V3 prototype assembled and working!

A project log for GameTank 8-Bit Retroconsole

6502-powered game console with hardware-accelerated drawing

Clyde ShafferClyde Shaffer 06/23/2021 at 02:020 Comments

Got the boards in on Friday and spent the weekend soldering this baby over a few sessions.

Originally I anticipated spending the week in "integration hell", but ultimately I only had to add one bodge wire after realizing that I gave a certain net the name !RE2 "Read Enable 2" on one sheet and !OE2 "Output Enable 2" on another sheet. As a result the CPU had been able to write to Graphics RAM but not *read* it; which is necessary for the Inflate algorithm as well as programs simply using it as extra general-purpose memory.

For now I'm powering it with my bench supply through two wires soldered on at the back. I've designed and ordered a board that can solder on in place of these wires, based on an LM2575 switching regulator and its reference schematic in the datasheet.

After that the next step is to design and print a suitable case. The "tank" theme will work into that but I'm still deciding how subtle.
The board stack already looks kind of cool, so the enclosure will have to be cool enough to compete if it's going to cover that view.

It's a bit of a rush to hold this thing. With almost a hundred ICs it has a certain heft that feels about right for something that took me three years to make.