Re: [stella] EPROMs

Subject: Re: [stella] EPROMs
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 02:13:43 -0400 (EDT)
On Mon, 3 Sep 2001, Chris Wilkson wrote:

> Who makes the chip?  There should be a symbol on it someplace.  Maybe even
> the company name.  Try to describe it here if it's non-obvious.  2732A is
> certainly different than 2732.  The "FI" is just packaging nonsense.  You
> can ignore it.  Is your programmer a stand alone model, or does it run with
> a PC?  Who makes it?  How do you use it?  Did you get the docs?

The programmer is a GTEK model 7228. It came with a floppy, with DOS software.
You plug it in to a serial port on a PC. It looks like you can use any terminal
software you want with it, unless there's some weird timing constraints to
how you send data to it. I plugged it into a serial port on my Wind*ws box and
fired up hyperterminal, it gave me a prompt like `xxxx>'.

I didn't get any docs with it, but I did find the manual on GTEK's web site.
It's pretty detailed. One minor annoyance is that the manual says you should
never, ever insert or remove a chip while the unit is powered on... but there's
no power switch, so until I rig something up I'll have to go spelunking under
the desk...

If you're interested, the manual is at

Surprisingly detailed manual. That and the look of the thing tell me it's
pretty ancient.

The 2732 chips have an ST logo, which according to the manual stands for
SGS-Thomas. The full part number is M2732AFI, you said ignore the FI so I'll
assume it's a 2732A for now. I've got some old 2716's that my roommate gave
me, so I'll try the programmer on those first. The 2732A(?) chips do say
21V on them, which I take to be the programming voltage... and the manual
for this programmer tells me 2732 and 2732A use the same settings (menu
option D)... but you tell me they're very different. Your information is
certainly more up to date than what's in the manual, I think...

> Yes, 27C128 is great.  Since you have those, I'd recommend using those
> for development purposes and leave the M2732A chips alone.  Or maybe save
> them for production, etc.  If you need cartridge boards, the 27C128 will
> fit the boards I make.

I'd like to at least try making my own cartridge board, but I will probably
end up buying some from you anyway (my hardware skills are not what they
used to be, due to bad vision and the onset of carpal tunnel)... I was
thinking the 27C128's pinout (28 pins) might be a superset of the 2732, and
it almost is. I might be able to use the 128 in the ripped-apart Combat cart
I have (desoldered the ROM), but I know I could use the 2732(a?). I'd
have to figure out how to mount the inverter (maybe hot-glue it upside
down to the board?)...

> > If I were dealing with modern PC hardware, I'd just take the `try it and
> > buy another if you fry it' approach (aka `learning by burning'), but 2600
> > consoles are getting hard to come by these days, so I'll the people who
> > know...
> Better to ask this now than to ask later how to fix the 2600.  :)

I've already got one dead 2600. I'm not sure it ever worked, it was packed
up in a crate for 10 years until 2-3 weeks ago. I had 3 of them, one worked
great, one (a 6-switch) was flaky until I reseated the chips, and one was
DOA. I wish I could lay hands on a working 2600jr, for some reason I'd feel
less bad if I blew one of those up.

> > Anyway, if worst comes to worst, I have got one regular old 2732 I can
> > use... and the Hamfest trip was a blast, even though I'm not really into
> > ham radio.
> They're great.  I just wish there were more of them around....
> -Chris

We spent 2 nights sleeping in a van. If there hadn't been a refrigerator (!)
in the back, it might have been `roughing it'... The guy with the van wants
to drive to Dayton, Ohio, for the other big Hamfest when it comes around, not
sure I want to ride from Atlanta to Dayton in anything, even a van with a
fridge :)

Anyway, about the cartridge boards, how much do you sell them for, and do
they just take a 27C128 in a socket, with no pin-bending? That's the main
drawback to using an old Combat board, it looks like (the /CE pin will
eventually break).




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