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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Think it might be useful to put room for a Famicom connector along with NES (it's 2.54mm 60-pin)? I've thought about making an FC cart, and something like that might help. The pins would be right across from eachother on the NES/FC connectors, and routes from the interface would be split between the "outside" halves of the NES and FC connectors, but I'm not sure if I'm visualizing it right). Of course you wouldn't want to plug 2 carts in at the same time.

I'd be interested in a kit, I'm still kinda leery of the 2.54mm pitch though. If the FC connector was there, worst that could happen would be needing to use an NES->FC adapter.

Maybe I could help with the board layout if you're having trouble.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:59 am 
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I'm ready with my money for a complete kit, as like I said before, my soldering skills suck. Might as well solder with a mop :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:31 am 
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So my only concern here is the "Flash Memory Cartridge" mentioned on the Kazzo page. It doesn't have much detail about how to construct one. I get the general idea of connecting /CE to PRG /CE, /WE to PRG R/W and /OE to ~PRG R/W. What makes me nervous is that I already have an NROM board wired up like that but writing does not work (on my FamiClone anyway...).

Anyhow, I'm down for a PCB kit. I have no problems pre-paying. I am going to speak with a few of my co-workers today and see if they would be interested as well. One is a "I don't want to download ROMs" type, the other is an insane collector :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:10 am 
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I'm more of a software guy. If you would, put me down for a fully-assembled kit and a fully-assembled flash cartridge. I can pay with PayPal or Dwolla (lower fees than PayPal).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:58 am 
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Actually the creator does sell kits
http://sourceforge.jp/projects/unagi/wiki/order_ja

I've ordered two but have yet to put them together.

Edit: Did sell them they are sold out now sorry about that.

On the topic of a devcart though I was thinking I would find the most compatible donor to cover the most mappers. I figured I could make like 7 devcarts and hopefully cover most of the mappers. (yes I know powerpak would probably be simpler in this case but I want to get better at projects like these)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:55 am 
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I was going to look at modifying my MMC1 repro board I bought from RetroZone. If that's not feasible I can always sack that Ultima: Exodus cart.

Wow, I really threaten that cart a lot. It's like at least once a week :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
Think it might be useful to put room for a Famicom connector along with NES (it's 2.54mm 60-pin)? I've thought about making an FC cart, and something like that might help. The pins would be right across from eachother on the NES/FC connectors, and routes from the interface would be split between the "outside" halves of the NES and FC connectors, but I'm not sure if I'm visualizing it right). Of course you wouldn't want to plug 2 carts in at the same time.

I'd be interested in a kit, I'm still kinda leery of the 2.54mm pitch though. If the FC connector was there, worst that could happen would be needing to use an NES->FC adapter.

Maybe I could help with the board layout if you're having trouble.


I had the FC thought too. If I can keep it from taking up too much more space I'll do it. I haven't tested them yet but a 60 pin connector for FC should be less trouble. It's only the last 2-3 pins that I start to get concerned about on a 72 pin connector.

qbradq wrote:
I was going to look at modifying my MMC1 repro board I bought from RetroZone. If that's not feasible I can always sack that Ultima: Exodus cart.


So we've got a couple people interested in using this thing in combination with a dev cart of sorts. I actually ordered the two repropak boards from Retrozone last night (U/C/ANROM and MMC1). I think these boards are the best options to start with. The cost per square inch is better than I can get at these quantities. I want to do some more testing with these boards and the connectors and figure out some of the flash cart details before sealing the deal on this. If I get the stuff from retrozone early next week I think it's possible to still place an order by the end of the week.

But it's starting to get tight. I want to play it by ear for now but I may end up pushing the project a couple weeks because I want to ensure dev cart capabilities now. The major down side of not meeting the deadline of next week is the price on boards. He's doing a special run at a discounted rate and getting in on that is what drops the price from $15 to $10 per board. But it's not like we'd have to wait a full month for his next board run, he makes standard 2 layer runs every week at the $15 price.

As far as other options go on the board along the lines with a dev cart and exp pins go. I'm thinking about adding connections for another set of D flipflops or two and porting that to the EXP pins. There are a few extra AVR pins too. I would use one for a signal similar to the AHL I'll call it AHX for now. This would also allow for a couple direct lines to the EXP pins. Sound is EXP6 as I remember so I'd probably give that one a designated AVR pin and maybe a few more unflipflopped signal lines for user defined functions. I'm open to input on this so let me know in the next couple days. I need to look over that old post about assigned EXP pins to get some more ideas.

Just to be clear all of these extra options would not affect someone who wasn't interested in using them. You could just leave off the extra Flipflops from the board or not use the 60 pin holes. And you could always easily upgrade it in the future if you did want to use it for user defined dev cart use.

And I'll look into Dowolla Tepples, I haven't heard of it before. Paypal is only around $1 of fees I'm guessing.

On a related note what's the status of boards for the compo multicart? Do we want to try and combine these board orders?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Currently the compo multicart will be mapper 34 (BNROM oversize), and I was under the impression that Memblers would provide boards. I've never tried to make BNROM with a discrete ReproPak board, but as I understand the instructions (PDF), I guess you configure everything for mapper 7 (AOROM) but bridge VERT instead of ONE. Everything but Lawn Mower runs as either VERT or ONE, but Lawn Mower needs VERT because its scrolling code assumes horizontal arrangement (that is, vertical mirroring) of the nametables.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:35 pm 
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Just as an FYI I don't think I'd be interested in the dev cart kit now that I know it's basically what I've already made.

Also, have you had a chance to test this on Windows 7 yet?

I think this thing may benefit from a hardware compatible firmware and client software made to be a bit more compatible with Windows Vista / 7. You can easily make this use a standard HID interface and not have to use custom unsigned drivers. I'll look into this a bit more, especially once I have the hardware.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:43 pm 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
I had the FC thought too. If I can keep it from taking up too much more space I'll do it. I haven't tested them yet but a 60 pin connector for FC should be less trouble. It's only the last 2-3 pins that I start to get concerned about on a 72 pin connector.


Be careful, when I laid out the CopyCart pcb, the 72 pin header is a nightmare. I could only do a two layer board (much less expensive), and routing all those lines with only two layers is a very tough problem. Doing it with both a 60 and 72 would not have been possible. I think having a 4 layer pcb opens things up considerably, and it sounds like that's an option for you.
You can see the problem in this (very blurry) photo of my board:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/477050/IM000225.jpg
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/477050/IM000226.jpg

You can also see the mistake I made with this revision - there's solder mask over the card edge, doh!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Yeah, the NESdev compo cart will use a simple board with just a 74HC161 for the mapper. I'll get those ordered soon. It won't be much use to combine with another order, I already paid the setup fee a couple years ago (with myropcb.com). Because it's the ultimate in cheapness, it's also the only NES board I've made that only takes EPROM, so this interface won't be able to program it. Maybe it could test the CHR-RAM for production (I use SMT so I can't just drop them into the Willem). Otherwise I figured I would add a hidden self-test into the program, that's easy enough too.

I do have a UNROM board that uses Flash (writing controlled with EXP0 for CopyNES), that could be pretty good to use with this cart interface. I wouldn't want to supply them though unless it can be proven to work reliably with this "non-standard" connector. I'm working on another (relatively cheap but nice) board with a custom mapper that would be good for this too. I'll post more about that one when it's ready.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:28 am 
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qbradq wrote:
Just as an FYI I don't think I'd be interested in the dev cart kit now that I know it's basically what I've already made.

Also, have you had a chance to test this on Windows 7 yet?

I think this thing may benefit from a hardware compatible firmware and client software made to be a bit more compatible with Windows Vista / 7. You can easily make this use a standard HID interface and not have to use custom unsigned drivers. I'll look into this a bit more, especially once I have the hardware.


I got it installed on my Windows 7 64bit machine this evening. I ended up creating a driver for it with libusb inf wizard. But I'm having an issue dumping games. It stops in a different place every time but usually early on. I was able to get several dumps successfully but it's not stable. I'm not sure if it's an issue with the driver or what. It still works great on my netbook still. It's giving me a message: "device_read" "No error" but something is obviously wrong because I don't even get a partial rom image. IDK I'll have to play around with it some more.

As far as the whole devcart thing goes I want to clarify my thoughts here. I'm looking at the use of the repro pak flash cart for the kazzo, and need to do some more research on the flash cart that's already designed to work with the Kazzo. I'm considering this separate from the NESDEV1 which I'm still planning to complete but it wouldn't be for another 6-9 months. The main difference between the two being ability to configure mappers on a CPLD. The flash cart would be a lighter version of the NESDEV in essence, you would need a Kazzo or copyNES to program it. Really I think one could use a board as simple as a donor cart if you wanted. There should be many ways one could make a flash cart to work with the kazzo as I see it.

teagueci: One thing that should make it a little easier is I'm not connecting to a cart edge, just some holes on the board. So I'll be able to run traces between and behind others more easily than you were able to on the cart edge. That's not to say it'll be easy but I'll have a better idea when I start drawing it all out.

Memblers: Just to make sure I understand, is it a high voltage required for progamming that you're saying wouldn't allow the kazzo to program the EPROM?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:57 pm 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
Memblers: Just to make sure I understand, is it a high voltage required for progamming that you're saying wouldn't allow the kazzo to program the EPROM?


It's more than that, on most mappers the mapper registers overlap ROM, and most of the 74xx-based ones ones also require having the byte you write already existing in ROM at the written address or there will be a bus conflict.

So that's why hardly anyone made RAM carts for CopyNES. I made my UNROM board, and bunnyboy made the PowerPak Lite, AFAIK no-one else has built any others besides NROM-size. Well, except that kevtris made an NSF one that supports NSF format's 4KB banking, heheh.

BTW, The PPak Lite is probably what you guys would want, instead of modifying a "ReproPak". I can tell from looking at the picture of the ReproPak board that it doesn't use pin 16, which would be the needed mapper disable control.

So it's not really as easy as just rewiring a donor cart unless the mapper registers are somewhere else, I think you'll have to add a chip. My UNROM flash board added a 74hc139 and a pull-up resistor for when the pin16/EXP0 signal isn't available.

edit: whoops, forgot the PowerPak lite is RAM, so it's not going to hold it's programming. If you could add a battery to it..


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
Memblers: Just to make sure I understand, is it a high voltage required for progamming that you're saying wouldn't allow the kazzo to program the EPROM?


It's more than that, on most mappers the mapper registers overlap ROM, and most of the 74xx-based ones ones also require having the byte you write already existing in ROM at the written address or there will be a bus conflict.

So that's why hardly anyone made RAM carts for CopyNES. I made my UNROM board, and bunnyboy made the PowerPak Lite, AFAIK no-one else has built any others besides NROM-size. Well, except that kevtris made an NSF one that supports NSF format's 4KB banking, heheh.

BTW, The PPak Lite is probably what you guys would want, instead of modifying a "ReproPak". I can tell from looking at the picture of the ReproPak board that it doesn't use pin 16, which would be the needed mapper disable control.

So it's not really as easy as just rewiring a donor cart unless the mapper registers are somewhere else, I think you'll have to add a chip. My UNROM flash board added a 74hc139 and a pull-up resistor for when the pin16/EXP0 signal isn't available.

edit: whoops, forgot the PowerPak lite is RAM, so it's not going to hold it's programming. If you could add a battery to it..


Similar to your fix I was thinking of just placing an or gate on the PRG R/W line going to the 161 on a UNROM for example. Then you would just invert a pulled up EXP0 signal and then or that with PRG R/W to drive the /LOAD on the 161. Easiest way I see to implement it is a 74LS00 (a pair of NAND gates)

That would basically be creating a /WE (write enable) signal for the PRG memory. When EXP0 was high or hi-Z input it would act as a normal UNROM and PRG W/R signals would bankswitch as normal. I guess you may want to do the inverse of this for the PRG R/W line going to the actual memory if you were using SRAM because you would want to prevent erroneous /WR signals. That way you could only write to the "ROM" when EXP0 was low.

For the bus error issue of normal PRG-ROMs that byte wouldn't have to be written there because we'd actually be sending a write signal to the memory so the data pins would be Hi-Z. So we wouldn't have to worry about the byte already residing there. Correct???

I think I pretty much just repeated what you said Memblers, but I wanted to go into detail about the solution in my mind to make sure my thoughts were sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Yeah, creating a /WR enable for the ROM is exactly it. Any logic that prevents the ROM /WR and /LOAD on the '161 from being active at the same time, should be fine. I used the '139 because I had them around already. I also used the other half of the '139 with PRG /CE and R/W to create a ROM /RD, which isn't really necessary but it eliminates the bus conflict (during 'normal' operation) if it's there.
My board used a solder jumper so you could build it without the '139 for a non-writable version. Also had jumpers to select EPROM/Flash, 28 or 32-pin ROM, it sure made my schematic tough to read. :P

Pics btw if you're curious: back and front


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