Original Post

Hi,

As I’ve discussed in a few other threads on the forums, I’m working on a HyperFlash32 cart as a replacement for the FlashBoy+.

HyperFlash32 will contain a 32Mbit Flash (enough for the full HF ROM), 32k x 8 nvSRAM (no save battery required), and a new faster 32bit ARM microcontroller (MCU) running at 32MHz, on board SD card slot, and USB port for control using your PC. ROM files are placed on the SD card and programmed to the flash memory using the MCU, with automatic padding. A simple PC based interface will be used to control the programming steps much like my VB programmer. The on board MCU and SD card slot arrangement was chosen to make programming as fast as possible and provide a single integrated programmer and cart solution. The ARM MCU will also have a bootloader to allow future firmware upgrades as functionality is added. It will also have the features of my VB programmer like SRAM save functionality to save your game progress.

Schematics are done and I’m ready to go to layout so I’m taking preorders to help get it across the finish line. You can read more about it here, as well as place your preorder if you’re so interested: http://www.mellottsvrpage.com/index.php/hyperflash32/

Thanks,
Kevin

131 Replies

Greg2600 wrote:

mellott124 wrote:

Greg2600 wrote:
So to understand the design, we put all the roms on an SD card, and the cart will display a menu to choose a rom and load it to memory?

No. Like Flashboy, you’ll remove the cart from the VB, connect a USB cable from your PC, and then select and program the game on your PC. The files reside on the SD card merely to make programming faster. I could have done it on the PC just like flashboy but I wanted to speed up the programming. There will be no on-screen menu for HyperFlash32. That’s one of the things that makes this design easier to get done.

Oh, gotcha. Well, I’ll just stand by and hope you can accomplish the Multi-Boy at some time in the future.

I hope to change your mind once you see the final HyperFlash32 product!

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by mellott124.

Update on the case design. I’ve been hard at work on the mechanical design of how the cart is assembled together.

HyperFlash32 will be a red FR4 based case with a carbon fiber black 3D printed frame. This allows the unique ability to embed electronics into the actual cases on the backsides. FR4 is the same material as the PCB, and its strong as hell. Much stronger than ABS plastic. This means I can make it thinner and fit more components inside. I’ve already had the frames printed and they look really good. They’re also ridiculously strong.

The drive to make more space was to add back the eInk display. If this all pans out, which it looks like it will, then the eInk display will be added back along with 3 capacitive touch buttons on the back of the case. You won’t see the buttons except for an outline as they’re actually embedded into the case. Same goes for the top cover, or case. The display is embedded into the top 1.5mm of the case. This was the only way to get it all to fit and work. It’s quite a unique design and I’m quite proud of it. The test PCBs (shape but no traces) are being ordered now. I’m doing some mechanical samples to make sure the board house can get the correct dimensions and stack heights I need to put it all together. They’ve reviewed the design and said its not a problem.

Back to the 3 capacitive buttons. This is to allow selection of the ROM files and programming without needing the PC. With a display available, this is now possible. However it will still need to be powered via the USB cable input. Also keep in mind that eInk is slow. Update rates of 3Hz or so. So it won’t be fast but it will be usable. It’s primary function is to allow user graphics for labels. Secondary function will be an on-device screen for programming.

Which eInk, I’m still debating. Monochrome black and white are much faster and allow partial update zones which is much better for an on-device screen that helps with programming. However, its hard to pass up a red and black eInk display given the Virtual Boy. I’ll build both initially and then post my results and let people decide which one they prefer.

Anyway, some pictures attached to show the design. Design files of the case design are shown, as well as the art that will be added to the top and bottom surfaces. I’ve also attached a picture of an early test carbon fiber frame with a display sitting in it next to a Mario Tennis cart. That frame happens to have a slight wave in the top of the case but the others are straight and it won’t be an issue when building units.

Super excited about this project. Probably more so than any other VB project I’ve done. I’ll post another design update once the test PCBs come in and I do fit checks. Then it will be modifying the electronic design and then doing layout for both PCBs (the main cart PCB, and then the bottom cover PCB that will contain the eInk electronics and SD card electronics).

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by mellott124.

Will the HyperFlash use USB C or Micro-B?

Wow! Awesome update man. Really exciting stuff, it looks great. That e-ink display will be sweet and ROM selection without the PC is super!

Wow mate, that is an ingenious design! So, if I got that right, you have _three_ PCBs in there, counting in the bottom and top sides of the cart which are basically one-sided PCBs? So you won’t even need any molds but can get the case done by the board house, then hold it all together with that 3D printed frame.

Besides the brilliant construction, I obviously love the e-ink display and embedded buttons which make this an “almost-multi cart”. ;-D

Gotte run, but will post some news about this later today.

glad PC required is no more, that is what was holding me back

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Schwanck.

nmalinoski wrote:
Will the HyperFlash use USB C or Micro-B?

Micro B. I had a USB-C connector in there but they’re much thicker. Had to switch to micro B because it’s height is nearly perfect. Around 2.4mm.

Can’t wait to test it !
Such an amazing project.

I had zero interest in this project.

Until you put a damn e-ink display on there…I want it now. Dammit I don’t even need this, but reprogrammable label cart?? Yes please.

If I understand correctly, with this latest design update, we can use the buttons on the cart to switch between games. Is that it?

If so, I am sold. I was holding out for the MultiBoy32, but if this will let me switch between ROMS without needing to plug the cart into a computer, I’m sold.

Also, if we don’t need to plug the unit into a computer and the ROMs are stored on an SD card, what is the purpose of the USB connection?

Holy crap this is amazing!!! So glad I preordered the day I got the email.

Having an eink display on the cart is pretty genius, will be the first flash cart of it’s kind.

Holy crap, this is WAY more than I think anyone in the community expected, This looks absolutely incredible! I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said before, definitely one of the most uniquely creative projects to come out of the community, there was a lot of work, thought and care put into this, and I’m so happy the stretch goal got hit to make this awesome idea a reality! Can’t wait to see the different Ink screens in action! (and really can’t wait to get this thing eventually when it finally comes out!:D)

brumbie13 wrote:
If I understand correctly, with this latest design update, we can use the buttons on the cart to switch between games. Is that it?

If so, I am sold. I was holding out for the MultiBoy32, but if this will let me switch between ROMS without needing to plug the cart into a computer, I’m sold.

Also, if we don’t need to plug the unit into a computer and the ROMs are stored on an SD card, what is the purpose of the USB connection?

You need USB for power. You can’t flash it while plugged into the VB.

I’m open to suggestions for powering the cart when out of the VB.

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by mellott124.
  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by mellott124.

mellott124 wrote:

brumbie13 wrote:
If I understand correctly, with this latest design update, we can use the buttons on the cart to switch between games. Is that it?

If so, I am sold. I was holding out for the MultiBoy32, but if this will let me switch between ROMS without needing to plug the cart into a computer, I’m sold.

Also, if we don’t need to plug the unit into a computer and the ROMs are stored on an SD card, what is the purpose of the USB connection?

You need USB for power. You can’t flash it while plugged into the VB.

I’m open to suggestions for powering the cart when out of the VB.

I would most likely just buy a mini powerbank. They do exist with iphone connectors: https://www.amazon.de/KOBWA-Magnetisches-Wireless-Mini-Ladeger%C3%A4t-Backup-Akku/dp/B07MJG8X58/

Just ordered mine. Went with the donor included option because it’s not really economically feasible for me to ship you some donors from Canada. I do have a few here though.

Really excited for completion!!

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by karmatose.

So it’s a little unclear whether or not there will be the eInk display. I think that’s really awesome. I saw here you said you’re some it back, but on the page you said you would ommit it, not sure on the order of these. Cool stuff, Kevin!

ScreamingNarwhal wrote:
So it’s a little unclear whether or not there will be the eInk display. I think that’s really awesome. I saw here you said you’re some it back, but on the page you said you would ommit it, not sure on the order of these. Cool stuff, Kevin!

eInk included.

I originally said I’d let it go and not include it. Figuring out the FR4 case design allowed it to be added back. The only question now is monochrome black and white or black/white/red.

Project is continually evolving so you’ll need to be OK with changes. If not, I advise to wait until the next batch.

Ordered one. Had to sell my Flashboy for the the money. Glad I can replace it with something like this

will it support folders on the sd card? I like to keep homebrews and Patched Roms separate.

Another question:
so these will completely work with the VB Programmer?

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Schwanck.

Schwanck wrote:
will it support folders on the sd card? I like to keep homebrews and Patched Roms separate.

Another question:
so these will completely work with the VB Programmer?

Folders- probably since my programmer already supports folders.

VB programmer support- it could with a firmware update. TBD.

 

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