RE: about the plus4

From: Bil Herd <>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:43:51 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Regarding the 50 Pin Expansion connector

Origin: The origin of the connector would be the same place that the whole
design came from as Jim surmised.  The design of the case was the origin
of the system design, with the chip designed/inserted next and hardware
last. (function, look and feel followed by implementation?)  The expansion
connector, along with the DINs, would have come from Ira Velinski and his
department in Tokyo, Yoichi Nishimura being one of the engineers that took
part and under the guidance of Yoichi Okubo the head of engineering. As
this office was run directly by Sam Tramiel this would have been a system
design that came from, and was condoned, from the top of the organization.
It arrived in West Chester around the time the PCB board did; the PCB
board with bad ground, no ferrite beads and 9 chips that I saw a picture
of just recently.

Why we liked it: When we saw it,  it made sense, higher density which
hinted at more controls for extending the bus and more grounds to lower
the impedance of the overall cartridge and connector. It also made sense
from reuse of the metal part and I will assume that the cartridge housings
could be reused with a minimum of retooling.

The clincher would be for me of why it made sense would be one of the
axioms of design which is to try to not let a user plug something in where
it doesn't belong.  Since a C64 cart had no business being plugged into a
TED, and any damage to the system or cart that may result, making it so
you couldn't plug in a C64 cart made sense.
After working on the TED housing the C64/128 looked kind of clunky in
comparison the first couple of days.

One of those little tidbits I almost inserted but didn't know if they
digress the story too much, y'all may think I ramble too much as it is.
So in reference to both engineers having the same first name:

 "Lol. you don't often say an adults first name but I learned to use the
Osakan accent on Okubo-san's name  as a way to differentiate as him and
Yash Terakura were from Osaka. The Tokyo employees were visibly frightened
of Osakan drivers and having ridden with both Yash and Okubo in Las Vegas
I would say it was well earned reputation.  Several times I heard the
expression that you are not safe on the sidewalks of Osaka (as they will
occasionally drive on them) "

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Brain
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:52 PM
Subject: Re: about the plus4

On 4/24/2012 3:34 PM, Bil Herd wrote:
> It also may have still been called the 264 at this point.
Which brings up:

I want to better understand the funky expansion port connector rationale.

I understand the mini-din rationale (minimal room for connectors on back
of C116) But, did moving from .1" to .08" spacing on 44 pin connector
really create that much value?  Was it to stymie third party cart
manufacturers?  I struggle with the decisions that created that
unbelievably hard to source connector.


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Received on 2012-04-26 15:00:54

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