I first heard about the Retro Chip Tester Pro when a review for it showed up in my YouTube feed. Once I watched the video, other videos reviewing this device also showed up. After watching a few, I decided to order one myself from the link in the Resources section below. The way I understood things, I was getting the main PCB with the Atmel MCU pre-installed, because it’s an SMD part.
What arrived were three PCBs; the main PCB, DC/DC module PCB, and a 6502 NOP Generator (tester) PCB.
The Main PCB comes populated with only the ATMEGA2560, the crystal and the load capacitors. This makes it easy to install or update the firmware before populating the board, and it confirms the ATMEGA2560 is functioning properly.
The DC/DC module PCB. I believe the USB connector in the bag is for one of the other boards.
This is the 6502 NOP Generator PCB. This PCB really has nothing to do with the Retro Chip Tester Pro. It is a stand-alone board that can test basic functionality (executing instructions) of a 6502 CPU by generating NOP instructions. The way this works is the same as my Z80 CPU tester, which is wired such that, on power-up, the CPU goes to fetch the starting address, but the data bus is wired for the NOP instruction, which effectively does nothing, but then loads the next instruction, which is also a NOP, and so-on. The net effect is that you can watch the address bits increase sequentially. On this board, they’re represented by eight (8) LEDs. On my Z80 tester, the address bus is shown on sixteen (16) LEDs. I may post that in another article, if there’s an interest.
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