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The Gram Kracker mega thread

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LOL. I get antsy when I have to stack two and solder them! #WhatWereTheseGuysThinking

Just looking at that stack of chips on that German GRAM device makes me frustrated.

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Makes you wonder if these treasures you have now can be utilized to make a simpler design using modern components and more capabilities for use today. I imagine there are probably a handful of carts out there that do not benefit from the FG99 that may well be usable via a GC unless I'm mistaken. Like potentially an SD card reader on one that can load things nothing else can? With more storage built in? etc...

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Makes you wonder if these treasures you have now can be utilized to make a simpler design using modern components and more capabilities for use today. I imagine there are probably a handful of carts out there that do not benefit from the FG99 that may well be usable via a GC unless I'm mistaken. Like potentially an SD card reader on one that can load things nothing else can? With more storage built in? etc...

That is in the works. We will stay true to the design, but add some additional things to it.

 

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

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If a new Gram Kracker device comes to be, I can see the GRAM0 getting some major revamping, with the talent we have in our camp that love this ol computer. Hell, TI BASIC is in GRAM1 and 2 - that could get a major revamp as well. Rich?

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If a new Gram Kracker device comes to be, I can see the GRAM0 getting some major revamping, with the talent we have in our camp that love this ol computer. Hell, TI BASIC is in GRAM1 and 2 - that could get a major revamp as well. Rich?

 

We must proceed very carefully with this because there is software that uses specific locations in GROM 0 for the values that just happen to be there—notably Craig Miller’s GPLLNK relies on location >176C because it is the only place in GROM space (GROM 0, at least) that has the two bytes >0F and >27 in contiguous locations, which conveniently yield the GPL “XML >27” instruction. This made it possible to put the address of an appropriate ALC routine at >200E in low RAM that can be executed by “returning” to GPL address >176C.

 

The console ROM and GROMs use such fortuitous values in many places to save space. Any such code cannot be changed without rewriting the code that references those values (which can be parts of instruction code!). Those folks who have already rewritten one or more of the console ROM/GROMs are well aware of this, so I am no doubt preaching to the choir. :grin:

 

...lee

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Lee - I understand what you're saying. But I do know that back in the day there were some programmers like you that did a few things with the system groms. I know I made a few "patches' that others had written that did some things in grom 0 - One of the biggest things was a Supercart would not be automatically overwritten by my Myarc 512 card that added 128k for a second choice. I also tried out a menu program that replaced TI Basic in g1 & g2 and fooled with it for awhile, went back to TI Basic though.

 

Who knows what wonderment might come (or maybe not)

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Here's today's tidbit. This will be put into the second archive (Phase 1B) I will be releasing. Enjoy! [Greg: Please hold off on putting this on WHTech until I have the 1B bundle done. Thanks!]

 

This is the Heiner Martin cartridge board, schematics, and instructions (in German - if someone wants to translate, please do, and I'll include the English in my master archive!) Also, for historical purposes, attached is also a letter to Craig Miller from Heiner. (There are some interesting tidbits in that letter, which is dated Auguts 8, 1985.)

 

Additional Historical information DC Warren:

  • DC did see this project from Heiner Martin before he took on the GRAM Kracker project.
  • The thing that really motivated DC to do (the GRAM Kracker project) was that Craig was able to get a TI GROM development set. DC was curious how it somehow took over GROMS 0, 1 and 2 in the console.
  • The only thing that kept MG/Craig from selling more of the GRAM Krackers was the incredible difficulty Craig had in getting parts (the part houses didn't want to deal with him unless he was buying in bulk - so there was typically a wait on one part that would slow down production.)

post-22866-0-54023300-1518739384_thumb.jpeg

heiner_cartridge.pdf

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Here's today's tidbit. This will be put into the second archive (Phase 1B) I will be releasing. Enjoy! [Greg: Please hold off on putting this on WHTech until I have the 1B bundle done. Thanks!]

 

This is the Martin Heiner cartridge board, schematics, and instructions (in German - if someone wants to translate, please do, and I'll include the English in my master archive!) Also, for historical purposes, attached is also a letter to Craig Miller from Heiner. (There are some interesting tidbits in that letter, which is dated Auguts 8, 1985.)

 

Additional Historical information DC Warren:

  • DC did see this project from Martin Heiner before he took on the GRAM Kracker project.
  • The thing that really motivated DC to do (the GRAM Kracker project) was that Craig was able to get a TI GROM development set. DC was curious how it somehow took over GROMS 0, 1 and 2 in the console.
  • The only thing that kept MG/Craig from selling more of the GRAM Krackers was the incredible difficulty Craig had in getting parts (the part houses didn't want to deal with him unless he was buying in bulk - so there was typically a wait on one part that would slow down production.)

 

Thank you first of all for all that is forthcoming, but this, THIS, answers many of my questions. I'm a nerd.

Doug

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... Craig was able to get a TI GROM development set.

 

Is that within the lot? Count me supernervous.

Nope. Craig had it. DC wishes he could have gotten it.

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Here's today's tidbit. This will be put into the second archive (Phase 1B) I will be releasing. Enjoy! [Greg: Please hold off on putting this on WHTech until I have the 1B bundle done. Thanks!]

 

This is the Martin Heiner cartridge board, schematics, and instructions (in German - if someone wants to translate, please do, and I'll include the English in my master archive!) Also, for historical purposes, attached is also a letter to Craig Miller from Heiner. (There are some interesting tidbits in that letter, which is dated Auguts 8, 1985.)

 

Additional Historical information DC Warren:

  • DC did see this project from Martin Heiner before he took on the GRAM Kracker project.
  • The thing that really motivated DC to do (the GRAM Kracker project) was that Craig was able to get a TI GROM development set. DC was curious how it somehow took over GROMS 0, 1 and 2 in the console.
  • The only thing that kept MG/Craig from selling more of the GRAM Krackers was the incredible difficulty Craig had in getting parts (the part houses didn't want to deal with him unless he was buying in bulk - so there was typically a wait on one part that would slow down production.)

 

FWIW, Mr. Martin’s first name is “Heiner”. The highlighted names should then be “Heiner Martin”.

 

...lee

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Nope. Craig had it. DC wishes he could have gotten it.

 

Is this then some hardware we talk about that was not sharable between the two persons?

I was assuming that most was documentation with some TI-990 development software on 8" disk.

In fact i was mostly hoping for docs and software, when I heard TI Grom developer set.

Nowadays we have the TI Grom simulator device for research purposes and the Gram Kracker as hardware device to override Grom0-2.

Edited by kl99

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Is this then some hardware we talk about that was not sharable between the two persons?

I was assuming that most was documentation with some TI-990 development software on 8" disk.

In fact i was mostly hoping for docs and software, when I heard TI Grom developer set.

Nowadays we have the TI Grom simulator device for research purposes and the Gram Kracker as hardware device to override Grom0-2.

I don’t know and haven’t wanted to pry between the relationship, but Craig seems to have kept his equipment and DC kept his. Craig passed away in 2009, so the equipment is likely lost to time or was passed to someone else.

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FWIW, Mr. Martin’s first name is “Heiner”. The highlighted names should then be “Heiner Martin”.

 

...lee

Corrected. They’re probably used to that over there.

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Based on the Description, what he had was probably one of the aluminum pizza-box GSIM devices. More questions--and a picture of one of the devices we already have within the community, would probably fully clarify the matter (or send us on a hunt for another new TI-Internal device).

Edited by Ksarul
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Here's today's tidbit. This will be put into the second archive (Phase 1B) I will be releasing. Enjoy! [Greg: Please hold off on putting this on WHTech until I have the 1B bundle done. Thanks!]

 

This is the Heiner Martin cartridge board, schematics, and instructions (in German - if someone wants to translate, please do, and I'll include the English in my master archive!) Also, for historical purposes, attached is also a letter to Craig Miller from Heiner. (There are some interesting tidbits in that letter, which is dated Auguts 8, 1985.)

1) I'm probably getting way ahead since your scanning and posting, but I did find what I think is one error on the Page 6 Schematic on the attached original PDF drawing.

The 74139's Y2 output which commands a parallel load on all four counters needs to intersect with one line (termed GLA on the document), see red box on insert below.

 

2) Comment: See green box on insert below. Using A3/A4 as inputs to the other half of the 2-line to 4-line decoder (74139) with its four unconnected outputs makes me think the logic here is for stacking a second 2764 ROM

as expansion decoding paging for upper/lower 4K to be substituted by software. Is that a fair assumption?

 

Doug

P.S. Working on translation too. :twisted:

post-48993-0-57827900-1518847530_thumb.jpg

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1) I'm probably getting way ahead since your scanning and posting, but I did find what I think is one error on the Page 6 Schematic on the attached original PDF drawing.

The 74139's Y2 output which commands a parallel load on all four counters needs to intersect with one line (termed GLA on the document), see red box on insert below.

 

2) Comment: See green box on insert below. Using A3/A4 as inputs to the other half of the 2-line to 4-line decoder (74139) with its four unconnected outputs makes me think the logic here is for stacking a second 2764 ROM

as expansion decoding paging for upper/lower 4K to be substituted by software. Is that a fair assumption?

 

Doug

P.S. Working on translation too. :twisted:

attachicon.gifcorrection.JPG

We can create an errata or such for this and put it in the GK document archive on Whtech.

 

If you would like, please create a one pager that we can add to the archive. Also, this board was extended to support further ROMs, which Ksarul verified. If you also want to cover this in the document, we can upload it with the errata.

 

Thanks!

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