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Hello, I am working in a MBC5 clone in VHDL, implemented on a small CPLD, like Xilinx xc9536.
Some days ago, I finished the first version of the code, and the simulations looked right.
So today, I took one of my flash cartridges and replaced the MBC5 with the xc9536... some pictures:

I heard you like wires:

Let's solder...

Small pause, breath, continue...
Ready:

Detail:

Ok, this cart had SuperKidFigher flashed, a Homebrew game,  MBC1, 4Mbit.... let's see...

It looks ok.... let's go on....

Its working!!!... big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

Ok, this is the first test, RAM writes not tested, because I left my programmer in the Lab at work, but tomorrow I'll update this testing ZeldaDX or another MBC5 intensive game.
Then I'll release the VHDL code and design like always :-)

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Minneapolis

Um, this is officially awesome. smile

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wats a MBC5?

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Minneapolis

Does nobody else understand what this is? A CPLD reproduction of a complex and somewhat hard to find memory controller chips for Gameboy. It could extend the compatibility of GB flash carts from "most GB games" to "all" probably. Also, that's some siiick soldering there. smile Props!

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does this mean more sav space and no battery or something?

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Melbourne, Australia
wedanced wrote:

does this mean more sav space and no battery or something?

Means that to produce gameboy cartridges one will not need to use the mbc from an existing gameboy game.

I think someone once said that the reason EMS cartridges don't work in gameboy pockets is because of a badly programmed CPLD, so it will be interesting to see how this one goes

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matt's mind

this is cool, well done!

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sweden
arfink wrote:

Does nobody else understand what this is?

One reply before yours. Chill.

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TmTgr wrote:
wedanced wrote:

does this mean more sav space and no battery or something?

Means that to produce gameboy cartridges one will not need to use the mbc from an existing gameboy game.

I think someone once said that the reason EMS cartridges don't work in gameboy pockets is because of a badly programmed CPLD, so it will be interesting to see how this one goes

AAAHHH ok.  this is cool.

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time for a custom board smile

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Canada

Did someone say Game Boy hardware development?

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Minneapolis
TmTgr wrote:
wedanced wrote:

does this mean more sav space and no battery or something?

Means that to produce gameboy cartridges one will not need to use the mbc from an existing gameboy game.

I think someone once said that the reason EMS cartridges don't work in gameboy pockets is because of a badly programmed CPLD, so it will be interesting to see how this one goes

I suppose that's possible, but more likely is the sheer power consumption. Of course, efficient coding of MCUs can reduce power consumption, A CPLD is different, but likely some tweaking could help to reduce power consumption there as well. This is definitely interesting, since a new part to replace the MBC5 is something very useful to have.

EDIT: I'd like to know how you designed this. Reverse engineering the original chip? From documentation? Some combo of both? The process of how you got this all set up is what I'm curious for.

Last edited by arfink (Dec 9, 2010 7:07 pm)

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Next step, sending this to manufacture:

About designing the clone, yes, it was a combo between reading existing documentation and some reverse engineering  to get an idea of what it has to do,  and then designing a logic circuit that does that.
First, I designed it in a notebook using gates and registers, and then after having a global picture of the design, started coding it in VHDL.
I think I have a picture...


:-)

About consumption, Xilinx CPLDs are very nice, not used macrocells are turned off to save power, and you can also use some other tricks if timing is not critical.

Last edited by xzakox (Dec 9, 2010 8:55 pm)

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Philly, PA, USA

so would this then be cheaper and/or easier to produce than a normal flash cart? or is it just cool? what are the advantages? I'm just not quite understanding

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When will this become available? How much will it cost?

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Melbourne, Australia
pixls wrote:

so would this then be cheaper and/or easier to produce than a normal flash cart? or is it just cool? what are the advantages? I'm just not quite understanding

The part he has made is a memory bank controller. This is just one of the chips needed for a flashcart (the others are flash/rom and sram).
Easier to produce if you don't want to steal the chips from gameboy color games (this is what jose did).