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Open Source Coleco FPGA


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#1 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:38 PM

I have started a new project to create an Open Source Colecovision in FPGA. This project is based on the ZX-Uno (http://zxuno.speccy.org/ ). There is a colecovision core that has already been ported to that board, although it is missing several features. The idea of this board is to create a new colecovision board that will accept original controllers and play cartridges (as well as off of a sd card). 

 

The FPGA source code is located at:
https://github.com/bmack36/colecofpga

 

The board will be created using altium's circuitmaker. This is a free software that allows collaborative development of pcbs.

http://circuitmaker.com/

 

If anyone would like to participate and contribute to this let me know and I can add you to the project.

 

This is still very early in the development, so it could be a little while before this is ready. 

 

Thanks.


Edited by Bmack36, Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:40 PM.


#2 Kamshaft OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:00 PM

Great idea, I think I'm gonna cry!


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#3 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:43 PM

Awesome news!



#4 ten-four OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:47 PM

Great project.

:) 

 

Will this works both on PAL and NTSC. ?

Will this board have at least analog VGA out. ?

Will the F18 be included and will it support color enhanced games. ?

How about our SGM games, will there be added an I/O port for this module. ?

Will this new board have the same size as our current board and fit in our originally consoles. ?

:) 



#5 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:53 PM

The F18a should be included so it will either be vga or hdmi output at 60Hz.

SGM compatability is still in discussion

My initial thought is to have this be a stand alone board with a new enclosure. The good thing about this project is that if someone wants to take the design and modify it to fit a different set of specifications then all the code is there to support it. I think the ideal scenario would be a smaller board that would use a new enclosure, but be compatible enough to fit in a standard cv shell with a little modification to move the controllers and video output to there respective spots.



#6 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 2, 2017 9:24 PM

Update:

 

I have gotten in a ZX-UNO (which the CV-UNO will be based off of) to use as a dev board. The colecovision core appears to work and loads games off of the SD card. I have designed an expansion board to plug into the ZX-UNO to allow it to play games off of a real cartridge and also adds in 1 SNES NTT data controller port (would have liked to use a real cv controller, but ran out of expansion port pins. I should get that prototype board in over the next couple weeks.

Attached Thumbnails

  • CV expansion board.png

Attached Files



#7 cdn2a OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 10:48 AM

Very Cool!, even fits in a pi case... ;)



#8 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 10:56 AM

Here is some video of it playing MSX1 core.

 

https://www.facebook...35908163335442/

 

 

and more cv action

 

https://www.facebook...35959683330290/

 

 

This is with standard video output. F18a hasn't been added in yet.


Edited by Bmack36, Tue Mar 7, 2017 10:56 AM.


#9 digress ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:18 PM

what am i looking at. that seems remarkable far along even finished. 

 

how is the compatibility percentage wise? 

 

any weird slow downs?

 

can have 1 soon.

 

.

Here is some video of it playing MSX1 core.

 

https://www.facebook...35908163335442/

 

 

and more cv action

 

https://www.facebook...35959683330290/

 

 

This is with standard video output. F18a hasn't been added in yet.



#10 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:23 PM

The videos are run on the ZX-UNO board. This board has been in out for a while. The idea is to use the open source ZX-UNO board as a base and add cartridge, F18a, and cv joystick functionality. I am currently waiting on a cartridge adapter board prototype that plugs into the expansion port on the zx-uno and also supports one snes ntt data controller.


Edited by Bmack36, Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:24 PM.


#11 Everett1954 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 12:45 PM

Thanks for letting me know about the Zx-Uno. I didn't know it existed. I would be interested in running the Coleco and other cores on this board. Spectrum not being one of them.

 

 I downloaded the manual and boy does it seem complicated to run (or maybe the translation and including all the programming stuff makes it seem that way)

 

What is your  experience with it so far? Have you tried any of the other cores?

 

The price is right  but does not seem as easy as MIST computer.

 

can you have multiple cores on SD card at same time?



#12 Everett1954 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 12:51 PM

What is F18 and the SNES NTT data port you speak of?



#13 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 12:52 PM

Right now it is not very user friendly for us in the NTSC region. It has lots of cores loaded into the SPI flash and you can select the core you want to run on bootup by holding down the caps key. You can have more then one core's support files on a sd, but different cores require different formats for the sdcard (i.e. msx requires a strict fat16 formatting). Since the ZX-UNO was developed in Spain most things are PAL which can make it difficult sometimes, escpecially if you don't have a VGA cable.

 

I would probably hold off on getting one at the moment and wait for this project to be completed. If you don't want to wait for this project, I would wait a little longer since they are going to release a newer version of the ZX-UNO that has more SRAM and SPI flash.

 

Any other questions feel free to ask.

 

Thanks,

Brian



#14 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 12:57 PM

The F18a is a VDP replacement for the colecovision and other systems that used the TMS9918a video processor. It provides a VGA output as well as several other features such as all 32 sprites on a scanline instead of the standard 4 which eliminates sprite flicker. It also has an extended color palette as well as hardware scrolling for games that are programmed for it.

 

The SNES NTT Data controller is a Japanese SNES controller that has more buttons on it including all the keys necessary to match a colecovision controller. Here is a link to a picture:

 http://atariage.com/...77488_thumb.jpg



#15 Everett1954 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 3:10 PM

Thank you for the explanation. I had never seen or heard about that controller. It doesn't  look like it is readily available, why would you support it on your board?

 

Is there any other way of getting the full keypad matrix?

 

Because of your info, i will hold off purchasing the Zx-uno board until maybe you finish your project.

 

Still only having one core per SD card  and different formatting? As I want it more for more systems not just Coleco. 

 

I have no Coleco carts and would play them off an SD card.

 

It appears to me that this board is really only made to play one core.And you are going to make a better Colecovision system with cart support and more.



#16 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 10:47 PM

I was limited in the controller options for the expansion board due to the lack of available pins on the expansion port. Plus I have one of the controllers and is should be a nice controller for cv.

 

In the CV-UNO (new board), the controllers will accept standard colecovision controllers.

 

The cores themselves are actually stored inside the SPI flash on the board itself. More than one core can be used with the same sd card, but there would likely need to be more that one sd card to support all of the cores due to the formatting required for the different cores. The board itself is made to play multiple cores, it just requires selection at the boot time. So there is a default core that gets loaded, but if a button on the keyboard is pressed, then the user can select the core they want to run.



#17 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:45 AM

Update:

 

First prototype boards received. Assembly in progress.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20170420_234506.jpg
  • 20170420_234822.jpg


#18 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 10, 2017 9:17 PM

Sorry for the lack of updates, I haven't had a lot of time to put into it. 

 

Here are some more pictures of assembled boards. Do to a couple of footprint issues, I will have to make another rev of the board to get it running.

 

20170505_165441.jpg

20170505_165452.jpg

20170505_165500.jpg



#19 craigm71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 13, 2017 8:19 AM

Keep going, that looks great!!!

 

So is it too much to ask for expansion support =P



#20 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 13, 2017 11:27 AM

Right now an expansion port wouldn't be feasible due to the lack of pins. It could be possible if I moved up to the BGA package on the FPGA, but I would prefer to avoid that due to the added complexity an assembly costs. Hopefully the expansion port won't be necessary.



#21 digress ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 13, 2017 11:59 AM

It is very nice. f18a support too. cool.

 

I think being able to use the original controllers is very important to me & the original cartridges. sd card support is definately nice.

 

I have to look into this software. I've never tried breadbaording or any electronices like this but it seems very interesting.






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