Author Topic: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014  (Read 6415 times)

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Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« on: August 25, 2014, 06:25:38 PM »
Here's the official parts list for the Micromite Companion Kit

1 Propellerpowered Micromite Companion Kit PCB kit
1 VGA connector
1 PS/2 connector
1 Headphone audio connector
1 - 2.1mm barrel connector
1 10pin male header (or two 5pin male headers)
1 - 4pin male angled header
2 10uf Electrolytic capacitors
4 0.1 capacitors
4 1.1k(or 1k) resistors
10 10k resistors
2 100ohm resistors
3 120ohm resistors
3 470ohm resistors
6 240ohm resistors
2 - Shunt Jumpers
1 - Reset Switch
1 - 40pin socket
1 - 8pin socket
1 - 28pin socket
1 - 47uf capacitor
1 - 5mhz crystal
1 - Propeller Chip
1 - 24LC256 32K EERPOM
1 - PIC32 Micromite Chip
1 - 5v regulator
1 - 3v regulator
2 - 220uf caps
1 - 1N4001 Electrolytic diode
1 - SD socket connector
3 - 16pin female headers
1 - Self-Stick Breadboard  (color picked by the hand of fate)

Note: At times you may find a few extra resistors.  There is nothing wrong with this.
Since we purchase resistors by the roll and cut them for kits, I tend to error on the side of "too many" than "too few".

It is important that you follow the assembly steps as written.  If you try to "build ahead", you will have trouble with this kit.


STEP 1

* Insert & solder both the 8pin and 40pin sockets with their "notches" facing toward the left.
Special Note!  Do NOT solder in the 28pin Micromite Socket until instructed to do so!

* Recommended Improvement: Connect pins 9 & 10 (Vss & BOEn) together at the bottom of 40 pin socket.
This will reduce the possibility of "resets" in noisy environments, or if you brush your fingers across the Propeller chip's pins while it is on.
You can use a small piece of resistor cutting, or a simple solder blob will work as well.   See image two.

* Insert the 3.3v Voltage Regulator into U8 (FAR LEFT, EDGE OF BOARD) and solder.

* Insert the 5v Voltage Regulator into U6 and solder.

The 5v regulator is labelled 7805 -5
The 3v regulator is labelled LM2937 / LM2937ET


Seasonal Electronics Tip:
Due to seasonal conditions, many of us will be turning up our heat, drying out our inside air.
These conditions are ideal for generating static which can potentially damage your MMC.   Always make sure to "discharge" yourself
before working on any electronics.   If you are feeling static shocks when touching door handles, this should heighten your awareness.
A grounded Anti-Static strap is a good way to make sure your chips stay safe during handling.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 10:55:01 AM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 06:37:32 PM »
STEP 2

* Insert and solder the male pin headers into J3.  Install two shunt jumpers as shown.
Break male header into 2-5pin

A tip from another builder:
"Any place you need to solder in dual rows of headers, use the shorting blocks to hold the two pair together while you solder. Place one on each end and then you effectively have a dual row header - much easier to get/keep perpendicular to the board."



* Insert and solder 5mhz crystal.

* Insert and solder the .1 caps (C1,C2,C6,C5)

* Insert and solder the reset switch "Rst".

* Insert and solder the 4pin angled header into J2.


A tip from another builder:
"If you want to experiment later with Propeller over-clocking, install a couple machine pins in the crystal holes.  This will make it easy to swap out the crystal for some advanced experimentation."
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 10:39:50 AM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:41:08 PM »
STEP 3

VGA Output Circuit: *See builder tips below!
* Insert and Solder VGA output resistors into place.
R1,2,4,8,11 = 240 ohm
R6,10,13 = 120 ohm
R5,9,12 = 470 ohm
R3,7 = 1k or 1.1k

We've provided three jumpers.  You'll need two for now to use the unit in 64 color mode.  (See 2nd image for installation.)

EEPROM Circuit:
* Insert and solder two 10k resistors at R23 and R24.

Audio Circuit:
* Insert and solder two 1.1k(or1 k) resistors at R18 and R19.

Keyboard Circuit: *See builder tips below!
* Insert and solder two 100ohm resistors at R15 and R17.
* Insert and solder two 10k resistors at R14 and R16.

SD Socket Resistors:
* Insert and solder four 10k resistors in a row at R25,R22,R26,R27.

A tip from another builder:
"Install R14-R17 with their bodies toward the back (connector end) of the board. Don't match the picture on the PCB silkscreen. I had a resistor bend backward a bit and the bare lead touched the keyboard plug case (which is ground)"


A tip from another builder:
"Note the sequence of the keyboard resistors are 15,14,16,17.  If you move from installing the VGA resistors to installing the keyboard resistors without paying attention it's easy to make a mistake here."


A tip from another builder:
"Be careful of 1k (brown,black,red) and 10k (brown,black,orange) resistors.  The red and orange stripes can be deceptive at a glance.  If in doubt grab a VOM and test the resistance to make sure you are installing the correct values."
 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 08:40:15 PM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 06:43:59 PM »
STEP 4

* Insert and solder diode into D5.  (Line should be on the right)

* Insert and solder the two 10uf caps at C3 and C4.
Note: The "negative" white stripe should be on the right.

* Insert and solder the two 220uf caps at C8 and C9.
Note: The "negative" white stripe should face toward the left.


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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 06:45:06 PM »
STEP 5

Solder in the power, keyboard, audio, and VGA connectors

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 06:48:58 PM »
STEP 6

* Solder in the SD card connector.  When placed properly it should catch into place.

Solder the two front legs first to keep it in place, then solder the rear pins.

Note: There are three pins very close together on the right side. (when facing the rear of the socket)
These pins are card detect which are unused. (and sometimes hard to solder) They may be skipped.  Refer to image two.

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 06:50:37 PM »
STEP 7

STOP RIGHT HERE!  DO NOT ATTACH ANOTHER PART UNTIL YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THIS STEP!

Before attaching the 28pin socket for the Micromite, it is required that you do a quick test to make sure that the SD card socket is attached properly.
Install both the Propeller Chip and the EEPROM.  Both chips should face left (notches), toward the two regulators.
Using an 2GB (or smaller) SD card, connect the Micromite Companion to Monitor, Keyboard, and power with the card inserted.

If the Micromite Companion boots, you will see a Logo screen and the word, READY.  (This is already a good sign!)
Note: You will not be able to type or see characters yet because you've not connected the Micromite.

* Press F8 on the keyboard.   You should see a directory listing of your files on the SD card.

If the system screen stays black, and the keyboard lights flash, recheck your SD card, and SD card connections before you continue to the next step.

Tip from another builder:
"Make sure your SD card is formatted during the step.  The MMC is expecting a 2GB (or smaller) card."


« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 12:20:25 AM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 06:56:53 PM »
STEP 8

* Insert and solder the 28 pin socket into U3.

* Insert and solder the 47uf cap into C12 (Grab a magnifier and find the + sign on the cap, match it with one on the board.)

* Insert and solder two 10k resistors into R20, and R21 for the Micromite/Gameport/Propeller I2C connection.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 11:04:55 AM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 06:59:31 PM »
STEP 9

* Insert and solder the three 16pin female headers that surround the breadboard.

* Stick on the self-stick breadboard.

Note: we've noticed that one of our breadboard suppliers has been shipping breadboards with the special "fingers" on two sides to allow you to interconnect more than one.   We've checked them out, and with the fingers it still fits correctly, tightly; but you may still want to eliminate the plastic fingers with a razor knife before installing.

* Insert the Micromite PIC chip into the socket.  It's notch should be upward.


Congratulations!  You have completed the Micromite Companion Build!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 03:58:01 PM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2014, 10:03:02 AM »
Getting the most out of your Micromite Companion:

Download the following files and install them on your SD card:

* From the PROJECT MDEs section: All the of the .MDE files.
* From the PROJECT BINARIES section: All of the .BIN files.
* From the OTHER BINARIES section: All of the .BIN files.

Notes for Zork1 & Sidplayr (Extract all it of it's files from .ZIP) and DMP_SID_FILES (Extract all of the .DMP files into a folder called DMP)

There are also many BASIC programming examples in the BASIC EXAMPLES section.

The "Micromite Companion Manual" is a master list of the special Propeller I2C commands.

The "Micromite Manual.PDF" is recommended reading and will give you complete information on MMBASIC.

The breadboard section on the Micromite Companion is numbered in a way that corresponds to the Micromite chip numbers.

We recommend the following for use with the Micromite Companion:

*  A DC 7.5v "center positive" power supply.  (500ma is enough for MMC usage, 1amp is recommended for breadboard usage.)
*  A 2GB (or smaller) SD card.
*  Nintendo Branded Wii Nunuck or Wii Classic Controllers
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 08:10:01 PM by Oldbitcollector »

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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2014, 10:11:00 AM »
Using the Nunchuck Controller with your Micromite Companion:

There is a Wii* Compatible Nunchuck connector below the SD slot on your Micromite Companion.

The Nunchuck plug has both a plastic clip side and a U-shaped metal side.   The Nunchuck should ALWAYS be plugged in U-shaped side up.


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Re: Assembly of the Micromite Companion MMC 2014
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 08:45:14 PM »
Updating your Micromite Companion Firmware:

The "Companion Mode" firmware is updated from time to time.  It is stored in the 32K, 8pin EEPROM on your board.

Updates to the code: http://www.propellerpowered.com/library (Section: MICROMITE COMPANION)

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO UPDATE FROM A PARALLAX PROPPLUG:  (from: /PROJECT SPIN SOURCE)
1) Download the umitecompanion-bst-archive.XXXXXXXXX.zip and extract it to a folder.
2) Connect the USB cable and Propplug between the PC and the MMC.
3) Use BST to send "umitecompanion.spin" to your Micromite Companion Board using F11.
Note: Requires "Eliminate unused SPIN methods", and "Non-Parallax Compatible Extensions" set in BST Compiler Preferences.

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO UPDATE FROM SD: (from: /PROJECT BINARIES)
1) Download the umitecompanion.eeprom file.  Rename it to loader.pgm and copy to your SD card.
2) Download the sdloader.bin (Section: PROJECT BINARIES\SDLoader) and copy it to your SD card.
3) From the > prompt, type CTRL-B sdloader.bin and press ENTER
The MMC will install the new firmware, reboot, and erase the loader.pgm file.

Use INFO command to check your current Micromite Companion Software version.
Current version of Micromite Companion is: 2.7
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 10:55:07 AM by Oldbitcollector »