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#1
Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/1 21:26
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2016/12/15
USA
319 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
Hi everyone,

I wanted to post a thread about the two current PCB designs that I have for people to make their own carts, if desired. Some people already know I have these but others don't. Either way this will show up in forum searches for people here on Planet VB.

I currently have a 16Mbit ROM(flash) cart with up to 32k x 8 nvSRAM. This PCB can support 4/8/16 Mbit flash chips as well as a smaller 8k x 8 nvSRAM chip (cheaper). The latest iteration is reprogrammable, but more on that below. This cart is pretty easy to assemble.

I also have a 128Mbit PCB cart which can allow an additional 128Mbit for expansion space (no game currently uses this). It has a 8k x 8 nvSRAM. It will be updated sometime in the future for a 256k x 16 nvSRAM. This is intended for large Homebrew titles. This cart is also reprogrammable.

The nvSRAM on both chips save your progress without a battery. It's a unique chip that uses a large capacitor to write RAM data to an internally managed flash at power down. No battery ever needed!

Like I mentioned above both carts are reprogrammable. I flash the chips prior to assembly with a Chipmaxx2. However I'm working on a reader/writer which has a VB cart programmer PCB attached to an Arduino R3 mega. See pic attached. This is meant for developers and I'm still working on the firmware. It's current downside is that it uses a VB motherboard connector. Working on eliminating that which would make it end user friendly instead of a developer kit.

So if people are looking to make their own carts, these are available. The 16Mbit is good for the DIYer. The 128Mbit has lots of surface mount parts and I wouldn't recommend it for the average Joe. You'll need to have some serious soldier experience and even then it can be difficult. There have already been some small reproduction runs by other PlanetVB members using these PCBs.

See pics attached. Thanks!

Attach file:



jpg  IMG_20170806_2041592-1024x785.jpg (109.33 KB)
14261_59d1411938d35.jpg 1024X785 px

jpg  Cart-with-nvSRAM.jpg (1,685.54 KB)
14261_59d1412523a44.jpg 3133X2037 px

jpg  16Mbit-PCB-REV3-1024x337.jpg (65.63 KB)
14261_59d1412eb883c.jpg 1024X337 px

png  VB_128_PCB.png (7,010.41 KB)
14261_59d1413a12ba3.png 3813X1177 px

jpg  128Mbit_Cart_Assembled-1024x733.jpg (111.35 KB)
14261_59d1423d16110.jpg 1024X733 px
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#2
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/1 23:07
VB Gamer
Joined 2012/4/25
Switzerland
29 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
Wow.
Thank you very much for your share.

Could you give us more information like a BOM and the part number for the zero force socket you use with the Chipmaxx2 ?

I think I will need to buy an eat gun :)
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#3
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/2 16:33
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/7/1
Germany
1118 Posts
CoderContributorTop10 PosterLong Time User (8 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

mellott124 wrote:
I also have a 128Mbit PCB cart which can allow an additional 128Mbit for expansion space (no game currently uses this). It has a 8k x 8 nvSRAM. It will be updated sometime in the future for a 256k x 16 nvSRAM. This is intended for large Homebrew titles. This cart is also reprogrammable.


Sounds like I could fit allot of Snatcher on such a cart. Cool stuff.
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#4
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/2 17:12
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2016/12/15
USA
319 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
Quote:

thunderstruck wrote:
Quote:

mellott124 wrote:
I also have a 128Mbit PCB cart which can allow an additional 128Mbit for expansion space (no game currently uses this). It has a 8k x 8 nvSRAM. It will be updated sometime in the future for a 256k x 16 nvSRAM. This is intended for large Homebrew titles. This cart is also reprogrammable.


Sounds like I could fit allot of Snatcher on such a cart. Cool stuff.


If you want to put Snatcher on that cart, I'll send you a free dev kit when it's ready. :-)
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#5
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/2 18:05
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/7/1
Germany
1118 Posts
CoderContributorTop10 PosterLong Time User (8 Years) App CoderPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

mellott124 schrieb:
Quote:

thunderstruck wrote:
Quote:

mellott124 wrote:
I also have a 128Mbit PCB cart which can allow an additional 128Mbit for expansion space (no game currently uses this). It has a 8k x 8 nvSRAM. It will be updated sometime in the future for a 256k x 16 nvSRAM. This is intended for large Homebrew titles. This cart is also reprogrammable.


Sounds like I could fit allot of Snatcher on such a cart. Cool stuff.


If you want to put Snatcher on that cart, I'll send you a free dev kit when it's ready. :-)


That would be cool. There is no need for hurry though. I will most likely not get back to it this year.
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#6
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/3 23:41
VB Gamer
Joined 2017/9/22
34 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
Beautiful work. In awe of what you've been able to accomplish!

D-
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#7
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/4 21:24
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/3/10
USA
915 Posts
Top10 PosterLong Time User (8 Years) 30+ Game Ratings
its always great to see this community expanding. thanks.
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#8
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/5 0:36
VB Gamer
Joined 2017/9/22
34 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
Dumb question, but what's the possibility of doing something crazy, like a Super FX style chip expansion or something weird like that. Just makes you wonder what this system could be capable of doing if something like that was made.
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#9
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/5 2:19
Virtual Freak
Joined 2008/8/13
USA
94 Posts
ContributorLong Time User (11 Years)
Definitely interested in the programmer should a solution ever be found for the edge connector.
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#10
Re: Virtual Boy 16Mbit PCB and 128Mbit PCB designs
Posted on: 2017/10/10 8:14
VB Gamer
Joined 2017/9/22
34 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
Quote:

MasterOfPuppets wrote:
Definitely interested in the programmer should a solution ever be found for the edge connector.


I'm working to resolve that issue.
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