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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Or, being a Finn, €100 easily spent on beer and vodka. :lol: Gideonz, I found out about your project in the Dutch hobby club's News-item 05-01-2008 and emailed you before I noticed you have joined this forum and that there is this talk. :)

Does each cart have fixed support of either AR or FC3 or can this be changed by the user? When you say users can "hack RR in there", what exactly does that mean? Can we also invent our own carts? :P

With 4 MB FlashROM and 32 MB SDRAM, this cart easily kicks MMC Replay in that department, but is it compatible with anything? I mean, is how much of the ROM available for custom features?

It would be very interesting to see more detailed specifications and possibly some register maps or operation description, even if subject to change. The coolest feature has to be "emulated drive sounds". 8)

PS. I'm annoyed that there are now two threads that split up conversation about the same topic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:10 pm 
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Fman, as I said in the top post of the other thread, I wanted to start another thread to prevent the "new developments" thread becoming cluttered. I think "some general questions" is a suitable title for anyone considering buying this :wink:

Besides, have you ever found an interesting thread in a forum only to discover it is 15 or 20 pages long :?

Anyhow, I guess a mod can merge threads if they feel it necessary.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:54 am 
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Yes. I did read your bogus reasoning! :twisted:

On the other two forums that I follow, ongoing threads run till they are 100 pages long and then are rolled over to "<topic> II" and I see no problem there and too much messages hasn't really been a problem here and this enthusiasm should dry up pretty quick, and of course you don't have to care about me being annoyed (nobody else does). :lol:

PS. But how is it worse to see an interesting topic that is 20 pages long, compared to two threads on same topic, 10 pages each? I fail to see how splitting them up would be helpful. This is now an epic battle. Welcome to the forum, btw. 8)

Earlier I read that with a powercycle you can change it, but then I re-read the news item I mentioned, and it gives me the impression that each cart is either AR or FC3 compatible. I think I already pretty much asked this, but how exactly is it gonna be?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:38 pm 
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FMan wrote:
[cut all the nonsense...] Earlier I read that with a powercycle you can change it, but then I re-read the news item I mentioned, and it gives me the impression that each cart is either AR or FC3 compatible. I think I already pretty much asked this, but how exactly is it gonna be?

Technically, the FPGA content for FC-3 and AR is different. The content of this chip can only be changed by a power-cycle. But, the FPGA content can be loaded either from Flash or from the SD-card, so it is also possible to configure which image is used. Although not currently implemented yet, I am planning to make this selection available from the menu; possibly allowing multiple images to be stored in Flash as well. Note that in the menu it will also be possible to configure which IEC IDs are used for the 1541, as well as the direct-access IEC-drive.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:01 am 
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No need to be nasty. What about my other questions?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:58 am 
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FMan wrote:
No need to be nasty. What about my other questions?
I didn't mean to be nasty. I'd just like to keep this discussion technical, or at least informational. :D

FMan wrote:
With 4 MB FlashROM and 32 MB SDRAM, this cart easily kicks MMC Replay in that department, but is it compatible with anything? I mean, is how much of the ROM available for custom features?
Actually the amount of FlashROM on the final version is reduced to 2MB, since it is not needed to have that amount. Basically, anything you need, you can just store it on the SD-card, which is even easier to update. The actual application can even start from SD-card without flashing! The 2MB can still be used though to store different versions of the application, like with different cartridge emulations. The application is around 250-300 kB, so there is still plenty of space left.

About compatibility: it is HIGHLY compatible with a 1541!

FMan wrote:
It would be very interesting to see more detailed specifications and possibly some register maps or operation description, even if subject to change. The coolest feature has to be "emulated drive sounds". 8)

There are no accessible registers from the C64 side. Documentation still has to be written from scratch! (There are just some notes here and there..) First I need to get the units produced (I'm about to!) and then I could spend some time on documenting the internals of the Ultimate. Around halfway this year, I am planning to make it open source, including the documentation.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:44 am 
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gideonz wrote:
I didn't mean to be nasty. I'd just like to keep this discussion technical, or at least informational. :D


Which is why I didn't bother replying ;)

The idea of making this all open source is great Gideon. But as you already said, the priority is getting the units built and then see what the feedback from the users is.

Good job.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:36 am 
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I have understood that theres no possibility to have parallel cable connected to 1541-ultimate because of lacking +5v ports, but how about it when its running in stand alone mode, theres plenty of "free" pins on module port connector which is not in use while this thing is used in stand alone mode?

Also I was thinking that theres fpga running on the module, I assume that in theory it would be possible to program whatever hardware on the core? Like 6510-compatible cpu-core with more speed than 1Mhz? Just thinking about demos written specifically for this hardware ;)) Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting to see such functionality in the finished product, but I'm curious would it be possible after project documentation is released :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:10 pm 
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grue wrote:
I have understood that theres no possibility to have parallel cable connected to 1541-ultimate because of lacking +5v ports, but how about it when its running in stand alone mode, theres plenty of "free" pins on module port connector which is not in use while this thing is used in stand alone mode?
Grue, that is not even a bad idea at all. In fact, one could make a special cable, with the expansion port connector on one end, and the user port connector on the other end. Then, the cartridge port connector pins can be used to connect to the user port, and maybe even to a nice LCD screen! :wink: :idea:
grue wrote:
Also I was thinking that theres fpga running on the module, I assume that in theory it would be possible to program whatever hardware on the core? Like 6510-compatible cpu-core with more speed than 1Mhz? Just thinking about demos written specifically for this hardware ;)) Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting to see such functionality in the finished product, but I'm curious would it be possible after project documentation is released :)
Well, as a matter of fact, there are now two 6502's running in the FPGA; one at 1 MHz (for the 1541), and one at 25 MHz (50 MHz, but only enabled every other clock when running from internal memory) for the handling of SD-card. I think that once the project becomes open source, people could program anything in there. (Note that the 6510 is just an addition of a PIO register to the 6502). And, there is enough available memory on the cartridge to do some nasty demo stuff!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:19 pm 
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gideonz wrote:
Well, as a matter of fact, there are now two 6502's running in the FPGA; one at 1 MHz (for the 1541), and one at 25 MHz (50 MHz, but only enabled every other clock when running from internal memory) for the handling of SD-card. I think that once the project becomes open source, people could program anything in there. (Note that the 6510 is just an addition of a PIO register to the 6502). And, there is enough available memory on the cartridge to do some nasty demo stuff!


I was pointing to 6510 because of those illegal opcodes which I think basic 6502 does't have.. So, in theory with suitable core this beast could be nice "supercpu" replacement also :)

Heh, I know that writing cores isnt piece of cake as we have seen with C=1 project earlier, but I enjoy the endless possibilities already :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:37 pm 
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This project is getting very very interesting. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:47 pm 
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I have to sleep for 2 months so that the time goes faster and when i wake up i will find my 1541 ulitimate in my mail box.and will be the happiest man on the world :)

BTW i use music programs can a save my work to a d64 file ?

Cheers
Odo


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:42 pm 
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Quote:
BTW i use music programs can a save my work to a d64 file ?

Most certainly, unless your music program uses some really ackward disk turbo. Until now I don't think I've come across a music program which doesn't use standard kernel disk i/o.


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 Post subject: Status update
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:29 am 
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Hello all :)

The so called "null-series" PCBs (the ones intended for production) have arrived on my desk. Wow they look great with gold finish!! I am currently assembling them manually. Most components are already there, but still working on the relatively large number of small capacitors and resistors. I hope to be testing the cart tonight.

Gideon


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:32 am 
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RaveGuru wrote:
Quote:
BTW i use music programs can a save my work to a d64 file ?

Most certainly, unless your music program uses some really ackward disk turbo. Until now I don't think I've come across a music program which doesn't use standard kernel disk i/o.

Even with a disk turbo, saving to the .D64 should not be a problem, RaveGuru. The only thing currently not supported is a "free format" disk; which is not obeying to the standard 4-speed region, 21/19/18/17 sectors per track format.


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