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Successfully updated three of my boards tonight (I forgot to bring the fourth home from work), working fine in the TI. Will test in the ColecoVision in the morning. :) Thank you!

 

If anyone is near Burbank CA and needs help updating their F18A's, I'm happy to help.

 

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Thanks for helping Tursi! But I think you are alone in the so-cal area. I don't remember shipping many F18As to Cali at all.

 

The F18A should be good to go in the CV. I spent an hour or so the other night running through CV games with my 128-in-1 multicart. Everything I tried played ok. I don't have your Ghostblasters any more though, and I did mod the power-on reset time in my CV (I just changed the timing cap to something a little bigger). The stock CV has a really short reset.

 

Now I just need to get the in-system update written...

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When I write it, I'm referring to the black "ColecoVision game console", which is not the same as the "ColecoVision ADAM Computer", which is typically referred to as just the "ADAM".

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Are you in the know of the differences between the ColecoVision game console and the Adam? (Remember that the Adam was both a stand-alone unit and an add-on to the ColecoVision game console!) Only reason I ask is I got the odd report back that Mario Bros doesn't work on some Adam machines. We never understood why, and I don't have one to test. :)

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I don't know the differences. I do know that the Not Expansion (NE) ADAM has a CV-looking board inside, but is not the same circuit board as the plain CV. So they did do some re-engineering and probably inadvertently introduced some differences. I do have access to an NE-ADAM from time to time, but I don't have the game.

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Yeah, and I don't have a clear description of the failure case, and it doesn't happen on every Adam, it seems. Was just a shot in the dark. :)

 

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I don't know the differences. I do know that the Not Expansion (NE) ADAM has a CV-looking board inside, but is not the same circuit board as the plain CV. So they did do some re-engineering and probably inadvertently introduced some differences. I do have access to an NE-ADAM from time to time, but I don't have the game.

I can get you access to an expansion ADAM if you need one. I assumed they were the same. :)

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Tursi? Let me know if you want to try to pursue this. CV is not my forte, but it would be interesting to see what it takes to set up a development environment for one.

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I just want to borrow a machine that doesn't work with Mario Bros to work out why not. ;) My understanding is it's a full Adam that fails (since the game runs fine on a ColecoVision). But I don't really have enough information about the failure case to worry about it, and it's not my game to distribute. LSS, I guess I do not want to pursue it. ;)

 

Development environment.. SDCC for Z80 and a handful of libraries off the web is what I use. ;) Plenty of information in the ColecoVision forums on here.

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F18A Pin Options. The tall-pins add about the height of a socket to the F18A to help it rise over surrounding components. Otherwise the F18A is about as tall as the original VDP with a heat sink.

post-24952-0-15232500-1429992306_thumb.png

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F18A Pin Options. The tall-pins add about the height of a socket to the F18A to help it rise over surrounding components. Otherwise the F18A is about as tall as the original VDP with a heat sink.

 

Hi Matthew. I'm looking at how we can fit the F18A to the Mini Cortex board. Photo attached. So the F18A is going to sit across the top of the CF adaptor board, which itself is plugged into a socket. The tops of the pins on the CF board sit 10mm above the PCB. We'd need maybe 2mm clearance above that. I don't think the tall pin version of the F18A is going to raise it high enough?

 

What are our options? Are you able to fit even taller pins to the F18A? Or maybe stack some pin header strips to raise it high enough? Or use a wire wrap socket with the pins cut down to raise the socket off the PCB? Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

 

Stuart.

post-31406-0-31218400-1432486955_thumb.jpg

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I'll measure the tall pins tonight to see how tall they are. If you install a socket and use a tall-pins F18A, then it will probably give the needed height. Let me make sure though.

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I'll measure the tall pins tonight to see how tall they are. If you install a socket and use a tall-pins F18A, then it will probably give the needed height. Let me make sure though.

Perhaps this photo helps. This board has a socket (strip) fitted for the F18A. The CF Card breakout board comes about as high as a socketed DIL package.

post-37953-0-28057500-1432751324_thumb.jpg

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@Stuart: The tall-pins raise the bottom of the F18A PCB 5.4mm:

 

---------------------------
| F18A PCB with tall-pins |
---------------------------
      ^
      |
      | 5.4mm
      |
      v
--------------- PCB or socket
Using the tall-pins and a socket get you up to about 9.5mm from the main PCB to the bottom of the F18A PCB. If you can find a socket that gives you 7mm to 8mm then that should work.

 

Also, that's a nice looking board. I did notice you only made the necessary holes in the PCB for the F18A, however if you do another run I would suggest making it a full 40-pins. That will make it much easier for you to use sockets as necessary, plus make the board future-proof if there are any F18A revisions.

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Amazing project! I didn''t know. I have readed all 33 pages of the forum thread!

 

Any hopes your "cores" could be available for a full FPGA implementation for systems like MiST?

 

Are you considering to eventually release it as Open Hardware?

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Impressive that you read all 33 pages! I have not reviewed the thread in a long time, so I hope it was at least interesting. :-)

 

I do plan to make the HDL open source, I'm just not sure of the time-frame on that. I'm also going to release the PCB and such, but there is really nothing special about it. The board is just the minimum required to support the FPGA, a resistor DAC for video, a level shifter for the I/O to the host computer, serial flash, oscillator, power regulators, and headers.

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Impressive that you read all 33 pages! I have not reviewed the thread in a long time, so I hope it was at least interesting. :-)

 

I do plan to make the HDL open source, I'm just not sure of the time-frame on that. I'm also going to release the PCB and such, but there is really nothing special about it. The board is just the minimum required to support the FPGA, a resistor DAC for video, a level shifter for the I/O to the host computer, serial flash, oscillator, power regulators, and headers.

Yes, everythiing got really interesting. I'm amazed how the TI99 scene manages to do great things. I tried to get one many years ago, but there were some problems and these weren't shipped to me (long story).

 

This device would manage to add true VGA output to many retro systems.

 

And if you someday get motivated to it, please consider add support for successors of the 9918A VDP. But it would be even better if you make a team behind this project to make it growing :D

 

Someone experimented with SMS VDP on TI99

- There's Sega Master System VHDL code with VDP implementation.

This is what I found in the Playsoniq user manual:

- The Memotech MTX range of home computers is lesser known, but those features a Z80 microprocessor, a TMS9929 video chip (same as the MSX1 video chip except different color encoding output) and also the same audio processor as used in the Sega and ColecoVision.

Graphics: VDP (Video Display Processor) derived from Texas Instruments TMS9918
- 32 simultaneous colors available (two separate palettes with 16 colors out of 64)
- Screen resolutions 256×192 and 256×224. PAL also supports 256×240
- 3.546893 MHz for PAL/B/G (through 4-pin DIP crystal oscillator)
- 3.579545 MHz for NTSC (clock provided by MSX)
- 3.575611 MHz for PAL-M (by replacing the 4-pin DIP oscillator, not included)
- 8×8 pixel characters, max 463
- 8×8 or 8×16 pixel sprites, max 64
- Horizontal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling

"The Sega VDP is for a large part TMS9919 compatible."

 

Misc info...

 

Texas Instruments' TMS9918A was succeeded by Yamaha's Yamaha V9938, which added additional bitmap modes, more colorful sprites, a vertical scroll register and a customizable palette. The V9938 was used in a third-party upgrade to the TI-99/4A — the Geneve 9640 'computer-on-a-card'.

The V9938, in turn, was succeeded by the Yamaha V9958, which added some additional high-color modes and a horizontal scroll register. These chips were used in the "TIM" upgrade card for the TI-99/4A, as well as on the MSX 2 and MSX 2+/turboR systems, although rumor has it that the V9958 was also used in a generation of the Photo Play arcades. Yamaha also produced a Yamaha V9990, which is considered the follow-up of the V9958 by some, but it is not backwards compatible. A graphic chip extension utilizing the V9990 exists for the MSX in the form of the 'Graphics9000' cartridge by Sunrise.

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Texas Instruments' TMS9918A was succeeded by Yamaha's Yamaha V9938, which added additional bitmap modes, more colorful sprites, a vertical scroll register and a customizable palette. The V9938 was used in a third-party upgrade to the TI-99/4A — the Geneve 9640 'computer-on-a-card'.

 

Yes, we have some Geneve users here, including me. If you are interested in some more information, you may find www.ninerpedia.org worth a look.

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Yes, we have some Geneve users here, including me. If you are interested in some more information, you may find www.ninerpedia.org worth a look.

 

It seems a nice machine, but I suspect it may be expensive to buy and need to place it inside a ti99/4a console. I hope that FPGA implementation resurrects someday and someone be able to port it to MiST :D

Edited by timofonic

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