Modified ST hassles

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby alexh » Thu May 24, 2012 1:55 pm

The only new device on sale today is the external ASCI->SD solution known as UltraSatan which is in production by Zaxxon.

http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=23399

You could make your own internal or external solution. The ASCI->CF card solution from Ppera looks UBER cheap compared to UltraSatan but is DIY and requires you to fit a modified TOS ROM for autoboot.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby thgill » Thu May 24, 2012 2:26 pm

Well, yeah, you could go with the UltraSatan, or even the older SatanDisk (Pigula in Poland still sells them), but I was really hoping for an internal solution.

I have looked at Ppera's designs, but I lack the hardware to program the chips.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby alexh » Thu May 24, 2012 2:39 pm

I might try to encourage him to let me have a go at making the CATA-CF under license.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby thgill » Thu May 24, 2012 3:25 pm

alexh wrote:I might try to encourage him to let me have a go at making the CATA-CF under license.


That cartridge port based one?


Judging by his responses on his forum, I am thinking he probably wouldn't have a problem with that. He doesn't appear to be in a position to do it himself.


Cart port based one would be pretty cool. Other than the fact HDDriver doesn't support it, it looks like a pretty neat design. Especially being powered by the cart port.


Would you build it with an ide port or just skip straight to having the CF slot on it?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby alexh » Thu May 24, 2012 3:28 pm

He hasn't released the schematics, ROMs or any CPLD code required for it.

I tried registering for his forum but couldn't get through the captcha bit... perhaps it's broken as it kept giving me the same image.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby thgill » Thu May 24, 2012 3:39 pm

I just logged out and went to the register new account page.

Refreshed a couple times and it displayed different captcha images.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby DarkLord » Thu May 24, 2012 3:40 pm

Hmm, using the Ultrasatan internally in a Mega STe or STacy is relatively easy, thanks
to Alex's internal cable. :)

I would think though, that with some more work, you *could* put one in a ST or
STe case if there was enough room? You could wire to the ACSI port directly with
the cable, and draw power from the internal PS, using a cutdown circuit. I'm
thinking you'd probably have to remove the US from its black box and mount
the PCB directly with something like standoffs, having it facing a small cut out
slot in the ST/STe's case? You'd not be able to see the LED's, but that's not a
vital necessity.

What's everyone think? Is there space enough somewhere in a standard ST/STe
case to pull it off?

Just some random thoughts... :)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby 1024MAK » Sun May 27, 2012 12:01 pm

DarkLord wrote:I would think though, that with some more work, you *could* put one in a ST or STe case if there was enough room? You could wire to the ACSI port directly with the cable, and draw power from the internal PS, using a cutdown circuit. I'm thinking you'd probably have to remove the US from its black box and mount the PCB directly with something like standoffs, having it facing a small cut out slot in the ST/STe's case? You'd not be able to see the LED's, but that's not a vital necessity.
What's everyone think? Is there space enough somewhere in a standard ST/STe case to pull it off?

Yes I think it is possible, but it does partly depend on what else you have in your ST/STe.
And yes you could wire it direct to the PCB but not recommended unless you are good at soldering and know what you are doing...

Mark
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Sun May 27, 2012 12:38 pm

I'd agree Mark.

Adding a Mega compatible header isn't out of the impossible... But we can't get away from having to solder something.

I've taken a bit of leave from ST mods & hardware until Winter.... not far off.. grrr... There is much I want to achieve before then. I love multiple projects, but damn its hard. Its only 10*C in the workshop right now during the day.. not far from getting cosy with the Atari and forgetting the house homework for a while. I'm a bit tired of CAD work right now.. its doing my head in. I need shorter goals for the moment.

Hey, 2012 has proven a good year so far. A new Wood shed and landscaping, Delicious homebrew, an almost complete new workshop area for relaxing, working, and sitting in- a decent 'man cave' for serious drinking and showing off, new fireplace shield for the kids, bathroom heating, and plenty of repairs to cars and other hardware.

Deciding on 'cave' curtains is as high a priority as buying gravel for the new driveway... Such is the state of events this year. A damn good year for us. Very happy.

I feel like a passenger on this thread sometimes too. :D hahaha... I'm sure you all have equally important stuff to do outside this hobby.... but drop in to talk about anything... I don't mind.
No-one else seems to care. (keep it honest and clean for the masses ok?)

Answering threads, or quiet time- is where I need to be right now.. The hardware stuff was giving me the shits for a while- I had to walk away. It happens. Fresh mind, new ideas. If I kill my only functional ST, then nothing will happen. I'd rather take it slow- it still works (somehow), and new ideas are coming into reality. The wife is happy other jobs got finished. Win-Win.

Take it easy.

ST. :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby DarkLord » Sun May 27, 2012 8:11 pm

Can't argue with all that Sean. By gosh, it is summer time after all (here), get out
and enjoy the view... :)

PS when I'm not cutting the grass...ugh, must ask wife for bigger riding lawnmower
for Fathers Day. :lol:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Methanoid » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:42 am

alexh wrote:I might try to encourage him to let me have a go at making the CATA-CF under license.


Please do... or the PLCC 68k to IDE (like Mario's or the TUS IDEal boards)

With the lack of companies producing kit we need projects like these and NetUSB etc to get the kit...
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:19 am

I guess we've seen a decent factor here.

Some absolutely solid upgrades have come and gone. New ones are thin but people are still trying to explore hardware options- given we have such choice now for GAL/CLPD... these are the kind of tools only chip designers had to play with once.

From my own experience, building some simple boards at home is one thing- but going and asking for a professional set of pcbs created for a mass project is an investment. Lots of support and interest required.

Again we have a small market of enthusiasts, with shallow pockets usually.

......
For anyone following my thread much,

I guess you may wonder what I am doing... Well not a great deal. But perhaps news that we finally have a functional advanced GAL based HD mod sitting on the bench is nice? :D I'm not going to say too much about it yet- I've done enough of that, but a decent prototype is running, and only left wanting for full HD Drive B: support. There has been some challenges to overcome, and my time has been limited. But I've managed to get it usefully operational. Dual step rate support for true 3ms DD / 6ms HD is the ultimate goal in the final version. (Just down to working out the correct boolean)

This project was started for @Darklord by Holger Zimmermann/Pakman for clean clock generation and switching, and some inspired ideas from the work Exxos did for hardware step rate modification.
Finally the beta code is running, and I can get a useful working board to the 'customer'. With hopefully some improvements to follow soon. (Using my small learned knowledge of GAL programming in the last few months) The bugs were trivial, but time consuming to a novice like me.

Yay... Otherwise... Little else on the horizon for some time. I'm using my Atari to write & compile the GAL/JED files, and using the very hardware being created to write the HD floppies being used to load the chip programmer back on the PC. (And when I break the program- I have to remove the failed GAL and bypass 3 wires to restore basic DD operation!) :) Much fun.... Should buy a few more.

Cheers Guys.

ST. :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Methanoid » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:24 am

I wish you (ralcool) would buy an STE!! Then maybe we could see some of the goodies for STE ;)

HD Mod sounds nice... will you be making one or many? I'm sure some of the ST "sellers" would stock them for you ;)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:39 am

Lucky then this HD mod is a perfect fit for an STE. Compatible with TOS 1.x and 2.06. No software patching. Minimal wiring. (Even a MegaSTE/TT in theory)

The goal is only two wires to connect for the basic internal version drive only option. Remove FDC and plug in this board. Plug FDC chip back on top.
Connect 32mhz clock and HD detect.

If Holger is happy to sell or licence the actual code- (Since he is the true author), and if I can produce a few either by hand or a professional batch... Why not sell some.
I will have to work this out with him. But there is still quite a bit of work to do. It is very functional at this point, but heaps of improvements can be done.
I'm only the beta tester.

"Power without the price."

:cheers:

PS,IF.... IF I add a 32MHz crystal, then potentially there is only one wire to 'connect' for just a single internal drive. HD Detect.
Then, if your FDC chip isn't socketed.. find a professional to do that... Really... and the CPU too if you have a non STE machine...get a socket fitted for a blitter chip.... DMA as well perhaps, just in case.
I did... otherwise got lucky my video shifter and ROMs already were in sockets.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:18 am

So a couple days have passed, and I have some news.

As I've said, Holger has been working hard finishing an awesome piece of code to run a single chip High Density solution for Darklords' STacy.

So it is not to rain on the latest product release from Exxos for his ultimate logic based hardware step rate corrected, Dual drive supported HD modification.
No no.,

Darklord encountered a stability issue with the logic configuration of a successful HD FDD mod I supplied him. The simple design has served many for years. Exxos uses the same chip for frequency switching.
It didn't work for Ron at first, but eventually worked fine after his apparently dud WD1772 got changed, and we gained another working conversion.

Until it got hit with the awesome power of the PAK030!!!!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: ,, this little board then caused an odd issue that crashed the machine (STacy) reliably.
Major PITA dude. The design is honest.. but could be described as brutish in the switching arrangements. There has long existed, few alternatives.

Holger bounced to the rescue (again) and offered a really tight HD mod using a single GAL chip. I would be the beta tester, and Ron the victim. GALs are cool and available- looking at code imitating logic is weird.That- in reality, emulates and expands on the hardware logic of the Exxos mod. Everything is clocked together and neat. It is a compact piece of awesome!

The code is ready and tested, and some workable pcb ideas thrown about. A mate should be dropping a full toner cartridge off to me this week so I can print some CAD to etch a pair. Yay. 8)
I really don't know if anything commercial will come of this.. Exxos has something good to sell, and anyone should consider it. This mod is for Darklord right now.

Now the bad news.. My 2TB drive in the workshop computer keeps 'chirping' again!!! Was only a few months back the system drive did the same thing, and almost fell over.
And barely a year since the 2TB was purchased... :evil: The bios still gets amnesia and forgets which drive is bootable occasionally, meanwhile losing the RAM settings. No the battery is fine. :roll:
These troubles won't hold up the mod going out to Ron. Just more dramas for my bench to endure. :mrgreen: Bloody drives....

Never a dull moment.

ST. :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby exxos » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:29 pm

I hear ya there, maybe off topic, though I installed win7 on a drive, turned out it had a bad sector so it kept on crashing. Then I reinstalled it on a new drive where it kept crashing, turns out in the end a bad power and data cable, even though they were all new. reinstalled win7 about 20 times this past week. it kept on trashing my XP setup, and win7 never bloody installed the boot files on the drive it was actually installed on :x

At last one thing remains constant over all the years......

Keep up the good fight :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby Silly_Pony » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:49 pm

Ahh, PC weirdness. My gigabyte mobo crashes when you try to load a non-windows os. You have to reboot THEN it works. :roll:

If you do sell these HD floppy mods I'd be your first customer.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby exxos » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:57 pm

You may want to check my thread rather than us hi-jacking this thread ;)

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14999

HD4 is on sale anyway, I am just writing out my "shopping list" to buy parts for HD5. Hopefully I can have the kit and PCBS on my store next week , if not sooner.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby TheNameOfTheGame » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:35 pm

I see a LCD in some of the OPs pictures. What is the best way to do this for a regular stfm? Is there a specific LCD model that works best?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:28 am

Hi, And welcome... I use a home made cable that runs the ST in Mono.

Most screen I have tried seem to work alright. My little LG 19" does fine.

If you can't build one, search "Atari ST VGA" on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_nkw= ... m270.l1313

Getting all resolutions is somewhat harder, and requires extra hardware... like a GBS-8200.. there are some threads about it here.

Hope this helps.

ST.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby troed » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:15 pm

ralcool wrote:I'm using the very same Dallas DS1216E- since its so easy to fit- and it just needs software.

Now version3.7.. Y2K ok!! apparently.

I've tried the software just now- my Dallas module is detected (connected to the Cartridge port address ROM4/FA0000 range at the moment), and the time/date reads off perfectly.


FYI - I've released (beta - waiting for others to test) new software for the Dallas DS1216 modules since there still were Y2K problems with parts of the AReal suite.

Attached to this thread: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24589#p248362

Should work fine with $fa0000 if you still have it.

/Troed
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:58 am

Okay, its been a while in here.

Well I dusted off the Atari- chased away the spiders and remembered the blitter is still not working after a small beer spill some time back. Its alive again. Just.
The IDE board is still working and the HDD seems to be okay after some time in hibernation.

However my ST doesn't seems to be communicating with the Dallas chip. Using the original Areal software. I'll have to continue fault finding to figure out why this is.
Nothing was changed or shifted. It is sitting in the original TOS Hi-0 socket, OE connected to ROM3 or 4 from the GLU.

I've moved it to a different socket, and, still no luck.. hmm. annoying. Could it have died I wonder. It just says RTC module not located using the ar37boot.prg, the cnf program also can't see it.

I'll muck about some more, clean some pins.. etc

Cheers
Sean :cheers:

Edit, I can report most mods are still working fine, TOS 2.06, Lascan, Overclock, IDE, and the 72pin 4Mb RAM - and the GAL High Density Auto Step rate adapter we created.
Just the blitter and RTC are playing up- and back to using a serial port mouse too.. TomK adapter thing isn't playing either- but often didn't. Not bad really for almost 2yrs off.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby DarkLord » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:33 am

Nice to see you still around Sean. :)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby ralcool » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:09 am

Thanks Darklord, I've been struggling to regain interest in it.

Troed needs some help/bug testing.

So........
After relocating the Dallas chip to a cartridge board (my old SuperMon) its working again..... weird.

AR37cnf.prg can again see the chip and has allowed me to set the time&date. Found at location FA0000. correct/yay!

Put AR37boot.prg in auto folder.

The ar37 desk acc shows correct time, and newly created folders get the correct date/time. Phew.

Replace AR37BOOT.PRG with DALLRTC.ORG.

Now New folders created are -30yrs (eg 03-11-84 instead of 03-11-14)....... until a program is run from desktop- same as your mentioned boot sector version bug)
Several cold/warm reboots and the symptom persists.... Must load something, from the desktop, before date is corrected.

Hope this helps....

Sean :cheers:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Postby DarkLord » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:55 am

Coolness.

There are several ongoing hardware developments. Alan, Exxos, Jookie, SainT and
others are working on some great STuff.

Surprising amount of life left in the old beast. :)
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