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32k expansion for the side port - released

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32k side cart concern.

 

After installing, I could not unplug it from my speech synth without fear of testing it to pieces.

 

I wanted to unplug the 32k this morning and plug in my nanoPEB. I applied a lot of force to attempt to remove the card until I started hearing little sounds that sounded like solder points snapping.

 

I won't know until I get home later tonight for sure.

 

I put it and the speech synth it is stick to aside and used a different speech synth for my nano.

 

I'm not too concerned about it being stuck, I do own 3 synths and I got the 32k strictly for travel. I am concerned if I did any damage trying to pry it off.

 

I'll follow up later tonight, I'm just curious if anyone else attempted to remove their 32k side cart since installing?

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32k side cart concern.

After installing, I could not unplug it from my speech synth without fear of testing it to pieces.

I wanted to unplug the 32k this morning and plug in my nanoPEB. I applied a lot of force to attempt to remove the card until I started hearing little sounds that sounded like solder points snapping.

I won't know until I get home later tonight for sure.

I put it and the speech synth it is stick to aside and used a different speech synth for my nano.

I'm not too concerned about it being stuck, I do own 3 synths and I got the 32k strictly for travel. I am concerned if I did any damage trying to pry it off.

I'll follow up later tonight, I'm just curious if anyone else attempted to remove their 32k side cart since installing?

The sounds are more likely the edge connector fingers, they have a spring-like quality to them. The solder points, 44 to the board, and 44 of the little extenders, should reenforce each other. Never apply angular force in the vertical plane, stick to the horizontal plane. Slow force to the right appled from the back just above the power socket, alternating with slow force to the right from the front at the level of the edge connector, and you should be fine.

 

[email protected]

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The sounds are more likely the edge connector fingers, they have a spring-like quality to them. The solder points, 44 to the board, and 44 of the little extenders, should reenforce each other. Never apply angular force in the vertical plane, stick to the horizontal plane. Slow force to the right appled from the back just above the power socket, alternating with slow force to the right from the front at the level of the edge connector, and you should be fine.

 

[email protected]

Yep, that's the method I used. I bet you're correct about the sounds. I've been told I have ham hocks for hands, the strength of Brutus and elegant grace of a raging elephant.

 

So I backed off.

 

I feel better now about giving it another go. I was afraid everything would explode in to a million pieces right in my hands.

 

:)

Edited by Sinphaltimus
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Yep, that's the method I used. I bet you're correct about the sounds. I've been told I have ham hocks for hands, the strength of Brutus and elegant grace of a raging elephant.

 

So I backed off.

 

I feel better now about giving it another go. I was afraid everything would explode in to a million pieces right in my hands.

 

:)

 

Same happened to me.

 

Just do what jedimatt42 suggested... do it slowly. Nothing should break. Happens often with brand new connectors... shoul dbe better after some use.

 

Good luck :)

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32k side cart concern.

 

After installing, I could not unplug it from my speech synth without fear of testing it to pieces.

 

I wanted to unplug the 32k this morning and plug in my nanoPEB. I applied a lot of force to attempt to remove the card until I started hearing little sounds that sounded like solder points snapping.

 

I won't know until I get home later tonight for sure.

 

I put it and the speech synth it is stick to aside and used a different speech synth for my nano.

 

I'm not too concerned about it being stuck, I do own 3 synths and I got the 32k strictly for travel. I am concerned if I did any damage trying to pry it off.

 

I'll follow up later tonight, I'm just curious if anyone else attempted to remove their 32k side cart since installing?

 

 

I have the same problem, it is very hard to remove the 32K side expansion (especially when connected directly to the TI-99/4A.

The best is to plug it into the Speech Synthesizer (easier to remove all at once).

 

Also an extension cable can be used (I ordered these some time ago), this will help also with NanoPEBs, etc.

http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/hello-cables/L1172

 

To protect the 32K side expansion you can use the Garage Lego set no. 348 and add another layer on top

(warning: do this only if you get approval of the 5 year old boss)

> https://www.toysperiod.com/lego-set-reference/legoland/building/lego-348-1-garage-with-automatic-doors/

 

post-39490-0-18461100-1482920195_thumb.jpg

 

post-39490-0-88020600-1482920200_thumb.jpg

 

post-39490-0-97653100-1482920205_thumb.jpg

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To protect the 32K side expansion you can use the Garage Lego set no. 348 and add another layer on top

(warning: do this only if you get approval of the 5 year old boss)

> https://www.toysperiod.com/lego-set-reference/legoland/building/lego-348-1-garage-with-automatic-doors/

 

That's fantastic! LMAO!

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Until somebody designs a 3-D printed case for this board, let me share with you my 50 cent version. A while ago I picked up a bunch of camping/travel soap dishes at a local Dollar Store selling two for a buck. I cut a slot to fit the connector and Bob's yer uncle. I still have to bolt the board to the case and drill holes for the LED and barrel jack, but I think it provides protection with aesthetics.....until someone creates a more customized case.

 

Good idea and it looks good too!

 

I was only utilizing Lego to build a case around it (there is somewhere a "Lego-Zoo" picture and today we used the Garage lego 348 set

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That's fantastic! LMAO!

 

(I had to search a bit, but found it back). This is the Lego Zoo protection kit for Nano-Peb (but should work for the 32K side expansion as well)

 

post-39490-0-21067700-1482923706_thumb.jpg

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Matt, have you confirmed whether the Speech Synthesizer can be used on the other side of your 32k card? Since I have three of the expansion port card boards coming, it would save me the bother of modifying the inside of the SS to accommodate power.

 

 

Hi Matt,

Perfect solution I have been looking for 2 years, finally it is here in the market.

 

 

I also have a question about this as I read that a modification has to be done in the Speech Synthesizer http://ti994a.cwfk.net/32k.html

 

But I just tested out 4x 32K side car expansions and they all work fine without having the modification done and also without the external power supply.

(all modules work fine like Extended Basic V2.7, normal Extended Basic, Editor/Assembler, 2048K Games, Flashrom) all with the Speech Synthesizer

connected to the Console, then using the extension cable http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/hello-cables/L1172

 

Speech Synthesizer looks okay and standard to me:

post-39490-0-32614500-1482925412_thumb.jpg

 

post-39490-0-74430200-1482925418_thumb.jpg

 

 

I noticed it takes a while before the red-led light lids up, then it seems to be all okay, but the led light is a bit dimmed.

(Speech works, 32K works).

 

However I see this behavior (32K sidecar is directly connected to the Speech Synthesizer):

 

1. jumper set to "TI" (internal power)

>> e.g. using 2048K Games, playing Parsec, the red-light is not completely bright, a bit dimmed and keeps flashing

>> until the alien hits the space-ship, then the led light is very bright solid (not flashing)

 

2. jumper set to "EXT" (external power)

using a +5V adapter 600ma (which I btw also use for my nano-PEB)

same behavior as above with Parsec

 

Here is video of the led light.

VID_20161228_183814.mp4

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A few more items I see:

 

1. Turn on the TI-99/4A and stay at the home screen (red led light is off)

 

2. Press any key (selection menu) (red led light is still off)

 

Modules:

3a. press Games 2048K, then the led lids up in dimmed mode (as the module get accessed)

 

3b. with the normal Extended Basic the led light does not lit up at all (is off), but with SIZE I can see 24488 bytes free

 

3c. with the Flashrom99 (then the red-led in the flashrom module keeps flashing, I guess it cannot see the 32K)

but if I wait long enough and try a few times pressing the reset key (short time period), it seems to work fine and

comes with the Flashrom99 menu.

 

3d. Extended Basic v2.7 Speech seems not to work during startup (this is the Speech "Texas Instruments Home Computer" which Gazoo and Tursi helped to include)

 

It garbles when using jumper "TI" (but rest works okay when going to ExBas and SIZE shows 24488), CALL NYANYA works,

but after QUIT (FCTN-=) then it garbles with the Speech.

 

When using jumper "EXT" and external +5V adapter then it works fine (Speech talks during startup)

My guess is that the 32K is not ready yet, when the Extended Basic V2.7 is starting and want to utilize Speech+32K.

 

3e. Editor/Assembler module works (but red led is off) (using TI internal jumper)

Edited by globeron

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Globeron,

 

Try following the instructions and supply the 32k board some power. Once you've done that, we can talk about all of these issues, if any still persist.

 

Your guess, that the 32k is not 'ready' yet is probably spot on... without a power source, it is being driven off 'leakage' from the logic pins... all of the chips are being asked to operate outside of spec. If it seems to work at all, it is an accident. This draw off of the leakage can easily be responsible for all of the failures you have described.

 

The expected behavior of the LED is that it lights up when an address inside the 32k memory expansion range is accessed. It turns off when other addresses such as ROM and cartridges are being accessed.

 

[email protected]

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;)

 

IMG_20161218_170328.jpg IMG_20161218_165202.jpg

 

I'm really, really, really looking forward to getting my hands on one of those! :) Matt's little 32K unit is awesome and this cool little case combined with the 'small foot-print' HDMI gaming system I'm putting together will keep it looking sharp and the Plug-N-Play 32K card protected. I think you'll sell a bunch these!

 

I also have a few video techniques I want to try when making the video for this one... which reminds me, is the Star Trek transporter sound effect copywritten?

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Globeron,

 

Try following the instructions and supply the 32k board some power. Once you've done that, we can talk about all of these issues, if any still persist.

 

Your guess, that the 32k is not 'ready' yet is probably spot on... without a power source, it is being driven off 'leakage' from the logic pins... all of the chips are being asked to operate outside of spec. If it seems to work at all, it is an accident. This draw off of the leakage can easily be responsible for all of the failures you have described.

 

The expected behavior of the LED is that it lights up when an address inside the 32k memory expansion range is accessed. It turns off when other addresses such as ROM and cartridges are being accessed.

 

[email protected]

 

Hi Matt,

 

I just re-tested all the scenarios with the 32K board directly connected to the TI (internal power and external power) and all results are the same

(with the exception that I cannot hear the Speech of course). The FlasRom99 not coming up is I think to do with my micro-SD card

adapter or plug-in/out the cartridge (need to investigate it) as I used other 32K expansions and it has the same behavior (so it is not related to the 32K board).

 

All cartridges work fine so far I can see/test.

 

 

LED modes:

--------------

Thanks for explaining the led-light behavior when it is off or on depending on accessing the 32K or ROM addressing,

but do you know what the difference is between the dimmed-LED mode and bright-LED mode ? (like in the Parsec Video)

as it has the same behavior when it is directly connected to the TI (with and without the external power) and I do not see

a difference as when a Speech is mounted in between (In future I will use the Speech + EXT power or do the quick

modification in the Speech to avoid that I damage something).

 

With the 32K card directly connected and using EXT power I see this:

 

1. TI-99/4A turned OFF. 32K board powered via EXT power (jumper set) and bright LED is on

2. Turn ON the TI-99/4A. the led goes off on the 32K board

3. Used the 2048K Games module until the menu appears (led goes bright and then back to dimmed mode)

4. Pressing space bar (going through the menus) is switching between bright and dimmed (and stays dimmed when not pressing any button)

5. Playing Parsec (same as the video before), now the Led is flickering continuously

(until spaceship gets hit by alien, or crashes into the ground, then the LED is bright solid until the sound is completed, then it is back to flickering again)

 

I just want to make sure if the LED behavior is normal behavior as I need to give away 2x of the 32K boards

(and it was a bit confusing to me if the TI-99 is turned on that the LED light goes off)

 

Thanks in advance for all the help, I love the solution!

 

It also opens up opportunities for people without Flashrom, etc. but if they have

an Extended Basic + Cassette Cable + Recorder only to load assembly games (using Tonny Brouwer's solution)

or via a wav file from a mobile phone/line-input (if someone converted it to a wave file).

 

Ronald

 

 

 

Thanks for your help!

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Ok, so let me explain the LED through a your examples. What you describe is all perfectly standard functioning. But as you say, maybe a little astonishing.

 

So, working through your list:

1: Console off, card powered, light is on - why? The LED circuit is on unless the digital logic chips turn on the neighboring transistor that shorts the current away from the LED, turning it off. It is a weird signal inverting trick.

2: Console turns on, light goes off - why? The CPU signaling isn't using the memory yet, and so the LED is turned off.

3: 2kGames cart menu bright, and then dim - why? I believe the menu in the cart is actually loaded into the 32k ram. And then it runs from there. While it is bright, the CPU is rapidly copying data into RAM I think, and then when it is dim, code is just running, bouncing back and forth between console rom routines, keyboard scans, and code in the ram. Only spending a fraction of time in ram creates the dim mode.

4: Keyboard interaction in the menu - why? I don't know. :) Probably copying the menu data from expansion ram into VDP.

5: Parsec! - why? Parsec from these ROM carts is the best memory test we have. Flickering is, I believe, the result of code running out of scratchpad, and continuous copying of data for the level out of the 32k ram ( Parsec on the 2kGames cart is copied out of ROM banks, and run from the RAM ). Parsec ship crashes are where I would see glitches before the 32k cards were perfected. ( Yep, I think they are perfect :) ) The LED is solid bright as the VDP access which is relatively slow, is halted, and there is a tight loop of code pushing soundlist data to the audio chip.

 

These explanations are really just theory, but they are the same behavior I see with all of the boards. I would have to disassemble a lot of code to know for sure. They are however consistent with the design. As OLD CS1 said, 'It is cool to watch...'

 

[email protected]

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Hi Matt,

 

Thank you for the explanations!

 

(I just want to be sure everything is working okay and that I do not get shortcuts/fire, etc. or have to deal with power fluctuations

even is the right time of the year for fireworks). Literally I have lived 2x next to a house that burned down to the ground

here in Bangkok (like a normal fan catching fire). Also all my electricity here in the apartment is not grounded

(I forgot to mention that), it is a wonder that the TI keeps running with the power outages and fluctuations in power here.

 

All works beautiful, exactly what I needed for the cartridges that require 32K. Good start for the New Year!

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The dimming of the LED is a by-product of fewer memory accesses. What you are seeing is the same effect that a lot of dimmers use to dim LED and incandescent lighting. Power is modulated with more "on" pulses for brighter light. In LED light the output at each pulse is the same as if it were left on continuously, but the effect of the light is less, especially for our human eyes. Incandescent has a rise and fall time so it is actually less bright but it also retains its light output longer when turned off than LEDs, which are essentially instant-off. With cheap incandescent and halogen light bulbs you can hear the modulator resonating in the bulb.

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I also saw an interesting thing about these when looking at ElectricLab's interfacing demo. Put one onto one port of the PEB Splitter and you should have the option of connecting a PEB to the other arm--so long as no memory card is on the other arm, it should work perfectly. . .I will have to get one of these 32K devices to test that option very soon. :)

 

The other nice thing on memory expansion is that with the 70 or so of these out there, the 40 or so SAMS boards now in the wild, and the 20 or so new NanoPEBs, a lot of people now have access to some real system expansion goodness. It is really good to have options there, especially since these are all things that are available (or, in the case of the SAMS, will be available again as soon as I get my next board order in, since the first run is now sold out).

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I also saw an interesting thing about these when looking at ElectricLab's interfacing demo. Put one onto one port of the PEB Splitter and you should have the option of connecting a PEB to the other arm--so long as no memory card is on the other arm, it should work perfectly. . .I will have to get one of these 32K devices to test that option very soon. :)

 

The other nice thing on memory expansion is that with the 70 or so of these out there, the 40 or so SAMS boards now in the wild, and the 20 or so new NanoPEBs, a lot of people now have access to some real system expansion goodness. It is really good to have options there, especially since these are all things that are available (or, in the case of the SAMS, will be available again as soon as I get my next board order in, since the first run is now sold out).

I'll send you one this week Jim

 

Greg

 

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

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Happy to report my 32k unit arrived in the morning mail and I slipped away from company just long enough to plug in the old "Box Car" RS232 side expansion and then this new unit and with Tony's 2.7 Suite plugged in used Mass Transfer to dial up the Hidden Reef BBS at 2400 baud successfully. Nice work, jedimatt42. :)

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I also saw an interesting thing about these when looking at ElectricLab's interfacing demo. Put one onto one port of the PEB Splitter and you should have the option of connecting a PEB to the other arm--so long as no memory card is on the other arm, it should work perfectly. . .

I thought I posted this picture a long while back, but I guess that was just in PMs... Ksarul's right, the splitter should work excellently this way.

Also you can do this:

 

post-42954-0-39053100-1483300300_thumb.jpg

 

Here, the PEB is connected to the 32k card using a little header-to-edge adapter. This proof of concept was designed for someone with the need to work in conjunction with a stand-alone cable attached side-car Floppy drive.

 

The little edge-card pcboard can be found here:

 

https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/0QDGf51I

 

[email protected]

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Okay, I finally received my 3D printed case to protect Matt's 32K unit... and I love it!

For those of you who also own one of Matt's devices, please check out my new blog entry with video on this case.

<< CLICK HERE >>

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