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Bruce Abbott

[AQUARIUS] Micro-Expander: RAM, ROM, AY-8910 and more!

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Even though I'm late to the game on this, I'm very excited to start the Micro Expander build.

 

Is there a more detailed BOM that shows complete specs for each component? The one Bruce posted 08 JUN 2017 was a great start, but leaves some questions unanswered. It was an incredibly generous offer, but I don't know if he still makes the parts available and at the price he quoted previously. Also, I already have many of those parts as spares myself, but for some of the more exotic components, who knows if they're even realistically available?

 

As a start, here's a Google Sheet that has my work-in-progress sheet as well as Bruce's original item list (second tab).

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uOPcStu26q4kG-tO-dFrugIbuu7juL4POVsBoPc4r9c/edit?usp=sharing

 

Thoughts? Clarifications? Corrections?

 

Also, even when I get the parts, what instructions do I follow for the build, including programming, etc? I'm happy to assemble a step-by-step, but there likely already exists one, right?

 

Edited by 1stage
Added another thought...
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I bought a microexpander on Ebay and got it up and running earlier this week, I wanted to be able to develop stuff easily and my original plan of using casettes is on the back burner. I think my plan now is to create a rom image release of what originally started out as robotwon 2525 and get some carts manufactured. Still a way to got development wise but this should help considerably. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10220538253224694&id=1184205523

Edited by barnieg

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i used the files in Bruce's blog to make my microexpander, i'm waiting for new ch376 since the old ones works only few minutes..

capture14.thumb.png.47392d13adb874e8b208e31cfc771071.png

capture17.thumb.png.d3cb368ce083d6d3ae1190984b58df81.png

i also added an HDMI output using the RGBtoHDMI project created by stardot.uk users, and picking the digital RGBI value directly from TEA1002:

Aquarius.thumb.jpg.60856926bf6da654098171695dc5fd91.jpg

IMG_20200904_090608.thumb.jpg.341f53597dd2aaca24d5f4d050708855.jpg

Now... i'd like to play with Burgertime, but it seems not easy to find the .BIN file... any hint to get it (either than buy an Aquaricart)?

 

Edited by aotta
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5 hours ago, aotta said:

Now... i'd like to play with Burgertime, but it seems not easy to find the .BIN file... any hint to get it (either than buy an Aquaricart)?

Very nice work!  I wasn't familiar with the RGBtoHDMI project that you mentioned, but I know that there is at least one dedicated Aquarius RGB upgrade in the works.  (I plan to use it with my Framemeister XRGB-Mini.)

 

If you're looking for BurgerTime, the easiest place to get it is with the Virtual Aquarius distribution linked in this post.

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56 minutes ago, jaybird3rd said:

Very nice work!  I wasn't familiar with the RGBtoHDMI project that you mentioned, but I know that there is at least one dedicated Aquarius RGB upgrade in the works.  (I plan to use it with my Framemeister XRGB-Mini.)

 

If you're looking for BurgerTime, the easiest place to get it is with the Virtual Aquarius distribution linked in this post.

Thank you, i'd never think in looking for an emulator's folder!

I red about the RGB mod, but i've now perfect hdmi output, and made a simple composite mod wiring the comp and audio signal to the "printer" 3,5 jack, in my Aquarius (a Pal one) it works without any other components, with a TRS to RCA cable.

The only issue is some white rumour in the SND line, i've added a filter and a resistor in serial without result, i'll work on it. I've the background rumour in the microexpander output too.

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On 10/6/2016 at 2:51 AM, Bruce Abbott said:

I don't know if DMA is even possible on the expansion bus

I know this was from a while ago, but I just looked, and it apparently all the Z-80 signals are brought out to the cartridge slot. You just need to hold down BUSRQ and wait for BUSAK, then you can fire away.

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On 9/27/2020 at 4:23 AM, Bruce Tomlin said:

I know this was from a while ago, but I just looked, and it apparently all the Z-80 signals are brought out to the cartridge slot. You just need to hold down BUSRQ and wait for BUSAK, then you can fire away.

Not 100% sure how successful that would be, since PLA2 sits in between the external databus and the CPU/RAM (for producing the Video display) - and PLA1/PLA2 don't track the BUSRQ/BUSAK lines, so I would guess that DMA won't work to the internal RAM anyway.

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On 9/10/2020 at 9:32 AM, aotta said:

 

i also added an HDMI output using the RGBtoHDMI project created by stardot.uk users, and picking the digital RGBI value directly from TEA1002:

Aquarius.thumb.jpg.60856926bf6da654098171695dc5fd91.jpg

 

 

 

Looking at that, you aren't getting the INV line (pin 1 on the TEA / Pin 23 on PLA2) so you are only getting 8 colours, not the full 16. 

 

Edited by MackJsy
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2 hours ago, MackJsy said:

Looking at that, you aren't getting the INV line (pin 1 on the TEA / Pin 23 on PLA2) so you are only getting 8 colours, not the full 16. 

 

Yes, the pic was taken at first stage of test... i connected pin 1 too and got 16 colours in HDMI:

 

capture15.png

Aquarius2.jpg

i also added a "composite mod" getting audio and componend from RF input and routing them to the printer port, and using a TRRD to RCA cable

Edited by aotta
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1 hour ago, aotta said:

Yes, the pic was taken at first stage of test... i connected pin 1 too and got 16 colours in HDMI:

 

 

 

i also added a "composite mod" getting audio and componend from RF input and routing them to the printer port, and using a TRRD to RCA cable

Cool - I've got a similar setup - where I'm pulling the RGB into analogue RGB and feeding it into a scart on a telly. 

 20201006_150622.thumb.jpg.d48a715e3262026a0c3bd14d8bf36cc2.jpg

 

Btw, since you've got the PAL version, you can actually take the TEA out completely if you only want to use the RGB, as it's surplus to requirement (unless you are leaving the composite mod in) - the NTSC version needs the TEA to stay in situ as it drives the main Sysclock (the PAL version has a separate LS04 top left for the sysclock)
 

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1 minute ago, MackJsy said:

Cool - I've got a similar setup - where I'm pulling the RGB into analogue RGB and feeding it into a scart on a telly. 

 20201006_150622.thumb.jpg.d48a715e3262026a0c3bd14d8bf36cc2.jpg

 

Btw, since you've got the PAL version, you can actually take the TEA out completely if you only want to use the RGB, as it's surplus to requirement (unless you are leaving the composite mod in) - the NTSC version needs the TEA to stay in situ as it drives the main Sysclock (the PAL version has a separate LS04 top left for the sysclock)
 

Great setup, very nice work!

I have a NTSC Aquarius too, in wich i made composite mod only, but it's my "boxed" (and quite new) ones, so i promised myself to not open it anymore!

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