Note: The Chinese Pico Clone is not a drop in for a real Pi Pico, having a different pin-out, as well as more I/O and more Flash RAM. The clone was required for this A8 version.
So I started thinking (always a dangerous thing), and decided to make something akin to an All-In-One daughter board module for the 576NUC+ project which would incorporate this new Pico Cart idea, along with several other very useful peripherals.
And here's a sneak peek as to what that may look like...
- R = R-Time 8
- P = Pico Cart
- S = SDrive
- X = XRAM (1024K extended RAM)
The Pico Cart does have ATR capability, but just like it's UNO Cart cousin this has some limitations, such as not being able to launch a CAR and an ATR at the same time. So it rules out doing something like launching Basic XE as a virtual banked cartridge and still being able to load and save Basic XE source files to and from the built-in file space. Hence the reason for also incorporating the SDrive.
BTW, the default 576NUC+ platform has absolutely no inherent banked cartridge support what-so-ever.
And while I was at it, I decided to give it the full 1MB of RAM, as well as a battery backed real time clock, making this a very well rounded upgrade for the 576NUC+.
Now on the surface it may look like I have this all figured out, but I presently don't have a clue as to what I/O pin goes to what on the Pico board until such time that the A8Pico Cart documentation gets released to the public, something that I have no idea of when that may happen.
Anyway stay tuned, and hopefully we'll see this project continue to come together.