MD Flash - Fully 5V Modern Genesis Cartridge for New Release

For anything related to cart (SRAM, SF2 mapper, audio, CD mode 1, ...)

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db-electronics
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MD Flash - Fully 5V Modern Genesis Cartridge for New Release

Post by db-electronics » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:50 pm

Here's a quick overview of new modern cart hardware I recently designed. It is made of only 5V parts.

It supports up to 16Mbit ROMs and up to 32KB of save RAM in either battery-backed SRAM or FRAM. ROMs are burned to the carts by using a standard TL866CS EEPROM burner and a custom Genesis to TL866CS adapter I designed. From the TL866CS software point of view, the MD Flash cart appears simply as a Flash IC in its programming socket.

The intent of MD Flash is to provide an easy method to release homebrew on real hardware in a 5V safe way.

For full details, see: http://www.db-elec.com/home/lab-posts/m ... nesisgames

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MrTamk1s
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Post by MrTamk1s » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Very cool! How does it compare with Krikzz's new MD FlashKit? Thinking about making some repros of a homebrew video game in development in the near future.
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Post by db-electronics » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:57 pm

MrTamk1s wrote:Very cool! How does it compare with Krikzz's new MD FlashKit? Thinking about making some repros of a homebrew video game in development in the near future.
There are major differences between Krikzz's Flashkit and my MD FLash:

1- MD Flash uses only 5V parts - no messing around with out of spec 3.3V parts in 5V systems and limiting the clamping diode current with a series resistor.
2- MD Flash uses an off the shelf EEPROM programmer (TL866CS) and thus your investment has more than 1 use.
3- MD Flash supports 16Mbits + 32KB of save RAM, from what I see on Krikzz site there is no save file support on Flashkit (oddly enough there seems to be a battery holder footprint on the board though...)
4- MD Flash save RAM is either SRAM (battery-backed) or FRAM (no battery required).

I haven't quite established my modus operandi with this. I'm thinking, low quantities I can burn your ROMs in house and send you working boards. For higher quantities, it makes more sense to sell blank carts and for you to purchase an EEPROM burner.
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Post by HardWareMan » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:08 am

Very handy! I just recently bought a TL866, although I already have other industrial programmers. Thank you.

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Post by db-electronics » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:15 pm

HardWareMan wrote:Very handy! I just recently bought a TL866, although I already have other industrial programmers. Thank you.
Thanks!

I'm still tweaking the battery performance on the SRAM circuit but all functionality is good to go!

As I recall when I designed my Sega CD Backup RAM Cart, it was a pain in the ass to get specified current consumption on the SRAM. Any flux residue leftover from soldering was incredibly detrimental.
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