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santosp

New PCB for Activision's Rampage / Double Dragon Interest Thread

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Hello to all. :)

I start this thread as to check any interest on an idea that I have recently, which emerged during the working on another project.

I made a PCB to host as a combo the two Activision bank-switched games, for A7800. This PCB form could be placed on any original A7800 or A2600 cartridge enclosure, contrary to Activision who is specific for its own! ;)

There two possibilities as regards how someone could using this.


First as a replacement for any of the two games, using simple an 27C010 Eprom.


Second as a new combo game cart (Rampage + Double Dragon), using a 27C020 Eprom plus a latching micro switch, which will be utilitarian making a hole in the back plate of cartridge enclosure.

For this second version specific, I am in cooperation with a good friend here Kevin, as to design a combo decal.


Everyone will be able to order a complete working PCB with or without combo specification, either the PCB neat with PLD logic on-board plus the needed decoupling ceramic capacitors. Mean that PCB meet full ENIG (gold plated top - bottom) specifications.


The price for something like this could be 16$ plus 2$ for decal. Shipping cost to anywhere on the world is 7$, as registered parcel with a track number till the end destination.


OK, as with my previous Commando construction, this is a limited production cartridge offered only within this AA thread. So if you feel that would you like to go it with something like this, please let me know your interest here, as to be able to make all the needed orders on PCB, parts, and decal's.


Thank you Panos.

:)


Special thanks to below helpers on this project.

trebor

KevinMos3

phoenixdownita





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Update @ 16/09/15



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Update @ 21/09/15


Finally the pictures of PCB completed and working, plus the decal for this combo version. For upper decal (the smaller) I will print this as it look on second photo.

Also Kevin let me include his Rampage and Double Dragon version as is till now. That means for each one....


1. For Rampage, he never finished all of the character sprites, so he removed his incomplete new character sprites and returned them to the original sprites with just a few minor tweaks. The game is still pretty dramatically different looking because of the new buildings, enemies, and title screen.


2. For Double Dragon he did a sprite/color hack. Mostly filled in the gaps of the sprites to make them solid and also he did some touch-up work (like added glare to the windows in the first level). Last changed some of the colors as well to work with the filled in sprites.


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Activision Combo Interest.pdf

Edited by santosp
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Neat. Would be cool to see a PIC added to utilize the reset switch to jump startup banks so you wouldn't need a switch at all.

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Thank you MacRorie. Soon I will make a list of interested members.

 

@phoenixdownita

Have already done.

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Very nice. Two complete working PCB with combo specs (Rampage + Double Dragon). I would like the two of the combo decal that Kevin is developing as well.

 

Mike

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Thanks for the support guys! :thumbsup: :)

Also a new switch-less way to choose between the games coming, thanks to a lot of working bee ;) in here. Stay tuned....

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@phoenixdownita

Have already done.

Once you're done with the project would you mind sharing the equations? Even if only at a logical level?

I am really intrigued on what novel approach was taken. [i assume you are using the 8K swapped images and not the default ones of time gone]

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I am really intrigued on what novel approach was taken. [i assume you are using the 8K swapped images and not the default ones of time gone]

 

Nope, I use the original Rom. Or someone can use the web version, swapped with your excellent way as you describe on your thread.

I believe cause Eckhard Stolberg is the appropriate person to give a generalized explanation on how it works. ;) As for the Novel approach, I believe cause the then speaking, refer to the way which the PAL pld was used.

In reality Kevin Cooper has use even the last resource available on this little pld. :thumbsup:

Edited by santosp

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Nope, I use the original Rom. Or someone can use the web version, swapped with your excellent way as you describe on your thread.

I believe cause Eckhard Stolberg is the appropriate person to give a generalized explanation on how it works. ;) As for the Novel approach, I believe cause the then speaking, refer to the way which the PAL pld was used.

In reality Kevin Cooper has use even the last resource available on this little pld. :thumbsup:

 

The pain in that description is that I have to remember to read it and swapping all 16K pages named (or portion thereof) at the 8K boundaries.

Eckhard gave an explanation but based on the "wrong" dump, so I was lazy working my way back from that to the actual PAL equations.

 

Anyway congrats on the reverse engineer.

 

Also, in my quest I thought Rampage was only 64K, as my dump as a 27C301 had the 2 64K half identical, did you notice the same thing? Or is Rampage really 128K and I messed up my dump?

[i don't have DoubleDragon so that one can be anything for all I know]

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Thank you.

When you say identical, you mean that the first half file is exact the same with the second? I see cause in my case its not true. I am not sure if I have keep the original dumped file, but I will send you with p.m. what I am talking about, as to check it.

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ok let me be the noob and ask for clarification. So this is the board inside a cartridge that has been replicated with enhancements. It supports 2 games. Do I do something like download the rom and burn it to a chip and solder it to the board, or do I take it out of an existing game, or do you provide it. Em I am completely wrong and you simply hang this from a necklace and look bad a$$ at those geek conventions ;-) . Pal and NTSC have nothing to do with this right? I have more dumb questions I just don't want to overwhelm everyone.

 

my confusion comes from the comment "First as a replacement for any of the two games" then later on everyone keeps mentioning Rampage + Double Dragon

 

also the comment "So you managed to reverse engineer the content of the Activision PAL?" so is this for Activision only and pal only?

Edited by jrose78

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Hi jrose78.

Ok lets start.. Activision make between others the two specific games. Because of its data size -128 Kbyte each one- to be possible to work on Atari 7800, need a data control mechanism. This in hardware language called bank-switch.

Unlike with Atari games which have another control mechanism implemented with simple logic ic's (74LS...), Activision for cost reducing plus space saving used only one complex for that era ic, a PLD.

This mean Programmable Logic Device, and on this you can build inside many logic ic's using programming data.

Now, after programming these data, the ic "locked" as to not be possible for someone else to copy and remake the game on another cartridge. End of lesson! ;) :P

 

I design this cartridge to can work with each one of the games only, or as a combo with two games choose one or the other from a switch. So you have two order options.

1. You could buy one board with one of the games who you prefer Rampage or Double Dragon, or two boards for the two games. After take a plastic enclosure from any old original Atari 2600 or Atari 7800 cartridge, and place there your new boards. For this case I have not support decals. If you want you can print alone one, on a printing shop.

 

2. You could buy the same board with a bigger eprom ic which hosts both games, plus a switch to choose each one want to play. In this case I will support two decals -face & plate-, which will design a good friend here KevinMos3, and I will present it when its ready, in the first post of this thread.

Also have the same option to use an old Atari cartridge enclosure to place this new one inside. But to have access to the selector switch, must do a small hole on the back plastic enclosure.

 

I have not time to explain now the Pal and Ntsc system colors. If you live in USA so you can play both games, if no only Double Dragon.

Edited by santosp

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Thanks for the info Santosp :) .

I am in for a combo with labels. I am in the US and if I understand correctly both games will work fine. If not I am going back to my plan B (bad a$$ necklace) . If anyone asks me what it is , I'll just say its complicated. ;-)

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