From the November 2019 Newsletter

C256 FMX Rev C4A will be shipping in December

Rev C4A – Official Release

November has been a short month for me since I was away for the most part which turns out to be a great thing since I could distance myself somehow from the whole project for a while.

Before I left, things were going pretty smoothly and when I came back things kept being very positive. There was still a lot of work to get done considering that every previous revision I was forced to go back to the drawing even before I was done with the testing. This time, I have been able to go through all the different devices (almost at the writing of these lines).

Amongst the very thing I did when I came back from my trip to Asia was to finish certain tests of certain devices on the board to ensure that everything was working as planned. Then I proceeded to make some slight modifications and change small details here and there and I went and proceed to get a large quantity of PCB made. Those PCBs are on their way as we speak.

In my best estimate, I shall receive those PCBs this Thursday. Where I shall assemble one of them to verify the integrity of the design. If the test passes. Then on Friday the 13th, I shall prepare the SMT machine to build a significant quantity of board on Saturday. Now, this is the first step towards having something to ship. The next step will be to hand solder all the through-hole connectors/sockets/etc… Then, a series of tests will have to be performed to make sure the boards don’t have any soldering issues (bad solder/shorts/unsoldered joints).

Now, most of the pre-orders have been with Enclosures and unfortunately, no enclosure has been printed yet. There is still some design to be done. So, the overall idea will be to ship the bare board first so the early birds can start using it. During the month of January, the enclosure will be shipped with the floppy drive and any missing pieces. So unless the early birds decide to opt-out of this procedure, then each unit will be shipped by order of when the purchase was made.

Finally, the plan is to ship as many as I can during the Xmas season. I am not promising anything since a lot can go wrong between now and then. But I can say for sure that the RevC4A design is the official version. I might do another small update later during the month. If there are any questions, you know how to reach me.


The C256 FMX A Retro Sound Powerhouse!

C256 FPGA SID

OPL3/OPN2/OPM/Sn76489/SID

One of the many things that I have been doing since I came back is to get all those little piglets to work in the new design. The OPL3 was already there, but like I mentioned before I never got far enough in the previous version to actually set up the interface to make all the others to generate sounds.
I am proud to say that at the writing of those words, the FMX now has the OPL3/OPN2/SN76489 and Gideon’s FPGA SID 16 Channels implementation completely working. Only the YM2151 is giving me a bit of pain, I am not quite sure if the chips I have are the problems or something else is the cause of it not generating any outputs at this point. Some further debugging will be needed. It is just a question of time. Testing code is rare for the YM2151…


C256 FMX During Xmas Time

VICKY II Development

During the holiday, it is my plan to revamp Vicky’s design to integrate the new change of hardware that will allow me to implement many more resolutions and features.
Like having a GUI mode with 800 x 600 resolution, then expand on the 640×480 resolution already in place by implementing a dual pixel mode to reduce it to 320×240 amongst other things.

Also, there will be a consolidation of the design in general to integrate many IO devices like the HDD, SDCard and the Floppy under the same File system, etc…

Stay tuned for more info.


The Developers Lounge

The Developers Lounge will be expanding in 2020 (I hope), I am very eager to present new developments after the full release of RevC4.

BASIC Graphics Commands

Tail Recursive does it again! A full demo in Basic on how to use the Graphic Commands…


FAT32 for Foenix

FAT32 is coming to the Foenix

Drone84 is hard work implementing the FAT32 file system that will soon be used to consolidate the HDD, SDCard and Floppy support in the FMX.


Sample Source Code

Tail Recursive is also hard work implementing a series of sample code that will be very useful for the uninitiated. The source code will be found here:
https://github.com/pweingar/C256Samples


Sample Source 1

Loading of a bitmap image in video memory!


The Last Word

Orders for C256 FMX in 2020
Delivery March 2020
C256 Foenix Dev Platform
Forecasted  Release: April 2020.