I don't know if this was such a smart buy....

History and Preservation Issues

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eslapion
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Postby eslapion » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:32 am

Schema wrote:If the PromQueen only supports 24 pin EPROMs, does that include the Motorola 68764? These are pin-compatible with the original Commodore ROMs, and I just won more than I'll ever need on eBay. If you ever get the burner working, you're welcome to a few of them.


If you have some 68764 chips then I am definetely interested in buying you a couple of these. These would be great for making such things as replacement BASIC or KERNAL ROM chips, such as Rork needed.

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Postby ral-clan » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:51 am

Some good news. Apparently there is a type in program in the PROMQueen manual which will allow the burning of ROMs on this hardware without owning the HEXKIT software. I will have to investigate. If this is true, then yes, Schema, I would like to buy some of those EPROMs. I will have to get back to you.

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Postby ral-clan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:26 am

Hello,

I got a copy of the HEXKIT software for the Commodore-64. Perhaps it can be reverse ported to the VIC-20? It's beyond my skills though. Does anyone want to have a look at it? (PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send you a D64).

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Postby Schema » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:22 pm

Is the type-in program from the C64 or VIC20 version of the manual? I saw someone posted the C64 version on c.s.c for you, did you find the VIC version?

I don't have those EPROMs yet - still on their way :wink:

I doubt I'll be able to convert the Hexkit C64 version, but maybe it's not too difficult. Either way, I'd like a copy just in case.

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Postby ral-clan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:44 pm

Schema wrote:Is the type-in program from the C64 or VIC20 version of the manual? I saw someone posted the C64 version on c.s.c for you, did you find the VIC version?

I don't have those EPROMs yet - still on their way :wink:

I doubt I'll be able to convert the Hexkit C64 version, but maybe it's not too difficult. Either way, I'd like a copy just in case.


Hi the type in program in the manual is for the VIC-20. It's a very basic one line program that just looks at one portion of memory (where the image you want to burn) and writes it to another portion of memory (where the EPROM is located). I could even post it here when I get a chance.

Thanks for telling me about comp.sys.cbm. I forget to check there.

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Postby carlsson » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:05 pm

Let's see.. how do you communicate with the cartridge port except for memory mapped RAM/ROM? I know there are other lines on the bus, are they controlled by VIA/CIA chips? One would assume the software in that case use these lines to send data, or does the burner map itself into a memory slot and the software simply writes to the slot? On the C64, can a cartridge be mapped into another space than $8000?

How many kilobytes of machine code (I presume) are we talking about? 1K, 4K, 16K?
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Postby ral-clan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:26 pm

carlsson wrote:Let's see.. how do you communicate with the cartridge port except for memory mapped RAM/ROM? I know there are other lines on the bus, are they controlled by VIA/CIA chips? One would assume the software in that case use these lines to send data, or does the burner map itself into a memory slot and the software simply writes to the slot? On the C64, can a cartridge be mapped into another space than $8000?

How many kilobytes of machine code (I presume) are we talking about? 1K, 4K, 16K?


I am really a novice when it comes to understanding how all of this works, but I believe the PROMQUEEN cartridge maps both the EPROM you put in it, and it's own built in 4K of RAM into the VIC's memory map (via dipswitches - see picture above). There is also a switch on the PROMQUEEN you have to flip at some point. Again, I am not sure what I am talking about, so I will just scan the whole page from the manual relating to this and post it in this thread of discussion (maybe tommorow if I get a chance).

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Postby carlsson » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:41 pm

Since the VIC and C64 are quite similar in many respects, perhaps the required software only needs a few memory positions changed. Are there technical docs on both versions, in case someone would take on the task and need to find out what memory address does what?
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Postby eslapion » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:45 pm

ral-clan wrote:I am really a novice when it comes to understanding how all of this works, but I believe the PROMQUEEN cartridge maps both the EPROM you put in it, and it's own built in 4K of RAM into the VIC's memory map (via dipswitches - see picture above). There is also a switch on the PROMQUEEN you have to flip at some point. Again, I am not sure what I am talking about, so I will just scan the whole page from the manual relating to this and post it in this thread of discussion (maybe tommorow if I get a chance).


Mapping the EPROM for reading may be good but certainly not for burning data into it.

When the VIC writes to a memory cell, the data access last half of a microsecond period or 500ns. Writing one byte into an EPROM that old way can take up to 100ms or 100'000 times longer than that and it must be uninterrupted.

The "proper" way to burn data into an EPROM from a VIC or C64's cartridge port is either to use one or more communications chip such as 6522s available on IO lines or a set of logic latches such as 74LS373s.

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Postby ral-clan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:47 pm

There are no technical docs per se, but the PROMQUEEN manual is very good, and goes into a lot of detail about what the PROMQUEEN does, technically speaking (cites memory addresses, explains what the hardware and software is doing at every step, etc.).

Here is a link to the manual for the C64 version of the PROMQUEEN.

http://mrlights.com/pub/PromQueen.zip

I can scan portions of the VIC-20 PROMQUEEN manual for anyone who requires it.

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Postby ral-clan » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:26 pm

Here is an excerpt from the PROMQUEEN manual explaining how EPROMS can be burned from BASIC. Perhaps this means I can at least use the PROMQUEEN device without the HEXKIT firmware:

Image

I have scanned the whole manual. I don't think it's ever been made available electronically before. If you would like a copy (1.9MB in GIF format) please PM me. Does Zimmers take manuals for third party stuff?

Note, as stated, I do have the C64 version of the HEXKIT software. Perhaps in combination with the VIC version manual, it can be retro-ported to the VIC.

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Postby carlsson » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:57 am

So, if I understand correctly, first you have the burner in MIMIC mode where it acts like a regular memory expansion? You load the program you want to burn to the burner in the desired memory area. Then you switch to the BURN position and for each byte you want to burn to the EPROM, you POKE that address with zero? Then we have the dedicated software that promises to be more sophisticated and can warn about erasure and verify the contents after burning. Perhaps the extra software can be used to load the file to be burned as well.
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Re: I don't know if this was such a smart buy....

Postby ral-clan » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:07 am

Reviving this ancient thread because a copy of the HEXKIT software has finally been archived.
This is for the PROMQUEEN and the TACTEC EPROM burner devices for the VIC-20 expansion port. They are both the same device rebranded.

File attached.

Anyone know how to get in touch with Bo Zimmer so this can get archived there? He's got an e-mail form on his website but I was looking for a more direct address.
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HEXKIT.A000.zip
ROM image of HEXKIT 1.0 for PROMQUEEN and TACTEC EPROM burners.
(2.96 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
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Re: I don't know if this was such a smart buy....

Postby eslapion » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:56 am

ral-clan wrote:Anyone know how to get in touch with Bo Zimmer so this can get archived there?

Very nice find!

Will transmit to Bo.
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