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   Author  Topic: Flash cart question (neviksti)  (Read 1547 times)
CaitSith2
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Flash cart question (neviksti)
on: Feb 23rd a 09:49:18pm
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Have you manage to build your new flash cart design, or are you still working on designing the PCB?

mainly, the thing I am looking to build at the moment, is the cart reader/writer, to start with.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #1 on: Feb 24th a 04:24:26pm
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The design is done ... I just need to lay out the PCB, make some boards, populate one, and see if it works.  Which takes longer than it may sound.

If all you want is the cart reader/writer so you can dump SRAM and ROM from a cart ... and change the SRAM on the cart as well... then I can just tell you how to hook it up.  It's a pretty simple circuit so you could just use a protoboard for this one.  Its just that soldering the cartridge connector would be annoying with a protoboard.  I guess you could use ribbon cable and solder a little wire to each pin of the connector ... and then solder the wires into the protoboard as necessary.

Anyway, since I would like a flash cart, I'm going to layout and order a PCB for the programmer and the cart (hopefully sometime this century ).  It'll be much easier to put together with a PCB (and it'll be more 'solid').  So I don't feel like making a protoboard of something like that (I trust the programmer to work).

Here's the deal ... there is very little hardware in the programmer because the burden is put on the software.  So I need to make a program for you if you want to use the design.  (actually it's a pair of programs ... one for the PC, probably written in C... and one for the AVR microcontroller, written in ASM )  It wouldn't be that hard to write the programs, its just that, well ... I'm not known for having my programs work the first try.   It usually doesn't take me long to fix up the 'first run' bugs, but the problem here is that you will have the hardware ... I will have the software ... and we'll have to work together to figure out who made what errors, and debug everything.

You seem like a smart guy.  So if you're willing to go through the debugging process with me ... I'm willing to tell you what to do to make the programmer, and I'll write the software while you make the hardware.

Let me know if this sounds like a good deal to you.
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #2 on: Feb 24th a 06:50:47pm
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That would be a good deal.

how would the microcontroller used in the flashcart reader/writer be programmed?

Im currently working on readying a cart connector (from a broken snes)  to attach onto a proto pcb.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #3 on: Feb 24th a 09:06:05pm
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part list:

Atmel AVR microcontroller:  AT90s8535 - 32 I/O pins
Parallel Port connector
octal latch: 74HCT573
SNES cartridge connector
+5V regulator (500mA, TO-220 package): LM78M05CT
47 uF electrolytic cap
47 pF tantalum cap
9V AC/DC adapter 500 mA
power adapter receptacle
8 Mhz crystal (parallel resonance)
18pF caps (two) or whatever value the crystals require

=======================================

a few notes:
Yeah, the power supply is beefer than is necessary.  You can tone it done if you want.
I'd suggest soldering a DIP socket in for the atmel and plugging the chip in instead of soldering the atmel directly to the board.  Why? Because the atmel chip is really neat and handy to use in projects ... you're basically building a programmer for the atmel as well.  So later you can program an atmel and stick a 'brain' in some of your other projects

OK, here's the wiring:



power supply:
connect +9V from AC/DC adapter to Vin of regulator
ground of adapter to ground of board
Vout of regulator is the +5V for everything
put the two caps (47pF, 47uF) in parallel across the +5V and GND


Cartridge Connector

every pin is fairly obvious
connect to atmel, power, or octal latch as defined below

connection for pins not described below:
pins 1-4,28-31,32-35, 59-62 = "extra tabs"
   just leave these unconnected for now
pin 18 = /IRQ
   leave this unconnected as well
pin 26 = /RESET
   connect to +5V
pin 24,55 = Security chip out
   just leave these unconnected for now
pin 25,56 = Security chip in
   you can ground these
   or you could just leave these unconnected for now
pin 57 = no connect



AT90s8535 - 32 I/O pins

http://www.atmel.com/atmel/acrobat/1041s.pdf for summary datasheet
AREF = AVCC = VCC = +5V
AGND = GND

crystal connects to XTAL1, XTAL2
the two crystal caps ( ~ 18pF), from XTAL1 to GND, and XTAL2 to GND

PORTB
   B0 - ready to receive (to PC)
   B1 - latch (/LE of octal latch)
   B2 - /RD (cart connector pad 23)
   B3 - /WR (cart connector pad 54)
   B4-B7 - communication to PC
      B4 - /SS - grounded
      B5 - MOSI
      B6 - MISO
      B7 - SCK

PORT C:D
   address lines
   C0-C7 - address lines A0-A7
   D0-C7 - address lines A8-A15

PORT A
   data lines - (data to cartridge) and (upper 8 address lines - to octal latch)

   octal latch
      A0-A7 connect to D0-D7 of octal latch
      Q0-Q7 of octal latch connect to BA0-BA7 of cartridge connector
      /OE of octal latch connect to GND   
   cart connector
      A0-A7 connect to D0-D7 of cartridge connector


Parallel port - 8 data, 4 control, 5 status
data
   D0 - pin2 - MOSI
   D1 - pin3 - SCK
   D6 - pin8 - /CART (cart connector pad 49)
   D7 - pin9 - /RESET (of Atmel)

status
   S4 - pin13 - MISO
   S5 - pin12 - ready to receive (from atmel)

gnd
   pins 18-25
   connect to ground of board

====================================

Ok, that should be all.
Oh, if you just need an easy place to get everything, Digikey has all the parts available you should need.

Let me know if I left anything out.

BTW, the program I'm going to write is just a simple command line prog.  Once it works, I'll release the code and someone can make a nice little VisualBasic or MFC interface or something, for it if they want.  I don't usually find the need to do that stuff.
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #4 on: Feb 24th a 11:16:51pm
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A question, relating to digikey.

I did a bit of searching around, and came to these part numbers.
Atmel: AT90S8535-8PC-ND
Octal Latch:  296-2128-5-ND
47 uf electrolyte cap: P5870-ND
5V power regulator: LM78M05CT-ND
8Mhz crystal: 300-5010-ND
18pf caps for crystal: P4003A-ND

are these okay, or are there other digikey part #'s that would be better?

I had difficulty finding the 47pf tantalum cap.
Last Edit: Feb 24th a 11:40:57pm by CaitSith2 Logged
neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #5 on: Feb 24th a 11:50:30pm
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>what does 47 pf convert to in uf?

uF = micro-Farad = 10^-6 F
pF = pico-Farad = 10^-12 F

These are the standard units you'll see capacitors sold in.  Although they do sell these freaky 1 F capacitors now ... about the size of a quarter!  Amazing, I don't know how they do it.  So I guess you can add just plain Farad to that list now. Also people use nF - nano-Farad when talking about values sometimes, although they usually aren't listed in such quantities.

So I guess someone could call it:
0.000047 uF

That exact value doesn't really matter anyway.  It's just that's a common value that's easy to obtain.

Hmmm... I just checked digikey. I see why you ask now.

The bigger the better I guess ... just keep the impedance down.  That's the whole point of a tantalum cap (you actually don't even need a tantalum cap ... any low impedance one will do).

You see, for a power supply, the voltage regulator tries to keep a constant voltage but it helps to add in capacitors to maintain this voltage during quick changes in current (very common with digital circuits).  The electrolytic cap holds a lot of charge and can supply large current when needed, however it has a high "impedance" and takes awhile to respond.  The tantalum caps don't really hold as much (for same amount of $),  but have a lower ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) and therefore can respond quicker to changes in current.

Make sense?
Again, I'm not an engineer or electrician, so that's just my take on non-ideal capacitors.  Also, I usually don't take much time thinking about capacitor values.  I probably should have said 47nF, go for 0.047uF or higher then.

In reality, the circuit will probably work without either of those caps, but I've seen really weird errors that can't be traced back to anything except something strange going on with the power supply.  It's easier to shell out the 50 cents or whatever and not worry about it.
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #6 on: Feb 25th a 12:22:52pm
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I think I know what else I could use the atmel chip for.

once I know the APU pinout, I can use the atmel chip to interface the APU to the PC.

besides that, the atmel seems to be very versatile and usefull for a lot of things.
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #7 on: Feb 25th a 10:08:01pm
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Based on my continuity testing, both on an actual working snes, and on the cart connector that I got from a busted snes, cart pins 5 is connected to 36, and pin 27 is connected to 58

nothing else, as far as I know is connected together.


oh yeah, I now have a ribbon cable connected to the cart connector, making it ready for use in contruction.

I just have to order the parts.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #8 on: Feb 26th a 10:21:51am
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>Based on my continuity testing, both on an actual
>working snes, and on the cart connector that I got
>from a busted snes, cart pins 5 is connected to 36,
>and pin 27 is connected to 58

Yes.
pin 5 = pin 36 = GND
pin 27 = pin 58 = VCC

I thought you already had a document showing what each pin of the cartridge connector (that we're using) is for.  If not I can give you some of my documentation.

>oh yeah, I now have a ribbon cable connected to the
>cart connector, making it ready for use in contruction.
>
>I just have to order the parts.

Sounds good!
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #9 on: Feb 26th a 10:58:31am
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I need the documentation on the cart connector.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #10 on: Feb 26th a 06:15:47pm
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>I need the documentation on the cart connector.

OK, I uploaded one of my docs here:
cart-chip-pinouts.html

Sorry about the pop-ups and such ... but that's the only web-space I have to trade files on.
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #11 on: Feb 26th a 06:40:53pm
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No problem with the popups (popup killer)


I outlined a set of schematics on paper, to help me with assembly of the 'cart/atmel reader/writer'

I like your idea of directly implementing the atmel chip programmer into the cart reader/writer hardware.


Would this thing also be capable of accessing the DSP chips, (for getting output data from a set input)
Last Edit: Feb 26th a 08:12:57pm by CaitSith2 Logged
neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #12 on: Feb 26th a 10:02:42pm
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>Would this thing also be capable of accessing the DSP
>chips, (for getting output data from a set input)

Why not?  On a DSP cart the DSP chip is completely separate from the ROM and SRAM.  So we can directly access all of it (unlike the SFX and S-DD1).  Since our programmer can read/write to any location on the cart there is no problem. 

Remember the hardware is simple ... the brunt of the work is put on the software.  Which means it takes a bit more to setup, but also means it is much more versatile.  So something like that would just require more programming work.
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #13 on: Feb 26th a 10:57:44pm
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Ok, so DSP is fully accessable, SDD1 and SFX isn't.  I wonder what other hardware is not fully accessable.  my current guess would be SPC7110.

I do wonder though if I could access the RTC on my FEOEZ cart directly (for reading as well as writing).

This hardware could potentially be integrated with an emulator like zsnes, for playing certain unemulated DSP chip games (some racing game that doesn't have a gun on the hood and therefore sucks, others), maybe use other chips that are fully accessable.
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #14 on: Feb 27th a 12:52:56pm
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I have managed to find the spare 5V power regulator I had from a broken snes.  now it is just a matter to take a trip to the local electronic stores and get a power adaptor recepticle (to fit spare snes power adaptor), some capacitors, and some kind of connection system that only connects one way.

thats the power supply taken care of.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #15 on: Feb 27th a 01:41:00pm
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>I do wonder though if I could access the RTC on my
>FEOEZ cart directly (for reading as well as writing).

I have no documentation (or a cartridge) of this.  So I'm not really sure.  Worth a try.

>This hardware could potentially be integrated with an
>emulator like zsnes, for playing certain unemulated
>DSP chip games ...

Not really.  This system transfers data too slow. It wasn't designed for that.  Yeah, maybe I should have mentioned that earlier ... it will take awhile to read/write large chunks to the cartridge.  It's not like its an overnight thing ... I just don't think its fast enough to work with an emulator.

Besides, if you had the cartridge with those chips, you could just play them on the real SNES
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #16 on: Feb 27th a 05:55:31pm
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Finished building the power supply.

Now I know what parts I have to get online.

AT90S8535 - Atmel AVR
74HCT573 - Octal Latch
8 Mhz crystal
2 caps of value crystal requires
40 pin DIP socket.

Parts I should be able to get locally.

Project box for power supply
Heat Sink for power regulator chip
Prototyping PCB board.
Last Edit: Feb 27th a 09:02:18pm by CaitSith2 Logged
neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #17 on: Feb 28th a 09:42:29am
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>Heat Sink for power regulator chip

I don't know what chip you got since you said you pulled it out of a old SNES ... but we aren't going to be drawing that much current, and the chip was designed to handle a lot, so a heat sink probably isn't necessary. (at least it wasn't with the regulator I suggested)  However, it sounds like you're going to be using this power supply for other things ... so beefing it up a bit could be helpful .

>Prototyping PCB board.

You probably can get this from digikey as well.  If you don't mind shelling out more money for convenience you can always get it from the local Radioshack.

----------
Design change!

Since you want to play with the DSP I suggest changing:

parallel port pin9 (D7) connect to /RESET (of Atmel) _and_  to /RESET (pad 26 of cartridge connnector)

That way we can reset the DSP whenever we want.
----------

I guess I should start doing a little programming when I get some free time.
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CaitSith2
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #18 on: Feb 28th a 10:07:52am
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basically, the specs of the power regulator chip is I believe 650mA (snes power adaptor input).

your quite right.  I do plan on using that power supply in other projects in the future (snes apu interface (once pinouts are found)) and possibly other things.

one thing I did make certain of, is that there is no way for me to accidently plug my modified snes power adaptor directly into the project. (jack is too small for the plug)
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #19 on: Mar 3rd a 10:04:48pm
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I uploaded the 3 pages of the old message board topic similar to this on my space.

http://ada.cnc.bc.ca/goodd/personal/Neviksti_question1.htm
http://ada.cnc.bc.ca/goodd/personal/Neviksti_question2.htm
http://ada.cnc.bc.ca/goodd/personal/Neviksti_question3.htm

There are none of the images present, just the information.
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neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #20 on: Mar 8th a 01:32:57pm
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I'm going to be gone all this week.  So, if you finish up the proto-type and I don't respond ... I'm not really ignoring anyone.

Also I haven't really had time to finish programming for the cartridge read/writer.  Sorry.

Good luck on the project though.  We can finish it up when I get back.

-neviksti
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #21 on: Mar 8th a 05:02:33pm
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I have't really had the time to work on the cart reader / writer.

based on the design, and with additional research, I could quite possibly adapt this hardware for reading other cartridges, like gameboy (has like 32 pins I think), NES, N64, and other systems.

im starting with snes for now though.

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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #22 on: Mar 8th a 09:30:07pm
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Hello.

Excuse me for interfering, please. This topic has caught me, but once I'm a complete stupid on electhronix, all I've to offr is some technical info.

If interests, I do have all Super Wild Card Schematics. If it can help you in this project, I can upload it.

And... In the future if you want a VB programmer do make an win9x interface, you already have one.
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #23 on: Mar 8th a 10:37:39pm
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> If interests, I do have all Super Wild Card Schematics. If it can help you in this project, I can upload it.

I'd be interested in these.  Do you have the SWC DX2 schematics?  You wouldn't by any chance have the ASM source code for the DX2 ROM BIOS would you?
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Re:Flash cart question (neviksti)
Reply #24 on: Mar 8th a 10:59:33pm
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I just ordered the remaining parts I need from digi-key (except the PCB. (I can get that locally))

the parts are.
1. Atmel AT90S8535
2. Octal Latch
3. 8 Mhz Crystal
4. Caps
5. 20 Pin DIP socket (wire wrap type)
6. 40 Pin Dip socket (wire wrap type)
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