Malban – 27th of November 2016


I finally came around actually uploading V1.09 version of Vide. For “users” not much changed, some of the bugfixes and additions I mentioned in previous posts and there <might> be some other additions – check out the changelog: VideChangeLog.txtds2431

The “thing” I was labouring most with (appart from Frogger – on the other hand – not so much appart as you will see) – is the emulation of the 1 Wire eEprom DS2431 (see image above).

The story behind that emulation:robotarena2

Thomas Sontowski, the developer of:

  • VecFever
  • Robot Arena (see images)
  • and some other Vectrex stuff I cannot disclose right now

… and I discovered, that we live only about 40 kilometers apart.

Last week I took some time and finally visited him at his place – at first it was sort of strange, since neither he nor I had ever met another Vectrex-Developer in real live. But I gather all in all we did quite well – and it was sort of cool to talk “vectrex” and know the one listening does actually understand (and is interested in) what you are talking about :-).

I still had a nearly 20 years old first edition cartridge of Clay’s MoonLander:







And since he also produced already a handfull of his Robot Arena cards I got #20 – so we both were also able to expand our hardware :-).

He showed me some of his stuff and I will probably use some of his hardware to build a handfull of Frogger cards.

robotarena1His cartridges include the above mentioned 1Wire chip – the DS2431. That chip is a newer version of the DS2430 which was used by Alex Herbert and later Ville Krumlinde to save permanent highscores and options.

While emulating the chip I discovered a couple of differences which made emulation much more non straighforward than I thought – but I think I fixed everything now.

As usual I only emulated the parts of the chip that I know are currently used – the DS2431 has a couple of options (overdrive, bank protection etc) – that I didn’t do yet.

The only thing missing (I think) are example files, that usually accompany hardware emulated in Vide. The files are also more or less finished (mainly verbatim copies of Thomas’ files) – but I haven’t written the example programs yet – so I will not offer them (yet).

I decided (with Thomas), that Frogger will also support the DS2431 – and will have permanent highscores on cartridge.

BTW the screenshots of Robot Arena you see are taken from Vide using my own dumped binary – but unless you generate your own dump and “emulate” your own dump, you will probably not be able to see Robot Arena in Vide – Thomas included some copy protection.



Tagged on: ,

7 thoughts on “Malban – 27th of November 2016

  1. vtk

    that’s a cool coincidence that you dont live too far away from Thomas Sontowski (fate perhaps? :))

    ps. thanks very much for uploading v1.09 of vide!

    1. Malban Post author

      The routines he called “low level” are exactly the same.
      The routines he called “high level” are slightly different, if I remember correctly the addressing in the DS2431 uses two address bytes. Also saving is slightly different.

      Anyway using Vide you can build examples for both accesses. “New Project” and click the checkbox for the DS chip you want to use. The new project will be constructed with correct routines in the project directory.

      Or – if you do not want to build a project – look in the “template” directory for the files…

      1. Matth

        Cool. Thanks for the response. Programming a Vectrex game is still a long term goal for me, but now that I’ve discovered VIDE, I’m more optimistic I can accomplish something before retirement. 😮

        The concept of high-level and low-level is still outside my understanding. I guess what I’m wondering now is, will code already written for the DS2430 work if you just swapped a DS2431. My guess is no. I suppose I should stock up on DS2431’s while they’re still available. It may be several years before I can get this working. 🙂

        Thanks for VIDE, Release, and all you do for the Vectrex community, Matth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.