U11 on a C64 board 250466

From: Gerrit Heitsch <gerrit_at_laosinh.s.bawue.de>
Date: Sat, 07 Apr 2012 19:23:27 +0200
Message-ID: <4F80780F.7090707@laosinh.s.bawue.de>

this was already discussed on the forum64.de, but since not everyone is 
reading that, I'll post it here too.

If you take a look at a C64 board with the assy number 250466 (aka 
'B3'), you'll notice that it uses 64Kx4 DRAMs and has an unused spot 
named U11 (plus C27 for the decoupling cap) next to the DRAMs. There is 
also J3 next to it.

I always wondered what this was for and finally got around to check it 
out and map the signals. Another forum member determined that the pinout 
matches a 74LS139. J3 determines whether R/_W from the CPU is directly 
connected to the RAMs or routed through the 74LS139.

The other signal supplied to the decoder (enable is tied to GND) is PHI0 
and the ouput used will only go LOW if PHI0 is HIGH and R/_W is LOW, 
effectivly making sure that only the CPU can write to the RAM and a VIC 
read cycle  will always be a read cycle even if R/_W from the CPU takes 
a bit longer to go HIGH again (which it does).

I did put a 74LS139 at U11 (if you want to do it, you need to tie pin 
13-15 to GND, otherwise they are floating), added C27 and cut J3, the 
board still runs as if nothing changed.

To me it suggests the board designer suspected that some RAMs might be 
too fast and interpret a VIC read cycle following a CPU write cycle as 
another write cycle and wanted to make sure this cannot happen. Most 
RAMs don't seem to need it as I haven't seen a 250466 with U11 populated 
and repairing one with faster RAMs (100ns) still doesn't cause problems.

This circuit does remind me of the GATE IN signal on the 8501 CPU in the 
264 series.

The later C64 boards (250469, using the 64pin PLA) no longer connect 
R/_W from the CPU directly to the DRAMs, they run it through the PLA, 
making me assume that this circuit (or similiar) was integrated there.

Anyone here ever run into 'new RAM too fast' problems with a C64 board?


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Received on 2012-04-07 18:00:04

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