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SEGA Game Gear 512Kb Flash Cartridge - Working Prototype!!
Post Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:20 pm
Last edited by Gerry_MAN on Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
Hi Folks,

Well, as you all know I have been working on a Flash cartridge for the SEGA Game Gear (1Mbyte version) for some time now.
I got temporarily distracted by working on my 512Kb version.

I finally landed a working design and so I compiled together a 5 Part instructional video along with a 26 Page
"Step by Step" guide in PDF format for you all to follow. I have also included a Full schematic design and a PCB layout
of my GIGANTIC Prototype PCB that I used during the development process.

Anyhow, there's a few ways of building this unit and I I'll leave it up to you to choose.
Hopefully the info I've supplied here will help you all to build your own 512kb Flash cart.

I'm going to continue to work on the 1Mbyte version and hopefully we can all get this sucker up and running soon.


You can access all the the documentation and Links from my Website at the link below:

http://www.digital-circuitry.com/GameGear.htm
(Site is under constructions so please excuse the crudity of the current layout)


Talk to you all later,
-Gerry
GG_CART_FINAL_ 053.jpg (136.29 KB)
GG_CART_FINAL_ 053.jpg
GG_FC_COMPLETE.jpg (161.08 KB)
GG_FC_COMPLETE.jpg

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:36 pm
Very cool!

For the big PCB, I noticed you soldered to the traces instead of plugging it in directly. Did the connector not fit inside the Game Gear?

If memory serves the PCB that Game Gear games is unusually thin, I guess it would be hard to find material like that for making your own PCBs?

I like how you re-used the 315-5235 chip. What hole diameter did you need for the pins to fit? From what little I can find on SDIP packages I know the pin spacing is .070", but can't find any data on a suitable hole size to drill.
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RE: SEGA Game Gear 512Kb Flash Cartridge - Working Prototype!!
Post Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:59 am
Charles MacDonald wrote
Very cool!

For the big PCB, I noticed you soldered to the traces instead of plugging it in directly. Did the connector not fit inside the Game Gear?

If memory serves the PCB that Game Gear games is unusually thin, I guess it would be hard to find material like that for making your own PCBs?

I like how you re-used the 315-5235 chip. What hole diameter did you need for the pins to fit? From what little I can find on SDIP packages I know the pin spacing is .070", but can't find any data on a suitable hole size to drill.


Hi Charles,

I soldered the Ribbon cable to the contacts as I wanted to demonstrate the various options people could perform and still
have the circuit function as intended.However, I did have the PCB plug into the GG Cartridge slot directly and it worked perfectly.
As I mention in my accompanying PDF document, the proper boards to use should be 1/32" in thickness. This one here is
a 1/16" Copper Clad board by MG Chemicals. It was tight placing it into the Cartridge slot but it did work.
Next time I'll only use a 1/32" thickness board. I'm sure it did a number on the Cartridge slot contacts.....Opps! (*&#@$&*(

As for the Mapper chip dimensions and hole sizes I used a provided Component layout as part of an Eagle Library file.
Drawn by member "Snow_Cat" from the benheck.com forum. This was another talented Hobbyist that I had spoken with.
He put together a fantastic Cadsoft Eagle Library file specifically for SEGA components.
I have included this Library file in the Schematic download pack. (The link is on my website.)

http://www.digital-circuitry.com/GameGear.htm

Snow_Cat mentioned that it is a work in progress, so I'm sure he will be updating it time permitting.

You are correct, the spacing is .070" and I used a .0400" diameter High Speed steel drill bit and had no issues.

The second video just finished uploading to YouTube. This is another 5 Part instructional so feel free to skip ahead on the basics. :)


Talk to you later Charles,
-Gerry
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RE: SEGA Game Gear 512Kb Flash Cartridge - Working Prototype!!
Post Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:25 pm
Just for show, I added another image of the Prototype PCB above where you can see the whole PCB with the Ribbon cable attached to a GG cartridge.
I used one of your everyday "IDE hard drive" ribbon cables as most folks call it. However I cut it at a very short length just for making it easier to work with on the Bench.

You can see in the Image above that I left one the female connectors attached in the center of the cable.
I actually used this for interfacing my Probes from the Oscilloscope or the Logic analyzer when needed.

Of course you could use a longer length cable if you wish.
Just don't go crazy by hooking up a 15 foot Ribbon cable extension cord. HA!

That brings a disturbing image to mind..... I envision my little 6 year old cousin playing my GG while dragging the prototype PCB behind him
as he wonders across the gravel driveway. UUGHGghghghghghr!! &*#$^&#$*&#$^
HA!

Later Folks,
-Gerry
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:31 pm
Just to let you know. krikzz said he has plans to release a flash cart for game gear (and another one for gb) that supports sd/mmc.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:43 pm
gorgyrip wrote
Just to let you know. krikzz said he has plans to release a flash cart for game gear (and another one for gb) that supports sd/mmc.


Hey there gorgyrip,

Thanks for the heads up on that.

I think that it's so awesome, all the various versions of development carts that are coming out. It's giving us all the chance to run our own code and games on real hardware.

The version of Flash cart I designed here, was mainly targeted for those Hobbyists that enjoy a little hands on work and want to build something really cool. The parts are all fairly cheap and the soldering skills required to build these projects, are not as delicate and precise as those needed for soldering surface mount components. So a larger number of Hobbyists, all with different skill sets can build these units. :)

Regardless, this is a great link to have for those that are more focused on the Programming side of things.

http://krikzz.com/

Cheers!
and thanks for the info.


Regards,
-Gerry
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I AM NOT A SPAM BOT!
Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:53 pm
I was told that there were some questions about the eagle libary I composed for this project.
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Your own GG Flash Cart creations - Upload a few Photos
Post Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:08 am
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to add a quick note here.

To those Hobbyists that take on this project and actually go through and build their own cartridge as I have laid out here.....it would be fantastic if you would share some photos of your finished product with us all.

Many of us would love to see some fine craftsmanship that I know is out there.
So please post them here within this topic.


I look forward to your replies,

Regards,
Gerry O'Brien
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Flash chip
Post Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:37 pm
The flash chip used here, the AT49F040, looks to be non-stock in at least digi-key and mouser. From at least a pin assignment point-of-view, the SST39SF040 looks to be compatible, but I'd like someone with a bit more experience with flash chips to confirm this before I purchase 2-3 (one for an SMS cart, one for GG, and one as a backup.) The other problem I'll have is that I don't have a flash programmer yet, but I'll cross that hurdle when I get there.

Another question, Gerry, you specifically mention the Willem Universal Programmer in your step-by-step guide. I'm curious if you know if it works with with Linux. Also, does it require a 25 pin serial port? If so, I may have to make or buy a 25pin<->9pin. It's probably a month or two away before I can start purchasing the parts for the build, but I'd just like to be ready a bit ahead of time.
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:01 pm
The specs for look good.

  • Format - Memory
      Flash

  • Memory Type
      Flash

  • Memory Size
      4M (512K x 8)

  • Interface
      Parallel

  • Voltage - Supply
      4.5V ~ 5.5 V

  • Package / Case
      32-LCC


The remaining specs aren't that different.
  • Manufacturer Part Number - specific name used by Mfg to identify model/series
    1. SST39SF040-
    2. AT29C040A
    3. AT49F040
  • Manufacturer - who makes the chip, only relevant if you have a brand preference.
    1. Microchip Technology
    2. Atmel
    3. Atmel
  • Speed - seeing as the CPU clock of the NTSC version is 315/88 MHz, a little over 279ns any of these options should be fine
    1. 45,55,70 ns
    2. 55,70,90,120 ns
    3. 70,90,120,150 ns
  • Operating Temperature - if you are in an environment that is > 70°C or < 0°C some how I doubt that your game should be your primary concern, but if it is you have options
    1. 0°C ~ 70°C,-40°C ~ 85°C
    2. 0°C ~ 70°C,-40°C ~ 85°C
    3. 0°C ~ 70°C,-40°C ~ 85°C


Just check the pinouts, as I didn't verify them.
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:58 pm
Quote
Another question, Gerry, you specifically mention the Willem Universal Programmer in your step-by-step guide. I'm curious if you know if it works with with Linux. Also, does it require a 25 pin serial port? If so, I may have to make or buy a 25pin<->9pin. It's probably a month or two away before I can start purchasing the parts for the build, but I'd just like to be ready a bit ahead of time.


I've never come across a Willem programmer that runs on Linux before. Nor have any of my close Hobby buddies. Although most of us normally use the industry programming systems. DATA I/O or SuperPro modules.

I posted the Willem as it was a very common and popular unit that is widely available at a fair price.

I know some of them have a USB connector but most of the time these are only interfaced as an alternative power source, which still requires the DB25 parallel port to program. All of the Willem units I have require the LPT port to function.

If you think you'll be programming flash chips for other projects in the future you could invest in a slightly higher end programmer. 150 dollar range perhaps.
Some of these units are quite nice, but again you'll have to look around to find one that supports the Linux OS. I haven't seen any myself and I've always used a PC for programming my chips. Also using a DB25 to 9Pin will not work with the models that require the LPT printer port. Using the DC25 to DB9 adapter is strictly for Serial port communication. Allot of the higher grade Programmers use a USB interface.

SuperPro & USB NEWTOP models shown below:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Xeltek-SuperPro-Z-Universal-Device-Programmer-/250743801144?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a617ec538

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TOP-2049-USB-Universal-Programmer-MCU-PIC-/270406636067?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ef57dd223


Hopefully this might help you some.
-Gerry
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