1.44Mb HD module info request.

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1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:47 am

Hi All

I have one of these but I can't find any info on it (what the connectors are for and where to wire them etc):

Image

Ralcool posted a picture of one here but didn't say what it was or give any info about it.

Can anyone help?

Cheers
Colin
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:53 am

Additional information that might be of use.

My searches have come up with a possible name for the unit, "Elco HD Module". But I still can't find any info based on that name.

The unit was installed originally by 'The Atari Workshop' in Dulwich se London (long since ceased trading) in november 1992 (taken from service sticker). I believe they installed an Ajax chip at the same time (the chip is dated 1990) as I think my STFM is too early a model to have had one as standard (system board No.: C070523-001 REV D, memory chips under keyboard, TOS ROMS (6) under PSU). Here's a picture of the system board:

Image

TOS is labelled as 'TOS UK 1.41' and are possibly EEPROM chips (the labels don't appear to be Atari standard!).

I vaguely remember getting the ST upgraded but I've been asleep since then (and moved house twice), so the details and documentation have been lost to the mists of time and rubbish bins!

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Colin
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby troed » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:36 pm

WolfMax wrote:TOS is labelled as 'TOS UK 1.41'


Interesting. Sounds like they're patched with something. Cannot find any records of an official 1.41.

http://avtandil.narod.ru/tose.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_TOS

According to viewtopic.php?f=15&t=19584 ralcool here at the forum apparently has more info/instructions for the Elco kit.

/Troed

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby troed » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:48 pm

troed wrote:According to viewtopic.php?f=15&t=19584 ralcool here at the forum apparently has more info/instructions for the Elco kit.


From that link: "You can also see that one 'ROM' has a different label to the others, that's because Ralcool kindly supplied a EPROM with a modified version of TOS 1.4 (UK) so that the step rate is 6ms"

It seems to apply more than a little to what you're describing ;)

/Troed

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:17 am

Hey there,

That does look just like my old ElcoHD thing. I've got the manual and the software here. I probably uploaded it before, and I'll do so in this thread after I fire up the workshop computer and look for the manual too.

I dunno if I've have a scanned copy of the book but I'll scan it up for the archives when I remember where it is.

Might take an hour and few beers. :mrgreen:

Stay tuned.

:cheers:

Edit, Here is the manual.. freshly scanned.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5GwSS ... sp=sharing

And the software,
Elco_HD.zip
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:30 am

Thanks Ralcool, you're a star.

One slight fly in the ointment however, the documentation talks about the wires to the units connectors in terms of their colour and not pin number. As I do not have the original wiring, I still don't know which pin connects to where!

You don't happen to have said wiring laying about at all?

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Colin
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:43 am

Hi Troed

Thanks for the input.
You may be right about the TOS. The module manual (thanks Ralcool) talks about loading a TOS extension to change the step rate. These 1.41 could be patched with the extension therefore not requiring the program to be in the Auto folder on boot up.
After looking at the links you posted, I am a little confused at why my TOS is called 1.41 and not 1.041. It is definitely a 'Rainbow' TOS though.

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby troed » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:00 am

WolfMax wrote:After looking at the links you posted, I am a little confused at why my TOS is called 1.41 and not 1.041. It is definitely a 'Rainbow' TOS though.


When it comes to TOS people don't following a strict naming convention. TOS 1.02/1.2, 1.04/1.4 and 1.06/1.6 are interchangeable respectively.

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:39 am

WolfMax wrote:Thanks Ralcool, you're a star.

One slight fly in the ointment however, the documentation talks about the wires to the units connectors in terms of their colour and not pin number. As I do not have the original wiring, I still don't know which pin connects to where!

You don't happen to have said wiring laying about at all?

Cheers
Colin


Hmm, no there wasn't a layout diagram as I recall, the supplied loom had the correct colors, and plugged in one way like usual.
So, that image on page 10 of my thread you found does show the colors in the correct position.
I'll dig up a larger image meanwhile.

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:29 pm

Ralcool, I'm a clutz!

It never even occurred to me you had used the same loom/connectors and made the module fit. Now I know what I'm looking at, the manual lists the 10W wires in order from left to right as you see them in your picture and the 3W from right to left (the 3w Orange looks more Yellow in the picture).

This is all I need to rewire it. What I am confused about though is the floppy drive pin 2 situation. I am using an Epson SMD-1340 drive which I have jumpered up to be DS0 with auto-sensing (any other jumper setting and the drive would not seek on start up). Does this mean I need to attach 3w BRN to pin 2 of the drive, cut No.2 wire in the drive cable and connect 10w VLT to pin 2 of the MB connector? As I have an Ajax chip on board, is this still necessary as I understand the chip is able to use HD drives?
This begs the question of how you did it using the module you made as in the picture you have the VLT wire cut (along with WHT and GRY).

Cheers
Colin
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:12 pm

Hi Colin,

This modual was a pain to set up when I first got it, and partly to blame for me attempting other methods.

Right the Violet, White and Grey wires of the 10w should NOT be used. You'll see in my loom they are cut short. They don't work.

Connect the Brown wire to the Drive Pin 2 of A:, The Orange to Gnd, and Red of the 3w connector to B: pin 2 if fitted.

Connect the remaining wires of the 10w as described.

You don't actually need the Ajax, but that said it will work perfectly, and didn't actually make HD mode possible, just a higher quality chip.

The manual goes to great lengths to confuse the auto and manual HD signalling modes.... ignore most of it.

Connect it all up, and it'll probably work fine. Or the FDD might need slight modding on the HD sense line- it wouldn't be the first time.

Good luck, we're here to help.

:cheers:
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:07 pm

ralcool wrote:Connect the Brown wire to the Drive Pin 2 of A:, The Orange to Gnd, and Red of the 3w connector to B: pin 2 if fitted.


Sorry If I'm being over cautious, But I want to get this right. Am I to assume 'Connect the Brown wire to pin 2 of A' means disconnect the wire from the MB that goes to pin 2 and replace it with the Brown wire. Leaving the wire to the MB not connected to anything?

So do you know how pin 2 works? Does it take a signal from the MB to tell the drive to work in HD or does it feed a signal to the MB to tell the FDC a HD disk has been inserted?

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:41 pm

The Atari (Pre- Mega STE/TT/Falcon) motherboard has no idea about Pin 2. And it isn't used at ALL.
(But some boards might have grounded it to tie it off, so we cut the wire and use it ourselves in case)

Pin 2 Hi/Lo Density signal comes from the drive. IIRC, it is high (5v) when HD disc inserted, and Lo (0v) when DD inserted.

We wire the modual to this signal so it knows what frequency is required to feed into the FDC chip for different disc densities.

It also knows when and which drive is being accessed though the other wires. DS0/1. Handy for if you have only one HD drive and another DD.

A side effect of raising the operating frequency (doubling) of the FDC controller is that its seek/step rate is effectively halved.
To an extent that it is too fast for the drive to act upon... So we have to use a 'driver' to change/lower the step rate. (Or alter the TOS permanently)

Or as Exxos achieved (and Holger and I copied for a GAL version) a new improved HD modual that looks at the control bits and intervenes when the step rate is programmed in real time during reading and writing operations to the FDC controller. No driver required.
This method is better than what Atari designed actually IMO.

So fear not, hook it up. The only hassle is different brands of drive don't seems to operate Pin 2 as simply as it should be... but that is a problem for another day IF it doesn't work the first time. That is why we recommend Sony drives.. they work- but so do others.

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby exxos » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:28 am

It's still on my to do list to convert my board over to a GAL based one :lol: Nice to see you are still around anyway :)
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:37 am

I can not see any reason why I couldn't pass on the final GAL code Holger wrote for Darklord through my testing for, a GAL based HD mod board... he had some strange timing issues that affected his awesome PAK '030.. some members know this... (they) can/have read all about that elsewhere, but the GAL fixed it..

You (Exxos) have access to the pcb facilities, Holger wrote the code...after some time and messy looms, I eventually made (3) prototype boards and tested the heck out of it. Darklord was the client, and received a finished prototype, I fitted a finished second pcb to my ST, and I sent Holger the last unpopulated pcb, at his request. No one got paid (Yes Darklord did buy my early first 'kit', but it wasn't the same, and after that it got different).

Mostly to give credit to your design & idea, and you had stock to sell, it isn't and never been on the market. And there is nothing wrong with the original.

The best part was, there was a sense of collaboration. Solving a new problem, a known awesome developer (Holger) helping a fellow Atarian to support a product (PAK '030) developed so long ago for an Atari product, the original ST/Mega, that the subsequent (STacy) compatibility was as much luck as pure arse, combined with any HD mod pushed things too far. We somehow improved a design few have seen.

Now Exxos is deeply involved solving forgotten techniques to overclock the ST, and that is awesome-ness right there.

Keep at it Colin., you too can make brave mistakes.

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby exxos » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:09 pm

It's awesome my project was built on :) My GAL programming isn't to great, but Rodolphe normally chims in to help out in that respect. Though if there is code already done and is 100% version of what my board does then it should be good. Though I will probably check the code or just convert it over myself to make sure its all the same. There is no problem to get PCB's done for anything really :) Once all the booster stuff is sorted out I will look into it again :)
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:42 pm

Thanks again Ralcool.

Performed a chip clean on all the socketed chips last night. put it all together (power from a PC PSU) and fired it up with a 720k DD disk I had just obtained (not wiring the module just yet). It all works lovely! even reads DOS format 720k DD. Going to try and create an Atari disk from a disk image and see if it will load up, but so far so good.

Seems none of the connectors I have fit in the module sockets. So it looks like a web search or pull the bodies off the pins and directly wire to the module.

OT, during my hours of recent searching all things Atari ST, I came across reference to a program that copies the TOS ROMs to an image file. But do you think I can find it again! I would like to make an image of my TOS (UK 1.41) for use in an emulator. Would you know of such a program and where I could download it?

Again many thanks for your help.
Cheers

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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby DarkLord » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:38 pm

Hey Sean! Glad to see you're still around guy. :)

Yeah, there was what, 3-4 people, covering 3 or more countries in
that "little" (heh!) project. Australia, Germany, USA... :!:

Holger even went so far as to re-write the German version of the
enhanced PAK 030 TOS 3.06 images into English for me to use. All
at no charge. Just like the extra work Sean did on the 1.44 mod
after my initial purchase.

PS Don't want anyone to get the wrong idea - Sean's 1.44 mod did
work fine, "as is" on my stock STacy. It was only after I added the
PAK board that we ran into problems.
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby exxos » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:56 pm

The PAK strikes again ;)
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby joska » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:11 pm

WolfMax wrote:OT, during my hours of recent searching all things Atari ST, I came across reference to a program that copies the TOS ROMs to an image file. But do you think I can find it again! I would like to make an image of my TOS (UK 1.41) for use in an emulator. Would you know of such a program and where I could download it?


You can use this one. Use the "Save ROM" feature.
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:22 am

joska wrote:You can use this one. Use the "Save ROM" feature.


Thanks for that.

I now have a copy of my TOS labelled as UK1.41 (I believe it is a patched version to better work with a HD floppy module). If anyone would like a copy to see what has been changed, let me know (unless I'm not allowed to give you a copy of course :shrug: ).
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby ralcool » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:19 pm

Hey Colin,

Share your copy of TOS, I'll have a look and see if it is indeed patched for step rate/HD .... No offical TOS 1.4 was so who knows.

Otherwise its another version for the archives.

:cheers:

A question keeps burning in me... Where is the wiring for the modual?, Why was it removed? Did they repair the track cut for the FDC clock?
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby DarkLord » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:48 am

exxos wrote:The PAK strikes again ;)


Yeah, to paraphrase a popular Top 40 song right now:

"It's all about the stress, about the stress, not stable"

:lol:
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby exxos » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:39 am

DarkLord wrote:
exxos wrote:The PAK strikes again ;)


Yeah, to paraphrase a popular Top 40 song right now:

"It's all about the stress, about the stress, not stable"

:lol:


LMAO!!!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: 1.44Mb HD module info request.

Postby WolfMax » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:14 am

ralcool wrote:Hey Colin,

Share your copy of TOS, I'll have a look and see if it is indeed patched for step rate/HD .... No offical TOS 1.4 was so who knows.

Otherwise its another version for the archives.

:cheers:

A question keeps burning in me... Where is the wiring for the modual?, Why was it removed? Did they repair the track cut for the FDC clock?


Attached zip file has two images. 1, was made by a program that copied all the ROMs in one go. The other (v2) was made by using a program that read each individual ROM and a second program that stiched the resultant files together. They both work in Hatari so I guess they are probably both the same.

As to your burning question, It was probably me that removed the wiring 20 sum odd years ago and no tracks were cut as part of the installation (if there had been it wouldn't work without the module connected). It can be seen where the installer had soldered the wires to the relevant chip legs and I believe, the CLK pin on the FDC chip was bent out before the chip was put back in to its socket. I vaguely recall having issues with reading/writing disks so I put it back to standard (and removed the wires). My guess is the issue could have been with the PSU as it is not working at all now (but that could be down time degradation as much as anything). But it could also have been the choice of drive (one from an old PC as I remember which has long been re-tasked into something).

Hope that puts your mind to rest ;)
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