Saturday, 8 February 2014

Back to hardware

This afternoon I had a spare hour or so and decided to study the cartridge connector signals in more detail in preparation for the 2nd round attempt at the cartridge adapter PCB's. It was time well spent in the end and I feel ready to tackle the hardware again.

This time around the MVS & AES cartridge adapters will each comprise both cartridge PCB connectors and a common breakout via the EURO connectors, allowing a single design for the analyser/programmer board attached to each PCB, as well as the respective system adapters. Although this means two distinct flash cartridge boards (CHA & PRG) it does reduce the total number of PCB's. It also means that the current design won't fit in a standard cartridge shell, although this is only a prototype.

The current plan is to design and manufacture the four (4) MVS/AES cartridge/system adapter boards and then plug them back-to-back and confirm both MVS & AES cartridges still work on their respective motherboards. Then I'll start on the analyser/programmer board with the aim of completing the development of the analyser functionality. That will allow me to capture traces of full bus activity on the CHA & PRG buses of both MVS & AES systems (and ultimately on the NGPACE board).

The final stage then of this phase of the project is to develop the flash cartridge PCB's and the programmer functionality of the analyser/programmer board. The idea is that the flash cartridge will generate both MVS and AES sprite bus signals and therefore allow insertion into either the MVS or AES system via the appropriate system adapter PCB.

Somewhere in there I also hope to complete the port of Donkey Kong so I can program the flash cartridge with my own homebrew software!

No comments:

Post a Comment