My Falc up again but ....

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wongck
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My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:38 pm

Hi,

WoooHooo :D ... My Falc is up again last weekend after my failed attempt to DIY my nvram battery back in 2005/6 (can't remember when...).

Just weeks after I got an TT off ebay, and chance upon this forum, I decide to have a go at my Falc. All that reading on nvram & blank screen topic helps.

My Falc came back to life after
    1/ removing the HDD ( 300+ MB Toshiba HDD).
    2/ downsizing my ram from 16MB to 4MB on the ATIN memory board.
    Of course the time & nvram settings are scrambled on every reboot.
If I jumper the memory to 16MB = blank screen + ticking on the speaker.
If I put back my Toshiba HDD = blank screen + ticking on the speaker (even when the memory jumper is set to 1 MB or 4 MB).

So now, I am using an IBM 1.6 GB HDD and 4 MB ram, and it seems to work.

My floppy is also playing up - luckily after installing the HDD drivers and some files on the HDD.
It seems to fail reading after sometime, and will not recover even after a reboot.
However, if I place a 720MB floppy it will read it and works after that, even for 1.44 floppy.... until sometime later it decide to fail again. (cycle repeats).

So anyone have any ideas why it is behaving this way?
1/ Cannot use the old (previously working) HDD.
2/ Cannot use 16 MB while jumper to 4 MB works (same memory & adapter)
3/ Floppy drive unable to read and needs to recalibrate using a 720MB diskette.

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Nyh » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:16 am

wongck wrote:So anyone have any ideas why it is behaving this way?
1/ Cannot use the old (previously working) HDD.
2/ Cannot use 16 MB while jumper to 4 MB works (same memory & adapter)
3/ Floppy drive unable to read and needs to recalibrate using a 720MB diskette.

End of life of the power supply.

Hans Wessels

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Mr.JT » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:14 am

wongck wrote:So anyone have any ideas why it is behaving this way?

3/ Floppy drive unable to read and needs to recalibrate using a 720MB diskette.


Are you running plain TOS or something else (e.g., Magic)?

JT
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby frost » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:38 am

I have a spare power supply for Falcon if needed... I don't need it anymore since I have a CT60.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby jd » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:55 pm

Nyh wrote:
wongck wrote:So anyone have any ideas why it is behaving this way?
1/ Cannot use the old (previously working) HDD.
2/ Cannot use 16 MB while jumper to 4 MB works (same memory & adapter)
3/ Floppy drive unable to read and needs to recalibrate using a 720MB diskette.

End of life of the power supply.

Hans Wessels


Yeh power supply, get an old ATX out of an old PC that's what I have, situated externally of course.

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:31 am

Mr.JT wrote:Are you running plain TOS or something else (e.g., Magic)?

JT

Plain TOS 4.04.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:33 am

jd wrote:Yeh power supply, get an old ATX out of an old PC that's what I have, situated externally of course.

Ha.. That's good. Give me a reason to put my Falc into a tower :D
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Mr.JT » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:35 am

wongck wrote:
Mr.JT wrote:Are you running plain TOS or something else (e.g., Magic)?

JT

Plain TOS 4.04.


Not sure then...

I found that long file names on a floppy disc under magic caused the disk to appear corrupt. Ensuring filenames where always 8.3 meant the floppy would always work. Might be worth a try though?
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:35 pm

Ok,just in case someone is reading this tread.

My Falc is working great now - I just need to add a new battery to my NVRam, change the HDD and change the 16MB ram. The new stuff on it are running for half a year without issues.

Ciao.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Solarricht » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:27 am

Hi everyone,
Found this thread & wondering if this is my issue too. Just been lucky enough to get my hands on a Falcon 030 with 4mb RAM. It booted from the HD fine the first few times. But now wont boot -just hear clicking noises repeatedly on bootup and no Hd access. Also my floppy drive has become inaccessable and wont boot. When the HD was working i could access the floppy drive fine, but now just says "data on drive A might be damaged", or 2bomb crash if i try to boot from it.
Is this likely to be the PSU gone? Orshould i relace the HD & floopy drives first? Thanks.

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:03 am

I bet it's your nvram running dry.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Dal » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:10 am

Yep NVRAM or PSU. If NVRAM, take it off, replace with a socket and pop in a new one.


PSU could also be the culprit here too.
You can easily mod an ATX supply to work:
1. Desolder the connector and leads from the Falcon PSU (1xblue, 3xblack and 3xred lines)
2. As close to the ATX connector, cut 1xyellow, 4xblack, 3xred and the green line.
3. Strip off all the ends of the wires and tin them with some solder.
4. Cut some heatshrink up (9 pieces of approx 15mm long). Slide these pieces of heatshrink down the lines you cut in step 2
5. Solder the following lines from the ATX supply to the connector you salvaged in step 1:
Yellow - Blue
3x Black - 3x black
3x red - 3x red
6. Solder the remaining green and black lines from the ATX to a non latching "soft" button. This button will start up the machine.
7. Apply all the pieces of heatshrink (2 up to the button and the remaining 7 over the joins between the ATX and motherboard connector lines
As mentioned, you'll probably need to have the ATX PSU outside the machine.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Solarricht » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:17 am

Thanks for the help. will try that then & post back...
If its NVRAM did i read somewhere you can replace the battery inside the chip? Or is that for "real" techies! Hmmm got to try to source the chip then (in the uk) now.
Best electronics can ship me a new internal PSU. Sort of feels the right thing to do, but obviously will cost ££.

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Dal » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:49 am

You can wire in a new battery to the nvram, but it's a messy job. What I have done is replaced my nvram with a socket and a new chip. I extracted the old one carefully so at some point I'll get around to trying mod it with a battery clip connected. So next time I have an nvram failure, I can use this instead of buying a new chip... but that's 10 years away :)

If you really want a stock PSU, you can try ST-Freakz. He's in the UK so will be cheaper than Best
Mega"SST" 12, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:18 pm

You can certainly get a new PSU.
Like I said, it was a bad NVram.
My Falc was back running in Jun 2008 with the stock PSU.
I only moved to a ATX PSU due to my CT63, and that happened May 2009.
So it was on stock PSU for another 9 months and it was working well during those time.

I wrote in another thread a similar situation when I removed my batteries from my NVram mod.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:21 pm

Dal wrote:You can wire in a new battery to the nvram, but it's a messy job. What I have done is replaced my nvram with a socket and a new chip. I extracted the old one carefully so at some point I'll get around to trying mod it with a battery clip connected. So next time I have an nvram failure, I can use this instead of buying a new chip... but that's 10 years away :)


The socket and new chip is an excellent move.
However, you need to be extra careful not to damage the threads. If you do, there are some posting here that tells you how to repair them. :wink:
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Solarricht » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:00 pm

Well its been a day of getting to know my new Falcon intimately!
Braved it and took the cover etc off. Located NVRam chip at front middle of motherboard. Got the top off the chip and found the NVRAM battery under the silicon stuff.
Removed old battery & noted polarity. Tested battery voltage: 0.08v!
Soldered two wires to pins connecting battery & installed 3 aaa batteries.
Didnt solve boot problem.
Researched how to reset NVRAM but need a monochrome monitor adapter to run software because my TOS is 4.01 i cant reset using key combination hold.
Resorted to disconnecting hard disc cable then rebooting with a floppy. Hey presto -it booted up Starball lovely!
Plugged HD back in then restart. Wont boot from HD or floppy.
Disconnected HD cable again booted up HDdriver from floppy ok.
Plugged HD back in again, run HDdriver again. 63mb Hard disc now recognised.
Try to reformat HD. "Cant format medium error".
Try to partion HD. Wont partition.
HD still making clicking sound.
I think the hard disk is broken. Have ordered an IDE to CF adapter!
At least i can now boot from a floppy.
Could it be the PSU cant run both HD & floppy if both plugged in? Back to that problem?
Could the NVRAM battery going flat break the Hard disk?
Do I still need to bother resetting the NVRAM chip?
Even managed to upgrade my STe to TOS 2.06.
Lovely day! Falcons still in bits...

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:52 pm

Stock power supply (mine being a USA model so 110V only) was able to run with 2 IDE drives plus floppy.
If ya HDD is 63MB, that's the one that came with the original Falcon.
Look at the power rating.
Get a new 44pin IDE notebook hard disk while waiting for the CF.
Get the older 60GB ones, people throw them out for free.
Sure you cannot use all the space without MINT but the power rating for those drives are half of that 63MB Conners.
May be that will help?

Looking around the forum, a new PSU does solve some of the issues.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Dal » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:04 am

If you have an original Conner drive in there. Take it out and bin it, it's not worth the bother - the barings will be knackered without a doubt.

As Wong says, you can get a modern drive for nothing or next to nothing. You could even get an IDE to Sata converter (a lot of them will work either way round). Or IDE to CF adaptor if you have hddriver >= v8.

Still could be psu, but you definitely need to ditch that old drive regardless of the PSU's condition.
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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Ato » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:57 pm

An IDE to SD card adaptor works great in my Falcon with a 16GB card. Less strain on the ol' power supply and as fast as a lighting. Well, that is as fast as a 20 years old
lighting goes. :lol:

Cheers,
T.

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby alexh » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:12 am

I posted in another thread that a failed IDE drive temporarily disables the floppy drive. Take out / replace the IDE device and the floppy drive will function again.

http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... py#p162022

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Solarricht » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:53 am

alexh wrote:I posted in another thread that a failed IDE drive temporarily disables the floppy drive. Take out / replace the IDE device and the floppy drive will function again.

http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... py#p162022

So yesterday the CF-IDE adapter & card arrived. So did a CR2032 battery for NVram (had been using 3x aaa batteries). Low & behold after much fiddling with HDdriver, it booted back into life to my releif! Thanks for confirming this. Wish id found that thread earlier! Thanks everyone for your help with this one. Can very excitedly load all my software via floopy now. Back to cubase... :-)

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Re: My Falc up again but ....

Postby Ato » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:51 pm

Good job! Glad you figured it out. Another sane and safe Atari. :D

Cheers,
T.


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