Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces (SOLD OUT)

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Ramtop
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Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces (SOLD OUT)

Post by Ramtop » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:53 pm

Hi all,

I've just finished a small batch of Electron MicroSD interfaces. They're designed to be as cheap as possible, no frills at all, just a card interface and MMFS in an eprom flash. It can use MicroSD cards up to 8GB.

10/03 - I'm now shipping the second version of this card, which mounts the MicroSD module directly on the board and uses a flash chip rather than a eprom. It works exactly the same way as the first version, however.

Forum price is £21 each, via PayPal. £2.50 post for the UK, £4.50 for Europe.

Edit: added a pre-made beeb.mmb file with a menu system. I can't find the original thread I got this from, so apologies for not giving credit to whoever wrote the menu code!

UPDATE 26/03 : SOLD OUT

UPDATE 17/03 : Card supply situation has now improved somewhat :)
UPDATE 12/03 : All cards from this batch sold, however parts and PCBs have been delivered today and I'm in the process of building new cards as fast as possible. Please be aware orders may not ship for a few days as I try to catch up. Demand is outstripping my ability to build cards by a fairly serious margin at the moment.

UPDATE 10/03 : Batch of new Mk2 card available.
UPDATE 01/03 : SOLD OUT
UPDATE 28/02 : 3 cards left 1 card left.
UPDATE 24/02 : Second batch now available.
UPDATE 14/02 : SOLD OUT - next batch due approx 2 weeks.
UPDATE 13/02 : 1 card remaining.
UPDATE 11/02 : I have 3 cards still available.
Attachments
sdmk2_1.jpg
sdmk2_2.jpg
sdmk2_3.jpg
elkgames.zip
(3.17 MiB) Downloaded 67 times
Last edited by Ramtop on Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 pm, edited 14 times in total.
Gary

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danielj
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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by danielj » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:32 pm

Lovely work! :) (Possibly egg-sucking, but I'd cover the window on the eprom! :))

d.
Last edited by danielj on Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by hoglet » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:49 pm

Nice!

What type of hardware interface does the CPLD implement?

(i.e. which build of MMFS do you need to use?)

Dave

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:01 pm

danielj wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:32 pm
Lovely work! :) (Possibly egg-sucking, but I'd cover the window on the eprom! :))
The boards in the picture are just the ones I'm keeping for messing about, so I leave the eproms uncovered. The shipping ones are already packed, and have a nice white sticker on the window :D
hoglet wrote: Nice!

What type of hardware interface does the CPLD implement?

(i.e. which build of MMFS do you need to use?)
It's using the Plus 1 printer port version. The CPLD contains a bare bones emulation of the printer port hardware, just enough for MMFS to function. The watchword for this board was 'much cheapness!' and fortunately the faux printer port just fits into the little 9536XL CPLD, with a grand total of 0 macrocells left. There wasn't even enough room for a flashy LED :)

Also, please let me know if you'd like a board, Dave. I'd be happy to send you one as a thank you for your hard work on MMFS.
Last edited by Ramtop on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Corum » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:54 am

I'm interested in one. Will PM you later
best regards

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by markjw » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:45 am

interested in one as well - will send you a PM

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by myelin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:45 pm

Nice! Excellent for all the folks out there without a Plus 1, and it's great to see a new Elk hardware designer here -- welcome!
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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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:42 pm

Thanks, myelin. I just thought there was a need for a lower priced memory card board for the Elk, when I bought mine the only card interface I could find was the GoSDC, which is a fine product but not inexpensive. Hoglet's work on the Electron printer port MMFS version has made it possible to do a cheaper board.

The eproms I was waiting on came in so I was able to complete an additional 3 cards. But sales have been very brisk, so far 7 out of 10 cards have been sold. I'll be doing another batch, which should be ready by the end of the month.
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by mattyj » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:02 pm

Hello
I'm interested in one, i'll pm you,
Regards
Matt

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by myelin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:47 pm

Ramtop wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:42 pm
Thanks, myelin. I just thought there was a need for a lower priced memory card board for the Elk, when I bought mine the only card interface I could find was the GoSDC, which is a fine product but not inexpensive. Hoglet's work on the Electron printer port MMFS version has made it possible to do a cheaper board.

The eproms I was waiting on came in so I was able to complete an additional 3 cards. But sales have been very brisk, so far 7 out of 10 cards have been sold. I'll be doing another batch, which should be ready by the end of the month.
Exactly... I wanted to do this myself, except I'm in the USA, and for some reason our overseas shipping costs here are ridiculous -- US$14 (£11) for shipping, plus all the UK import costs on the other end, for a 200g parcel -- so it wasn't really possible to offer anything at a reasonable price.

BTW if you start having trouble sourcing EPROMs, the SST39SF010A flash chip is a pretty nice substitute. They cost about a dollar each and are still in full production, plus are reprogrammable from within the machine -- here's an example board using one. They come in the PLCC used on that board, plus DIP, and a finer-pitch TSSOP.
Last edited by myelin on Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:49 pm, edited 1 time 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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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:08 pm

You read my mind :D

I've already designed a board that can use a 39SF010, but it's more of a dev board for messing about with stuff. It takes various flash parts, 62256 SRAMs, 27128/27256 eproms, etc, and has a bunch of I/O pins. Right now I'm in the process of scaling that down to be V2.0 of the MicroSD board. But that's a while away yet.

(edit: here's a pic of the dev board. I'll probably tidy it up and do a small run of them at some point)
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esx1a.jpg
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by myelin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:17 pm

Ramtop wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:08 pm
You read my mind :D

I've already designed a board that can use a 39SF010, but it's more of a dev board for messing about with stuff. It takes various flash parts, 62256 SRAMs, 27128/27256 eproms, etc, and has a bunch of I/O pins. Right now I'm in the process of scaling that down to be V2.0 of the MicroSD board. But that's a while away yet.

(edit: here's a pic of the dev board. I'll probably tidy it up and do a small run of them at some point)
... and you're doing it as an Elk expansion! Very nice :)
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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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by davidb » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:00 am

Looking good - both the micro SD expansion and development board. I like the idea of emulating the printer port to make the software work. =D>

I would be tempted by the micro SD one but I would be wanting to use something in a cartridge, I think. Maybe I'll have changed my mind by the time you do a second batch, so I think I'll wait. :)

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:37 am

Hi, Garry . . .

Great product for those without a Plus 1 (must be an awful lot of those kicking about!). Have you thought about making a case for it? It would probably be less "daunting" for some of the less technical Electron users!

Could you advise where you source the card edge connector from, please? I have an extender board in the wings (for the cartridge slots) just waiting for them (haven't really had the time to carry out a good search yet!).

Thanks - Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:37 am
Great product for those without a Plus 1 (must be an awful lot of those kicking about!). Have you thought about making a case for it? It would probably be less "daunting" for some of the less technical Electron users!
It's definitely something I'll be looking into. Not knowing what demand would be like, and with a plan to supersede the eprom board with a flash based one in future (which will have to be physically lager), committing to producing a case wasn't really viable. But I'll probably do a cased option for the flash board - any advice from someone with experience in this area would be most welcome, as it's something I know absolutely nothing about!
daveejhitchins wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:37 am
Could you advise where you source the card edge connector from, please? I have an extender board in the wings (for the cartridge slots) just waiting for them (haven't really had the time to carry out a good search yet!).
Ahh, the connector. I see those in my nightmares. Went through a bunch of them trying to find one that would work and didn't cost silly money. This is the one I'm using at the moment:

https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detai ... -ND/770544

I'm not overly happy with it. It's in stock, not too expensive, and the little plastic slot dividers are available for it, but it's designed for through-board mounting so the pins have to manually bent at an angle to contact the PCB. Soldering it on is... interesting.

https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detai ... -ND/927273

These ones I tried on some test boards. They're high quality and much easier to work with, but availability is spotty and I don't really want to deal with a 3 week lead time.
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:50 pm

Ramtop wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 am
daveejhitchins wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:37 am
Great product for those without a Plus 1 (must be an awful lot of those kicking about!). Have you thought about making a case for it? It would probably be less "daunting" for some of the less technical Electron users!
It's definitely something I'll be looking into. Not knowing what demand would be like, and with a plan to supersede the eprom board with a flash based one in future (which will have to be physically lager), committing to producing a case wasn't really viable. But I'll probably do a cased option for the flash board - any advice from someone with experience in this area would be most welcome, as it's something I know absolutely nothing about!
The first thing is to get the design to a point where it's easy to manufacture with the lowest price parts and easy to program. Once you're happy then look at the board layout with respect to adding a box around it. E.g. you'll need to consider how to mount it: screws, slots or a combination. Then the case design should be relatively easy . . .
Ramtop wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 am
daveejhitchins wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:37 am
Could you advise where you source the card edge connector from, please? I have an extender board in the wings (for the cartridge slots) just waiting for them (haven't really had the time to carry out a good search yet!).
Ahh, the connector. I see those in my nightmares. Went through a bunch of them trying to find one that would work and didn't cost silly money. This is the one I'm using at the moment:

https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detai ... -ND/770544

I'm not overly happy with it. It's in stock, not too expensive, and the little plastic slot dividers are available for it, but it's designed for through-board mounting so the pins have to manually bent at an angle to contact the PCB. Soldering it on is... interesting.

https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detai ... -ND/927273

These ones I tried on some test boards. They're high quality and much easier to work with, but availability is spotty and I don't really want to deal with a 3 week lead time.
I thought the one in your early photo was actually one designed for attaching to the side of a PCB! That would be the type preferred, of course - I'll have to have a look and maybe contact some of the Reps I knew when still working for a living - Goodness, how long ago :? You could consider a through hole mounting version with 90 deg pins!

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:37 pm

Thanks for your advice on the case, Dave. I shall think deep thoughts about that, once the flash-based board is ready to go.

My very, very first Electron design used a 90-degree through hole connector, but I never built it because the specific connector I wanted went out of stock everywhere and had a 12 week lead time. Finding one that's cheap and has good availability is rather too much like hunting unicorns...
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:50 pm

Ramtop wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:37 pm
Thanks for your advice on the case, Dave. I shall think deep thoughts about that, once the flash-based board is ready to go.

My very, very first Electron design used a 90-degree through hole connector, but I never built it because the specific connector I wanted went out of stock everywhere and had a 12 week lead time. Finding one that's cheap and has good availability is rather too much like hunting unicorns...
I'll join you in the hunt for those unicorns - see what we can unearth . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by uniforix » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:14 pm

I should log in here more often :-)

I assume I bought one off you on E-Bay earlier today, looking forward to trying it out :-D
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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:46 am

I hope you'll like it! :D
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by markjw » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:27 pm

interface arrived today - very impressed - connected it up, copied the beeb.mmb file to a SD card and powered up the Electron - worked straight away and I had a quick play of Planetoid

thanks for the quick delivery and your time spent developing the interface.
Mark

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by YuT666 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:26 pm

Would buy one... how much are the shipping costs to germany?

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:03 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Mark. I'm glad you like it.

YuT666, shipping to Germany is £4.50 and takes 3-7 days.
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by YuT666 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:56 pm

Thanks for your answer. PM sent...

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by daveejhitchins » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:51 pm

Well I found some Unicorns! However way too expensive . . .
Connector 2.jpg
Connector 1.jpg
Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Fwapp » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:58 pm

Hi - if there is one still available, I'll take it please.

Please let me know the total including postage within the UK, thanks.
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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by YuT666 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:59 pm

Gary ... payment sent.

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:19 pm

YuT666 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:59 pm
Gary ... payment sent.
Many thanks.

And... they're gone. All cards sold.
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by Ramtop » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:19 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:51 pm
Well I found some Unicorns! However way too expensive . . .
Dave H :D
It is an "if you have to ask the price..." job? :D
Gary

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Re: Electron MicroSD Card Interfaces

Post by daveejhitchins » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:51 am

Ramtop wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:19 pm
daveejhitchins wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:51 pm
Well I found some Unicorns! However way too expensive . . .
Dave H :D
It is an "if you have to ask the price..." job? :D
Are you sitting comfortably?

In small quantities the 50 way parts (25 dual row) are £7.10 each MOQ-10 with £15 P&P. The 44 way part I was after are £6.83.

I'll keep searching . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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