Sparrow inspection

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mikro
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Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Wed May 23, 2018 9:38 pm

Perhaps you have noticed on FB that I could finally take a look on my Sparrow. I'll post all findings to this thread. I'll post some motherboard photos / findings later as I want to do a few tests yet. Basically, the whole machine feels very STE like. Mine has a SR-298 PSU (I guess it's an iteration from the well known SR98) even with the same connector to the motherboard as ST/STE have; TOS is 2.07 which looks virtually same as 2.06.

Today I had time to test a few apps (it's all complicated by the fact that I couldn't use my Falcon hard disk as the partition size is still limited to 512 MB which my disk doesn't have and I couldn't find any other). Images are worth a thousand words:

MVIMG_20180523_214723.jpg

MVIMG_20180523_214617.jpg

MVIMG_20180523_214538.jpg

MVIMG_20180523_214500.jpg

So even SysInfo is quite confused. :) From random tests I could make it's clear that Falcon compatibility is not very high. One software did run, however (well, sort of):

MVIMG_20180523_221827.jpg

IMG_20180523_221848.jpg

The latter is supposed to be a fire and yes, it did move but colours are clearly wrong. It was Plasmafire 4Ktro by Escape. :)

Of course I wanted to make a dump of TOS 2.07, had the tools and everything ready and... my HxC started to behave. So I will have to disassemble the Gotek from my Falcon (what I'm not so keen to do it as the screws damage the plastic with every disassembly) or find another 2.5" disk.

More to come.
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby CiH » Wed May 23, 2018 9:55 pm

I'm watching this thread with great interest!
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby SteveBagley » Wed May 23, 2018 10:17 pm

Ooh — I wonder whether we could modify Hatari to emulate it :)

Regarding TOS ripping, I wrote a tool to rip TOS 2.08 from the ST Book, which is at http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 25#p236871 if it’s of any use. Also, I seem to remember the Sparrow VDI was loaded off the HDD so it might be worth imaging that as well…

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Rustynutt » Thu May 24, 2018 1:32 am

Think I purchased the Sparrow I had from Wizztronics back in 96 or so. It was a fully functional unit. I didn't get into it much other than to try running most of the available software at the time. Apex didn't work, honestly not much ran at all, or limited.
It is a very cool piece to own. I kept it about a year, then traded it for a pretty nice TT.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby calimero » Thu May 24, 2018 4:33 am

mikro wrote:Of course I wanted to make a dump of TOS 2.07, had the tools and everything ready and... my HxC started to behave. So I will have to disassemble the Gotek from my Falcon (what I'm not so keen to do it as the screws damage the plastic with every disassembly) or find another 2.5" disk.

More to come.


I can send you 2.5" 60MB IDE drive to Bratislava if you want?

btw thanks for Great thread!
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 7:48 am

As promised, here's TOS 2.07 dump, for the first time in Atari history. :) I used both Ppera's and Pacifist's tools, both produce the same result.

Calimero: no need, I guess I can manage. However what would I certainly appreciate if someone had the exactly same unit, Conner CP2044PK (43 MB). So I could try to swap the electronics and restore the disk content (now I have realised that I forgot to mention that the original hard disk is dead; according to the original owner it contains an old MiNT and Sparrow-specific AHDI).

Btw Uwe's Harddisk Driver works, I just can't access my Falcon disk's partitions. :-)

Btw #2: I still have to use RGB/TV output because VGA gives me just the sleep mode. I tried to (re)set the NVRAM but...
MVIMG_20180523_222939.jpg
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby ThorstenOtto » Thu May 24, 2018 8:19 am

Unlike tos 4.04 it is only a single-language version. Do you know by any chance whether any versions for other languages existed?

So even SysInfo is quite confused.


I think that is only due to a wrong setting of the _MCH cookie (maybe the value for a Sparrow/Falcon wasn't even defined at that time)

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby joska » Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 am

mikro wrote:However what would I certainly appreciate if someone had the exactly same unit, Conner CP2044PK (43 MB). So I could try to swap the electronics and restore the disk content


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CONNER-PERIP ... Swi1tZYLtG
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 9:25 am

joska wrote:https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CONNER-PERIPHERALS-CP2044PK-40MB-2-5in-IDE-Hard-Disk-Drive-AG395PR-9137-SPK06/182657632724?hash=item2a873e49d4:g:ED4AAOSwi1tZYLtG

Yes, I did my homework. :) However paying US $42.63 for an old, 42 MB hard drive which hasn't been even tested is a bit too much for me. I've offered the guy $10 but I doubt he will take it.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 9:28 am

Rustynutt wrote:Think I purchased the Sparrow I had from Wizztronics back in 96 or so. It was a fully functional unit.

I have two boards from them (and know about another guy, accidentally also from Slovakia, who has another two). When comparing visually, one of them (rev. 2) looks pretty much identical to what I have so there's a strong possibility it will work too. I need to swap the TOS ROMs, add 68030 PGA (which I have) and install a RAM card. I want to test that first and then post some pictures.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 9:31 am

ThorstenOtto wrote:Unlike tos 4.04 it is only a single-language version. Do you know by any chance whether any versions for other languages existed?

I doubt that. TOS ROMs had been updated regularly, can't imagine somebody doing translations for it. Also, all Sparrows I have ever seen had only US keyboard layout.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Greenious » Thu May 24, 2018 10:21 am

mikro, have you checked the hardware for possible new registers etc?

Look at viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31904&p=344921#p344921
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 11:36 am

Greenious wrote:mikro, have you checked the hardware for possible new registers etc?

Look at viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31904&p=344921#p344921


Did you actually try it? Because the file I get from it is quite suspicious. Compiled as 'vasm -m68030 -Ftos -devpac -o regdump.tos dump.s'
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Greenious » Thu May 24, 2018 12:18 pm

mikro wrote:
Greenious wrote:mikro, have you checked the hardware for possible new registers etc?

Look at viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31904&p=344921#p344921


Did you actually try it? Because the file I get from it is quite suspicious. Compiled as 'vasm -m68030 -Ftos -devpac -o regdump.tos dump.s'


I wrote it... :oops:

And the output you are getting suggest there are no buserrors generated. :?
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby czietz » Thu May 24, 2018 4:02 pm

Probably you all already know, but there is an Atari spec for the Sparrow incl. registers. Unfortunately, formatting has been lost: https://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?a ... tach=12961
I wonder if mikros dump confirms the registers shown there.

EDIT: As for the bus errors: The document mentions the register at $FFFF8007 where bit 5 controls whether bus errors are generated. Maybe TOS 2.07 initializes this to 0 = bus errors disabled?

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Thu May 24, 2018 6:08 pm

czietz wrote:Probably you all already know, but there is an Atari spec for the Sparrow incl. registers. Unfortunately, formatting has been lost: https://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?a ... tach=12961
I wonder if mikros dump confirms the registers shown there.

EDIT: As for the bus errors: The document mentions the register at $FFFF8007 where bit 5 controls whether bus errors are generated. Maybe TOS 2.07 initializes this to 0 = bus errors disabled?

Good thinking, Christian. If the partial output is to be trusted, the register has value of 0x02, i.e. with bit 5 disabled. Unfortunately adding bset #5,$ffff8007 right after Super() call didn't help, on the contrary -- the whole tool just froze. I still have my doubts about its functionality, for instance its original version refuses to work in Hatari (I see many bus error outputs but this shouldn't be happening as the tool is supposed to catch them?)

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby czietz » Thu May 24, 2018 8:13 pm

By the way, here is the one page of an Atari Sparrow schematic that I could recover. It seems to be a very early revision, still with separate VGA and RGB connectors, so it most likely doesn't match mikro's board.
At first glance it looks like a STE with chips names GSTMCU and GSTSHIFTER. But at second glance, you can see that the chips are definitively different from the STE ones. For example, the MCU has IDE support included, the Shifter uses a 32 bit data bus, etc.
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Greenious » Thu May 24, 2018 11:20 pm

czietz wrote:Probably you all already know, but there is an Atari spec for the Sparrow incl. registers. Unfortunately, formatting has been lost: https://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?a ... tach=12961
I wonder if mikros dump confirms the registers shown there.

EDIT: As for the bus errors: The document mentions the register at $FFFF8007 where bit 5 controls whether bus errors are generated. Maybe TOS 2.07 initializes this to 0 = bus errors disabled?


Actually, it seems bit 3 is bus error control, bit 5 disables the blitter.

8007 RW dvim bs_c CPU Clock Select and misc controls

c - 0 - 8 Mhz
1 - 16 Mhz
s - 0 - Blitter clock 8Mhz
1 - Blitter clock CPUCLK
b - 0 - Blitter Enabled
1 - Blitter Disabled
m - 0 - MCUG Enabled
1 - MCUG Disabled (only if COMBO TEST pin HI)
i - 0 - ADDR BUS ERROR Disabled (default)
1 - ADDR BUS ERROR Enabled
v - PWF (Powerfail) - Reset by POR only
d - 0 - Bus Error timeout = 16us
1 - Bus Error timeout = 32us
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Greenious » Thu May 24, 2018 11:22 pm

mikro wrote:
czietz wrote:Probably you all already know, but there is an Atari spec for the Sparrow incl. registers. Unfortunately, formatting has been lost: https://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?a ... tach=12961
I wonder if mikros dump confirms the registers shown there.

EDIT: As for the bus errors: The document mentions the register at $FFFF8007 where bit 5 controls whether bus errors are generated. Maybe TOS 2.07 initializes this to 0 = bus errors disabled?

Good thinking, Christian. If the partial output is to be trusted, the register has value of 0x02, i.e. with bit 5 disabled. Unfortunately adding bset #5,$ffff8007 right after Super() call didn't help, on the contrary -- the whole tool just froze. I still have my doubts about its functionality, for instance its original version refuses to work in Hatari (I see many bus error outputs but this shouldn't be happening as the tool is supposed to catch them?)


I admit it is a crude piece of work, but it worked fine with my falcon... :oops:
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Arne » Fri May 25, 2018 4:08 am

mikro wrote:However what would I certainly appreciate if someone had the exactly same unit, Conner CP2044PK (43 MB).

I will have a look in the evening. I definitely do have 2.5" Conner IDE. Don't know if it's 20MB or 40MB.
Image

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby czietz » Fri May 25, 2018 5:43 am

Greenious wrote:Actually, it seems bit 3 is bus error control, bit 5 disables the blitter.

8007 RW dvim bs_c CPU Clock Select and misc controls

c - 0 - 8 Mhz
1 - 16 Mhz
s - 0 - Blitter clock 8Mhz
1 - Blitter clock CPUCLK
b - 0 - Blitter Enabled
1 - Blitter Disabled
m - 0 - MCUG Enabled
1 - MCUG Disabled (only if COMBO TEST pin HI)
i - 0 - ADDR BUS ERROR Disabled (default)
1 - ADDR BUS ERROR Enabled
v - PWF (Powerfail) - Reset by POR only
d - 0 - Bus Error timeout = 16us
1 - Bus Error timeout = 32us


How do you get to bit 3 here???

Code: Select all

8007   RW   dvim bs_c
            7654 3210


I'd still say the "bus error" bit i is number 5.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Fri May 25, 2018 9:52 am

Small update: I was able to verify that the ROMs which are given by Steve from Wizztronics along with his Sparrow boards are the same as mine. So you're not missing anything, the version from 29 Feb 1992 should work everywhere.

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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Fri May 25, 2018 10:03 am

czietz wrote:By the way, here is the one page of an Atari Sparrow schematic that I could recover. It seems to be a very early revision, still with separate VGA and RGB connectors, so it most likely doesn't match mikro's board.
At first glance it looks like a STE with chips names GSTMCU and GSTSHIFTER. But at second glance, you can see that the chips are definitively different from the STE ones. For example, the MCU has IDE support included, the Shifter uses a 32 bit data bus, etc.

It must have been this board:

post-35790-0-41587700-1369897090.jpeg

It's not even Sparrow, it's still a development system. But you can see the VGA/DIN13 connectors there.
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby Arne » Fri May 25, 2018 10:59 am

Sorry to say but it seems I dumped them already. :shrug:
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Re: Sparrow inspection

Postby mikro » Fri May 25, 2018 12:28 pm

Thanks for looking, Arne. In the end I have agreed to pay $25 + postage fees for the disk. I only hope that it's a working unit as the seller couldn't guarantee that.


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