not-so-stable TT

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not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Fri May 11, 2018 7:14 am

I have Atari TT (new model, no daughterboard) that's beahving rather badly...
My setup: TT, 4MB ST RAM, 64MB TT RAM (RAM tested with yaart and seems to be ok), SCSI2SD (v 5.0)
I thought it was working correctly before I installed NVDI (ie. I started a few programs, accessories, cpx etc) mainly from the floppy and it always worked.
Once I installed NVDI (5.1 and 4 - installed multiple times from floppy, hxc - didn't make any difference) I started getting random bombs at random times (mostly two bombs but I've seen eleven a few times as well). The bombs appear at random times - it can be right after nvdi loads on the boot screen or much later when I start control panel or application. Sometimes even during resolution switch. I think (I might be wrong though) that it mainly happens at TT Medium but I've also seen it at ST high and tt low).
Any idea what could that be?
I'm suspecting scsi2sd because I recently noticed that I'm getting some errors when copying files from external ultrasatan (eg. could not find file AE - which is not even there!)...
Any idea where to start looking for a fix../

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby wongck » Fri May 11, 2018 11:56 am

might be corrupted NVDI ?
dl a new archive and try.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby mzry » Fri May 11, 2018 12:00 pm

Has your PSU had a re-cap? That is always a good idea. Exxos sells re-cap kits.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Fri May 11, 2018 12:02 pm

PSU has been recapped and all voltages are fine.
I tried original nvdi 5.01 disks, original 4.0 disks and downloaded 5.something - same result...

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby Dal » Fri May 11, 2018 2:33 pm

Is the scsi2sd installed internally? How have you set up the scsi2sd interface (parity, ID, termination etc), also do you have the internal terminating resistor packs installed (on the main board right near the external scsi port)?

2 bombs is an address error, so I’m inclined to think this is a scsi-related issue or possibly the ST-RAM.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Fri May 11, 2018 5:21 pm

Yes - it is installed internally.
What options should I select in scsi2sd for TT? I currently have scsi2, ID 0. Termination as far as I know (for version 5 of the board) is installed on board (and the option in the config applies only to version 5.1). I'm using HDDriver ver 10.
I'm not sure about termination resistors on the board - I'll check (I'm guessing they are there as there was scsi HDD installed and worked OK).
ST Ram is probably fine (I tested it multiple times with yaart)

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby dhedberg » Fri May 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Never looked into this, but there ought to exist a memory resident tool that installs itself on the exception vectors that can produce a memory dump at the event of a crash? That could prove useful in this case.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Fri May 11, 2018 8:09 pm

thanks, I'll try to find the tool..


BTW - I tried freemint install but it generates two bombs every time:
IMG_3561.PNG

I removed both TT RAM and ST RAM card and the problem persists..
I also get some artefacts on screen (rarely but they are apparent) - something like this:
IMG_3560.JPG
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby wongck » Sat May 12, 2018 12:19 am

have you tried removing the scsi2sd and running everything from hxc ?
You can make a monster floppy with hxc ( 4MB IIRC ) and test this.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Sat May 12, 2018 8:49 pm

OK - I tried running MINT from hxc and it (almost) worked... It gets to xaes and stops right at this point:
IMG_3568.JPG

So to me it seems like mint is loading OK and stops at some aes problem while on scsi2sd and ultrasatan it stops pretty much immediately (way before the point of mint being booted)...
The question now is what exactly is that aes error and how to fix it to make sure it all works from the floppy?
And also - what exactly can be broken/not working with my TT if it doesn't really work with either scsi2sd or ultrasatan?
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby dhedberg » Sun May 13, 2018 8:57 am

I would say that the primary suspect here is SCSI termination. The chain should be properly terminated at both ends.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby wongck » Sun May 13, 2018 9:05 am

You really are too ambitious. I was only thinking of NVDI from floppy not MiNT. But it does proof that the issue is SCSI2SD related.
Forget about running MiNT from floppy get the scsi issue solved. I think you need not have terminators but need short cables only.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Sun May 13, 2018 9:22 am

I wasn't going to run mint from hxc - it's a nice device but I'd spend most of the time looking at mint booting... It was a "proof of concept" only to see if mint will boot from floppy... ;)
What bothers me is that mint doesn't boot from ultrasatan _and_ scsi2sd... I know (by now) that I have a problem with scsi2sd but I was pretty sure it would work from usatan... And now I'm wondering if there's a "common point" between asci and scsi (ultrasatan is ASCI)..? Eg. common chip or something? Perhaps that's what's causing the problem?
As for scsi2sd termination - I have packs installed on scsi2sd (it's version 5.0) and motherboard... The scsi cable is in fact a bit long (probably 30cm). I think I have a short one so I'll try that... But I'm still not sure if there is a point in playing with scsi2sd until I'm sure the TT itself is OK (ie. ultrasatan works)...
Also - I saw a post where on user mentioned 5v on some scsi pins on TT motherboard for active termination to work (scsi2sd is - i think - active termination)... Has anybody done that (ie. provided 5v to these pins on the motherboard)? I think he mentioned "wire 13" which is probably pin 26 on TT internal scsi port...

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby mzry » Sun May 13, 2018 11:16 am

Just FYI, I could only get my SCSI2SD working on my TT with HDDRIVER 9.06. As per the WIKI below:
http://www.codesrc.com/mediawiki/index. ... patibility
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby wongck » Sun May 13, 2018 12:35 pm

Yeah ok.
Have not tried running MiNT from floppy. So no idea what happened.
On the wiki there was an article on scsi and TT but the wiki is not accessible now.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Sun May 13, 2018 2:57 pm

OK - I think I'm pretty sure there is a problem with my TT - or something that's common between SCSI and ASCI on the motherboard to be precise.
Everything works OK when booting from floppy - nvdi, mint etc.
When booting from ultrasatan (ASCI) or scsisd (SCSI) - nothing works. What's worse I'm getting errors (non existing two-letter files) when copying anything from/to ultrasatan or from/to scsi2sd. When I want to copy a directory I always get an error in a form of "Can not copy a file <two letter file name here>". And that file in fact doesn't exist in the source directory...
Anyway - does anybody know what exactly is common between ASCI and SCSI (but not floppy)? Perhaps DMA...?
Any idea how to start troubleshooting/where to look for?
Any help appreciated...

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby 1st1 » Sun May 13, 2018 6:18 pm

Please run a memory test!
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Sun May 13, 2018 7:21 pm

I did as a first step - yaart didn't complain and several runs didn't show any errors..

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby 1st1 » Sun May 13, 2018 7:24 pm

Do you have an osciloscope? If yes, check the stability pf the +5V with it, while trying to bomb it, like above. Check the voltage at the power supply, a capacitor near CPU, near ST and TT RAM, and so on.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Sun May 13, 2018 7:43 pm

unfortunately I don't have one... All I can do is simple multimeter test and voltages seem perfectly fine. I also recapped the PSU just to be sure.. I'm wondering if it's possible that TT has some issues with DMA... Any ideas? Perhaps a recap of the motherboard...? I've no idea really...

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Mon May 14, 2018 8:46 am

I'm starting thinking it's DMA (both chips apparently)...
Does anyody know what DMA chips exactly new version of TT is using (ie. 32mhz without daughterboard)? I'm away from home and can't check now..
Is there any chance of getting replacement ones...?

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby damanloox » Tue May 15, 2018 7:07 am

OK - I give up. I don't think I'll be able to find what the problem is. It seems like infamous DMA problem but TT isn't supposed to have that issue AFAIK... Besided - as far as I can see - the files on the drive (both ultrasatan which is ASCI and scsi2sd which is SCSI) are not corrupted (but yes - I get errors when copying). Random bombs when running from usatan or scsi2sd are not sign of healthy TT either...
I stripped the TT to barebones - just motherboard and the drive (usatan or scsi2sd - I tested both scenarios) and still have the same issues.
If anybody has any ideas - please let me know. I'd really like to bring this TT to it's glory..
Do you think changing capacitors on the motherboard will help...? I think this might be "noise" related but I don't have an oscilloscope to prove it...

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby Gaiyan » Tue May 15, 2018 8:09 am

At this point, since you've already stripped the TT to barebones, inspect both sides of the board with a magnifying glass if possible. Pay special attention to the solder side and look for bad/cold solder joints, possible previous rework crud (clean flux residue with IPA), check tracks for corrosion, especially at the pads.

If you're daring and have proper tools you could consider re-flowing suspect spots. But at least a through inspection is called for at this point. If you suspect bad TOS or want to change it, I can help you there.

Well, changing caps is never bad as long as you do a good job and use quality caps. I've done both my Stacys PSU and motherboard. I would at least do it as a last resort if everything else fails.

If inspection and reflow don't help, then we start looking at various components. A logic probe and schematics help. Inspect every chip. Replace suspect logic ICs. You could try the piggyback method but that's not reliable but has helped. Logic Probes are really really cheap and are invaluable.
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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby mikro » Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 am

Actually the fact you made it crash during FreeMiNT is much better than with NVDI. Because, you know, FreeMiNT is open source. So you can pinpoint the exact cause. From your posts I have a feeling it's memory-related but that's too wide of course -- starting with noise on the bus and ending with bad RAM card.

IMHO SCSI shouldn't play a major role here as it isn't involved in screen resolution changing or FreeMiNT booting.

If you have time / experience, you can build a debug freemint kernel and enable debug output -- that way you'd see where exactly the bombs are triggered.

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Re: not-so-stable TT

Postby dhedberg » Tue May 15, 2018 8:54 am

I would suggest you to try and find another SCSI device, such as an old SCSI hard disk and see if it works.
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