V2 booster ready for pre-orders

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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:24 am

DarkLord wrote:I'm interested in how the two work together as well. Thanks for any info.



http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=29214&p=289115&sid=df319e0412fb49e93c4a4f5999369aa4#p287757
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby DarkLord » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:56 am

exxos wrote:
DarkLord wrote:I'm interested in how the two work together as well. Thanks for any info.



http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=29214&p=289115&sid=df319e0412fb49e93c4a4f5999369aa4#p287757


Had actually caught that, but thanks! :)

(am looking for multiple user experiences on different machines - I seem to get a better perspective like that)
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:59 am

DarkLord wrote:
Had actually caught that, but thanks! :)

(am looking for multiple user experiences on different machines - I seem to get a better perspective like that)


ah right, thought you had missed my post thats all :)

Yeah, others will run into problems no doubt :lol:
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby bugs » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:09 am

exxos wrote:
v3.jpg


Thanks very much to those who ordered one! Really helps give motivation into continuing with the booster products :)


I think it works both ways exxos, yours and many other Atarians efforts are what keeps the hobby and the nostalgia alive. So Thankyou....
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:12 pm

DarkLord wrote:
exxos wrote:
DarkLord wrote:I'm interested in how the two work together as well. Thanks for any info.



http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=29214&p=289115&sid=df319e0412fb49e93c4a4f5999369aa4#p287757


Had actually caught that, but thanks! :)

(am looking for multiple user experiences on different machines - I seem to get a better perspective like that)


The MonSTer has a jumper labelled FLASHON that disables the 2mb flash chip (1mb of which is mapped to 0xE00000 / 0xFC0000 to act as the ROM for TOS 1.4/2.06). So I plan to be using Alanh's board as an IDE / Alt-Ram only. All this stems from the ICD ADSpeed and MonSTer fighting over the same registers.

What I'm not clear on is if jumpering FLASHON disables the whole flash or only the 1mb ROM logic. I suspect it's only the 1mb mapping to 0xE00000 / 0xFC0000 because it is intended to disable the ROM and allow new code to be flashed to the 2mb chip.

The trick will be to work out a way to use the 1mb flash for other purposes. Alan mentions the spare 1mb could have a future use as a fast boot drive or similar. 1mb of RAM cache for the V2 booster anyone? Sadly I'm no programmer so it will be a long wait to see something from me ;-)
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:12 am

OK, so preliminary results are a mixed bag.

I'm installing on a Mega 1 motherboard C103544-001 - this is the one with SOJ DRAM chips.

It originally had an ICD ADSpeed booster and Marpet 4mb RAM upgrade fitted. It has an Overscan board fitted. I removed the Marpet upgrade and the original 256K x 4 chips and soldered new 1M x 4 chips and added the A9 line to the MMU. This I did a while ago and the system is rock solid with the ADSpeed and Overscan. So far so good.

First, getting the v2.2 booster fitted.

I removed the ADSpeed and popped Chris' bored in it's place. Already having the CPU socket fitted made fitting the V2.2 booster a breeze.

1. finding a point on the motherboard for the CPU pin 11 line. On the Mega 1 C103544-001 board the Blitter bypass jumper to the right of the blitter socket has a short trace running to the left of the lower jumper 'pin' (they're actually semi-circular pads) which ends in a via. This seemed like a good place to pick up CPU pin 11

I left 16MHz floating and booted the system at 8MHz. Good so far. TOS 1.4 booted up. This seems to be a patched version with a surprise boot screen (nice touch Chris!)

Ran TESTRAM.TOS - All good

Gembench - 99% as expected.

Swapped the jumper and booted TOS 2.06. All good so far.

Ran TESTRAM.TOS - All good

Gembench - 99% as expected.

2. 16MHz clock. To the left of the shifter is a resistor, R150, one side of this is wired directly to shifter pin 39. I picked up the 16MHz clock here on the R150 leg nearest shifter pin 39.

Not great. Totally unstable at 16MHz. TOS 2.06 booted OK initially. Running Gembench resulted in a freeze during the Float Math test. Reset. Four bombs on the next boot. Power cycle. No screen. Power cycle. More bombs.

Switch to TOS 1.4. System power on. Boot screen. Spontaneous reboot. reboot loop.

Coffee and a smoke. Thinking.

OK, lets try picking up 16MHz somewhere else or try a resistor on the 16MHz line. Nope. Move the wire to the leg after R150.

Now stable at 16MHz. TOS 1.4 and TOS 2.06 booting OK.

Ran TESTRAM.TOS - All good

Gembench returns average 134% (135 Display / 131 CPU)

Adding the MonSTer to the mix.

Ouch. Nope. Not happy. FLASHON jumpered to disable ROM mapping. Sometimes boots but bombs. Sometimes doesn't boot at all. Sometimes starts with a black screen and pressing reset nudges a normal boot.

Tried also swapping the blank 1mb area of the MonSTer into the TOS ROM 'window'. Slightly better behaviour but IDE not working. Bombs, bombs, bombs.

I'm missing something. More tests to come.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:43 am

Does monster work in 8mhz mode with the booster ?

EDIT1:

I've tried on my MEGA1 and see similar problems. The issue is the 16mhz clock isn't strong enough on the MEGA, so when the booster loads the line ,its to much and it dies. When I look at the 16mhz on my scope even without the booster connected, it looks more like a triangle wave than a squarewave. Though that issue is already well known on the MEGA :roll:

I have started designing a small buffer board, it was for the STFM, but will fit MEGA aswell. I will see if I can expedite its development.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:12 pm

So I "quickly" built a buffer boarding using a 22V10 GAL. Now it all boots up and runs GB.

My problem is, my MEGA doesn't run stable even as a stock 8mhz machine, so it crashes out after a couple of tests anyway :roll:

2.jpg

1.jpg


EDIT1:

I guess don't buy "Cheap" DRAM off ebay..

aaaaaaaaa.jpg


EDIT2:

Booster working with monster fine now :) I will see if I can track down where my local prototype PCB guy has vanished to, and get a few of the buffer boards made up for the crappy MEGA ST :)
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:39 pm

exxos wrote:Does monster work in 8mhz mode with the booster ?

EDIT1:

I've tried on my MEGA1 and see similar problems. The issue is the 16mhz clock isn't strong enough on the MEGA, so when the booster loads the line ,its to much and it dies. When I look at the 16mhz on my scope even without the booster connected, it looks more like a triangle wave than a squarewave. Though that issue is already well known on the MEGA :roll:

I have started designing a small buffer board, it was for the STFM, but will fit MEGA aswell. I will see if I can expedite its development.


Working great at 8MHz. On my Mega board revision R150 where I'm picking up 16MHz is 100R.

The V.2.2 booster works great with a 100R on the 16MHz line but MonSTer craps it out.

The V.2.2 booster works great at 8MHz and the MonSTer works great with it.

I have not tried the V2.2 booster without the 100R on the 16MHz line with the MonSTer - probably no different.

I have a load of logic chips kicking around so I might look at lashing up something.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:14 pm

SoundDoctor wrote:Working great at 8MHz. On my Mega board revision R150 where I'm picking up 16MHz is 100R.
The V.2.2 booster works great with a 100R on the 16MHz line but MonSTer craps it out.
The V.2.2 booster works great at 8MHz and the MonSTer works great with it.
I have not tried the V2.2 booster without the 100R on the 16MHz line with the MonSTer - probably no different.
I have a load of logic chips kicking around so I might look at lashing up something.


I've tried picking up 16mhz before or after the resistor, adding resistance, reducing it, best I could get was for it to crash after mostly loading gembench. Adding monster would load the 8mhz line more, so doubt it would be a factor in this case.

i've had GB6 running for over 3 hours now and its not crashed out once. So I have designed a buffer board meanwhile..

20160211210657.jpg


I used a GAL so 32mhz goes from the motherboard to the GAL, the GAL then outputs 32mhz to the shifter, then downclocks to 16mhz which replaces the shifter's 16mhz output. I also added in 8mhz and 4mhz output on a "break out" connector as I need to replace the MMU clocks for some other booster work at some point. Each clock output has 2 output pins, so will help keep things stable rather than driving everything off 1 source.

I've added 2 SMT caps on there for the GAL and shifter. I've noticed some interference on the white background since adding the board. So 2 caps, probably 10uF and 10nF on each chip or something like that. Also a place for a small choke if needs be, or can be a wire link. Could be some trial and error involved in working out the values.

So just trying to see how much I can get some PCB's made for, no use in going for a pro-run with these, probably look towards getting 5 made.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:46 am

My board with V.2.2 booster runs great at 16MHz with 100R on the clock line. Adding the MonSTer causes grief - one thing different on my system is I'm using Alan's Megabus adapter for the MonSTer. Everything works great together at 8MHz. It looks like you're piggy backing the booster onto of the MonSTer Chris, how do you get clearance for the IDE connectors?
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby bugs » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:32 am

Im not sure ive followed everything here, who is going to need the buffer board? is it just if its going into a Mega? or is it something to do with running the MonSter concurrently?
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:25 am

bugs wrote:Im not sure ive followed everything here, who is going to need the buffer board? is it just if its going into a Mega? or is it something to do with running the MonSter concurrently?


It has nothing to do with MonSTer. The issue is bad clocks on the MEGA. Likely to much capacitance loading the 16mhz line on the MEGA, where it doesn't suffer from this on the STFM, the signal route is a lot less on the STFM aswell. So the MEGA needs the clock buffer board I posted above.

I guess its similar to adding a buffer on the falcon's clocks. Seems Atari never learned any lessons with bad clocks over the years. Its clear they had issues as some MEGA's had resistors in the clock lines and others didn't.


SoundDoctor wrote:My board with V.2.2 booster runs great at 16MHz with 100R on the clock line. Adding the MonSTer causes grief

Different MEGA revisions seem to have better luck with clocks than others. I can't see it being stable without a buffer.

MonSTer doesn't use the 16mhz line, so can only assume the extra supply rail bounce of running more hardware causes the 16mhz line to malfunction even more.

This is why its important to have a good PSU also. Like I documented on my site, if the PSU is bouncing 1V on the 5V rail, then the 16mhz line being bad to start with, will also then get 1V bounce on it. You probably have like 4V on the 16mhz clock, adding monster trips it down to 3.9V kinda thing. Its just a example of what can happen. Its of no fault of MonSTer or the booster, just the MEGA is a bad machine and needs "fixing".

I've had it looping GB6 for almost 6 hours, V2.2 booster with MonSTer after adding the clock buffer. Without the buffer, I could only do a couple of tests at best.

SoundDoctor wrote:It looks like you're piggy backing the booster onto of the MonSTer Chris, how do you get clearance for the IDE connectors?


I've just got DIP sockets lifting everything up. If you need more height use more sockets. I've not checked the IDE connector, I need to order a IDE cable as seemed to have lost mine.

I use sockets on header pins as boards are in and out all the time on my test machines, so it protects the headerpins on the boards. So I probably have more sockets than actually needed.

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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:22 pm

Small update - I've ordered 2 prototype buffer boards to be made, will be a few days while they are cut out, so will report back as soon as they arrive..
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:52 pm

Chris, this might be stupid question but…

I bought a couple of your HD v6.3 proto kits, one of which I'm installing in the Mega. Does the GAL on the HD kit clean up the 16Mhz for the WD floppy controller pin 18? Is there anywhere on the HD v6.3 GAL that I can pick off a cleaner constant 16MHz line or does the only GAL clock O/P toggle 8/16?
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:07 pm

SoundDoctor wrote:Chris, this might be stupid question but…

I bought a couple of your HD v6.3 proto kits, one of which I'm installing in the Mega. Does the GAL on the HD kit clean up the 16Mhz for the WD floppy controller pin 18? Is there anywhere on the HD v6.3 GAL that I can pick off a cleaner constant 16MHz line or does the only GAL clock O/P toggle 8/16?


The GAL only outputs 8/16mhz to the 1772. Wasn't any need to buffer any outputs on it :)

It does point out something though, that the floppy kit probably won't work in the MEGA without the buffer kit... Its just replacing the V2 GAL with the HDV6 kit GAL, so possible the HD6 kit won't work either. Never gave it a thought until you mentioned it, so no so stupid question really :)

I've always had the HD6 kit in my STFM with the booster, and it all works fine there. So you have no choice on the MEGA but to buffer the 16mhz line directly from the shifter. Though delaying the 16mhz might also cause problems. Its why I started from the 32mhz clock and downclocked back to 16mhz. I think you will have troubles trying to fix it any other way.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:34 pm

exxos wrote:
SoundDoctor wrote: Its why I started from the 32mhz clock and downclocked back to 16mhz. I think you will have troubles trying to fix it any other way.

Hang on, maybe I misunderstood that last bit - do you mean the booster is down clocking the 32MHz feed to generate it's own 16MHz? Or that your development started with 32MHz feed and went back to 16MHz because of the delay dividing the clock?
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:40 pm

SoundDoctor wrote:
exxos wrote:
SoundDoctor wrote: Its why I started from the 32mhz clock and downclocked back to 16mhz. I think you will have troubles trying to fix it any other way.

Hang on, maybe I misunderstood that last bit - do you mean the booster is down clocking the 32MHz feed to generate it's own 16MHz? Or that your development started with 32MHz feed and went back to 16MHz because of the delay dividing the clock?


I'm talking about the buffer board..

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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:14 pm

Ah, gotcha. Note to self - re-read stuff before posting...
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby Moggy2001 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:38 pm

SoundDoctor wrote:I believe my V2 booster may have arrived in the mail today. Thanks Chris.
Can't pick it up until tomorrow. I'll be pulling the ADSpeed from my Mega and fitting Chris' booster to coexist with Alanh's MonSTer board. I'll post a little report for those who are interested.


any reports?? ive got the monster and waiting for the v2 to arrive just bought a c070789 motherboard for it all to fit (fingers crossed)

ied love to see some pictures plus it would help :)

cheers

carl

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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby SoundDoctor » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:31 pm

Moggy2001 wrote:
SoundDoctor wrote:I believe my V2 booster may have arrived in the mail today. Thanks Chris.
Can't pick it up until tomorrow. I'll be pulling the ADSpeed from my Mega and fitting Chris' booster to coexist with Alanh's MonSTer board. I'll post a little report for those who are interested.


any reports?? ive got the monster and waiting for the v2 to arrive just bought a c070789 motherboard for it all to fit (fingers crossed)

ied love to see some pictures plus it would help :)

cheers

carl

I've hit a glitch due to the woeful clocks in the Mega ST. The STFM should be fine as the clock distribution is way better.

It's all there in my earlier posts - so no report on the Mega ST until it's stable.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:02 pm

mega_buffer.jpg


Seems to work OK. Need to do some tweaks yet though.
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby bugs » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:09 pm

Any update on the buffer board for the booster on a Mega?
Atari Falcon *2, Phantom,CT63, TT030, MegaSte with crazydots, Mega ST4 soon with exxo booster, Mega ST2, 1040STE, 1040STFM, 130xe *2, 1200xl nib, 800xl nib, 800, 400 (first computer from new) Lotharek MIST

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exxos
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:28 am

bugs wrote:Any update on the buffer board for the booster on a Mega?


PCB's arrived yesterday, so I just have to do a page on how to build/fit them.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - various clutter

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator

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exxos
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Re: V2 booster ready for pre-orders

Postby exxos » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:00 pm

These are all the PCB's which are left for the V2 booster. Thanks to everyone whos ordered one. I've got a couple on back order so trying to get these last ones built up as quick as I can.

I'm not planning on building anymore of these boosters as people keep asking me for a STE version. So that will be the next version which will go into production. More on that another time.

As a reminder, the V2 fits the STFM/MEGA and is 16mhz booster with 16mhz TOS104/TOS206 ROM.

v2.jpg
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4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - various clutter

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator


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