Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Topics regarding the Uzebox hardware/AVCore/BaseBoard (i.e: PCB, resistors, connectors, part list, schematics, hardware issues, etc.) should go here.
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ry755
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Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:08 pm

So after years of browsing the forums and playing games in the emulator, I finally made a real Uzebox! :D Well, kinda...

https://i.imgur.com/8E1N483.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/2rSruKt.jpg
(It won't let me post the images because they're too big.)

I also learned how bad cold solder joints can be. I spent all day (literally,) trying to figure out why I wasn't getting any video. Turned out to be cold solder joints on the AD725. :x

One more thing: https://i.imgur.com/5TKRtcB.jpg
A lot of the games have glitches like that. Alter Ego gets frozen on level 3, and some of the other games and demos just show the Uzebox logo, then reboot, logo, reboot... forever. It could possibly be my SD card/card reader. I just bought the cheapest SD card reader I could find on Amazon.

Anyways, Thanks Uze for making such a cool console! I'm working on making my first game for it right now. :D

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Jubatian
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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by Jubatian » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:52 am

Nice! It must be something to see it working after all that wiring & soldering! :)

The patterns you see are normal, they are caused by how NTSC encodes color (how pronounced it is depends on how the TV's filter work). I am currently trying out a method to make it less apparent, see this topic: Eliminating NTSC "temporal interference".

The crashes you experience I think are most probably caused by poor contacts on the SD card. It might be the card itself making bad contact with the socket, or if you have a micro-SD in a converter, then a sloppy converter. Since the bootloader does nothing to verify whether the game is read correctly, neither the games check whether they read correctly when using the card, anything can happen (such a problem caused me lots of trouble in the past until I discovered it is indeed happening. It isn't a good thing to try to track down a bug which is caused by a corrupted instruction during upload...).

To track this down, try to upload .hex files of the games using a programmer (which I pretty much assume you have at this point :D ), those should work.

You may also use the pattern test programs I made at some point to discover that the cards are causing the trouble. Using them you could reveal if programming occasionally hiccups reading incorrect bytes.

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ry755
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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:22 pm

Thanks for the help! When I flash a game with the he file directly, it runs just fine. I'll check out that pattern test later when I have time.

In the Megatris picture, I was actually talking about the gap between the blocks. (Probably just the SD card again) But the big problem is, that the SD card reading issues happen every time I use it, not just occasionally like the issues you had.

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ry755
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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:31 pm

I ran the pattern test program and this is what I got:
https://i.imgur.com/wMEuMAt.jpg :cry:
The pattern changes if I remove and reinsert the sd card. The Uzebox doesn't even recognize the other sd card that I have. I guess it's time for a new sd reader.

EDIT:
https://i.imgur.com/TAMkogV.jpg
Woah that's bad.

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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by Jubatian » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:56 am

Huh, glad you posted the second image! At first I tried to figure out what the bloody hell is causing those black lines and distortions, only realizing on the second that you are using a projector, and a door was there :P

Guess it's time for a new SD reader, sure! That's uglier than I had (my bad Micro-SD adaptor only had like one red rectangle in every second read somewhere, so most of the time games programmed from it worked, and other times having very subtle failures. I could only realize what might be happening when the byte fault struck a tile, resulting in a pixel having a color off, which made me think).

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ry755
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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:07 am

Actually, I think I may have solved the problem. By using Harty123's modded bootloader and by using a new power supply! :?:
For whatever reason, if I used the 9v breadboard power supply, I got the read errors. But when I used my Arduino as a power supply, it worked fine.
Jubatian wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:56 am
you are using a projector, and a door was there :P
Lol. Sorry, I should have told you. :lol:

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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by Jubatian » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:07 pm

Did you try to measure that power supply in some manner? Maybe the problem would show even with a multimeter (are the voltages right everywhere?).

I guess you used this then: Harty123's bootloader. It could indeed help if your wiring and plug-in contacts introduce too much noise as the slower SPI clock sure makes things more stable (more time for the signal levels to stabilize). Of course this wouldn't help you with games using the SD card (such as Alter Ego), but most games don't use it :)

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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:45 pm

I tried the power supply with a multimeter and the voltages appear to be correct. But I don't have an oscilloscope to test it with and the multimeter is my grandpa's from probably 40 years ago.

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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by Jubatian » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:59 am

I see by the other topics that you have problems with the SD card. I attached a .hex file which uses about the same SD library like the new bootloader.

Start it with a card in the socket. The upper left corner will be the most interesting for you which normally should end up reading "0 0 SC" or "0 0 HC" depending on the card type detected. The two zeroes are the return values of FAT_Init and FAT_Find, the first one would be which is interesting to you. It can return the following error codes:
  • 1: CMD0 failed (Card can not even go to idle state, probably no card in socket, or no useful communication at all)
  • 2: CMD59 failed (Unlikely, this command enables CRC checking)
  • 3: ACMD41 failed (This may happen if CMD8 fails which requests the power-level mumbo-jumbo, so I expect this the most in your case)
  • 4: ACMD41 timed out (Could not ever leave idle state)
  • 5: CMD58 failed (Couldn't query the card, used to determine SDSC / SDHC)
  • 6: SD read failure (any error during sector reads including CRC).
  • 7: No useful FAT filesystem found on the card.
Attachments
sdlibdem.hex
(38.93 KiB) Downloaded 104 times

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ry755
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Re: Uzebox on a Breadboard!

Post by ry755 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:01 am

Ok, I tried the hex file (I assume you wanted me to use an ISP and not the bootloader to flash it,) and this is what I got:

https://i.imgur.com/ebxO7gy.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/l34vwK7.jpg
(I used a projector again)

So it didn't even pass init? I tried 3 sd cards, two SC and one HC, and they all fail. The codes change every time I power cycle, but not when I reset.

Code: Select all

1 1			08
			3E
	C995		DFBF
			CFFFAFFE
			B145F3DE
I didn't get any of the error codes you mentioned. I guess those only matter if it passes init?

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