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Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:41 pm
by NekoNoNiaow
Many cartridges exist for several retro machines which allow to diagnose faulty components such as DRAM and test features such as keyboard input, audio and video output.

For the C64, there is the "C64 Dead Test" cartridge (https://www.thefuturewas8bit.com/shop/c ... dtest.html).
For the C16 family, the C264 (https://www.thefuturewas8bit.com/shop/c ... g-264.html, with detailed implementation details: https://web.archive.org/web/20180925161 ... iag264.htm).
For the VIC-20, http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/201 ... -kits.html.
And I know that there are many others for Atari 8 bit machines, and likely many other systems.

The feature set of these cartridges is usually the following:
  • capable of replacing the original boot sequence with their own (to work around potential RAM issues which the original boot sequence could use)
  • RAM tests
  • CPU model test (tests all known opcodes and verifies CPU model when possible)
  • video and audio tests
  • keyboard test (reads/verifies) user inputs
  • joystick tests
  • possibly tape tests by having the diagnostic cartridge also plug into the tape port and generate appropriate signals.
I did a cursory search regarding Oric diagnostic cartridge but have not found anything yet.

So I am now wondering:
  • Does anyone know of existing old or modern diagnostic cartridges for the Oric line of computers?
  • Could some of the modern boards in development be somewhat repurposed with this feature in mind?
Thanks!

Re: Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:51 pm
by iss
Here is the one: Diagnostic ROM and PCB by @mikeb.
Soon there will be another one ... I think ;).

Re: Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:12 am
by NekoNoNiaow
Thanks Iss!

It looks like people only refer to @mikeb's diagnostic program as "ROM" rather than "cartridge" since the cartridge form is optional. This explains why I was not able to find anything about it: I searched for "Oric diagnostic cartridge" and not "Oric diagnostic ROM".

@mikeb provides instructions on how to build such a cartridge/board but are there people who sell pre-made boards with the corresponding loopback connectors?

Also, from your last sentence I gather that you are currently working on a diagnostic expansion/cartridge yourself. Can you tell us more? ;)

Is this a variation of Jede's expansion board or a completely new design?

Re: Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:11 am
by Symoon
IIRC Fabrice "Euphoric" also made a diagnostic ROM long ago, I even seem to recall it was speaking in case of faulty display, saying if components were OK or not. (don't expect beautiful sound though ;) )
Can't find it back right now.

Re: Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:22 pm
by NekoNoNiaow
Symoon wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:11 am
IIRC Fabrice "Euphoric" also made a diagnostic ROM long ago, I even seem to recall it was speaking in case of faulty display, saying if components were OK or not. (don't expect beautiful sound though ;) )
Can't find it back right now.
Thanks!
I actually ironically found it yesterday a few hours after posting while I was busy working on the Defence Force wiki and found it mentioned there. :D

Here is the page for those interested: http://wiki.defence-force.org/doku.php? ... ams_are_ok.

Re: Diagnostic cartridges?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:33 pm
by Steve M
There was someone on Facebook that made a few of these, but all the spare ones were sold, I think.