Modified ST hassles

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ralcool
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Quick news!

Baby Girl born today 0357pm. Name: Cameron Diana. 7Lb 5Oz. 19.6in.

Happy little bundle of joy. Mum fine 'n happy. O/N stay in hospital. Everything good.

Thanks for support over past few months. A little late, but perfect 'lil baby. All natural!

I will continue to post, but maybe not as often.....we'll see.

#1 happy about #2 on the scene. so far.! 3.5yr/old 'Big Sister'.

Thanks guys,

Peace out.
Sean.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

WooHoo!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I bet you are pumped up with pride and joy! I'm sure you will have much happiness with them over the coming years, however I do feel that soldering training should at least wait until the potty part is out of the way :wink: :lol: Seriously though, well done to all concerned and may you be the best father the girls could have. :thumbs:

I hope you do find the time to drop in here now and again, as I am sure many here like myself have thoroughly enjoyed your contribution to this forum so far. I've had nothing but great info, ideas and great vibes from post #1 onwards.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

CONGRATULATIONS !!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Nikolas »

Congratz :D
I hope you 2 at least can have 1 more :)
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

I notice that zaxon has almost finished his CompactFlash IDE interface for the STE, fitted over the Blitter socket. Check out his post here http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 25#p168692
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Thanks for the cheers :cheers: .. Girls (& missus) are in bed now.. so some time to think and create!... only is late... same as usual!

Ok... Well Zaxons' IDE IF looks good, maybe you still still use them in your other STEs.. signals will still be present.. just don't fit a blitter into the top socket.

What still is not clear is HOW the 'IDE IF' is fitted into the blitter position. Does it use an adapter like you put me onto, that fits IN the PLCC socket?
Does it use some header rows into the outside of the socket pins (Like Mario Becroft, or your IDE adapter) Looks unlikely by original photos.

Or a long pin PLCC socket substitute into the motherboard holes? If so, your non blitter motherboards are still usable. Just some sucking and soldering of blank holes.
And if it does, then some major blitter socket removal to fit into motherboards WITH a blitter/socket. Component desoldering sucks! (Mind the pun!)

I have been experimenting tonight with 1024MAKs 'reset' modifications to the 16Mhz circuit.. So far- using values suggested, a 'warm computer' cold boot still no go.
Currently (like now) altering cap & resister values to see what happens. (Still interesting how a dead cold boot is OK- like leave machine off for 30mins or so)
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Nikolas/Ego wrote:Congratz :D
I hope you 2 at least can have 1 more :)
MORE??? 8O A: I have to get her drunk again.. :mrgreen: :twisted: , B: I think shes' worked out what causes it :P :angel: :oops: C: It would be another 3 yrs I reckon just to space em out evenly. :contract:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

Maybe Nikolas means keep trying for a boy like my mum did when she had me. I've got two older sisters and they are both loved equally as much as me, which is how it should be :angel: C'mon you need a boy who will later fill the house with endless gadgets and computers, not to mention car stuff, home entertainment and so on. It's the natural order of things ya know.... :wink: :lol:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Nikolas »

haha, good point :cheers:
Make 1 more brother/sister will fill life and love for litle angel of yours, and yours too :)
Last edited by Nikolas on Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by 1024MAK »

CONGRATULATIONS to you, your other half and your family!
It is nice to have both boys and girls.
It is also more fun for them and you as they grow up :lol:

Having said that, it is not wise to get too carried away, I know some families (not many mind) where they ended up with more than 7 kids. Okay one family wanted a boy, but the wife kept producing girls... :lol: The cost meant that the husband was at work every day (except when they wouldn't let him come in) :mrgreen:

And of course, more women and girls are getting interested in engineering these days... :wink:

Anyway, good luck in the future :P
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Lando_C »

Congrats!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

If you haven't read already, we have some interesting/breaking news in the ST-FM overclock thread. :mrgreen:

Its working brilliantly. Using an unused output from a redundant pin on the midi acia (just like Overscan/Lascan does with the keyboard acia), and some modified code, I have now a software controlled overclock.

A good night in the workshop. (And I know basically NOTHING about assembly programming... !)

Not to take anything away from 1024MAKs' tireless efforts to create a hardware delay timer. He is the reason I'm thinking this through, and building his excellent suggestions. Much thanks Mr Mak.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Nikolas »

im happy for you :)
Finaly you got all going well
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Just a quick note... I have now modified the pcb layout for the 16mhz mod to include an input to include Midi RTS 'Auto switching'. (And the 8pin connection header I put on the mod has a 'spare' pin even!)

I put a jumper to let 5v to Pin 4 of the 74HC74 always (as per original), or remove for RTS control. (And leave it off you are- or keep the jumper on, and omit the extra wire if your not interested)

Usual BG disable jumper also still in place for an external disable option- even if 'autoswitched'

Heres a pic of the expressPCB template.
Image

I'm happy with this solution. Then the 16mhz mod is only activated when you use the tiny enable program... but games etc, booted without- will run normal. :)

And no need for an external disable switch.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by DarkLord »

So....is anyone going to be making and selling these?

(and the lascan)

BTW, to confirm, does the lascan(sp?) let you use any
VGA or LCD monitor? Or am I understanding that right.

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Ok,

The role of Lascan is to increase the screen resolution.. aided by hardware, to remove screen borders. To overcome the fixed ST screen sizes. 320x200, 640x200 & 640x400

To something quite larger. Eg 688x480 in mono for me. ST WideScreen!

While you can often use your monitor screen menu to adjust & fill the screen to the edges- this - instead - is like setting higher res on your pc... 640x480 to 800x600.

Using the setup program, you use some keys, to adjust height, width, and position to fill your chosen monitor. Results DO vary.

Unfortuntely, It doesn't do any scan doubling or other tricks to run colour (low/med res) on LCD/VGA screens. Just mono like usual. Only bigger.

Lascan works on Low/Med too if you have a RGB screen- to also give borderless computing.

Actualy Today I discovered, the First 'manual' switched Overscan driver software IS compatible with the Lascan hardware (only for <TOS 1.4)- but now -forcably- Automatic since you must load Lace_1.prg first!
(There is no manual activate switch) Might be handy for some maybe not completely incompatible software- that doesn't like the Lascan driver, but MAY like the earlier original.. This is good. :)

However- the later (better?) AutoSwitch Overscan driver doesn't work.. It switches, but the display is all wrong... garbled, lines...etc- the wiring is more advanced too... But still only <TOS1.4 compatible.
But the included desk accessory appears to function under the earlier driver software (even Lascan!)... still testing... Clock and Screensaver are ok... What about auto disable switching....?

Both have a pretty 'growing/expanding' screen display, and a sound effect when they kick in. How ghey... :)
....

Now.. To answer the first question. I intend to (handbuild) a few of these overclock 'kits' .

I have parts now to build one, and a order shortly for sufficient components to build another 6... is there demand though?

I plan to do the same with Lascan... I have one early version here ready to go. My later pcbs designs have extra power decoupling. Couldn't find easily the sockets with caps built in as originally planned.

Sounds like a proper website (ebay?), and a few kits might be enjoyed. I might even consider producing the shifter mounted 72pin ram upgrade.

Still finding time to get anything complete is a minor hassle. :oops:

Talk to me.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by DarkLord »

I'd be interested in one of each (once the lascan is fully sussed out).

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Well I reckon Lascan is pretty well sussed out.. I've only been playing with the older OverScan software to see what happens on the 'freeware' hardware.

Lascan was 'inspired by' the original overscan, and made to be compatible with the newer TOSes. It works nicely.

I'd figure your BBS could benefit from the enhanced display. Even though its a 'server'.
.......

Everyday, I see a strange new quirk when testing the ST... for example.

I've been mucking around with the AT_Speed emulator. Have learnt that it doesn't really like the 68000 running at switched 8/16mhz under it.
It does run and appears ok.. but running diagnostics on the 287 co-processor crashes the ST if 'high speed' is on. Fine.

The usual 10mhz (averaged) clock speed to the CLK pin 15 on the 68000 is still there.... so the CPU isn't halted. AS/BG are still toggling the OC mod. 68000 is still on during emulation?! Housekeeping?..
Maybe the C16 uses the AS/BG lines... Dunno. There are no visible traces going to those pins.

Here's the strangest bit..

So Ok, Set the ST to 8mhz (run 16mhz_0.prg) like normal- or set the disable jumper. As if the main cpu is back to unmodified.

Run AT_Speed as a desk accessory. Hot switch into emulation. THEN hot switch back to ST. All OK. Now run Gembench on the ST- 8mhz no blitter, no nvdi.... cpu reports 117% for Integer/Float Math/RAM/ROM access. Not 97-100% And even two areas show 120/124%. GEM Dialog and GEM Window. All other tests show 117%.

QuickIndex also shows the 117% improvement. One area that somehow improves is RAM/ROM access times.??!!!

Somehow a little bit of magic happens if I 'hot' exit emulation mode- the ST benchmarks faster! Now if I enable 'high speed', it benchmarks even faster again! Not the normal CPU 130% averaged- but a whopping 152%!

Explain THAT! (Software quirk I guess) but WHY..... I have screen shots of different results. 8mhz only, 16mhz only.. same again plus blitter each- then all again after hot switching back from emulation.
And after retries of all this stuff.. the benchmarks are consistant... good...., and always faster after using the emulation hardware- Like around 17-30% faster depending on the test item.
Eg, ROM access boosts to 136%, but normally 'only hits 116% using the 16mhz mod.
RAM speed never improved with 16mhz, but does go to 117% after a 'hot switch' from emulation.

I have made a table of the full results for my own use.... but there is a clear difference. Wierd. :?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

All I can use to explain this phenomenon in medieval terms is, 'it be witchcraft young ralcool sir!'.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

Here is something from my Atari web favourites folder that has a few projects related to this thread http://stlabs.free.fr/
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Here's a shot of the beast with the C16 mounted again.
Image

The small PCB that lets the ROM IF pickup the extra lines missing from the rom sockets will disappear soon. I'll connect those wires directly to the CPU pins if/when I decide to install the 16mhz 68HC000.

The i287XL is a nice chip... a clock adjusted 387 coprocessor designed to fit the 287 socket. Instead of running 2/3 cpu speed, they are full speed. :)

The 16mhz mod located on the 72pin RAM upgrade, has the Midi ACIA Pin 5 feeding the 74HC74 for software switching. Working nice.

The 'Twisted' IDE 2.5" 80Gb HDD is under the floppy drive. Working very nice. Just not for AT_Speed. :(

Ignore the resisters on the 2 TOS ROMs.. they are for some finished testing. I thought the address lines weren't low enough when disabled.... long story. They will be removed.

I need to finish the final trimming of the ROM IF pcb so that the C16 will fit correctly when the small header 'adapter' pcb is removed. Just tidy up crap.

Also need to actually change the Video Shifter, and ROM chip sockets Lo0/Hi2 to machined pin types. Mine are getting intemittant. Causing some minor annoyances.

And in the works is the advanced ROM IF with an included FPU socket. Big stuff, but needs another additional GAL written. Have the source code, just making everything fit. 97% complete.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

8O Whoa man ... real soup up ST :thumbs:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Thanks Wongck, she seems to run nice. Fast and capable. Only now need to setup an IDE CD/DVD ROM, and ethernet. (Even an ultraSatan for the AT_Speed :( )

Everything has worked out really well. Much to my suprise too. These old 'hacks' posted on various Atari sites do actually work. There are others, but maybe not as useful.

Like 32000 colour mod for older STs, but no diagrams... 16Mb RAM- lacking detail, High Speed / Additional Serial ports..perhaps obselete.., Even ET4000 ISA video card extensions....German...?
http://atari4ever.free.fr/hardware/index.html

WOW. Been a fun ride. Still some more to come. :)
.....

Further to what I was saying about the exiting emulation mode and the ST benchmarking faster.. here's something else

Using pperas AHPT9.PRG Hard Disk performance testing.. Twisted IDE mode on the Hitachi 80Gb drive. Logical Drive transfer rate and access times.

From 1600 / 1685 / 1678 / 1564 KB/s multiple tests.... in either 8 or 16mhz mode... much the same. Access times @ 13.2 / 14.4 / 13.8.

to 1887 / 1882 / 1992KB/s after hot switching out of emulation. Speed UP around 200-300KB/s.....Access times down 2-3ms.. to 11.2 /11.4 / 12.1ms ???!!!!!!

I wonder WHY? Software timing maybe out.. Timer A/B/C running differently.....

I think I will swap the CPU for the 68HC000-16... I find after long periods of operation, the ST might freeze up or not respond to mouse clicks @ 16mhz. The CPU feels rather warm.
Generally its ok, but for maximum reliability I'll fit the faster rated chip. Still not bad though for a stocker! Just not exactly 100%. (But I hope it doesn't introduce new hassles like Nikolas's)

Do we have the ST equivalent of a DOS batch file....ie, run multiple programs off a single 'file' in sequence???
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

More colours will be nice but that ET4000 card would be rather difficult to find. :roll:

You may want to put a heat sink on that CPU :P

I have seen some old floppy with something like a DOS autoexec.bat that executes from AUTO.
Can't recall any of their names... I am sure it's in one of the .ST files that I transfered to my SD card HcX floppy emulator.
At that time, they seems pretty useles for me, so I hope I have not trashed them :(
I will take a look.

Edit: Ok, so I did really trashed them because i cannot find them any more.... will look further but I don't think it's so far back in my "STuff" cache.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

No room for a heatsink i don't think....unless small blocks of aluminium are placed in the gaps of the socket on the cpu. Or remove most of the socket 'cross bracing' and install an alloy slab.

Can only be 2-3mm thick. Might work.

And Whadayaknow....I have had a closer look at ppera's HD mod circuit tonight- he is using the same clock divider I suggested to use the STE 32mhz signal to feed both 8 & 16mhz inputs to the remaining (clever) circuit. Only just noticed. Cool. 8)

I have to get to finishing this bad boy combo mod.(Make a real one) Overclock and High density for STE. Now several design revisions later. :mrgreen: I think its ready. AutoSwitch option too!

Its printed onto a transperancy and developing onto a real pcb now... Mr Shredder11, this will test your uncle. This will be a biatch to install. For the brave. :contract:
In theory.. It is only logical..... it should work brilliantly.

That pic you sent me Shredder, is a 12mhz PLCC 68000... You telling me that was the factory fit chipset for a 16mhz MegaSTE? A little odd.
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