Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

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Kriegor
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Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

Postby Kriegor » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:59 pm

EDIT: The MEGA ST2 and MEGAFILE 20 issues are solved! The only thing that is still yet to solve is the SC1224 monitor issue, check my last post in this thread! :)

Hi! Great forum you have here, I've been looking around here quite a bit while trying to get my MEGA ST2 and SH205 (MEGAFILE20) to work :) I am using a SC1224 color monitor with it, and it has always had this strange error: when i start the ST, with or without the SH205, floppy in or not, it stays black until TOS is booted up, at which time it gets this strange blue "ghost image", restarting the monitor solves this though. However, it's just a minor annoyance but it would be nice to solve that too.

Now, i got the ST set up and made it boot from the SH205 and everything. Worked just fine (except for the monitor thing) then. But when i fired it up two days later i got some very strange errors. First it did not start at all, no floppy LED, no fan going on, nothing. Like the fuse had blown. However, after leaving the power switch at "ON" for a minute or so, it suddenly started up. But it did not start as usual, instead i got all sorts of strange flickering lines and images, and the FDD was just going nuts. After some restarting and waiting, it eventually booted into TOS. I recorded two videos of these errors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwCo-DXagvE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwCo-DXagvE

First i tried popping all of the socketed ICs out and putting them back, but it didn't change anything. After that, i figured that the PSU was bad, so i took an old PC AT PSU and hooked it up instead. Right now it seems to work fine :) Here is a video of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8JOjcrThRs Only problem is that AHDI is unable to find my SH205, probably because it was scrambled up by the ST sometime during the strange errors, but i will try some other software for that. However, I'll have to give this a couple of days to see if it really solved the first problem with the ST itself. It would be interesting to get some input on this issue, it's really strange. Here is some pictures of the inside of my MEGA ST2: http://speedy.sh/Pn5xN/Atari-MEGA-ST2-internals.rar

Cheers :)
Last edited by Kriegor on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kriegor
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Re: Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

Postby Kriegor » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:51 am

The PC PSU still seemingly works fine :) No crazy errors like the first videos (yet). Even soldered up a internal power cable and made a neat molex connector in place of the original PSU. Put another 12V fan of the same size where the original was too (so i have the whole original PSU with the soldered original fan intact) just to be safe. Boots up fine, monitor issue still occurring though. However... now it won't bootload the SH205. "ACSI UNIT 0 - Identification unavalible". ICD Tools and HDDriver finds it, the activity light goes up, but when i try to format, partition, check, or zero the drive, it's not responding. I'm starting to think that my setup is haunted or something, solve one issue and another one comes right up.. However, i did manage to use the drive (with all the files intact, it even booted from it!) with the external PSU at first, so it's probably not related to the new PSU in the ST.

Time to pop up the SH205 and check it out :coffe:
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Re: Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

Postby DarkLord » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Neat work there! :)
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Kriegor
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Re: Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

Postby Kriegor » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:52 pm

Opened up the SH205, yanked all connectors and put them back, same with the two IC's. Now it boots up again just fine! Have been running the system for many hours now without any errors :) Here's a picture of the inside of the SH205 if anyone's interested. Tandon HDD and an IC with a hand written label on it.
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Re: Atari MEGA ST2 and SC1224 errors! [Updated]

Postby Kriegor » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:02 pm

Still running the ST on the PC PSU through molex and it's working fine :)

I managed to find a clue on the monitor issue, when i go into the config menu of maxYMiser (music tracker) and set the "VB Freq" from low to high, the very same thing happens as when booting up to TOS with the monitor on before starting the ST, or going into the disk op menu in maxYMiser. That is, the picture is offset to the left about 1/3 screen, the brightness/contrast is lowered and not vertically uniform, and the colors gets scrambled, Restarting the monitor solves it as usual, and setting it from high to low doesn't cause any problem. The maxYMiser documentation doesn't really say what the option does more than that it might give a better picture (it does seem to give a slight better picture on "high"), so i'm unsure about what "VB" stands for. But it causes the very same thing as when restarting/starting the ST before starting the monitor. Also, when going into the disk op menu to load instrument etc, i get the same issue whether maxYMiser VB Freq is set to low or high... While a restart does solve it, it starts to get a bit annnoying as i'm doing quite some disk op:s which means constant monitor restarts :| Have anyone got an idea for an easy fix for this, software-wise? Something like using another program to load stuff into maxYMiser than the TOS menu, or making some kind of setting in TOS? :) Hardware ideas are appriciated too of course!

EDIT: Maybe i should mention that i have to wait for about a second after turning the monitor off before turning it on again, otherwise the issue remains. Also i found out that "VB" apparently stands for "Vertical Blanking". It seems to be related to some sort of refresh-frequency, i'm mostly clueless about these things :? Getting a new monitor of some kind would be the easy way out, but this one does work fine apart from that need for restarting it at those times and i like having a real Atari monitor on top of my MegaST2/Megafile20-stack :) Getting in touch with someone who knows a lot about CRT monitors would be great!

EDIT2: The MEGA ST2 and MEGAFILE20 errors have been solved! Now it's only the monitor left, this video illustrates the current problem that i'm having: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3LNwIDcr4A

I've managed to isolate some specific operation that causes the monitor to go into this state. It never happens randomly and always happens when doing those specific operations:

* When powering on the monitor before the computer. The monitor then goes blank black and when the OS is loaded it gives this blue offset buggy image, which calls for a restart. If i power on the monitor just a second after the computer, it goes blank white instead and loads into TOS just fine.

* When going into a program (the one in the video, maxYMiser), and through the config of that program switching the Vertical Blanking Frequency from low to high. However, switching from high to low doesn't cause the problem. Puzzlingly, the file-selector dialog (part of the OS) that pops up when doing said disk operations always causes this error whether the VB Freq in the program is set to low or high, and whether the OS resolution (and thus also the file-selector dialog) is set to the same as the program (low, 320x200) or medium (640x200). Switching resolutions back and forth in the OS works without any issues!

* When jumping in and/or out of certain programs. Some cause it on start and quit, other just on quit, other just on start, other programs doesn't cause the error at all. For example, Everest works fine on both startup and exit. The maxYMiser 2006 Online Compo program works fine on startup, but when quitting it it causes the error.


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