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Parker Brother's carts


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So in the Zoom call I was trying to remember about the Parker Brother's carts working with GROM without actually having a TI GROM chip or TI cart board.. 


I couldn't find anything with a google/aa search so.. grabbed a cart and cut it open (they are like Atarisoft and glued together)






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Yep, we talked about that many years ago.


Those were the "CROMs" or the "GROM loaders" - they bootstrapped the code in the EPROM.  Plus they had some additional content (that's why they're 12K worth of GROMs.)  Most of the code is in the EPROM, though.


And yea, they've been dumped many times over as part of the cartridge image :)

popeyeg.bin< the GROM Files

popeyec.bin< main game code

>8000-97FF in the MAME GROM file seems to be the main GROM - >AA01 is there

>2200-39FF should be the second GROM file, it has >AA01 as well. 


That doesn't explain why it was over dumped like it is.  It should be a 6144 * 2 file, but the thing is 38912 bytes.


I'm guessing garbage is in >0000-21FF and >4000-7FFF.  Thoughts, anyone else?






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3 hours ago, dhe said:

The board looks like it has a single EPROM on it.

While it's very nice that we have popeye running in MAME, it would also be nice to have just a straight dump of the eprom as seen by a TL866 and or any pal on board.

So far, so good, but the player selection data and other data elements are stored in the PCROMs, so the game needs both the EPROM data and the PCROM data to work. Note that PCROMs are a 6K memory chip with autoincrementing features, just like a standard TI GROM chip. They even expect to contain GPL code for execution. . .

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8 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Looks like TI, let the proverbial cat-out-of-the-bag...



Almost all true TI prototype cartridges were built on this board (it is called an EGROM cartridge board). TI actually sold these to developers in packs of two as bare boards BITD. I still have one of those two-packs somewhere in my reference board collection. . .


These Advertizer boards and the Almelo TI GRAM card for the PEB helped inspire some of the earliest hobbyist GRAM devices in Europe too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Crazy thing happened with my Q*Bert cartridge yesterday, it was playing fine then all of a sudden when I did a FCTN-QUIT it stopped working. Dead - blank screen on power on. Thought maybe one of the chips or capacitors fried? I tried it again today and it worked fine - then died again. 


Also one thing I found out was when using Parker Bros carts, the Navarone cartridge expander doesn't work properly. Something in the cartridges is interfering with how the expander works. I could select an empty cartridge slot on the expander (in this case I had Q*bert in Slot 2, Popeye in Slot 3), and Parker Brothers Game comes up on the selection screen on Slot 1, but then justifiably doesn't work.


Weird huh? Guess I'm gonna need a new Q*Bert cartridge! Cartridge port on the TI-99 and module contacts are fine with all other cartridges. And yes, when troubleshooting the Q*Bert cartridge I inserted directly into the console.

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The Navarone problem comes with how the expander itself works. It only cuts the +5V line to disable the cartridge. There is a whole discussion from an attempt by @Sinphaltimus to make a cartridge expander that would work to isolate each installed cartridge more fully and eliminate the problem. That project never did find a successful end. . .

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Thanks for the replies. I broke apart the cartridge to inspect it, knowing it is done. Upon close inspection, found a couple of the contacts corroded, one of them traces to a capacitor on the opposite side. Since it's not getting the voltage due to the contact issue on the cartridge itself, the capacitor gives out after a short time. As arcadeshopper's cartridge had a handrwitten label 'POP TI', my label said 'QB TI'. When I peeled the label back a bit, there was a circular window a bit translucent, hard to tell anything, but nonetheless interesting.  

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