The Atari STs 128 Kbyte read-only cartridge port can be transformed into a 64 Kbyte readwr

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

_A_b_s_t_r_a_c_t The Atari ST's 128 Kbyte read-only cartridge port can be transformed into a 64 Kbyte read/write port by using this cir- cuit. Writing to this port is slower than reading it by a factor of two, approximately. It can be written to at a speed of 76 Kilowords per second. This interface can be built by using only three chips, two AS-TTLs and a PAL -- a total parts cost of less than $15. _H_o_w__I_t__w_o_r_k_s 1. _B_a_c_k_g_r_o_u_n_d__I_n_f_o_r_m_a_t_i_o_n The ST brings out 15 address lines (A1-A15), 16 data lines (d0- D15) /LDS,[*] /UDS, /AS, /ROM4 and /ROM3. Of these signals, /UDS, /LDS, and /AS have the same meaning as they as they do for a 68000 CPU. A1-A15 are the least signifi- cant 15 address lines. D0-D15 are connected internally to the ST's data-bus. /ROM3 and /ROM4 are generated by the MMU and are output signals which tell the external hardware which of the two banks is being addressed. /ROM4 is activated when the 68000 tries to read address 0xfa0000-0xfaffff. /ROM3 is activated when the 68000 tries to read address 0xfb0000-0xfbffff. (Note that the names of these signals are counterintuitive; ie. they have been correctly written above.) 2. _C_a_v_e_a_t_s Any and all hardware connected to this modified port must be fast -- fast enough to run with no wait-states and fast enough to tolerate the decoding delays introduced by this circuit. I've used 200ns static RAM chips without any trouble. It is advisable to use /ROM4 to time any external hardware you build (in preference to /AS), since /ROM4 contains the neces- sary delay to ensure the addresses are stable when it is activated. (At least this is what I assumed, and it worked.) The data for write operations is produced by the two AS-TTL latches[*] used in the circuit (see below.) ________ [*] A preceeding slash indicates an active-low signal Cartridge Port Interface 1 April 14, 1987 3. _O_p_e_r_a_t_i_n_g__P_r_i_n_c_i_p_l_e i. The PAL contains an asynchronous finite state machine. When the upper bank (address 0xfbxxxx) is read, the PAL manufac- tures an A0 (based on the state of /UDS and /LDS) and sup- plies this to U1. At the end of the read cycle, U1 and U2 are clocked to latch the least significant 16 address bits into the PAL. ii. Subsequently, when the lower bank is read (address 0xfaxxxx), the latched address (which was latched in step 1) is supplied as data and /PWE (the write-enable signal) is activated (it goes low). /ROM4 active should tell the exter- nal hardware that it is being addressed, and /PWE active should tell it that this is a write-cycle. As an interest- ing side-effect of this design, the data word written out is read back by the 68000 (you can use this fact to debug the interface!) iii. Reads to the upper bank will return garbage unless some ROM is present there. Multiple successive reads to this bank will not be harmful (ie. they will not confuse the state- machine) and the latest address will be latched preparation for a read to the lower bank. Note that if you put RAM in the upper-bank you will not be able to write to it. Connecting the /PWE line to such RAM will have no effect. Putting a ROM in this address space should not create any problems (although I haven't tried this). Example: To write data 0xcd01 to address 0x3bc0 in the lower bank, the following steps are performed. step1. read byte at address 0xfbcd01 (0xfb0000+data) step2. read word to address 0xfa3bc0 (0xfa0000+addr) _________________________________________________________________ [*] I used AS374s, you can use AS or FAST. High speed chips are necessary so that delays from /OE (latch output-enable) to valid data are not critical. You could possibly get away with ALSTTL, but I haven't tried this. Cartridge Port Interface 2 April 14, 1987 _C_o_n_s_t_r_u_c_t_i_o_n The schematic should help in this department. Constructing this gadget is easy and cheap. The hardest part might be trying to find a connector for this port. You can get one from Douglas Electronics, 718 Marina Blvd., San Leandro, Calif 94577 1-415-483-8770 (part number 33-DE-40. $10.00 per piece)[*] Another problem you might face is getting the PAL programmed. If you don't know of a way to get the PAL programmed, you could use discrete logic chips to build the state machine. 4. _B_u_i_l_d_i_n_g__i_t The pin-outs given in the User's guide are CORRECT. The pin-outs given in the "Internals" book are WRONG. Follow the schematic. You can get the pin-outs for the '374s from an ASTTL or FAST databook. The PAL16L8's pin-outs are given below. ________ [*] You guessed it -- I'm not connected with D.E. although I and a number of others have purchased these connectors from them. Cartridge Port Interface 3 April 14, 1987 PAL PINOUTS Legend: A preceding slash implies an active-low signal. NC implies no-contact (nothing should be connected to these pins.) (i) indicates that the signal is an input. (o) indicates that the signal is an output. (A) implies that the signal comes from/goes to the Atari cart. port. (u1) implies that the signal goes to U1, the least-significant latch. (u2) implies that the signal goes to U2, the most-significant latch. (ex) implies that the signal goes to any external hardware connected such as a ram-disk. pin # signal pin # signal ----- ------ ----- ------ 1 /UDS (i, A) 11 NC (no contact) 2 /LDS (i, A) 12 /OE (o, U1, U2) 3 /ROM4 (i, A) 13 A0 (o, U1) 4 /ROM3 (i, A) 14 /PWE (o, ex) 5 NC 15 NC 6 NC 16 /dclk (o, U1,U2) 7 NC 17 NC 8 NC 18 NC 9 NC 19 NC 10 gnd (A) 20 Vcc (A) Note that the line called "help" is shown as "NC" since it is to be left unconnected. ALL THE BEST!! Anees Munshi. April 14, 1986. ARPA asm%csri.toronto.edu@csnet-relay.arpa BitNet asm@utcsri.UTORONTO CSNet asm@csri.toronto.edu UUCP {allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!utcsri!asm 58 York Road, Weston, Ontario M9R 3E6. Canada. (416) 241-2166 Cartridge Port Interface 4 April 14, 1987

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank