Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

for bbc micro/electron hardware, peripherals & programming issues (NOT emulators!)
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myelin
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:58 am

I feel like Intel is particularly bad at this with the Max 10 documentation... I can’t find anything in their docs that explains that the 10M08SC only has one PLL, for example. No idea if that’s a “compact” or a “single supply” thing.
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myelin
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sat May 04, 2019 4:30 am

I've been away from this project for a while, but did some wiring... the area inside the ULA socket is pretty much all wired up now. It's pretty tightly packed, so this will be an interesting experiment with signal integrity.

pcb-front.png
Last edited by myelin on Sat May 04, 2019 4:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat May 04, 2019 6:06 am

OH MY :shock:

That is one Not DIY PCB! I've seen BGAs placed but not tried one yet . . . Now where's that Flux?

Dave H =D>
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by mr-macrisc » Sat May 04, 2019 10:59 am

Ooo fab

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hoglet
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by hoglet » Sat May 04, 2019 11:01 am

Now I fully understand why this project frightens me so much! :lol:

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by BigEd » Sat May 04, 2019 11:26 am

myelin wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:15 am
... this chip ... doesn’t support initialized memory. This means ... we’ll need to load the SAA5050 character data in manually on startup, from the external flash or internal user flash memory.
Just a thought, but is that character data small enough, and the FPGA large enough, to be synthesised to combinatorial logic?

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by BigEd » Sat May 04, 2019 11:29 am

myelin wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:30 am
... the area inside the ULA socket ... pretty tightly packed
(I had to look up those two 54 ball BGAs: each one is a dual octal bidir 3-state transceiver which can also do level shifting. So that's 16+8+8 TTL signals converted, I guess.)

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sat May 04, 2019 3:35 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:06 am
OH MY :shock:

That is one Not DIY PCB! I've seen BGAs placed but not tried one yet . . . Now where's that Flux?
:D :D :D

I promise... this will be possible to solder at home! You'll need a stencil and a hot plate though :)
BigEd wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 11:29 am
(I had to look up those two 54 ball BGAs: each one is a dual octal bidir 3-state transceiver which can also do level shifting. So that's 16+8+8 TTL signals converted, I guess.)
That's right -- those buffer the address and data bus, plus eight more inputs to the FPGA. I was quite happy to find out about those; they're a really compact way to buffer a lot of signals. They're a little on the fast side, but they have built in terminating resistors, which should hopefully make up for the excessive speed.

I also have the 74HCT125 for the various open collector signals (IRQ, NMI, RESET, and the caps lock LED), and a 74HCT245 which I didn't also try to pack inside the ULA footprint!) for some other 5V CMOS-level outputs.
Last edited by myelin on Sat May 04, 2019 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Elminster » Sat May 04, 2019 7:21 pm

myelin wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 3:35 pm
daveejhitchins wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:06 am
OH MY :shock:

That is one Not DIY PCB! I've seen BGAs placed but not tried one yet . . . Now where's that Flux?
:D :D :D

I promise... this will be possible to solder at home! You'll need a stencil and a hot plate though :)
How about a gas hob?

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by 1024MAK » Sat May 04, 2019 8:22 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 7:21 pm
How about a gas hob?
I’ll take your gas hob and raise you to a blow torch :lol:

Mark

[You did want a scorching good add-on, didn’t you :mrgreen: ]

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myelin
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sat May 11, 2019 2:25 am

1024MAK wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:22 pm
I’ll take your gas hob and raise you to a blow torch :lol:
:D :D :D

Latest update: I have most of the FPGA pin assignments and traces done. It's starting to look pretty realistic now -- tiny traces all over the place! I wonder if that SDRAM will actually work...
Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 7.24.48 PM elkula fpga.png
^ click for higher res; it's worth it!

(And yes, I’m going to straighten them all out — the wiring is pretty shoddy still.)
Last edited by myelin on Sat May 11, 2019 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat May 11, 2019 6:15 am

myelin wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 2:25 am
1024MAK wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:22 pm
I’ll take your gas hob and raise you to a blow torch :lol:
:D :D :D

Latest update: I have most of the FPGA pin assignments and traces done. It's starting to look pretty realistic now -- tiny traces all over the place! I wonder if that SDRAM will actually work...

(And yes, I’m going to straighten them all out — the wiring is pretty shoddy still.)
Sod the blow torch - I'm getting the barbi ready . . . . . Wowser, this is going to be some board =D>

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Diminished » Sat May 11, 2019 8:18 am

Sorry if this has been covered, but is there a specification for this in one handy place anywhere for those of us who haven't been following along?

I actually have an Electron in the loft that someone gave me some years ago, but I've never really bothered much with it since I already have a Model B to play with.

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Elminster » Sat May 11, 2019 9:14 am

Diminished wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:18 am
I actually have an Electron in the loft that someone gave me some years ago, but I've never really bothered much with it since I already have a Model B to play with.
If you hear a strange noise from the loft that will be Dave rescuing the poor thing :)

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat May 11, 2019 9:16 am

Elminster wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:14 am
If you hear a strange noise from the loft that will be Dave rescuing the poor thing :)
Already there - anyone have a torch handy?

Dave H :lol:
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Diminished » Sat May 11, 2019 10:26 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:16 am
Elminster wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:14 am
If you hear a strange noise from the loft that will be Dave rescuing the poor thing :)
Already there - anyone have a torch handy?

Dave H :lol:
You'll find it, inexplicably, in an Atari ST box. It was given to me that way for some reason ... I admit, I was disappointed when I opened it and found an Electron instead (sorry Dave).

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sat May 11, 2019 12:46 pm

Diminished wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:18 am
Sorry if this has been covered, but is there a specification for this in one handy place anywhere for those of us who haven't been following along?

I actually have an Electron in the loft that someone gave me some years ago, but I've never really bothered much with it since I already have a Model B to play with.
I'll see about putting something in the README. For now you "just" have to read this entire thread :D

Basically it's -- make a pluggable replacement for the Elk ULA which adds as many features as possible.

Some of this is hardware, some of this is RTL (the code that goes into the FPGA). Hoglet has already written all the RTL, and there are a few hardware options.

- Papilio Duo ("duo") -- full Electron emulator or ULA using Dave's adapter board and a lot of wires
- DE1 board ("de1") -- full Electron emulator, not usable as ULA
- My new board ("max10") -- ULA only, should fit right inside the Electron

The max10 board has:
- Intel Max 10 10M08SCU169 FPGA with 8k LUTs and 42kB block RAM, able to communicate at up to 300MHz and run somewhat slower than that (TBD, depends how good my board design is).
- 32MB SDRAM
- 8+MB flash
- micro SD socket
- micro USB port
- stereo DAC for audio

Some of these will be unused until implemented in the RTL -- the SDRAM, flash, USB, and audio need RTL work.

What's currently implemented in the RTL:
- Everything that was in the original Elk ULA (including cassette I/O)
- Turbo mode -- not slowing down for memory access
- Mode 7 (which will need some work for the max10 board, as the character data will need reading from the flash)
- VGA output (although this will only work via the Elk RGB socket on my board, as there was no room to bring out the VGA signals, so you'll only get 1-bit RGB)
- SD card access for MMFS

When first brought up (powered on, programmed, and hardware bugs dealt with) I expect that the "basic Electron" and "turbo mode" stuff should work pretty much straight away, and it'll need RTL work for mode 7, MMFS (needs the flash chip), audio (needs the DAC), sideways RAM (needs the SDRAM), and USB communications.
Last edited by myelin on Sat May 11, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by mr-macrisc » Sat May 11, 2019 3:02 pm

Wow, that looks very cool...

Fingers crossed it all works when some boards are made.

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Diminished » Sat May 11, 2019 3:13 pm

myelin wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:46 pm
Diminished wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:18 am
Sorry if this has been covered, but is there a specification for this in one handy place anywhere for those of us who haven't been following along?

I actually have an Electron in the loft that someone gave me some years ago, but I've never really bothered much with it since I already have a Model B to play with.
I'll see about putting something in the README. For now you "just" have to read this entire thread :D

Basically it's -- make a pluggable replacement for the Elk ULA which adds as many features as possible.

Some of this is hardware, some of this is RTL (the code that goes into the FPGA). Hoglet has already written all the RTL, and there are a few hardware options.

- Papilio Duo ("duo") -- full Electron emulator or ULA using Dave's adapter board and a lot of wires
- DE1 board ("de1") -- full Electron emulator, not usable as ULA
- My new board ("max10") -- ULA only, should fit right inside the Electron

The max10 board has:
- Intel Max 10 10M08SCU169 FPGA with 8k LUTs and 42kB block RAM, able to communicate at up to 300MHz and run somewhat slower than that (TBD, depends how good my board design is).
- 32MB SDRAM
- 8+MB flash
- micro SD socket
- micro USB port
- stereo DAC for audio

Some of these will be unused until implemented in the RTL -- the SDRAM, flash, USB, and audio need RTL work.

What's currently implemented in the RTL:
- Everything that was in the original Elk ULA (including cassette I/O)
- Turbo mode -- not slowing down for memory access
- Mode 7 (which will need some work for the max10 board, as the character data will need reading from the flash)
- VGA output (although this will only work via the Elk RGB socket on my board, as there was no room to bring out the VGA signals, so you'll only get 1-bit RGB)
- SD card access for MMFS

When first brought up (powered on, programmed, and hardware bugs dealt with) I expect that the "basic Electron" and "turbo mode" stuff should work pretty much straight away, and it'll need RTL work for mode 7, MMFS (needs the flash chip), audio (needs the DAC), sideways RAM (needs the SDRAM), and USB communications.
Ah, there's more to this than I realised.

Very helpful, thanks.

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Sat May 11, 2019 5:12 pm

Diminished wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 3:13 pm
Ah, there's more to this than I realised.

Very helpful, thanks.
Yep, I think it’s the most complicated circuit board I’ve ever designed... it’s one of those projects where you go “oh, a big chip and a bunch of buffers, how hard can it be?” and then find out exactly how hard after you’ve been working on it for months :D
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Elminster » Mon May 13, 2019 3:18 pm

I have added to hardware list.

An interesting one to work out contributors. I have put people who have done most hardware bits in order of their first post.

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Thu May 16, 2019 12:18 am

And... it's off to JLC. Fingers crossed; I found a bunch of footprint bugs when I double checked everything a couple of days ago, so here's hoping I found them all! Time to put in a mega Digikey order for enough parts for one for me, one for Hoglet, and one for Dave H.

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 5.15.10 PM elkula 3d.png
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by daveejhitchins » Thu May 16, 2019 6:17 am

Phil . . .

Are you ready for the Electron and tape deck yet? Currently on holiday but I could get everything ready next week?

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Thu May 16, 2019 7:01 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:17 am
Are you ready for the Electron and tape deck yet? Currently on holiday but I could get everything ready next week?
I guess I am! (Well, in a week or two once all the bits arrive and I build the first board...)

I'll send you an email :)
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Elminster » Thu May 16, 2019 8:37 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:17 am
Phil . . .

Are you ready for the Electron and tape deck yet? Currently on holiday but I could get everything ready next week?

Dave H :D
Expecting at least a demo at ABUG next month, if not full availability. No pressure :)

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by daveejhitchins » Thu May 16, 2019 10:15 am

I suspect you can be expecting what you will - however . . . . [-o<

You never know, though :mrgreen:

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by mr-macrisc » Thu May 16, 2019 11:27 am

Oooooo wow.... Getting excited

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by Elminster » Thu May 16, 2019 11:45 am

I am waiting to see how many boards get destroyed doing bga with no specialist equipment before I buy one (otherwise I might need to buy 10 and hope to get one working one)

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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by BigEd » Thu May 16, 2019 11:58 am

10 PCBs are cheap - 10 sets of parts not so much. Perhaps someone can bring a toaster oven to the ABUG...

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myelin
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Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

Post by myelin » Thu May 16, 2019 1:41 pm

Based on my track record so far, my prediction is that on the first board I assemble, all the BGA chips will work on the first try, but there'll be shorts all over the place on the USB connectors and the TSSOP chips :D

That said, the most complicated boards I've assembled so far are the Arcflash ones, with one 0.8mm BGA and two 1.0mm BGA parts, whereas these ones have four 0.8mm BGA chips, so plenty more opportunities to get something wrong...
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Most interesting: Arcflash, FX2+PiTubeDirect Tube/Cartridge adapter, USB cart interface.

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