Carnivore2: New build with 2.50 version

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By crisag

Rookie (19)

crisag's picture

29-03-2022, 17:51

I built a carnivore2 cartridge and I'm facing some challenges to have it setup for the first time. I'm using the beta 2.50 version and it was programmed with no issues using the provided POF file.

I can see using the c2finder tool that there is a cartridge connected on port #F0, although slot-based detection returns not detected for all three slots. (attached image)

The issue is that when I run c2man to initialize the cartridge it seems to be detected (as I get a message that the carnivore2 cartridge was detected), but then I get an error message saying that the flashROM chip type is not detected.

I suspected of a faulty M29W640GB, but after using 3 different chips I thought the issue could be another thing. Any tips?

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Image2


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By Wierzbowsky

Guardian (3430)

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30-03-2022, 11:45

You need to input "10" for slot 1 or "20" for slot 2. This is described in the manual.

https://sysadminmosaic.ru/en/msx/carnivore2/carnivore2#how_t...

Don't forget to use the Boot Menu from 003 archive.

By crisag

Rookie (19)

crisag's picture

30-03-2022, 15:00

Tried that as well. Same error saying that the flashROM chip wasn`t detected. Ordered another batch of flash memories from China to test. Maybe I got the whole batch with problems. Is it normal to get the cartridge detected only by the first method ?

By Wierzbowsky

Guardian (3430)

Wierzbowsky's picture

30-03-2022, 17:21

crisag wrote:

Tried that as well. Same error saying that the flashROM chip wasn`t detected. Ordered another batch of flash memories from China to test. Maybe I got the whole batch with problems. Is it normal to get the cartridge detected only by the first method ?

If you have an empty FlashROM, nothing will be detected in the slot, but the program should at least show the message about uninitialized or broken Carnivore cartridge. Then you can continue and flash the Boot Menu and Bioses. Then detection will work.

Check all connections and quality of solder points on both FlashROM and Altera. Post good pictures of the board from both sides, maybe I can find the fault.

Does the RAM of Carnivore work?

By crisag

Rookie (19)

crisag's picture

01-04-2022, 15:50

Got one spare RAM that was working in a different board I had and now I have one Carnivore2 working although the FMPAC is still not generating sound (I still don't know why). As I had to order 5 PCBs from PCBWay, now I have one Carnivore2 working and 4 still waiting replacement memories. I ordered new flash and RAM chips to check.

I also checked every single solder joint in all boards and compared the signals with the one I have working. Everything looks good, so I really suspect of the memory chips (flash or ram). I can detect the Altera using Quartus so I don't think the FPGA is defective in those boards.

Two questions for you Alexey.

1. The schema seems to be incorrect on the CF-CARD connector. The pins are not the same on the board. Do you know why? For example the GND pins 8,9,10,11, and 12 are different. It seems pin 2 is disconnected on the board, etc.

2. Any plans to have a tool to check if memories are working ok? I mean, as we can detect the card maybe a tool to test memories would be useful for others attempting to build the cartridge.

Thanks for you work. The cartridge looks amazing!

By Wierzbowsky

Guardian (3430)

Wierzbowsky's picture

01-04-2022, 17:05

You can't detect Altera on Carnivore2 boards with Quartus. You have to use Active Serial and add EPCS4 device manually. See the manual.

1. Will check with our hardware designer.
2. There are tickets to create such utilities on Github, but we have no manpower to do this

By crisag

Rookie (19)

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02-04-2022, 02:37

If I connect the programmer (USB Blaster) to the JTAG connector, Alteras are detected in all boards I have. That doesn't mean much as it only proves the JTAG pins are working ok. But... better than nothing. At least they seem to be working ok. Thanks again for your response.

By meits

Scribe (6509)

meits's picture

02-04-2022, 02:44

A successfull flash in Quartus does not automatically mean a good Altera chip. Is yours new or a pull off?

By crisag

Rookie (19)

crisag's picture

02-04-2022, 03:11

Alteras are all new chips. Well, they came from China in individual bags and the seller claimed they were new... but you know how that works! Smile Memories, on the other hand, are all used chips from what I could see. I already got the new flash memory chips and I'm now waiting for the RAMs. I'll report back as soon as I test those "new" ones...

By Wierzbowsky

Guardian (3430)

Wierzbowsky's picture

02-04-2022, 18:12

meits wrote:

A successfull flash in Quartus does not automatically mean a good Altera chip. Is yours new or a pull off?

Indeed, it's not the Altera itself that is getting the firmware, it's the special EEPROM chip. For Altera Cyclone 2 and higher you need to put an EEPROM with firmware on board. Altera loads it on power-on. You can only tell that the firmware has been loaded if you check certain Altera's pin and find the correct TTL logic level there.

By crisag

Rookie (19)

crisag's picture

03-04-2022, 23:11

Yeah. What I meant is that when I use the JTAG connector I can auto detect the Cyclone, I can test the JTAG chain (something you cannot do if the Altera is dead) and I see a response from Quartus indicating that I have a specific model (EP2C5Q...), etc. I can even flash it with a simple VHDL if I want, via the JTAG connection.

When using the other connector (AS), I can (as you said) flash the EEPROM with the cartridge firmware. And I agree that the fact that a successful EEPROM programming doesn't mean the Altera is ok. The FPGA is also something that can be wrong of course, but resoldering the FPGA is a lot of effort... need to be sure the memories are ok first...

Thanks for all your support...

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