Monday, July 6, 2015

Breakout Breakdown

Disaster! My cleverly contrived apparatus to break-out the CoCo cartridge port to a breadboard doesn't work!  In fact, it could even damage the CoCo...

Short Circuit

The apparatus I described in the previous post included a breakout board designed for use with the Raspberry Pi 2. This board includes a 40-pin IDC connector and pins in the footprint of a 40-pin DIP. This seemed to be a perfect match for the 40-pin CoCo cartridge port.

Unfortunately, the designer of the breakout board has "helpfully" used his knowledge of the Raspberry Pi 2 GPIO port in order to tie all of the Ground lines together on the breakout board. This might have only been an avoidable nuisance, but it turns-out that the layout of the pins on the board is such that when adapted to the CoCo cartridge port, +5V power is shorted to ground. The traces responsible for the short are not visible, so I don't think the board can easily be modified. Fortunately, at least I don't seem to have damaged any CoCo in the making of this mess!


Time was already a bit short for me this month, as I have plans to be at KansasFest. I'm not sure I have time to order any new parts either. I'm not sure where this leaves me.

Maybe I can come-up with a way to save this project? Or perhaps I can hatch another one? I will have to take some time to consider my options.

Stay tuned...

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