AVR helps out on Vulcan-74, a 7400 Logic VGA Mega Game System.

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I must admit, I have been away from the AVR Freaks grid for a while, and have been going back in time to the 6502 days!

But since AVR assembly is the best programming language ever created, I have been using an ATMega as a kind of surrogate as I test my new project.

 

Vulcan-74 is a HUGE logic based games system that generates 400x300 VGA, and includes a powerful GPU and sound system, all made from pure 7400 logic.

The final goal is to control the entire thing from a 6502, but I am using the AVR to simulate the 6502 until things are working.

 

Here is an in-depth photo blog on Vulcan-74, and how the AVR "stunt-man" is helping out for now...

 

http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3329

 

 

 

http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3329

 

Just felt like going old-school and trying something more challenging!

 

Cheers,

Brad

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Love your madness!

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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Look at all those prototype breadboards! 

 

Actually AVR assembler only looks really good compared to PIC assembler.   It is good for a microcontroller, but it pales before a flexible microprocessor instruction code set like Motorola 6809.

 

But since the late 1990s, the industry has been away from assembler and to C.  This is because the CPUs are finally big and fast enough to hold the resources needed to develop in high(er) level languages.  C is still a stretch for the AVR.   For example, a TFT library for AVR Arduino takes about 5000 bytes of program code.  And the same raw functionality in AVR assembler is less than 1000 bytes.

 

Still, I recommend that instead of regressing to 1976 and 6502 assembler, you switch to an ARM platform.  They are much cheaper than 1980s-era ICs.   They have very advanced features like 50MHz clocks and 256K program memories.

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My long-winded introduction in the 6502 thread explains why an ARM could never satisfy the goals of this project.

 

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Ahhhhhh! Takes me back! You need some bipolar proms for the REAL retro experience! Of course you need to program them bit by bit and curse loudly when you zap the wrong bit.
How about a 6502 in TTL?
There's a 6502 emulator for the Arduino that i slapped onto a samd20 explained board. Gets around 300KHz by my crude measurements. I then tried it on a 100MHz R4 and it was about twice as fast. The inner geek screamed 'optimise it in asm!' But the enthusiasm meter was on idle.

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I am using the WDC 65C02, which is still to this day produced by the Western Design Centre.

Preliminary tests show the 6502 stable at 25MHz, so I am clocking it at 20MHz.

 

Every single IC I am using is still produced, most available for pennies at Digikey.

 

Ok, I finally have 3 free minutes, so I am going to mess around with the board!

Further updates on this project will be made on the 6502.org thread rather than here.

 

I just wanted to stop by and say Greets Freaks, still an AVR fan boy!

 

Cheers,

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Vulcan-74 is a HUGE logic based games system that generates 400x300 VGA, and includes a powerful GPU and sound system, all made from pure 7400 logic.

We are not worthy!

 

- S

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Quote:

I must admit, I have been away from the AVR Freaks grid for a while, and have been going back in time to the 6502 days!

But since AVR assembly is the best programming language ever created, I have been using an ATMega as a kind of surrogate as I test my new project.

 

 

Nice project!

It's amazing what can work on a breadboard or lots of breadboards.smiley

 

I've done quite a bit of 65C02/65C816 programming over the years and it was my favorite before being hooked on AVR.

 

 

 

 

Last Edited: Mon. Aug 3, 2015 - 12:02 AM
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Added a video...

 

https://youtu.be/M9kUlFZM0gM

 

Remember the Amiga Boing Demo?

Yeah... it only had one ball!

 

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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AtomicZombie wrote:

 

https://youtu.be/M9kUlFZM0gM

 

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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I go with Ross,

 

what you do is really amazing......

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Wow. Brad has balls!

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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Thanks all for the positive feedback!

 

In this day and age of $25 protoboards that run linux and almost program themselves, I wanted to take a step back and make something wonderful using basic technologies and skills that seem to be going extinct.

This project will end with a hand made retro style cabinet of oak and glass, complete with back-lighting to show off the 200 ICs inside.

 

Ironically, doing this project has upped my game when it comes to programming FPGAs in Verilog.

I no longer think in terms of line by line code, but more in the realm of propagation delay and capacitance.

 

Pushing a breadboard with 24,000 tie points up to 40MHz successfully requires some real respect for such things!

Making a PCB will almost be trivial now, because even the worst case PCB will be better than a best case breadboard.

 

I am looking forward to the next stage - designing the IO decoder for the 20MHz 6502, which has to take the place of the AVR.

 

Cheers,

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Utterly and completely delightfully mad!

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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WOW, Brad, WOW !

 

And once again proof that breadboards aren't that evil as often stated.

 

Nard

A GIF is worth a thousend words   They are called Rosa, Sylvia and Tessa, You can find them https://www.linuxmint.com/

Dragon broken ? http://aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html for how-to-fix tips

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"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Funny, I now have 2 ATmega-1284 on the board, each pretending to be an external Flash memory!

I will probably make a version of Vulcan-74 with an AVR CPU as well.

I just love coding AVR assembly!

 

Made some serious progress since the last time I stopped by...

 

 

Video showing the system running...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chACO3WNtg0

 

Cheers,

Radical Brad

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

Last Edited: Thu. Aug 13, 2015 - 08:46 PM
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Simonetta wrote:

For example, a TFT library for AVR Arduino takes about 5000 bytes of program code.

And 50 - 70% of this is a wasted space. In C it's likely possible to get down near to the assembler code size, opposing to arduino libraries which have never seen any kind of optimizations.

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Dude, I think you missplaced this reply - you ain't never gonna see no Arduino on my workbench!

I only hit the bare metal  in my workshop!

 

Brad

 

jnk0le wrote:

 

Simonetta wrote:

 

For example, a TFT library for AVR Arduino takes about 5000 bytes of program code.

 

 

And 50 - 70% of this is a wasted space. In C it's likely possible to get down near to the assembler code size, opposing to arduino libraries which have never seen any kind of optimizations.

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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AtomicZombie wrote:
Dude, I think you missplaced this reply - you ain't never gonna see no Arduino on my workbench!

I only hit the bare metal  in my workshop!

It's a response to post #3 by Simonetta.

 

A rather misinformed one, at that. 

 

jnk0le wrote:
opposing to arduino libraries which have never seen any kind of optimizations
While the Arduino IDE and build environment is lacking in many respects, and some (largely 3rd party) libraries are poorly written, all modules including all source libraries are compiled with -Os, -ffunction-sections, -fdata-sections, and -Wl,gc-sections.

 

But it will never do what you do...  Holy <phneep>!  Looking forward to the other 50%.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Vulcan-74 is coming along nicely!

 

I ran out of IO with the ATmega, so here it is with an XMega-384 over-volted to 5 volts!

Don't worry folks, the XMega will be spared from this horror once the 6502 is ready to plug into the board!

 

 

And of course, a demo video showing the "PlayField Generator" swinging a 1024x1024 bitmap around the screen!...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fXuFCxMHVI

 

I am keeping a much more detailed log of this build here...

 

http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3329

 

Just wanted to prove that I am still an AVR FanBoy!

 

Cheers!

Brad

 

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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AtomicZombie wrote:

 

Just wanted to prove that I am still an AVR FanBoy!

 

 

I think you forgot to include "utterly mad."

 

"Just wanted to prove that I am still an utterly mad AVR FanBoy!"

 

You do it the old school hard way with low power chips better than it's done with modern parts.

 

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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I can't believe I am impressed with a breadboard project, this is the mother of all breadboard projects

 

I have no idea how the hell you do that but it is very good

 

 

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Hey thanks!

 

For me, building with  logic chips is like programming in assembly... free of bloat, pure, simple, and powerful.

Most of the gates have only a few inputs or outputs, so I think of them like a kind of silicon instruction set!

Nice thing about this kind of bare metal hacking... if something doesn't work, it's your own damn fault, not the compiler or proto-board supplier!

 

Only a hundred or so more chips to wire up (sound system mostly) and then Vulcan-74 will be ready for the final design,

which will include a hand wired point-2-point main-board and custom designed wooden cabinet with a glass top to reveal the magic within.

I will probably make the joysticks as well... C64 / Atari compatible connectors of course.

 

Cheers,

Brad

 

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Added a few things to the design over the weekend, and I am calling the video section mostly complete now...

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuzK2BwvmKQ&feature=youtu.be

 

The next phase in the design removes the AVR and replaces it with a 6502!

 

That XMega has been good to me during testing... over-volted to 5v, and 46 IO used!

 

Cheers!

Brad

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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I'm getting seasick...

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Imagine how the poor XMega feels running at 5 volts with 46 IO lines jacked into that mess of wires!

I have 98% of the 384K program memory used as well, as it is also pretending to be a cartridge EEPROM.

 

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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How does the xmega works at 5V without any visual and sound effects ?

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If by "sound and visual effects", you mean loud hissing and popping followed by smoke and sparks, then it works fine!
The XMega has been running my prototype for almost 2 months over-volted without any issues.

Also to note is the fact that I routinely run all XMegas between 64MHz and 70MHz.

 

Brad

 

jnk0le wrote:

How does the xmega works at 5V without any visual and sound effects ?

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

Last Edited: Mon. Sep 14, 2015 - 05:36 PM
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I know one thing: Brad has no cat.

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Yeah, a paw in that mess would be more than a headache!

 

Actually, I sometimes have someone move or remove a single wire while I am not looking to see how long it takes to figure out the problem.

Typically, I can diagnose and repair withing 15 minutes, sometimes it takes a "little" more effort!

 

Brad

 

JohanEkdahl wrote:

I know one thing: Brad has no cat.

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Actually, I sometimes have someone move [...] a single wire

I now know two things:

 

1. Brad has no cat

 

2. Brad is VERY brave:

 

"Hey, could you just move one of those wires so that I can practice my fault seeking skills?"

 

"Of-course! No problem. Now, let's see.."

 

["Poof!"]

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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I think you mean: 

 

1. Brad has no cat.

 

2. Brad is quite mad.

 

Interesting that your xMegas run that much too fast.

 

JohanEkdahl wrote:

Actually, I sometimes have someone move [...] a single wire

I now know two things:

 

1. Brad has no cat

 

2. Brad is VERY brave:

 

"Hey, could you just move one of those wires so that I can practice my fault seeking skills?"

 

"Of-course! No problem. Now, let's see.."

 

["Poof!"]

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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I did have a cat.

I was tuning my 7 foot Tesla coil one day, and.....

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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Poof?

 

 

Cat's last thought was "Sh*t, that must have been one big Ebonite rod!"?

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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flabbergasted.

 

I really wonder how it all keeps working.

I also wonder if this can be routed on a 2 layer board, that would be the next big challenge.

You will run into a lot of issues I guess when you go from breadboard to PCB as all the timings will change plus the signal integrity will change.

As you made a number of sub sections, I would start with making a PCB for each sub section and then in the end hook them all together.

 

great way to see a simple breadboard being used and old stuff being re-used.

 

hats off

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meslomp wrote:

flabbergasted.

 

I really wonder how it all keeps working.

I also wonder if this can be routed on a 2 layer board, that would be the next big challenge.

You will run into a lot of issues I guess when you go from breadboard to PCB as all the timings will change plus the signal integrity will change.

As you made a number of sub sections, I would start with making a PCB for each sub section and then in the end hook them all together.

 

great way to see a simple breadboard being used and old stuff being re-used.

 

hats off

 

I don't expect he'll meet anything to slow him down. Just look around the freaks for his other projects. He routinely pulls off the improbable with beautiful results.

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

Last Edited: Tue. Sep 15, 2015 - 12:23 PM
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Thanks for the comments freaks!

 

The way I have been designing this is to keep all propagation at least 25% under the ratings in the datasheets. Any longer delays are registered by a clocked 574 to resync timings.

I also bundle buss wires together for a "worst case" test of capacitance and cross-talk. This will ensure that a PCB will be a breeze to make!

No problem doing a 2 layer board. I intend to do a massive single 2 layer board to help show off the unit in its new glass cover oak case.

 

I am now working on the sound system (another 120 ICs) and the 6502 IO IO system and cartridge boot hardware.

 

The final design will live on a 12x16 PCB and contain approximately 250 standard 7400 logic chips.

No new components such as FPGA / CPLD / GAL, or UCs ar used, and all logic parts are readily available from multiple sources.

 

Cheers,

Brad

 

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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meslomp wrote:
flabbergasted
Brad's projects are always flabbergasmic.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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joeymorin wrote:

 

meslomp wrote:

flabbergasted

Brad's projects are always flabbergasmic.

 

 

You're a master of understatement.

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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Torby wrote:

 

joeymorin wrote:

 

 

meslomp wrote:

flabbergasted

Brad's projects are always flabbergasmic.

 

 

 

 

You're a master of understatement.

 

and even that is an understatement

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- When we where yong, we didn't 'ave prototype boards and fancy woires!

 

-  No, all we 'ad wus our hands, smeared with salt to up the conductivity a wee bit!

 

- We used to gather up in a ring, holding the components between us, and then dad hooked us into the Battersea Power Plant!

 

- Aye... Hair on end, nails burnin'..

 

- But the game did show up on the screen, though!

 

- Aye.. Dad playin' Wolfenstein 'til three in the mornin'

 

- And to think, if you tell the young people today, they wont believe you!

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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the only thing missing is the 6502 in ttl. So i got pondering about how i would do it whilst waiting for the train. Then i figured someone else had already done it - i was not wrong.
http://www.6502.org/users/dieter/m02/m02jpg.htm
I think there's room for improvement - especially with the sequencer and faster flash chips. The ALU could be done nibble serial and pipelined to cut one eprom. So many choices!

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A few notes on my 6502 plan...

 

1) There will be no 6552 vias or any other custom chips allowed in my design, only 7400 logic.

2) I am using the WDC65C02, not the old TTL. This is a fully available and current part.

3) I have a very tricky and "not yet been tried" plan to get single cycle 6502 IO out to my board.

 

I fully expect the 6502 running at 20-25MHz to do just as well as the XMega I am using now, which is clocked at 8MHz.

 

Oh, and again... thanks for all the kudos, I didn't think the project was so deserving of such praise!

The part about being crazy and eccentric.... yeah, that I can agree with!

 

Proof that you can never have a large enough breadboard!

 

Cheers!

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

Last Edited: Wed. Sep 16, 2015 - 12:11 PM
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"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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I did some wire clean-up on this project, and also discovered that I need a larger board!

I have ordered another 24 breadboards, and will double the size of this board to accommodate the Sound System.

The XMega will stay employed until the multiplexing circuit is working, and then it gets swapped with a 6502.

 

Here is a massive 4000x2000 image of the board as it is now...

 

http://lucidscience.com/temp/vt93l.jpg

 

Cheers!

Brad

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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1. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

 

2. WWGS? (What Would Gwen Say?)

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Thanks!

WWGS?... perhaps "This shit is bananas"?

 

Brad

 

JohanEkdahl wrote:

1. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

 

2. WWGS? (What Would Gwen Say?)

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

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All is going well on Vulcan-74!

In my regression from XMega to 6502, I currently have an ATMega pretending to be a 6502 for one last IO test...

 

 

Once the IO multiplexer has been extensively tested, the AVR gets kicked in place of a 6502.

What will remain on this board is ONLY 7400 logic and a 6502.

 

Here is a video showing the 6502 simulator and the new DOUBLE SIZE monster breadboard!...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxonyIrZhDc

 

For the full build log, which includes way too much text, and almost 100 photos, here is my thread on 6502.org...

 

http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3329

 

 

Later!

Brad

 

 

I Like to Build Stuff : http://www.AtomicZombie.com

Last Edited: Mon. Oct 12, 2015 - 11:58 PM
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The madness continues! Love it!

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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In the 70's BYTE magazine proposed that we rate "home computers" in "Boggles per glance." 

 

I think you have the record now. Well, maybe if you were to add some blinkenleds.

 

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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