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The 7800 cartridge board thread


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#126 kenfused OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:42 PM

IT takes max like 5 mins to desoilder a 28 pin chip properly off a board, I would think it would be easier to go that route than to find a way around removing the chip. Even a cheapo 10 dollar soilder sucker from Rat Shack will do, hell thats all I got.

Yes it is not that it is that bad especially doing 1 or 10. When you need to do 50 every little time savings help.
Right now I cut the pins one one side. Flex the other side back and forth and break those pins off.
The solder sucker I have usually does good but there are always 1 or 2 pins that like to be difficult.

As far as modding the one board I was hoping it would be simple and worth the effort, I have discovered it is not.

Edited by kenfused, Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:43 PM.


#127 Mitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:46 PM

IT takes max like 5 mins to desoilder a 28 pin chip properly off a board, I would think it would be easier to go that route than to find a way around removing the chip. Even a cheapo 10 dollar soilder sucker from Rat Shack will do, hell thats all I got.

Yes it is not that it is that bad especially doing 1 or 10. When you need to do 50 every little time savings help.
Right now I cut the pins one one side. Flex the other side back and forth and break those pins off.
The solder sucker I have usually does good but there are always 1 or 2 pins that like to be difficult.

As far as modding the one board I was hoping it would be simple and worth the effort, I have discovered it is not.


Heh, now you know why I suggested the credit for boards with the ROM desoldered. :D
I think I've got two spare Ballblazers that I can remove the ROM from, any interest? :cool:

Mitch

#128 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:01 AM

Yes it is not that it is that bad especially doing 1 or 10. When you need to do 50 every little time savings help.
Right now I cut the pins one one side. Flex the other side back and forth and break those pins off.
The solder sucker I have usually does good but there are always 1 or 2 pins that like to be difficult.


You will get better at removing the chips trust me. I can *properly* clean out about 30 boards in a night if I keep a steady pace or don't go mad from bordom after about 8 to 10 boards cause it is SOOO damn boring. No need to cut the legs or whatever just solider suck them and use a flat head to pluck the chip off, it won;t hurt the board one bit :). the couple pins that give you trouble from time to time just use a pencil iron to heat and then tap the board agenst your bench and it will fall right out.

Edited by Shawn Sr., Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:06 AM.


#129 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:20 AM

Yep, that's how I made my Pac-Man carts; just remove the rom from the Hat Trick boards. :) Shawn's right - once you get used to it it will only take a couple of minutes tops to do that.

BTW - Ken, being that I can (and did) make my own cart (from a Ballblazer) how much would you charge just for the bin of the game?

Bob

#130 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:00 PM

Yep, that's how I made my Pac-Man carts; just remove the rom from the Hat Trick boards. :) Shawn's right - once you get used to it it will only take a couple of minutes tops to do that.

BTW - Ken, being that I can (and did) make my own cart (from a Ballblazer) how much would you charge just for the bin of the game?

Bob



I would like to buy the BIN also just to show support for your game as I have made my own cart as well and espcially if your making each BIN unique with an identifier.

#131 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:34 PM

I've decided to go ahead and make the first run of 200 from pcbpool, and I'll place the order this weekend. They will cost more than they would from China, but it'll be enough to get things started. I'll give more info after I've placed the order.

These are the ones with no pokey or ram support, as I haven't gotten any farther than a finished design on the other model.

And for what it's worth, I won't be shipping anything international. If there's a need for that, you'll have to get a proxy or something.

Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:35 PM.


#132 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:24 PM

These are the ones with no pokey or ram support, as I haven't gotten any farther than a finished design on the other model.


You wanna throw down a list of sizes of chips it supports as well as a list of what games it WONT run please. Also is there a ballpark price per unit I can get ready to pay if I become intrested in buying?

#133 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:37 PM


These are the ones with no pokey or ram support, as I haven't gotten any farther than a finished design on the other model.


You wanna throw down a list of sizes of chips it supports as well as a list of what games it WONT run please. Also is there a ballpark price per unit I can get ready to pay if I become intrested in buying?


No international shipping for you!



#134 kenfused OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:54 PM

I havent paid that much attention, but so far I have seen at least one ballblazer that had the cap by the eprom in the wrong holes :-). From the looks of some of these I wonder if some/all parts were put in by hand. There are two sets of holes I guess for different cap form factors. It wouldnt break anything but then again the part would be having no effect.

#135 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:11 PM

No international shipping for you!


Oh well, At least I know you will ship to me ;)

Edited by Shawn Sr., Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:12 PM.


#136 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:54 PM

No international shipping for you!


Oh well, At least I know you will ship to me ;)


Indeed. :D

Since my last post, I have 3 different form factors for 7800 PCB's already done. Small, medium and large. :cool:

Although, Bruce's boards will be a lot more versatile, I am not a big fan of jumpers. :)

#137 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:16 PM

All right, I finally went and did it. Damn them at pcbpool.com, it was every bit as easy as I remember to place the order, which is easy enough that I'm kicking myself for not having gone ahead and done it long ago. I really needed a mid-quantity run before switching over to China anyhow.

You wanna throw down a list of sizes of chips it supports as well as a list of what games it WONT run please. Also is there a ballpark price per unit I can get ready to pay if I become intrested in buying?

The games it won't run are 1) the ones that need RAM, 2) the ones that need a POKEY, and 3) the ones with weird bank switching like Activision. 144K games are supported by overburning into a 256K chip. It supports up to 512K bytes (27040), but for that you need a properly programmed 22V10 GAL, rather than a 20V8. If you're not doing bank switching, you can use a plain old 7402. A ballpark price is about $5.00.

No international shipping for you!

That was uncalled for. I'm doing this in spare time, with a real job and living alone. It was because of my experience in the early '90s doing shareware when few people had internet, or even AOL, and there was no such thing as PayPal. I was not happy having to deal with shipping out disks all the time.

But thinking back, I now realize that my REAL problem wasn't with international shipping, it was with international _payment_. I remember now how those #@%@#$! Canadian bank cheques would cost me more to clear them than they were written for. I learned way more than I needed to about how to identify a check that would clear the US banking system. Postal money orders weren't too bad, but still a pain. Hoo-frickin'-ray for PayPal. That and kagi.com would have been so much better for my sanity back then.

So I'll grow up a bit here, and just say I'd prefer not to have to ship international, but I'll be flexible if it's not too much of a problem.

EDIT: looks like CPUWIZ has a good solution for those who need a POKEY. If someone needs one with RAM, RAM + POKEY or BS + POKEY, then I'll dust off my full board, which was a pain to route, but it did eventually fit.

Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:20 PM.


#138 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:46 PM

That was uncalled for.


You do realize that Seinfeld was a comedy, right? :ponder:

Someone from the Czech Rebublic just ordered something from my store and got it in a week. ;)

I'm doing this in spare time, with a real job


I work at a real job too, a lot! I guess, I am just insane, I practically have no free time at all. :P

It's all good Bruce, your boards are gonna be cool. :cool:

#139 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:59 AM

But thinking back, I now realize that my REAL problem wasn't with international shipping, it was with international _payment_. I remember now how those #@%@#$! Canadian bank cheques would cost me more to clear them than they were written for. I learned way more than I needed to about how to identify a check that would clear the US banking system. Postal money orders weren't too bad, but still a pain. Hoo-frickin'-ray for PayPal. That and kagi.com would have been so much better for my sanity back then.



Yeah, as a Canuck, I never understood why some US banks jacked up the service fees on Canadian cheques and others did not. Coming from the backing industry, I was always in awe of how much some charged, or how long they put the cheques on hold. It was the same on the Canadian side --some banks were great, others gouged you if you got a US cheque.

Fortunately, Paypal has eliminated that and the hassle of either having a US dollar account or getting a US money order.

#140 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:32 PM

Also a Canadian International Money Order in USA funds costs nothing to cash and can be cashed with 1 peice of non photo id (some want photo if that are sticklers) at your local post office USA or Canada. And the same works Visa Versa for USA Intl. MO's.

EDIT: Just don't accept checks from non-USA residents cause as you and I have pointed out Bruce there are many more forms of payment avalible now like Paypal, ect.

Edited by Shawn Sr., Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:33 PM.


#141 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:47 PM

Yes, I know who the Soup Nazi is. But really, you got me started thinking about it, and as you can see, I realized what my problem really was, and was able to deal with a little bad juju from days gone by and get over it.

So anyhow, now I'm realizing that I should have gotten a couple tubes of 7402 chips when I had the chance, then I could maybe sell some pre-assembled 8K-48K boards for a little more. But I think I know where I can get them locally, so it's no biggie. Normally I just desolder them off of PC boards because desoldering chips is fun.

#142 kenfused OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:18 PM

Atari experimenting with surface mount technology (for part of the rom chip at least) :-)

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#143 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:26 PM

:lol:

#144 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:37 AM

Ha ha, and what makes it more funny is that it presumably passed QA looking like that. Sure, it probably worked, but I bet it barely fit in the case. Makes your desoldering job easier, anyhow.

I just checked on my PCB order and found this:

mini_ultra.jpg

Kind of amusing how the chip outlines ended up dashed.

#145 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:48 AM

Ha ha, and what makes it more funny is that it presumably passed QA looking like that. Sure, it probably worked, but I bet it barely fit in the case. Makes your desoldering job easier, anyhow.

I just checked on my PCB order and found this:

mini_ultra.jpg

Kind of amusing how the chip outlines ended up dashed.



Nice looking board none the less Bruce :thumbsup:

#146 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 3, 2006 3:15 PM

The 200 boards are in country and have apparently cleared customs. I expect to get them tomorrow.

By the way, the other day I tried to see if it was possible to fit a chip vertically to avoid a T-board for a ROM+POKEY only board, and in addition to knowing that there are horizontal plastic ribs in the cartridge shell, between the mounting notches and the screw hole, I found out that you can't fit a long DIP chip vertically!

If I do decide to make the full T-board, I'd probably have to go straight to China for the production boards, as pcbpool's automated system doesn't handle non-rectangular boards that need to be panelized like that, which would drive the price way up. But now I'm actually thinking it might be fun to get a few of them made, even if they are going to cost $10 each in small quantity.

Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Thu Aug 3, 2006 3:20 PM.


#147 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 4, 2006 2:05 PM

Okay, now I've got a big pile of circuit boards. And a free DVM with instructions in German. So tonight I'm going to try putting together a few games, both flat and bankswitched, and come up with some decent assembly instructions.

Almost Rice will be the lucky guy to see them first, as he is coming over tonight to pick up some Apple IIgs stuff I was getting rid of.

And I am probably going to get some full Ultracart T-boards sent out for manufacture Real Soon Now, just because I can.

But I should ask: is there more of a need for POKEY carts (now that CPUWIZ is making some), or for RAM carts? A RAM-only cart ought to be a lot cheaper since it doesn't have the wings which increase the cost unless properly panelized. But so far no homebrewers have done RAM games, and there are only the Dodgson dev cart, and six RAM games anyhow, with none of the games important other than the Rescue on Fractalus demo.

#148 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 4, 2006 2:34 PM

But I should ask: is there more of a need for POKEY carts (now that CPUWIZ is making some), or for RAM carts? A RAM-only cart ought to be a lot cheaper since it doesn't have the wings which increase the cost unless properly panelized. But so far no homebrewers have done RAM games, and there are only the Dodgson dev cart, and six RAM games anyhow, with none of the games important other than the Rescue on Fractalus demo.


I actually have all kinds of 7800 PCB's planned, because like I said, I am not a fan of jumpers. Two flavors are already in China, one (simple 48K) should be back in a couple of days and the 128K bankswitched one in about a week or so. A POKEY is next.

What is the cost for your board? Have you figured that out yet?

#149 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 4, 2006 8:36 PM

Yeah, looks like it will be $5.00 for the bare board, probably less for a large order. But right now I need to get my assembly instructions in order. I found my GAL programming files and now I need to make a few mockup games. It looks like I only need two GALs, one for 144K and one for everything else, with the jumpers handling ROM size issues. (on the full Ultracart, POKEY, RAM, and POKEY+RAM make for three more possibilities)

So anyhow, I just spent like two hours looking for my stupid 7800. Almost Rice came over to pick up the IIgs stuff and at some point we were talking about CC2s and I remembered having seen the N64 Sports thingy that I keep my first CC2 in. After much poking my head around corners and under stuff, I turned around to get the CC2 and that's when I saw the 7800 smugly sitting on top of the monitor that I had been using for ColecoVision development. Duh.

Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Fri Aug 4, 2006 8:39 PM.


#150 Almost Rice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 4, 2006 10:59 PM

mini_ultra.jpg


I saw the large stack of boards. Why did you have to import them?


Yeah, looks like it will be $5.00 for the bare board, probably less for a large order. But right now I need to get my assembly instructions in order. I found my GAL programming files and now I need to make a few mockup games. It looks like I only need two GALs, one for 144K and one for everything else, with the jumpers handling ROM size issues. (on the full Ultracart, POKEY, RAM, and POKEY+RAM make for three more possibilities)

So anyhow, I just spent like two hours looking for my stupid 7800. Almost Rice came over to pick up the IIgs stuff and at some point we were talking about CC2s and I remembered having seen the N64 Sports thingy that I keep my first CC2 in. After much poking my head around corners and under stuff, I turned around to get the CC2 and that's when I saw the 7800 smugly sitting on top of the monitor that I had been using for ColecoVision development. Duh.


That was quick. I will need to get my 7800 modded with the composite video. I am getting tired of RF. I might be a bit busy going through the IIgs stuff though.




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