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New Supercart possible?


Shift838
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Sorry if this has been covered but I do not recall.

 

I am getting ready to build a super cart from Ksarul's PCB design but it got me thinking. Since there are a few new versions of Editor Assembler around that can be used in a multicart board with an eprom I was wondering if it is possible to ever get a new PCB design to use an EPROM with a super cart instead of having to cannibalizing a EA cart for the GROM and other carts to make the SuperCart.

 

If it's possible then we could save many carts and with EA GROMS harder and harder to find without pulling them from actual EA carts we could use Eproms.

 

 

Maybe someone is already working on this and can just give us an update.

 

 

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We are most definitely on the same wave length!

Could you imagine Tursi's built-in E/A editor hacked for the F18A's 80 column capability all inside the cartridge? Sweet!

 

That would be awesome!

Edited by Cschneider
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That would be awesome!

 

You know, I got to thinking more about this scenario... if Tursi was willing and could find time to modify someday, and if Gazoo was willing to make up version for his XB2.7S cartridge that F18A users could mess with... we could all update our cartridges at home. This would be one more program we would never again have to put on a disk or disk image.

 

As users go, there is a market. According to the last poll, more people now use an F18A than those who don't. :)

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The real problem is that the EA code has to be in a GROM or a simulated GROM. With the UberGROM board, we simulate the GROMs using an ATMEL 1284. That's a 40-pin chip. The board would also have to have a 32-pin ROM on it, which would be tight if you plan to socket things. Lastly, we have the battery circuitry--that might fit on the underside of the board, but it would be iffy, based on the traces we'd need to run for everything. If I did it on a ROMOX-cartridge-sized board layout, everything would probably fit. . .but those cases are relatively hard to come by--and I haven't done molds for them yet.

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You know, I could be totally off my rocker suggesting this, but a modified TOP-HALF ONLY of the original TI cartridge might do the trick. Theoretically one could even do a multi-layered arrangement or 'stacked' PCB in such a case... but in this case just make extra room for a battery. Anyway, going this route, you would only need to make one mold instead of two from a master. I'm sure having extra room in a cartridge might come in handy over the next decade at the rate hardware projects have been pushing the limits back.

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Your question made me go looking into one of my weird cartridge boxes to pull out an odd ROMOX cartridge I got more than 20 years ago. I never looked at the inside of it, as I assumed it had been hacked into by putting an E/A GROM into it (The handwritten label read Editor Assembler). It was not--it was an EPROM version of the E/A cartridge that had been done by someone named C. Hinson in 1986. It has set some ideas in motion in my head which may or may not bear fruit, but it won't see the light of day until after I finish the DSDD controller layout and the IDE layout. . .which means sometime next year.

 

My thought would be to put the EPROM on here at >6000, use an LS378 for switching, and put a 512K RAM chip on there--there won't be room for a battery, but it will allow real iron testing of extremely large pure cartridge programs. . .

 

Has anyone else ever seen the Hinson version of the E/A cartridge?

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Note--the 512K is volatile RAM, so you'd have to reload it every time you booted the machine. The EPROM would just be an 8K E/A variant. The whole board would have three chips and a few other useful bits. I'd probably have to add another chip to get a chip select signal running too, so make that four ICs.

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Note--the 512K is volatile RAM, so you'd have to reload it every time you booted the machine. The EPROM would just be an 8K E/A variant. The whole board would have three chips and a few other useful bits. I'd probably have to add another chip to get a chip select signal running too, so make that four ICs.

 

I'm ahead of you for once! ;-) Since the cartridge would be taller, there would be room for a small power plug on the back side of the cartridge to maintain power to the RAM chip. The SMALL cable could just hang over the back air vents of the TI or be routed down the side and underneath.

 

$_57.JPG

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isn´t a 3D-printed cartridge an option, generally ?

 

As I understand it, 3D carts are $pendy to produce, and a pain to design (correctly). Molds are not cheap either, but they become more affordable as production numbers climb. A taller cartridge top would have immediate use now for hardware guys and tinkerer's, later to facilitate newer and greater designs.

 

You know, even on the existing four bank Super Cart design, a taller cartridge would allow nicer looking switches to be used than those ugly mini-toggle type.

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My thought would be to put the EPROM on here at >6000, use an LS378 for switching, and put a 512K RAM chip on there--there won't be room for a battery, but it will allow real iron testing of extremely large pure cartridge programs. . .

How about one of those battery-backed NVRAMs? would that be an option here?

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