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I've been working on an updated design of Karri's programmer board and discussed making more of these with him, he's given me the go-ahead. This version is a "Pi Hat" design. It slots in on top of a Raspberry Pi 2 GPIO connector and has standoffs to secure it in place. The board uses a proper Lynx cartridge connector, not pogo pins. In addition there are a couple of indicator LEDs to show activity/error status.

The board is compatible with Karri's cart PCBs (read/write) and it can read other carts, including carts that make use of SWVCC for power. You can purchase a set of 10x blank cart boards from Karri here - http://www.whitelynx.fi/shop/#!/Atari-Lynx-boards/c/15290050/offset=0&sort=normal. Note that you will need cart shells to make use of these, one white shell will be supplied with each board but you can purchase more if you like.

 

Requirements:

  • Raspberry Pi with a 40 pin GPIO header
  • Linux knowledge

What you will get:

  • Pre-assembled Pi-Hat board
  • 2x 11mm standoffs
  • 4x M2.5 screws
  • 1x 3D printed white cart shell

Pricing:

  • Production Pi-Hat - 60EUR + shipping
  • Pre-orders - 50EUR + shipping (finished)
  • 1x 3D printed cartridge shell - 4EUR
  • 10x 3D printed cartridge shells - 36EUR

 

Useful links:

 

 

 

Pre-order is now closed. If you still want to get a board, please comment here or contact me. All new boards (after the pre-order) will be available on the Atari Gamer Store once it's up and running.

 

 

Photos (production board left, pre-final board right)...

post-54616-0-61923000-1555661378_thumb.jpg

 

You can use a Raspberry Pi Zero with this board, but be warned that it runs significantly slower vs a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3.

 

post-54616-0-99498300-1560312061_thumb.jpg

 

These are the curved lip 3D printed cartridges that are available for purchase.

 

post-54616-0-42556800-1560312158_thumb.jpg

 

This is the 3D printed case for a Raspberry Pi, you can download its STL from Thingiverse, if you want to get one with your programmer board, tell me and I can print it for you.

 

post-54616-0-20491700-1560312236_thumb.jpg

 

 

Pre-final boards (as pictured, blue PCB, total of 7 made, 5 distributed):

  1. karri - sent 18/Mar/2019, delivered
  2. LX.net - sent 1/May/2019, delivered
  3. enthusi - sent 14/Mar/2019, delivered
  4. edu - sent 19/Mar/2019, delivered
  5. vince - sent 18/Mar/2019, delivered

Pre-order (production) boards:

  1. Andy - sent 1/May/2019
  2. LX.net + 6x shells (2x shells of each white, black, grey) - sent 1/May/2019, delivered
  3. thefred + 4x shells (1 grey, 1 black, 1 blue, 1 orange) - sent 7/May/2019, delivered
  4. bobandted + 10x shells (random colours) - sent 7/May/2019, delivered
  5. vince - paid + donated to upcoming Atari Game competition
  6. im_reg + 10x shells (black, grey, orange) - sent 7/May/2019, delivered
  7. flip + 10x shells (random colours) - sent 7/May/2019, delivered
  8. Greenious + 20x shells (random colours) - sent 14/May/2019, delivered
  9. zoran + 10x shells (2x shells of each black, orange, blue, 4x grey) - sent 14/May/2019, delivered
  10. theundutchables + 10x grey shells - sent 9/May/2019, delivered
  11. Ninjabba + 10x white shells - sent 9/May/2019, delivered
  12. Juan José Torres - sent 20/May/2019, delivered
  13. Marc Oberhäuser + 3x shells - sent 14/Jun/2019, delivered
  14. wazzal - sent 16/May/2019, delivered
  15. D-lag - sent 16/May/2019, delivered
  16. Songbird - sent 22/May/2019, delivered
  17. Songbird - sent 22/May/2019, delivered
  18. Fadest + 10x shells (any colour) - sent 22/May/2019, delivered
  19. zoran - contacted
  20. 4ever2600 + 30x grey shells - sent 13/Jun/2019, delivered
  21. KevinMos3 + 10x grey shells - sent 30/May/2019, delivered
  22. Positron5 + 5x shells (any colour) - sent 27/May/2019, delivered
  23. Wario - contacted - no reply
  24. Nop90 + 10x shells (any colour) - sent 4/Jun/2019, delivered
  25. LordKraken - sent 27/May/2019, delivered

 

Next batch (will be building/shipping in August 2019):

  1. Alonsan
  2. davidcalgary29
  3. BennVenn
  4. peekb
  5. mxnschx
  6. DashV
  7. neo_rg
  8. haightc
  9. karttu

 

Cancellations: PsychoMage

Edited by necrocia
  • Like 2

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It works with Stretch that is currently the OS used for the Pi. (I also used it with Jessie and Wheezy in the past. But these OS versions are obsolete today).

 

Currently I am running it on RetroPie as I also use the same Pi for emulation of software and developing new games. The Pi also works as a cc65 compiler.

 

One nice scenario is just leaving your Pi on. Whenever you want a cart burned I just insert an empty cart and give a remote ssh call like:

 

ssh burnerpi burnshaken

 

You can even make an icon of it on your phone or tablet. So just clicking the icon burns the cart.

 

A really lazy developer (like me) can even make the Pi fetch the latest fixes for the game from the git repo, let the Pi compile the code and burn the cart.

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I would like one.

Does it require a specific os on the pi? I know there are a few of them.

 

 

I use DietPi, Karri uses a different flavour of Linux. The main part is the software for the board itself, which can be compiled as long as you have developer tools installed.

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Thanks you all. I've put everyone who has expressed interest in the OP. I'll be sending out the first (as pictured) batch next week. Then it's onto sourcing all the parts for the next batch, which will go out to everyone on the list here.

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Would you all prefer to have different colour LEDs for the read/write state? For the pre-productionn boards all of the LEDs were green because I couldn't get hold of stock in different colours at the time, but since I'm ordering all new components I can try to get different colours this time. Thinking red for writing and green for reading...

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Would you all prefer to have different colour LEDs for the read/write state? For the pre-productionn boards all of the LEDs were green because I couldn't get hold of stock in different colours at the time, but since I'm ordering all new components I can try to get different colours this time. Thinking red for writing and green for reading...

 

I think different led colors for read/write is a fantastic idea, Igor.

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In my vocabulary red == alert, green == ok, yellow == information only. So one green led blinking while it works and burns steady when it is ready.

 

The second led could be red in case we have a problem. It is either off or glows steady when the cart cannot be programmed or read.

 

I don't see the point in having different leds for reading/writing/verifying.

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Thanks Juan, Karri. Easy solution is to not have read/write LEDs but activity(green) and error(red). I've not sent PCBs for fabrication yet so this will be an easy relabelling job. I like the idea of blinking while writing/reading, a blink can be triggered on every byte (or word) read/written. I've also had a suggestion to add some decoupling caps for the ICs, I've not noticed any issues with noise but it's not a bad suggestion to have.

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A small update to the functionality. The issue with some carts not being readable is now solved. Also if you want blank carts, order them from Karri - http://www.whitelynx.fi/shop/#!/Atari-Lynx-boards/c/15290050/offset=0&sort=normal

 

PCBs will be sent off for fabrication this weekend!

 

 


The board is compatible with Karri's blank carts (read/write) and it can read other carts (except for Luchs Soft carts but that is a software issue most likely this has been fixed now - 12/Mar/2018). You can purchase a set of 10x blank cart boards from Karri here - http://www.whitelynx.fi/shop/#!/Atari-Lynx-boards/c/15290050/offset=0&sort=normal.Note that you will need cart shells to make use of these, Karri has a limited supply of those but we are working on a more permanent solution.

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You cannot have blink by a byte because if a byte is not programmable then blinking would stop and the led stays on. Perhaps you could have a minimum frequency and a maximum frequency. If the programming gets stuck then the frequency drops to min..

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