Originally: 11/09/2019
Updated: 12/07/2019

HyperFlash32 is my new fully contained single slot reprogrammable cart. It’s a combination of my VB programmer and my reprogrammable 16Mbit and 128/256Mbit carts. This project was motivated by the fact that FlashBoy+ units are no longer being made, and also by the release of the full Hyper Fighting ROM on PlanetVB. I’m taking preorders below to finish layout and order the PCB assemblies. I will not be building these units by hand, as I’ve done sometimes in the past.  Planning to ship in March 2020.

HyperFlash32 is a single slot reprogrammable cart. It will contain a 32Mbit Flash (enough for the full HF ROM), 32k x 8 nvSRAM (no save battery required), and a new faster 32bit ARM microcontroller (MCU) running at 32MHz, on board SD card slot, and USB port for control using your PC. ROM files are placed on the SD card and programmed to the flash memory using the MCU, with automatic padding. A simple PC based interface will be used to control the programming steps much like my VB programmer. The on board  MCU and SD card slot arrangement was chosen to make programming as fast as possible and provide a single integrated programmer and cart solution. The ARM MCU will also have a bootloader to allow future firmware upgrades as functionality is added.

I originally posted that I wasn’t going to include an ePaper display but I couldn’t let it go. This unit WILL include an ePaper display that allows users to switch out the label of the HyperFlash32 cart to match what is programmed. The ePaper displays are rated for 5 years or 1,000,000 refreshes, so that should last a very very long time in this application. I’m also adding capacitive touch buttons on the back cover to allow programming of the cart without a computer.

The key to getting this all working was creating more room inside the cart for electronics. I did this by making the cart covers part of the PCB. The top and bottom covers are made out of FR4 material and embed the display and additional electronics on the back. The frame around the cart is made for 3D printed carbon fiber and is incredibly strong. The ePaper display is actually embedded into the top cover. It’s a design I’m extremely excited and proud of. Using FR4 as part of the covers allows a very compact design that creates more room for electronics, allows an ePaper label, creates a very strong fiber glass re-enforced case, and allows a fully custom cart design. On top of that you can apply some graphics to the FR4 covers like shown below. I’ve put some throw back graphics on there to the original VB cart designs.

Here’s a picture of one of the test ePaper displays inside a test print of the 3D printed carbon fiber frame. Its shown next to a standard VB cart. As you can see, HyperFlash32 will be slightly longer than the regular carts.

On top of this unique FR4 case design, I’m still pursuing injection molded cases but I decided to spin it out as its own project. I designed a new 32Mbit PCB and will use my new injection molded cases as covers. I’ll post more on that project on its own page once I get the first samples in. First case samples are coming in red and black ABS.

Back to HyperFlash32…schematics are done and I’m ready to start layout. I’ve ordered mechanical samples of the boards to check the assembly and mechanical construction. The cost of a HyperFlash32 cart is $135 plus a donor cart. If you cannot supply a donor cart then an extra $15 will be needed for me to buy one.  The availability of the VB cart connector, and thus donor carts, are the limiting factor in the design. The cost of donor carts is also unfortunately climbing. I’m initially offering 100 preorders. 50 with user supplied donor carts and 50 where I’ll supply the donor cart parts. I have 50 donor carts on hand now.

Cart + Your Donor @ $135 USD

Cart plus Donor Cart Fee @ $150 USD

If you’re choosing the cheaper option then you’ll need to mail me a donor cart.  These can be found on eBay and even Amazon.com.   I’ll arrange the shipping address after your purchase.  I’m in San Jose, California.

As always, feel free to email me via by contact page if you have any questions, or my direct email, as many of you already have it.