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retroclouds

ti99 rampack 32K

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I bought one of these on Ebay from a guy in Hungary, out of interest really. Paid 35 USD including shipping to Germany.

 

I'm pretty impressed with the size, as it is very small.

 

And now a word of warning, because here's the downer:

 

I'm currently not able to test it as the connector does not fit my TI-99/4a console.... :twisted:

Don't feel like opening my console (it's the only one I have with F18A built-in).

 

I do am able to plug it into my Speech Synthesizer, but it's not recognized there. Would probably have to do the +5VDC pass-through:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259662-speech-synthesizer-modifications-audioin-and-5vdc-pass-through/

 

Applying force on the PCB makes it bend, as that was apparently foreseen by it's designer as both left and right edges have a vertical "line" in them to help it bend.

Anyway I'm posting the pictures here, as I'd like the hardware guys to chime in. Do anyone of you know the design/components ?

 

Does bring up another question, is it time for a group effort to design a console edge connector that really fits and can be used in many future hardware projects?

 

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Edited by retroclouds
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How come it fits on the speech synthesizer but not on the console itself?

What's the + next the 32K imply? Any special features?

The price is certainly reasonable since it includes shipping (at least for Europe).

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I did a lot of research when I was looking for the proper saddle-style 44-pin connectors for the PEB-Splitter. The problem with the majority of straight-pin connectors is that the pins are too short to allow the connector to have the necessary depth to not impact something in the vicinity of the cartridge door. The TIPI resolved the problem by using pin extensions--but they are an expensive solution to the problem. Another option would be to use a 44-pin wirewrap connector to get the necessary degree of board offset. Soldering would require use of some form of standoff at strategic points to ensure the connector is straight and level, but that is a pretty east fix. The connectors are special order only though, so the price per connector is higher than the ones from Taiwan that everyone has been using. They are about $8 to $10 each and I'd have to check the minimum order quantity, but the last time I ordered, they were available for either Mouser or DigiKey. I need to order more of the saddle-style connectors anyway, as I just ran out of the batch I bought for the splitters.

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What a strange idea to prevent the I/O bus to exit on the other side of the expansion. I don't like that.

 

 

It's for the folks that want to run the 32K games that we've been distributing the past 10 years. We've made an awful lot of carts that "copy to 32K and execute". You can probably blame me for starting that with Neverlander and Arcturus and Tursi for doing it with his cart conversion routines :)

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How come it fits on the speech synthesizer but not on the console itself?

What's the + next the 32K imply? Any special features?

The price is certainly reasonable since it includes shipping (at least for Europe).

 

I thought I saw this on Facebook where someone had it attached to the console itself. I thought "Cool, it fits right next to the console!"

 

I have another version of a PCB coming in from the Italy folks with yet another 32K variant. It looks pretty compact as well, but it's oriented to where you can grab it and pull it out. Arcadeshopper I think got one in as well.

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It's for the folks that want to run the 32K games that we've been distributing the past 10 years. We've made an awful lot of carts that "copy to 32K and execute". You can probably blame me for starting that with Neverlander and Arcturus and Tursi for doing it with his cart conversion routines :)

I well understood the idea why this expansion were created to be. But the I/O port was created for many other uses. A I/O port replicator is very useful and in this expansion nothing forced to kill it.

Thought: Reduce this computer as a common game console is a pity.

 

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I well understood the idea why this expansion were created to be. But the I/O port was created for many other uses. A I/O port replicator is very useful and in this expansion nothing forced to kill it.

Thought: Reduce this computer as a common game console is a pity.

 

I agree with that, and you agree with that, but if there’s a market and people that want it, it will sell. Maybe they’ll outgrow it later and get a TI PI instead. :)

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Many people use the TI as a game console... it is an exceptional gaming platform.

 

Now with the SD cartridges, all a gamer needs is a populated SD card and a 32k Side car, and theyre off to the races.

 

I personally dont own an SD cartridge or a 32k sidecar device (other than a nano-PEB for occasional use) and generally I have my P Box hooked up all the time. I love my floppy disks and my serial connections. Will be hard to ever give those up.

Edited by Opry99er
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Many people use the TI as a game console... it is an exceptional gaming platform.

 

Now with the SD cartridges, all a gamer needs is a populated SD card and a 32k Side car, and theyre off to the races.

 

I personally dont own an SD cartridge or a 32k sidecar device (other than a nano-PEB for occasional use) and generally I have my P Box hooked up all the time. I love my floppy disks and my serial connections. Will be hard to ever give those up.

 

Nostalgia is great, and I love messing with older peripherals.. until they start acting up, that is. 5.25" drives are one that I got fed up with 15+ years ago. I've only recently hooked some back up to recover the MG source that Falcor's sent my way. And, I bought a Kryoflux to backup the MG diskettes. My Tandy 1000 SL/E has a 5 1/4" drive as well, but it's only used when I absolutely have to use it. My Apple IIGS has a 5.25" drive as well, to load older programs.

 

Saying that, I have just moved on to better things.. the Tandy has an XTIDE with a 1GB industrial disk on chip inside. The IIGS now has a CFFA that I have to figure out how to use and move disk images over to it. The TI has the HxC GoTek (and I have the older SD HxC if the guy who was supposed to be installing the SRAM ever gives it back to me.) I maintain the older tech just in case I have to recover something that someone has with it. That's about it. Or, to use with Sneakernet. LOL

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so basically you can't plug it in as the female card edge connector is too "short" which is why on the Jedimatt42 32k/s there's an extension between the board and the connector.

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The circuit looks like the same as my 32k board. the chips are the same set, just smaller packages.

 

Which is just the obvious reduction of the SRAM based 32k on Thiery's website.

 

---

 

I put the 'stacking-header' style expansion on my boards to try and make it easier for myself and hopefully others to tinker with. But 99% of the people in this hobby are actually in a completely different hobby. As Fabrice points out, my hobby and his are pretty far apart as well.

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The price is certainly reasonable since it includes shipping (at least for Europe).

 

Yeah, it's a cute little thing and the price is reasonable. For gamers with an FR99 or FG99 it should do the job quite well. Now if anyone wants to do more, or thinks they'll want to do more in the future, I believe JediMatt42's 32K card is the better way to go because it does not limit you from further expansion and there is already an awesome expansion available for it, the TIPI.

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Yeah, it's a cute little thing and the price is reasonable. For gamers with an FR99 or FG99 it should do the job quite well. Now if anyone wants to do more, or thinks they'll want to do more in the future, I believe JediMatt42's 32K card is the better way to go because it does not limit you from further expansion and there is already an awesome expansion available for it, the TIPI.

 

We could have worse problems... I mean, having like four different 32K options in the wild right now is a pretty good problem to have ;)

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Absolutely, basically i bought this out of interest and for my TI-99/4a game console. Combined with the FG99, speech synth, joysticks and optional F18A you have all you need for playing games.

 

Abd then I have my full-blown Ti-99/4a with PEB, SAMS, disk drives for tinkering

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I bought one of these on Ebay from a guy in Hungary, out of interest really. Paid 35 USD including shipping to Germany.

 

absolutely agree :)

because thinking to the costs we had to build our 32K i was shocked for his final price as well, for this i contacted the guy to ask him about suggestions to have cheaper prices for next productions :P

 

 

What a strange idea to prevent the I/O bus to exit on the other side of the expansion. I don't like that.

talking of our version of 32K, in true was for another project.

We tried to do it smaller enought to insert it into the Speech and have an all in one peripheral... but because we had problems to do this, we just selling them as stand alone 32K.

 

I thought I saw this on Facebook where someone had it attached to the console itself. I thought "Cool, it fits right next to the console!"

 

I have another version of a PCB coming in from the Italy folks with yet another 32K variant. It looks pretty compact as well, but it's oriented to where you can grab it and pull it out. Arcadeshopper I think got one in as well.

Hey acadiel happy to know you got it. I'll write in PM :)

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Managed to get the rampack 32k running on my console.

Basically I managed to put the card in place by gently pressing downwards.

It's really crazy how small it is. Once in place it works flawlessly.

 

Nice buy after all ;-)

 

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I tracked down the wire-wrap part number for connectors with longer legs. Sullins still makes them: ECC22DRMN

Digikey will special order them in groups of 10, with about a three-week delay to get them from Sullins. One note, ECC22DTMN-S288 will get you the same connectors already formed for use in side-saddle mode (like the PEB Extenders use). Again, they can only be special ordered in groups of 10, but at least there is a reliable source for both connector types. I also found 36 and 44-pin MALE connectors from Sullins, which opens up some other possibilities--but these are not the crimp-on type for flat cables, they are for direct soldering to boards. I forgot to check to see if they had the 60-pin versions for PEB cards, as a lot of the old TI prototype cards needed to add a R/A Male connector to allow them to connect to the PEB Backplane.

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