Modified ST hassles

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:23 pm

ralcool wrote:Thanks ALL for understanding the new arrival. My first daughter will be as suprised as I am! (She is three, and already knows how to load DVDs, counts computer screens, bangs away on my 'spare' keyboards- and appreciates Daddy's toys/tools!)


Three years apart would be a good time for the 2nd one. Mine's 4 years apart.
At that age they starts to get slightly independent & will be easier on us, the parents. :D
Like your daughter is able to entertain herself with videos etc, it will be lesser load on you. :wink:

:lol: my 2nd son will use both my PC keyboard and mouse while I use the Atari... he will say that I use the white on while he uses the black one.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:30 pm

So much we have to pass on...! (using best Yoda voice!)

I just love telling her stories- and she just looks back at me and says, "no dad" THIS is how it works...... WE have much to learn from them. 8O
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Nikolas » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:43 pm

Before you close down your modded atari.., plz some pictures :)
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby 1024MAK » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:50 pm

ralcool wrote:For peer review (and Mr Shredder!)... the new prototype. Using dual cascade D-type flip flop frequency divider from 32mhz....


A schematic diagram would help. Yes I know that it is based on existing designs, but having a schematic diagram that includes all the circuitry on your PCB design would enable time poor me to have a glance (you're know all about that soon!). You see, your progress is rather fast... :lol:
Even so, the layout looks good :P
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:13 pm

I didn't actually write a schematic... its all in my head. I'm shocking making plans... I just do it on the run.
I should make one tho for this circuit- it might get popular!

Tonight I actually bought a 68000HC16 from ebay. So I'll have a proper way to test the outcome of the 16mhz mod. (Result should be the same as Nikolas/Ego- ala GOOD!)

I have used my excess parts to complete the boards promised to 1024MAK and Spiny. (They are built and waiting ordered ICs- since I only bought enough for me at the time)

Any more requests will require buying more pcb blanks, more sockets... and time. The 'combo' board I plan to send to Shredder11 is also nearing completion (again waiting ICs and some new drill bits)

I didn't plan to go into production of any of these upgrades- but should there be considerable interest in a particular type- I could order things as required, or perhaps do a batch.

LASCAN is cool- and makes spreadsheets and word processing a nicer experience. But may not work in all types of application. IIRC The original overscan had an 'exception list' to deactivate on incompatible programs.

The 16mhz mod is limited to those with faster cpus they can install... really only the STE for most people is achievable- given removing a DIL 68000 is a daunting task of desoldering (or other more destructive methods!)

Even installing the High Density upgrade requires a suitable floppy drive- possible DS1 or floppy cable modifications (And definately a wire to the HD sense switch directly or pin2 of the floppy cable)

I'm not trying to be negative- just the facts. The 72pin RAM mod also requires 17wires (address & RW) soldered despite taking the data lines from the shifter chip (as many ram upgrades do)

If you can handle all of this- then I might make you something!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby joska » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:01 pm

I must admit that I haven't read the entire thread, so this might have been suggested before.

What I would like for my old 520ST is a single board with a SIMM-socket, LaceScan, ROM-sockets (for TOS 2.06 or MagiC (or both)) and IDE-port. That would transform my ST (which I bought in 1987) to something usable :)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:53 pm

Really, thats not really possible. For several reasons. It comes down to signal lines.

A combined TOS / IDE board.. Been done, and not so hard. Ppera/Popsel/Mario Becroft have all had products or plans that basically do this. Mounts to the CPU generally- but the blitter socket is possible too.
Since they use quite similar address decoding signals that ARE on the cpu. IDE is actually/basically seen as a memory address. (Even 8 bit machines have been modified to include IDE by enthusiasts)

Memory uses a different set of address lines supplied by the MMU, and shares a databus with the video chip. So basically impossible to make on the cpu socket.

LASCAN taps into the GLU chip H/V sync lines, and modifies a signal that goes TO the MMU.

High Density modifies a clock signal to the FDC and is controlled by more lines that come from the sound chip! (although you didn't mention this mod)

A single board could possibly contain all the diferent mods- but there would be a nightmare of wiring to different sections of the motherboard, and really just not feasable.
I'm not trying to let you down, but this is how these upgrades/changes achieve their aim.

I would like to see the ROM images for MagiC... I've never tried it. Easy to burn some roms and have a go! 256k?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:31 pm

ralcool wrote:The 'combo' board I plan to send to Shredder11 is also nearing completion (again waiting ICs and some new drill bits)

The 16mhz mod is limited to those with faster cpus they can install... really only the STE for most people is achievable- given removing a DIL 68000 is a daunting task of desoldering (or other more destructive methods!)

Even installing the High Density upgrade requires a suitable floppy drive- possible DS1 or floppy cable modifications (And definately a wire to the HD sense switch directly or pin2 of the floppy cable)



Wonderful news and I thank you very much. Regards the floppy drives, I now have three Sony MPF920 drives that I got from Ebay a few months ago, seeing as they are regarded as the best choice for the ST and Falcon etc, plus they came with twisted cables although I am not sure if the ST will need them. I've got a few wiring guidelines for them though.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:33 pm

ralcool wrote:I would like to see the ROM images for MagiC... I've never tried it. Easy to burn some roms and have a go! 256k?


Simbo has done this with success. Hey Simbo! Where are you in this topic my good fellow? :ehum: :coffe:

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:49 pm

Simbo stopped posting after page 1. Maybe he doesn't like me..... But I would love some MagiC rom images to try..... but where?

Being slightly mad... I looked in my pile of old ICs....

i found some 7474, and 7400 chips (actually many)... I decided to try them in the LASCAN and 16mhz OC pcb sockets.

Well my 8mhz cpu still doesn't like 16mhz (I try to act suprised!), these old chips work perfectly. (The frequency counter reports 16mhz when jumpered so- the Fuji icon appears, then bombs!- like before)
(Actually, the datasheet says the 7474 is rated to 15mhz!, the LS is good for 25mhz) Nearly good enough given tolerances......!, but Nikolas/Ego says HC types was better for his overclock.....
Perhaps the 74LS00 nand gate is speed limited in the LS type..... datasheets I have don't specify a max operating frequency.

So, jumpered to 8mhz the overclock board supplies 8mhz through these chips to the cpu quite nicely.....and stable. (I'll try the 16mhz cpu soon with these old chips for fun!,and test Nikolas's result)

And the LASCAN functions fine with a 7474 in place of the LS version. (I dont have any 7410 chips to change the 74LS10 though)

The old chips have a higher power consumption, and maybe a dirtier signal.. but they are still pin compatible, and are TTL chips......... :) Actually nearly triple the power consumption... 30mA vs 8mA for *74.

Just having fun here- and no major use yet for nearly 100 old TTL chips. (Like maybe 20-30 years old!.. but new old stock, NOS)

And no 74151s... for HD FDD use :(

You will have to PM me your address Mr Shredder. And maybe find a nice person to solder this little board into your STE. (maybe also we can trade a Sony drive for the board?!)
You can be the offical prototype tester!
Last edited by ralcool on Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:03 pm

ralcool wrote:You will have to PM me your address Mr Shredder. And maybe find a nice person to solder this little board into your STE.


Sure no problem and as for a nice person, well I will be visiting my dear uncle in late August. I have already mentioned that I would like one of my STE machines to have the sockets for TOS soldered on, along with jumpers. My uncle was one of the heads of Electronics Yorkshire here in England, plus he has over fifty years of solid hands on experience in electronics and computers. During the 1980s he was into using computers to control robots and lifts etc; during this decade he visited Egypt a few times to setup some science buildings and to teach them how to use it all etc. During the 1960s and 70s he was involved in TV work, i.e. making them and also as a repair man visiting customers homes. Recently he has been telling me some hilarious stories which would be impossible in todays world. Anyway back in the late 1970s and early 80s, his little Nascom computer was probably one of my very first experiences of the brave new computer revolution. Great days!

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby joska » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:55 pm

ralcool wrote:Memory uses a different set of address lines supplied by the MMU, and shares a databus with the video chip. So basically impossible to make on the cpu socket.


Yes, I understand.
ralcool wrote:LASCAN taps into the GLU chip H/V sync lines, and modifies a signal that goes TO the MMU.


I modded a Mega with LaceScan about 12 years ago by piggy-backing the chips to existing chips on the motherboard. That is probably the cleanest, but maby not easiest install.

ralcool wrote:A single board could possibly contain all the diferent mods- but there would be a nightmare of wiring to different sections of the motherboard, and really just not feasable.


You're right, although it could be done by running a piece of flat cable from a CPU-socket to the board.

ralcool wrote:I would like to see the ROM images for MagiC... I've never tried it. Easy to burn some roms and have a go! 256k?


It's quite easy. Look for a program called MAG2ROM, it will create the necessary images. Yes, 256K IIRC.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:15 pm

ralcool wrote:I didn't actually write a schematic... its all in my head. I'm shocking making plans... I just do it on the run.
I should make one tho for this circuit- it might get popular!


Hey even the best most legendary creators and designers did it this way, so you are in good company! :thumbs: Some or all of your designs would be very popular if more people knew where to find them ;) But that is probably one for the future when you have a little more time at your disposal. :coffe:

Tonight I actually bought a 68000HC16 from ebay. So I'll have a proper way to test the outcome of the 16mhz mod. (Result should be the same as Nikolas/Ego- ala GOOD!)


I kept this Ebay item in my watched list, most likely you told me about it. Ebay item number 380153987482 . Did you get yours from here or elsewhere?

I didn't plan to go into production of any of these upgrades- but should there be considerable interest in a particular type- I could order things as required, or perhaps do a batch.


There are people on here who send their designs to various companies, who then do a production run of boards. You could start by speaking with djbase on here who is currently producing the Hydra (NETUS-Bee) Ethernet boards.

LASCAN is cool- and makes spreadsheets and word processing a nicer experience. But may not work in all types of application. IIRC The original overscan had an 'exception list' to deactivate on incompatible programs.


This sounds really nice. I actually quite like using the ST for database and DTP stuff, but the best software is usually too power hungry for the ST to cope with. So anything that gives the ST a boost is a good idea. I gather this upgrade is only for the ST and not STE though.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:56 am

Gudday...

Actually Shredder the cpu I got was a different listing... a DIP version, not PLCC. STFM use the old rectangular 68000. And soldered in. :( (Makes for a difficult job to remove) Only $US10.95 delivered!

I'll fit a- rather large, socket to the motherboard. I've got a couple.

Your Uncle sounds like an interesting fellow, he will be quite able to fit the mod... there is not many connections to make. But I don't have a STE to make clear diagrams for wiring points.

Since your cpu is in a socket, the pins go through the motherboard. You / he will have to use a multimeter and find suitable points to attach the wiring. You'll notice silver points on the board all over called 'vias'.
This is where tracks change sides of the board- top to bottom. We need to find some near the cpu going to the appropriate cpu pins. AND we need to CUT the track to the clk input to the cpu- and feed in the new.

It would be a lot easier if I had an STE here to work out the best locations for all of this. I've been looking for one- even to borrow.

Ah the joys of modifcations! To many even the prospect of opening the computer is scary enough.

To recap what LASCAN does... It increases the screen resolution, from the basic say (mono) 640x400, to currently 688x480. Really just using unused border space most screens have when displaying ST graphics.
There is no speed improvement or anything- but software like DTP has more screen area to work in. Less scrolling around. Its so nice to have a 19" LCD fully utilised. Most games don't work. :(

But its only (and ever was) for the old ST. The combined MMU/GLU chip in the STE prevents us from seperating the 'DE' signal between them and modifying it.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:43 pm

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/ ... J5m6croLPA
Figure 4.

After reading this page, and a closer look at the STE schematic- there IS a 16mhz clock available on the motherboard. (It was illegible on the diagrams I have)

Comes from GST shifter at pin 52 (right next to the master clock 32mhz on pin53) and goes to the GSTMCU pin2.

How about that. Makes life a little easier for everyone if we can steal some of it!

also the STE has a identical ciruit I proposed to generate 8 & 16 mhz.. to generate 2mhz from 8 for the sound chip. Uses Two stages to make 2mhz. And I learnt to hold some other pins at Vcc.....
But the circuit may not be required now!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby simbo » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:58 pm

if you want a magic rom image set

install and run magic c and at its desktop use a tos export tool
that reads the resident rom images in memory and dumps them
there is a few tools to do this around ,,, i think even on uwe schmit site there is one

its all down to the setting you make before compiling the roms youll find

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:35 pm

ralcool wrote:
It would be a lot easier if I had an STE here to work out the best locations for all of this. I've been looking for one- even to borrow.



I've got photos that I took when I opened up my three STE machines if that helps. I found it very hard to get the light right so as not to cause glare or shadows etc, but most of them are clear and make sense (I hope!). On two of the STE I photographed from left to right, starting at the bottom of the motherboard and working upwards. There are also differences between the three machines for you to have a nosey at. http://rapidshare.com/files/395310877/Photos_-_STe_Main_Setup.zip

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:46 am

I can see some of the wiring points we can use... I'll let you know my results.

I have been away a day or so, and visited my local electronics outlet.. bought a spare 74LS151 chip for testing..... (more in the mail to arrive)

So I am USING the 74LS151 HD floppy mod as I type... Booting 1.44Mb perfectly, formatting correctly.. all using the slightly adapted pcb (for my harness pinout)
This is the mod using a 8 and 16mhz feed from the shifter and normal 8mhz supply. (The 32mhz fed version will still happen soon- I got some new drills today too)

I am happy to report this neat single chip solution is fine. (Well it worked for Kym too...) and yes 720k is working too.

Happy days.

Ps... O'Yeah, I made some Quad TOS roms before I left, and not suprisingly- they work well too. Have original 2.06 and SuperTOS patched code + Original and patched 1.4 roms loaded now. 4 TOSes.
Just change jumpers ATM to change 'roms' ...... Only have to try a reflash now while fitted to the ST.

I will create a batch of 5 handmade HD 1.44Mb boards. When they are done, I will make them available to anyone who askes.... prices to be determined, but quite reasonable I think. (Just got to calculate costs) Wiring and choice of FDD is up to you- I will make some simple diagrams- if you can solder, your in.

Image

Prototype, and installed version.. basically identical, just harness changed. (My harness has more wires than this one uses)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:33 am

Previous HD board....using GAL and crystal.....
Image
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:08 pm

ralcool wrote:I can see some of the wiring points we can use... I'll let you know my results.


If you require any more photos of the areas of the motherboard you cannot quite see, let me know. As you can see, the TOS 1.06 STE has a socketed Blitter in the original location near the CPU. The other two STE have the later revised board with a combined C302183-001 144-pin chip that includes the Blitter, Glue, MMU. I wonder why the Yamaha soundchip is socketed in the older STE? Also my current best STE the TOS 2.06 has the IDE interface over the CPU. I was told by the seller that it was probably the TUS (The Upgrade Shop) IDEal interface from 1998, which was advertised here in the UK in various magazines including Sound On Sound http://www.soundonsound.com/ However to confirm this I need to remove the IDE board from the socket, to have a look at the underside for more info or clues. There is an IDEal interface on the German Atari Wiki, but that is the ST version (mine is the STE of course) and looks different.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:47 pm

Well something interesting.

I tried the 'twisted' ide mode tonight. Made up a cable etc...swapped pins 3-18.

Using Pperas' speed test. Using a normal cable I get usually 710k/sec in the logical drive speed test (or around 1400-1700k/sec using direct HW test, PIO/BLIT/HOG faster each time)

Now apparently the speed is 1700k/sec in logical drive test! More than double. (as he said it would)

You need the modified TOS to auto-boot, but the speed is even more impressive than before. 8O
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Very impressive! As for bootup time, I am already happy with how long an IDE equipped ST/E takes; it knocks any PC I have ever used into the dustbin! The modified TOS EPROM would be nice to have around though ;)
Last edited by Shredder11 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:57 pm

I would think even your IDE adapter could use Pperas' drivers.

And I agree, the Atari boots into a usable desktop before even the PC completes P.O.S.T..... Not 'licking itself' like Windows does loading un-needed crap just to create a working machine.
Harddrives thrashing around loading god knows what.....accessing the internet before I even asked.... pig of a thing.

Atari sits there without even blinking a LED waiting for your command. And rock stable.

AND the Atari achieves all this with a mere 256k or so of ROM! Not 10Gb+ for Vista or 7. For JUST the OS!, how dare you actually want to RUN something else! (although I do actually like 7, and ran the betas)

Sh!t my Core2 has more L2 cache than the ST does max memory! Could DOS actually RUN DOOM/QUAKE without accessing main memory?! Load and address everything into cache ram? I wonder.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:18 pm

The STE was actually my main computer for everything up until June 2000; after that my uncle gave me an old PC Chips Socket 7 motherboard PC with a Cyrix P166 (ran at 133MHz) and after eight years of PC pain, I returned to my STE in 2008........boy does it feel good to be back! :cheers: I only had the one 4MB STE with 12" monochrome monitor and an extra MIDI OUT on the modem port. I used this almost exclusively for Cubase and then for everything else for a couple of years. Anyway since 2008 I have gone bananas getting every upgrade and addon you can think of, plus more STEs and a couple of Falcon 030s. I really am back with a bang and meaning business with my Ataris! :mrgreen: Initially I got a Falcon to see what Cubase Audio would have been like if I had chosen that setup option in the 1990s, but now I find that despite spending £2K+ on PC hardware for music; I am actually considering the Falcon as my main setup! There are more pros than cons with the Falcon for me, so I hope it lives up to my hopes and expectations in the coming years.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby wongck » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:41 am

ralcool wrote:And I agree, the Atari boots into a usable desktop before even the PC completes P.O.S.T..... Not 'licking itself' like Windows does loading un-needed crap just to create a working machine.
Harddrives thrashing around loading god knows what.....accessing the internet before I even asked.... pig of a thing.


if you load SpareMint, it does take sometime for it to load.... almost same as Win 7 (on the notebook).
If you use only TOS, of course it's much faster. :mrgreen:
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