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Which external ports and pinouts are planned for board R3 and beyond?

  • Hallo, Leute!

    After watching the latest Mega65 R2 videos (from the official YT channel from 01.07.), we know the following will be present:

    • 2× Atari-style DE-9m joystick ports (presumably C64 pinout, hopefully C64GS/Amiga-compatible as well?)
    • 1× C64/128-style expansion port
    • 1× IEC
    • 1× VGA
    • 1× HDMI
    • 1× RJ45
    • 1× 3.5mm TRS stereo audio-out jack
    • 1× (planned) VIC-20/C64/128-style user-port

    So here's part-curiosity, part-wishlist:


    Are there any plans to incorporate any of the following?

    • secondary video-out
      • for example, if anyone gets bold enough to make a C128 or VDC core for the machine
      • or if someone decides they want a daughterboard of their own with Composite or S-Video out
    • 1× 3.5mm TRRS stereo audio-out/in jack (with integrated mic-in for SID input)

    Also, in one of the Facebook group posts, someone mentioned the obvious trapdoor - will it give a more direct access to both the address and data lines, for example, to fit extra sound-chips, like real SIDs, SwinSID Ultimates with custom waveforms, YM3812 OPL2 chips, YM2149F PSGs, TI SN76489s...

    Cheers! :thumbsup:

  • And what I like to know: is there "just" support for SD (TFT)-cards - no USB connector implemented intentionally?

    Or did I miss it? :)

    Gruß, cp2.

    The one... 2201-db44f915.jpgthat started it all!
    Zitat von ZeHa: "Ich wäre noch für einen "das ist zu teuer"-, einen "das geht auch mit 'nem Raspberry Pi"-, und einen "das ist dann aber nicht mehr original"-Button" :D


  • 2× Atari-style DE-9m joystick ports (presumably C64 pinout, hopefully C64GS/Amiga-compatible as well?)

    Fully compatible !

    secondary video-out

    for example, if anyone gets bold enough to make a C128 or VDC core for the machine
    or if someone decides they want a daughterboard of their own with Composite or S-Video out

    If somebody would create the core then he could implement a second Video out via VHDL as well and use the PMOD connectors as interface.

    1× 3.5mm TRRS stereo audio-out/in jack (with integrated mic-in for SID input)

    Why not using the analog input on the joystickport. I think quite some digitizers used the joystickport for Audio in


    someone mentioned the obvious trapdoor - will it give a more direct access to both the address and data lines, for example, to fit extra sound-chips, like real SIDs, SwinSID Ultimates with custom waveforms, YM3812 OPL2 chips, YM2149F PSGs, TI SN76489s...

    The Trapdoor gives you easy access to the PMODs and the MEGA65 internals. So YES, real SIDs, VGA, Blutooth, GPS.

    You can connect to it, what you want, as long as you implement it in the VHDL code. Datasette port maybe ?!



    And what I like to know: is there "just" support for SD (TFT)-cards - no USB connector implemented intentionally?

    Or did I miss it? :)

    I am not sure about an USB connector myself. Maybe here could Paul help.

    But why would you want/need one ? You have two SD-card connectors (microSD and SD)

    I believe, in the worst case, you could add an USB port also via PMOD.

  • USB sticks are very common in nowadays.
    I do not really need USB. It just comes in handy when I use my U64. USB stick into the PC, then back in the U64. It is (in my view) just easier to use than these tiny microSD-cards.

    No big deal at all - that just came to my attention when I watched the video about the housing where all connectors were shown... I somehow missed at least one USB port. ;)

    Gruß, cp2.

    The one... 2201-db44f915.jpgthat started it all!
    Zitat von ZeHa: "Ich wäre noch für einen "das ist zu teuer"-, einen "das geht auch mit 'nem Raspberry Pi"-, und einen "das ist dann aber nicht mehr original"-Button" :D


  • Why not using the analog input on the joystickport. I think quite some digitizers used the joystickport for Audio in

    Very cool - on all points! A removable bracket (like a snap-in piece of plastic covering a hole) would come in handy next to the user port, so the owners don't have to drill the case to add a custom port. ;)

    As for the analog input, The reason I'm asking is because many sound addons (like the Sound Expander or Speech Synthesizer or the FM-YAM) output audio on their own, and some of them can be connected back to the Audio IN on the SID so you can apply SID filters onto them. I know the JOYs have two analog axes, but those are mostly already used for controlling sweeping knobs and such.

  • Hello all,


    So, the VGA and HDMI are independently driven, so once we make the HDMI work, it would be possible to do C128-style dual display.


    The 3.5mm jack already has provision for analog audio input.


    USB is purposely missing, as we want a purely 8-bit system, and also for other complexity and security related reasons it is purposely missing. We also simply feel that the machine feels much more authentic without USB.


    For easy transfer you can use the 100mbit interrupt-driven ethernet (up to 12MB/sec!). We will likely finish writing a simple FTP server for the MEGA65, so you can just connect via web browser or faviourite FTP client from your PC and drag and drop files into place, even faster and easier than via USB. If you REALLY want USB, then you can always get a cartridge with USB port on it, but as I say, we really don't think this is at all necessary.


    LG

    Paul.

  • Hi Paul.


    Thanks a lot for your explanations. All good - as said, USB is absolutley no must.


    And what you say about drag-and-drop sounds fantastic! :)

    Cheers
    Marc

    Gruß, cp2.

    The one... 2201-db44f915.jpgthat started it all!
    Zitat von ZeHa: "Ich wäre noch für einen "das ist zu teuer"-, einen "das geht auch mit 'nem Raspberry Pi"-, und einen "das ist dann aber nicht mehr original"-Button" :D


  • I'm a bit disappointed to see no Composite or S-Video out. I'd like to connect the MEGA65 to an old-style 1084s or one of my Sony PVMs. Has the team tested already whether the VGA (or HDMI) signal can be converted via some converter so that the MEGA65 can be used with a (non-VGA) CRT monitor?

  • USB is purposely missing, as we want a purely 8-bit system, and also for other complexity and security related reasons it is purposely missing. We also simply feel that the machine feels much more authentic without USB.


    Are the SD-card-slots more 8-bit style? There are not so many 1351 out there. It would be nice if you could use USB mice instead!

  • I'm a bit disappointed to see no Composite or S-Video out. I'd like to connect the MEGA65 to an old-style 1084s or one of my Sony PVMs. Has the team tested already whether the VGA (or HDMI) signal can be converted via some converter so that the MEGA65 can be used with a (non-VGA) CRT monitor?

    We haven't tried. That said, it would be possible to use one of the PMOD expansion connectors to potentially generate a composite signal directly.

    USB is purposely missing, as we want a purely 8-bit system, and also for other complexity and security related reasons it is purposely missing. We also simply feel that the machine feels much more authentic without USB.


    Are the SD-card-slots more 8-bit style? There are not so many 1351 out there. It would be nice if you could use USB mice instead!

    The 1351 mouse problem we recognise, which is why already if you plug an Amiga mouse into the MEGA65, by default, it will transparently emulate a 1351 through dedicated hardware. There are USB to amiga mouse adapters. So we think that this is a problem that is adequately controlled. SD card is of course not 8-bit, but the cost-benefit trade-off is totally different. Also, a large proportion of C64 users now have some kind of SD card interface on their C64 that they use on a daily basis, so we don't really see it as that out of place. In comparison, the proportion of people who use a USB port on their C64 would be much lower. Of course, if you really want a USB port, the PMOD connectors could be used to make a USB interface by someone in the future.


    Paul.

  • if you plug an Amiga mouse into the MEGA65, by default, it will transparently emulate a 1351 through dedicated hardware

    I don't have too many Amiga mice but that is better than nothing (and it is a minor problem)! Thank you!

    the proportion of people who use a USB port on their C64 would be much lower.

    With the newer 1541U and C64U the number of USB ports on a C64 is getting bigger and bigger. But the minor mouse problem is solved and there is at least one modern storage solution present - so a USB-port is not realy needed. Everything OK!

  • Glad you are satisfied that we have it under control. We know some like USB ports, but we are really against having them in the MEGA65, as it does really feel wrong to us. But as said, on a cartridge it would be quite possible and not out of place for those who want it. This is the privilege of making our own computer, that we get to make some of these "captain's calls"


    Paul.

  • Very cool - on all points! A removable bracket (like a snap-in piece of plastic covering a hole) would come in handy next to the user port, so the owners don't have to drill the case to add a custom port. ;)

    I agree with stealth385 that a removeable backdoor as on i.e. the A1200 would allow for more graceful expansions; it certainly seems there's enough space for it. I too wouldn't like to decimate the rear of this beautifully designed machine...

  • As this is a system to hopefully live for the next 30+ years it should really really support onbard USB-Ports...

    ... and wifi...

    ... and, besides the technical issues of implementing it, i think, nowadays systems should support usb hid devices like joypads... Yes, this is some kind of recreation of retro hardware. But it is supposed to live on in the future... So what is the benefit of having original Joystickports without maybe having soon no more original joysticks? Yes, you can again build a solution around it like all the fency adapters which are out there already. But this is some kind of stuff I hopefully had on board already. It is still a big disappointment for me that the u64 doesn't support it.

    And here again, a completely reversed machine which sticks to the past in (in my view) unnecessary ways.

  • Hi Hagtrix,


    thank you very much for your post. The MEGA65 is designed in a way, that it is future orientated.

    So if you say ... WiFi ... ... USB-Ports..., i reply: The board itself provides you with the possibility of building not only those, but tons of more ports to your like. The Mega65 Board has enough pmods and FPGA space available to realise such ideas.

    You have a powerful 8-bit cpu with up to (at the moment) 40MHz.


    Did you already had a look at the MEGA65phone ? It's Pauls spin-off and side-project of the MEGA65 desktop. it has a SIM module and Radios built in. Why ? because the MEGA65 can !


    By Heart, the MEGA65 is a rebuilt of the original c65. This is our main goal and intention, to finish, what commodore never finished and we want also to have a 8-bit machine, which is able to last the next 30+ years.

    Realising the whole project as open source, especiallly the whole vhdl code is a step in that direction, also using a high end FPGA where we can say the price/value balance fits.


    So really, ..... even if you want to have a Tapeport (WHAT !!! The MEGA65 doesn't have a Tape-port ? I QUIT !!! 8)) you can built one, connect it, change the code and it will work !


    Last but not least, Paul has on his MEGAphone a built in Gamepad & the Standard Joystickport.

    But you get microswitches so cheap everywhere, so if there is one thing, we do not need to worry about in the future, it is, we will not run out of Joysticks ! and i LOVE the *CLICK* *CLICK* sound of a proper Joystick. !!!


    If you have more questions regarding the project, please check the links in my signature and feel free to ask your questions, state your opinions and ideas, here !


    Thank you !