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Setting up a 512k cart


Gazoo

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The cartridge menu Gazoo has been setting up is further up in this thread, Tempest. The board as delivered just has the necessary components already installed to allow you to insert your own EPROM and build a cartridge. I'll try to put up a picture of an assembled board later this week for both the 512K board and the ÜberGROM board.

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Hopefully the last bug fix.

 

There are still some screen artifacts when Rabbit Trail is selected, but disappear when you start playing the game. I'm not real concerned about it, but if someone wants to find out the cause, I'm open to fixing it. Let me know.

 

Other than that,

 

Set screen border to light green and fixed character set for Tennis.

 

Jungle Hunt throws us into bank 63 (WTF???), so I added a header to bank 63 to reset to bank 1 and moved Burgertime data in that bank >20 bytes up. Adjusted menu program for moved Burgertime data.

 

Gazoo

 

[deleted attachment=340527:Gamecart.zip]

 

 

 

Edited by Gazoo
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Hopefully the last bug fix.

 

There are still some screen artifacts when Rabbit Trail is selected, but disappear when you start playing the game. I'm not real concerned about it, but if someone wants to find out the cause, I'm open to fixing it. Let me know.

 

Other than that,

 

Set screen border to light green and fixed character set for Tennis.

 

Jungle Hunt throws us into bank 63 (WTF???), so I added a header to bank 63 to reset to bank 1 and moved Burgertime data in that bank >20 bytes up. Adjusted menu program for moved Burgertime data.

 

Gazoo

 

attachicon.gifGamecart.zip

 

 

 

 

When Tursi and I created the 512K 8K ROM multicart, we found quite a few games that wrote to ROM to bank switch, either as bugs, or possibly a rudimentary copyright protection. It was too common (I think we found four or five like that) to be a coincidence.

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When Tursi and I created the 512K 8K ROM multicart, we found quite a few games that wrote to ROM

Sorry if I need to put on a :dunce: cap but ROM = Read only Memory, correct? "Wrote" has me confused. Or are we talking about the initial burn?

Edited by slinkeey
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Well, today was like opening presents on Christmas day. :)

I got a package with an Ubergrom board and a 512k board (and more !), thanks Ksarul!

I got a package with six 27c040s, thanks Ebay!

I got a package with an eprom eraser, thanks Ebay!

 

So I immediately programmed a couple of the 27c040s, one with the Program files and one with the Game files.

Both work perfectly! Woo hoo! I'm a happy boy, hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba. :-D

 

The loading speed is amazing, faster than a ramdisk. You press a key and (don't blink) the program is there. Love it.

 

Taking suggestions for 'next' while my brain is in '>6000 banking' mode. :)

 

Gazoo

 

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What's the limit in the number of games that can fit (or is it as many that fit in 512k)? Are they mostly 8k or are they 16k? Is it possible to get most if the cartridge library of games on one?

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As near as I can tell, there is some unresolved conflict between my system and the PLCC. It is to the point that some of the menu items load and run fine while other present a blank cyan screen. If the ROM works on other systems, then there is something about mine that it doesn't like.

I'm having less luck getting this to run on my ÜberGROM board that came in the other day. I tried both the latest 'non-backwards' file in the zip from page 5, as well as the one from the 512KROM.zip attachment on page 2. Both were detected, the former displays 'For Games' as option 2, and the latter shows "Menu". Both boot into a cyan screen, same color as startup, and the computer promptly locks up. I don't have an Atmega in place for GROM emulation if it matters. Currently I am using the PLCC socket with both AT49F040 flash chips I received with the board. My programmer has had no issues on programming the chips. The programmer software verification passes every time, and I have manually verified that the code that is read back matches the original file, both prior and after inserting it into the ÜberGROM board for testing.

 

Something interesting of note in my tests with commercial roms: first I programmed an image of Adventure, and did not fill in the excess after the 8k of code. The result was a cart with Adventure in the first 8k of space, followed by the former code from the current multicart image beyond the first bank. When booted, it showed the same header from the multicart image, '2. For Games' instead of Adventure. Afterwards I duplicated the Adventure rom across all banks, which didn't work either, but did display 'Adventure' correctly. I assume Adventure came on a grom instead of rom, as I then programmed Nature's Way in the same manner, which did boot correctly. Beyond this, I did try the inverted version of the file for Classic99 for the hell of it, which didn't work either, as expected. I take it that this is this a positive sign that my board is booting from the highest bank instead of the lowest? Is there another possibility? What if it lands in a bank inbetween, currently assumed to not happen? Any idea on a possible internal revision in TI-99 computers that might account for the problems, some difference in wiring/data paths to/from the program module port?

 

Assuming the chips are being programmed correctly (between 2 chips and all the verifications, I don't think it's on the flash or programmer end), and considering that the image of a commercial game that came on a single rom with no grom works fine, what could be the problem? Did I miss something about this multicart image requiring the GROM emulation function provided by the Atmega, which my ÜberGROM board currently lacks? Could it be a flaky PLCC socket on the ÜberGROM itself?

Edited by Lios
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The limit is 512k minus 8k for the menu program. Individual programs can be anywhere from 8k to 32k in size. The limitation is that is has to be an ea5 program for the way I'm doing it. It's possible to put some c>6000 single bank carts in there, depending on the length of the menu name.

 

Gazoo

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I'm having less luck getting this to run on my ÜberGROM board that came in the other day. I tried both the latest 'non-backwards' file in the zip from page 5, as well as the one from the 512KROM.zip attachment on page 2. Both were detected, the former displays 'For Games' as option 2, and the latter shows "Menu". Both boot into a cyan screen, same color as startup, and the computer promptly locks up. I don't have an Atmega in place for GROM emulation if it matters. Currently I am using the PLCC socket with both AT49F040 flash chips I received with the board. My programmer has had no issues on programming the chips. The programmer software verification passes every time, and I have manually verified that the code that is read back matches the original file, both prior and after inserting it into the ÜberGROM board for testing.

 

Something interesting of note in my tests with commercial roms: first I programmed an image of Adventure, and did not fill in the excess after the 8k of code. The result was a cart with Adventure in the first 8k of space, followed by the former code from the current multicart image beyond the first bank. When booted, it showed the same header from the multicart image, '2. For Games' instead of Adventure. Afterwards I duplicated the Adventure rom across all banks, which didn't work either, but did display 'Adventure' correctly. I assume Adventure came on a grom instead of rom, as I then programmed Nature's Way in the same manner, which did boot correctly. Beyond this, I did try the inverted version of the file for Classic99 for the hell of it, which didn't work either, as expected. I take it that this is this a positive sign that my board is booting from the highest bank instead of the lowest? Is there another possibility? What if it lands in a bank inbetween, currently assumed to not happen? Any idea on a possible internal revision in TI-99 computers that might account for the problems, some difference in wiring/data paths to/from the program module port?

 

Assuming the chips are being programmed correctly (between 2 chips and all the verifications, I don't think it's on the flash or programmer end), and considering that the image of a commercial game that came on a single rom with no grom works fine, what could be the problem? Did I miss something about this multicart image requiring the GROM emulation function provided by the Atmega, which my ÜberGROM board currently lacks? Could it be a flaky PLCC socket on the ÜberGROM itself?

 

I'm having trouble with the ubergrom board, too. Well maybe not the board, but the 29f040 chips. The 512k board with the 27c040 chip programmed fine and works perfectly, so the programming is done correctly. I can't seem to program a 29f040 chip with my GENIUS G540 eprommer, they all give a programming error exactly half way through.

 

If you couldn't get the files to work with Classic99, you're doing something wrong. That's what I've been using for testing and finding bugs and all runs well there. I've been using MESS for the editing and assembling of the menu programs because Classic99 doesn't assemble the code correctly. Hex Workshop is being used to create the .bin files on the pc after all the image files are collected.

 

Gazoo

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I meant that I tried the file intended for Classic99 on real hardware for the hell of it, even though as you explain earlier, it's designed specifically to work with how Classic99 expects things to be. It was more of a 'why not?' than anything at the point I tried it. I haven't tried the backwards file in Classic99 at all. Is there a particular PLCC flash you'd recommend yourself over the 29f040, if it happens to be the problem?

 

Actually has anyone else tried this on an ÜberGROM board and gotten it to work successfully? Looking back through the thread, all the reports of success seem to be from those using a 512k rom board with eprom.

Edited by Lios
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Hopefully the last bug fix.

 

There are still some screen artifacts when Rabbit Trail is selected, but disappear when you start playing the game. I'm not real concerned about it, but if someone wants to find out the cause, I'm open to fixing it. Let me know.

 

Other than that,

 

Set screen border to light green and fixed character set for Tennis.

 

Jungle Hunt throws us into bank 63 (WTF???), so I added a header to bank 63 to reset to bank 1 and moved Burgertime data in that bank >20 bytes up. Adjusted menu program for moved Burgertime data.

 

Gazoo

 

attachicon.gifGamecart.zip

 

 

 

 

I just tested the non-inverted cart on my JavaScript-based emulator and it works fine. Is it OK if I make it available as one of the preloaded carts?

Thanks,

Rasmus

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I just tested the non-inverted cart on my JavaScript-based emulator and it works fine. Is it OK if I make it available as one of the preloaded carts?

Thanks,

Rasmus

 

Yes, but it's distributed under the Beer-ware license. :)

 

Gazoo

 

 

Edit: The reference to Beer-ware is the 'strict' definition, not the 'wussie' definition. So when we meet in the bar, you have to buy me as much beer as I can drink before I fall off the stool. :-D

Edited by Gazoo
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Acadiel's been running the 512K file on an ÜberGROM, IIRC, so it should work.

 

Fixed my problem. Looking at the adapter board, I noticed the contact for pin 4 was flattened down. A little surgery with one of my Wife's sewing needles solved the problem.

 

Gazoo

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Yes, but it's distributed under the Beer-ware license. :)

 

Gazoo

 

 

Edit: The reference to Beer-ware is the 'strict' definition, not the 'wussie' definition. So when we meet in the bar, you have to buy me as much beer as I can drink before I fall off the stool. :-D

 

Terms agreed.

https://googledrive.com/host/0B68J8LwEkfDyTUdTQWlVN0VPaEU/index.html

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The cartridge menu Gazoo has been setting up is further up in this thread, Tempest. The board as delivered just has the necessary components already installed to allow you to insert your own EPROM and build a cartridge. I'll try to put up a picture of an assembled board later this week for both the 512K board and the ÜberGROM board.

 

Have you posted the Gerber files yet?

Thanks - R

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I have not. I still have to do a small run of the board with the most recent requested changes (so that it can also use Non-Volatile SRAMs) to verify the layout. I also plan to do some additional tweaks to the jumper field to try and reduce the jumper count a bit without changing the functionality. I will post the Gerbers at some point after that set of tests is done.

 

I still have about 20 bare boards of the current iteration (and about 12 more bare UberGROM boards), which work great, although I prepared the last of the assembled boards for shipment this morning (both the 128K and the UberGROM). I plan to assemble another group of them over the next three days to keep both of them in stock. I'll probably send the UberGROM off for fabrication first, as I have fewer of them left right now.

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The UberGROM boards work fine. It seems to be these damn, flaky, budget EPROM adapters that are the problem. I think they were all assembled in China by the noted Wun Dum Gai. They don't seem to work consistently well. I guess my next influx of PayPal money will go for one that really works as it should.

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