Planning the launch

A project log for Emulated TMS9918A using RP2040/DVI

An attempt to make an RC2014 module that emulates the TMS chip, with crisp DVI output and some additional RC2014 functionality

shiela-dixonShiela Dixon 10/30/2023 at 21:330 Comments

I'm feeling just about ready to launch this version of the module:

This particular one has a couple of bodge wires. I've sorted those tracks and have new pcbs and some more Dr.VIPs due here in the next few days. Once those have arrived I feel confident about offering them for sale. 

I took the module in its current state along to the Retro Computing Fair in Cambridge at the weekend. Spencer was happy to let me pop my machine on the end of the RC2014 table and run some of the demos. What a fantastic weekend it was and I was so happy to speak to one or two people who are following this project. 

Over the last couple of posts I've been blowing hot and cold over the serial functionality. At one point I said that it was working like a charm and then had to backtrack because I realised that it wasn't. I've had a rough time trying to get it working properly. 

I've made a breakthrough on that front tonight and really think that it's now working well enough for launch. Here's a very quick demo, showing how useful this feature is. Bear in mind that the regular TMS module for RC2014 (with real TMS chip) doesn't handle the serial, so with that module you're communicating with your OS via a terminal or terminal emulator until you've started a program that drives the TMS chip.

This module listens to the serial line and displays characters using the TMS 40-column text mode from startup. It's no full-featured terminal emulator, I have never planned to go down that route. It does just enough to allow you to use the OS from startup.