HW shortage ?

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Van marlon-B

Expert (88)

afbeelding van marlon-B

31-08-2010, 13:26

PROGRESS UPDATE SLOT-EXPANDER

Integrated and succesfully tested the following:

Machine used for testing was the NMS8245(From my childhood. And still 100% working,unbelievable !)

- 1MB SRAM. First 512k is always normal RAM but is non-volatile. Meaning contents remains intact after power off.
Second 512k(Volatile) can be used as normal ram but is also used by memmapped interfaces such as SD,USB.

- Purge button. Purges first 512k of memory.

- SD-CARD Interface FAT32 with Longfilename support in DIRECT-ACCESS mode.
- Battery-backed up Realtime Clock used for filestampinformation for SD-card. And a bonus for MSX1 users,right?

- USB Communication-interface. First tests achieved speeds of 200k/s. After optimizing I expect 300k/s. Higher is possible but then faster(more expensive) controller is needed. But I believe 300k/s is more than sufficient for MSX.

- ROM mode-switch. When in ROM-mode the First 512k of SRAM is accessed by different mapper-circuit. Konami 'like' mapper.
And first 512k SRAM becomes read-only.

Still to do:

- ROM mode: Find a solution to access the second 512k of SRAM. Thinking of using a different IO port for mapping it onto the 8000-BFFF address space. But not sure yet.

- add "special" fourth slot. This slot will work as a normal IO slot for regular (existing) cartridges. But it will also be used for special future-add-ons. Which I will not reveal just yet Wink

- integrate all-mentioned-above with slot-expander circuit.

- write software/drivers.

- test on other machines MSX1,MSX2+,TURBO-R

Not implementing:

- SCC.

Van Manuel

Ascended (18953)

afbeelding van Manuel

31-08-2010, 20:44

Pics?

Van marlon-B

Expert (88)

afbeelding van marlon-B

31-08-2010, 22:12

here you go...

www1.xup.in/tn/2010_08/24422506.jpg

www1.xup.in/tn/2010_08/13775929.jpg

Van syn

Prophet (2097)

afbeelding van syn

03-09-2010, 21:54

Nice job! I love the specs, especially the USB connector. Was it hard to make the driver/software for it?

I think this is pretty good balanced, not too many things, but still a nice few things to make it interesting. I was wondering, since I have not much technical knowledge and I havent used a real msx in ages (but thinking about unpacking my msx and buying some hardware stuff for it), the internal memory mapper, will it conflict with other memory mappers?

Van edoz

Prophet (2445)

afbeelding van edoz

03-09-2010, 22:22

Unpack the dude !!!LOL!

Van marlon-B

Expert (88)

afbeelding van marlon-B

04-09-2010, 01:55

Nice job! I love the specs, especially the USB connector. Was it hard to make the driver/software for it?

No it is not very hard to write software for it.
The manufacturer of the USB-controlchip I'm using (FTDI) has provided libraries with an easy to use API which you can link into you development environment.


I think this is pretty good balanced, not too many things, but still a nice few things to make it interesting.

Glad to hear.
And just wait until I reveal what else I have planned to release as add-ons for this device after it's finished.


I was wondering, since I have not much technical knowledge and I havent used a real msx in ages (but thinking about unpacking my msx and buying some hardware stuff for it), the internal memory mapper, will it conflict with other memory mappers?

There will be no conflicts as long as you dont put your other mappers in the IO-only slot. The address-lines in this slot are used by the internal mapper when memory requests occur.

Van marlon-B

Expert (88)

afbeelding van marlon-B

14-09-2010, 10:35

PROGRESS UPDATE: SLOTEXPANDER.

made some drastic changes in the design.

I've decided to create a more modular design.
Which means the slotexpander can be expanded as well by just clicking on the new expansion/add-on on the side of the base module. And every other add-on can be clicked onto the previous add-on.
Ofcourse external power will be required to sustain more than 4 add-ons.

Each add-on has direct-memory-access to the second 512k SRAM.

This also mean that people won't have to pay for what they don't need(Wink -> sunrise)
So it becomes cheaper.

The base module consists of
- a slotexpander with 4 slots(1 IO-only)
- 1024k RAM(with ROM-mode),512k DMA for the add-ons
- Realtime Clock
- Math coprocessor (for all your div muls sin cos)
- USB communication interface(this is needed to do the firmware updates of the base module and all the add-ons)

Add-ons I plan to release:

- SD-card interface (done!)
- USB-mass storage controller (WIP)
- Ethernet interface (WIP)
- SPC700 emulation chip (yes I was also a bit of a SNES-freak) it can play any .SPC file in hardware using a 32mhz AVR with 8channel 12bit DAC. It has better quality sound than the original (semi-done)

and maybe many more...

let me know what you think..

Van sunrise

Paragon (1091)

afbeelding van sunrise

14-09-2010, 12:28

Ethernet not necessary, we gonna produce the thingy made by DD , konamiman has already made a fine BIOS
But maybe you want to help with some tools , in that case mail me

Van Gradius2

Hero (643)

afbeelding van Gradius2

15-09-2010, 03:07

When it's complete (and fully tested), put me on 1st on your consumer priority list. ;-)

Will order 2 (two) units if price is fair.

Van syn

Prophet (2097)

afbeelding van syn

15-09-2010, 14:12

It would seem I misread your previous post, I thought you meant you already got the HDD through USB working. But I see you are working on that.

The snes sound chip emulation sounds a bit out of place at first but still fun for those who like that. Will your expander have a seperate stereo output?

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