Author Topic: The MegaFlash  (Read 69093 times)

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Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #25 on: 23:00, 07 August 11 »
Thank's! Guess I need it :-)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #26 on: 23:01, 07 August 11 »
What's the subject? :)
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Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #27 on: 23:29, 07 August 11 »
What's the subject? :)

-Offtopic on!
 
It a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of a yeast wild strain and a lab strain. Some of their offspring strains show a dramatical increased lifespan. Now the QTL analysis allows us to assign positive effects to genes. So I found half a dozen of them and verified their beneficial function. Now, collecing all the results of month, pack it, and make a Powerpoint (they don't have CPCs here. We should transfer them in the hall of shame, then Kangaroo isn't all a lone there. Hehe!).
 
Offtopic-Off!
 
Good news are, after tomorrow I will have more time for CPC projects. So I hope to be able to present final versions of the needed software before all MegaFlash will arrive at their customers home.
 
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #28 on: 23:37, 07 August 11 »
So, how long till the life elixir? Can it come in blue flasks, Prince of Persia-like?
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Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #29 on: 23:44, 07 August 11 »
So, how long till the life elixir? Can it come in blue flasks, Prince of Persia-like?

I like Blue, but be patient for the flasks content...  ;)
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #30 on: 11:13, 09 August 11 »
Hi all,
     several people have asked whether I test every single MegaFlash, what I test, or whether I test them at all!!?
So to save me from repeating the same description separately to many people, here's the actual test sequence that gets done on EVERY MegaFlash before it's sent:

1 - The Flash is initialised on a PC and installed in the MegaFlash
(all programming / deleting is done with your MegaFlash / Flash IC from here on)
2 - ROM 0 is programmed
3 - CPC restarted
4 - ROM 7 is programmed
5 - CPC restarted
6 - ROM 4 and ROM 31 are programmed
7 - CPC restarted
8 -  ROM 31 and ROM 0 are deleted
9 - CPC restarted
10 - Flash removed from MegaFlash and compared to a known good Image on the PC
11 - Flash reinstalled in the MegaFlash and turned on a last time on the CPC.
12 - Take another sip from my convieniently placed glass of beer ;)

Every MegaFlash is tested with the actual cable you will receive (if you ordered one).
The test may sound complicated, but it does ensure that absolutely every connection and component
is working correctly.

Bryce.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #31 on: 11:37, 09 August 11 »
Wow, that's a lot of work. But what about water, earthquakes or volcanoes? Surely, for that price we should expect something more.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #32 on: 11:44, 09 August 11 »
Water? Didn't you read step 12? I go one step further :)
I also forgot to mention that the CPC and MegaFlash are actually sitting on our washing machine during the spin cycle to simulate an earthquake and as far as volcanoes are concerned, I am looking into the possibility of a short trip to Siciliy, but I can't promise anything.

Bryce.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #33 on: 11:50, 09 August 11 »
Man, you got to adjust your washing machine's rubber feet.

Btw, I'd love a washing machine playing that Robocop tune from the Ariston (?) commercial.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #34 on: 23:00, 11 August 11 »
I promised Gryzor this picture, so here it is.... It's been a busy week.

Bryce.



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Offline MaV

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #35 on: 23:18, 11 August 11 »
I promised Gryzor this picture, so here it is.... It's been a busy week.

Pure poetry. An assembly line full of MegaFlashes. :D
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #36 on: 09:13, 12 August 11 »
Ohhhh look at them, they're so cute! Makes you wanna roll over them and play with them and toss them in the air and - erm, sorry, got carried away there for a bit.

Bryce, you da man.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #37 on: 10:06, 12 August 11 »
That would just break them  :o Now calm down Gryzor. I'll be sending some of these out at the weekend. I had intended sending them out today, but packing and addressing takes quite a bit of time that I didn't have.

Bryce.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #38 on: 10:21, 12 August 11 »
Ah, the logistics... Hurry up man, you never know who's gonna show up this weekend and then we'll have to wait for gods know when...
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Offline qbert

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #39 on: 23:07, 12 August 11 »
Live and Let flash...



I promised Gryzor this picture, so here it is.... It's been a busy week.

Bryce.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #40 on: 11:08, 16 August 11 »
Hi all,
    as I've sent the first MegaFlashes out and haven't updated the Wiki page yet, here's a few further tips on using the device:

A) Only switch to "Write-mode" when asked to by the ROManager Software and check that it's definitely in "Read-Mode" before you start or reset the CPC. Otherwise you could corrupt the information on the Flash. (and the CPC crashes anyway).

B) When programming ROMs 0 or 7 you need to first start the CPC with the internal ROM 0/7 (ie: the disable jumper is set on the MegaFlash), so that the CPC has a valid ROM 0/7 to start with, then when the ROManager Software tells you to switch to Write-Mode, you should first move the jumper to enable the MegaFlash ROM 0/7 and then switch to write-mode as normal.

C) The PCB pins are un-protected, so don't place the PCB on a metal or any other conducting surface, it won't work.

D) The circuit is extremely robust when it comes to static discharge. None of the TTL ICs (the soldered ones) are CMOS, so they aren't effected by static discharge. The Flash IC is CMOS, but well grounded. However, if you decide to "skate" around on Grandma's deep pile carpet, while wearing polyester socks on a stormy day, then you might manage to damage the Flash, but even then it's difficult to do (I've tried). And even if you do succeed, it's socketed and easily replaceable.

E) This should be obvious to everyone, but DON'T EVER connect or disconnect the MegaFlash (or any expansion) to the CPC while the CPC is turned on.

All further instructions about programming the MegaFlash can be found on the ROManager Software page.

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 11:28, 16 August 11 by Bryce »
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Offline Ythcal

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #41 on: 11:14, 16 August 11 »
Yikes! Mine arrived today! I'm out for testing  8)
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #42 on: 11:26, 16 August 11 »
Oh, one other thing for ROM developers and experimenters:

In the unlikely event that you program a ROM (in positions 0-15) with a bad image / experimental program / a picture of your cat, then there's a chance that the CPC will crash when trying to initialise the ROMs. And you can't erase the rubbish without a running CPC. For ROMs 0/7 this isn't a problem, because you can manually disable them with the jumpers, but not with the other positions.

Here's the solution to get out of this catch 22:

First disconnect the MegaFlash from the CPC and carefully remove the Flash from its socket. The socket has two slits on opposite corners of the IC, using a very small screw-driver you can slowly ease the IC out of the socket.

Now plug the Flash-less MegaFlash into the CPC and start as normal (make sure both ROMs 0 and 7 are disabled on the MegaFlash). The CPC will start as normal and you can now replace the Flash in its socket (do this at the Basic prompt, don't start any programs beforehand). It only fits in one direction, due to one corner of the IC being tapered.

You can now start the ROManager software and erase the offending image.

Bryce.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #43 on: 11:28, 16 August 11 »
Yikes! Mine arrived today! I'm out for testing  8)

Wow, that was fast, let me know what you think, when you've had time to play with it :)

Bryce.
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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #44 on: 14:17, 16 August 11 »
Thank you Bryce for the add. info ! :)
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Offline Pentagon

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #45 on: 16:14, 16 August 11 »
Hello,

today i received it, thank you so much. Well the first thing i did.... i crashed it with some bad roms. Now i removed the Flash like you told and reflashed it. That worked fine, but i am working at a ROM modification and now i had to remove that poor little flashy the 21th times. I dont know if that is healty to the socket, so i got the Idea to add a power Switch or some DIP Switches like the Inicron Box?

Is it possible to modificate the Megaflash with a switch to switch on/off the power of the Flash Chip so its not necessary anymore to remove from socket?

Btw. i am using that Flash Software 1.28 for Basic and i am missing some functions inside. The ROM Park Function is not working at my card, the Rom is still active after Park / Unpark. And most of the functions in Menu are not working in that OS???

No Import / Export functions etc. i dont know how i should use that thingy without Import / Export functions or a RSX Command Viewer for the different Roms. Well flashing and erasing is working fine thats enough for a first run.

Thanks a lot for that awesome work, i am happy with it. Now i need to check out if its working with BDOS, BDOS Addon Roms and a Harddisc.

Kindly Regards
Tom

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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #46 on: 16:53, 16 August 11 »
Cool, another quick delivery. A switch for the Flash Power would be quite difficult to implement at this stage. It's pin 32 of the Flash, but it's difficult to get to and it's linked to all the other ICs, making it a very difficult mod.

There are a few other easier mods that might give you the same effect:
One could be to add a switch in series with D1 (thats the diode directly below the read/write switch). This would inhibit the ROMDIS signal, but it might then be "floating" and crash the CPC anyway, I'll need to test that.

Another "disable" point would be to disconnect/add a switch to pin 6 of the 74LS02. This would disable the /CE signal to the Flash.

21 times is a lot. I'm not sure the socket will last very long at that rate. The MegaFlash wasn't really designed with developers in mind. I thought that's usually done on emulators anyway.

As far as software is concerned, you'll have to ask TFM. But I have tested the Park feature too and it worked fine. Did you switch to write-mode when it asked?

Bryce.



« Last Edit: 16:56, 16 August 11 by Bryce »
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Offline Pentagon

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #47 on: 17:08, 16 August 11 »
Hello Bryce,

thank you again for your quick delivery and reply to my posting. Yes you are right, i should do that in an Emulator. I am used to use the real CPC but i can do the Roms in Emu too.

Btw. BDOS and BDOS Addon Roms are working fine with Harddisc and its possible to replace the Inicron Box. Everything works fine.

Quote
Another "disable" point would be to disconnect/add a switch to pin 6 of the 74LS02. This would disable the /CE signal to the Flash.

Sounds good. Does it work? Removing Jumper 1 from ROM0 doesnt help. Then the CPC doesnt start anymore. I need to switch off all roms or just the flash and then it should be possible to start the cpc. After starting Rom Manager Software i should be able to switch the flash chip on again and i can remove the Corrupt roms again.
Dont know how to do that without removing the full chip from socket.

Quote
As far as software is concerned, you'll have to ask TFM. But I have tested the Park feature too and it worked fine. Did you switch to write-mode when it asked?

I checked again with 1.28 its not parking my ROM. The Rom is still alive after reboot. Yes i switched to write mode when it asked.

Thanks again for patience i am just a stupid user ^^

Regards
Tom




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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #48 on: 17:13, 16 August 11 »
Removing JP1 (or JP2) completely shouldn't disable just ROM0 (or 7), it should stop the MegaFlash working at all, but I'll have to check whether the CPC would be happy to restart in that state.

I'll take a proper look tonight when I'm home and come up with a proper "developer mod".

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 17:16, 16 August 11 by Bryce »
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Offline Pentagon

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #49 on: 17:15, 16 August 11 »
YAY !!!

thanks a lot, sounds really great !!!


Kindly regards
Tom

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