TinyNES

Classic NES games on open source hardware that fits in the palm of your hand

Available for pre-order

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Sep 12, 2022

Project update 9 of 11

Full Production Assembly is Underway!

by Daniel G

Hi everyone,

Just a quick and happy update for you today!

First Article Approved

The last large remaining task for production is the assembly of the main boards. Our contract assembler already has possession of all the components needed for the project, and all the PCBs have been fabricated.

To avoid any potential mistakes (at the expense of some speed) we asked them to assemble one board and ship it to us for testing before assembling all the rest of them. This ensures that everything works as it should, that all the components are correct and functional, and that the assembly procedures they use are accurate.

We just received this "first article" main board and are thrilled to report that it passes all of our functional tests! This means that full production assembly is now underway.

Some photos of the first article board (with, for no particular reason, a set of PAL chips installed):

Chip Support Docs

As we prepare to ship units out, the documentation is getting closer to completion. One part of the docs concerns how to configure the console for different formats and outputs (eg. PAL, NTSC, RGB). Most users will never need to do this, but anyone who wants to swap their chips probably will.

Here’s a preview of some of that information and some photos illustrating where the settings are configured:

Notes

Supported CPUs

ChipMfgFormatClockS1S2
RP2A03RicohNTSC21.477270Left / NTSCLeft / Disabled
RP2A07RicohPAL26.601712Right / PALLeft / Disabled
UA6527UMCNTSC21.477270Left / NTSCLeft / Disabled
UA6527PUMCNTSC26.8465875Left / NTSCRight / Enabled
UA6540UMCPAL26.601712Right / PALLeft / Disabled

Supported PPUs

ChipMfgFormatClockS5
RP2C02RicohNTSC21.477270Left / REG
RP2C03 / RC2C03RicohNTSC / RGB21.477270Left / REG
RP2C04RicohNTSC / RGB21.477270Left / REG
RC2C05-01 / 02 / 03 / 04RicohNTSC / RGB21.477270Right / 2C05
RC2C05-99RicohNTSC / RGB21.477270Left / REG
RP2C07RicohPAL26.601712Left / REG
UA6528UMCNTSC21.477270Left / REG
UA6541UMCPAL26.601712Left / REG

Here are some photos of these switches (S1, S2, and S5) on the main board:

Packaging

Just a few photos of the assembled console packaging:

Open Source Repo

The TinyNES source repository is now available!

https://github.com/loglow/TinyNES

This repo will continue to be updated moving forward with any changes or additions to the project, including the RGB kit boards, which will be added soon.

Bonus: Some Bad PPUs

We’ve discovered that a lot of clone UA6528 PPU chips are faulty, and they all seem to glitch in a unique and interesting way. Some are actually kind of cool looking! Here’s a very small sampling of a few bad chips. Don’t worry, these chips won’t end up in any assembled units. We’re actually not sure what to do with them…

That’s all for now. Thanks so much for all your patience! We’re getting very close to shipping out your orders!

Dan


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