Photos of NESpander Dev Prototype R.0B

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Xious
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Photos of NESpander Dev Prototype R.0B

Post by Xious » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:53 am

For all of you that have been demanding photos, here are some images of the NESpander Dev, Rev 0B.

I haven't finished all of the connections yet, so this shows the sheer amount of wiring involved with hand-making the NESpander Dev boards. I hope to have all of the connections finished by tonight, as I finally got the Molex connectors that I needed.

But for your nay-sayers, here are the long-delayed photos of it. I took them as 3-D images, so if you have some Loreo (or other brand) 3-D vi3wer glasses, then by all means give them a shot. You can also view them without the special glasses in double-frame mode.

3-D Images of the NESpander Dev Prototype (unfinished)

-Xious

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TmEE
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Post by TmEE » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:44 pm

what a lovely mess ^^

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Post by Xious » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:44 pm

TmEE wrote:what a lovely mess ^^
Yeah,I said it wasn't a pretty sight a while back, and that was rev 0A.... This is why photos of wire wrapped, point-soldered or Vero, handmade proto boards are rarely seen, as they all tend to be 'wiring hell' boards like this.

Each of those wires will be a PCB trace on the finished product, and soon they will vanish after I connect them to the correct Molex and box connectors that I had to special-order, which are now on the board (post-photos).

It's no simple matter to work with so many connections on such a tiny board... You may note that each wire is numbered and threaded to the opposite layer of the PCB. (This allows for transposition of traces via wire wrapping.)

It'll look more interesting after I connect all 63 of those wires, which I will route and trim to size. (I cut all of them super-long as it makes it easier to handle them.)

But people wanted photos to see that it is real, so there you go folks. No pretty sight, but it is functional.

UPDATE: Here are some more photos after routing half of the main wires.

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Post by sleepy9090 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:30 am

sexy

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Post by Banshaku » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:52 am

Good to see that it's moving forward. In my case I only have famicoms but if I can buy back a toaster nes someday, that could be interesting.

For now my priority is more to get someday a powerpak/adapter before a toaster nes but for now that priority too is very low. Someday. I guess by that time this adapter should be available.

Now if I could find a way to test faster my code on the real thing.. My rom writer is too slow (6 min for 512k.. cannot tolerate). This is one reason to get a powerpak.

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Post by Arasoi » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:20 pm

Happy to see a proof of concept on this, so to speak.

I plan to order a couple units of the finished product, the 15 pin expansion port is the last thing keeping me from selling my Sharp Twin Famicom.

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Post by Xious » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:43 pm

One idea that has come to the table on this project is to add USB to the final NESpnder (remember, this is the NESpander Dev board) for interfacing the NES to PCs.

I should clarify the difference:

The NESpander Dev is a board to actually develop the ICs, FPGAs, and other components, and the general design and ab9lities of the finished product. That's what all those funky connectors are supposed to be:

Each is a port connected to a specific range of functions:

A: (Centre) is a 10-pin box header that connects to all Cartridge Expansion Pins
B: (Upper-Right) a 10-pin straight header that connects to the $4016 Address data lines (all Read & Write) plus two strobe lines.
C: (Upper right) is an 8-pin right angle header for the CPU data bits (0-7).
D: Is an 8-pin right-angle header that connects to $4017 address lines (read only, plus two strobe and one extra (unconnected pin). I may allocate this to /IRQ or /NMI for an aux line of either function.
E: (Upper-Left) is a 6-pin straight header that connects to the audio and video (in and out) lines, plus the extra 4MHZ Clock and both /IRQ and /NMI. I separated the two function sets for the top and bottom rows of three pins, so Audio In, Audio Out, and Video Out are the top three, and /NMI, /IRQ and the 4MHz CLK are the bottom three. (I may swap the 4MHz to Port F and put /A15 on this port instead).
F: A 10-pin straight header with the following; Top Row - Power +5VDC Out, Ground, +9VDC Out, +5VDC In, Ground (Second Line); Bottom Row - /A15, NC, NC, NC, NC. I originally intended to use a 6-pin Molex, but I didn't have any on hand. I will change this later, or add additional lines to the port.
G: Aux Power, 4-pin right angle header Molex without lock) +5VDC In, +5VDC Out, +9VDC Out, Ground.
H: The Famicom DA-15 Port.

Thus, all of this allows people to work on the final NESpander, or create their own devices to use these functions.

Just wiring the DA-15 port would be very easy, but having t wire every connection, in multiple instances fr many, t port and arranging everything so that it fits on a Vero bard is a huge pain, which is why it's taking a ling time to finish.

If you want to join the bandwagon and help to design the final NESpander, or have ideas or suggestions, feel free to send me a PM.

I will sell the NESpander Dev boards (once I have PCBs manufactured)... Once I finish arranging and routing everything, I will work on finishing the full schematic and send it off for PCB prototyping. Then I can assemble the board with very little effort (in contrast).

I'm going to spend some time tonight and Sunday finishing this up, and once I have, I'll add more photos. I wanted to wait until it looked like something before actually showing it to anybody, so now you can all watch the progress.

-Xious

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Post by Xious » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:36 am

Here's a bit of an update...

This gallery details the progress on the project thus far:
http://atariusa.com/flashback/thumbnails.php?album=263
I'll add step-by-step descriptions as time allows...

The final check phase gave me some problems: Primarily a /OE issue that I think is due to a bad solder joint, but as everything is so tightly wired and crisscrossed, I'm thinking it'd just be easier to move forward than to debug this prototype. I can knock out a simpler one just to double-check connections anyway, and I may as well go for a fabbed PCB rather than vero when I do that.

Therefore, what I'm doing now is working on the PCB layout for a small run; as much as I can anyway, given my schedule. I have some decisions to make with the layout, but no-matter what it is only a step forward: The final product 's PCB will be radically different and hopefully extremely modular. i don't yet know how much will be on the main unit and what won't fit, so I guess I'll find out.

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