• Bally Astrocade interface – Update BOM

    I’ve updated the bill of materials for the Astrocade interface a little. Two items have been changed to have better descriptions and where people have let me know part numbers from Mouser or Digikey I have added them on.

  • Site Security Update

    With some changes to the website planned over the coming weeks, it has become necessary to improve the security a little.

    So, with the assistance of an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt the site has now moved across to HTTPS at long last.

    Hopefully I have configured everything properly and it won’t end up by locking anybody out.

  • Bally Astrocade interface for MiSTer – Done

    Version 2.3 of the PCB has arrived, been assembled and tested … and it works without any wire patches!

    There is, however, one minor problem. I added some extra bits of screen print on the wrong side. This has now been fixed on the gerbers and any future boards will be correct, but I am not changing the version number for that minor problem. (there are only 10 PCBs that have this defect, so should not cause any problems in the long run)

    This is what it should look like

    On the sound filter section of the PCB, the second capacitors are tantalum, which means they have polarity so there should be a small + sign to show which way they are fitted.

    Check out the Bally Astrocade interface pages on the menu under “Mister” for more details of the board and assembly.

  • Bally Astrocade interface for MiSTer – Final?

    Version 2.3 has been ordered from the PCB makers and will hopefully fix the remaining incorrect track and complete the development of this PCB.

    I’ve mentioned this on Facebook (on the Gorf group) and had several questions about it, so in an attempt to answer those I have added an information page to the website which will make everything clear. (click here to see it)

  • Gorf interface for MiSTer Version 2.2

    Version 2.2 of the PCB built for Gorf including the 5v regulation to power the MiSTer direct from the cabinet’s power supply.

    This version uses a 2 amp version of the 7805 regulator and a couple of smoothing capacitors and takes power from the 12v line on the cabinet.

    An alternate version uses a commonly available LM2596S DC Buck Converter which does a similar job. Beware – if you use one of these you need to set the voltage to 5V BEFORE connecting to the DE10-Nano. The one I purchased came setup for 9V.

    Another option is to put a solder blob on the pad labelled “Direct_5V” on the PCB, and the 5v line from the cabinet is routed directly to the DE10-Nano. I would not use this personally with the original linear power supply, but it may be an option if you have a switcher in there instead.

    Finally, the option used on most of the boards currently installed, just use the PSU that came with the DE10-Nano and connect it to the 240v line inside the cab.

  • First SLICE (a piece of cake)

    One of the members of UKVAC (Aaron) put together a piece of test gear that allows you to visually check the signals on an IC whilst the board is running normally and I picked one up earlier this year as it can do a few things that the ABI Board master cannot.

    Having sourced a good variety of test clips I used it in anger for the first time today.

    I had a Sega / Gremlin Vic Dual PCB that should run Carnival, however it was quite dead just showing some light blue bars on the screen. (so some things were running – important for Slice, it needs to see activity on the ICs to be able to tell you if it is performing correctly)

    I used it to trace back from the /WRITE signal to the ram chips to see where it went astray. (n.b. Slice cannot check three rail ram chips, but then neither can the ABI)

    As can be seen from the above snip from the Slice program, it is indicating that Q3 and /Q3 are in error 5% of the time, but more importantly – they never change. (ignore pin 2, it has been disabled since I could not get a good contact to it with the test probe)

    Replacing this chip gave the more usual screen output.