It is currently Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:36 am




 Page 1 of 5 [ 66 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:57 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
I'm considering producing a limited edition of a Cuttle Cart II style SD cartridge for the ColecoVision.

I've done a little work on it already, here is a brief description of the cartridge features currently planned.

Basic Hardware (Preliminary)
--
50 MIPS CPU with high speed SD Interface, internal Flash memory for cartridge settings.
SD and SDHC Support, no practical limits on number of games stored.
512KBytes of RAM (Largest currently existing game is a 128KB Mega-Cart)
128KBytes of Non-Volatile Memory Diagnostic/Boot/Storage Memory
Cartridge boot time, from power on to FAT32 display expected to be less than two seconds.
Cartridge load time for a 32K ROM image less than one second.
Full Read/Write access to all 512KB+ of memory for games using the new Hybrid bank switching mode.

Device Specs (Preliminary)
--
Support all currently known ColecoVision cartridge formats, including Mega-Cart games and Lord of the Dungeon.
New 512KB Hybrid Bank Switching mode allowing new games full Read/Write access to 512KB of RAM.
Programmer API for accessing cartridge services at run time.
Programmer API will effectively allow creation of games of true unlimited size, as game banks, level data, save game data, etc can all be dynamically loaded from and saved to SD card in microseconds while the game is running.
Cartridge logic, CPU firmware and Boot Flash memory all fully upgradable via SD card.
Cartridge system software loaded dynamically from SD card at power on.
Ability to display Colecovision game screen shots and manuals from menu.

No special menus creation or other PC loading software required.
Cartridge will be able to automatically read and display files present on your FAT32 formatted SD card.
This means no dependence on Windows drivers or software, you can create and load your card from any operating system that can read/write a FAT32 or FAT16 formatted SD or MMC memory card.

Availability/Price
--
No ETA/price yet, but I due to personal time constraints I expect this to be a limited edition run of cartridges.

More information should be available soon. :-)

If you have any feature requests/comments/etc please feel free to ask.

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:37 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:40 pm
Posts: 8
Steve,
The Colecovision SD wafer flash cartridge sounds like an excellent product that offers improvements over your existing 128 - in - 1 USB Flash Cartridge.

Some advantages of the Colecovision SD wafer flash cartridge design

1. One could backup and save every single Colecovision cartridge rom image every made onto one SD wafer flash cartridge including the new 128KB Mega-Cart rom images.

2. The Colecovision SD wafer flash cartridge device would allow game developers to have much more storage space when compared to both the Adam computer supergame system and the unreleased Coleco Supergame module. Game developers would be able to create supergames for the Colecovsion with true write access to store names and high scores. For the very first time games could be created for the Colecovision that allowed games to be paused and then saved and stored to the cartridge.

3. A very skillful programmer could convert many of the Coleco Adam Supergames including games that are up to 256K in length to a 256K rom image that uses the Colecovision SD wafer cartridge. Most of the ADAM games require write access. This would allow Colecovision owners for the very first time to play Adam supergames.

5. Since the Colecovision SD wafer Flash cartridge is a huge read/write storage device it could be used with the new third party Supergame module to create advanced supergames.

6. Plus the new cartridge works on any operating system and any computer that has a SD slot. MAC, Linux, PC, etc. That will be a popular feature for some people.

7. Adam programmers could write software to use the SD flash cartridge as a big Adam computer RAM disk drive to store programs on.



Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:40 pm
Posts: 8
Suggested features added to the Colecovision/ADAM SD wafer flash cartridge

Steven I would like to see a USB port added to the SD flash cartridge. The purpose of a USB port on the flash cartridge would be the following:

1. The USB port would allow direct connection to a PC to download future firmware updates to the cartridge. Perhaps in the future Atarimax might want to update the BIOS (operating system) of the flash cartridge with improvements. Possible a SD card inserted in the cartridge could also offer a firmware update and no USB port would be needed.

2. Main reason for a USB port on cartridge: There were many Adam games like Jeopardy, Family Feud, 2010 the Text Adventure game, and Best of Electronic Arts that require the Adam keyboard. If the new SD flash cartridge had a USB port on it then a programmer could write code for some games that accessed a USB keyboard. Coleco ADAM games that required a keyboard could be converted to a SD flash cartridge if the cartridge allowed connection of a USB keyboard. Also new games could be developed that required a USB keyboard. I am guessing that the Colecovision cartridge slot might not have enough power to use a USB keyboard. If that is the case then a external power supply would be needed to power a USB keyboard.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:01 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
The cartridge will be able to load updates to its firmware, boot code and hardware from files on the SD card, so no USB connection is required. :-)

I think adding a USB Host Controller is a neat idea, but a little beyond what I can do with the parts I'm planning on using.

A programmer could use the cartridge RAM in combination with the SD card read/write API to make the cartridge into a giant ramdisk type device, with paging to and from 'disk' on demand. But that will work for Colecovision programmers too, so its not really Adam specific.

Adding support for keyboards and things like that really sounds like it would fit in better with a console hardware expansion device. Maybe the Opgrade module will have an expansion/peripheral port of sorts?

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:17 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
HDTV1080P wrote:
1. One could backup and save every single Colecovision cartridge rom image every made onto one SD wafer flash cartridge including the new 128KB Mega-Cart rom images.


I imagine if you ran down every prototype, conversion, homebrew and production ROM image for the Colecovision you would be hard pressed to fill up even a small SD card. Even though, I plan to support MMC, SD and SDHC, so cards well into the multi-GB range should work fine.

HDTV1080P wrote:
2. The Colecovision SD wafer flash cartridge device would allow game developers to have much more storage space when compared to both the Adam computer supergame system and the unreleased Coleco Supergame module. Game developers would be able to create supergames for the Colecovsion with true write access to store names and high scores. For the very first time games could be created for the Colecovision that allowed games to be paused and then saved and stored to the cartridge.


The programming API will allow parts or all of the cartridge RAM to be read, written, loaded from and written to SD card on the fly, so saving a small amount of data like save game stores will be trivial. The data would be stored as files along with the ROM images.

If you wanted to you could just dump the whole RAM block and reload it later as a sort of 'state' save.

The Colecovision's internal RAM/VRAM could be saved as well by copying the contents to the cartridge memory, then writing it to SD card. Reverse that to restore it.

HDTV1080P wrote:
3. A very skillful programmer could convert many of the Coleco Adam Supergames including games that are up to 256K in length to a 256K rom image that uses the Colecovision SD wafer cartridge. Most of the ADAM games require write access. This would allow Colecovision owners for the very first time to play Adam supergames.


I haven't done any programming on the ADAM so I'll have to take your word for it. The entire 512KB range of cartridge memory will be able to be read (of course) and written when the Hybrid bank switching mode is enabled, so having a place to put stuff shouldn't be a problem.

HDTV1080P wrote:
6. Plus the new cartridge works on any operating system and any computer that has a SD slot. MAC, Linux, PC, etc. That will be a popular feature for some people.


Popular for me too, I really enjoyed writing the PC software for the Multi-Cart Studio products but I'd prefer not to do it again. :-)

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:40 pm
Posts: 8
classics wrote:
The cartridge will be able to load updates to its firmware, boot code and hardware from files on the SD card, so no USB connection is required. :-)

I think adding a USB Host Controller is a neat idea, but a little beyond what I can do with the parts I'm planning on using.

A programmer could use the cartridge RAM in combination with the SD card read/write API to make the cartridge into a giant ramdisk type device, with paging to and from 'disk' on demand. But that will work for Colecovision programmers too, so its not really Adam specific.

Adding support for keyboards and things like that really sounds like it would fit in better with a console hardware expansion device. Maybe the Opgrade module will have an expansion/peripheral port of sorts?

Steve


I am glad to hear that the new SD flash cartridge will be able to receive firmware updates posted on the Internet. That is a very nice feature when software updates become available on the Atarimax website. Perhaps Opgrade or Atarimax might design a Colecovision USB Host Controller in the future that would plug into the Colecovision expansion port. It is logical not to design a USB host controller built into the SD cartridge since it would raise the cost of the product. Also a USB keyboard for the Colecovision would be a niche product that would only be useful for possible new future video games that were developed or converting a select few Adam games that require a keyboard.

Thanks for all the information about the product. It sounds like a quality product you are creating for possible release. :D


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 3:36 pm 

Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 2
Hey Steve, I love my 128-in-1 USB cart! When will I be able to order this?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:01 am 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
If everything goes as expected I should start accepting pre-orders within the month, with delivery within a few weeks of that.

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:21 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:09 am
Posts: 4
Location: Central New Jersey, USA
Wow, this would be great. Would something like "Lord of the Dungeon" be able to save as if it were on a real battery backup cart?



_________________
=========
Bill Loguidice
http://www.armchairarcade.com
http://www.mythcore.com
http://www.billandchristina.com
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:50 am
Posts: 6
Location: Toledo, Ohio
I really want one of these....

You can count me in as a pre pre-order.

Awesome work. I have dreamed of such a thing.

Thanks a million for making this ColecoVision geek a happy guy!


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:43 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Bill Loguidice wrote:
Wow, this would be great. Would something like "Lord of the Dungeon" be able to save as if it were on a real battery backup cart?


With an unmodified LOD ROM I'm thinking you will need to press the reset button on the cart to save the current state when you are done playing, since the cart will need to know when to save whats in memory back to the SD card.

I'll be working on this in particular soon, so I'll post more when I'm sure. I'm thinking the 'save state' will just be a complete copy of the ROM + RAM data, so you can take it off the card and play the same character in an emulator if you want.

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:44 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Yurkie wrote:
I really want one of these....

You can count me in as a pre pre-order.

Awesome work. I have dreamed of such a thing.

Thanks a million for making this ColecoVision geek a happy guy!


Thanks Yurkie. :-)

I'm going to be posting more updates here as work progresses this month so keep an eye out.

Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:49 pm 
ERROR AT LINE 0
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:55 am
Posts: 1036
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Final prototype PCBs are being verified now.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:08 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:50 am
Posts: 6
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Steve,

The menu on 128-1 is numbered 1. thru 128. I like to put roms in categories. Original releases, unreleased prototypes,Homebrew, beta testing.......ect.

What I do is leave a blank slot or 2 between the different sections.

What will your menu look like?

Would it be possible to have headers for different rom categories on the menu?

I was thinking that since it will just be an SD card loaded with binaries, it might not be easy to organize. The only thing I could think of
for a method was a 3 digit number.

EDIT: After thinking about my post, and re-reading the info.... will there be a list of folders on the screen? select a folder and see the contents? Like on a computer. This would make sense since the card can be loaded on any computer OS.

Just make a folder...rename it...drop your files in there?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 5:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:10 am
Posts: 6
Steve,

Fantastic news. Please consider me a definate pre-order.


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 Page 1 of 5 [ 66 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

cron