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The F18a DIY alternative with HDMI :)

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I was thinking maybe I can make an universal solution in the means of having a IDE flat cable coming out of the TMS slot, very low profile and then you can move and accommodate the board with variable distance, using as much flat cable you need. Also, if I put the 40 pin header reversed side on the othe side of the board we can easily flip the orientation of the HDMI without having to bend the cable. Also, by using right angle header on the TMS slot you can choose which direction to go. I think I have an idea. Keep with the assembling of the your fat board, learn how to program (there is a specific version of Gowin IDE / Programmer, I updated the readme.md) and then we can try this new unversal board. It will take few days to design it. I need to open some of my MSX computers like the CX5MU to get something really universal.



probably a 34-pins floppy cable would be enough I don't use all the 40 pins. I will see the best option.



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And a board like this. I am putting the VGA in the board, as now you can move it around. I find an annoyance the VGA breakout. There are more stuff in this board (it's a secret, not ready yet!) 

Look the two 20 pin headers. They are reversed, you can plug it both sides and you can choose the correct orieantation for the hdmi connector.



I will make a batch to see if this solution is good (the flat cable should not be too long)




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@retrocanada76 Here are some rough images of my Ti/99-4a. This one is with VDP removed. Just to the upper right of the socket you can see the Crystal and Variable (resistor- Inductor?)



A different perspective



The other side where the components are low profile.



Assembled Fat Board installed to show clearance. HDM connectors and ribbon cable installed



I like your idea here. I have Sockets on my flat cable so I would need either a flat cable Male (plug) or a M-M adapter (scrounged all through my parts drawers and don"t have either option).



One last Pic. This is the area that would need to be removed from the RF shield with the fat board in  it's current config. The existing hole is where the VRAM chip replacement was at.


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@retrocanada76 just let me add this. I wish I had a fraction of your skill with this design and the programing involved.


AND I guess my next step is programming the Tang.

I have the software and license and have cranked it up to see what it looks like.

The Gowin site had instructions to delete some program and run another instead. I'm confused by this.

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You need the IDE or the license if you want to rebuild the code. Btw, I just downloaded the Education version (does not require license) and it works.


You can just install the programmer and it's drivers, press the scan button (magnifying glass) with the gowin connected to a usb port (choose a direct port not a usb-hub). Then once if finds you need to set as embFlash, Erase, Program. Don't choose the option to verify, it often fails:




choose the .FS file that is inside impl/pnr folder and press the program button (green arrow). Then you should get it programmed.



You can keep if plugged to usb-c and connect a hdmi cable you should see a F18A logo on screen.






Edited by retrocanada76
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Well, I got this far.



Then I realized I was using Device:GW1NR-9. I changed it to Device GW1NR-9C and I got this after pressing the green arrow.



My IDCODE 1100481B is the same as the one in your screenshot.

So, I hit the Green Arrow again (twice) and got this:




So I checked the config:



I even slowed down the transfer"







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@retrocanada76, I noodled my way through copying the project and related files and performed the Run All. A Warning is in the log "WARN  (EX4206) : Using initial value for 'verrom' since it is never assigned("D:\Data\F18a Nano Project\src\f18a_version.vhd":111)"

When I go to the Process tab, I get a pop up "Bitstream Not Loaded."

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12 hours ago, retrocanada76 said:

We need a better name for this thing. I was thinking as F18T

Why "T"?


The "A" in the name "F18A" represents it as a replacement for the 9918A.  The "F", I conjecture, is about this being a fast and nimble upgrade with special features, and the full name an allusion to the "F/A 18 Hornet" aircraft.

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46 minutes ago, Duewester said:

@retrocanada76, I noodled my way through copying the project and related files and performed the Run All. A Warning is in the log "WARN  (EX4206) : Using initial value for 'verrom' since it is never assigned("D:\Data\F18a Nano Project\src\f18a_version.vhd":111)"

When I go to the Process tab, I get a pop up "Bitstream Not Loaded."

this warning is ok. Are you using the Education ? Check the Help->About



When you run all don't you get into ?:


[95%] Timing analysis completed

Placement and routing completed

Bitstream generation in progress......

Bitstream generation completed

Running power analysis......

[100%] Power analysis completed

Generate file "D:\src\tn9k_f18a\fpga\tn9k_f18A\impl\pnr\tn9k_f18A.power.html" completed

Generate file "D:\src\tn9k_f18a\fpga\tn9k_f18A\impl\pnr\tn9k_f18A.pin.html" completed

Generate file "D:\src\tn9k_f18a\fpga\tn9k_f18A\impl\pnr\tn9k_f18A.rpt.html" completed

Generate file "D:\src\tn9k_f18a\fpga\tn9k_f18A\impl\pnr\tn9k_f18A.rpt.txt" completed

Generate file "D:\src\tn9k_f18a\fpga\tn9k_f18A\impl\pnr\tn9k_f18A.tr.html" completed

Wed May 17 11:58:51 2023


? if so, you generated it correctly. Now go to Process Tab and double click Program Device and a window should pop-up with the correct device set and the bitstream file already pointed. Just change to emFlash / Program and press program.

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