Saturday, April 16, 2011

My ROM reader is progressing!

Ok, I have made a vow to post to this blog at least once every month.  Now that I'm not as busy with school (I have the week of the 18th off for spring break) I will be churning through my projects, starting with my Gameboy projects.

Now then, for the interesting stuff.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I rebuilt my ROM reader with a much better and more recent propeller module that has an on-board FTDI chip for USB communication.  Here's some pictures of the ROM reader, revision 3.0:

Above is a picture of the ROM reader, with its 30 or 40 jumper wires.

A close up picture of the module I'm using.  I actually got it for free at a Propeller Expo.  :D

Here's a close up of the ROM chip.  It's a 64Kbyte UV EPROM I got two of them for $3 or so at a big surplus warehouse.

My goal is to get a read speed (including sending the data to the computer) of under 10 seconds for these 64Kbyte chips.  Right now I have gotten it down to about 20 seconds by removing unnecessary dummy objects and by removing the transfer of, essentially, another byte for each byte I'm reading.  Today I will also look around for some faster communication methods (there's a rather promising looking 5Mbit/sec method that I am really eager to test out) and maybe make another post if I make leaps in technology that could impact the world's perception of UV EPROMs and their viability as storage devices.

Oh, and on a side note -- I found out that there are 3 others who are building GB cartridge readers/writers.  Two of them use the arduino, and one of them is basically the exact same one I built last year, except they stole the plans from the two Polish students who copyrighted it.  One of the arduino-based flasher is featured on hackaday, and can be found at Inside Gadgets.