Falcon Mod Resurrection.

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Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:33 am

Hi I have a falcon motherboard with some unknown mods, after digging on the forum I believe one is a clock mod:

viewtopic.php?t=28148
viewtopic.php?t=16181

The 2nd mod I have no idea what it is, as you can see in the pic there are wires all over the place and some have disconnected from where they used to be.

I would like to just remove these mods and have back a standard falcon that I can mount my ct63 in.

Any advice?

20160207_201601-1_resized.jpg
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Atari030
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby Atari030 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:41 am

Ouch. That looks pretty nasty. I think it is a Phantom accelerator.

viewtopic.php?t=15377

Some more pics;

http://satantronic.atari.sk/mxtreme/

Found the manual for you.

http://mujweb.cz/boban07/PhantomS/

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby paul92706 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:09 am

i would reverse deinstall this, using manuals of course. it shouldn't be to hard.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby Atari030 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:36 am

Yup. You would do well to install a new clock patch too. I don't think the CT63 etc replaced it like the CT2 did.

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:05 pm

Great thankyou Atari030 and paul.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby ctirad » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:49 pm

It is the Phantom SE accelerator. An early version. I'm the author, BTW. The installation need some cleanup, anyway.

I only don't get why you want to remove it. You will barely find anything better. It is perfectly compatible with the CT6x, the clock-patch is one of the rare ones that actually works even with the 50/25MHz BUS. The 44.1Khz for audio is also very useful. Just fix the installation and use it.

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby ctirad » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:55 pm

BTW, I see there are a few missing connections and some nonsense ones. If you send me a better photo I can help you with the fixes.

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby paul92706 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:13 pm

ctirad wrote:It is the Phantom SE accelerator. An early version. I'm the author, BTW. The installation need some cleanup, anyway.

I only don't get why you want to remove it. You will barely find anything better. It is perfectly compatible with the CT6x, the clock-patch is one of the rare ones that actually works even with the 50/25MHz BUS. The 44.1Khz for audio is also very useful. Just fix the installation and use it.

Ah! If it's compatiable with CT63, i would also leave it installed. But clean it up for sure
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:54 pm

I would appreciate the pictures very much ctirad, I will do my best to repair the install.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby Atari030 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:31 pm

Win, win. The bus acceleration will give a few more options for the CT63. My gremlins would go nuts with that mess, though. :-)

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:47 am

I have resoldered the wires that were off according to the phantom instructions. Ive attaced pics of the soldered areas. Booting up the Falcon the monitor gets out of range error on a vga monitor and a blank screen with the rca composite output. I remove the hard disk and floppy, same thing, on and off, on and off, reset, finally get a proper mem test and boot to gem desktop. Using arnes diagnostic cartridge I test what I can, everything passes but on the 2nd video test the output is all scrambled and i have to reset the machine. Scouring through the forums Ive gathered that the system clock can affect the videl. So theres something not working properly with this phantom install.

Ive got a shared dropbox link for hires pics. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/322sd2s6ixry ... Gwiya?dl=0

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby ctirad » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:43 am

You still have one connection wrong. The long blue wire (pics 4 and 5 from the top) from the card shouldn't be connected to the the plastic oscillator above SDMA, but to the DSP clock input. You can see there are interrupted trace between the original onboard 32MHz oscillator and the DSP. You have to solder the wire here. Please see manual for the exact diagram.

Also if you have the scope or a multimeter that can read frequency, you can check if there are 32MHz clock on the outputs of the Phantom (especially R234 under Comblel), 500KHz on the both ACIA inputs (the two lifted pins) and 16MHz on all outputs of the clock-patch (the three pads between CPU and COMBEL and the SDMA).

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:46 pm

Ok I have rewired to the dsp clock input, the machine boots now with video. The hard disk was dead so I pulled one out of an old thinkpad.
I have followed another thread where Dal suggested to use nemesis.prg and then nind instead of P_turbo.prg, I did that and see 3 modes 16/32,20/40, and 24/48. I ran gembench 4 on the diff modes, gembench 5 was crashing on the 13th test. I ran the diag cartridge and everything tests well except the video modes, it still goes all scrambled on the 2nd test. I must say that the nvram test passes and I dont know how thats possible, even hddriver gave me an nvram warning. I have a dallas DS 12887a coming from china so I waiting on that.

I had about 2 hrs with it and got 2 bombs more than a few times, so something still isnt right. I will go buy a multimeter today that I can check frequency of the outputs you have suggested.

I really appreciate the help and advice here, this falcon has been sitting in my closet for years. It was quite a joy to see it boot up.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby exxos » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:41 pm

I'm not following this topic much, but assuming that 50mhz osc is downclocking to 25mhz for the CPU, then likely its just to fast. I would swap it for a 40mhz one and see if its more stable, or IMHO, just take the booster out and get the stock machine working initially.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby ctirad » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:32 am

bugs wrote:Ok I have rewired to the dsp clock input, the machine boots now with video. The hard disk was dead so I pulled one out of an old thinkpad.
I have followed another thread where Dal suggested to use nemesis.prg and then nind instead of P_turbo.prg,


There are original Phantom driver + CPX somewhere. Basicaly, there are just two modes, 32/16MHz and 50/25Mhz.

I did that and see 3 modes 16/32,20/40, and 24/48. I ran gembench 4 on the diff modes, gembench 5 was crashing on the 13th test. I ran the diag cartridge and everything tests well except the video modes, it still goes all scrambled on the 2nd test.


I'am not sure what scrambled exactly means, could you make a photo?
Potentialy there could be problem with blitter. The blitter is switched to half frequency by the phantom driver while shitched switch to the 50/25 mode. Make sure you don't have any CPX (eg. falconf.cpx) enabled in your setup that could switch it back to its default frequency at boot.

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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby stimpy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:13 am

I used to used the Phantom in my Falcon along with the 44.1kHz clock. Never had problems, super stable. Looks a bit messy but actually quite neat with a solid ground plane. Only issue was the standard Atari 14MB ram card would make speckles on the monitor. The 4MB was OK or a replacement 72pin simm style was OK. I think this was written in the manual.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby bugs » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:47 pm

Ok I will take pictures, the machine is running nice other than the video corruption in some tests, I will take pictures.

I have looked around for software and can only find P_turbo.prg, havent seen any cpx modules for phantoms. Thats why I tried the nemesis software.

I have a 14mb wizztronics in another falcon I can swap out and see the differences.

I really hope its not the blitter or anything major, thats way outside of my soldering skillset. I spent 4hrs desoldering the nvram, nice and clean but still.

I may end up having to send this to exxos to fix up, shipping it from canada will probably cost my first born though.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby exxos » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:15 pm

I would assume if there is video corruption that either the Videl is clocked to high and/or the ST ram isn't fast enough.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby stimpy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:48 pm

If it is related to the type of RAM card then I think it was something to do with the Videl RAM access and the fact the Atari 14MB card has so many DRAM chips that it loads the bus heavily. I used to use it with speckles until I got around to replacing the memory card.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby exxos » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:51 pm

stimpy wrote:If it is related to the type of RAM card then I think it was something to do with the Videl RAM access and the fact the Atari 14MB card has so many DRAM chips that it loads the bus heavily. I used to use it with speckles until I got around to replacing the memory card.


It is possible lots of chips can load the bus more. I was thinking more 60ns RAM is probably needed. If he has 70-100+ns then its probably not going to work on a faster bus.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby Dal » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:37 pm

+1 for RAM. I had exactly the same issue. Just random little lines on the display when the Phantom was enabled, the machine ran absolutely fine though. Put faster RAM in and the problem went away.
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Re: Falcon Mod Resurrection.

Postby ctirad » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:23 pm

A wrong RAM cards (especially the big 4x32pin SIMM ones) do cause "raining" in picture when acceleration is enabled. Never heard of a stability issues, though. It seems the only video read bursts are affected.


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