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Racing the Atari bus with a STM32F4 microcontroller

stm32f4 cartridge

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#26 popmilo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:06 AM

One further thought - Its perfectly possible to write to the on-chip flash from software, so even without an SD card, a cartridge game could save state back to the cartridge.

That's the main reason why I would go this route :)

Will discuss it further when I find time...

Cheers!
Vladimir



#27 Van OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:09 AM

 

Hi Popmilo,

 

My plan is that the UnoCart will be fully open source, like the Ultimate Cart.

 

I am also intending to write up a "build it yourself" guide with only through-hole soldering required, using a discovery board and one of my cartridge port adapters. This was going to be an article for Excel Magazine #5, but I may just do it as a post here instead, depending on Robert's plans for future issues.

 

However, I'd like to sell a few first, to recoup costs.

 

Robin

Interested in a cart and also the DIY article. Very nice work!

Yogi



#28 lemiel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:12 AM

I want one with case.

#29 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:06 AM

Hi All,

 

Thanks to all that have expressed interest! I've ordered the parts to produce 9 more cartridges.

 

Those that have replied to the thread will have first refusal on a finished cartridge - there's probably about 3 left currently, if any one else wants to express an interest here.

 

I'll get in touch by PM with those that have replied once I've assembled the PCBs.

 

Robin



#30 ivop ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:33 AM

I'd like one, too, preferably with a case :)



#31 gozar ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:36 AM

I'd take two with cases, if I can still get in on the list.



#32 FlorianD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:01 PM

i'd like one with case, please. Hope I am not too late.



#33 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:09 PM

i'd like one with case, please. Hope I am not too late.

 

Don't worry - It looks like this is going to be more popular that I'd expected, so even if you don't get one of the first batch, I'll probably make more of them fairly soon.

 

I'd rather keep the inital batch fairly small so that any problems are discovered early on.

 

Robin



#34 Matej OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:56 AM

I will take 2x cased! I am from EU... Thank you!

 

Can we use it as turbocard in future ???

16MHz-18MHz 6502???

https://github.com/BigEd/a6502



#35 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:00 AM

I will take 2x cased! I am from EU... Thank you!

 

Can we use it as turbocard in future ???

16MHz-18MHz 6502???

https://github.com/BigEd/a6502

 

Heh - yes, you could, assuming someone doesn't mind writing the firmware!

 

The 18Mhz 6502 would have to exchange data with the host 6502 somehow. Probably through the $D5xx window, or one of the 8k cartridge windows.

A critical issue is that the the STM32F407 has to be in a tight loop polling the cartridge port to exchange data with the atari through the bus. So it could be either running 6502 code very fast, or talking with the cartridge port, but not both at the same time - so the firwmware would need some kind of signalling system (which I have to do in the current firmware when reading the SD card).

 

Robin



#36 Matej OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:10 AM

Can be just few 6502 instructions only. For example fast math for 3D as DSP chips on SNES was...

 

Another idea is to use extra STM32 power for new soundcard...

 

STM32 chiptune synth

 

GIT

https://github.com/n...e-project-stm32



#37 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 4:12 PM

Cool project! I have been planning to do something similar with the Teensy 3 (32-bit ARM) but you beat me to it. The latest Teensys even have microSD built in. Maybe the interrupt thing will work on the ARM?



#38 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 12:58 AM

Cool project! I have been planning to do something similar with the Teensy 3 (32-bit ARM) but you beat me to it. The latest Teensys even have microSD built in. Maybe the interrupt thing will work on the ARM?

 

Hi Claus,

 

I had thought about using a Teensy, but I went with the STM32F4 since it was faster with more RAM on board.

I see there are a lot more models of the Teensy than when I last looked - including a 120Mhz one that is 5V tolerant. Is that the one you were thinking of using?

 

regards,

 

Robin



#39 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 2:47 AM

To all that have asked for a cart, I've now started to build the boards but have run out of solder paste for now.

I've also been trying to get the case design perfect and trying out different colours for the case. I quite like this one....

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1150194.jpg


#40 cd-w OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 3:15 AM

Nice project - the Harmony cart for the Atari 2600 is implemented this way also - using an LPC2103 microcontroller connected to the 2600 bus.   Some recent homebrew games, e.g. Space Rocks, are written in C and execute on the microcontroller, using the 2600 only for the display.

 

Chris


Edited by cd-w, Fri Dec 2, 2016 3:17 AM.


#41 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 7:26 PM

Will this fit an original 800?

#42 TheEditor OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 9:37 PM

I am interested in 2 cased.



#43 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 8:37 AM

Hi All,

 

Flashjazzcat & I have been working a new feature for the UnoCart firmware this weekend....

 

It is using the Soft OS ROM approach so not massively compatible with games, but it does let you do some programming and save to an ATR, without needing a SIO device.

 

It also seems to handle the MyPicoDOS 16meg game compilation ATRs which is pretty fantastic....

 

Robin



#44 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 10:43 AM

Very impressive!

I'll take two without case.

- Michael

#45 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 10:57 AM

I am interested in two,  one cased and one without a case...


Edited by AtariGeezer, Sun Dec 4, 2016 10:57 AM.


#46 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 11:07 AM

Thanks for the interest! This isn't an orders thread though - I'm just planning to do a very small run initially to act as a beta test and these are all spoken for.

 

I'll look at doing a larger run probably after xmas.

 

Robin



#47 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 11:30 AM

Somehow, I knew you'd say that.  Sure hope you do ;)



#48 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 4, 2016 6:40 PM

Thanks for the interest! This isn't an orders thread though - I'm just planning to do a very small run initially to act as a beta test and these are all spoken for.

 

I'll look at doing a larger run probably after xmas.

 

Robin

 

No problem. I just like where this is going and didn't want to miss out.

 

- Michael



#49 Matej OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 5, 2016 7:18 AM

This cartridge will be best!!!

Another crazy idea is to have STM32 GPU core. 

You will use Atari keyboard, cpu, pokey but graphics will be done by STM32...

 

STM32 GPU generation

 

STM32 450 sprites

 

VGA for terminals / ascii

 

JUPITER demo with MOD music???

 

PERIDIUM demo with own SYNTH music?

 

So there will be 1x cinch connector for TV-OUT on cart!

 

Maybe dual-screen (1x original ATARI video out + 1x STM32cart video out) so games can be like ob Nintendo DS.

On one screen can be map, lives, inventory and on second gameplay...


Edited by Matej, Mon Dec 5, 2016 7:20 AM.


#50 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 5, 2016 7:28 AM

Matej,

 

If we're going this far, I'm not sure why the atari is really needed anymore - why not just turn the STM32 into a home computer?

 

Which I had been thinking about, something like a real hardware pico8.

 

 

Robin

 

 







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