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acadiel last won the day on February 13 2018

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    TI-99/4A Hardware hacking

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  1. Rich Gilbertson and I had a great conversation last night around the BASIC Support module. According to Ksarul "The BASIC Support Module was a development cartridge with some additional routines in it that gave the developer a version ofBASIC that was more functional than TI BASIC, but nowhere near as capable as Extended BASIC." There were two versions of it. Yep, two. A 4K and a larger one. Rich helped with that discovery after reading the code and looking at the 4K EPROM of the one we had. Physical copies exist of the 4K one - Ksarul has two of them. Bob Childress has another. (I plan on trying to bid on it when he puts it up so I can help preserve it and to get it working in the UberGROM.) Rich and I are working on getting the 4K version working in the UberGROM, using the ability of the UberGROM to have an 8K GRAM bank. I've attached pictures of the 4K version. There is a 4K EPROM (mfgr varies) which has a little less than 2K of code with CALL @XXXX type calls. They all begin with @. BASICSUP is the ROM. Note that it's 6K in my image, but should really be 4K. Most everything after 2K is blank. There is also a 2K SRAM inside (mfgr varies.) These can be easily breadboarded and replicated. It's all discrete logic that emulates GROM/GRAM. The cartridge comes up with three menu options when you boot it: 2 For GPL Prog at G(>7000) 3 For CPU Prog at G(>7000) 4 For CPU Prog at C(>6000) Note that there is no Cart space RAM (C>6000) in here, but it appears to support it. Some calls work, some don't. According to Rich, the GPL in the EPROM is broken. He is working on getting it fixed. It's important that either myself or someone else gets Bob Childress' copy in the eBay auction and dumps it so we can compare it to Ksarul's. I will be bidding on it and trying to buy it so I can analyze it and preserve it. I'm afraid of cart collectors trying to bid the price up on it. Bob doesn't have the capability to dump the 4K EPROM inside, unfortunately, before he sells it, and I doubt he would want to mail it to someone temporarily before he sells it - he sounds like he just wants to sell it and be done with it. There is a larger version, too, and that one is the attached one below that Ksarul re-typed the source code for. This version, according to Rich, has XB related calls in it and was made to work in that environment. It's different from the 4K BSM in that there's a lot of Editor Assembler in it, and XB calls. Was this ever produced? We don't know. The first part of Jim's document about the CALLs and such is relevant to the 4K version of the BSM, but the source code is not. The source code is way more expanded, so TI must have had a larger version of the BSM planned at one point. Anyway, I'm putting this thread here so that everything is in one place. Thanks to Rich for helping make the discovery about the two versions, Jim for scanning in the docs and providing the 4K ROM to analyze, and Bob for putting up internal pictures so we could compare the two. Manual:
  2. We need to better identify the following on this list, and I can help a bit. These aren't all games, but these are the ones I've been converting to UberGROM. It's important to realize that a lot of these started out as #6 and got converted to #4 and #5, so they were never natively released as #1/#2/#3. 1) Items that actually have a native GROM image 2) Items that actually had native GROM+ROM images 3) Items that were a native ROM cart image 4) PROGRAM image items that were converted to GROM images (run from 32K) 5) PROGRAM image items that were converted to ROM images (run from 32K) 6) PROGRAM image (32K) * = Exists as UberGROM image as of 4/1/20 *Angler Dangler - 4/5/6 Ant colony - 3 Astro Fighter - 4/6 BASIC Support Module - 1 (* some had 2K RAM) Cannonball Blitz - 4/6 Cave Creatures - 4/6 *Card Sharp - 1 *Crossfire - 2 *ET (Frogger type game) - 2 *ET and His Adventures on Land - 1 *ET and His Adventures at Sea - 2 *Fantasy - 2 *Germ Patrol - 2 *Lasso - 4/5/6 *Lobster Bay - 4/5/6 *MB Gamevision Demo Cart - 1 Mission X - 4/6 *Mouskattack - 2 Paddle Ball (Breakout) - 4/5/6 *Peter Pan's Space Odyssey - 2 *Pinnochio's Great Escape - 2 *Plant Genetics - 2 River Rescue - 4/6 Submarine Commander 4/6 Robotron - 3 Shanghai - 3 *Simon Says - 1 *SMU Engineering - 1 *Starship Pegasus - 2 Super Storm - 3 *Test Trainer - 2 *TI Calc - 2 *Tutankham - 2 *Verb Viper - 1 *Von Drake's Molecular Mission - 2 *Wing War - 2 It's important for those labeled 4/5/6 that I get the original PROGRAM images for these so that I can convert them to "run from ROM". Many of these were converted to GROM, which need an UberGROM to emulate, and the ROM carts are less expensive to build, so I want to give people that option too. It'd be nice to actually make PROGRAM, ROM, and UberGROM images available for all of the ones that people released as "copy to GROM" (examples: Astro Fighter, Mission X, Cannonball Blitz, Cave Creatures, River Rescue, Submarine Commander, Angler Dangler, Lobster bay, and Lasso.) Please attach these to any replies so I can test them. Need clarification on ones I don't have, which are: Astroblitz Jumpman Junior (probably 3 - Junkman Jr exists anyway, so this probably doesn't matter) Star Wars: ESB
  3. TI Workshop uses a PAL16R4A-2CN. 64K. 27512 EPROM. None of my programmers can read/write these. There likely needs to be an older model for this kind. PAL16R4A-2CN Pinout: 1 - N/C 2 - DBIN 3 - A12 4 - A11 5 - A10 6 - A3 7 - A8 8 - A1 9 - A0 10 - GND 11 - VCC 12 - N/C 13 - N/C 14 - N/C 15 - A13 16 - A14 17 - A15 18 - CRUCLK 19 - A4 20 - GND No idea why they hooked up all these address lines when they only really needed to control four of them. Plus, they left out A2, A5, A6, A7, and A9. Thoughts?
  4. Yep. Supposedly the fuses are burnt, so I can't read the ones in mine. But we pretty much know the logic and writes (which enable certain address lines in the ROM/RAM), so the community can definitely figure out the GAL/PAL.
  5. DataBiotics used the SS scheme on a few carts: Red Baron (32K) Desktop Publisher (32K) TI Workshop (64K) Stargazer I/II/III (32K) So yeah, it’s definitely extensible to 64K. They probably just didn’t do it.
  6. I'm wondering how hard it would be in programmable logic for us to to emulate the CRU Bank switching nowadays. It's just a 64K SRAM chip with a PAL/GAL controlling bank switching via CRU. (I think this is how it works - someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these points.) We can probably take the 128K board or Ksarul's Supercart board and adapt the pinout of the 378 for the PAL/GAL, plus make space for an EA GROM. We'd have to get community involvement to develop the PAL/GAL formulas. All that happens (just off the top of my head) is that bit patterns are written to CRU >0800 (0001, 0010, 0100, and 0110 for the 32K one, more for the 64K one). These then enable/disable address lines on the 64K SRAM so you get different 8K space: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0001 1111 1111 1111 - 0-8191 >0000-1FFF 0010 0000 0000 0000 - 0011 1111 1111 1111 - 8192-16383 >2000-3FFF 0100 0000 0000 0000 - 0101 1111 1111 1111 - 16384-24575 >4000-5FFF 0110 0000 0000 0000 - 0111 1111 1111 1111 - 24576-32767 >6000-7FFF You could also continue the pattern for a 64K SRAM: 1000 0000 0000 0000 - 1001 1111 1111 1111 - 32767-40959 >8000-9FFF 1010 0000 0000 0000 - 1011 1111 1111 1111 - 40960-49151 >A000-BFFF 1100 0000 0000 0000 - 1101 1111 1111 1111 - 49152-57343 ->C000-DFFF 1110 0000 0000 0000 - 1111 1111 1111 1111 - 57344-65535 >E000->FFFF I don't think they designed this to be more extensible than 64K because of them using the first set of four bits to present to the CRU address. Were there other ways around this?
  7. Correct. There's no "partial bank switching" - we bank the whole 8K segment. So, if you want to repeat the first 4K, simply just repeat the ROM with the first 4K in each of the four "banks".
  8. All I did to properly "format" these for programing the Ubergrom is: 1) Separate ROM images into 8192 byte images 2) Separate GROM into 6144 byte images 3) If the image was less than 8192 or 6144, I padded to 8192 or 6144 4) I then concatenate the ROM images (.C times 64, .C+.D times 32, or .C+.D+.E+.F times 16) to fill the whole 512K ROM I then: 5) Program the 512K ROM on my EPROM Programmer 6) Program the 1284P on my EPROM Programmer with the vanilla GROMSIM image 7) Put the GROM 6K files on my USB Flash drive .HFE image via TIImage Tool. 8] Move the USB Flash Drive to my /4A GoTek 9) Program the GROM 6K files (G3/G4/G5/G6/G7 from my /4A to the 1284 with GROMCfg 10) Reboot, and the cart works Otherwise, the images are the same exact ones that Flottman gave me, this is attached. TI-CALC.rar
  9. Completely different programs. TI Calc is much larger. Planner is one ROM. TI Calc is 32K ROM + 8K GROM.
  10. TI-CALC.zip Here you go. I attached the four proper ROMs and the GROM. I also attached the UberGROM ROM (where I reversed the four banks and then concatenated them over and over into a 512K rom). If the four ROMs aren't in the correct order for the bank sswitching scheme, the cart won't work. ticalc_rom_ubergrom.bin
  11. I'll take a look to see if it's a true GROM. Thanks!
  12. Flottman's version worked - after I reversed the four 8K banks, and then copied that 32K block sixteen times to fill the 512K ROM chip. I now have a working cartridge. Thank you!!!
  13. I think the MAME cart might be missing two banks of the ROM. It was 4 banks ROM.
  14. The one on Klaus' web site appears to have the two pins: http://www.ti99.eu/?attachment_id=3151 So there might just be two distinct units out there.
  15. It was my understanding it was a two pin connector.
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