ROM Cartridge ?

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BeebMan2018
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ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Fri May 24, 2019 4:42 pm

Hey guys can someone explain why a rom cartridge is soo expensive. Its as basic as a PCB can get. I would be interested in circuit diagrams of rom cartridge so i can just make my own. Id be happy with any assistance you can provide in locating the appropriate pcb with 44 way connector. Thanks.

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Elminster
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by Elminster » Fri May 24, 2019 5:19 pm

What do you consider expensive? Do you mean the ones on eBay? I would imagine if you knock off 10 boards form JCL or seeed that would be about £6 + components. So probably doable for ten quid. Although eeprom's are a bit more expensive but saves buying a programmer.

I don't know if Dave ever released the Gerbers (I assume you don't want to buy his one), but the schematics etc for ARA are all there
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5555&start=30

Or you could do Myelin's 32k Flash cart
http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12730

Sprow also has one but they are £20.

But there are several other types about, but not sure if they would be cheaper and/or open source.

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myelin
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by myelin » Fri May 24, 2019 11:53 pm

Here are the design files for my 32kB cartridge that Elminster linked to above: https://github.com/google/myelin-acorn- ... _cartridge

It uses a $1.21 SST39SF010A-70-4I-NHE 128kB flash chip, and a $0.41 74HCT00 logic chip, plus about $0.10 of capacitors. JLC will do you 5 boards shipped for $8 ($1.60 each) or 10 for $11 ($1.10 each), so they cost about $3 each to make.

In fact you can do better than that because right now I have seven of the boards sitting here and am happy to post you one for free if you want to get the other bits yourself and solder it up :)

PM me your address and I'll pop a couple in the mail.
Last edited by myelin on Fri May 24, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SW/EE from New Zealand, now in Mountain View, CA, making BBC/Electron hardware projects for fun.
Most interesting: Arcflash, FX2+PiTubeDirect Tube/Cartridge adapter, USB cart interface.

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1024MAK
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by 1024MAK » Sat May 25, 2019 12:03 am

A schematic of an original Acorn cartridge is here on http://mdfs.net/ :wink:

Mark

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daveejhitchins
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat May 25, 2019 6:42 am

I have kits for the ARA II (Just PCB and parts) for £9 posted! It becomes a little more expensive if you want to put the board into a case as then you need some ultra low profile sockets that are a little expensive!

If I put them on eBay they do become even more expensive as I have to cater for an unknown user and all the extra fees etc.

Dave H :D

If you'd like the Gerbers, just ask!
Last edited by daveejhitchins on Sat May 25, 2019 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Sat May 25, 2019 11:13 am

Elminster wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:19 pm
What do you consider expensive? Do you mean the ones on eBay? I would imagine if you knock off 10 boards form JCL or seeed that would be about £6 + components. So probably doable for ten quid. Although eeprom's are a bit more expensive but saves buying a programmer.

I don't know if Dave ever released the Gerbers (I assume you don't want to buy his one), but the schematics etc for ARA are all there
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5555&start=30

Or you could do Myelin's 32k Flash cart
http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12730

Sprow also has one but they are £20.

But there are several other types about, but not sure if they would be cheaper and/or open source.
Hi, Everything is relative I suppose. How do we assess value ? How is cost for time, materials, design calculated ? Is an item solely worth what a person is prepared to pay ? Part of me sees the value in Retro Hardware, it's scarcity, how it connects us to our youth etc. Another part of me sees an old plastic shell of out dated electronic components that's going to deteriorate and and become increasingly difficult to find replacements for. Considering how many elks were made this will take some time however. Also though with an ever decreasing support structure and user base it may be difficult to get the support and information new users will need when our generation succumbs to time :/

Anyway. My current situation is Unemployed, No Benefit, Electric Bill Arrears :/ So ... I can eat for maybe 2 weeks on 40 pounds ! Even if i was employed however I would be carefull about spending too much on electrical and electronic goods. In my youth i spent £1000's on MSX,Amiga,PC systesms. My first PC was a P200 with MMX Support with 62Mb Ram and a Nivdia Voodoo II GFx Card with 12 Mb ram. Cost somewhere about £1200 and I added another £500 for a Illyama 17" Monitor. £1700 in total. Whats it worth today ? Thats my point. I'm done spending money on consumer goods that depreciate. However was it worth £1700 at the time ? Hell YES. Playing Age Of Empires when i was in my 20's was mindblowing. Total Annihilation was a life saver for me. Quake. Doom, Unreal, Awww the list is endless. So whats my point really. I don't know its up to the consumer I guess and there personal choices and financial position. I just cant afford £40 on old hardware right now.

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1024MAK
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by 1024MAK » Sat May 25, 2019 11:40 am

Ahh, but that crisp new twenty-pound note that you wish you had in your pocket, will be a worthless and dirty bit of plastic/paper in twenty years time, due to the devaluation as inflation eats away at the currency...

I remember when a large Mars bar cost less than 20 pence... And you could buy penny sweets from your local newsagents. Cassette budget games cost less than £6 and full price games were between £9 and £16.

Now you don’t get much change out of a fiver for a magazine.

Sorry, thread spotted adrift... :oops: #-o [-X

Any way, please do ask if you need anymore help or advice.

Mark
Last edited by 1024MAK on Sat May 25, 2019 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmorley
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by cmorley » Sat May 25, 2019 11:56 am

I picked some up on eBay for a fair price but I watched for them for 18 months or so until there were some I was willing to pay for. I paid less than a tenner each for two Master carts which I thought was fair. £30-35 each is too much IMO.

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Sat May 25, 2019 12:25 pm

I may have one of Dave's ABRs you can have on 'long term loan'. I'd have to find it first though.

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Elminster
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by Elminster » Sat May 25, 2019 1:49 pm

cmorley wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:56 am
I picked some up on eBay for a fair price but I watched for them for 18 months or so until there were some I was willing to pay for. I paid less than a tenner each for two Master carts which I thought was fair. £30-35 each is too much IMO.
Been watching Atom’s for 18 months, still trying to get one for a tenner :)

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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Sat May 25, 2019 3:25 pm

sydney wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:25 pm
I may have one of Dave's ABRs you can have on 'long term loan'. I'd have to find it first though.
I would be DELIGHTED with that. I suppose you would need some form of collateral :/ Don't know what to suggest about that ! I suppose i could chop of my pinky, its kinda crushed anyway :) I have some monopoly money i could send you ? :) I don't know. Id would be grateful for any loans or gifts. Would it allow me to hook up an SD Card to the Printer port and use the 'firmware' it needs ? I'm very new to the elk you see and don't really understand what im doing at present. Let me know if you find it and we can sort out the details. Kind Regards, Paul
Last edited by BeebMan2018 on Sat May 25, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Sat May 25, 2019 3:27 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 1:49 pm
cmorley wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:56 am
I picked some up on eBay for a fair price but I watched for them for 18 months or so until there were some I was willing to pay for. I paid less than a tenner each for two Master carts which I thought was fair. £30-35 each is too much IMO.
Been watching Atom’s for 18 months, still trying to get one for a tenner :)
:) Why are the so expensive ? They aren't that rare surely ? Is it just the Brabham effect that makes them valuable ? For the money id buy a New PC. Madness.

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Elminster
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by Elminster » Sat May 25, 2019 6:03 pm

BeebMan2018 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:27 pm
Elminster wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 1:49 pm
cmorley wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:56 am
I picked some up on eBay for a fair price but I watched for them for 18 months or so until there were some I was willing to pay for. I paid less than a tenner each for two Master carts which I thought was fair. £30-35 each is too much IMO.
Been watching Atom’s for 18 months, still trying to get one for a tenner :)
:) Why are the so expensive ? They aren't that rare surely ? Is it just the Brabham effect that makes them valuable ? For the money id buy a New PC. Madness.
They are valuable because people want them. And eBay drives prices up, you can get most things cheaper if you are in the right place at the right time. E.g. a boot sale etc.

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Elminster
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by Elminster » Sat May 25, 2019 6:04 pm

BeebMan2018 wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:25 pm
sydney wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:25 pm
I may have one of Dave's ABRs you can have on 'long term loan'. I'd have to find it first though.
I would be DELIGHTED with that. I suppose you would need some form of collateral :/ Don't know what to suggest about that ! I suppose i could chop of my pinky, its kinda crushed anyway :) I have some monopoly money i could send you ? :) I don't know. Id would be grateful for any loans or gifts. Would it allow me to hook up an SD Card to the Printer port and use the 'firmware' it needs ? I'm very new to the elk you see and don't really understand what im doing at present. Let me know if you find it and we can sort out the details. Kind Regards, Paul


You can Load the ABR with the MMC Rom image, yes. Then wire in the MMC to the printer port.

Edit : I dare say if asked nicely someone could preload ABR/ARA with MMC Rom.
Last edited by Elminster on Sat May 25, 2019 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Sun May 26, 2019 12:30 pm

Dont go getting my hopes up ! :) He has to find it first !

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Sun May 26, 2019 6:36 pm

I've found the ABR and tested it and it's working correctly. I've also found a micro SD card board and six wires you can have as I'm never going to get round to using it.

In hoglets 'Simple electron MMC interface' thread there is a report that it doesn't work with the ABR. Can anyone confirm this before I post it off?

If someone confirms that EMMFS.rom is the correct rom image I'll load that onto the ABR and post it to you on Tuesday.

All you'll need is a micro SD card and a blank tape. The ABR has the ABR Utilities Rom in one of the rom slots so if I were you I'd get them onto tape then use *saverom to save the ABR utilities rom and the EMMFS rom to tape so if anything goes wrong you'll be able to reprogram everything yourself from tape.

This post has all the detail of how to connect the SD card board to the plus 1 and a copy of ELKBEEBMMB.zip : viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12737
This post has the ABR pack in it which has a copy of the manual: viewtopic.php?t=5672#p66117

BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Sun May 26, 2019 11:00 pm

I cant really descrbe how excited I am but i cant explain why :D I just really want to start using the Electron i guess and its been siting idle for months now. Whats the bets as soon as the ABR and SD Card are all wired up and plugged in the good weather will start and i will have to get on with my chores outside :/ Sods law im tellin ya.

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daveejhitchins
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by daveejhitchins » Mon May 27, 2019 7:37 am

sydney wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:36 pm
I've found the ABR and tested it and it's working correctly. I've also found a micro SD card board and six wires you can have as I'm never going to get round to using it.

In hoglets 'Simple electron MMC interface' thread there is a report that it doesn't work with the ABR. Can anyone confirm this before I post it off?rg.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5672#p66117
The problem could be that writes are needed to the ABR/ATI and the locking mechanism is being activated!

ACP's ADFS E00 gets around this problem by constantly unlocking the ABR.

Dave H :D
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For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Mon May 27, 2019 10:56 am

Errr thats currently above my pay grade. I need to learn basic basic's first :)

Dammit now i'm intruded. Can you explain about hoe the lock mechanism works, how addresses are manged and why E00 keeps cropping up. Its used by some attachments like the Plus 3 but not the AP6 ? Remember i don't own any of these items and have owned an 'Elk' for about a month ! Explain like your teaching a school kid please ! :)
Last edited by BeebMan2018 on Mon May 27, 2019 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Mon May 27, 2019 11:17 am

I've sent Dave a pm to see if we can get this tested before I post it out to you. There would be no point in posting it to you if it isn't going to work.
I also found an Advanced Rom Adapter in my box of unused bits so if it turns out that the ABR is unsuitable you can borrow the ARA instead, you'd just need to get a suitable ROM burned which someone on here will no doubt do for a reasonable price.

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Mon May 27, 2019 11:22 am

BeebMan2018 wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 10:56 am
Errr thats currently above my pay grade. I need to learn basic basic's first :)

Dammit now i'm intruded. Can you explain about hoe the lock mechanism works, how addresses are manged and why E00 keeps cropping up. Its used by some attachments like the Plus 3 but not the AP6 ? Remember i don't own any of these items and have owned an 'Elk' for about a month ! Explain like your teaching a school kid please ! :)
&E00 is the address of page using the TAPE filing system which pretty much all games use. Disk systems like DFS,ADFS,MMFS etc need additional memory so take some and page is moved up to &1900 (maybe, not exacly sure). So when games are tranferred to disk they overwrite this memory used by the disk system and don't work. One way around this is to use a loader program which loads the game into memory then when all disk activity is finished the game is 'moved down' by the loader program into the correct memory location.
Maybe.

Edit: It might be worth reading the ABR manual linked above. Does anyone have any suggested reading material to help increase his basic knowledge?
Last edited by sydney on Mon May 27, 2019 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Elminster
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by Elminster » Mon May 27, 2019 1:01 pm

Last edited by Elminster on Mon May 27, 2019 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Mon May 27, 2019 7:22 pm

CAn i have these ona ROM please so i can plug it into my cereal cortex ? :D

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Mon May 27, 2019 8:51 pm

Thanks to the ever helpful Dave Hitchins I am in possesion of a lovely 64k electron and plus 1 and I have loaded the EMMFS rom onto the ABR. I just need to find a suitable micro SD card and I can finally see if it all works. I think there is one in the tablet in the car but it's chucking it down right now so it'll probably have to wait until tomorrow.
elk.jpg

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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Tue May 28, 2019 1:37 am

=P~

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Tue May 28, 2019 4:32 pm

EMMFS seems to work perfectly well with the ABR. I've had a quick play of both Arcadians and Chuckie Egg and they loaded fine.
emmfs1.jpg
emmfs2.jpg
Here is how to wire it up - I kept the same colour wires as hoglet used.

Code: Select all

      purple              white  grey
         |                    |  |
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
25 23 21 19 17 15 13 11 9  7  5  3  1
26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8  6  4  2
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
                        |           |
                       blue       black
The 5v coming from the analogue port is quite delicate so take care with it.
PM me your address and I'll get it in the post, probaly tomorrow as the post office closes soon.

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vanekp
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by vanekp » Tue May 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Nice that you got it working =D> =D> =D>
you beat me to it, am busy getting the bits together to build this unit using the ABR :wink:
Peter.

BeebMan2018
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by BeebMan2018 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:27 am

Just a thought but what size of SD card can be used in this ?

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sydney
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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by sydney » Wed May 29, 2019 10:43 am

I tested it with a 16gb one. Must be a micro SD card. The mmbeeb file is around 100mb so any should do.

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Re: ROM Cartridge ?

Post by SpaceFlightOrange » Wed May 29, 2019 3:57 pm

Thats a novel way of installing a Gotek in a Master! :D
James

BBC Model A Issue 3 (Upgraded to Model B, had it since I was a kid), Opus Dual 40/80 FDD, Watford Mouse, Voltmace delta 14/B, Gotek, IFEL ROMRAM-B4, Pi-Zero CoPro

Master 128, VideoNuLA, Gotek

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