Thursday, 24 April 2014

AES Adapters

As always, new toys turn up at the worst possible time - when work is at its busiest - and the adapters are no exception. Fortunately, a colleague (who did the layout for me) with a little more time on his hands came into the office today and volunteered to do some soldering.

He managed to complete one each of the the AES Cartridge and System adapters. The Cartridge and System adapters are the same PCB, but with the card-edge and euro connectors mounted on opposite sides of the PCB, with mating euro connectors.

AES Cartridge adapter - top
AES System adapter - top

The System  adapter also requires the fingerboard PCB, which mates the female card-edge connectors on the main board (AES) PCB and the System adapter PCB.

AES System adapter - bottom

The Cartridge and System adapters may be plugged directly into one-another to form a passive pass-though device, which itself serves no useful purpose, except to perhaps verify the design of the adapters themselves.

AES Cartridge and System adapters plugged together to form a passive pass-through device

This evening I did exactly that, and can report that Fatal Fury 2 still works on the AES with the back-to-back adapters in-circuit! One minor inconvenience is that the AES case top must be removed as the fingerboards aren't long enough to mate with the main board connectors through the cartridge slot - but this isn't too much of an issue as these devices are purely for development prototyping.

Next step is to populate a pair of MVS adapters and test that out on the MVS system. To the best of my knowledge at this point, the board will (just) fit on a horiztonal-cartridge 1-slot system - if it doesn't I do have a couple of 2-slot systems in various states of repair...

That probably won't happen until later next week, as I'm not back into the office until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.

In the mean-time, I should continue with the programmer/analyser PCB design. I've decided it's also prudent to work on the schematic (at least) for the flash cartridge in parallel, to best ensure that the programmer will do what it is meant to do - program the flash cartridge!

There are a couple of other things I can try with the adapters in the short term, but I'll leave that until another post!


  1. Just pure awesomness! :) I have been swamped at work lately and traveling alot so havent had time to follow your work, but wow..! Looks really really nice! Any more thoughts on the flashcartidge? Types on memory, sizes etc?

  2. What is the reference (Molex connector) of the blue connector on the adapter board. Thank you for sharing the info. Brahim @ Singapore

    1. Sorry but I can't find the information. It's not marked on the schematic itself, and I no longer have a working installation of Altium Designer to see if it was noted in the library - it may well not have been. I don't even recall where I bought them from, though Digikey rings a bell. I no longer have my company so no longer have the purchase order or receipt.

      Sorry I can't think of where else I would have this information that I can access at this point.