Wednesday, 11 December 2019

MEGA65 DevKit prototype r2

One week later, this is a new revision of the MEGA65 DevKit. The board was lowered to leave more room for cables and programmers which required for a backplanes and side pieces. Now everything fits perfectly even if you wish to keep the FGPA proggers attached forever. This time we also removed the top of the floppy drive for a very geeky look (final DevKits will be a bit more sleek, stay tuned):


Inside live the MEGA65 PCB r2 from Trenz and the wonderful MEGA65 keyboard from GMK.

Some of you have asked if the DevKit already is working so here is a little video of it playing Sam's Journey:


I have also compiled a little FAQ for possible other questions about the DevKit:

Q: What's a DevKit?
A: It's aimed at developers so they can develop software for the machine or even help shaping the final product before it is released.

Q: Why does it look so different?
A: The case is made in a way it can be produced in small batches without the high costs of injection moulds. Its transparency helps finding out if the smoke stays inside the chips.

Q: I am a collector not a developer.
A: The DevKits have laser-engraved Logos and serial numbers to make them unique. DevKits usually are great collector's items.

Q: I only want to play with it!
A: The DevKit is like a "real" MEGA65 only in a preliminary form. You might encounter hickups but you can always (soft-)update it.

Q: I do not like the floppy.
A: The DevKits come as (hence the name) kits which include a refurbished floppy drive. Feel free to leave that out and donate it to us.

Q: What will it cost?
A: DevKits are always more expensive than mass-produced machines, they also get strong support from the makers. It will most probably cost under EUR 1.000 but more than the final machines.

Q: Can you build it for me?
A: It's really easy to build, usually under an hour, maybe two if you are clumsy. If you do not dare to build it yourself please ask around e.g. in Forum64. There are many nice people there!

Q: When can I buy it?
A: We are working towards summer 2020. However, we strongly rely on help by the community so anything can happen!

Q: I am a blessed developer and want to sacrifice all my time but I do not have any money!
A: Please talk to us about support!

Q: You said summer 2020. This means no final machines in 2020?
A: You do the math. It depends on donations and support of the community. We are only humans and not so many, less than 10 active. We do this in our free time with no interest in profit.

Q: What do you need most besides money?
A: Probably VHDL experts but anyone willing to help is warmly welcome!

Q: If I buy a DevKit, can I transfer PCB and keyboard into a MEGA65 case later? Can I even 3D-print my own MEGA65 case?
A: Probably yes!

3 comments:

  1. Great!

    Two questions:

    Will it be possible to get the Mega 65 core loaded into THE C64 (mini) ?

    Will there be a C65 Classroom prototype like case as well, so the C65 case without the floppydrive-part.

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    Replies
    1. If someone ports the MEGA65 emulator to The C64, then, yes. For now, no.
      As for colours, we don't yet know what the possibilities will be.

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    2. Whaaaa ? Holdon the c64 mini is just vice emulation running on an arm Board..an arm emulating program, not an FPGA core. It's comparing apples and oranges. (But yes, when the dust settles someone could add mega65 emulation to vice.) But emulators are rubber band tech, fpgas are far more 'solid'

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