need help setting up to program a vectrex

Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

Hello All,

I have a vectrex, and I have a PC, and I know how to program (even in
assembly). But I'm ten thumbs when it comes to working with hardware. I
would love to be able to write code for the Vec, but have only a
general notion of how to proceed.

I know I need an eprom emulator, and I have found one at Wiltronics in
Australia, but I haven't ordered one yet because I don't know what else
I need and how to hook it up without frying anything when I do.

Is there a tutorial or cookbook out there on the web? I haven't found
one yet. I'd be grateful if anybody here in the group could help get me
started.

-R
12 answers Last reply
More about need setting program vectrex
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    There are some tutorials out there. The best way to get started would
    be to start searching and reading old posts for rec.games.vectrex on
    google. You should also get a 6809 assembler. There are a couple of
    good free command line ones out there. I use one called AS09.exe,
    google that and you should find a copy. Then download an emulator to
    test with. DVE is the best but will not run on Win2000 or XP. I
    usually use MESS because it has a debugger. VecX is another emulator.

    Finally, you will need to get your code to the vectrex. The best way is
    to use Richard's vecRam or vecFlash (These allow you to load a game
    without needed a Eprom Burner and work very well, I think he is not
    producing them right now due to the cartridge case shortage, but that
    should clear up soon). If you truly want to make your own carts get a
    burner that will burn 27256 Eproms, and get your parts from Mark Shaker
    at vectrexcarts.com.

    Hopefully, that will get you started. Now if I could just ever finish
    one of the games I have started!

    retrograf wrote:
    > Hello All,
    >
    > I have a vectrex, and I have a PC, and I know how to program (even in
    > assembly). But I'm ten thumbs when it comes to working with hardware. I
    > would love to be able to write code for the Vec, but have only a
    > general notion of how to proceed.
    >
    > I know I need an eprom emulator, and I have found one at Wiltronics in
    > Australia, but I haven't ordered one yet because I don't know what else
    > I need and how to hook it up without frying anything when I do.
    >
    > Is there a tutorial or cookbook out there on the web? I haven't found
    > one yet. I'd be grateful if anybody here in the group could help get me
    > started.
    >
    > -R
    >
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    Hi,

    This is the EPROM simulator I have:
    http://www.crownhill.co.uk/product.php?prod=691
    I use it mostly for Atari 2600 development but it works great on the Vectrex
    too. It only takes about 4 seconds to download a binary.

    You'll also need a socketed PCB from www.vectrexcarts.com to hook it up to
    the Vectrex. (Get one with the extra serial EEPROM installed if you want to
    be able to save high scores etc. Driver code on my website:
    www.herbs64.com.)

    Or just get a VecFlash from www.vectrex.biz. Has the extra convinience of
    being non-volatile and stores up to 15 binaries.

    Head on over to www.playvectrex.com for tech documents. In the "Shoptalk"
    section you'll find the Service Manual which has a schematic. In "Design
    it" you'll find the Vectrex the EXEC ROM Rev. C document (full source of the
    BIOS ROM) and the two official Vectrex Programmer Manuals. Some other
    useful stuff there too. One thing to remember is that some tutorials/source
    code use different naming conventions for the BIOS routines/variables to the
    official docs (becuase they were written before the official ones were
    available).

    The best free assembler is AS09:
    http://www.kingswood-consulting.co.uk/assemblers/


    Alex


    > I have a vectrex, and I have a PC, and I know how to program (even in
    > assembly). But I'm ten thumbs when it comes to working with hardware. I
    > would love to be able to write code for the Vec, but have only a
    > general notion of how to proceed.
    >
    > I know I need an eprom emulator, and I have found one at Wiltronics in
    > Australia, but I haven't ordered one yet because I don't know what else
    > I need and how to hook it up without frying anything when I do.
    >
    > Is there a tutorial or cookbook out there on the web? I haven't found
    > one yet. I'd be grateful if anybody here in the group could help get me
    > started.
    >
    > -R
    >
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    I'm in a similar situation, I have a burner but very wary of getting
    started, so the EPROM simulator sounds perfect. Just didn't know where
    to get one. A few clicks and now one's in the post! :) Cheers Alex!

    Now for a dumb question- I have some 2732 EPROMs and a burner do I need
    to UV lamp too or does the burner erase as it writes? Some of this old
    school science is a bit hard to figure out! I definately agree an
    idiots guide to hardware would be handy.

    If anyone else is interested in sourcing one (hardest thing seems to be
    knowing what works with what) I bought a Dual Power Willem EPROM
    Programmer brand new on ebay. It was $42 from cx829 in Hong Kong. All
    seemed very professional, I'm sure he has more. Unless anyone knows of
    anything better? I'm in no position (yet) to review it.

    MESS has a debugger!?!?!? I didn't know that! Jeez that's gonna save me
    some pain. Thanks for the tip. I've been using vecx 95% of the time.

    Good to see you old hands are willing to help us new folks get onto the
    homebrew train. Cheers!
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    ShaddamVI wrote:
    >...
    >
    > MESS has a debugger!?!?!? I didn't know that! Jeez that's gonna save me
    > some pain. Thanks for the tip. I've been using vecx 95% of the time.
    >
    <...
    >

    Yes, MESS has a debugger, but you have to recompile MESS with the debug
    option on to get it to work. I think I had to use the MAME docs to get
    it compiled, but it wasn't that complicated. The debugger isn't perfect
    either, it gets confused when displaying some of the op codes, but just
    to have a good view of the memory is a huge help.

    DVE had a better debugger in my opinion, but I just couldn't justify
    keeping a win98 machine around.

    Finally, the most painful part of using the emulators to program is they
    don't have the flicker or drift of the real vectrex, so when you have
    something working great on the emulator and download it to the vec it
    can look quite a bit different.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    > Now for a dumb question- I have some 2732 EPROMs and a burner do I need
    > to UV lamp too or does the burner erase as it writes?

    Yes, you need a UV eraser. The eraser will set all bits in the EPROM to 1.
    The programmer can only flip selected bits from 1 to 0. Here's the one I
    have:
    http://www.crownhill.co.uk/product.php?prod=49

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this but 2732s are 32Kbit = 4Kbyte. Mark
    Shaker's cart PCBs only take 32Kbyte (27256 or 27C256) or 64Kbyte (27512 or
    27C512) EPROMS.

    If you can find them, 27F256 and 27F512 are flash chips in EPROM pinout.
    Those are erased and written by the programmer. (Make sure your programmer
    supports them.)

    > If anyone else is interested in sourcing one (hardest thing seems to be
    > knowing what works with what) I bought a Dual Power Willem EPROM
    > Programmer brand new on ebay. It was $42 from cx829 in Hong Kong. All
    > seemed very professional, I'm sure he has more. Unless anyone knows of
    > anything better? I'm in no position (yet) to review it.

    That's a good price for an EPROM programmer - not sure how good they are
    though. Again, here's the one I have:
    http://www.crownhill.co.uk/product.php?prod=43
    I'm very happy with it!


    Alex
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    >If you can find them, 27F256

    You can't drop these straight into one of Mark's PCB's.

    Pin 1 needs connecting to pin 27, and WE needs to be tied to VCC


    Richard H.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    > >If you can find them, 27F256
    >
    > You can't drop these straight into one of Mark's PCB's.
    >
    > Pin 1 needs connecting to pin 27, and WE needs to be tied to VCC

    Oops, I listed the wrong part numbers. I meant 27SF256, 27SF512.


    Alex
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    Ta guys. Mark sent me some 27256 's. He did mention they wouldn't fit
    in the intellivision carts he's been using recently instead of SK'd
    repro's though. (with his PCBs of course) So I was gonna use them in
    their naked glory. Cor will you look at that, another thread seamlessly
    referencing SK's cases. :)

    Seriously though, thanks for the tips. Picking up assembler is
    (seeming) childs play compared to making sense of the electronics
    stuff.

    Cheers Shaddam
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    "retrograf" <edvard@writeme.com> wrote in news:1122900487.868815.95630
    @g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > Hello All,
    >
    > I have a vectrex, and I have a PC, and I know how to program (even in
    > assembly). But I'm ten thumbs when it comes to working with hardware. I
    > would love to be able to write code for the Vec, but have only a
    > general notion of how to proceed.
    >
    > I know I need an eprom emulator, and I have found one at Wiltronics in
    > Australia, but I haven't ordered one yet because I don't know what else
    > I need and how to hook it up without frying anything when I do.
    >
    > Is there a tutorial or cookbook out there on the web? I haven't found
    > one yet. I'd be grateful if anybody here in the group could help get me
    > started.
    >
    > -R
    >

    You might want to check out Portal-9 as well. It quite a nice IDE with
    support for MESS as well.

    I played around a bit with an older version which was a little buggy. But I
    just saw there's a newer version available here (which I didn't check out
    yet)

    http://www.coco3.com/ind_6809dev.htm

    Maybe some of the others can also look into this?

    Good luck!
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    "retrograf" <edvard@writeme.com> wrote in news:1122900487.868815.95630
    @g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > Hello All,
    >
    > I have a vectrex, and I have a PC, and I know how to program (even in
    > assembly). But I'm ten thumbs when it comes to working with hardware. I
    > would love to be able to write code for the Vec, but have only a
    > general notion of how to proceed.
    >
    > I know I need an eprom emulator, and I have found one at Wiltronics in
    > Australia, but I haven't ordered one yet because I don't know what else
    > I need and how to hook it up without frying anything when I do.
    >
    > Is there a tutorial or cookbook out there on the web? I haven't found
    > one yet. I'd be grateful if anybody here in the group could help get me
    > started.
    >
    > -R
    >

    O, and if you already didn't, visit

    http://www.playvectrex.com/designit_f.htm

    There's some links to must read tutorials to get you started and also
    info on how to get a free printed copy of the mc6809 programming manual.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    Portal9 is really nice, however it doesn't support my complier of
    choice; AS09. I've had some interaction with the author Roger Taylor to
    try and help with this, but sadly not found the time to progress yet.
    Roger is very keen to add AS09 support and I'm sure would appreciate
    some advice. (contactable through coco, or I'm happy to forward..) The
    problem is that Portal9 can't invoke AS09 properly. Quote: "The problem
    is that the as09.exe file appears to be not running as a Win32
    process?" I've not kept up with modern windows process spawning myself,
    anyone any ideas what the problem might be? (Maybe I'll take another
    look at it tonight...)
    Regards Shaddam
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.vectrex (More info?)

    "ShaddamVI" <x@chaom.co.uk> wrote in news:1123668197.484100.5580
    @g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    > Portal9 is really nice, however it doesn't support my complier of
    > choice; AS09. I've had some interaction with the author Roger Taylor to
    > try and help with this, but sadly not found the time to progress yet.
    > Roger is very keen to add AS09 support and I'm sure would appreciate
    > some advice. (contactable through coco, or I'm happy to forward..) The
    > problem is that Portal9 can't invoke AS09 properly. Quote: "The problem
    > is that the as09.exe file appears to be not running as a Win32
    > process?" I've not kept up with modern windows process spawning myself,
    > anyone any ideas what the problem might be? (Maybe I'll take another
    > look at it tonight...)
    > Regards Shaddam
    >

    What is wrong with ccasm? Seems to be compiling most things I throw at it?
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