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Igor

Atari Lynx Programmer Pi Hat Orders

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Received today (hat and case), assembled, and now put to work reading my small Lynx cart collection after which I intend to leave the original carts packed away and play from the RetroHQ flash cart. This is a great little device with quite usable software and the stylish case is a nice touch too

 

I'm hoping whitelynx.fi will again sell the PCB's at some point to make dedicated patched/homebrew game carts too, for those situations where the RetroHQ flash cart is overkill but rewriting is needed occasionally 

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Actually I have lots of carts available. But due to 5 month delays in post I decided to wait over the US elections and try again later to see if the post is still broken. If you are in the EU just drop me a nessage.

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I'm surprised how quickly parcels are arriving now that I started to ship again.

Not as fast as pre-COVID but around 3 weeks to US is not bad (used to be 2 weeks).

 

I've made a batch of 5 using my last PCBs, unfortunately one of them was DOA, seems that one of the IO expander chips is broken.

I'll be updating the design of the PCB with the new logo and ordering a new batch so I can fulfil all of the outstanding orders.

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With a new logo, the previous pieces will become vintage and grew in price 😁.

 

With the price drop of the RPI3 decided to buy one to use with my second programmer hat and the case you designed:

 

case.thumb.jpg.da2bf8a149c1183834362b3ccd7eae69.jpg

 

Can't wait to check the new writing speed respect to the RPI Zero!

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Around 2 minutes for a 256kb ROM with a Pi3 in turbo mode. This is quite good.

 

Wonder how much it would take with a Pi4 as they now have the basis same price than Pi3.

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The Pi4 is a beast. It is about 3 times faster then the Pi3. The only "problem" is that I got completely obscessed with old Amiga pinball titles. The Pi4 running dosbox-staging with some pinhack produced absolutely amazing virtual pinball tables. I just got 253 million points in Babewatch. With USB MAME buttons and the volume cranked up to max it gives some cool vibes.

 

2020-08-28-053705_1080x1920_scrot.thumb.png.3c1e9601683fec1d85f41669c9777ce2.png

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I have a Pi4 here but haven't tested it out yet, will need to do that. I still think that the writing and reading speeds can be improved in software, just need time to work on it.

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9 hours ago, AltRN8 said:

Is it possible to get on the list still?

 

Yep, I've added you to the list. I'm in the process of confirming that I can get more components so once that's confirmed I'll have a proper announcement of new orders.

Also @karri opened up his store for cart PCB sales if you want to order those they are here - http://www.whitelynx.fi/shop/#!/10-Cart-PCB-boards/p/56645940/category=0

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Thanks for the pointer to the blank pcbs. I’ve just submitted an order for ten. Thanks also for adding me to the list. 

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Will do, it will be for a new revision of the board too, very excited to put these together. Hardware wise it hasn't changed but it's now red and I've tweaked some of the traces and pads to make it easier to assemble. Also will not be using the usual quality control stickers any more because there's a white rectangle on the PCB where I can write quality control info directly to the PCB :)

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I just had a small inventory and found out that I have less than 50 panels left. (500 carts)

 

For the next set of panels I could that the same approch as I have now. Or I could make it a bit fancier. There is a possibility to have hard gold fingers for the connector and perhaps use black pcb's.

The price would increase a bit. And so would the durability.

 

Another possibility would be to order a new batch now so that I could stock both types. Any comments?

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30 minutes ago, karri said:

Any comments?

A little stock with larger EEPROMs. I'm going to change the chip on some of the carts I have for a project of mine that will require a large save. With the increasing lynx coding activity, sooner or later other devs will explore this possibility.

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Swapping the chip to a larger one is simple with a littke hot air.

 

Are you interested in 2k or 64k?

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2 hours ago, Nop90 said:

For a project of mine that will require a large save.

Sounds like a RPG is coming ;)

 

I dont mind having the exact same PCB in the future, but depends what would be the cost for black pcb, and also if the gold connection really makes a difference.

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2 hours ago, Nop90 said:

don't know yet. Have to check the 64K chip price.

It is below €2 if I remember correctly. But we need to write a driver for it first.

blankcart.thumb.png.48c45b79bb95933a1de87e78d0fc8882.png

 

Edit: It is just 0.7€ each. And it is not 64k - just 32k bytes.

You could also use 24AA512 series that is 64k. It is around €1.10

Or 24AA128 series that is 16k. It would just cost €0.50

 

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36 minutes ago, karri said:

It is just 0.7€ each. And it is not 64k - just 32k bytes.

there is also the 24aa256sn that is 64KB

 

The driver can be derived from this or from this

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I should have a few boards with these chips already soldered in. If I find them I could send it to you for trying them out. For free ;) 

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Don't worry, at the moment I'm busy with a lot of other project. If I need them I'll make you know.

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25 minutes ago, Nop90 said:

Don't worry, at the moment I'm busy with a lot of other project. If I need them I'll make you know.

Ok. Same here. I was just trying to trick you to write the drivers. 😇

 

I believe the easiest approach would be to write it in C. Perhaps it could be a block device that reads/writes 32 bytes at a time.

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1 hour ago, karri said:

I was just trying to trick you to write the drivers. 

I'll try to do it.

 

EDIT: the protocol seems very easy (easier and faster than the other chip), will try to modify the existing protocol to work on this EEPROM chip. The good thing is that the protocol is exacly the same for all the 24AAXXX chips (up to 512 bits, the 24AA1025 has a little difference).

Edited by Nop90

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I think ENIG fingers would be good because they won't damage the cart connectors. In terms of colour...it doesn't cost any extra to do colours these days, not at PCBway anyway. I'm looking at redesigning the programmer completely next year, to make it easier to use, will see how much time I will get with a baby around!

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