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#1 2014-11-04 18:17:10

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

ROM burning

With the Plus ROM hack using DIP flash roms, I thought I'd offer up some of my thoughts on burning new ROMs.
So, where to start?  Obviously, a ROM burner is required.  I initially got into ROM burning for the Commodore 64.  They're getting old enough that the ROMs themselves can go bad.  Also, there's lots of neat stuff people have done with both the C64's system ROMs, and ROMs on cartridges.
EnhancedWillemProgrammer.jpeg
I started off with a generic Willem programmer from ebay (you can just search for willem programmer, and there will be plenty of hits).  Most of the cheapest ones still use a parallel port to connect to the PC, which is getting increasingly rare on modern PCs.  I kept around an old windows 98 machine specifically for programming the ROMs.  This works well enough and is an inexpensive way to get started.  The downsides to the cheaper willem programmers are:

  1. the parallel port requirement

  2. there are several different versions out there, and you need the appropriate software matching your version.  Many of the cheapest programmers are...  cheap.  They come with little or no documentation and the specifics of the information provided can be inaccurate.

  3. They require proper DIP switch and jumper settings to match the specific chip you're attempting to program.  Getting the jumper settings wrong can fry your chip.  For instance, the UVPROMs require higher voltages for programming than the EEPROMs and flash roms, and getting things mixed up can destroy something.

But, if you're willing to spend the time to deal with all that, it's a pretty inexpensive way to get going.  This is what I used for a number of years until my programmer eventually broke.

BX32-a-xl.jpg
A year or two ago, I upgraded to a Batronix BX32 programmer.  It's USB, and doesn't need any dip switch or jumper settings, everything is software configurable.  The programming software also runs from windows, osx, and linux, although the osx and linux versions of the software use Mono and are not native.  That can cause some hiccups, but I've managed to get a working setup on OSX 10.9.
Pros:

  1. USB

  2. Simple.  No messing with switches and jumpers

  3. Works on a variety of modern environments.

Cons:

  1. DIP only.  You can get adapters for PLCC, but there are a variety of mappings of DIP to PLCC pinouts, and you need to get the right adapter, and it's not always obvious what the right adapter is.

  2. 32pins only.  If you deal with some larger ROMs, like some in NES cartridges, they can be larger than this programmer can handle.

Anyone else have experiences they'd like to share?

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#2 2014-11-05 01:45:15

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: ROM burning

I actually have an EPROM burner for my C64 ... it attaches to the +5V lines on the user port.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#3 2014-11-05 02:02:43

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: ROM burning

The Promenade C1?  I've been kinda wanting one, although not entirely sure I'd really end up using it much.

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#4 2014-11-05 02:20:02

dougg3
Member
Registered: 2014-05-27
Posts: 28

Re: ROM burning

I still use my Willem burner, which looks very similar to the one pictured. I wrote a pretty popular blog post four years ago about getting the Willem parallel port programmer to work with expansion parallel port cards on modern systems. Typically they are mapped to an address other than the default 0x378 address and the included DLL tries to do direct port access which Vista and up don't like.

I think it would be awesome someday to design a modern USB open-source, cross-platform chip burner...but that would require a ton of work and time that I don't have.

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#5 2014-11-05 18:57:12

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: ROM burning

bbraun wrote:

The Promenade C1?  I've been kinda wanting one, although not entirely sure I'd really end up using it much.

Yup.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#6 2014-12-27 13:12:54

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: ROM burning

sorry if this has already been answered already,  could one create different unique simms, to be used with dougg3s programmer?
Due to the software having single chip programming!

Then maybe use it to flash these new plus rom's (and others)?  then we can just keep our money and trust local.  having to ebay looks like a shot in the dark, Espically for those that are completely inexperienced with this kind of thing.  You guys are very advanced the rest of us will just end up creating toasty chips, or just flat out will not be successful.

So with making new C64 rom's--------   can you load up a boat load of games into rom? or etc, what are some other fun things to do with c64 rom's?
I guess it would be kinda cool to do the same thing with a Sega Genesis

Last edited by uniserver (2014-12-27 13:17:54)


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#7 2014-12-29 04:53:39

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: ROM burning

For the c64 ROMs, there's 3 ROMs in the system: kernal, basic, and the character map.
You can replace the kernal ROM with ones with faster disk access routines like SpeedDOS, and the BASIC ROM can be replaced with either modified versions of the Commodore BASIC ROM, or there's some programs that are made to replace the BASIC ROM so it basically turns the C64 into an appliance.  This seems popular with the audio folks.
A common trick people seem to do is get a larger ROM (like a 27C256 or 27C512), and put switches on the higher address lines, so you can select which image you want to use.  For example, one of my C64's has a 3 position switch to select between 3 different kernal rom images.

You can also replace the UVPROMs on cartridges with different images, although at this point, there's enough options out there for loading games and whatnot that replacing cart ROMs is more trouble than its worth.

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#8 2014-12-29 05:01:37

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: ROM burning

For Sega Genesis, and other gaming consoles, flash carts are where it's at.  I haven't tried the Genesis one specifically, but I've got game gear and original gameboy EverDrive carts.
I started off by replacing the ROMs in my NES carts with sockets, so I could swap out game images (only games that used the same type of cart, since NES carts had different mappers and other circuitry on the cart), then upgraded to a cart from retrousb and been pretty happy with that for the NES.  There's a ton of fun hacks and mods to NES games out there, and nothing beats playing them on the original console.  Different maps for Legend of Zelda, hilarious remakes of Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt variants that let you shoot the laughing dog, that kind of thing.

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#9 2014-12-29 14:56:07

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: ROM burning

bbraun wrote:

For the c64 ROMs, there's 3 ROMs in the system: kernal, basic, and the character map.
You can replace the kernal ROM with ones with faster disk access routines like SpeedDOS, and the BASIC ROM can be replaced with either modified versions of the Commodore BASIC ROM, or there's some programs that are made to replace the BASIC ROM so it basically turns the C64 into an appliance.  This seems popular with the audio folks.
A common trick people seem to do is get a larger ROM (like a 27C256 or 27C512), and put switches on the higher address lines, so you can select which image you want to use.  For example, one of my C64's has a 3 position switch to select between 3 different kernal rom images.

You can also replace the UVPROMs on cartridges with different images, although at this point, there's enough options out there for loading games and whatnot that replacing cart ROMs is more trouble than its worth.

I'd just use an EasyFlash. It can be programmed from the C64 itself.

http://www.c64-wiki.com/index.php/EasyFlash


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#10 2014-12-29 14:56:57

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: ROM burning

Duck Hunt variants that let you shoot the laughing dog

G-d, I always wanted to do that.


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#11 2016-06-06 07:31:58

trag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-07
Posts: 16

Re: ROM burning

I havent tried a Willem, but my old parallel Needham programmer works with the Legacy port expander docked to a Dell E4300 or D430 (different docks for D and E series, but they both work).  These are old Dells that are well under $100 these days.  I think I've only tried it under XP though.

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#12 2016-06-06 16:20:47

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: ROM burning

Hey trag, welcome back!  smile

Since the thread is being revived, I have since gotten one of these in order to do 40+ pin DIP chips like the 27C322 for alaska360's Classic II FPU ROM card.  It's Windows only, but it seems to work under Win10.

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#13 2016-06-07 19:31:43

trag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-07
Posts: 16

Re: ROM burning

bbraun wrote:

Hey trag, welcome back!  smile

Since the thread is being revived, I have since gotten one of these in order to do 40+ pin DIP chips like the 27C322 for alaska360's Classic II FPU ROM card.  It's Windows only, but it seems to work under Win10.


Nice.   My EMP-30 is still doing the job for me, but sooner or later, I'll need to update.   Needham is long gone, so there is no support for new chips, even if I have the correct adapter for them.

The JTAG/SPI  particularly grabbed my interest.

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