[Coco] altera DE1 board

Aaron Wolfe aawolfe at gmail.com
Tue Oct 19 02:38:03 EDT 2010

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:30 AM, Mark McDougall <msmcdoug at iinet.net.au> wrote:
> On 19/10/2010 4:06 PM, Frank Pittel wrote:
>> After a lot of swearing and nashing of teeth I managed to get the
>> coco3fpga_dw.sof file loaded onto the board. It even displays "CoCo" on
>> the 7-segment displays. Unfortunately all I get on the monitor is a bunch
>> of gibberish and it doesn't respond to the keyboard at all. I don't know
>> what to make of the stuff in the Software_101.zip file though. While
>> poking around on the forume section of the yahoo group I noticed mention
>> about installing coco roms/rom images. Is that true and if so where would
>> I get such things and how would I "install" them?
> As for your frustration: you need to keep in mind that the DE1 is a
> general-purpose FPGA development kit, and not a product designed
> specifically for Coco3FPGA. So there's a bit of ramp-up time required in
> understanding a bit about what you have in front of you, and how to use it,
> even before you start playing with Cocos...
> Check out this thread, you're not the first...
> <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CoCo3FPGA/message/161>
> It should at least outline the steps you need, although perhaps not enough
> to hold your hand through the process.
> Some background technical information.
> FPGAs do not (generally) retain their programming after power-down. So most
> designs incorporate an "FPGA configuration device" that will automatically
> configure an FPGA on power-up.
> You can program an (Atera) FPGA "temporarily" via the JTAG interface using a
> ".SOF" file. This is written directly into the FPGA volatile memory and is
> lost when powered-off. Good for rapid development.
> You can also program the configuration device via a ".POF" file. It's pretty
> much just the SOF file but in a different format (usually when you build an
> FPGA project, you ask it to produce both a SOF & POF at the same time). Once
> you've programmed the configuration device, this image will be automatically
> loaded into the FPGA on each power-up.
> I can't recall what is programmed into the configuration device on the DE1
> when shipped, but I tend to keep a copy of the DE1 control firmware that was
> shipped on the CD.
> Back to Coco3:
> There is not enough internal memory in the FPGA on the DE1 to store all the
> ROM images. So Gary has elected to store the COCO3 BASIC ROM in external
> flash memory (at address 0) on the DE1. So the first task is to program the
> flash with this image. You should find adequate instructions to do this in
> your DE1 documentation.

It sound like all that's missing is the coco ROM in flash.  Write it
to address 0 using the DE1 programming tool and you'll probably be

> Note that this is a "do-once" process and you shouldn't have to do it ever
> again, unless you use the DE1 for something else that requires the flash
> memory.
> Once that's done, try re-configuring with the SOF.
> The Software_101.zip file contains server.exe, which is the (Coco3FPGA) DW
> server that emulates Coco floppy drives on your PC.

The recent versions of Coco3FPGA use DriveWire, so I think this
server.exe should not be used.  Maybe Gary can confirm.  Should work
fine with DW version 3 or 4.

> Regards,
> --
> |              Mark McDougall                | "Electrical Engineers do it
> |  <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug>   |   with less resistance!"
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