Re: [stella] Adventures in cart building

Subject: Re: [stella] Adventures in cart building
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 16:07:43 -0400 (EDT)
On Mon, 10 Sep 2001, Chris Wilkson wrote:

> Heh....mine *has* the bolts!!!  I bolted the ZIF socket to the PCB...  :P

ZIF sockets are pretty hard to come by, around here... Soon I'll get annoyed
enough to go ahead & order a bunch of stuff from Digikey, but until then I'll
keep using my 18 cent `machine' sockets..

> The PIC is useful, but you can learn to use them in an afternoon.  After that,
> where is the fun?  The only challenge is finding a project to work on.  You'll
> never run out of challenge trying to write for the 2600.  :P

The roommate tells me, `you should figure out a way to put a PIC inside an
Atari cart, and use that to control the TIA'... but I don't think it'd work.

Hrm, but it would be cool to put a POKEY or something inside a 2600 cart,
if only there were a way to get the audio from it to the TV speaker. Maybe
a 2600 cart with a POKEY, a GTIA, and an RF modulator inside, so you'd just
plug your TV into the top of the cart? Might add some RAM while you're at it :)

> But when I say programmable logic, I don't mean MCU or MPU.  I mean PLDs and
> the like.  With a 20MHz PIC, you only get an instruction every 200ns.  That's
> fast enough for something like this, but it's pushing it.  PLDs can be had
> with ahhh..."response times" of < 5ns.  (I'm grouping everything into a
> generic "response" that basically has no real meaning.)
> And they're cheap.  Sorta.

I'm not familiar with these PLDs... what's a good example of this kind of

> Yep...address decoding.  Take a look at an old ISA card for the PC.  You'll most
> likely find a 74133 hidden someplace.

Gods know, I've got enough of 'em... Also I discovered that an ISA slot from
an old mobo can be cut down to fit an Atari cart card edge... so I may end up
trying to build a cart dumper with a PIC or whatever. Right now I can use my
EPROM burner as a dumper for 2k and 4k carts, if I desolder the ROM from the
board. Could use a card edge to pin-header adaptor to dump them without taking
the cart apart.



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