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Tomy Tutor storage options

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I’d like to discuss possible future storage options for the Tomy Tutor. So far I’m aware of flash ROM cartridges.


But something like an SD card solution would be cool, as it’d allow testing new software on the Tutor without flashing.

Also would make the development process much more easy.


Perhaps even more far stretched would be to save from the Tutor to a storage device.

Don’t think there’s DSR support in Basic? At least I haven’t looked into that yet.

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Comparing notes, some lines are not present in the Tutor, while others not found in the 99/4A are.


Specifically, it looks like CRUCLK is not exposed. (which is odd.. why expose CRUIN, without the clock? Is it sync'd with GROMCLK or CPUCLK on the tutor?)  Additionally, IAQ, MBE, PHI3, and AUDIOIN do not seem exposed.


You DO however, get some extra voltage rails, and "whatever those "INTx" lines are.


Otherwise, the data and address lines are conserved, you have WE, MEMEN, DBIN, and pals---  So some things might work fine, others not so much.  Perhaps if you slipped a small microcontroller on to generate the missing signals, and had some way to keep it in sync with the tutor, you could drop 4A peripherals on it.

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Upon reflection, perhaps the Horizon Ramdisk could be adapted?  It just needs memory access (which we have with WE, MEMEN, and pals), the GROM select (to get its DSR), which we have-- and access to the CRU bus, which we have with CRUIN.  (Does need CRUCLK though... Again, does the Tutor use CPUCLK for this instead?)


Somebody with more skill than I have is needed, but it might be a good candidate for an existing device that could be adapted to this system.



Edited by wierd_w
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Tomy made three things that used the Expansion port: The Game Adaptor (their spelling), the BASIC-1 Interface for the Pyuuta (includes a Centronics Parallel Adapter), and the Centronics Parallel Adapter (for the MK-II and I still have to test mine with a Tomy Tutor, but it should work there too). There was also a homebrew Cenronics Adapter publicized in the Tomy User Group newsletters BITD.


Other than a modern incarnation of the Game Adaptor, and now the new multi-cart, nothing else has really used the port.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

The Tomy expansion port has the ability to override the console ROM. So a device can plug into the back of the thing and bring it's own Operating System.  The consoles BASIC would not be available, probably... But even then, I doubt it would know what to do with a device. I was saving this work for after I retire... I'm only 49 right now. 


As for the ROM on the TIPI, Texas Instruments calls into the ROM with the address of scratchpad available in R10 I think. Then as a DSR author, you are meant to address relative to that to find FAC as a little bit of memory available to you. I might have started writing the TIPI DSR that way, but at some point I didn't care anymore about compatibility with 99/8 or other practically mythical machines. And if I were to build a storage device for the Tomy, I'd drop the TI filesystem completely. Just good old stat, open, read, write, and seek. No file types. 


To integrate further would require something like the TI Intern with a documented disassembly of the Tomy ROM. I started doing that... wrote a bespoke disassembler to make it easier, then got bored. 

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The Tomy might also have the concept of cartridge and DSR headers, but nobody really would know until we disassemble some of the ROM and see exactly which hooks it has.


I think I saw the cartridges DID have a standard ROM (like >AA01 on the 99, but it's a different value).  The DSR's, I don't think anyone's dug that deep.


@jedimatt42 is correct about the external port being able to take over.  That's how @tanam1972's cartridge works to override the Japanese BIOS with a US one, for example.  There's a plethora of information in this thread here with pinouts and such:  



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