Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

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SainT
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Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:53 am

There's a couple of dead Falcon mobo's on ebay atm. How easy are the custom chips to come by? Looks like a Videl and SCSI controller missing from one, which may have been a parts board for the other which has visible dodgy looking rework on the Videl.

If the less populated one doesn't go for silly money, that looks like it might be a bit of fun -- the other is already at more than I'd pay and given the existing rework I wouldn't be very confident in the work already done.

And sorry for the duplicate threads, I got a 500 internal server error on thread creation, but it appears the thread was created anyway. Ahem.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby dhedberg » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:59 am

The custom chips for the Falcon030 are fairly expensive and the only source is BEST in the US. I think the Videl alone is something like $50.
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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:25 pm

Ok, I see the custom chips at BEST -- may be worth a go.

Is there a pinout of the Videl somewhere? I can't seem to find one on the 'net.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby alexh » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:42 pm


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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:49 pm

Ooh, service guide, ta. Just browsing the schematics, which ofc have the pinout also.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:00 pm

Has anyone got the logic for the PAL's at U62/U63/U67/U68 and GAL at U44? At $20's a piece for simple programmable logic, that's taking the piss.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby mpattonm » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:01 pm

Yes, I have it. Can email it to you.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:14 pm

PM sent, many thanks! :D

Looking like it may not be too costly to gather all the chips. The SCSI controller looks easy to come by, so it's just the VIDEL which is the issue. However I can test the board without a VIDEL to a fair extent, so initial testing is at least inexpensive with those PAL/GAL's.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby alexh » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:24 pm


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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:34 pm

alexh wrote:http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=33974&p=348685#p348216


You're a mind reader, Alex, I was just thinking dead test cart... ofc I was thinking design one... but if there's already one in existence... job done. :)

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby alexh » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:43 pm


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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:32 pm

I bought both of them, couldn't resist, been ages since any Falcon motherboards came up. And I was slightly annoyed I didn't pick up some Sparrow mobo's a while back, so making up for it. Although to be fair there is far more chance of fixing these than prototype boards... :)

More posts as I get round to playing with them and tracking down what's up.

Oh, and if anyone has any Falcon cases.... give me a shout. :)

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby mikro » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:22 pm

SainT wrote:Although to be fair there is far more chance of fixing these than prototype boards... :)

You could be very easily wrong... ;)

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:31 pm

Ah, man, make me feel worse why don't you... :lol:

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby dhedberg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:23 pm

Best in the US used to have Falcon cases. Dunno if they still have some left but give Brad a call and see what he has to offer.
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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:58 am

dhedberg wrote:Best in the US used to have Falcon cases. Dunno if they still have some left but give Brad a call and see what he has to offer.


Cheers, I'll enquire what they have un. Reassuringly expensive, I'm sure... 8O

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby alexh » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:05 am

If you need something shipped from the states, just ask, we do have an office over there with some ex-pats.

If you need an NVRAM chip I got several free from Maxim a few years ago. They are in my loft. I'm sure I could spare one.

I have an original Falcon030 110v PSU, it's yours if you want it, perhaps you can swap it for a 220v one? Exxos used to make replacements but he's sold out.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:47 am

Cheers Alex, I'll give you a shout as I start hacking about. I've dug out an old ATX PSU I converted into a "bench" supply, so I'll start with that. I'd prefer a current limited supply really for things of unknown state, but my proper bench supply is just a single channel one.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:20 am

Is there any issue using a standard ST PSU in the Falcon? Assuming I'm not using a mechanical HDD, the requirements don't look any different to a stock ST. I assume the PSU was beefed up on the 5V rail for the current draw on internal HDD's. So using a CF internal HDD (and likely FDD), all should be ok I believe?

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby alexh » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:02 pm

The fact that Exxos and Centurion tech both have a different product for ST to Falcon I'd say they are very similar but not identical, probably just the connector?

http://centuriontech.eu/product/stpsu-f030/

Is STPSU compatible with Falcon 030?
As a matter of fact, yes, it is, unless your Falcon is enhanced with 3rd party 060 accelerators, such as CT60/63.Unfortunately, even the Atari version of Falcon 030 has different power supply connector than ST line and needs to be ordered separately. Please contact us at..

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:11 pm

Oh, interesting, not seen centuriontech before. Yeah, I'm going off Exxos's detailed PSU examinations of ST and Falcon PSU's. The load of a Falcon on the PSU is about that of the STFM, but the Falcon is intended to support internal HDD, so as far as I can tell that's the reason behind it being beefier. And, yes, if you want a drop-in replacement that's supposed to do the job of the original (and power your CT60, HDD and CD), then you don't want to use an ST PSU... ;)

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:01 pm

The more complete Falcon board looks like its running, but the video output is nads. Initially I spotted the clock buffer chip on top of one of the PAL's has been knocked off, so was not getting power. I was getting an 8Mhz system clock at this point going into the other PAL's. Resoldered the clock buffer, and now I'm getting 16Mhz system clock. Which seems good.

Running in general I get more or less nothing. Sometimes some red, but looking like there's no sync at all. I've checked the reset line, and its pulsing, so I'm not sure if the Falcon is continually rebooting.

Tried the Falcon dead-test image I found Simbo had posted on here somewhere. That seems to run for a few cycles then halt. No access on UDS or LDS. I then tried the ST dead-test image on my Mega. That worked ok, tried it on the Falcon, and that also runs (UDS and LDS strobing) and gives a more consistent red screen.

I need to get a serial to USB cable and see what the Mega outputs, and then what the Falcon outputs over serial. But in general, it's not looking too bad so far. There is some life. :D

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:35 pm

Tried a different Falcon diag cart image thanks to crashman. Seems to work a little better, possibly just down to how its high / low split, as the other image I had was already split.

Either way, with the diag cart plugged in, I get H&V sync generated by the Videl, without the cart I get nothing. So it's definitely doing something to setup the Videl. I get nothing out of the serial though.

I'm not sure of the Vreq / Vld handshaking, but both seem to strobe to a degree. Vreq doesn't strobe at all without the diag cart, which makes sense if the video hasnt been setup, but does with the diag cart.

Getting nothing useful on the display or at the input to the video DAC though.

Reflowed and cleaned up the VIDEL as it didn't look to be completely dead and the reflow job was crap. Now I'm getting a picture. Lol.

No hysync... lifted a trace. Fixed.

Still not syncing, but H&V sync are present. I may have my video cable wired up wrong... ;)

Serial debug working. W00t.

Time for a break, then see why my picture is weird.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby dhedberg » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:19 pm

Great progress! Exciting times! :-)
Daniel, New Beat - http://newbeat.atari.org. Like demos? Have a look at our new Falcon030 demo MORE.

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Re: Dead Falcon mobo and Replacement Chips

Postby SainT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:22 pm

H&V sync were reversed, switched those and we're good! Attached an ST keyboard and it now boots to the desktop. That I was not expecting! I could do with finding a case now... it's all a bit precarious attaching keyboards and stuff without a case.

Then onto motherboard number 2. That one is missing a few chips, so could be a bit more fun. :)

HXC2k1 floppy emulator hooked up. Frontier Elite 2 running. Neat.
Last edited by SainT on Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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