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RevEng

How long will the Melody play on?

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I think the advantages of homebrewers using the Melody cart are undisputable... It will allow for extended ram, large cart formats, co-processing capabilities, SPI bus interfacing, and even more that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

 

But lately one of the potential cons has been weighing on me... Will a homebrew on Melody last as long as a homebrew on a traditional eeprom cart?

 

On the face of it I'd expect the answer to be "no".

 

More components means less MTBF for the overall cart. Smaller components generally have tighter tolerances. Are lead-free components going to be used, and if so, what about tin whiskers? What kind of capacitors will it have?

 

I'm not trying to bash Melody in the slightest amount. I'm eager to see it hit the scene. I'd just like to understand the trade-offs.

 

Does this concern any of you homebrewers and would-be-homebrewers?

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AFAIK Melody was designed to consist out of fewer parts than the current carts.

 

So no, I am not afraid at all.

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Traditional EEPROM cart? Should that be EPROM or are people typically using EEPROMS in their homebrews? Or are we talking about multi-carts or something else?

 

I think it would tend to be more prone to failure than a 1 or 2 chip traditionally made cart just because of the complexity of a processor vs. a ROM chip. But, the rate of failure of the old original carts is ridiculously low in my experience so something higher than that would probably still not be significant.

 

Technically, it does seem to be of more concern than the simpler traditional method. But, it's not enough of a concern to me to influence how I spend my money.

Edited by BigO

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I wouldn't worry about it either. I'd personally be more concerned with EPROMs that are typically used for homebrew games. Sometimes new parts are used, but most of the time refurbished EPROMs are used that are already 20 years old. It's not uncommon at all for me to run into parts that will not erase or will not program. I have more confidence in the new parts that are being used for the Melody.

 

..Al

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Traditional EEPROM cart? Should that be EPROM or are people typically using EEPROMS in their homebrews? Or are we talking about multi-carts or something else?

Just a brain-cramp - I intended EPROM. I posted the original post while I was sitting in traffic, on my cell.

 

Sounds like you guys are confident. I'll stop worrying. ;)

Edited by RevEng

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I wouldn't worry about it either. I'd personally be more concerned with EPROMs that are typically used for homebrew games. Sometimes new parts are used, but most of the time refurbished EPROMs are used that are already 20 years old. It's not uncommon at all for me to run into parts that will not erase or will not program. I have more confidence in the new parts that are being used for the Melody.

 

..Al

 

Hey Al when will the Melody be ready for use??? I haven't really heard anything.

 

Thanks

Disjaukifa

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

I don't think reading (=using) will extend the period.

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That would seem to put at least one bracket on the lifespan of a Melody cart then.

 

Refreshing the flash periodically could be problematic, from a power-interruption point of view.

Edited by RevEng

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

Now there's something I know nothing about, Flash RAM retention. Is 10-15 years typical? Is it like a really slow-decay DRAM that needs to be refreshed in years instead of microseconds?

 

Actually, at the frequency with which I play games lately, this might be a concern.

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

The LPC210x users manual says the chip has a minimum data retention of 20 years. That is not typical, or MTBF but minimum.

 

Flash memory usually has a MTBF of 100 years so I would imagine Melody does too.

 

I believe these specs are better than you'd expect from EPROM carts, not worse.

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

The LPC210x users manual says the chip has a minimum data retention of 20 years. That is not typical, or MTBF but minimum.

 

Flash memory usually has a MTBF of 100 years so I would imagine Melody does too.

 

I believe these specs are better than you'd expect from EPROM carts, not worse.

 

Well what if I want to play my game that was made with my Melody cart in 100 years??? I'm planning on living forever :D

 

-Disjaukifa

 

PS I'm sorry I just couldn't resist!

Edited by disjaukifa

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Well what if I want to play my game that was made with my Melody cart in 100 years??? I'm planning on living forever :D

This post makes me sad. :sad:

 

..Al

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Well what if I want to play my game that was made with my Melody cart in 100 years??? I'm planning on living forever :D

This post makes me sad. :sad:

 

..Al

 

I'm sorry Al . . . wasn't trying to make you sad . . . dont' worry . . . be happy ;)

 

btw I LOVE the Harmony, works fantastic!!!

 

-Disjaukifa

Edited by disjaukifa

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

The LPC210x users manual says the chip has a minimum data retention of 20 years. That is not typical, or MTBF but minimum.

 

Flash memory usually has a MTBF of 100 years so I would imagine Melody does too.

 

I believe these specs are better than you'd expect from EPROM carts, not worse.

 

Well what if I want to play my game that was made with my Melody cart in 100 years??? I'm planning on living forever :D

MTBF doesn't mean all Melody carts will fail in 100 years. It basically says 100 years is their average lifetime. Therefore some of your Melody carts might still work.

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At any rate, couldn't a Melody cart be re-flashed if necessary?

Yes, if the equipment remains around to do so in 100+ years. ;)

 

..Al

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The flash memory in the Melody has a 10-15 year retention period, so I guess this might be an issue if the cart is not used for a long time?

 

Chris

The LPC210x users manual says the chip has a minimum data retention of 20 years. That is not typical, or MTBF but minimum.

 

Flash memory usually has a MTBF of 100 years so I would imagine Melody does too.

 

I believe these specs are better than you'd expect from EPROM carts, not worse.

 

Well what if I want to play my game that was made with my Melody cart in 100 years??? I'm planning on living forever :D

MTBF doesn't mean all Melody carts will fail in 100 years. It basically says 100 years is their average lifetime. Therefore some of your Melody carts might still work.

 

Ahhh ok I need to just buy the carts that are going to last the longest . . . hmm I wonder how I do that . . .

 

At any rate, couldn't a Melody cart be re-flashed if necessary?

Yes, if the equipment remains around to do so in 100+ years. ;)

 

..Al

 

You should bury one in a time capsule so in 100 years it can be re-flashed!!!

 

-Disjaukifa

Edited by disjaukifa

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I would expect the mask ROMs to last longer... Only problem is they are a little costly to produce in small numbers.

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I would expect the mask ROMs to last longer... Only problem is they are a little costly to produce in small numbers.

Yeah, that's not really an option for homebrew production.

 

..Al

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Is the USB type used a mini-b jack?

On Harmony, yes.

 

Melody boards do not have a USB connector, and use a proprietary programmer. The programmer does have a mini-B USB plug, however.

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I got one more question. Since the Harmony/melody supports bigger size bankswitching, then quite possibly many games will be longer in gameplay, what are the posibilities of of them being able to support saved games? Or would that require too much extra hardware. Even just 16 or 32 bytes backedup would be enough for saved games. Any thoughts?

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I got one more question. Since the Harmony/melody supports bigger size bankswitching, then quite possibly many games will be longer in gameplay, what are the posibilities of of them being able to support saved games? Or would that require too much extra hardware. Even just 16 or 32 bytes backedup would be enough for saved games. Any thoughts?

Harmony/Melody can both store data permanently without any modifications.

 

We haven't implemented this yet but it's certainly possible.

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