Jump to content
classics

Colecovision Ultimate SD Cartridge

Recommended Posts

IMG_8710.jpg

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I've mentioned it in the forum at Atarimax but looks like I neglected to post anything here. I did see there is a thread about Maximum RD's prototype review already up, but I don't want to hijack his thread.

 

I'm completing work now on the Colecovision Ultimate SD cart, a SD based multi/developers cartridge for our favorite Z80 game console. :)

 

The hardware design was finalized and I'm currently building a limited edition of 100 carts which should be available for pre-ordering soon.

 

Some of the cartridge features are:

 

Basic Hardware

 

  • 50 MIPS CPU with high speed SD Interface, internal ram and flash memory for cartridge settings.
  • FAT32, FAT16, SD and SDHC Support, no practical limits on number of games stored on each card.
  • 512KBytes of SRAM (Largest currently published game is only 1/4th of this capacity (128KB Pac-Man Collection))
  • 128KBytes of Non-Volatile Block Flash for Diagnostic/Boot ROM/Additional Storage/etc
  • Cartridge boot time, from power on to FAT32 display is less than two seconds, with plain english diagnostic messages in case of boot failures.
  • Cartridge load time for a 32K ROM image is around one second.
  • Full Read/Write access to all 512KB+ of memory for games using the new Hybrid bank switching mode.
  • CPU firmware, cartridge boot rom, cartridge hardware logic and menu software are all fully upgradable from the SD card.

 

Basic Menu Operation

 

  • Cartridge will be able to automatically read and display files present on your FAT32 formatted SD card.
  • Menus are created 'on the fly' from the directory structure with optional full or limited long filename sorting.
  • No special menu creation or other PC loading software required.
  • This means no dependence on Windows drivers or software, you can create and load your card from any operating system that can read/write a FAT32 or FAT16 formatted SD or MMC memory card.

 

Media Compatibility

 

  • SD, SDHC, and MMC Card Media
  • FAT16 and FAT32 Filesystem (with full long filename support)

 

More Device Specs

 

  • Supports all currently active ColecoVision cartridge formats, including Mega-Cart games and Lord of the Dungeon.
  • Supports automatic load/save of game data for Lord of the Dungeon to SD card. No NVRAM/Battery backup required, saves are not tied to any particular cart.
  • New 512KB Hybrid Bank Switching mode allowing new games/applications full Read/Write access to 512KB of RAM.
  • Programmer API for accessing cartridge services at run time.
  • Programmer API will effectively allow creation of games of true unlimited size, as game banks, level data, save game data, etc can all be dynamically loaded from and saved to SD card in microseconds while the game is running.
  • Cartridge system software loaded dynamically from SD card at power on.
  • One button display of Colecovision game screen shots and manuals from menu for game under cursor.

 

Availability

 

Due to personal time constraints I expect the pre-order to be limited to 100 cartridges. These take a very long time to assemble and test and my free time is much more limited than usual these days.

 

I just ordered the last of the parts required to get these ready for sale, so pricing should be available soon.

 

If everything goes well I should be able to start pre-ordering in the next couple weeks with delivery within a month.

 

There is also more information and some videos posted of progress on the project here: http://www.atarimax.com/flashcart/forum/viewforum.php?f=15

 

If you have any feature requests/comments/etc please feel free to ask. :)

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to it! :)

 

By the way, I saw your post regarding the r/w addressing order. Sounds good.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks great, but my Coleco died.

Just need you to make one for the 7800 :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will surely be getting one, especially if it can be made internally compatible with my Activision PCB. I'll need something like that to create bankswitched games with EEPROM support, starting with Boxxle. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm testing the SD cart since a month now

All I can say is Steve did an awesome work on this!

Work flawlessly

 

 

I do like the SD cart alot more than the USB one, a must buy actually :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will surely be getting one, especially if it can be made internally compatible with my Activision PCB. I'll need something like that to create bankswitched games with EEPROM support, starting with Boxxle. :)

 

Did you get your prototype yet? I'm actually sitting here looking at some CV code right now, I should get a start on that.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW has anyone done any programming on the ADAM? Is the cartridge port accessible from ADAM programs, or only in Colecovision mode?

 

If the memory of the cartridge can be mapped into the ADAM memory space, it should be very easy to use the cartridge as a 512KB memory expansion with load/save of blocks from SD card, or a straight up SD card device reading/writing smaller blocks from a portion of cartridge memory.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW has anyone done any programming on the ADAM? Is the cartridge port accessible from ADAM programs, or only in Colecovision mode?

 

If the memory of the cartridge can be mapped into the ADAM memory space, it should be very easy to use the cartridge as a 512KB memory expansion with load/save of blocks from SD card, or a straight up SD card device reading/writing smaller blocks from a portion of cartridge memory.

 

Steve

 

Your best beat for an answer to this question would be to post a message on the Coleco ADAM Mailing List. There are two gentlemen on there that will be able to answer your question, Dale Wick and Rich D.

 

http://www.adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam

 

There were a number of ADAM programs that could/did read from the cartridge port such as CopyCart, MultiCart Backup, a slew of SmartBASIC cartridge copy programs to name a few. There was also a sound digitizer/clock chip cartridge developed that came with driver software on disk or data pack. Last but not least, any ADAM program that was 32K or smaller in size and was contained in a single file (not multiple files loading one another) could be burnt to an eprom and placed in a cartidge. Some examples were ADAM's DeskTop, SmartDSK, Coleco Graphics Processor, SmartWRITER, SmartBASIC, and so on.

 

So, yes, the cartridge port was accessible from ADAM programs, but you should still contact Dale or Rich D. on the Mailing List as they will be able to provide you with very detailed information.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will surely be getting one, especially if it can be made internally compatible with my Activision PCB. I'll need something like that to create bankswitched games with EEPROM support, starting with Boxxle. :)

Did you get your prototype yet? I'm actually sitting here looking at some CV code right now, I should get a start on that.

You better ask that question to batari, I haven't heard any news about it lately. And no, I haven't received any new prototype from him. AFAIK, batari doesn't visit the CV sub-forum all that often (if ever at all), so if you want answers, you better send him a PM, or better yet, use our ongoing private conversation on the subject. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, I have subscribed to the list.

 

I also found the ADAM technical manual, which I think suggests that the 32K ROM window can be mapped to the upper 32K of the address space in the ADAM, which if correct would make it very easy to use.

 

Thats assuming its OK to just switch out the upper 32K of memory. It looks like the ram expander does that as well, so programs that already use a RAM expander might be able to deal with it pretty easily.

 

Steve

--

 

BTW has anyone done any programming on the ADAM? Is the cartridge port accessible from ADAM programs, or only in Colecovision mode?

 

If the memory of the cartridge can be mapped into the ADAM memory space, it should be very easy to use the cartridge as a 512KB memory expansion with load/save of blocks from SD card, or a straight up SD card device reading/writing smaller blocks from a portion of cartridge memory.

 

Steve

 

Your best beat for an answer to this question would be to post a message on the Coleco ADAM Mailing List. There are two gentlemen on there that will be able to answer your question, Dale Wick and Rich D.

 

http://www.adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam

 

There were a number of ADAM programs that could/did read from the cartridge port such as CopyCart, MultiCart Backup, a slew of SmartBASIC cartridge copy programs to name a few. There was also a sound digitizer/clock chip cartridge developed that came with driver software on disk or data pack. Last but not least, any ADAM program that was 32K or smaller in size and was contained in a single file (not multiple files loading one another) could be burnt to an eprom and placed in a cartidge. Some examples were ADAM's DeskTop, SmartDSK, Coleco Graphics Processor, SmartWRITER, SmartBASIC, and so on.

 

So, yes, the cartridge port was accessible from ADAM programs, but you should still contact Dale or Rich D. on the Mailing List as they will be able to provide you with very detailed information.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see work coming along on the SD version! Please be sure to count me in on that first run of carts for sure :) I am already of course a happy owner of the USB cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see work coming along on the SD version! Please be sure to count me in on that first run of carts for sure :) I am already of course a happy owner of the USB cart.

 

Thanks, I'm glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel too. :D

 

From what I heard back on the ADAM mailing list, the Adam can dynamically map the Colecovision cartridge into the upper 32K (8000-FFFF) of the ADAM memory space by writing to location mapped as a Z80 I/O port.

 

It does displace the upper 32K of RAM, but that's also how ADAM memory expansions are mapped in. Since the cartridge has read/write windows in Hybrid mode, it won't be able to simulate a internal ADAM RAM expander, but it should be even simpler to interact with the SD card on the ADAM than it is on the Colecovision, so new software will be able to use it as a disk drive, storage device, etc.

 

I've never done any programming on the ADAM myself but I'm thinking of giving it a try after reading through the technical documents. It seems like a great system that never got the attention it deserved. I think my impressions of the ADAM were also tainted by my making a USB->AdamNET device. AdamNET is just fugly.

 

As far as the cartridge project goes, things are moving along. The 100 carts are all assembled and the fixed stock for the labels arrived today. I hope to have the pre-ordering page and announcement regarding the bonus pack-in items done by tonight or tomorrow. :-)

 

Steve

post-934-127977444088_thumb.jpg

Edited by classics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This cartridge looks very interresting.

 

If it can have a wide distribution that would allow to create very interresting games.

 

I think i will order one despite i have already the old one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My order is just in too Steve. Already got a reply from you straight after I placed my order. Its good to see that people who start something on this site actually come through with it as well as keeping in contact with people buying the product and also just asking questions (Not like another member making Atari AV mods *cough*).

 

One thing that I did forget to ask was will this work on my Australian PAL version of the Coleco? I am sure it will but thought I would just ask now anyway.

 

Thanks

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My order is just in too Steve. Already got a reply from you straight after I placed my order. Its good to see that people who start something on this site actually come through with it as well as keeping in contact with people buying the product and also just asking questions (Not like another member making Atari AV mods *cough*).

 

One thing that I did forget to ask was will this work on my Australian PAL version of the Coleco? I am sure it will but thought I would just ask now anyway.

 

Hi Jason,

 

Thank you! :-) It does work as expected in a PAL Colecovision.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...