Author Topic: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)  (Read 37193 times)

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #120 on: January 03, 2018, 20:23:44 PM »
Curt posted this today:

Quote
Hi all:

1. Please hold off emailing me

2. I will be setting up a webpage to submit order receipts & old info to get the 180 pre-orders filled.

3. ONLY pre-orders being filled, no new orders, no requests for new orders yet.

4. No there is no wait list for new orders.

5. These are going out slowly, only doing 6 or so this month until I ramp up but itll still be like 20 or so first month or so as I build them.

6. New orders will be sold through AA when ready.

Will post photos mid Jan of progress.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #121 on: March 25, 2018, 18:24:34 PM »
Here is the latest update from Curt:

Quote
Hi everyone....  just wanted to give an update:   Hardware went off to Mark in the UK, another one to Perry was also shipped out and I have something coming back my way that is basically a plugs out exerciser of the entire XM board to try and resolve the remaining roadblocks.

Found a few more minor errors and just built out a new electronics bench to make my work a lot easier.   So I've been adding needed cut & straps to the design and updating the PCB design files.     I have been running additional testing of games, so far everything is running but I still haven't tested SARA equipped games yet so I have that on the to-do list. I have a list of POKEY embedded games that will need to be tested as well to make sure the XM's handle them properly.

I don't have an Xboard but when the time comes I will see about either obtaining one or if Mitch or someone else has one installed I would like to see how they get another with one another.    The cartridge connectors will be arriving from Mouser in the next 2 weeks as well, then its just a matter of nipping off the 4 extra leads from them.  (they are standard 36 pin edge connectors that meet the same specs as the 32 pin Atari versions with the same 8mm tails on them for the needed height for the cartridge connectors.

So I just wanted to just post that things are still in progress and I didn't want to leave everyone in the dark for too long and repeat the mistakes from the past.
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #122 on: March 30, 2018, 11:06:47 AM »
Cheers for the update mate, sounds like progress is being made.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2018, 13:57:40 PM »
Yes it is, indeed.  Can't wait to get my hands on mine!  And it looks like the homebrew developers will start working on XM games again as well.  :)
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #124 on: March 30, 2018, 15:31:26 PM »
Great to hear mate. Might do a feature on this, we need more writers lol..

Spread the word high and wide, stuff like this needs to be put into an article.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #125 on: March 30, 2018, 15:39:06 PM »
For sure.  Once it is out we should definitely do a feature about it.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #126 on: June 10, 2018, 23:33:27 PM »
Curt posted a picture of one of the units being assembled today...

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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #127 on: June 13, 2018, 01:05:25 AM »
Posted by Curt...

Hi Several updates:

1. I was able to boot from the BIOS chip socket finally, but there looks like there may be a timing issue and getting some pixel garbage on the screen when the code from the BIOS socket is booted with no cart installed, but with a card installed and booting not from the cart but from the BIOS socket the garbage pixels don't display.

Randomly at times when its booted with no cart and booting from the BIOS, the left direction of the joystick doesn't respond, so some funky things going out, could be on the 245 bus divider or elsewhere. Mark recommended a slower ACT version of the 245 so I've gotten some in and I'll try those out.

2. I have a 3rd XM on the bench assembling because test unit 2 was shipped to Perry (TEP392) and it just arrived to him today and he posted pics over on Atariage

So progress is being made and once this timing issue is resolved and the BIOS boots stable then next sections can be populated and tested.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #128 on: October 11, 2018, 03:29:51 AM »
Progress is being made with the XM.  Curt posted this today:

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Another hurdle overcome ---  timing is much better.   Just ran a few quick tests with some carts that previously didn't work: 

2600 Games:
Berzerk Voice Enhanced - WORKING
Spy Hunter - WORKING
Krockcart - WORKING

So I am going to take some notes tonight, do some further testing and I am going to test on the High Score keeping capabilities and see how things are progressing. 

Will keep everyone posted :-)

Quote
I tested several regular 7800 carts, some of the homebrews, so far all are working, Activision F18 is also working, that was a problem for the early Rev 2.0 boards, Roman's 48K boards all work.  I tested Bob's Pac Man 320 and Ms Pac Man 320... had lock ups and other oddities with them I'm not seeing - can't wait until POKEY testing comes and they can use the POKEY.   I will test Ball Blazer tomorrow and Commando was a previous cart that was a problem.

 

If all goes well, once I get to the POKEY build out and testing I'm going to need to get Bentley and Burger Time carts to test, so I'll buy those from Albert.    Also if once I get to that point, I will probably be sending a fully assembled XM to Bob (PacManPlus) so he can do some testing directly himself...

 

When the POKEY is installed the Keyboard tests can also be done, which means I can test with an XE GS keyboard and then test with Michaels (Mytek) XEGS Keyboard adapter and try that out...

 

Getting rather jazzed... so I am going to do a little more work for an hour, gotta get some sleep, need to take my daughter to school in the morning and then tomorrow I'll have some time to do more testing and start checking the NvRAM and SRAM tests.

 

Hoping to post up some video's tomorrow if time permits.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #129 on: October 17, 2018, 12:14:54 PM »
Latest update:

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Well... I wont be able to run a test of Gyruss audio just yet, but I am beginning to place the resistors and caps onto the board for the analog ground and +5 section of the board and add in the needed resistors and caps for the LC2274 OpAmp that will handle the onboard Pokey and a cartridge Pokey if present to pass the audio through the XM into the 7800...  so I should be doing some testing on the POKEY soon, Mark is looking at the address lines and timing of the SRAM and he's got one heck of a nice testing rig he build around an Atmega644, its pretty darned cool.

 

Perry's DK/XM and Beefdrop VE arrived so I'll be able to test with those soon and I'm putting together the parts he'll need for his OpAmp and Yamaha section so he can hopefully show us some of his creative magic I know he's been dying to put to the test on real hardware.

 

Once the Pokey audio is done, the keyboard subsystem was already working on Rev 2.0, I'll give it a thorough testing on the Rev 3.5 and put together some demo video's of it working with the XEGS keyboard and I also am really itching to test of Michael's (Mytek) XEGS to PS/2 keyboard adapter on the XM, so I'll hook up an IBM keyboard I have put to the side for just the occasion :-)

 

But we are moving forward and some very good solid progress is being made, gonna be calling on Mitch Orman hopefully soon to give the XM's the Compatibitity run down with every version of 7800 consoles ever made so he can give us a final word on what, if any versions may or may not like a part of a whole XM so we'll know if there is any issues with any of the various versions as each had its own quirky fixes & issues with games.

 
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #130 on: October 18, 2018, 09:30:40 AM »
Sounds like he is making some inroads at last.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #131 on: October 18, 2018, 12:10:11 PM »
Yes, they are.  There are still some naysayers but this is certainly heading in the right direction.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #132 on: December 25, 2018, 19:52:13 PM »
Latest update from Curt...

Quote

We are getting very close to completing the hardware shake out, I've been focusing my free time on the 7800XM and on my arcade controller projects, once the New Year starts, like around Jan 15th, www.7800xm.com will go live with a form for people to fill out that Pre-Ordered so that things can get squared away and I can start preparing things.    Still a bit to do, the final production BIOS needs to be completed as the one being used now is a heavy duty one that is really beating the crap out of the hardware so that it can be shaken out and corrected for final production.   Mitch Orman has helped me out substantially letting me borrow several of his versions of 7800 for hw compatibility testing.    Still need to go through games some more and also to complete some internal house keeping tasks, but things are getting closer than ever.    Developers will get the first runs of the XM's and I'm sure everyone can totally understand why, they need these first because they are the ones who are going to be exploring its capabilities and exploiting them, to start putting together a whole new line of games that when plugged into an XM, they will sense the available features and enabled the enhancements.

 

I can't tell developers what to do, but it is my hope, that with many of the new games, unless it is some such as the need for the extended memory, that they will code their games to work with and without the XM's so everyone can enjoy them.
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #133 on: January 02, 2019, 23:20:42 PM »
Great news.
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Atari 7800 eXpansion Module (XM)
« Reply #134 on: January 02, 2019, 23:22:24 PM »
Yes it is!
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