Author Topic: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline abalore

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #50 on: 15:21, 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.

Offline eto

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #51 on: 15:28, 07 June 21 »
The 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.

Offline abalore

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #52 on: 15:40, 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

Offline Shining

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #53 on: 16:57, 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.
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Offline Maniac

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #54 on: 16:33, 08 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.

Offline Shining

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #55 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....
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Offline gerald

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #56 on: 18:10, 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.

Offline abalore

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #57 on: 20:00, 08 June 21 »
The Plus cartridge interface is nothing but a ROM interface.
Will the C4CPC have a CPC compatible menu?  :D

Offline abalore

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 02:28 »
The first units are ready for delivering. Here is the price table. Pre-orders for next batch are open.

Offline Maniac

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 10:33 »
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.

Offline dragon

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #60 on: Yesterday at 11:19 »
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).

Offline gerald

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #61 on: Yesterday at 11:42 »

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  ;)

Offline abalore

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Re: Plus2CPC. Plus cartridge slot for the CPC
« Reply #62 on: Yesterday at 19:46 »
STL files for enclosure available in project site:
https://abalore.com/plus2cpc.html