Final Cartridge

From ReplayResources
Jump to: navigation, search
Final Cartridge Screenshots
Final Cartridge Screenshots
Technical Info
ROM FC1/FC2: 16 kbyte

FC+: 24 kbyte

FC3: 64 kbyte
RAM None
Hardware features FC1/FC2/FC+: 1 Button Reset

1 Switch On/Off
FC3: 1 Button Freeze

1 Button Reset
Manual PDF: FC3 61 pages english

PDF: FC3 57 pages english preliminary
PDF: FC3 57 pages english + 07 supplementary
PDF: FC3 57 pages german reworked
PDF: FC3 10 pages german supplementary
PDF: FC3 56 pages swedish
PDF: FC3 44 pages italian
Final Cartridge III Manual Project64.txt

PDF: FC3+ 03 pages english (tool menu change docs)
CRT ID FC1/FC2: 13

FC+: 29

FC3: 35
Programming See Tech Section

The Final Cartridge by its name and its successor, the very popular Final Cartridge III, are likely the second most spread cartridges or merely cartridge family after the Replay series. Final Cartridge was developed in Holland by H & P Comp (Home & Personal Computer) with the first versions hitting the market in the middle of 1985. They continued development and small updates were spread with new production runs as it appears. There were five different ROM versions of the Final Cartridge III until now for example.

Classic. Final Cartridge III
Versioning your cartridge is not that easy in this case. Checking the so far available screenshots to the right you will see that FC1 and FC2 use the same menu with just the scroller revealing a II. The FC+ went unemulated for a long time and is a pre-FC3 as a ROM dump by Markus Brenner approves. It is carrying the string "(C) SJATON80 FC3" on an otherwise empty and inaccessible eprom bank. FC1 through FC+ share much of the same hardware but the FC+ has a slightly different wiring leading to different behaviour. The overall payload of FC+ is 24kb put on a 32kb eprom while FC2 and below came with 16kb.

A larger update on the ROM size and hardware was done with the release of the Final Cartridge III (FC3) coming with 64kb of eprom content. Banking was simply not avoidable anymore. The FC+ was sold for just a short time and it appears that quite some code also made it into the FC3 in very little time but investigations are still pending on this issue. It would have made sense to rewrite parts of the cartridge at this point just taking over portions of the previous ROMs.

Some confusion could be added here but unless we found the correct ROM backing us up we will stick that into the Trivia section here.

  • FC1 has the usual fast loader, freezer, monitor, fkey support and dos wedge stuff while on FC2 ROMs it looks like just a few drive handling and timing things got changed. About 300 hexbytes and no apparent change on functionality so it could as well be just FC1. Additionally the person dumping the ROM added the string "noddy 260788" which hints a date when the FC3 was already available. We therefore strongly demand owners of pre-FC3 cartridges to run TFC FC1 FC2 FCplus ROM Dumper and pass the output file to us.
  • FC+ has the string "(C) SJATON80 FC3" on the _unused_ eprom bank - most of the rest pretty much looks like an enhanced FC2. One of the two versions we found also has "EPROMMER II" on some unused area - A hint to the used eprom programmer software. The changes on some commands and a large part of the code makes us believe that the code this FC+ is based on is coming from The Final Cartridge Internal. Richard nicely provided us with the eprom dumps of these and you may find them on the archive for further investigations.

The two versions of FC+ found so far contain a few changed routines but again no major function was added. FLOAD and TLOAD were introduced after FC2. Again: if you own this cartridge please run TFC FC1 FC2 FCplus ROM Dumper and pass the output file to us.

  • VCF280 was the name two italian companies used to sell a clone of the FC3. As can be seen on the binaries section the Desktop version numbers match to a three years older version (1990 vs. 1987) and this rises the question why said companies didn't use more recent ROM versions. Especially if they had licensed for a proper production run the latest ROM would have been available.
  • THE ICE MACHINE is a clone of the FC1 or FC2 and luckily BugJam provided us with a dump. Check out the ROM for yourself from the archive below.

FC3+ v4.1 comes with instructions for changing the added tools. Check out PDF: Final Cartridge III+ english Manual. It might have been easier to supply the release as .bin and .crt with .src files including binary chunks and sources for easier changes.

TODO HERE: + Add several images + add more files



The 1541 Ultimate and quite a few other modern cartridges are emulating the Final Cartridge 3.

Many thanks to:

  • Tad 'Monkeyman' Kijkowski for the Final Cartridge III resources and pointing us at it. Please note that there is a Solitaire game for FC3 at his site and this is the only known third party "extension" for FC we know of.
  • Swinkels for the polish Micro-Luc ROM dump and the nice pictures here, here and here!
  • jerrykurtz for providing the vcf280 clone dumps
  • Mactron for another FC3 1987-09 version
  • Pete Rittwaage for the oldest FC3 1987-09 version so far
  • e5frog for FC3+ schematics

BEFORE

you skip to the downloads below consider having a closer look at the Final Cartridge category as it has quite a few more paper magazine reviews, adverts and photos you may miss otherwise.


Tech

Final Cartridge 1 - The Final Cartridge
Final Cartridge Advert

final.c at the VICE project page explains:

The Final Cartridge 1 + 2

    - any access to IO1 turns cartridge ROM off
    - any access to IO2 turns cartridge ROM on

finalplus.c explains the FC+ handling. A cartridge which caused some headache during implementation.

Final Cartridge Plus

    - reset button, cart enable switch
    - 32K ROM, of which 24K are used

        EPROM $2000-$4000 is visible at $e000-$ffff, if enabled
        EPROM $4000-$5fff is visible at $8000-$9fff, if enabled
        EPROM $6000-$7fff is visible at $a000-$bfff, if enabled

An NMI can is triggered by the cart, if address $0001 is written to and the cartridge is enabled.

The cart can also be disabled by software by setting bit 4 to "zero" when writing to $df00-$dfff.
cart ROM at $e000-$ffff can be disabled by setting bit 5 to "zero" when writing to $df00-$dfff.
cart ROM at $8000-$bfff can be disabled by setting bit 6 to "one" when writing to $df00-$dfff.
Bit 7 of a byte written to $df00-$dfff can be read back from the cartridge if enabled (kind of a memory cell).
Final Cartridge 2
Polish FC2
Sold by Micro-Luc in Poland

final3.c at the VICE project page explains the FC3 and FC3+ register:

The Final Cartridge 3

        Bank 0:  BASIC, Monitor, Disk-Turbo
        Bank 1:  Notepad, BASIC (Menu Bar)
        Bank 2:  Desktop, Freezer/Print
        Bank 3:  Freezer, Compression

    - 4 16K ROM Banks at $8000/$a000 (=64K)

    - the cartridges uses the entire io1 and io2 range

    - one register at $DFFF:

        7      Hide this register (1 = hidden)
        6      NMI line   (0 = low = active) *1)
        5      GAME line  (0 = low = active) *2)
        4      EXROM line (0 = low = active)
        2-3    unassigned (usually set to 0) used as addressing bits for FC3+ mod!
        0-1    number of bank to show at $8000

    1) if either the freezer button is pressed, or bit 6 is 0, then
       an NMI is generated

    2) if the freezer button is pressed, GAME is also forced low

    - the rest of io1/io2 contain a mirror of the last 2 pages of the
      currently selected rom bank (also at $dfff, contrary to what some
      other documents say)
Final Cartridge - Advert Show
Final Cartridge 1 Advert
Commodore Horizons Issue 22, October 1985

While some of the above information is derived from the excellent AAY64 - FC3 I/O space and kernal vectors and FC3 I/O register - the VICE documentation is likely more correct.

The Final Cartridge III Internals written by M.Steil may also be known to some people - whoever is reading up on it should consider reading the Final Cartridge III Internals Errata as well.

Final Cartridge Plus Advert
64'er July 1987

Missing

  • English PDF Manual Scans of FC1, FC2, FC+
  • Manual Scans for THE ICE MACHINE
  • more ROM dumps not on the collection
Final Cartridge III Advert
RUN Issue 47, November 1987

Binaries

NOTE: Archive versions prior to 2011-03 include broken dumps on -12 and -13 FC3 versions. Thanks to Centaur at F64 for an original dump which exposed the problem. Many FC3 dumps seem to carry the same bit-error which is breaking the RENUM basic command.

Final_Cartridge_binaries_rr.c64.org_2016-04.rar WILL contain (coming soon) just the C64 binaries:

  • Final Cartridge Internal 27128 Eprom.bin - please check the supplied txt
  • Final Cartridge Internal 2764 Eprom.bin - please check the supplied txt
  • THE ICE MACHINE 1986.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 1 1986 KillerCart Texthack.bin and .crt - nothing changed apart from the scrolling text vs Final Cartridge 1 v2 1986
  • Final Cartridge 1 1986.bin and .crt (v1 - v4)
  • Final Cartridge 2 1986 polish.bin and .crt - please check the supplied txt
  • Final Cartridge 2 1987.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge Plus v1 1987.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge Plus v2 1987.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3 1987-09.bin and .crt (v1 - v4)
  • Final Cartridge 3 1987-11.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3 1988-05.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3 1988-12.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3 1988-13.bin and .crt - This is a custom 1988-12 hack for a better emulator experience. The 1-byte hack reverses behaviour of the reset routine so FC3 always starts in toolkit basic with fastload enabled. To enter the FC3 GUI you need to hold down Run/Stop during Reset.
  • VCF280 Clone from Italy. The Desktop version numbers are as low as on a "1987-09 v1" ROM supplied by Pete Rittwaage. It was sold by Cablrtronic Italy and produced by Digitalia so might as well be a legal clone.
  • Final Cartridge 3+ 1991-12 +RCM2.1 from http://s-o.webnode.cz/vykopavky/c64/. That czech site is hard to understand. See the added txt file. Requires VICE revision 29842 or higher.
  • Final Cartridge 3+ v1 2015-01.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3+ v2 fixed 2015-01.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3+ v3 2015-01.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3+ v4.0 2015-01.bin and .crt
  • Final Cartridge 3+ v4.1 2015-01.bin and .crt from Final Cartridge III+ v4.1 @ CSDb. Requires VICE revision 29842 or higher and adds a couple of tools to the GUI menu.
  • FC3 Development Disk.d64 - includes assembler sources for programming own programs utilising the FC3 GUI (Check supplied .seq file for details) found at cascade64.de
  • FC1DUMP CARTRIDGE DUMPER V1.1 by Markus Brenner to be used for The Final Cartridge, Final Cartridge II and Final Cartridge Plus (incl. sources)
  • FC3DUMP CARTRIDGE DUMPER V1.1 by Markus Brenner to be used for Final Cartridge III (incl. sources)
  • Kill FC3 by fieserWolf/Metalvotze
  • The Final Cartridge III Packer! by Shaver/Slash Design does not require a FC3 but is the cartridge packer as a stand-alone program
  • Final Cartridge III Backup Update by J.Man for Sky Networks (1996) found at cascade64.de
  • FC Capture v1.5 (for FC3) by Solairis of Sky Networks (1997) found at cascade64.de
  • FC G.A.S. - Grab A Sprite - A quick glance at the program did not reveal any Final Cartridge specific code though. As well found at cascade64.de


Final_Cartridge_all_rr.c64.org_2016-04.rar WILL contain (coming soon):

Trivia

  • 64'er June 1986 has a comparison on the Power Cartridge from KCS and The Final Cartridge. The cartridge from H&P reviewed here has a few things different than one would expect from a normal FC1 - especially at that time. (tbd)
  • Clones were made of many cartridges but unfortunately photos of them are rare. Final Cartridge inspired some people however

Final Cartridge Clone.jpgFinal Cartridge 3 clone top.jpgFinal Cartridge 3 clone2 top2.jpg

  • FC3 manual: FREEZER, Tools, Schnell-Lader, Drucker-Interface by "Uwe Stahl" (update this)


Weblinks