New PCB rev on the horizon

Topics regarding the Uzebox hardware/AVCore/BaseBoard (i.e: PCB, resistors, connectors, part list, schematics, hardware issues, etc.) should go here.
User avatar
uze6666
Site Admin
Posts: 4401
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada
Contact:

New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by uze6666 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:55 am

This week I shipped another batch of kits to Adafruit and I'm sold out of the PCBs I ordered last year. I assume within a month I'll receive another order and will have to order more. Except It would be a great time to make to revisions. For one, I'd like to ditch the MIDI interface for good, perhaps just leaving a 2 pin header footprint for it. This to make place for the Uzenet interface and perhaps some other features. The way I see it, is at least put footprints for the ESP-01 and perhaps other flavors of the module. Perhaps its a crazy idea, but since I made big savings on the Ad725 by buying in bulk for Analog Devices directly , I may just include the module in the next rev of the kit. You can get those modules for under 2$ in qty on Aliexpress. If I do so, we will have to kick in the dev for Uzenet in turbo mode and will require help for the community.

Any comments or ideas are welcome as usual!

ps: Only thing that sucks about these module is that they are blue! To keep a nice harmonious color scheme, would you mind a blue Uzebox PCB???

User avatar
D3thAdd3r
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:00 am
Location: Minneapolis, United States

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by D3thAdd3r » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:18 am

Great news Alec, I will buy 4 for development/gifts from the get go.

Some of them, like version 1, have the same pinout so that's good. It's very difficult to even find a pinout for some versions...or even to find what all the versions are, but I'd vote for supporting the most different types possible in case some become unavailable in the future. Personally I think a dark blue PCB would look nice too. For the 8266, at least the version 2 dark blue I have, looks good with the standard black PCB. That large red module you have with all the pins broken out matches the red PCB nicely but those ones aren't available so cheaply.

I'm crazy about Uzenet and the PCB will be awesome! It's the most interesting thing in recent memory and I will probably spend the bulk of my limited free time for multiple months developing for it, whether or not that is sad, is your call :lol: I think it would be nice to have some plug and play PCB with ribbon cable or whatever so existing PCB owners could easily add it on too.

User avatar
uze6666
Site Admin
Posts: 4401
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada
Contact:

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by uze6666 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:13 pm

For sure I'll also make a small daughterboard for existing owners. The only remaining question was to make it all assembled or available int kit. But having to assemble just 3-4 parts or so is not interesting ihmo, so I'll settle for an assembled board using the smallest parts I can find.

User avatar
uze6666
Site Admin
Posts: 4401
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada
Contact:

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by uze6666 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:05 pm

While at it, why not put the SPI RAM footprint in there?

User avatar
D3thAdd3r
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:00 am
Location: Minneapolis, United States

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by D3thAdd3r » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:44 pm

Oh yeah, genius idea. That would make a lot more games possible, and also let mode 3 use all ram for ram tiles instead of game logic stuff. I can't even fathom what features you assembly wizards would beat that into!

There is a lot of empty space over there and it makes sense to have as much as possible for the future IMHO. In that case the ESP8266 daughterboards for the 1.0/1.1 PCBs would have SPI ram footprint also I imagine? I think this is the only time an upgrade will be successful so do it up and let's emulate some systems!

Edit-This is the biggest thing to happen since the Uzebox was created, a lot of smart people around here and that feedback would be useful :P

User avatar
paul
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 8:41 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by paul » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:15 pm

I vote for:
  • Assembled - Yes
  • PCB Color - Does not matter to me
  • SPI RAM footprint - Yes
  • WiFi module - Yes
Did I miss anything?

What about this SPI RAM? How fast is access compared to the 644's RAM? What are expected practical limitations for games utilizing this RAM?

User avatar
paul
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 8:41 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by paul » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:20 pm

Furthermore, how will SPI RAM influence games? How much variance in RAM will different systems have? And if everyone uses it to make games, wouldn't a buyer expect the Uzebox to ship with it? Maybe we risk partitioning the user base if we don't do it properly from the start.

User avatar
D3thAdd3r
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:00 am
Location: Minneapolis, United States

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by D3thAdd3r » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:16 pm

I imagine there are people who bought an Uzebox, were active for a while, and then the leave and the console sits unused. The other folks I imagine are into it and would probably be willing to buy in for a daughterboard if it's cheap, but right, with good intentions how many people really will? Having the emulator support it from day 1 would be critical, because I suspect a lot of people use the emulator a lot more, for convenience. Probably a lot don't even have hardware, but then again a lot of home made hardware owners never built the SD interface either.

I am for the ram and would probably shift my development to it because it would be nice to have just a tad more creative possibilities. If it was JUST the ram apart the 8266, I wouldn't be for it due to some level of inevitable partitioning. But comparing it to omitting the 8266(however valid that is), we could not have the internet access, or, have internet access and all the awesome interesting possibilities. I'd say Paul is right on variance problems and there needs to be an official ram chip/size set in stone. Main reason I like the ram is I think it would still be quick enough to emulate, full speed or not, many retro systems(there is that BASIC people wanted for years) and I can see that looking great on HackADay added to the internet abilities. Oh yeah CP/M for Alec too, and Paul could definitely find use for loading Platz levels into ram(no temptation for abusing EEPROM) ;)

CunningFellow
Posts: 1139
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:08 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by CunningFellow » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:16 am

I think the most obvious use case for the RAM will be to hold data for an interpreter.

Basic and the Z-Machine are the things that pop to mind first.

neslou
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:53 pm

Re: New PCB rev on the horizon

Post by neslou » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi Everybody!
I have just discovered this community and would like to know if a later version of the schematics would include external SRAM or Not?
like this guy for example who put 512Ko of external SRAM on an Arduino :
http://andybrown.me.uk/wk/2011/08/28/51 ... ga-design/
Sorry, if i say nonsense phrase (i am french lol) but it would allow people developping games more space for creativity? And the ability to really exploit the uzebox potential not?
I am still discovering so maybe it is not realistic :-)
For me, with the ability to have also all the connection (SCART / RCA and S-Video) availlable is a plus.
For the end, i would dream to add a expansion cartridge if possible (for homebrew games) even if i know there is the SDcard.. it is not the same feel :-)
Regards.
Neslou.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest