Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

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Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:32 am

What's happening guys. I'm having some troubles with my 1040STe.

I picked this machine up a couple years ago from the UK. I replaced the PSU with a 110v psu so I wouldn't have to use a step up transformer to power it.

Problem is this: Once first powered on everything works fine. After about 15 to 25 minutes I start getting lock ups. The unit will just freeze or I will typically get 3 bombs. If I power it off for quite a while it will continue to work again.

So far I have tried 2 different PSUs in it. Including a Picopsu mod. Both exhibit the same behavior. So I don't think it's PSU related.

The machine has 4 megabytes ram and only mod to it has been that I replaced the floppy drive with a Gotek floppy emulator. Running the latest HxC firmware. No external HD or other mass media. I use a PS/2 to Atari mouse interface so that I can use a regular PS/2 mouse.

I have pulled and reseated several IC's on the board, though I haven't done them all yet. It appears to me that something is overheating, however with the occasional 3 bombs I am not sure.


Thoughts?


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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby siriushardware » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:17 pm

Do your square socketed ICs have metal spring clips over the top?

I powered up a 1040STe that I had put away working and had mothballed for about 15 years. When I took it out it ran fine, but then went down after about half an hour of perfect running.

In my case the problem was that someone had removed the metal clips from the PLCC socketed ICs and the internal pressure on the sides of the sockets from the inserted chips had caused the sides of the sockets to bow outwards slightly over a long period of time, making the chips a poor fit and contact between the pins and contacts in the middle of each side of the socket unreliable. The purpose of the clips (or one purpose, anyway) is to exert equal pressure on the outsides of the sockets so that the constant pressure from inside can't deform the sockets in this way.

I could only get the machine to run reliably by fitting new PLCC sockets, but this in itself was like one of the trials of Hercules, as the original Atari sockets have a non-standard pinout and are only reliably available from one specialist Atari supplier (Best) in the USA. Since then, one of the UK forum members here has produced a compact alternative in the form of a standard socket mounted on a converter PCB.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Bama » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:29 pm

Where are the best sources to find the Metal spring clips for the PLCC sockets?
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:04 am

delayed locks or freezes like that make me think of a bad capacitor, either on the psu or the big one on the motherboard, you should check them.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:08 am

Bama wrote:Where are the best sources to find the Metal spring clips for the PLCC sockets?

You can't change them, at least not easily, and this socket is different from the plcc64 sockets we find nowaday, the modern pins don't have the same implantation on the board, thus they are not compatibles.
Your best bet would be this:
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0001
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/blitter/index.htm (the part about the funky socket).
oups misreaded, the only source i know of for the clips is ebay, and the availability and prices are quite random.
While i'm at it, not having the clips isn't a sign someone removed them, not all atari ste had them from factory.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:17 am

siriushardware wrote:Do your square socketed ICs have metal spring clips over the top?

I powered up a 1040STe that I had put away working and had mothballed for about 15 years. When I took it out it ran fine, but then went down after about half an hour of perfect running.

In my case the problem was that someone had removed the metal clips from the PLCC socketed ICs and the internal pressure on the sides of the sockets from the inserted chips had caused the sides of the sockets to bow outwards slightly over a long period of time, making the chips a poor fit and contact between the pins and contacts in the middle of each side of the socket unreliable. The purpose of the clips (or one purpose, anyway) is to exert equal pressure on the outsides of the sockets so that the constant pressure from inside can't deform the sockets in this way.

I could only get the machine to run reliably by fitting new PLCC sockets, but this in itself was like one of the trials of Hercules, as the original Atari sockets have a non-standard pinout and are only reliably available from one specialist Atari supplier (Best) in the USA. Since then, one of the UK forum members here has produced a compact alternative in the form of a standard socket mounted on a converter PCB.

I don't think they were removed i rather think they were never installed from factory, you won't find them in every sts, even unopened ones.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby mlynn1974 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:37 pm

3 bombs is an address error.
Reference:
viewtopic.php?t=14501

Does the machine lockup or bomb out when sitting idle or when reading\writing from floppy disk\gotek?
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:58 pm

mlynn1974 wrote:3 bombs is an address error.
Reference:
viewtopic.php?t=14501

Does the machine lockup or bomb out when sitting idle or when reading\writing from floppy disk\gotek?


I'll need to test it further, but it seems to happen during read/write sessions with the Gotek.

But since I am mostly playing different demos with the STe, it makes since that it is off and on reading from the Gotek.


Has anyone else seen this behavior from the Gotek?

Just weird that it would start happening after a while and not at first power on.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:17 pm

thgill wrote:
mlynn1974 wrote:3 bombs is an address error.
Reference:
viewtopic.php?t=14501

Does the machine lockup or bomb out when sitting idle or when reading\writing from floppy disk\gotek?


I'll need to test it further, but it seems to happen during read/write sessions with the Gotek.

But since I am mostly playing different demos with the STe, it makes since that it is off and on reading from the Gotek.


Has anyone else seen this behavior from the Gotek?

Just weird that it would start happening after a while and not at first power on.


Thats why it feels like there is a charging or heating issue, this could explain why it's delayed. And if it's a charging issue the problem most probably come from a capacitor which doesn't work correctly anymore.
Now if it's a heating issue, a good cleaning of the computer allways help.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:10 am

Well, I doubt it's a cap on the psu as I just recapped it plus i tested it with a picopsu and get the same results.

Are the STe machines known to need the motherboard recapped?
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:30 am

We're touching here a big disagreement between members of this forum, the caps in the atari are old and can fail, but it's not an absolute law, the main cap is to be checked anyway (the bigger one).
This said, if you do decide to recap the motherboard, don't use low prices ones, their lifespan is shorter.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby mlynn1974 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:36 pm

On the STe there does seem to be a lot of capacitors on the motherboard.
If you know that the power supply is good and stable that rules out a dodgy power supply. To rule out the Gotek it might be an idea to put in a good, working floppy drive and see how it runs when the ST is warm.

You may need to inspect the motherboard for any sign of bulging or leaking capacitors.
Check and replace any damaged electrolytic capacitors on the main board, especially any under or near the warm power supply.

I don't know why 3 bombs would be shown. That's an address error. Is it possible that the MMU could be damaged?

I'm not a hardware expert but luckily there are lots of people who can advise on the forum.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Maeke » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:17 am

Pay attention that a bad capacitor isn't allways spottable by eye.
And if that's a mmu issue, then this ste is pratically doomed since it's integrated in the gst mcu (which can also integrate the blitter on later revisions), a large smt ic, unless it comes from the decoupling capacitor of this ic.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby dlfrsilver » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Changing the capacitors on the STE motherboard can only do good to the computer. Atari has used crap 3rd grade taiwanese shitty capacitors namely Wang's cap, refered as being bad on the badcaps forum.

I have replaced those on my own STEs, and it did them good.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby leech » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:06 am

I had a bad SIMM in my Mega STe that showed similar issues. I would start with something along the lines of heat and/or memory issues. Maybe boot with 1mb, then 2mb then 4mb?
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby joska » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:57 am

dlfrsilver wrote:Changing the capacitors on the STE motherboard can only do good to the computer.


Yes, if done by someone competent. Otherwise the motherboard can easily be damaged.

mlynn1974 wrote:I don't know why 3 bombs would be shown. That's an address error. Is it possible that the MMU could be damaged?


An address error is caused by a word/longword access to an odd address. AFAIK this is exception is triggered by the CPU itself, not externally. Could still be an MMU-problem, maybe DRAM refresh is broken or there's something wrong with MMU address decoding resulting in corrupted memory. Or more likely - as leech suggests - a faulty SIMM.

thgill wrote:It appears to me that something is overheating, however with the occasional 3 bombs I am not sure.


It doesn't have to be overheating. As the motherboard heats up to normal operating temperature, some socket/component/trace/whatever may expand just enough to cause a dodgy connection to fail. You can try freeze spray - leave the top case off, and when the problems starts spray the individual suspected components one by one. Poweercycle the machine between each spray and check if the problem disappears. If it does, the problem is probably caused by the last component you sprayed.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:36 pm

Are there any utilities on the ST that I could use to test the Simms?

I might pop over to ebay and pick up some more.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:15 am

Ok, so just saw the YAART memory test application.

Ran it on my STe and after maybe an hour, it bombed with 4 bombs.

Pic in case it helps:

Image


So memory problem? Or could this still point to something else?
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby Greenious » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:49 am

thgill wrote:Ok, so just saw the YAART memory test application.

Ran it on my STe and after maybe an hour, it bombed with 4 bombs.

Pic in case it helps:

Image


So memory problem? Or could this still point to something else?


I'm not so sure this indicates a memory problem. Normally you say you can work for 15-20 minutes before problems, and this memory test ran for about an hour? 4 bombs is illegal instruction, before you say you only got 3 bombs? (adress error) Both are 2 sides of the same "coin", and if you really had memory problems they should occur about equally imho. This seems a bit inconcistent with a memory problem.

Did you restart the memory test after this, and how long did it run after that?

As for recapping, it might be needed, but imho if it is really needed you should be experiencing bad sound/pic distortions, especially under stress, such as floppy access. (Edited, clarification)

A complete reseating, and also, I would recommend a thorough cleaning of the mobo, so that nothing is causing a short somewhere. (Had a PC with an insect stuck to the mobo that ended up causing random failures last year...)
Last edited by Greenious on Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby thgill » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:56 am

I didn't rerun it last night.

However I did run it again tonight.

Bombed out again after approx. 1 hour (unsure exact time as I had turned the monitor off for a while).

This time with 11 bombs:

Image



Clearly there is some kind of hardware fault at hand here.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby mpattonm » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:46 am

thgill wrote:Are the STe machines known to need the motherboard recapped?


I just had to replace C417, 47uF electrolyte in audio out circuity in order to get mono sound over DIN13 on an STe. So yeah, STe, as actually any other 10 years plus old electonics, is known to be in need of recap. And its unfortunatelly not limited to power line caps.
Mega I have on table right now has incredibly low sound. Even with volume knob all the way up its barely audiable. I have not looked yet but I expect this to be similar kind of problem.
Electrolytes are weak link of chain in any any, even modern, design. They have their expected/advertised lifetime, typically 1-3 thns. hours and after that simply start losing capacitance, causing circiuty they are used in to fail. Some short circuit, some leak on motherboard, some bulge or even blow.

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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby dhedberg » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:53 am

The hours specified for a capacitor (usually 1,000-5,000) hours is for the endurance test at their rated temperature, i.e., 1,000h at 105C. This does not mean that they go bad after 1,000h. It just means that they are no longer guaranteed to have the same specifications. The useful life for a capacitor at the rated temperature is usually at least the double, and it becomes longer at lower temperatures.

Take the Vishay 138 AML 4700uF 16V capacitor for instance. The endurance is specified as 1,000h at 105C, but it has a useful life of 200,000h at 40C.

As long as the computer (with electrolytic capacitors) is used at a regular basis, the capacitors can last a long time. However, if you don't power up the computer for 5-10 years, that's a different matter.
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Re: Troubles with 1040STe locking up or bombing out

Postby mpattonm » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:51 am

mpattonm wrote: Even with volume knob all the way up its barely audiable. I have not looked yet but I expect this to be similar kind of problem.

Well I should start Apple, that kind of visionaire I am. C35 was a root cause.


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