How to build an EasyFlash

first edit 2009-09-15, last edit 2009-12-07

Website copy from Skoe's original EasyFlash assembly guide. Please click here to visit Skoe's EasyFlash website.

Please have a look here. If you have questions about the EasyFlash, ask here.

This is the easiest way to build up your EasyFlash. Please stick to this guide to avoid problems.

Click a picture to see a bigger version.
If you are unsure about something, better ask or have a second look on a picture.

The schematic is not needed to build the EasyFlash hardware. Nevertheless, if you are interested, have a look here: EasyFlash schematic (PDF-File, 62 kB).

Unpacking parts

Unpack all parts carefully. Sorting them makes the building process much easier:

Directly after unpacking
Directly after unpacking

All parts
All parts

For a complete EasyFlash, you will need:

Sockets

ICs

Passive parts

and of course...

Preparing the parts

Bending the resistors

Bend all resistors. The legs should have 10 mm space.

Do not mix them up - there are two 10k and one 1k5 resistor!

Cutting parts of their 
paper holder

Cut all parts from their paper-holders. Try to cut as near to the paper as possible to have long legs on all parts.

Do NOT try to pull the parts out of the paper. The adhesive used is VERY sticky. This WILL destroy the parts. The cut-off legs are more than long enough.

The wire link

Wire
 link soldered in

Between the two PLCC sockets, you will be able to see a thick line on the silkscreen. Please solder the wire link here.

Resistors

R2 1k5

Solder the single 1k5 resistor in at position R2.

R1, R3 = 10k

Solder the two 10k resistors in at position R1 and R3.

Capacitors

Resistors and capacitors placed

Solder the 8 capacitors in at position C1 to C8.

As there is only one value, there is no need to place any of them at a specific position.

If you bought the parts by yourself, and got those big, round, brown, flat capacitors, please solder C3 to the BACK SIDE of the board and gently bend it flat, so that the housing will fit.

Resistor networks

Resistor networks

Solder the resistor networks in at positions RN1 and RN2.

Though there is a "1" on the board and a dot on the parts, in this case it is unimportant in wich way the networks are soldered in.

Hint: Solder a single pin first, correct the position of the part, then solder the rest of the pins.

DIL sockets

DIL-Sockets placed

Please solder the DIL-sockets first. The square PLCC Sockets will be placed next.

While placing these sockets, have a look at the silkscreen: there is a mark wich tells you the right way to place the socket. The notch in the sockets has to point in the direction of the mark.

All notches are pointing to the gold connector part of the board, if you made this step correctly.

If you put in a socket in the wrong direction, don't panic - it is "only" essential that the notch in the IC DOES point into the right direction (to the connector). Remember this when placing the ICs.

All sockets can be placed in one step:

  • Put all sockets in their position (and check their orientation)
  • Put a piece of cardboard on the sockets
  • Turn the circuit board with the cardboard, so that the sockets won't fall out
  • Solder all sockets

PLCC sockets

PLCC-Sockets placed

These sockets HAVE TO be placed in the right orientation!

Although the sockets can be soldered in in a wrong orientation, the EasyFlash will definitely not function and might damage your C64.

The sockets have three round and one flattened corner. The flattened corner has to point to the upper left, like shown in the photo and on the silkscreen.

Again, solder a single pin first, then correct the position before soldering the other pins.

Boot switch

Press the switch on the board with one finger while soldering. It should sit directly on the board.

If you plan to use the EasyFlash without a housing, it is recommended to fixate the switch with hot glue. Be careful though, so that you do only fixate the housing of the switch to the board and not the switch itself.

Reset key

Fill the holes completely. This will ensure good electrical contact and hold the key in place.

LED

The longer leg of the LED has to point to the name "LED1" on the silkscreen. Placing the LED in the wrong way, will not harm your computer, but it will not let it light up either.

Do not place the LED directly on the board, have 11 mm place between the board and the LED corpus. This will let the LED stick out of the housing instead of forcing you to look into a hole at the housing.

Short circuit test

Use a multimeter or an ohmmeter to measure between VCC and GND (e.g. top left and lower right corner of the biggest DIL socket).

If the boot-switch is at the position near the reset-key, you should measure a very high impedance (some megaohms, eventually "OL" or "1.." on some multimeters).

Now put the boot-switch in the position near the LED. You should measure between 9500 and 10500 ohms now.

If the values you measured are different from the values mentioned here, you have made a mistake. Re-check all parts and look for short-circuits on solder side. Ask in the forum if you need help.

Please, keep the probes of the multimeter for a few seconds on the measuring points, until the value on your multimeter does not change anymore.

DO NOT PLUG THE EASYFLASH INTO YOUR COMPUTER IF THE MEASURED VALUES ARE NOT CORRECT.

Preparing the ICs

Preparing the ICs

Usually, ICs wich have just been bought do not fit into their sockets because their pins are not adjusted correctly.

Take the ICs one after another between two fingers of each hand, and GENTLY bend the legs to a 90-degree angle by pushing them on a hard surface (e.g. tabletop), as seen on the photo.

Placing the ICs

EasyFlash ready to go

Start with the PLCC ICs. Watch out that the flattened corner of the chip and the flattened corner of the socket match.

First, place them on the socket, then gently press them down. Usually, the chip surface is lower then the socket, if done correctly. BE CAREFUL with this.

Next, place the DIL ICs on their sockets. Check if EVERY pin of the ICs is in the middle of its hole in the socket, correct if neccessary. Then, again, press them down gently.

RE-check that all ICs are placed the right way - the notch points to the connector part of the board.

The big RAM IC is easy to place, for all others the following table will tell you the positions of each IC:

IC #IC type
U174HCT00
U274HCT02
U574HCT175
U674HCT174
U774HCT74

Setting the boot-switch

To let the C64 start with empty or badly programmed flash chips, move the boot switch to the position near the reset key (NOT the position seen in the pictures).

Download EasyProg

Have a look at Skoes EasyFlash-Homepage [>] to get EasyProg, the tool you will need to program the flash memory.

Now copy it onto a SD2IEC or similar, with some CRT images, so that you can test your new hardware.

Preparing cartridge contents

Remember copying the CRT images to the UIEC/SD2IEC/floppy/...!

Skoes Homepage does not give you CRT images, but it might be interesting to have a look into the Recommended Picks [>].

Learning the usage

The C64 expansion port is, as you might know, directly connected to the SID, the CPU, the VIC-II and the PLA, which is everything that is important and expensive in a C64. If you have ANY doubt that there is a mistake in the board or think that something went wrong while building it, DO NOT PLUG IT IN. AN ERROUNEUS BOARD WILL DESTROY ESSENTIAL PARTS OF YOUR COMPUTER.

While using the EasyFlash,

If possible, get a housing for that cartridge. It is way cheaper then having to repair the C64.

Have a critical look at your work before plugging it in. Be sure that everything is ok. Done? Ok, then you are ready for...

Plug your EasyFlash in

Please have a look at Skoes EasyFlash-Homepage [>] to learn how to use the EasyFlash.

After flashing, move the boot-switch and press the reset key.

Enjoy

That's it. We wish you a lot of fun with this cartridge!

Translated by damaltor