Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Topics regarding the Uzebox hardware/AVCore/BaseBoard (i.e: PCB, resistors, connectors, part list, schematics, hardware issues, etc.) should go here.
havok1919
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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by havok1919 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:33 am

ravyne wrote:Another baseboard that might be kinda fun would be a JAMMA baseboard with the golden fingers"edge connector. Straight RGB like you say, some shift registers on the input to maintain software compatibility. I don't know if there are any extra pins available to hook up the coin mech / service buttons...
Hahah... Yeah, already designed. ;-) I had a different application in mind, but same difference. I just used three '597s for the inputs. (unfortunately that adds pullup resistor requirements, etc. but I needed other hardware on there anyway). I didn't try to preserve pin-level compatibility on the inputs though because of the need for some other I/Os, but it could run the same software just with a compile option.
It would also be cool if your baseboards had a card-edge connector and the core stuff was on a cartridge of sorts. Then we could have the AVR-based Uzebox cartridge to start and maybe someone designs a PIC-based cartridge, or even an ARM-based cartridge.[...]Just some thoughts I had.
That was sort-of my thought with the AVCore, but straddling a little different line. You're almost describing something like the OneStation portable. (Basically the "device" is just a screen, speaker, inputs, case and the "cartridges" are entire game systems. ;-)

Probably the better line to draw there is to really just put all the peripherals on the base (video encoder with colorburst clock, audio gunk, connectors, etc.) and then you just have "IO" level connectors off the cartridge. (SPI/SD, RGB+sync, GPIO,etc.) Then the baseboard really doesn't care what CPU is in the cartridge... Or any of the other peripherals it brings along with it...

But for now I just think it's cool to have a 40-pin dip with video out, SD, audio, and MCU. I need to just run these and not let creeping featuritus take hold of me just yet! :lol:

-Clay

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by ravyne » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:13 pm

So, any updates on when you'll be able to make some of these available for us folks who are chomping at the bit to buy an uzebox?

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by havok1919 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:38 am

ravyne wrote:So, any updates on when you'll be able to make some of these available for us folks who are chomping at the bit to buy an uzebox?
Short answer: maybe a week from Friday or so? :-)

Detailed answer: The pilot production AVCore panels are supposed to ship to me on the 17th (this Friday), so I should have them the following week sometime. I'll do a hand build on some of those to make sure they're OK-- if they're alright I'll make those units available right away. My usual assembly house should have a quote for me tomorrow on building out the panels, and the balance of my production quantity parts should be arriving on the 15th. Assuming the price is OK and there's no surprises on the fabs it's usually about ~2 weeks until I have output from production. Given the number of active people on the board though, if I build up one panel by hand that'll probably be enough for everyone here that wants one.

The Gamer Baseboards are supposed to ship tomorrow, so I might get them by Friday or so. I did ~20 of those on a prototype process, so there should be plenty to go around. Assuming there's no 'oops' on those I'll order production quantities as soon as they check out OK.

I'm also starting the schematic for the "experimenter" baseboard that'll have all the crap on it-- ethernet, serial, USB, prototyping area, headers, etc. If you want one of those later on you can just move the AVCore between boards as you so desire. I'm also going to prototype up a gamer baseboard version with component video to see how that looks too. It'll need to be a little bigger though because of the extra connectors...

-Clay

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by ravyne » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:32 am

Excellent, Clay, great to hear. If those component base-boards end up working out OK, and its still software compatible I'd probably buy one for the DLP in my living room... I think the only analog tube in the house is my old commodore that sits around for some classic gaming and, well, for this sort of thing... Actually, I guess that's only true if you don't count my hulking, 24" widescreen CRT PC monitor... Which coincidentally bests the 46" DLP by about 25 lbs -- that thing weights more than some adult women I know, and is far more awkward to pick up :lol:

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by havok1919 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:24 am

The proto PCB's for the "Gamer" Baseboard arrived today. Seems to check out OK. This one is the "GameCard" since it's the size of a business card and is otherwise somewhat single-minded in purpose. (I removed the signal header and some of the optional stuff from the previous version in order to give a reseller a better price-point and make room for the "experimenter" version baseboard in their pricing structure.)

Here's some pictures:

With AVCore mounted...
Image

Back view-- audio, video, S-video, and power input. You can just barely see the (optional) rubber feet on the back. You can use mounting posts/standoffs if you plan on bolting it onto something else.

Image

And just a top view without the AVCore present.

Image

It looks like my cables arrived this afternoon too, so I'll figure out a special package price for development kits to make them available here for a short time until the full production run is started and other resellers start stocking them online.

-Clay

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by ravyne » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:04 am

Wonderful Clay, it looks great! Can't wait to get my hands on this and play with it.

What will the dev-kit contain in total? What price? and most importantly, when can I give you my money? :D

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by havok1919 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:13 am

ravyne wrote:What will the dev-kit contain in total? What price? and most importantly, when can I give you my money? :D
The full meal deal, so to speak, is:

AVCore (3.3V, ATMega644, microSD socket, AD723, fully assembled and tested)
GameCard (A/V out, S-video out, SNES joystick ports, AVCore socket, power/reset/LED, etc. fully assembled and tested)
Switching power supply (wall-wart type, US style 110-120VAC 60Hz input, 5.5V DC output)
AV cable (two RCA connectors, one for audio, one for video, 6' I think)
S-video cable (also 6' I think)
SNES controller (new)

Looks like I can do that for $75 USD plus $8 shipping by FedEx Ground in the continental US. I use FedEx for all my shipping, so if you want a different service (next day, whatever) let me know and I can get you a total.

If you just want an AVCore to use on a board of your own making or to integrate into something else, those are $35/ea. If you'd like one without the DIP header pins mounted (like for wedging inside something small) I can do those too as needed.

Consider the price to be valid through at least November 7th (and "while supplies last"). After the full production run is started they'll be for sale at another kit/electronics webstore at which point I can't offer them for less than the "retail" price. Whoever wants one before then, send me a PM here and I'll hook you up!

I'll post a picture with all the accessories and stuff later tonight probably. (Have to open up some of these boxes and find the right cables.) ;-)

-Clay

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by ravyne » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:14 am

That's a very nice package, and priced well too. I noticed that you didn't list the programming cable in that, so where would you recommend I procure one?

Also, might you have any of those multi-taps left over that aren't spoken for, and would you be willing to part with one? If not, no big deal, there's always ebay, I just thought I might be able to save on the shipping if you could spare any.

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by havok1919 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:27 am

ravyne wrote:That's a very nice package, and priced well too. I noticed that you didn't list the programming cable in that, so where would you recommend I procure one?
www.digikey.com part number: ATAVRISP2-ND (AVR ISP MKII)

It's $34, but works for pretty much any AVR on the planet. I figure a lot of people interested in the Uzebox will already have some sort of AVR stuff, so I wasn't planning on buying programmers for bundling. (I wouldn't get any sort of discount, so you'd just end up paying more for it anyway...) You could also use any of the home-brew ones out there, but for $34+shipping for a nice USB one with LEDs and good high speed performance I think it's a good deal.

The GameCard uses the 6 pin (2x3) ISP header like the AVR ISP MKII programmer and Atmel STK500 evaluation boards.
Also, might you have any of those multi-taps left over that aren't spoken for, and would you be willing to part with one? If not, no big deal, there's always ebay, I just thought I might be able to save on the shipping if you could spare any.
Uze (Alec) is selling some of the connectors-- I've already reduced my stash to parts for the production run. ;-)

-Clay

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Re: Uzebox AVCore "Gamer" Baseboard

Post by uze6666 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:26 pm

Beautifully small, congrats Clay! :D

Just wondering, why do you have those tall plastic headers instead of, say, low profile ones? Or even, why not just solder the AVCore right on the board? For sure we could not "upgrade" then...

Bundling an AVRISP in the kit could by nice, but as you said, most will already have some programmers. The others will indeed buy it from online stores that will most probably sell programmers as well. Hmmm...still, what about a "Deluxe" kit then? hehehe, endless possibilities... :)

-Alec

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