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Hot swap carts?

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I was reading an instruction booklet when I noticed that TI encouraged changing out the cartridge with the power on!?

I have never hot swapped a TI cart.

 

How about everyone else here? Do you power down first or just rip the game out when you are done with it?

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I was used to hot swap them at '80s, however XB was most of the time the only cart used, with assembler games loaded from disk (and BEAXS for EA loading). Now, with FinalGROM 99, it's no more necessary to do too much swaps and now I prefer to turn the power off before swapping carts. 🙂 

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I remember that I hot-swapped the cartridges or at least inserted cartridges at run time. The console is reset when you insert the cartridge; there is a special circuitry for that.

 

For copying cartridges, people sometimes masked the reset pin with a tape.

 

Once I had my Geneve, there was no cartridge swapping anymore.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, mizapf said:

I remember that I hot-swapped the cartridges or at least inserted cartridges at run time. The console is reset when you insert the cartridge; there is a special circuitry for that.

 

For copying cartridges, people sometimes masked the reset pin with a tape.

 

Once I had my Geneve, there was no cartridge swapping anymore.

Reset yes but if you load a program at a certain memory address and with a Load button (LOAD is a non-maskable interrupt), the program will take over the cartridge as BUGOUT or Maximen does.

 

 

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By the way, here is a hardware solution for using the LOAD interrupt, taken from "9900 Family Systems Design", page 4-62.

post-35000-0-87157900-1427968596_thumb.png

 

 

Edited by humeur
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1 hour ago, mizapf said:

For copying cartridges, people sometimes masked the reset pin with a tape.

Don't need the tape ...if you can swap them at light-speed!;-)

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In answer to the original question: it was perfectly safe to hot-swap cartridges manufactured by TI. Note, this includes all of the cartridges they manufactured for ScottForesman (both under TI and ScottForesman labeling).

 

This is not a generally true statement for third-party, ROM-only cartridges though. Hot swapping them would often have the same type of bad outcomes common to other systems.

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I just took another look and noticed that they say to turn on your TI BEFORE you plug in a cartridge!

 

I'll stick with doing it the old-fashioned way of turning it on after I inset a "command module."

 

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3 hours ago, tmop69 said:

I was used to hot swap them at '80s, however XB was most of the time the only cart used, with assembler games loaded from disk (and BEAXS for EA loading). Now, with FinalGROM 99, it's no more necessary to do too much swaps and now I prefer to turn the power off before swapping carts. 🙂 

RXB has EA built into same cart so swapping can be as easy as CALL EA or from any prompt in EA cart just type XB

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I've told my story a few times, but to young me it was very traumatic. I lost my Exceltech Extended BASIC to a hot swap - I was demonstrating to a friend how the TI console allowed for it. This cartridge had the same reset circuit as all the others. (Mind you, I wish I still had it so I could determine WHAT actually died ;) ).

 

That experience has me doubt it's 100% safe. The circuit itself is a brief short circuit from -5v to ground, which also doesn't fill me with warm fuzzies... but it's analog at that point so what do I know? ;)

 

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4 hours ago, MaDDuck said:

I was reading an instruction booklet when I noticed that TI encouraged changing out the cartridge with the power on!?

I have never hot swapped a TI cart.

As soon as I learned about it never went back to turning the console off for a swap -- with the exception of third party cartridges.  Because of the reset I actually preferred hot swapping. But that's all past times now anyway with the FinalGROM :)

 

49 minutes ago, Tursi said:

I've told my story a few times, but to young me it was very traumatic. I lost my Exceltech Extended BASIC to a hot swap - I was demonstrating to a friend how the TI console allowed for it. This cartridge had the same reset circuit as all the others. (Mind you, I wish I still had it so I could determine WHAT actually died ;) ).

Huh.. maybe they Exceltech didn't correctly implement the circuitry?

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Not sure about console power, but I remove mine with a claw hammer and insert them with a t-shirt cannon. Bad boy is still kicking around just fine.

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6 hours ago, WhataKowinkydink said:

Huh.. maybe they Exceltech didn't correctly implement the circuitry?

It's possible, but really the reset is only good for the software side. There's nothing in there to help the cartridge circuitry come up cleanly. Modern hotplug devices have longer lines on power and ground to ensure that voltage is applied to the voltage pins before the data pins.

 

On the other hand, I seem to be the only person it's ever happened to. Maybe it was static, and not the reset at all. ;) We'll never know. But I think I'll endorse OLD CS1's technique!

 

 

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Lost my first Parsec cartridge to a hot swap in the 80's. Repurposed the board to a 8K SuperCart.

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Posted (edited)

I've never ever done a hot swap device on older computers on purpose, but I have and do on more recent hardware where, for example, a HD power up then adding sata cable seems ok, but again, it's a similar thing, as things can still go wrong, like when you fall over the table your working at because it's legs decided not to hold your weight as soon as you insert sata cable. 

Claw hammer in hand.

Edited by GDMike
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9 hours ago, RXB said:

RXB has EA built into same cart so swapping can be as easy as CALL EA or from any prompt in EA cart just type XB

ok, but RXB was not available on early '80s. BEAXS from Paolo Bagnaresi was the best solution at the time to run EA games if you only have the XB. Today we have FinalGROM and swapping a cart is ultra easy. On MiSTer or Emulators the cart swap is ultra easy too. 🙂  I'm not interested in the ton of additional commands you added to BASIC in RXB, since I simply cannot use in compiled code, however I think I would have surely appreciated them in '80s when I was using non-compiled code. Luckily, moving on Amiga, I was able to use C and 

abandoned BASIC and the "spaghetti" code programming...

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, tmop69 said:

abandoned BASIC and the "spaghetti" code programming...

BASIC doesn't force speghetti code, bad coders force spaghetetti code ;)

Edited by WhataKowinkydink
typo
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11 minutes ago, WhataKowinkydink said:

BASIC doesn't force speghetti code, bad coders force spaghetetti code ;)

I've compiled approx. 500 TI BASIC/XB program and I can ensure that the "spaghetti" code style reigns and I don't think all are bad coders. BASIC doesn't force, but surely helps it. ;-) But, it's better to close this OT.

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10 hours ago, Tursi said:

That experience has me doubt it's 100% safe. The circuit itself is a brief short circuit from -5v to ground, which also doesn't fill me with warm fuzzies... but it's analog at that point so what do I know? ;)

 

 

Agree. Unless that short is through some sort of current-limiting resistor (which would have to be fitted to the cartridge) I would imagine that you could at the very least take out the -5V supply if the short was in place for too long.

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40 minutes ago, tmop69 said:

I've compiled approx. 500 TI BASIC/XB program and I can ensure that the "spaghetti" code style reigns and I don't think all are bad coders. BASIC doesn't force, but surely helps it. ;-) But, it's better to close this OT.

RXB or XB is not a COMPILED BASIC I do not think you know what you are talking about here, sorry.

You must be thinking of G.E.M. which is Compiled XB.

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1 hour ago, RXB said:

RXB or XB is not a COMPILED BASIC I do not think you know what you are talking about here, sorry.

You must be thinking of G.E.M. which is Compiled XB.

Rich, I was referring to the fact that having compiled these programs, I necessarily had to read the original, source code, that was in BASIC or XB. And there is a lot of "spaghetti" code style in these sources. That's all. Read again my post. I've not mentioned any compiled code obtained from the source code.
Please, don't worry for me, I know the differences, you do not need to waste your time to try to explain it.

 

And, please, do not overreact, no one is attaching your RXB. We all like it, we all have it on our FG99, etc. It's really good that we can download it for free (we appreciate this), but we are also free to decide when, if an how to use it. In my original post I was talking about '80s, so using XB+BEAXS was the best and only option for me. Your reply, mentioning your RXB, is another of your unnecessary and unrequested advertisements of how good is your product. We know it, but please, don't be so insistent on promoting it on each thread of this forum. You'll just obtain the opposite effect.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

to answer OP's question, in the 80s and pre-FinalGrom99, I pulled those puppies out with TI still on! *gasps and shock and horror*.  :)  I'm sure there's several schools of thought on it out there.

 

Since I have a FG99 cart now, there's not a lot of that going on, so when I do swap out a cart (typically for the MBX ones that I kept), I do power the TI off first.

 

That and Zero Zap.  All hail and revere the Zero Zap cart, present it to the TI on a velvet pillow in supplication, power off the TI, then gently insert the cartridge to soft mood music.

Edited by digdugnate
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The question is, could there be a higher risk of damage when the console is powered on? The problem is usually static discharge, but this may also happen on cold plugging. Could, in turn, a powered connector even clear the static charge better than an unpowered one?

 

Inserting a cartridge will cause noise on the data bus, which usually leads to a crash, but for that reason the console is automatically reset shortly after plugging in. However, we have to consider both sides, so could this be more harmful to the cartridge or to the console?

 

The cartridge port became a bit unstable on my console back in those days, but the reason may simply be the insertion and removal of cartridges, independent of the power state. It just wore out and became dirty.

 

As far as I know, the hot-pluggable connections on the PC (like USB) first connect the ground pin, then the other pins, so there seems to be some technical reason.

 

 

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I think of all the TI cartridge manuals I've encountered, only the Mini Memory manual stated that the console should be powered off before inserting or removing the cartridge.  All of the others tell you to turn on the console prior to inserting the cartridge

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2 hours ago, Casey said:

I think of all the TI cartridge manuals I've encountered, only the Mini Memory manual stated that the console should be powered off before inserting or removing the cartridge.  All of the others tell you to turn on the console prior to inserting the cartridge

So the secretary for TI CEO and board wrote the manual for the mini-mem while paid lawyers wrote the command module docs. 😲

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9 hours ago, digdugnate said:

All hail and revere the Zero Zap cart, present it to the TI on a velvet pillow in supplication, power off the TI, then gently insert the cartridge to soft mood music.

You have my sword.

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