The Ultimate-64!

Eight Bit

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hope you get the userport ext-header pins straight again nicely, this seemed to be a packaging issue with the included ac-adaptor.
Yeah, I just put a knife in between and gently bent the pins straight again, no biggie :)
A couple of videos have already gone out on facebook showing comparisons between the U64 and the C64.
In the current firmware state the U64 is (for me) not mature enough yet to completely replace my C64 as there's still some anomalies in sprite and FLI timings. But it's already great for listening to SID tunes or to play a game. Compatibility is at 85 to 90% I guess. Most stuff works like it should, some stuff doesn't. I'm sure in due time it will be purrrfect! :)

I have now set up my main C64 with 2x 8580 SIDS (SIDFX) and the U64 with 2x 6581. With Acidplayer64 I can select PRG's and SIDs on my PC which will be played on the appropriate machine automagically. The sound is crystal clear (no VIC noise) and so is the video. The scanlines on the HDMI output (optional) look very good too but the HDMI output does miss the blur that analog video induces hence some VIC tricks to create more colors by interlacing or just putting colored dots next to each other don't look as good on an LCD panel. But the Y/C output is awesome in it's sharpness and looks way better, though a bit too vibrant compared to the dull-ish C64 colors.

I'd be happy to post pics and stuff if people want to see more. ;)

All in all, I'm very happy with my U64!
 

pmprog

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A couple of videos have already gone out on facebook showing comparisons between the U64 and the C64
Can you link them please? I can't seem to find any

Edit: Sorry, I was looking at YouTube, not Facebook... pffft. Although would still be nice to see some
 
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pmprog

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Trying to think of games that are quite technical...

Mayhem in Monsterland or Creatures 1 or 2. The Rowland brothers used a lot of colour tricks, so would be nice to see how they hold up.
International Karate Ultimate or International Karate+. They use quite a lot of sprite multiplexing
Turrican 3

And maybe anything else you fancy? Thanks
 

pmprog

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Code:
https://www.facebook.com/C64Nation/posts/241837806360133
Ultimate 64 open for pre-orders again.

Pre-orders for the Ultimate 64 went live again on Sunday with all of the current v1.1 stock selling out within the first hour. V1.2 boards (scheduled for May 2018) then went on pre-order through out the day in limited pre-order sessions to help Gideon ensure that the ordering process went through smoothly.

If you have not been able to order one yet, pre-orders for the Ultimate 64 re-open again on Tuesday.
#c64 #ultimate64
I'm tempted to see if I can get one... though I'd probably need to then find/buy a broken C64 that I can put it in
 

Eight Bit

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C64 on the CRT, Audio is from the real C64 too.
This is Ultimate64 Board revision 1.1 with the initial release firmware.

As can be seen, the C64 core is not perfect yet, and the demo even crashed right after I stopped filming.
It gives a decent impression of its current state though and future core revision will surely improve the U64 even more.

 
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rSl

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C64 on the CRT, Audio is from the real C64 too.
This is Ultimate64 Board revision 1.1 with the initial release firmware.

As can be seen, the C64 core is not perfect yet, and the demo even crashed right after I stopped filming.
It gives a decent impression of its current state though and future core revision will surely improve the U64 even more.
awesome! thank you! :)

good to see that the first release of the core is in a pretty good shape allready! gideon rocks! :)
there are not that much free hdl-coder out there, but as this core is opensource, only the sky is the limit, right?
and with about 80% compatibility this is a *really* good start! :)
and i love your setup! :)
 

pmprog

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there are not that much free hdl-coder out there, but as this core is opensource, only the sky is the limit, right?
Oooh, do you know where the source is? I'm still ankle-biting vhdl, but I'm interested in having a look through it
 

rSl

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Oooh, do you know where the source is? I'm still ankle-biting vhdl, but I'm interested in having a look through it
i did some more digging and it seems the u64core source is (unlike 1541u sources which are on github 'gideonz' repo) currently *not* (sorry for fakenews!) published in the wild, but i remember gideon said in a youtube video presenting the u64, that he verry likely will open it up in the future.
so right now it's still closed, sadly, but he released all his work with 1541u and u2 on github, so there is a good chance
it will go open soon too, i guess.
we really need a good open c64 fpga-core as there are too many closed ones out there! ;)
maybe there is some newer info on this at his fb-group, but i'm not reading fb.
 

Eight Bit

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I've had mine for a while now and have to admit my U64 replaced my C64 in the living room completely.
My desk is more empty- and my wife more happy now ;)

Sure, compatibility isn't 100% (yet) but it's good for over 95% of the available software and it's easy to forget you're not watching/playing on a real C64. If there's any U64 requests anyone wants to see/know, please feel free to ask me. I'd be happy to show stuff.

Btw, I've put a SIDFX in mine so I have 2 SIDs in socket 1, an 8580 and a 6581R4 and a 8580 in socket 2. So 3 SIDs in total.
The new SID autoconfig for 2- and 3SID tunes is just awesome! It just auto configures the address lines of the extra SIDs and plays the 2SID tunes without having to do any configuring manually. Also there's a software mixer built in now that can pan each SID individually as well as the extra software SIDs and the drive sounds within the stereo signal. This means stereo SID tunes don't have to be panned hard left and right. :D

There's lot's more to tell about the U64, like the ease of accessing it over a network connection, running stuff sent over from a pc directly etc.
Acid64player for instance is awesome, it's a SID database software package with search function that sends your tune straight to the U64 but also sends PRG's that roll out of an external assembler software package. C64 development made easy!
 

pmprog

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I'm afraid my inclination to buy one has really dropped off. My attempts into FPGA have failed, and both my C64 and Chameleon rarely see power input.
Still love the concept though; and maybe once my fantasy machine is coded, I might look at FPGA again followed by trying to insert it into a C64 housed device, whether that be the TC, Nexys4 or a U64
 

rSl

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I've had mine for a while now and have to admit my U64 replaced my C64 in the living room completely.
My desk is more empty- and my wife more happy now ;)

Sure, compatibility isn't 100% (yet) but it's good for over 95% of the available software and it's easy to forget you're not watching/playing on a real C64. If there's any U64 requests anyone wants to see/know, please feel free to ask me. I'd be happy to show stuff.

Btw, I've put a SIDFX in mine so I have 2 SIDs in socket 1, an 8580 and a 6581R4 and a 8580 in socket 2. So 3 SIDs in total.
The new SID autoconfig for 2- and 3SID tunes is just awesome! It just auto configures the address lines of the extra SIDs and plays the 2SID tunes without having to do any configuring manually. Also there's a software mixer built in now that can pan each SID individually as well as the extra software SIDs and the drive sounds within the stereo signal. This means stereo SID tunes don't have to be panned hard left and right. :D

There's lot's more to tell about the U64, like the ease of accessing it over a network connection, running stuff sent over from a pc directly etc.
Acid64player for instance is awesome, it's a SID database software package with search function that sends your tune straight to the U64 but also sends PRG's that roll out of an external assembler software package. C64 development made easy!
awesome! 3 sids and the wife is more happy, it doesn't get any better, right? :)
on forum64.de they love this board alot too. exiting times ahead.


I'm afraid my inclination to buy one has really dropped off. My attempts into FPGA have failed, and both my C64 and Chameleon rarely see power input.
Still love the concept though; and maybe once my fantasy machine is coded, I might look at FPGA again followed by trying to insert it into a C64 housed device, whether that be the TC, Nexys4 or a U64
i had a short look into fpga development and was instantly scared away because of the closed toolchains one have to use.
so i'm happy with using an allready developed core right now. but maybe some day gcc can make compiled cores, then i'm back in. ;)
 

pmprog

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i had a short look into fpga development and was instantly scared away because of the closed toolchains one have to use.
so i'm happy with using an allready developed core right now. but maybe some day gcc can make compiled cores, then i'm back in. ;)
Yeah, the toolchains are a downside.
The TC64 project needs a specific version of Altera - which I found out after downloading GBs of one version for it not to load.
Then I looked at the MEGA65 project, and they build using WebISA (I think it's called), but that software has been superseded by Vivado (or something), so I got annoyed I couldn't build it myself

But also:
Open Source FPGA toolchain, but as expected, only for iCE40 FPGA chips - http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/
I also remember seeing a programming language toolkit that converts to VHDL (or Verilog) for you, but I think it was Python or something


That said, I did get some simple code working on the TC64... My fantasy machine is making some nice progress, and it would be interesting to see what it would be like if it was actually implemented in hardware. Maybe by the time I've finished the software version and maybe got a game or two running, a full FPGA computer in a nice looking case will be available and I'll look back at having a go.
I do sometimes wonder why I'm making this fantasy machine though, rather than actually just making a game.
 

rygD

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So... For a musical type that has long had an interest in the C64, is this a better bang for the buck than getting a real one? Games will be the main use, probably, but I will want to play music on the thing.
 

Eight Bit

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I use the U64 mainly for listening to music and playing an occasional game/demo.
So far I found one game that does not work. Donkey Kong.
Also there's a couple of demo's that bug out after a while but all in all I'm very happy with it's current firmware state. It will only get even better I guess :)
 
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