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Retro Innovations "Rom-el"

Flash Memory OS replacement

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#1 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:25 AM

This looks like another interesting product from Jim Brain's Retro Innovations:

http://store.go4retr...eplacement.html

Could some of you folks that are a lot more knowledgeable about flash memory applications take a look and give your thoughts? What would it take to do a 4-in-1?


Also, Jim previously expressed interest in producing items that Atari users would be interested in. The one I can think of is a cartridge expander for XL or XE systems. Maybe swappable ends? Perhaps with the ability to select from (say) 3 attached carts. Any interest or other thoughts?

-Larry

#2 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:41 AM

Nice price. It's a 5V device and looks like it can be programmed in place.

Obviously for an OS application it'd need to have initial programming by other means - could be done by adapting a cartridge to do that.

Atari applications... maybe something similar but with soft-selectable banking for use in a cartridge, but it'd be yet another cartridge format up against the 2-3 other popular ones.

Or maybe a Basic ROM replacement with multiple selectable banks that just replaces the resident ROM.

Edited by Rybags, Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:44 AM.


#3 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:30 AM

Don't know if you noticed or not, but he also has a 24-pin, 2364-type version of this that is 1 Mb. Looks like it would do the BASIC replacement. Bankable, but no info posted about the banking.

-Larry

Nice price. It's a 5V device and looks like it can be programmed in place.

Obviously for an OS application it'd need to have initial programming by other means - could be done by adapting a cartridge to do that.

Atari applications... maybe something similar but with soft-selectable banking for use in a cartridge, but it'd be yet another cartridge format up against the 2-3 other popular ones.

Or maybe a Basic ROM replacement with multiple selectable banks that just replaces the resident ROM.



#4 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:41 PM

How would the "overflow address lines" be employed to allow bank switching?

#5 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:42 PM

You could adapt a 1200XL to program the thing, since they have two OS sockets. Put a pair of switches (or a thumbwheel switch) on the upper address lines that select a bank. It looks like it is set for 8 banks of 16k. (or more?)

If you were going to use an 800XL or such, you could move the OS into the BASIC ROM and program it in the OS socket.

Once you have an OS in the flash, you can program the other banks by moving the OS into RAM (with a few tweaks, perhaps).

Could be done...

Bob



Don't know if you noticed or not, but he also has a 24-pin, 2364-type version of this that is 1 Mb. Looks like it would do the BASIC replacement. Bankable, but no info posted about the banking.

-Larry

Nice price. It's a 5V device and looks like it can be programmed in place.

Obviously for an OS application it'd need to have initial programming by other means - could be done by adapting a cartridge to do that.

Atari applications... maybe something similar but with soft-selectable banking for use in a cartridge, but it'd be yet another cartridge format up against the 2-3 other popular ones.

Or maybe a Basic ROM replacement with multiple selectable banks that just replaces the resident ROM.

Don't know if you noticed or not, but he also has a 24-pin, 2364-type version of this that is 1 Mb. Looks like it would do the BASIC replacement. Bankable, but no info posted about the banking.

-Larry

Nice price. It's a 5V device and looks like it can be programmed in place.

Obviously for an OS application it'd need to have initial programming by other means - could be done by adapting a cartridge to do that.

Atari applications... maybe something similar but with soft-selectable banking for use in a cartridge, but it'd be yet another cartridge format up against the 2-3 other popular ones.

Or maybe a Basic ROM replacement with multiple selectable banks that just replaces the resident ROM.



#6 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:52 PM

Well, why not do both? Put 4 slots (32KB) in there for BASIC and 4 slots (64K) for the OS? If you use switches, you only need to re-program the MMU PAL - pretty simple...

For some reason, the docs show an A17 and A18. Not on the chip - only goes to A16.

Bob




Nice price. It's a 5V device and looks like it can be programmed in place.

Obviously for an OS application it'd need to have initial programming by other means - could be done by adapting a cartridge to do that.

Atari applications... maybe something similar but with soft-selectable banking for use in a cartridge, but it'd be yet another cartridge format up against the 2-3 other popular ones.

Or maybe a Basic ROM replacement with multiple selectable banks that just replaces the resident ROM.



#7 HiassofT OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:09 PM

How would the "overflow address lines" be employed to allow bank switching?

It looks like WE and A14-A16 are just routed to solder-pads (the schematic also shows A17?) and the board doesn't contain any additional logic. So, basically, this is just an adapter for using 128k flash chips (which are otherwise 32-pin in DIP) in a 28-pin DIP socket.

so long,

Hias

#8 brain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:21 PM

Well, why not do both? Put 4 slots (32KB) in there for BASIC and 4 slots (64K) for the OS? If you use switches, you only need to re-program the MMU PAL - pretty simple...

For some reason, the docs show an A17 and A18. Not on the chip - only goes to A16.

Bob


Because surface mount assembly requires a "stencil", and I thought later on I might need to use 256kb or 512kb ICs, I added the additional lines.

Jim

#9 brain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:38 PM

How would the "overflow address lines" be employed to allow bank switching?

It looks like WE and A14-A16 are just routed to solder-pads (the schematic also shows A17?) and the board doesn't contain any additional logic. So, basically, this is just an adapter for using 128k flash chips (which are otherwise 32-pin in DIP) in a 28-pin DIP socket.

so long,

Hias


This is true. However, I have often been asked for a variant as you describe. It could be done by:
  • Adding a '575 on the bottom as a bank register, hooked to the data lines.
  • three flying leads (/reset, bank register and /W).
If that would work in the environment, I can see about a unit like that. I *might* be able to put 2 '688's to refine the select line a bit further, if that helps.

JIm

#10 sloopy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:00 PM

guess no one saw the pic where i showed these in a 130XE for both the OS and the BASIC rom...

or the BASIC cart i turned into a multi-cart with one of these...
sloopy.

#11 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:05 AM

Nope. But if you linked/posted this again, I'm sure we would like to.

I've used the regular eprom adapter, but not the flash devices.

Looks like no trouble keeping busy this winter!

-Larry



guess no one saw the pic where i showed these in a 130XE for both the OS and the BASIC rom...

or the BASIC cart i turned into a multi-cart with one of these...
sloopy.






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