The following cartridge adapter board completes my already presented series of Sharp PC adapters: my Interface and my Cartridge.
The Sharp PC-1500 and PC-1600 can both be extended via one (two) module slots. Pretty common are memory extension cartridges, but there are also more sophisticated modules. I have a few that contain an (E)EPROM with program code on it. I have a few of the latter ones and to facilitate reading out their content I’ve built an adapter board:
The 40-pin connector was cut out of a regular PCI slot (not PCI Express). You can actually get two connectors out of one slot.
Pin headers allow easy access to the data, address, and control lanes of the cartridge. In many cases this allows easier debug access to the content of a cartridge (it EPROM) than reading (i.e. ‘beeping’ out) its content directly via the PC-1500/PC-1600 + PC-150 interface.
The adapter board works for me but it can be pretty annoying to get the pads of a module aligned with the connector pins in the 40-pin slot. It usually takes me a few retries to get good contact on all pins. Some kind of guide rail on both sides would be helpful, but hey, it’s a hack… 😉
For debugging purposes (and also for playing around with memory chips on a bread board) I’ve created little breakout boards for the cartridge slot on the bottom of Sharp PC-1500s/1600s.
I’ve added a layer of foam (not visible on the photo) on the bottom side of the cartridge to prevent the pin ends from scratching on the case.
Typing on the PC while having cables connected to the cartridge is a bit annoying as I tend to pull off the cables when turning the PC around. I’m currently figuring out a better solution by using ribbon cables instead of the pins. I will update the post as soon I’ve managed to make photos of the modified version.
Just a little update for all readers interested in Sharp 1500/1600 PCs: for hacking around with the Sharp Pocket Computers I’m using a self-made breakout board that allows easy access to all 60 pins of the interface connector.
The 60-pin connector is a simple 1.27*2.54 60-pin male header (I’ve bought mine here).
Two LEDs indicate battery or power connection, and on/off state. (In most cases power lights up as soon as the board is attached to a Sharp PC.)