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Found 2 results

  1. Hi All, Some of you may know me from the Atari 8-bit forum - I've designed a couple of open-source multi-carts for the Atari 8-bit (the UnoCart and UltimateCart). The Atari 8-bit was my childhood home computer, but I picked up a 2600 jr on ebay at xmas, since I fondly remembered playing Combat on a friend's Atari VCS after school. However I thought it would be nice to play some other games and try some of the more recent homebrew creations, and so... Over the last couple of weeks, I've been busy building a version of the UnoCart for the Atari 2600 - The UnoCart-2600. The video below shows it in action (code from a week or so ago - I've renamed it since then!) Like the UnoCart, this is something you can build yourself with minimal soldering. It just requires an off-the-shelf STM32F4-DISCOVERY board, an SD-card breakout board, and a breakout board for the Atari 2600 cartridge slot. Everything can be hooked up with jumper wires. The source code, firmware, breakout-PCB design and (very rough) building instructions are on a new github page for the project: https://github.com/robinhedwards/UnoCart-2600 The cartridge successfully auto-detects and emulates pretty much all the ROM dumps available on AtariMania (with the exception of Pitfall II, since I'm not emulating the DSP stuff). So far, this has just been tested on my Atari 2600 jr - would anybody else be interested in building one and helping me find any remaining bugs in the cartridge emulation? I've got a few cartridge breakout PCBs spare, since that is the only part that is hard to obtain. PM me if interested? Robin
  2. Hi All, When I came across an article about emulating gameboy cartridges with a ST32F4 microcontroller (here), I was intrigued to see if the same could be done with the Atari. The gameboy cartridge bus is about half the speed of the Atari's (1MHz rather than 2MHz) so it seemed worth trying, though I wasn't too optimistic. So early this year, I bought myself a ST32F4 Discovery board (about £12 from Farnell/RS) with the aim of doing some experiments - which I finally got round to doing last weekend! In short, the answer is yes - its a bit tight, but I've sucessfully got the board to emulate an 8K cartridge (Deluxe Invaders.rom - my usual first test), which happily plays on the Atari. I initially tried using interrupts like the gameboy article (triggered on the rising edge of phi2), but when viewed on the oscilloscope it was a bit hit and miss and I never got this approach to work. So I ended up with a simple polling loop: #define PHI2_RD (GPIOC->IDR & 0x0001) #define S5_RD (GPIOC->IDR & 0x0002) #define ADDR_IN GPIOD->IDR #define DATA_IN GPIOE->IDR #define DATA_OUT GPIOE->ODR #define SET_DATA_MODE_IN GPIOE->MODER = 0x00000000; #define SET_DATA_MODE_OUT GPIOE->MODER = 0x55550000; int main(void) { config_gpio_data(); /* PE{8..15} */ config_gpio_addr(); /* PD{0..15} */ config_gpio_sig(); /* PC{0..1} */ uint16_t addr; SET_DATA_MODE_IN while (1) { // wait for s5 low while (S5_RD) ; SET_DATA_MODE_OUT // while s5 low while (!S5_RD) { addr = ADDR_IN; DATA_OUT = ((uint16_t)cart_rom[addr])<<8; } SET_DATA_MODE_IN } } What's the point? Well, the STM32F407 is cheap (less than half the price of the FPGA I used with the Ultimate Cart), the pins are (in the main) 5V tolerant so no level converting required, and it has 168k of RAM on board, as well as 1megabyte of flash. The makes it perfect for producing a wide range of Atari cartridge (or PBI?) peripherals, as long as it was fast enough to keep up with the Atari bus - which it looks like it is. I might have a go a making a simple SD card multicart with this, though it would probably be limited to 128k or maybe even 64k roms or XEX files. On the plus side, it would be simple to assemble, and cheap! Robin
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