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Getting started with FPGA for Vintage Projects

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  • DougCrawford
    I had several vintage computer circuit projects in mind, and from a thread here I got turned on to LogicCircuit.org s tool for simulating logic. Great fun! I
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 28 7:13 PM
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      I had several vintage computer circuit projects in mind, and from a thread here I got turned on to LogicCircuit.org's tool for simulating logic. Great fun! I simulated a circuit with some 7400 logic and considered building it- both ways- discrete and programmable- as an exercise.

      To that end, I got a really inexpensive Altera MAXII programmable logic kit off Ebay:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Altera-MAX-II-EPM240-Core-Board-FPGA-CPLD-Development-Kits-JTAG-USB-Blaster-/330813186044?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d06009ffc

      The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic. If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses. I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.

      I spent an evening getting "hello world" working with it- a momentary push button switch wired through the MAXII to an LED (its all on the breakout board, only two jumper wires are needed to complete the circuit).

      If there is interest here in my experience I would be willing to make a youtube tutorial. This is what I had to work through: installing their IDE tool, configuring it for the MAXII, drawing a schematic (a line from one input pad to an output pad), defining the pins that the pads use, configuring the input pin to have an internal pull-up, compiling, and downloading to the chip.
    • jdrose_8_bit
      Amazing. I know nothing about FPGA but I am becoming fascinated by it s flexibility. There is a fellow over at AtariAge who has, using FPGA, replicated nearly
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 28 7:30 PM
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        Amazing. I know nothing about FPGA but I am becoming fascinated by it's flexibility. There is a fellow over at AtariAge who has, using FPGA, replicated nearly every classic video game console, seemingly at will, ever produced.


        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "DougCrawford" <touchetek@...> wrote:
        >
        > I had several vintage computer circuit projects in mind, and from a thread here I got turned on to LogicCircuit.org's tool for simulating logic. Great fun! I simulated a circuit with some 7400 logic and considered building it- both ways- discrete and programmable- as an exercise.
        >
        > To that end, I got a really inexpensive Altera MAXII programmable logic kit off Ebay:
        >
        > http://www.ebay.com/itm/Altera-MAX-II-EPM240-Core-Board-FPGA-CPLD-Development-Kits-JTAG-USB-Blaster-/330813186044?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d06009ffc
        >
        > The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic. If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses. I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.
        >
        > I spent an evening getting "hello world" working with it- a momentary push button switch wired through the MAXII to an LED (its all on the breakout board, only two jumper wires are needed to complete the circuit).
        >
        > If there is interest here in my experience I would be willing to make a youtube tutorial. This is what I had to work through: installing their IDE tool, configuring it for the MAXII, drawing a schematic (a line from one input pad to an output pad), defining the pins that the pads use, configuring the input pin to have an internal pull-up, compiling, and downloading to the chip.
        >
      • DougCrawford
        Yeah I m far from that. If I can just avoid building a discrete board I ll be happy.
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 28 7:56 PM
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          Yeah I'm far from that. If I can just avoid building a discrete board I'll be happy.

          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
          >
          > Amazing. I know nothing about FPGA but I am becoming fascinated by it's flexibility. There is a fellow over at AtariAge who has, using FPGA, replicated nearly every classic video game console, seemingly at will, ever produced.
          >
          >
          > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "DougCrawford" <touchetek@> wrote:
          > >
          > > I had several vintage computer circuit projects in mind, and from a thread here I got turned on to LogicCircuit.org's tool for simulating logic. Great fun! I simulated a circuit with some 7400 logic and considered building it- both ways- discrete and programmable- as an exercise.
          > >
          > > To that end, I got a really inexpensive Altera MAXII programmable logic kit off Ebay:
          > >
          > > http://www.ebay.com/itm/Altera-MAX-II-EPM240-Core-Board-FPGA-CPLD-Development-Kits-JTAG-USB-Blaster-/330813186044?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d06009ffc
          > >
          > > The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic. If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses. I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.
          > >
          > > I spent an evening getting "hello world" working with it- a momentary push button switch wired through the MAXII to an LED (its all on the breakout board, only two jumper wires are needed to complete the circuit).
          > >
          > > If there is interest here in my experience I would be willing to make a youtube tutorial. This is what I had to work through: installing their IDE tool, configuring it for the MAXII, drawing a schematic (a line from one input pad to an output pad), defining the pins that the pads use, configuring the input pin to have an internal pull-up, compiling, and downloading to the chip.
          > >
          >
        • David Keith
          Could you please provide a link to their toolset for graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts I would be very interested to see if
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 29 5:30 AM
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            Could you please provide a link to their toolset for "graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts" I would be very interested to see if they produce VHDL.

            Thanks
            Dave


            From: DougCrawford <touchetek@...>
            To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:13 PM
            Subject: [cosmacelf] Getting started with FPGA for Vintage Projects


            The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic.  If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses.  I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.




          • DougCrawford
            Quartus II will let you design graphically or with hardware description language (VHDL and Verilog). I don t think they have a way to output VHDL from a
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 29 4:26 PM
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              Quartus II will let you design graphically or with hardware description language (VHDL and Verilog).
              I don't think they have a way to output VHDL from a graphic design; these are just design options that they can compile to FPGA binary code. Quartus II is available from the Altera web site.
              I can send you some screen shots if you email me a real email address.


              --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, David Keith <beloved_wind@...> wrote:
              >
              > Could you please provide a link to their toolset for "graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts" I would be very interested to see if they produce VHDL.
              >
              > Thanks
              > Dave
              >
              >
              >
              > ________________________________
              > From: DougCrawford <touchetek@...>
              > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:13 PM
              > Subject: [cosmacelf] Getting started with FPGA for Vintage Projects
              >
              >
              >
              > The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic.  If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses.  I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.
              >
            • David Keith
              Thank you, I will start my develop system back up again and check out the design graphically :-) Not sure why email address is being cut off?? @yahoo.com 
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 29 6:28 PM
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                Thank you, I will start my develop system back up again and check out the design graphically :-)

                Not sure why email address is being cut off?? @... 

                Thanks
                Dave



                From: DougCrawford <touchetek@...>
                To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 7:26 PM
                Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: Getting started with FPGA for Vintage Projects

                Quartus II will let you design graphically or with hardware description language (VHDL and Verilog).
                I don't think they have a way to output VHDL from a graphic design; these are just design options that they can compile to FPGA binary code.  Quartus II is available from the Altera web site.
                I can send you some screen shots if you email me a real email address.


                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, David Keith <beloved_wind@...> wrote:
                >
                > Could you please provide a link to their toolset for "graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts" I would be very interested to see if they produce VHDL.
                >
                > Thanks
                > Dave
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                >  From: DougCrawford <touchetek@...>
                > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:13 PM
                > Subject: [cosmacelf] Getting started with FPGA for Vintage Projects

                >
                >
                > The MAXII is a very modest part suitable for replacing a good bit of standard logic.  If you have no interest in learning a hardware description language, you can graphically stitch together 7400 logic from their library of parts. MAXII has 5V tolerant inputs (if you are careful) or you can make it more robust with external diode circuits. That's what I gather from an app note I looked through. I'm hopeful they will play well interfacing to old interfaces and buses.  I'm open to suggestions regarding if this ISN'T a good choice for this use.
                >




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