations, I can at least try them on Dukes M4 board until I get a Plus2CPC myself.

Cheers,

Shane
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: khaz on 15:23, 24 October 21
This is a great project! I was away from the scene a bit but I believe this is CPC cartridges done right.

As for asking for extra stuff on the adapter side, I think the simplicity of the design means it can be adapted and improved without breaking compatibility with the cartridges. This is the beauty of it.

If this gets traction, I can see myself buying physical releases like from poly.play as cartridges, with a simple adapter at first and upgrading the adapter as more complex designs are created that would fit my needs, all without breaking compatibility.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: reidrac on 15:51, 24 October 21
I love the idea as well and I'm super happy to support this as developer, to the extent of my abilities of course :D

If you ask me, what does this need to be PERFECT? I would say:

At least the last two things from that list need to happen before we see a physical release (and I believe DES is already there); say with Poly Play quality -big box, manual, poster, etc-.

I always release my games as free download first, so it doesn't really affect me too much; but if people want a physical release on cartridge, initially it will be harder than cassette or 3" disc.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 18:35, 24 October 21
Quote from: reidrac on 15:51, 24 October 21The Plus2CPC should be be open hardware, and it should be as easy as possible for people to build/buy the adapter. Meanwhile, a number of existing add-ons can load CPR files (and emulators support it).
I agree. It will be at some point.

Quote from: reidrac on 15:51, 24 October 21

       
  • Same for the cart PCB; and I don't know if those are available already, but same point: easy and cheap to build, so the resulting physical edition is as cheap as possible.

I'm using this one: https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/amstrad-gx4000-plus-cartridge-pcb/


Quote from: reidrac on 15:51, 24 October 21

       
  • I don't know about this one but... are the shells for the CPC+ cartridges available? Ideally we would have an alternative to 3D printing. The DES approach to this is not bad, what do people think about that?
I disagree with using other formats than the Plus cartridge, for several reasons:

- 464Plus, 6128Plus and GX4000 users already have all the required hardware. So any game released in this format will be directly playable for them, without buying anything else.
- The Plus cartridge format is an original design by Amstrad. That makes it a more valuable item for retro lovers, at least for me. Using an alien GBA cartridge in our beloved CPCs is just not the same feeling.
- The Plus2CPC adapter is really cheap, because of its simple design.
- 3D printing the cartridge shells is not a problem for me, I'm starting tests with a resin printer which will allow to print hundreds of high quality shells in short time.

Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: reidrac on 20:34, 24 October 21
Quote from: abalore on 18:35, 24 October 21
...
- 3D printing the cartridge shells is not a problem for me, I'm starting tests with a resin printer which will allow to print hundreds of high quality shells in short time.

That's fine!

My point was that if (and this is a big if) I'm going to make a physical release, I won't be 3D printing the shells.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 21:15, 24 October 21
Quote from: reidrac on 20:34, 24 October 21
That's fine!

My point was that if (and this is a big if) I'm going to make a physical release, I won't be 3D printing the shells.
I'll post my experience printing the shells for Alcon here. Only time will say if it's a good idea.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 21:20, 29 October 21
My first try of a resin 3D printed cartridge. It's a one block model for the PCB to be loaded from the bottom.
(to the forum admin: please allow JPEG extension for attachments, so I don't need to rename all of them to JPG)
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 19:52, 02 November 21
Number of cartridges in a single print: 8

Time: 5h

Time per cartridge: < 40m




Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: GUNHED on 17:03, 03 November 21
WoW! They really look awesome. Since quite a long time I try to find a source for Cartridges. Hopefully they are available for the community soon (PCBs and ACIDs are done since years).
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: Skunkfish on 17:46, 03 November 21
They look pretty good! How does the PCB stay in place?
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: abalore on 19:14, 03 November 21
Quote from: Skunkfish on 17:46, 03 November 21
They look pretty good! How does the PCB stay in place?
I have two versions: removable and fixed.

The removable has a screw through the PCB hole. The screw is later hidden under the label sticker.

In the fixed version the PCB is just glued to the rails with epoxi resin.

Both versions have also a cap inserted in the bottom that hides the circuitry.
Title: Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
Post by: slugman on 22:05, 02 January 22
PM sent for ordering one  ;)
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