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Personal 4 port cartridge expansion project

4 port cartridge Expansion

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#51 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:53 PM

Wow, I always wanted a Navarone device, but after seeing that board (in post #5) I'm glad I never got one. 



I have a spare if you would like one. :)

#52 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 4:50 PM

So I made a ton of progress. tomorrow I solder the connectors. Before the end of next weekend it should be complete. although I may be able to start testing tomorrow before final assembly.

17554561_10208532438900447_387094684837617757240_10208532437820420_281023977425117636919_10208532436660391_7055640604278

17426293_10208538072801291_346665350216517626102_10208538183124049_5917794233233

17632317_10208538891941769_601293008779017758418_10208539761603510_1733413967963

 

Finally got all the wires prepped. That's 36 4-way splitters complete. That's 180 solder points stripped, tinned and insulated. Now I can finally begin working on wiring it up.

17620116_10208543140247974_1957425138684


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Sun Apr 2, 2017 8:04 AM.


#53 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 12:45 PM

All the photos including today's work. Had to make a lot of modifications including extending all the GROM port pins so the connectors fit properly. All solder points tested and good. Except the wires which I will test one by one as I make the connections. Next up I have to solder the resistors in place. I'l probably do that tomorrow, I'm kind of spent most of the weekend working on this. Need to break for a bit.

>>>Public Facebook Album of Project<<<


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Sun Apr 2, 2017 12:45 PM.


#54 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 3:50 PM

I wired up up straight trough and connected a bunch of 90 degree adaprots so i could check each and every connection from console connector to GROM port. Grom 1 pin 2 and Grom 4 pin 24 are no good. So tomorrow I trace it down to the "open" and resolder each one of the two.

Tehn I connect the resistros and wire up the switches!

17546979_10208545515907364_6557129569167



#55 Shift838 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 7:26 PM

Damn... that's a lot of wires!  



#56 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 7:33 PM

Attached Files



#57 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 4:23 AM

Oh - Hrm. I think facebook public pics are only public to facebookers? I dunno what's up with that. Guess I'll have to add them to an album here. 

First I had to make a lot of modifications so I can use the connectors:
17620303_10208544694486829_8761905629747

 

17635379_10208544695006842_3195953260179

 

 

And then I had to extend all GROM port pins so the connectors would fit correctly:

17636985_10208544688766686_6755294850332

 

 

17630025_10208544689166696_1345454039694

 

 

17634502_10208544690566731_8991847877187

 

 

17634647_10208544687726660_5144841737027

 

 

17620346_10208544689566706_3259739191031

 

 

Put it all together...
17632125_10208548664786084_7046406848105

 

17620474_10208544690166721_7749599066619

 

 

17634768_10208544693086794_5908458452084

 

I wired them straight through first so I can test each connection.

17635198_10208545473026292_8592807201392

 

 

 

Out of 360 soldered connects, only 2 solder points need a looking at. I';; fix them theis week, then wire up the switches and resistors.

17546979_10208545515907364_6557129569167


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Mon Apr 3, 2017 4:26 AM.


#58 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 4:24 AM

Damn... that's a lot of wires!  

I know, all because I don't know how to use circuit board software nor would I know how to design a PCB.

All things considered up to this point:

Out of 360 soldered connections, I have to investigate a issue with 2 of them. I say that's a Damn good outcome.


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Mon Apr 3, 2017 4:25 AM.


#59 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 8:42 PM

Oh - Hrm. I think facebook public pics are only public to facebookers? I dunno what's up with that.

 

I had that issue too, I uploaded tons of galleries only to learn nobody can see them without jumping through a ton of hoops.



#60 Shift838 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 10:30 PM

I know, all because I don't know how to use circuit board software nor would I know how to design a PCB.

All things considered up to this point:

Out of 360 soldered connections, I have to investigate a issue with 2 of them. I say that's a Damn good outcome.

since most of the connections are straight through you should be able to test from the main GROM port connection pin to the last GROM port connection pin for continuity and that would probably help diagnose it quick.  You will not be able to do that with the pins connector to the resistors though.



#61 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:42 AM

I fixed both issues. Ended up not being my handy work. It was faulty connections. The crimp at the connector end was on the insulation and not making contact. I replaced them and now all the straight through connections are perfect. Yes, made in China. Now I can continue with the resistors and switches connections. So psyched.

Edited by Sinphaltimus, Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:43 AM.


#62 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 3:26 PM

So this is big news. I have the switch box wired straight through just for this test. That means no switches or resistors are connected. All 4 ports are wired straight to the console connector so I cannot have more than one cartridge plugged in at a time.

The reasons for this is I wanted to ensure my wiring worked. I heard about issues with the FR99 and 16 inch GROM extension  cable. I'm using an 8" GROM extension cable plus all my wiring, splits and soler points.

They all worked great, I used parsec to test and finally the FR99. They all worked so my next step is to wire it up for the switches and solder in the resistors.

This *WILL* be ready to show at FestWest. Can I call it the first ever 4-port cart expander for the TI-99/4a?

Port1 - CHECK.
Attached File  20170405_164215.jpg   3.85MB   2 downloads

 

 

Port2 - CHECK.
Attached File  20170405_164254.jpg   562.43KB   2 downloads

 

 

Port3 - CHECK.
Attached File  20170405_164320.jpg   2.39MB   2 downloads

 

 

Port4 - CHECK.

Attached File  20170405_164351.jpg   1.09MB   2 downloads

 

 

FR99 - CHECK.

Attached File  20170405_164424.jpg   1.45MB   2 downloads



#63 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 4:12 PM

Well, I have several mutant 4-port and 6-port expanders here that someone in Germany made a long time ago, and I have seen one of the Mechatronic 8-port expanders. . .that said, yours is the first new port expander in a while  :)



#64 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 4:44 PM

OK, so it's not the first of it's kind. I can live with that. 

Here's the updated schematic BTW.

Attached File  Diagram6.png   421.54KB   2 downloads

EDIT: 

Ksarul - do those other ones support uberGROM carts?


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Wed Apr 5, 2017 4:53 PM.


#65 Shift838 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 7:19 PM

OK, so it's not the first of it's kind. I can live with that. 

Here's the updated schematic BTW.

attachicon.gifDiagram6.png

EDIT: 

Ksarul - do those other ones support uberGROM carts?

 

I have tested the UberGROM with the Navarone widget and I can tell you that if you have the UberGROM cart plugged in any slot it will take priority no matter what the selection is.  At least with both of my Navarones it did.



#66 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 3:55 AM

Right, that's the difference between the navarone and mine. Mine works with all carts allegedly. I'll be able to fully test at FestWest.

Edited by Sinphaltimus, Thu Apr 6, 2017 3:56 AM.


#67 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 11:59 AM

Allegedly. 

 

Attached File  vader.jpg   25.82KB   2 downloads

 

More seriously, since it properly manages the select lines (which the Navarone does not - that was the whole problem), there are only a few conceivable cases that might still have issues:

 

-cartridges that use CRU feedback to the console (ie: SuperSpace should still be okay)

-cartridge combinations that draw enough current to overload the power supply (for instance, I wouldn't try to run 4 GRAM Krackers...)

-cartridges that do not honor the ROM or GROM select lines (I'm not aware of any but there are reasons it's possible)

 

A deselected cartridge on this switch will behave like a normal cartridge, it just never sees that it's being selected for data. It still has power and is still connected to the bus.

 



#68 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 12:53 PM

4 GRAM Krackers....

I would sh** myself if I saw 4 in the same room. :)

#69 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 12:56 PM

4 GRAM Krackers....

I would sh** myself if I saw 4 in the same room. :)

Let's make sure that never happens then. :)



#70 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 1:14 PM

I actually think it would be worth it...

#71 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 2:46 PM

Allegedly. 
 
vader.jpg
 
More seriously, since it properly manages the select lines (which the Navarone does not - that was the whole problem), there are only a few conceivable cases that might still have issues:
 
-cartridges that use CRU feedback to the console (ie: SuperSpace should still be okay)
-cartridge combinations that draw enough current to overload the power supply (for instance, I wouldn't try to run 4 GRAM Krackers...)
-cartridges that do not honor the ROM or GROM select lines (I'm not aware of any but there are reasons it's possible)
 
A deselected cartridge on this switch will behave like a normal cartridge, it just never sees that it's being selected for data. It still has power and is still connected to the bus.
 

Well, I have plenty of positions available on these switches. I could simply cut power to unused carts. Would that be a good idea? I mean, if I simply cut power to the carts, would I even need resistors at that point? Cut the + and - 5v lines. As is, I'm cutting 3 lines now, I could cut upwards of 3 more.

Edited by Sinphaltimus, Thu Apr 6, 2017 2:47 PM.


#72 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 11:19 PM

Well, I have plenty of positions available on these switches. I could simply cut power to unused carts. Would that be a good idea? I mean, if I simply cut power to the carts, would I even need resistors at that point? Cut the + and - 5v lines. As is, I'm cutting 3 lines now, I could cut upwards of 3 more.

 

No, because if you cut power but leave the data and address lines connected, the chips will attempt to draw power from them and thus crash the system. The only way to be 100% is 100% disconnection. What you are building will cover 99.9% and I defy you to find the 0.1% that fails. ;)



#73 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 5:51 AM

 

No, because if you cut power but leave the data and address lines connected, the chips will attempt to draw power from them and thus crash the system. The only way to be 100% is 100% disconnection. What you are building will cover 99.9% and I defy you to find the 0.1% that fails. ;)

Good enough for me. I should have this completed and tested this afternoon sometime.



#74 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 5:58 AM

Sinphaltimus!  Dude, you obviously have no need for glasses when using your TI!   I LIKE IT!  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

post-47352-0-67787600-1491427590.jpg



#75 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 7, 2017 7:09 PM

Well I missed my goal because of some design changes again. I am certain it will all be wire up early tomorrow. I sure hope it works.. My concern is so many wires I had to add. And so much more soldering.  Only thing left to do right now is wire up the console port to the groms and switches where needed. Resistors are in. I'll post updated pics when I'm done. I still have to do an album here.







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