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Tech Chat New Prom/s for B.A.T.C. Test Pattern Generator

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crustytv
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Hi folks, I don't even know if this is still possible, and I certainly do not have any of the kit required or knowledge/skill to do it. However, among the varied 'Ratters' there might be someone out there who could advise or even do it for me. The only person who comes to mind is @doz and that's no disrespect to other 'Ratters', I've just followed his blog, although many of his projects are super modern, there might be others out there who are equally capable.

Anyway, I'm rambling again 🙄 

Now my signals' system is finally up and running (see here) I pulled out my B.A.T.C test pattern generator. The device has the ability to select eight test patterns that are stored on PROMs and selected via an 8-way selector on the front. The device only has four PROM positions populated, leaving four spare slots.

20230812 065412
20230812 065736
20230812 065751
20230812 070918
20230812 070933
20230812 070949
20230812 071002

Note: I'm curious, each chip has a sticker which details the PROM contents, at the end each one has the numeral '52', is there any significance to this.

He's my wish, I'd dearly like to add four 24-pin PROMs, Test card F, Test card J, PM5544 and BBC 2 625 B&W. My monkey brain believes for this I would require four new PROMs, are they still available and what are they. The ability to read/write and erase those PROMs. Decent renditions of the required test cards, and finally the knowledge to convert/code them onto the PROMs, none of which I have or can do.

So is it still possible to do this and would anyone be able to help? I'm not looking for any freebies and would happily pay for time and materials, to achieve the end goal.

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Posted : 12/08/2023 6:30 am
WayneD
(@wayned)
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I have an EPROM programmer as well as a few EPROMS and EEPROMS, I use it for  game console cartridges and old computer EPROMs. 

Do you know what type of PROM this uses? You might have to look under the labels. Most are available or at least modern equivalents are available. It'll probably be something like 27C16 or 27C32 or 27C64. I might even have some.

 
Posted : 12/08/2023 7:39 am
crustytv reacted
crustytv
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Hi Wayne, you still in Germany, hope you and the family are having a great time?

With regard to the chip, I was curious when I first looked inside and tried to peel one off without destroying the label. I got half way and stopped as when I got there it started to reveal a window (I know, poor description) of some sort. I seem to recall this is how you erase the contents of a chip. Now, I'm fairly sure that has to be done in a UV light box, but was not certain so stopper. Therefore, I've no idea what the chip is. Can you read chips? I guess even if I could read them, I still don't know how you encode a test card picture into the chip.

p.s.

I was looking at this, with a mind to buying. Probably like giving a kid a loaded gun 😲 

prog1

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Posted : 12/08/2023 8:05 am
irob2345
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Eproms are indeed 2716, more commonly available is 27C16, there are some on FleaBay for AU$3.5 each.

I assume you can get the image files?

That programmer looks like massive overkill, surely there is a simpler one for just burning Eproms?

Don't worry about exposing the window, it typically takes weeks directly exposed to bright Aussie sunlight to erase them. You need a powerful UV light to do a proper job.

All this brings back memories! We used to store IR codes in Eproms back in the late 70s. They were sampled and programmed with an 8 bit CPM machine and the Eprom went in a little box that allowed an IR controlled VCR to be controlled by an interface that normally operated a U-Matic.

I have a good PM5544 image, not sure what your box needs but maybe if someone local could send me a picture of one of your test patterns (containing at least colour bars) and the image file from the Eprom that generated it (most eprom programmers can read the contents of the prom and write it to a hex file), I could work it out.

 
Posted : 12/08/2023 8:54 am
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WayneD
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@crustytv still in Germany until Thursday next week. I could bring all my kit one Wednesday and we could have an experiment.

27C16 chips are readily available as are 28C16 chips (electronically erasable version rather than UV erasable)

That EPROM programmer is a bit overkill! Mine just plugs into my laptop, it can indeed read EPROMs too. 

 
Posted : 12/08/2023 9:58 am
Cathovisor
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That's one hell of a sledgehammer to crack a nut, Chris!

I'll ask Dave G what he uses - remember, some older EPROMs need three supply rails to work so not all programmers work with them.

 
Posted : 12/08/2023 10:30 am
Doz
 Doz
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I can certainly read the eproms, and duplicate as required. As regards a programmer, get a TL866MKII, cheap as chips (see what I did there) and work well with almost everything. If you can send me one of the eproms which produces a colour output (or a dump of it's contents) I can attempt to reverse engineer the encoding. Beware of Wayne's suggestion of the 28C16, often they do not play nicely with older equipment. I never spent anytime diagnosing why. 

Eproms do tend to lose there image over time, so it's worth dumping all the existing eproms and preserving those files somewhere, so that they may be re-written some time in the future as required. Simply erasing the existing proms, and re-writing serves to refresh those images, as long as the eprom is electrically ok. 

 
Posted : 14/08/2023 7:57 am
crustytv
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Thanks for responding, Andy,

I watched a video Dave Jones put out on these readers, based on that and your recommendation, I've just purchased a T48 TL866II General Programmer USB EPROM EEPROM.

T48 TL866II General Programmer USB EPROM EEPROM FLASH BIOS AVR AL PIC

Hopefully, when it arrives (8-10 days) I will be able to read and at least backup the data on the chips.

I've also bought an eraser.

uv
  • Would it be then OK to send you a file dump of one of the chips, so you could reverse engineer? That would relieve my anxiety of sending chips in the post only for them to be lost or nicked, as happened to me this week.
  • Would you be able to encode the test cards I mentioned in the first post? I would happily pay for your time and of course purchase the chips etc.

Perhaps it would even make a good project video for Doz's television workshop. If you'd rather take this to pm, to discuss further, no problem.

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Posted : 14/08/2023 10:03 am
Doz
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@crustytv Let's have a look at those files first, see if we can workout what's going on. I'm sure between all of us on here, we could have a reasonable stab at the job. 

I don't charge mates for favours, and I have a big bucket of eproms & flash roms, which maybe our first step to avoid having to repeatedly erase and re-programme an eprom. 

 
Posted : 14/08/2023 12:07 pm
crustytv
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Today I revealed what EPROMs are used in the BATC generator, so they are 4K chips?

20230819 155715

Working right to left

  1. selector 1 - D2732A -3 (no window on chip)
  2. selector 2 - TMS 2732AJL-45 (erase window)
  3. selector 3 - TMS 2732AJL-35 (erase window)
  4. selector 4 - TMS 2732AJl-35 (erase window)

On another related note, I received these (see below) as a substitute for the regulator that was pilfered by Royal Mail, the vendor kindly sent me a couple of 2532A's

20230819 155737

However, looking info up about these 2532A's reveals they're no good for me, extending the BATC. The reason explained on another forum.


Virtually all 2532 you'll find are TI chips. Only very few manufacturers other than TI made 2532. Almost everyone followed Intel's lead to create the 2732. As far as I know, there is no TI 2732, but TI stopped the madness by adopting the Intel standard for all chips starting with the TI 2764.

Also, unlike the TMS-2716, the TMS-2532 WAS pretty popular and used in several applications (notably arcade games). So it becomes a little tricky to know which 4K chips to use in which game. PacMan for instance, uses 2532's, Williams game Roms (Joust, Robotron, etc..) use "mostly" 2732, but the boards can be jumpered to accept 2532.

2732 and 2532 are NOT programmed the same way and are not interchangeable without some board modifications.

Virtually ALL eprom burners will do 2732, but some of the cheaper ones will not do 2532.

As for programming voltages, all early Eproms need 25V. Chips ending with an "A" (like 2732A or TMS-2532A ) need 21V. The 12.5V is only used in "newer" Eproms (circa late 80's), typically CMOS chips, like 27c010, etc... (a good eprom burner with decent software will know which parameters to use for each chip )


 

Oh well, at least these 2532A's will enable me to practice with my EPROM programmer Reading, erasing (when it's fixed) and writing without risking the chips in the BATC.

I'm not sure what my EPROM burner will be able to do, it is the latest one from the manufacturer that all the other EPROM burners you see on Youtube and the one @doz has. From reviews the latest software download has hundreds of chips.

Will have to see when it arrives.

Edit: 22:37

I've been wondering, when the poster of the info from the other forum stated that using a 2532A instead of a 2732A would require board changes, I wonder if it was only in reference and context of those arcade games? Maybe they would be OK in my BATC gen.

I guess the only way to know is when my programmer/reader arrives, is to back up one of the existing BATC chips, and then write the data file to the 2532A, install it in one of the vacant slots and see if it works.

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Posted : 19/08/2023 3:26 pm
crustytv
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I've now received 4 new TMS 2732A EPROMS, from Langrex.

20230823 182156
20230823 182349

Now I'm just awaiting the EPROM reader/programmer. Typically, with ease it travelled across and out of China, then across oceans, with plenty of tracking updates along the way. When it hits good old Blighty, updates stop as it languishes in RM's care, beyond a joke, god help me!

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Posted : 23/08/2023 5:31 pm
crustytv
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The programmer finally arrived, I've installed the software. I checked and it does support TMS2732A. Coffee,

then I'll see if I can read one of my chips.

20230824 140323
20230824 140038
20230824 141856

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Posted : 24/08/2023 1:06 pm
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crustytv
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Success, I removed the frequency grating EPROM from the BATC generator and read the contents into the software, via the T48, then save the data to a file.

read1
read2

@doz Andy, I've uploaded the .BIN file into the Technical Library, so you can download it. Hopefully you will be able to make sense of it and from that determine how feasible it will be to programme additional EPROMS with the test cards I mentioned in post #1.

p.s.

I checked the four new TMS-2732A EPROMS I bought, and they are all indeed blank. I've subsequently learned the 2732 chips first appeared in 1979.

p.p.s

The other two EPROMS I received in lieu of the mislaid/stolen regulator, the 2532, are not listed in the programmer IC selector setup list.

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Posted : 24/08/2023 4:20 pm
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crustytv
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Posted by: @doz

If you can send me one of the eproms which produces a colour output (or a dump of it's contents) I can attempt to reverse engineer the encoding.

@doz

Hi Andy, just to let you know I've now read all four chips and the files are in the library. They're clearly named, as I believe you were interested in the colour ones.

20230825 072144
chipdumps

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Posted : 25/08/2023 6:29 am
Doz
 Doz
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Ideal, need to get to grips with how the chroma is encoded. I'm just setting up a flash new computer today, and sorting out my NAS, so I may be a couple of days until I get to look at it.

 
Posted : 25/08/2023 9:02 am
crustytv
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Cheers Andy, I will be intrigued to hear what you discover. At least I now have backups.

Posted by: @crustytv

p.p.s

The other two EPROMS I received in lieu of the mislaid/stolen regulator, the 2532, are not listed in the programmer IC selector setup list.

Looking at the datasheet, the TMS2532 looks pretty much identical to the 2732. I thought I'd have a try reading them, the chips have labels stuck over the erase window, one of them stating CART-600353-02. I selected 2732 as the IC in the software, inserted the chip and selected read, it worked, it loaded in the chip data.

For an exercise, I'll save the chip data, then try my newly restored EPROM eraser, then see if I can write back the data.

Does anyone know the optimal time to erase?

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Posted : 25/08/2023 9:56 am
irob2345
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That last screen of EEPROM data, is that by any chance a resolution grate pattern? Or part of one?

If so, looking at the hex, I think I can see how it works.

 
Posted : 26/08/2023 8:28 am
crustytv
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Yes it was

FG 01

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Posted : 26/08/2023 8:32 am
crustytv
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p.s.

you have access to the data library and thus the .Bin files for all the EPROMS. 👍 

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Posted : 26/08/2023 8:33 am
crustytv
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The test cards for the proposed four new EPROM'S.

PM5544
TestCardCH4
TestCardJ
TestCard625BW

I was considering below but decided against. However, if all goes well I may replace one of the colour bars that are on the original EPROM's (2,3). I don't really need two colour bars, that would allow me to insert this, and I can always revert as the originals are now backed up.

BBCEXPCTV

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Posted : 27/08/2023 3:26 pm
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