One step closer. I have both the address bus (orange wires) and data bus (green wires) working and reading. I am able to select the memory address and bank (chip select) and the data bus latches and displays the bits stored. I still have to work through the details of using the universal shift register and timing the memory writes with it so it can read and write bytes to the bus.
Once I have that working I can patch the 6502 emulator to use the external ram instead of the microcontroller ram. Turns out the method I used to select the ram, is similar to how you would do bank switching on an Apple II. Once I have a method to dynamically map memory, I have to decide where the zero page and registers will reside, if I use microcontroller ram, I can’t spy on those items, but it may prove faster. I haven’t even thought about video display or physical I/O
After successfully getting address lookup, and read/writes to work using a common SPI like bus I decided to go a little further.
I removed the 8K x 8 chip and added two 32kb chips. I am using the decoder chip on the last unused address bus line to do chip enable between the two chips allowing it to address 64kb by automatically switching to the second bank, however later on I can leverage additional bank switching by hooking up the last two address lines to open pins on the arduino. I put this together so I can use eeproms or other alternatives based on my configurable mapping.
I even got a rudimentary multitasking system experiment going on by swapping zero page and register address pages when memory is swapped, relying on the microcontroller to swap banks.
Thank you MakerBot for being the catalyst for a new generation.
Makerbot has generously donated a majority of the funding needed to get our school it’s own Makerbot 3d printer through Donors Choose
Back when I was younger, the biggest impact to my future, and education was the Commodore Pet computers that my elementary school had acquired, later on the Apple IIe’s that Apple computer helped get into our schools. It taught me how to problem solve, program, and follow through.
The new generation was slowly losing touch with this do it yourself, figure it out sense of accomplishment. Computers and technology have become so much like appliances that there just isn’t that same feeling when you figure something out for the first time.
3d printing is currently at a stage where home personal computers were in the 70’s and 80’s. It was magical, and inspiring to figure things out. This is the opportunity we get to give this generation. The chance to adopt a technology and mold it to their own liking.
Thanks again to Makerbot and the maker community for creating a revolution in technology for future engineers, artists, and tinkerers.