FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

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qwertymodo
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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:00 am

Yeah, there's no way to have a card bigger than 256Kbit without bank switching. Any way, I tried building one tonight and it works... sporadically. The chip I used was a pull from another project and it might have gotten fried. Actually, it's quite likely that's exactly what happened. I've settled on a case for the cards, so once I confirm they're actually working I'll be able to sell them fully built, rather than my initial plan to sell bare boards. The cards will come in a transparent case, so any requests for soldermask color?

Also, I really doubt I'll actually build a 16x card... I'll just have to find some other cool use for my two shiny 4Mbit F-RAM chips :)

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by ttsgeb » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:30 am

I want to see a 16x card. It sounds ridiculous and unnecessary. What would you do for the switching? Would you go after 2 4-way switches, 4 on/off switches, or try and find a 16 way slide switch... or would you take the lame way out and use a digital control?

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:07 pm

Probably 2x4-way switches. It would be a bit tricky since the 4Mbit chips are 16-bit. They do, however, have a byte-mode operation mode, so they can work as 8-bit, it just makes the bank switching more complicated. Also, all said and done, I'd probably have to charge at least $80 for it. Yes, I have 2 free sample chips, but part of the deal with free samples is that I can't sell them, and I take that seriously. If a company is willing to just send me a $100 worth of samples just because I asked nicely, then I'm going to at least respect them enough to pay for any chips I make money off of. Plus, I'd like to keep these around for potential future projects.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:12 pm

However, the digital route would be kind of nice, I'd just need a 4-bit counter and a decoder (and maybe one of these since it would be nice to remember which card you were using last time). Of course, a 2-digit 7-segment display would be nice as well. I mean heck, if I'm going to go over the top, might as well go all the way :P

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:14 pm

Ok, so I finally got one of the 1x cards working consistently without the battery. It took me a little bit to understand the passive circuitry to work out why it worked fine with the battery and failed without it, despite the memory being nonvolatile. I have a couple other thoughts I'm going to play around with to see if I can't further reduce the component count. The one controller pak pinout I found here had an unknown pin and one listed A15, despite the fact that there is no A15, but I *think* I understand them both. I believe they are in fact EN1 and /EN2 (active-high and active-low chip enables). If this is the case, I should be able to reduce the passive components to a single capacitor and single pull-up resistor (though the 4x packs will require 2 more pull-up resistors and 2 diodes for the bank switch). Still tinkering. Once I'm confident that my design is sound, I'll order PCB's. Once I have the PCB's assembled, I'll update the OP with ordering info.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:31 am

Ok, so the chip I initially thought I fried seems to be working fine now, there was a short somewhere on the card. Now that it's taken care of and all of the unnecessary passive components are removed, I'm going to stress test it a bit. I know I promised 4x cards and all I've worked on so far is 1x, but since I ordered the wrong samples, 256K chips are all I have on hand (other than the 4Mbit...), so I want to make sure the design is solid with what I have, and the switch from 1x to 4x should be simply a matter of re-tracing the board for a new footprint and a couple extra components for the bank switch.

In any case, I've had to revise my initial price estimate. I'll be selling 1x cards for $30 and a 4x cards for $40. Or, I'll just sell you a bare board for $5 less if you'd rather provide your own shell. The 4x cards will require a specific shell though, so it's probably best to buy those assembled.

chefroo
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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by chefroo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:40 pm

What sizes do they come in?
Last edited by chefroo on Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:32 am

I haven't decided on the shells for the 1x. I have 1 clear shell that would fit them ok, and I also have a ton of various shells of various sizes I could use. The most common shell I have is the same size/shape as this one with several different labels.
Image

I also have 2 official Nintendo shells.

The shells I'll be using for the 4x cards are these
Image

I got shipping confirmation on the 1x PCB's a couple days ago, but economy shipping from Hong Kong takes FOREVER :/

chefroo
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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by chefroo » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:25 am

maybe buy a 4x and two 1x
Last edited by chefroo on Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:20 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:13 pm

Ok, I'll reserve the 2 official shells for you. One has a label, the other doesn't. I have a few chips on hand, so I can assemble them right away once the boards arrive. I'll let you know once they get here.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:48 pm

1x PCB's are in. Assembled one already and it's working great. I'll play around with it for awhile to stress test it, then I'll start taking orders on the 1x cards and send out for 4x PCB's. I'm currently in the process of setting up my website with Google Checkout, so we'll see if that works out.

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:17 pm

Ramtron just got bought out by Cypress Semiconductor, and it has become nearly impossible to source F-RAM parts. I'll be ordering what I can from Mouser, but I really hope that the supply chain stabilizes quickly. I have a lot of projects that use F-RAM... :(

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by Diminuendo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:12 pm

ok, because I'm not clear on this; will it take 4 flash ram chips for the 4x switching? how do you achieve this?

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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by qwertymodo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:51 pm

The 4x card is a single chip 4x larger than the official cards. It is then broken up into 4 parts, each of which acts as a separate card. There will be a slider switch to switch between them.

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Diminuendo
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Re: FS: Nonvolatile 1M (4x) N64 Memory Cards

Post by Diminuendo » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:56 am

so what you're saying is the chances of me using one on my pokemon blue are slim

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