Modified ST hassles

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby thgill » Mon May 10, 2010 6:18 pm

Whats your plans for something like the STe machines?

I wouldn't mind having a small, compact IDE board on the inside my STe with a CF card in it. Hopefully with the CF slot directly on it instead
of going from a ide cable to clunky CF adapter.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue May 11, 2010 6:15 am

The adapter shown in Shredder11s post sounds like what you want.

A little more desoldering than I'd like to do though.... A version that mounts on the top of the blitter socket would be ideal.
A home made double sided pcb to do this is quite tricky.

Otherwise I have no plan for the STE as I don't have one. Perhaps a small High density upgrade board that fits on the FDC might help some people.
But that is all I can think of.

Shredder11 would like to be able to use his 16Mhz CPU... this would be similar to the circuit I'm building for mine. Except it needs a 16Mhz clock source.
And the speedup may only be minor... I guess we'll know in a few days. Lack of cache chips- due to just being a clock change- is the reason.
We need to talk to the bus at 8Mhz to keep the other ICs happy. (MMU/GLU/DMA..etc)

For now, I have a trio of boards to drill & populate.
Image
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue May 11, 2010 1:47 pm

Hehehe..

I cheated.....sort of.

I told you my dremel (not a dremel.. but a dremel style tool) had broken... Well I didn't lie.. it did.
Turns out the brushes- specifically the negative brush was seriously corroded. So was the negative wire from the battery that I had to fix a while back.
The brush holder disintegrated as I took apart the motor. After I confirmed power was getting to it.

SO.

My brother gave me a more expensive dremel imitation about 2 years ago. (He is a power tool salesman and this one was dead after the first use -aparently)
He gave me the remains and suggested I could fix and keep it. I didn't bother fixing until tonight.....Well burnt tracks, blown diodes, and after fixing all that- it seems the regulator IC is also dead. But the motor is new and fine. Plus this one has a nice bearing on its shaft.:) unlike mine that was cheap/crappy, but has given fantastic service.
No spare IC in my box. yet.

Solution? My slightly modifed ATX power supply that I use to feed my ST, test HDDs... and general 'lab' power supply- has been put into service for another use.
When I built it into a 'lab' supply, I fitted banana jacks to allow use of all the avaiable voltages (+12,+5,+3,-12, and obviously ground) to a simple top mounted panel.
With an LED and a switch, a ceramic resister to 'load' the 5v rail slightly- plus one more little extra.....

A variable output circuit. Fed from 12v, I can get anything from 0 to about 10 volts. It will handle about 5amps- depending on voltage.

Perfect to feed a simple DC hand tool! (Amazing what beer can achieve) BONUS.. Its now heaps lighter now the battery pack isn't required!

Image
So after this creative interlude... time to get drilling!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue May 11, 2010 4:17 pm

Guess what... LASCAN works!

Image

It only has those upper trace links so I can use the old overscan harness. Some traces are swapped around.

I have to read the documentation now to optimize the overscan display.....
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Wed May 12, 2010 12:18 pm

Wow.... what the resolution you're getting?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Wed May 12, 2010 1:25 pm

Right now, On ST HIGH on my 19" LCD.

688 x 480 !

And of course- NO borders!

Image
Here's a better idea. Supermon always loads in 640x400 (in HI res) So you can plainly see the extra screen area.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Wed May 12, 2010 1:58 pm

Now for my next trick,

Image

72pin SIMM mounted to video shifter. Plus 16mhz overclock circuit on board. (Considering the spare room on the board, and the shifter being the 16mhz, 5v and gnd source...made sense)

It might look simple, but there is 175 holes drilled and soldered BTW! :P
Last edited by ralcool on Wed May 12, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Wed May 12, 2010 2:52 pm

This is getting exciting.... :thumbs:

So your LASCAN needs to connect up 8 wires?
Does it go directly onto the VGA of the LCD panel?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Wed May 12, 2010 4:00 pm

Ok,

The wiring for LASCAN goes to ST motherboard. (ps, No use for STE- can't hack into DE line)

It uses... Reset, Hsync, Vsync, Display enable(in and out), 5v, gnd, and pin 5 of keyboard ACIA chip~RTS. (So yes 8 wires) Nearly identical to original Overscan.

Cut trace on ST motherboard to MMU DE input. Replace with modified DE from LASCAN board. (DE basically tells the MMU how much video memory to allocate to screen- We tell it to allow MORE!)

The rest of the wiring goes to a few places on the board to pick up power, H and V sync.. plus pin 5 of keyboard ACIA to allow autoswitch (unused pin that has an address ST can see and toggle!)

Software does the remaining hack for GEM/TOS.

Plug LCD into ST monitor socket like normal. And yes RF Modulator works too.

The readme file for old manual switch overscan has a really good description of how it works- and discovered... Thank the Level16 demo from 'The Union Demo' for inspiring the original Overscan designer!
The production 'auto switch' version had better compatibility (but apparently only good for TOS up to 1.4), and a GAL chip. IIRC.

I used the original wiring- except I reassigned one wire- which went to the 2Mhz clock of the yamaha chip for Overscan... with 'reset' for LASCAN. simple really.

I actually built a manual overscan before I bought the real one. Many years ago.It worked perfect. Impressed, I bought the Autoswitch model..... But my GLU chip didn't like it???!!!
I did confirm (and fix) the fault a bit later- but only after I sold the AutoSwitch version. sigh.
Hence my interest in LASCAN.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby kym » Thu May 13, 2010 3:45 am

Some seriously good hardware additions here. always much better to see the actual working
gear , instead of a file that may or may not work. :coffe:

Houston we may have a problem here?
Talking about the Rom IDE interface . :megaphone:

Looking at the A2,A3,and A4 address lines they seem to be out by one position on the Rom sockets.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby kym » Thu May 13, 2010 6:24 am

Don't Panic..... :mrgreen:
Just another case of Atari Mis-numbering system.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu May 13, 2010 12:21 pm

Thanks!

I did re-check though.

Atari CPU pin 29 equals (28pin) rom pin 10 (A1)

thus pin30 (a2) equals ROM pin9, and pin31(a3) to ROM pin8.....

Everything checks out fine..... I even 'beeped' out the spare ST board to be sure!

Your right tho.. Ataris mis numbering system does make you second guess sometimes.....

Don't scare me!!!!

ROM IF build in progress. :) But actually lacking 20pin sockets...... bugger.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby kristjanga » Thu May 13, 2010 1:59 pm

what a great thread :cheers:

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Thu May 13, 2010 2:41 pm

One of the best if not the best! :cheers:

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Thu May 13, 2010 2:46 pm

Shredder11 wrote:One of the best if not the best! :cheers:

Yeah, look at the goodies that are coming up.... :thumbs:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Fri May 14, 2010 12:24 pm

Thanks for the kind words! I didn't think I was doing anything really exciting. Just building some stuff from plans off the 'net.

I wonder how many people have actually made anything from the stuff posted around the place. Other than the original designers.

I went to install the 72pin ram board today. But I'm not happy with it.

While deciding how to prepare the address line cable- I realised its a mess. Bad enough I have to solder it to the ST side- but having more soldered connections on the board looks messy.
The wires are at different spacings.. just looks lame.

So I've remodeled the board to have two 10pin IDC pin headers. Much neater. (I have some more pcbs arriving next week- I'll etch up another one)

What I will do tonight is see if the attached 16mhz overclock is any good. Only 4 wires instead of 17.

I just hope 16mhz doesn't crash my cpu.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Fri May 14, 2010 12:34 pm

ralcool wrote:I wonder how many people have actually made anything from the stuff posted around the place. Other than the original designers.

I would if I have the skills to do so.... :mrgreen:

good luck with your 16mhz accelerator. :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Fri May 14, 2010 3:48 pm

Ah well F#%k it! (Sorry moderators...)

The video shifter socket is screwed. The thick pins of the memory board juuuust fit nicely... but turns out somehow I misplaced the gnd trace to the overclock circuit. I swear I didn't do it. :)
I have several design revisions on the PC, and I managed to select and print the one with an error. Just one trace can ruin the whole show.

After removing the board and correcting the track- apon reinsertion the shifter socket was ' misaligned' and bent the pins. AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!! Badly.

Getting the ST back to working glory took some pain in convincing the damaged socket to recieve the shifter chip again. Had weird lines all over the screen until 100% reseated.

Now I have to desolder the video shifter socket and insert a new one.

Hey,, This blog is about good times and bad. (And I have already cut the 8mhz trace line on the motherboard to the CPU- temporary 'repair' carried out- just to know the ST is OK)

I triple checked the 16mhz circuit- it looks fine, but now the board won't fit the damaged socket. (I won't mention how I blew a track on the Lascan by just placing my hand in the wrong place and shorting the board)
Another repair job done. Maybe I should stick it down properly?, and insulate the bottom!

Another delay until the new socket arrives. I'll get back to finishing the ROM IF... more than 200 holes drilled on this pcb! Bl**dy hell!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby thgill » Fri May 14, 2010 4:24 pm

When you shifter was not seated correctly in the socket, what kind of lines did you see on the screen?

My STe has some issues (per my thread) with its video including what I think is ghosting or perhaps slight shadows on objects and a generally not RGB crystal clear picture.

Simbo mentioned to me he thinks that its either the rectifier in the PSU or possibly the shifter needs to be reseated.


I am curious what your display looked like with the shifter incorrectly seater because I am going to pick up a PLCC extraction tool tonight and try to remove, clean and reinsert the shifter.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Fri May 14, 2010 5:02 pm

I had black vertical lines. maybe 10mm apart. But not ghosting. (in mono mode)

I think maybe one data line wasn't connecting.

I thought I might have static zapped the shifter chip... but after trying a few times to reseat it, everything came good. And I took static pre-cautions......

I've got 4 damaged pins in the shifter socket. Crushed by the larger pins of the ram board. But making 40pins insert into the socket wasn't exactly easy.

Simply those 4 didn't line up correctly and bent the socket pins. So easy to do. Bugger it.

My fault. I didn't take a picture either. But its OK for now. Wire wrap pins are a little larger than normal. Next time I'll use a second socket to 'buffer' the larger pins.

Oh well. Didn't get to test the 16mhz clock board. It should otherwise have worked. Maybe next week. (After the new 40pin socket arrives)

But the ST is working fine again. :) woo hoo! (But I'm out of desoldering braid.... :( )

I can't explain your fault..(I've read the thread). maybe the capacitors in the video area are old... or maybe the output transisters are leaking...... don't know. Have you tried a different screen?
Your STF is OK, but maybe the STE signal levels are a little different...maybe higher. It takes very little to mess up video signals.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sat May 15, 2010 3:37 pm

ROM IDE IF as of tonight. All trace links fitted/jumpers/resisters/LED and headers.

Image

Just now waiting on some extra sockets for the GAL and spent supply of 14 pin types too. (If I was really brave I'd forgo the sockets... but they do give me extra room to clear the trace links)

I'm not really happy with the wire wrap long pin sockets.. Too thick and cause the drilling of the socket holes to often exceed the pad width.

There is a 'machined pin' socket type available with extra long pins (0.450" instead of 0.275") with normal pin width... but I'm having trouble locating them.
I have emailed some suppliers, but am not having any luck on the google yet for an instant result.

My old ram upgrade board has these long pin versions.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Sat May 15, 2010 9:53 pm

Mmm...I see what you mean about the long pins. Anyway I am sure you will find a workable result to get it done. I'm still amazed that Simbo has not read this topic and posted yet! It is right up his street :contract:

I've turned my attention away from my Falcons for a few days, while I figure out getting my new Hydra ethernet cartridge (NETUS-Bee variation) working. I've installed MagiC v5.03 on one of my STE machines, but so far I have only run two small programs; one to set the MAC address for the Hydra and the other to perform a few simple tests, although I am not sure what that did exactly. Anyway getting a proper MAC address is a good sign that I may get it up and running as part of my network, plus also on the internet. Later this year I will be doing my other planned mods to the STE(s), by adding the dual TOS EPROMs and mounting the switch for those. I may also carve up one STE to fit the Eiffel PS/2 interface that I still have boxed up from last June. Another user on here (spiny) did this last year and he detailed the whole process, along with lots of great photos here http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17278&p=151164&hilit=Eiffel+STE#p151164

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sun May 16, 2010 2:21 pm

I've hatched a cunning plan...

Just now preparing the etch solution for the final result.

A clever little slim cpu mounted pcb to route the extra address lines that link to the ROM IF. With 20pin wired IDC header wired identical to the ROM IF header. A Simple ribbon link cable.
The 20pin IDC headers were already ordered already last week!

Remember the reason for the ROM IF, is to both hold the TOS 2.06 ROMs over the regular ROM sockets AND contain the GAL and TTL ICs to achieve an IDE port.
BUT I don't have room under the AT_Speed C16 for this size of board with its chips - AND fit it under the keyboard.

In a later incarnation I will have the option of adding another GAL to this link board for the FINAL wire needed for the completed FPU / Flash ROM / IDE IF board design. Only Chip Select pin is left!
(This will well after I learn to write a GAL file, and probably after the baby is born) So no promises there!

The clever part is- I made a custom component for the 64pin cpu socket- that has holes large enough to sit a machined pin socket deeper into the pcb on the 'shank' of the pin.
So only the thickness of a single socket for the adapter (Thinner than the T_board) and the pins are long enough to reach easily the existing cpu mounted socket.

So, basically waiting for a few little parts to arrive to mount again the 72pin simm adapter (on the repaired socket) Test the accelerator circuit.. And PLUG IN the ROM IF with only 2 wires to solder.
Then Test, Test, Test.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sat May 22, 2010 5:29 am

Small update.

My main PC keyboard has died, So I've been able to write much unless using the onscreen keyboard......

So, Hi from the laptop. :)

The ROM IF is complete. And booted TOS 2.06 the other night. So the GAL is OK, and my address wiring is sound.

Minor hassles with the oversize sockets is causing seating problems that should be fixed when some better ones arrive. (Well Plan C anyway)
I can't find the ones I really want tho..... I'll use some extra leaf pins types to buffer down the pin sizes.

The same reason is delaying the 72pin upgrade too. The sockets cause the PCB holes to need drilling oversize- which causes some soldering issues with the slim remains of the track pads.

So my homework is to finish up and get the HDD operating.

So close.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Mon May 24, 2010 5:03 pm

Success...the 72pin simm board works. (1st try! with latest larger hole pcb & idc headers) :D

4mb of goodness. (using a 8mb 70ns simm...) MEMTEST & ST Diagnostic v4.4 PASS!

I mentioned in the STFM overclock thread my 8mhz cpu doesn't like running @16mhz...but that is not unexpected...:) !
Circuit tests 2b functional.

The overclock circuit is attached to the shifter mounted simm board. disabled (via jumper) for now.

pics soon.

ROM IDE IF being rebuilt. (pcb pads being modified too for larger holes)
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