Wednesday, April 21, 2021


A18 Addition

I really want to use my two 512KiB SRAM chips on this board to maximize the usable RAM. Fortunately, the MIKUL 6218 has 32 pin DIP sockets, so my SRAM physically fits. However, pin 1 (A18) of the socket is connected to VCC, limiting each socket to 256KiB (2^18) of memory. This is strange because four 256KiB (2MBit) SRAM chips would be perfect for this board (and my needs) but are quite unusual and are actually more expensive than four 512KiB (4MBit) SRAM chips.

To increase the socket capacity to 512KiB, the trace connecting A18 to VCC for each memory chip must be cut. Unfortunately, this is a wide power trace that is hidden under the end of the sockets. A few seconds with an 1/8" drill at a 45° angle cut through the A18 pull-up trace without too much collateral damage. Although I slightly cut into the socket, I barely avoided cutting into the next thin address line down.  

A18 to VCC severed.

Then, I added a few wire jumpers to connect pin 1 of each socket to each other to give a common A18 line. This address line, along with A16 and A17, need to be connected to a new virtual address header. A19 and A20 will be connected from this header to a decoder to create the memory chip select signals.

Bank Address Eliminator

With the physical connections made, it's time to simplify the MIKUL 6218's memory bank select system.

This little jumper board just connects each real address to its respective memory address line (A11-A15), overriding the bank switching latch and logic at U13. The virtual addresses (A16-A20) connect to the 10 pin header which will connect to the main CMS 9639 processor board. The 3 pin header on the right will connect A19 and A20 to a decoder to select the correct memory chip.

With the RAM and this board in place and the virtual address lines pulled high, the board works exactly the same way as it did before and has the same memory map. However, the bank register functionality (which I could not test anyway) has been eliminated. But, without the virtual addresses, I can only access some of the RAM.

Next time ... the RAM chip select Decoder

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