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Cart flasher question


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#1 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009 3:46 PM

I've been working on a new flash cart design that will require it's own flasher that connects to my PC. I'm designing the flasher around one of the atmel USB atmega microcontrollers.

My question is regarding the lynx cerd edge connector. Is the card edge connector a "standard" size in the lynx? My plan is to put a card edge socket on my flasher and plug the lynx cart into that to flash it.

Will I need to gut a broken lynx to get a card edge socket that will work? Does anybody know of a part that works? The flash chips in my cart design can't be flashed using the lynx itself, but by losing that, I gain huge capacity (16MB in this first design).

--Wookie

#2 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

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Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009 4:54 PM

My first flasher prototype is just going to be a Teensy++ USB dev board with the I/O pins connected to a card edge connector for the flash card to plug into. Thed Teensy++ works with Windows/Mac/Linux. I'll be working with it on Linux mostly but will test it out on Windows and Mac. If I build flashers for my lynx cart, making them from a Teensy++ and an edge connector is certainly the easiest way to go.

I'll probably start with the code in this example project and modify it so that it takes data from the serial port and writes it to the flash cart.

--Wookie

Edited by Wookie, Tue Dec 8, 2009 4:58 PM.


#3 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

GroovyBee

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Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009 5:47 PM

Why don't you just have a 4 pin connection at the opposite end to the Lynx connector on your cart PCB? From your other post about your cart design you only need I2C clock, I2C data, Vcc and GND. You could use a mini USB connector. The cables and connectors are cheap and they aren't going to be hard to source.

EDIT: For clarity

Edited by GroovyBee, Tue Dec 8, 2009 5:47 PM.


#4 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

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Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009 6:51 PM

Because I can't find a flash chip with both a serial i2c interface for programming and a parallel Interfaced for the lynx. The flash chip has to be programmed using its parallel interface. That means using 5 additional 8-bit I/O expanders to be able to wiggle all of the pins on the flash chip.

Another possibility is to add a standard card edge on the side/top of the card that fits an edge connector that I can source easily. It could use both sides of the pcb to get it down to 16 pins each side.

--Wookie

Edited by Wookie, Tue Dec 8, 2009 6:52 PM.


#5 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Dec 8, 2009 6:54 PM

I want to keep the board as simple as possible so that the flash cart could be used as a retail cart too.

#6 karri OFFLINE  

karri

    Stargunner

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Posted Wed Dec 9, 2009 12:15 AM

Because I can't find a flash chip with both a serial i2c interface for programming and a parallel Interfaced for the lynx. The flash chip has to be programmed using its parallel interface. That means using 5 additional 8-bit I/O expanders to be able to wiggle all of the pins on the flash chip.

Another possibility is to add a standard card edge on the side/top of the card that fits an edge connector that I can source easily. It could use both sides of the pcb to get it down to 16 pins each side.

--Wookie


I would go for getting an edge connector from a broken Lynx and not do any extras on the cart itself.

--
Karri

#7 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

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Posted Wed Dec 9, 2009 2:18 AM

Does anybody have a broken Lynx they want to donate for the cause?

--Wookie

#8 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

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Posted Wed Dec 9, 2009 11:23 AM

I just bid on a broken Lynx on ebay.

--Wookie

#9 gravitone OFFLINE  

gravitone

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Posted Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:17 PM

I just bid on a broken Lynx on ebay.

--Wookie


I've been quite bussy with my studies over the lasr few weeks but hopefully I'll find some time to do some coding in the comming weeks.
I actually managed to bid and win 2 lynx game auctions on ebay. Blue lightning and chess will prove nice additions to my library.
The flash cart sounds like an excellent plan and I would like to construct one as soon as you start/finish the PCB design :)
I'll keep an eye out for dead lynxes to harvest for cart connectors just in case you/we are going to need some in the future.

Hopefully I'll find some time too to add some content to classicgamedev.com. I'd like to start a blog but i'm not familiar enough with the wiki content system to add one (more stuff to read I guess). Hopefully this hotbed of activity going on at the moment will produce some neat little projects in the next few months. Hopefully enough to be recognized as an active "scene".

#10 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

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Posted Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:24 PM

Today I decided that instead of relying on connectors harvested from dead lynxes, I'm going to put another row of contacts opposite the lynx contacts that are the right pitch to mate with a standard card edge socket with .1" pitch. I've already ordered the sockets and a Teensy++ board to prototype the flasher. The Teensy++ cost me $27 and the socket was $0.69. So if I made a daughter card with the socket for the Teensy++ board, the whole flasher would probably only cost $35 or so.

The standard socket has 17 contacts each side. I have two separate supplier for the sockets so I build quite a few flashers.

--Wookie

Edited by Wookie, Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:37 PM.


#11 Wookie OFFLINE  

Wookie

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:58 PM

I'd like to start a blog but i'm not familiar enough with the wiki content system to add one (more stuff to read I guess).


To help you out, I just imported the wikilog help into CGD and I wrote a small howto that walks you through setting up your own blog and writing your first post.

--Wookie




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