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Arduino In-Circuit Tester: Build Project

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Judder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Judder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Arduino In-Circuit Tester: Build Project
    Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 4:18pm
Following on from a discussion that we were having over in the Valuations thread here, Paul Swan has being doing a fantastic job of building an Arduino based In-Circuit Tester for allowing for the testing of all aspects of arcade PCBs using a simple Arduino shield, a Fluke like POD and some nifty coding

I've been building a version here and wanted to encourage others to get involved with the project to help expand the amount of supported games, and generally help support Paul who has done a sterling job so far it getting everything all up and running



[Note: In the picture below the connectors are around the wrong way - please read page 3,4,5 and about 13 where we discuss the easy way to tell which way around they should be!]




As I had to order 10 boards from DirtyPCBs to get my boards made, I have 9 [now 5] spare which I'd like to give away to those on here who'd like to get involved

To build your own tester you'll need to follow Paul's instructions here



and then compile the Arduino code from Paul's GitHub project here


and the parts I used as are follows

2 x Ribbon Cable (you can be less colourful if you like!)



From eBay (£3.34) here

Lots of pin connectors like these




Lost of resistors like these




and an odd pin jumper like these to select how you want the POD to be configured versus the CPU of the board you are testing




PM me if you'd like to get involved, and we can use this thread to discuss how everyone is getting on, what they are doing, how it works etc.

Current goals are to add Williams support, as Paul has already added 6809P support with Star Wars - perhaps starting by mirroring Guddler's Fluke Memory testing and filling the memory to test the output on the screen

Alex




Edited by Judder - 09 May 2019 at 2:49pm
http://www.thedefenderproject.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 5:02pm
This is a very interesting post! I am currently restoring a Moonbase machine and decided last year that controlling various parts of the circuits using an Arduino is a good way to debug them. I used a Mega 2560 as it has plenty of IO pins plus made a psuedo 8080 pod. Its working well and my plan was to put a post up once I have finished it. Looks like Ive been pipped at the post lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverfox0786 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 6:20pm
nice one

i have 3 of those kits and been badgering paul to increase the game database

My Review of this kits
watch from 6 mins on



Edited by silverfox0786 - 14 Jan 2016 at 6:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Purity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 6:28pm
Looks like a very cool piece of kit.  I would be interested in one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KmanSweden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 6:43pm
Awesome project. Kind of like a Fluke9010 but not really. Not sure if I can help the project but I'd buy one when/if they go to production. :)
How is the games added?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nes4life Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 6:58pm
I'll be ordering the parts I need after a quick chat with Judder. My aim is to focus on porting Asteroids tests to this system. I'll be setting up a vec test bench as well.
Looking forward to getting on with this!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbz149 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 7:45pm
Looks like a cracking bit of kit! Thumbs Up

I got a crap load of these in Black going spare if anybody needs them


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverfox0786 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 8:09pm
Originally posted by KmanSweden KmanSweden wrote:

Awesome project. Kind of like a Fluke9010 but not really. Not sure if I can help the project but I'd buy one when/if they go to production. :)
How is the games added?


its open source

grab the file sand get the boards made and solder them up yourself

the games are added into the Sketch

paul was supposed to do a write up on how to add more games

im still waiting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Last Bandit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 9:05pm
Cool project :) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote guddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 9:23pm
To add new games you need to add a new pair of files (cpp / h) in the relevant processor folder. To do that you will need to know the board in question inside out pretty much (or, mame inside out I guess). At the very least you will need to know the information on the memory and I/O layout which you can find from schematics or mame etc.

You'll need to define the ROM / RAM / IO areas and any special requirements such as special interrupts and how the arduino should handle them.

Then the game header file needs to be included in InCircuitTesterXXX.ino (where XXX is the CPU) and the game added to the menu for the LCD in that file.

That's all slightly over simplified. You'll find in the libraries/cpuXXX folder that there is a base game pair of files and a pair of files for variants, where the variants include from the base game. But that's just standard C/C++ fare.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 10:04pm
OK - all boards pretty much spoken for now

I have:

- backflipper

- nes4life

- simonden

- philumurr

- Equites

- chadsarcade

- Purity

and 1 other who has asked for them

Anyone who hasn't PM'd me their address please do so and I'll post them out tomorrow

Great stuff

Alex

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 10:31pm
Originally posted by andrewsm andrewsm wrote:

This is a very interesting post! I am currently restoring a Moonbase machine and decided last year that controlling various parts of the circuits using an Arduino is a good way to debug them. I used a Mega 2560 as it has plenty of IO pins plus made a psuedo 8080 pod. Its working well and my plan was to put a post up once I have finished it. Looks like Ive been pipped at the post lol

Not at all

Why not join in and we can design an 8080 pod to work with the tester and then we can add drivers for Moonbase, Space Invaders, Lunar Lander etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Purity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 10:33pm
I'm sure some of us can add some more games to this, with a combined effort
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulSwan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 11:12pm
For 8080 you'll need to use a probe head that has -5V and +12V isolated. I haven't looked in detail, but Intel CPU's probably won't need clock mastering (8085, 8086, 8088, 8035 etc). Motorola (68xx, 65xx) all do.

For specific questions feel free to use the GitHub "Issues" tab on the project.

Paul.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 1:49pm
Im more than happy top help out. The 8080 is not a total emulator, it allows me to read/write data and change address lines etc. Works without any voltage only ground. The board is powered up as usual and then I take control of the buses etc. Ive written my own code to run various routines like send text to the video ram etc but its been done in a way which helps me with the debug of these bloody terrible Moonbase boards. 

My intention is to add a LED display and various other options so that it makes up a piece of test kit. Im gonna get a motherboard knocked up soonish which will take the arduino as a daughter board and have a row of connectors so other processor adapters can be plugged in. I have tried to use the video library to display info on a monitor but the pins used are slap bang in the middle of the pins I use so shelved that for time being. Hooks up to a laptop with a terminal program controlling it. Have to say it works well and has helped me find some awkward faults. Its on going atm. I did make a program which clips over logic chips and also tests chips in-circuit. Works by reading all the pin states and comparing to set patterns. Needed buffers though as the states change too fast for the software to grab at once. 

When I get a minute I will take a look at this more. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote guddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 2:15pm
This Is more the direction I would like to see the arduino tester go. A PC/Mac app sending commands to the tester and receiving the results back. Essentially separate the game from the hardware. That way we could have a much richer set of options for what we could write and you should also never hit any size issues.

I did something along these lines a few years back. I got to reading roms and that was about it. Paul has already done a much better job with timing and also the code framework than I ever did so I'm watching this one with interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Judder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 2:57pm
Boards are in the post first class on the way to everyone

Now the fun begins


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DanP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 3:54pm
Would love to be involved in this but realistically I can't guarantee I can devote the required time to it so I've stayed out of the first batch of volunteers.   If another batch happens I'm happy to look to work on 6502 based Atari stuff (Centipede or ROTJ say).

Will be keen to see how you get on chaps!

Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewsm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 4:11pm
Well so far this is what I can do.

1) Read ROMS and display any number of bytes from a set start address
2) Set any address
3) Read one byte of data from any address
4) Write data to an address
5) Block fill an address range
6) Write characters to video RAM ( Specific to Moonbase and Midway 8080)
7) Write a text string to Video
8) Read IO ports
9) Write IO
10) Set status latch (Again Moonbase 8080 stuff)

Im still working on it as I debug the boards so hopefully it will be easyish to change for other processors. Im adding a 8 digit led display that will display set address and data in HEX. I like the LEDS as gives it a test equipment look plus nice and bright.

Once I have things debugged, I will post a good write up plus a technical document (on the way) for Moonbase and Midway.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nes4life Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2016 at 5:48pm
Just checking; but is everyone forking Paul's repo & then making a pull request when they've got something to merge back in? It's worth us making Paul's repo the main source.

Anyone interested in a Mac app to interface with this then? Happy to write it.
Just need some clear requirements and perhaps another tester. I'll try & do it in C (or at least a core of the functionality) so that it can be ported to other systems.

Edited by Nes4life - 15 Jan 2016 at 5:55pm
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