Well things are going along and the end is in sight. Before I send off gerbers to get the final board design done, I need some feedback.
I started making this because I'm tired of half-assed N64 backup crap. They all suck in their own ways, this is my attempt to fix that.
- 64mbytes SDRAM (this will hold any image ever made)
- Full save emulation (EEPROM 4k, 16k, SRAM, FlashRam)
- Load images FAST (9 mbyte/second)
- NO software needed. Loads off plain FAT32 formatted card.
- USB for homebrewers
What you are seeing is my prototype board. The final board looks similar.
As you can see it uses CompactFlash and not SD. No matter how much people bitch I am not going to use SD. Believe me, it's for a good reason.
This is a video I made a while ago, the only things changing are what's under the hood now.
Full documentation on how to use the cart. Use USB to debug your code and printf to console on the PC.
Here are a few details for the techs:
CIC handling: You (or I) will solder in either a 6102 or 6105 (or PAL equivalents). The menu will handle every CIC with this one. You don't have to patch images, just use a clean dump. There is a jumper to solder to allow the 6105 bootloader to run.
Saves handling: Save files are autocreated by the menu. They're stored on CF and work just like an emulatro does. For some reason PJ64 and some others use little endian byte ordering on SRAM and flashram saves, after swapping they load fine on the real thing.
Bootloader: Finds the menu image on CF and complains if it doesn't exist.
Both Z64 and V64 images are supported. The byteswapping is performed in hardware by the FPGA so there's no speed penalty at all.
Bottom line: No cheaping out, no design flaws.
TODO: finish up FlashRAM support and get USB going (goofed FTDI footprint on my prototype)