The ZikShield r1 (that fits on Zikzak rev3) has arrived! As mentioned before, this is just a quick board . a 'debug' board as a babystep forward, to verify some of the newer circuits blend in okay (the audio amp, FTDI usb/serial handler, etc), and that all the physical jack schematics/connectors are designed and measured properly. As you can see in the image, I've only just received the pcbs and barely populated one, but its working a treat so far.
As of today, I've populated the shield with: - USB (for power, and serial I/O) - VGA display - PS/2 keyboard connector - joystick0
These are all working great .. can tap away on the keyboard and see the text echoed to the display.
Note that all of this stuff works on the Zikzak base pcb, but that's just pinheaders. What we're adding now, is the 'breakout board' that offers real jacks, not just pinheaders. (The original goal for ZZr3 was to put it into a case, and jumper from the pinheaders to jacks; this allowed me to iterate on the Zikzak base pcb design, without blocking myself picking, order, waiting for and drafting up all the parts… just get on with the good parts!) .. but turns out using jumpers to parts and mounting the jacks on a 3d printed case proves too fragile, and you still have a pile of little jumper wires around to manage, which just gets annoying.
So Zikshield r1 aims at being a debug/testing level board, but also with the goal of making ZZr3 into a standalone machine; you plug in a power source (such as USB), a video cable if you like, a joystick or keyboard if you like, and you're good to go.
In addition to all the already proven stuff, it also adds some items I'd thought about but never got around to before, such as SD slot (actually micro-SD), and another USB (OTG) port. Also included is the audio amp with volume knob and so on.
But for today, only populated a few parts on the shield; as time permits, I'll fill up the rest and build some test code to validate it. Also working on designing a simple case to 3dprint, and working on a little demo game cartridge so theres something to show.
….. and then the big decision of whether to design a Zikzak base pcb rev4, that does it all in one big board?