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Very hacky EEPROM programmer

This project uses an ESP8266 dev board (NodeMCU 1.0) along with three 74LS174 hex D-flip flops to program the 64 Kbit EEPROMs I'm using in my m68k breadboard computer.

The choice of components may seem a bit odd - the design was driven entirely by what I had available on the bench at the time, and my being too impatient to wait for a ten-quid programmer to arrive in the post. So I just hacked this together quickly to tide me over.

Schematic (such as it is) coming soon.

The board

Board image

The board is driven by a NodeMCU, which has 9 GPIOs (plus a few more if you use the SPI pins etc, but I've had limited success with these on some of my boards). Its real purpose is as a WiFi-enabled IOT controller, but I like it for quick hack projects like this too. It's Arduino compatible so I can program it in C, and (more crucially for this project) the GPIO pins are 5v tolerant. It even provides a handy 5V on its Vin pin when powered via USB.

Because of limited GPIOs I'm using a shift register to handle 18 of the 21 input pins on the EEPROM (An Atmel AT28C64B). This only handles 18 bits, because I only had three 74LS174s lying around, each of which has 6 flip-flops. I obviously didn't have any 74LS595s, or I'd have used them instead.

I decided to dedicate the low 8 bits to the 8 data lines, and the high 10 bits to the lowest 10 address lines (A0 - A9). The remaining three address lines are handled directly by GPIO pins. I would probably have done this differently if I'd had chip-enable on the shift register, and handled at least the highest data pin (IO7) with a dedicated GPIO, along with the output enable (OE) pin on the EEPROM - This would have allowed me to do the polling on the data line that the datasheet suggests in order to detect the end of a write cycle. As it is, the code just waits a (fairly long) while between writes - the value seems to work for the chips I have. YMMV.

The code clocks the data out LSB first - so, the last flip-flop in the shift register is wired to the lowest data line, while the first flip-flop is wired to the tenth address line (A9).

Two of the Node's pins handle clocking data out to this register (D0 is data, D1 is clock). The D0 is wired to the input of the first flip-flop (with a weak pull-down which is probably unnecessary now but was useful during manual testing).

The Write Enable pin on the EEPROM is handled by D2. There's a weak (10K) pull-up on this line as it's active-low and I wanted to prevent accidental writes.

D3, D4 and D5 handle the EEPROM's A10, A11 and A12 pins, the three address bits that don't fit in the shift register.


At the moment this just writes the same data to every byte. I then pull the EEPROM and put it into another board to verify it's been written correctly; there I hook up the EEPROM to a bunch of LEDs (on the data pins) and use jumpers to drive the address pins.

The next step is to allow it receive (via USB serial probably) a bunch of actual data to write.

It could also get the data over WiFi, but that would just be silly.


An EEPROM programmer made with what I had lying around at the time




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