The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

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The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/floppy/index.htm

The floppy gets a workout today, now added 1.44 HD floppy support :-)
Last edited by exxos on Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 floppy

Post by exxos »

Hd4prots.jpg
hd5.png
New final design. took a bit of working out to fix the 6ms issue on the 720k floppys, of course if people behaved and used the MPF920 drive it wouldn't be as noisey anyway :lol:

Took a lot of working out since the external and external drives need to be checked vs 720 & 1.44 mode. Had to use a second multiplexer to select the drive to check and then check the mode. Of course some people think this is crazy using 3 chips, well these are normal LS type chips which have been around for like 3million years and while older types vanish, there is normally new ones or variations of the same chips, so the design can be made in the future without having to worry about making new GAL programs each time, and finding the chips! I will try and draw the diagrams for this when I have more time.

The LS151 is the a multiplexer that switches the 8mhz & 16mhz clocks depending on what disc is inserted on which drive. There is also a 3rd line on there which most upgrades do not include, thats the "drive on" line, where the WD1772 always switches back to 8mhz when the drives are not in use. This allows the device to run cooler and only switches to 16mhz when needed.

The HC4002 is the unique auto step speed setting, which changes the step speed "on the fly" so no software or patches is needed whatsoever as that is the function of that chip.

The LS258 is a 2 line multiplexer which is the lasted addon, this takes care of only altering the step rate common upon 1.44 floppies. So in 720K mode the board is totally transparent and operations 100% like a normal ST. Only when 1.44 floppies are inserted does the board kick in and does the trickey needed.

Anyway, I do plan to have these boards made at some point in the future. I still have a load of the HD4 boards, they on sale on my webstore page.

http://exxos.www.idnet.com/IMPULSE/atari/last/

Hopefully those can sell to give me some funds towards the new PCB run.

Do I get told off for bumping my old threads ? 8)
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3

Post by exxos »

I have also thought about adding a nother chip to divide the 16mhz to 8mhz. It will give a fraction better sync than using the ST's 8mhz. Though the 8mhz clock is a little unstable anyway. Normally this mod isn't needed, and people will no doubt say so, though I plan to add a F74 on there to get the 8mhz clock, then it can be a option for users if they want to add the chip or not. Reason being at this time, as I am working on speed boosting the ST, the 8mhz bus may well not be 8mhz, it will be stuck at 16mhz, so the floppy board will get 16mhz from the ST and then 16mhz from the onboard osc!

So inlight of this "future" mod, I feel adding the 8mhz clock onboard is a wise move. I do plan on having a batch of these new boards made up, I need them to do the CPU booster work anyway, they will be on sale on my webstore in the near future.

I did also ponder about doing a SMT version, though its not really going to save on much board space, plus I think it will make it a lot harder for people to assemble. so while the board may increase in size a fraction, it will retain its ease of assembly, and of course still use regular logic chips.

Thanks to those who purchashed the V4 boards, Theres only a few left, sales always help push developments forward faster!

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by rebb »

SMT version would be ace! It is small enough project to practise soldering SMD parts.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

rebb wrote:SMT version would be ace! It is small enough project to practise soldering SMD parts.
Yeah, though most have problems with normal soldering nevermind other stuff :lol: Saying that, The next project will be to replace the 500khz clock, maybe the 2mhz one too, though this will have to be a SMT board as it will probably have to solder over the KB chips.. may well help for mini users having a more stable clock, but still, removing clocks is part of the "master plan" ;)

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

HD51.png
That has to be it now! New chip top left (74LS74) is just a /2 chip, so 16mhz to 8mhz, gives the user the option to "free" the floppy controller from the ST bus totally. I suspect it will help with stabillity also. There is a lot of caps on the pcb, mayber a overkill, but can always be left out.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

PCBs now manufactured :) Will take some images when I get chance.

Been pushed for time of late, but looking forward to soldering one up. I will update my "LaST" pages with new upgrading instructions. I think this will be the final floppy board. hopefully this version can be spread around the world over the years to come! The logic chips have been around for yonks so the board can still be made up in years to come too!

Also have a new 4MB ram board for STFM, designed to solder in under the psu. more on that in time to come also.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by joska »

Looks interesting. I have an Ajax that I plan to use in my STE, I guess it will work fine with this mod?
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by rebb »

Great news! Just what my Atari needs.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

Ajax is the best 1772 chip to have. Though I have had no issues with any 1772 in general. I know when they start getting warm they can start to cause problems, though these are only really the older VL types. Though this module switches down to 8mhz when not in use so the chip isn't under any stress while idle which helps a great deal.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

Image10000.jpg
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by ralcool »

exxos wrote:PCBs now manufactured :) Will take some images when I get chance.

Been pushed for time of late, but looking forward to soldering one up. I will update my "LaST" pages with new upgrading instructions. I think this will be the final floppy board. hopefully this version can be spread around the world over the years to come! The logic chips have been around for yonks so the board can still be made up in years to come too!

Also have a new 4MB ram board for STFM, designed to solder in under the psu. more on that in time to come also.
It looks very nice, and will be the best of few DIY projects in years to come. Pure reproducible logic. For the late comers- long after the production runs out, make sure to post the schematic, and maybe the pcb negatives so others can learn & play. I know how it hard it is to make a homebrew pcb without drawing pcb masks... remember magazines full of them... Operational descriptions.
If we had more 'source code' of old upgrades, we could do much more. Instead we reverse engineer.

Certainly more advanced than the little board I built for fun and a few other guys. Its based on the same clock switching chip so it must be good. :mrgreen:

Excellent work dude. That memory board thing on the other thread looks odd though- maybe it makes more sense when fitted. I like shifter mounting, it fits well.

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

yeah I like logic stuff, simple & direct :) I have drawn the diagram "somewhere" will try and find it and upload it later this week. Its pretty simple , i should think anyone could replicate it. Using 4 logic chips may seem a bit overkill, though they are easy to find, been around for ages, and even if only using a couple gates in each chip, its still simple and works very well.

I know its a pain when it comes to replicate projects in years to come and the developers vanish and starting over again is the only way to go, though I can understand that with all the work that projects can involve that people may not want to give hand over all the work. This project alone I have a folder full of diagrams and tests and circuits which I did 10 or so years ago, just to get to the point the board is at now.

As for the ram board, it will become more clear when you see it fitted, it solders under the psu, there is simply no room for a pcb AND the simm there, not easily. After much messing about there is *just* enough room between the PSU and shifter case for a vertical simm. My old boards were fitted to the shifter area, though I needed a board out of the way for the shifter experiments I am wanting to do. The lines are closer to the MMU (normally) and closer to the main smoothing capacitors, all the 100nf caps normlaly in ram area can be useful. As im working towards overclocking, everything needs to b kept short and direct with good smoothing.

May take me a while to get though everything, I have that many projects on the go at the moment plus my day job, so it does not leave much time for Atari stuff anymore :roll:

More will come over time though :)

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

HD51sch.png
Thats the diagram, ive not checked it but should be right for the final board.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by Silly_Pony »

What would I have to do to get my hands on one of these? Would it work in an STE?
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

Silly_Pony wrote:What would I have to do to get my hands on one of these? Would it work in an STE?
They will be in my webstore once ive ordered the parts and priced it all up.

HD4 is on sale already and has been for some time.

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/store.htm
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

I have built up 10 HD V5 boards, I just have to build a new testbed ST to test them all on before I put them on my webstore. My old ST got trashed a bit with other projects, so will have to find another ST to fit sockets in to test these boards out. I hope this will only take a week or so!

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

hd51sm.jpg

New HD5.1 PCB fitted and working. However I made a small mistake on the PCB :( I moved the bottom right IC down a fraction to fit the capacitor above it in, and must have not had the upper layer turned on, as now 2 tracks run across 2 of the pins on the chip, instead of running between them :? So these boards are bascially junk!

However, I have revised the pcb, HD5.3, but I really could do with at least 10 peoples orders for the pcb at least before I pay for another batch of them to be made. They will be £5 each for the pcb, or if anyone wants to invest in 10 I will do them cheaper.

I still have a few HD4 boards left, looking to sell them off if anyone is interested in them. There are still very useable and work very well. I think there is about 10 pcbs left.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by 1024MAK »

:arrow: I'm interested in buying some HD5.3 boards :D .
Have to work out how many I want. But likely to be two or three :mrgreen: .

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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/store.htm

For those who want to pre-order the HD5.3 boards, just buy the V5 board and you will be added to the list.

The HD4 PCB's are £1.50 to clear. I have not priced up the parts for HD5 yet, but will try and do that this week.

:cheers:

BTW - I asked before for anyone who has a 1772 chip, where they feel it will not work in 16mhz mode, to send it me for testing. I also dont mind testing any 1772 for 16mhz mode, providing I dont have to pay for all the postages :)

The chip I tested today was the one in the image, the VL1771-02 , I formatted a floppy to 22 sectors 82 tracks several times and no errors at all.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/floppy/index.htm

I have included the diagram on my floppy page. There is still some HD5 PCB's left for those who want to get them, I have less than 10 left now and do not plan on making any more unless there is a order for several PCB's in the future.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

New version 6 in the making.
DSCN1058e.JPG
I used a old V4 board and hacked on a GAL to replace all the logic chips. Years ago I wanted to make the design future proof by using logic chips, but they are becoming hard to find now anyway. Using a GAL greatly simplifies the design.
hd6.png
That is what the V6 PCB layout with look like. Over all older versions, the 2 WP jumper wires are no longer used. I had to use them before as I needed a inverted signal, and using those wires saved on another chip. Though with a GAL, I can do all the necessary functions all in one.

This design uses the MO (motor on) pin in the 1772. 16mhz mode is only active when the MO pin is on. Regardless of DD or HD floppy, it will always switch back to 8mhz. A lot of kits out there just switched to 16mhz then sat in that mode which was a main cause of 1772s starting to fail due to over heating. I have used the VL1772-02 chip as shown in the image and formatted a HD floppy many times though out today without any problems.

This design still needs no TOS mods, or software drivers to work. It also switches the ms rate correctly and not left stuck in 6ms mode on 720K like the V4's did (this was fixed in V5x series anyway).

I have added a lot of resistors onto the board to help cut down on the load on the clock lines and help keep signal ringing down a little bit. In my old tests loading the shifter's 16mhz line often caused the ST to malfunction. Which was why I opted for a external 16mhz osc. Though with the GAL in place, it does not load the 16mhz line as much, so we can get away with using the shifters 16mhz line. Just to be sure I have added some 68R resistors to help keep things a bit more load friendly.

Also added in 2 100K pull ups on the Drive select switches. Some drives did not have a pullup which caused them not to work correctly. Instead of 0V and 5V, some were 0V and OC. Floating logic levels on the F series normally pulled high without any problems. Though to be sure I have put some pull ups on the board.

I need to etch out a test PCB next. Not sure when I will get chance but hopefully soon :)
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

NEW FEATURES FOR V6

Synchronised clock switching:
While its normally not a problem to switch out of sync, It is still better to synchronise the clocks. This way there is no clock glitching between switching between 8mhz and 16mhz modes. Normally with unrelated clocks there could be a random glitch on the very first cycle. It does not normally effect the 1772 , but even so, switching to GAL code means this is easily done. This function is implemented and tested :)

Power Down feature - (To test):
It occurred to me that even at 8mhz the 1772 can still get pretty warm. Considering the ambient temperature here is cold anyway its not a problem. Though in hotter parts of the world where the ambient temperature is hotter, the 1772 will also become hotter even at 8mhz speeds. This may cause a problem for some people if running in 16mhz modes and their 1772 is over heating. While my mods switch back to 8mhz when the drive is not in use (to keep the 1772 happy at its default 8mhz speeds) I thought why not take this one step further. When the 1772 is not active via its CS line, There is probably no point in even running the 8mhz clock. So if the clock is removed when the chip is disabled, then the 1772 may remain cooler when it is not in use. So the build up of heat over time is reduced and this puts far less stress on the 1772 and will drastically help in hotter parts of the world.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by exxos »

I managed to build up a HD V6 board today. So here is a sneak preview.
DSCN1229.JPG
Functionality wise it is the same as the previous HD5.x series just slightly smaller design as it uses a GAL now. I managed to totally forgot to add the drive select pads so V6 is already obsolete :roll: Thankfully I only got a few made as it was a beta test board more than anything.

New feature in V6.1 is I have added in the media change fix. I have tested this out breifly today and all seems good.

V6.1 will probably be put into production next year as I still have some HD5 boards left in stock yet. With floppies being used less and less, I am not sure if they will go into production. These floppy mods have been in production since early 90s. So I think anyone who is going to buy one, has probably brought one by now anyway.

As a reminder, anyone who changes their WD1772 for a AJAX as the 1772 did not work, I am still waiting for someone to send me their old WD1772 to try in my board. The "00-02" used in tests today works fine at 16mhz and that isn't a more recent version even. To date I have not seen any failed 1772's in 16mhz modes.
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Re: The LaST Upgrade - Part 3 - 1.44 FLOPPY

Post by DarkLord »

Dang, I wish I had saved the old WD1772 from my STacy. It was one of those from the "good" lot
of numbers that was supposed to work but I never could get it to. Ended up having to swap it out
for an Ajax, and everything worked find then.

I'll look around through my "loose" parts lot and if I find any old chips I can send them your
way...
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