2MB Alpine BoardThis is the Alpine development board that plugs into a production style Jaguar console.

Pictured is the one I traded some stuff for with Curt Vendel of the Atari Museum.

This particular board is a 2 megabyte devlopment board. It contains 16 - 128k x 8 static RAM (Toshiba TC551001AFL-10), 3.3V lithium battery, programmable array logic chips (each 2), parallel/serial interface connectors and circuitry, RESET/STOP/Write Protect switches, and various configuration jumpers.

This board is a must have if you ever plan on doing serious Jaguar programming. The various other types of development setups (BJL, Jag Server, JUGS) are good for playing shareware developments or doing small scale graphic demonstrations. But if you have the desire to write the next Doom or Alien vs Predator, you need a Alpine (particularly a 4 megabyte Alpine).

The Alpine board provides the interface to connect to a host development platform (usually a PC) and the RAM to simulate a cartridge. The programmer writes his/her code on a PC, compiles the code, and then downloads it into the Alpine's memory.

But the Alpine can't function with out a program called the Stubulator. This is a program that is contained in a ROM chip that is inside the Jaguar. The Stubulator replaces the standard Jaguar boot ROM that comes inside all commercial Jaguar's. The Stubulator is what is actually doing the communication between the PC development software and the Jaguar. It responds to commands given to the Stubulator from the programmer to do functions like load memory, dump memory, modify memory, program tracing, breakpoint management, etc.

2MB (top) and 4MB (bottom) Alpine'sHere is the difference between a 2 megabyte Alpine and a 4 megabyte Alpine.

The 4 megabyte Alpine uses fewer chips. These chips are Hitachi HM628512 chips (512k x 8). They are higher capcity (4 megabits) so fewer are needed.

Update 19 Jan 01:

I've was successful in upgrading my Alpine board to a 4MB board using Samsung made SRAM chips, part # K6T4008C1B-GL70 that I was able to get my hands on. Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat document written to describe how I did the upgrade. Also, click here to download the memory test program I adapted to test the Alpine board memory.

Update 14 Mar 01:

Thanks to Carl Forhan for loaning me a Alpine board that contain the remote reset / halt modification that Atari made for the developers. This modification allows you to take advantage of the RESET and HALT commands available in the PC and Linux version of WDB and RDBJAG. Click here to download an Adobe PDF file describing how to perform this modification.