One of the tools I always wanted to own but in the past never could afford was an ICE (In Circuit Emulator), until…..

What is actually an In Circuit Emulator.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of in-circuit emulation:

In-circuit emulation (ICE) is the use of a hardware device or in-circuit emulator used to debug the software of an embedded system. It operates by using a processor with the additional ability to support debugging operations, as well as to carry out the main function of the system.

Being regularly on the StartDot.Org forum I found David Banks making an ICE using a German FPGA board (Godil) :

As the “Original” Godil David used in his design is not available anymore Trenz-electronic does sell a board that is usable as well :

In order to be able to use the alternative board I developed a small adapter board. See pictures below how I built it.

The Kicad 3D model
IC Sockets used
Assembled adapter board bottom
Assembled adapter board bottom II
Assembled adapter board top, jumpered to act as a 6502 processor

Finally I covered the top with a small piece of Plexiglas to avoid things falling on/in the ICE. The serial port is connected to the PC via a cheap Chinese RS232 TTL – USB adapter. For terminal emulation on Windows 10 I use Putty.

As a reference for myself I creates a small manual containing all the commands.

Several people have contacted me via mail whether I sell these adapter boards. For now I don’t have any plans but I’m happy to share the Gerber’s and the Kicad file.

The ICE-T in action

ICE-T 65 running (in) an Acorn Atom
ICE-T 65 running (in) an Acorn Atom
ICE-T 65 Runnin in Ian Day’s MPS-65

This week I also finished the Z80 version

ICE-T , Z80 version aka ICE-T80
ICE-T , Z80 version aka ICE-T80
ICE-T , Z80 version aka ICE-T80

Got Xilinx ISE Webpack 14.7 working on Windows 10, including the drivers for the programmer so can compile my own version now.

Compiling the ICE-T80