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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:23 am 
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Alright, well I've played around with this thing enough to call her good. I've figured out most of the details on getting a flash or sram cart working. I got a NROM SRAM dev cart working for the most part using the retrozone board. I had to play around with the wiring and do a 2min ugly battery back up rig that still needs work but I was able to flash Tepples' Croom onto the cart and play it in my FC mobile as you can see.

Not sure how many people are really thinking about using this for devcart programming but I wanted to play around with it a little to find out more of the capabilities it already had. There are a few bugs to figure out with the SRAM cart but they are pretty minor and I think it would actually be easier to use Flash so I may try that soon as well. Basically anago is set up for Flash so it doesn't erase SRAM properly. I didn't expect it to be a big deal but turns out if the byte to program is 0xff it doesn't bother programming that byte. This actually allowed me to make use of the bootloader a bit and prove some versatility with the kazzo. I ended up writing a quick program for the MCU that would cycle through erasing every byte. So I basically used the bootloader to quickly swap between the kazzo firmware and my erasing program via USB and manipulation of some switches/jumpers. But revising the software and recompiling would be a better fix, that was just an easy bandaid that allowed me to test out more features of the kazzo. I've also though about throwing my atmega644 in there and programing a cart directly from storing the rom image on the AVR's program memory just to play around with it and for troubleshooting use.

I've got some other problem where there are 5 specific bytes that aren't programmed properly when I redump the game and compare hex files. But I think that the kazzo tests to see if there is SRAM because it notes there is in the NES header it creates. So it might be killing some of my data to do so, I've got a few other ideas why as well.

Anyways, I'm going to be finalizing the board layout in the next couple days and start collecting everyone's money. As soon as the money comes in I'll make the order for boards and parts. I'd like to get the money this week and order next week. To make it easy I'd appreciate if everyone interested could shoot me an email with any details of what you'd like. Then I'll send paypal bills to that email. I'll track down people and see if there is still interest but this would make it easier for me. Let me know if you have any issues with coming up with the money I'll see what we can work out. email: paul@infiniteneslives.com

I'll post the board layout here for people to take a gander at. But I'll be keeping a FC connector and adding a few buttons/switches for reset and bootloader I really wished I had them working on this so I'll be putting them in. I might ditch the radioshack project box if anything, didn't get much interest in that, you could always fit it in your own larger case if one desired.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:11 am 
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Email sent.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:31 am 
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Thanks for the emails so far guys I'll be following up on those in the next day or so confirming individual prices and start billing through paypal.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:02 am 
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So I've come pretty close to finalizing a circuit with your guys' input. I'm keeping the FC connector, have access to all EXP pins with the lessened chip count of solving the CHR /A13 "bug". Playing around with the bootloader alot recently showed how necessary a reset button and bootloader switch was. I've also added a single LED for indications that helped me out a lot with debugging.

The thing I think I'm going to have to ditch though is the use of that specific box from Radioshack. Didn't seem like too many people were interested and you could always throw it in some other enclosure if you really wanted one. I'll figure something out for you Tepples like I promised.

So just so everyones clear on the parts included in the kit:
PCB
72pin connector *2.54mm pitch*
Atmega164P 40 pin DIP (with both the bootloader and kazzo firmware programmed on and tested.)
2x 74HC374: D flipflops 8 channel, with non-inverted tristate outputs. One is for the high address bits and the other for EXP pins. I also made it so you could tristate the outputs going to the EXP pins by control with the AVR.
USB cord- no socket just strip and solder to pads on board
discrete: 16mhz res, resistors, diodes, LED.
IC socket strip for the microcontroller (like my original picture)
SPDT switch for bootloader
tactile momentary switch for reset
shipping of course

Total cost for unassembled kit all parts above: $42 (original quote with cost of $15 PCB, we couldn't get the discount)

I didn't include the FC connector or the box from radioshack. I found 60 pin connectors from digikey for about $4. I haven't tested them but they're are 2.54mm also and from the same manufacturer http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&itemSeq=101992933&uq=634474221142130779
I'd bet money they'll work but can't guarantee it at this point. If you wanted to add it to your order just add $4 to the cost.

Fully assembled kits with no enclosure. Basically all the parts above soldered together and fully tested. I'll just stick with my original quote for $55.

Anything outside of this let me know what you'd like. So far I've gotten emails from:
qbradq
Memblers
SkinnyV
Tepples

From what I recollect NESOLDjunkie was the only other one interested. If anyone else is now's the time to speak up. I want to order the boards and parts over the weekend/Monday morning.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:21 am 
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About the USB connection, it would be nice if the pcb still had the contact to solder a USB socket for those that would prefer that to soldering the wire directly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:00 am 
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SkinnyV wrote:
About the USB connection, it would be nice if the pcb still had the contact to solder a USB socket for those that would prefer that to soldering the wire directly.


Yeah I was kinda thinking about that. Space is already tight as it is on a 2x4in board with keeping the FC connector. I may need to increase to 2x4.5in anyways to keep everything already planned. If I can find room I'll put it on there. But really I have a hard time seeing the benefit of the added cost.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:05 am 
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Well I didn't think it would be adding cost to it. Personally I would prefer having a place to solder the socket otherwise I'll have to live with a dangling socket not attached to board. No big deal but I wouldn't want to use it with a directly soldered USB cable as I have multiple device that use the USB power and I like just swapping the USB cable between the device. It's not a big deal if you can't implement space for it if it is adding cost, I did not know we were so tight on board space.


Last edited by SkinnyV on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:26 am 
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I agree a USB socket would be preferable, but as I can't source them locally I am fine soldering cables directly onto boards. I've done it quite a few times :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:07 pm 
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I'll see what I can do. The socket itself is $1.35 on digikey for a standard B sized socket. Smaller sizes are around $3-4 and I don't have the cords on hand but I wouldn't necessarily need to supply a cord since I'm guessing most people have extras sitting around. I guess it's really a matter of preference. Personally I hate to track down cords and like it when they're attached permanently.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Permanently attached (or "captive" in USB parlance) cables often tend to be way too short, needing a hub as an extension. If you can't fit the USB B jack on the device, perhaps it could have a USB B jack on a 6-inch permanently attached cable.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:03 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Permanently attached (or "captive" in USB parlance) cables often tend to be way too short, needing a hub as an extension. If you can't fit the USB B jack on the device, perhaps it could have a USB B jack on a 6-inch permanently attached cable.


I had planned on a 6ft USB cable because that's what I've got sitting around. But it looks like pretty much everyone would like to have the socket so if we need more board space so be it. I think I'll just make it work with the standard sized USB B socket and then you guys can just supply your own cord with whatever length you prefer and I'll be able to keep the price the same. Sound good?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Sound good to me! You don't even have the include the socket, people that want it will easily be able to find one and people that doesn't need one are still going to be able to solder the cable directly.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 am 
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I cannot easily source a B connector. I would have to order one. Either way it'll work for me though. I don't mind captive cables.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:36 am 
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The kit will officially have B connectors now instead of cables


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:45 am 
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Thanks for making it work out with your board design! I wonder if anyone will give coding new script a try. Personally, I will be limited by what's already available as I lack the knowledge to do such thing but it will be interesting to see what people with skill will come up with. Too bad there's no way of just using the already made copynes mapper support file though!


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