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9 minutes ago, matthew180 said:

(fighting, pulling of hair, crying, etc.)

Remember to cuss.  Cussing helps, too.

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Are those F18A kits available yet?
So, I wonder when they are available, and I could give my ColecoVision a VGA mod.
Why don't you read the forum... It's pretty clear

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, dhe said:

I wanted to bump this thread. Any news Matthew?

 

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Be nice guys.

 

I have a very different reason to post.  I am very sorry this is proving to be a very time consuming project because I am very interested in one of the possibilities you mentioned after completing it.  The f18 is a cool tech demo, showing that an updated TI could have kept up with game machines that came out years later.  However, I would prefer not to cut up historical objects as such.

 

However:

 

I have been looking for several years for a video solution for Arduino type projects.  I can get an arduino with something like 300 TIMES the performance of an NES, but I can't touch it's video interface.  Raw video at 320x240 24-bit 60fps is already over 100mbit.  The SPI bus simply isn't going to support more.  Buy a sprite engine?  The TMS9918 (and it's Japanese derivatives) is recorded as the only commercially available sprite engine in history.  You may be sitting on the second.

 

That, I am very interested in.

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8 hours ago, UrQuan3 said:

Be nice guys.

 

I have a very different reason to post.  I am very sorry this is proving to be a very time consuming project because I am very interested in one of the possibilities you mentioned after completing it.  The f18 is a cool tech demo, showing that an updated TI could have kept up with game machines that came out years later.  However, I would prefer not to cut up historical objects as such.

 

However:

 

I have been looking for several years for a video solution for Arduino type projects.  I can get an arduino with something like 300 TIMES the performance of an NES, but I can't touch it's video interface.  Raw video at 320x240 24-bit 60fps is already over 100mbit.  The SPI bus simply isn't going to support more.  Buy a sprite engine?  The TMS9918 (and it's Japanese derivatives) is recorded as the only commercially available sprite engine in history.  You may be sitting on the second.

 

That, I am very interested in.

 

That’s a fascinating idea! Always wanted to try an arduino project. Being able to use my VDP knowledge would be mighty cool.

A while back I stumbled on a project where someone used a F18a MK1 in his propeller project (if I’m not mistaking).
Unfortunately I can’t recall what it was otherwise I’d include the link here. 

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Life and job due to the pandemic have caused me to not have as much time as I planned the last few months, so the MK2 is not where I anticipated it would be by now.  I hate to keep apologizing, but that's all I can do for now, and I suppose I'll keep doing so until I get the MK2 done.

 

So the TMDS core I had to write is complete and tested.  This was necessary to support DVI and similar digital interfaces.  The last real hurdle is to decouple the scan-line generation from the pixel clock so I can use the new video formats that will be required.  Unfortunately when I was first writing the HDL for the F18A I was also simultaneously learning FPGAs and HDL, so my organization and separation of modules is not as clean as it should have been.  So I have some rework.

 

The end-to-end audio seems to be working pretty well too.  I had a new noise problem (another one) that I could not figure out, but it might have been my computer and not the MK2.  I have to run another test to verify (fingers crossed).

 

I hope I did not already give this update?  I did not read back before posting, so apologizes if this is duplication information.

 

On 8/26/2020 at 1:32 PM, UrQuan3 said:

I have been looking for several years for a video solution for Arduino type projects.

I always wanted to have some examples of using the F18A with other microcontrollers and in systems that did not have the 9918A.  Alas, what I *want* to do and what I have *time* to do are very different matters altogether.  I hope with the MK2 that I can produce some decent documentation, as well as some hardware examples and other such things.  I try to have positive intentions, even if I fall a little short on my actions.

 

I also have a serial interface (SPI) planned for the MK2, so make it easier to hook up to something like a microcontroller.  Since SPI can be very fast, it should be easy to get it to perform similar in speed to the parallel interface (I should probably do the calculations before I say something like that, though).

 

Some people have used the F18A in various projects, but they are few and far between.  I hope the MK2 and better availability will help with that.

 

Sitting here tonight thinking about how I can get the MK2 out faster, I realized something.  The hold-up now is rewriting a bunch of tile-layer and sprite HDL to decouple it from the pixel clock so I can support the digital pixel clock (which is 27MHz instead of ~25MHz).  However, if I limit the initial release to just supporting the analog VGA output, I could get things released sooner and provide the digital support via a firmware update.  I don't know how well that will go over with people, but it could help speed up the release.  The MK2's external SRAM would also be unused with this release too.

 

I don't really have a way to ask the 500 or so people who are on the waiting list, but at this point I think most would want *something* now, with more features via updates.  Yes?  No?

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Hi Matthew,

 

yes, think it’s a great idea to get the mk2 out with VGA output for starting.

 

I’m sure there are many people out there that already be very happy with just that.

Activating features via later firmware upgrades is the new normal and nothing to be too worried about, if you ask me.

You also get the joy of getting the product out in the wild and get a little return on your big invest (both on time and money).

 

Filip

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I'm all for a reduced release with the rest coming as an update.  Even better if the updates can be done without cracking the case again.  Though I wouldn't mind installing a separate port for that if needed/possible :)

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I'm very happy with VGA only on the first release , with an update path to DVI. 

 

Thanks for all your work on this project.

 

Cheers

Moe

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Thanks for the update and all of your hard work, Matt.  A VGA-only release is fine with me, and likewise, I support whatever works best for you. 

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I'm fine with an inital VGA-only release too. That said, do what you feel is right/want to do here and I'll support whatever you end up doing 100%. :) :) :)

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I'm fine with an initial vga release, even though I am mainly in this for a digital output on my colecovision. Currently running Coleco with an F18a to a scart switcher using a sync combiner but my poor switcher is full so I could use the space...

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5 hours ago, arcadeshopper said:

You put yourself on it at his website.. https://dnotq.io/

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk
 

I went to every page at that website could not find anything that would allow me to either preorder or get on a waiting list - I suspect it used to be on the store before he migrated websites?

 

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6 minutes ago, patb1au said:

I went to every page at that website could not find anything that would allow me to either preorder or get on a waiting list - I suspect it used to be on the store before he migrated websites?

 

I guess he's still working on it. When it's available it will be there.. not here    This is just for updates and q/a..  there is no preorder and there is no waiting list... it was just "put your name on the contact list to be notified when it is ready".. watching this forum will do the same thing   (if I sound frustrated, it's because this is very much not the first time this has come up in this forum)

 

Greg 

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