Modified ST hassles

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

SpareMint, MagiC.... there is so many alternative OS for 68000 / Atari it boggles the mind!

Nothing major new to report. Still I am waiting for parts to trickle in from overseas. (My new AMD 80c287 chip has been 8 weeks from Russia and still hasn't arrived :( )

I had to add a termination resister on the cable that supplies additional address lines from the cpu for the ROM IDE IF. Seems that maybe extra capacitance from the 'link' cable was upsetting things.
For example- accesssing the IDE IF is/was perfect copying data between partitions etc.... but using the floppy would result in the floppy disks corrupting and displaying strange characters.
Even formating disks would result in endless 'cannot access' errors.

So, I decided to add a ganged resister to the GAL chip pulling high the additional address lines. (Taking inspiration from Ataris' circuit design- adding the same to the end of long data line/address runs)

Worked a treat! I guess acting as termination resisters not unlike SCSI drives. Floppy use now is functioning perfectly.

So I can move forward now and solder those wires to the motherboard 'vias', and remove the cpu 'adapter' to allow me to reinstall the AT-Speed PC emulator. (Only to be removed again when the new 16mhz cpu arrives!) Maybe I'll wait a little longer. I also have to make the executive decision to actually solder the new cpu right on the motherboard to I can still have sufficent room to close the case when everything is finished. The extra height of a socket installed on the board will push the AT-Speed into the space needed by the bottom of the keyboard.

The 'T_Board 64' cpu mounted TOS upgrade is offically obselete in my machine. The Quad TOS / IDE IF has taken the role. (Which is good, because it also doesn't fit with the C16 bolted on top!)
For that matter, the original GAL based HD floppy mod is still removed since the LS151 version works so well too.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

I'm at the point now, where I'm prepared to find a cheap ide 2.5" hdd to install under the floppy drive. (Strangely I have none spare!)

I'll find one on ebay and mount it to the little plate I'll sit under the floppy drive to let the 2.5" install upside down in the small but usable space under there.
(Actually I found a 80gb unit in Oz for $A15!) More space than I can even setup the ST to use!

Neat.

I've already got a tight little 40-44 pin cable adapter needed.

Maybe even the original Psu can go back in. (Its been tweeked to 5.1v via the small pot) another 500ma to run a HDD should be fine.

Even though I've been VERY tempted to build a Mach16 board.. it'll never fit my setup- and I can't find the cache chips required in the IC build list. (But I MIGHT trace one out in the PCB software)
The only thing I can even think of left to make, is the asci 'DMA mounted' EtherNea network device. (If I can omit the Pc card, and create a barebones RTL8019 chip version)
Or maybe an Eiffel, but I don't really need one.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

ralcool wrote:http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SD-SDHC-MMC-2-5- ... 5ad9a3eae6

Poor mans' Satandisk? for IDE?
A word of warning... This one works as long as it's the only one device on the bus.
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p162322
It can't work together with my HDD.
But then it may be a defective part I am having.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

I have a Western Digital 2.5" 40GB laptop drive which has no circuit board visible, totally covered all over. It is very thin and tiny and TOTALLY silent; you cannot hear ANYTHING even with your ear pressed against it, and I have pretty exceptional hearing (too good for my liking actually). I got it from Ebay a few months ago for £5 and it is currently working well in one of my Falcons. It's from the WD Scorpio range and I highly recommend it!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by simbo »

http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 38#p167938

use this one for master slave it works

however to use the master CS type ide adapter to sdcard or even cf to slip in sdcard as there are many
you need to use a scsi to ide adapter

and as it uses just master mode ide it's self
so there is no master slave issue when using semi ide complient buss devices via scsi
i assume this cfadapter works

and indeed it does i have one and one of the cf type 2 cf to sdcard slip in's
ste dma>> adscsi+ >> satandisk scsi id 0,1 >> acard ide on scsi id 2 >> id to sd adapter the one above >> 1GB sdcard fat

works fine but you should use hddriver 8.23 its very much better all round!!!

for removable cf sd etc on ide follow the driver settings for satandisk or USD
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

I did buy that awesomely cheap 80gb drive. Its a Hitachi 2.5" IDE 80Gb. (seller has several aparently)

I tried some 2Gb CF cards in the last few days, but setting up partitions on a 'removable disk' has been a little difficult. It just won't let me (Using Fdisk, Gparted, or Windows Disk Management)

Screw it, I'll just use a normal drive. (for now, and perhaps ever....), I did manage to do a speed test at least on one- it was as fast as the 10Gb Seagate Xbox drive. 710k/sec non-twisted.

I will be quite pleased to mount it easily as mentioned, and will reap the benefits of more space than I can forseeably use.

So here on a Friday nothing has arrived in the mail, so have no fun projects for the weekend. (Other than 'work'- damn broken shifts).

Flashable TOS mode hasn't been working for me.... Maybe the 040B type roms aren't compatible with the software- it tries but doesn't quite work out. Everything is wired ok....
At least Quad TOS works fine, and I can write what ever I want in the normal eeprom programming device. (And I have programmed what I need anyway)

Overall I am pleased with the results of the last few months, and we are days away from the new baby finally popping out. So close...... (Wife is quite large and getting shitty :) )

I REALLY want to install the new cpu and run the final checks on the simple overclock method at our disposal... will IDE mode run ok ....etc. It should....

And install Windows 3.1/11 on the ST to see Solitare run in mono VGA glory!!!!! Go C16.. (But I wish I had the more advanced AT-Once 386sx board... :( ... Maybe Win2K could be installed!)
Internet might work better than CAB......if I could setup LAN drivers........

Peace out.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

As you no doubt read in the other threads... yes the overclock is working for me now... maybe because the new clock is no longer passing through the T_board socket pins and getting interferance.
It was only inserted with a small pin slightly loosely in the socket.. now its soldered and going in directly. (It might have helped some) But it made removing stuff and experimenting easier.

I can't boot on initial powerup- the mod gives a full 16mhz until the cpu asserts/toggles the AS/BG pins.. but a quick warm boot via the reset button sees it working.

Quite suprising really. Its really stable. And I'm even tried a LS00 chip instead of the HC type and its still ok. (The ancient 7474 is also fitted in leiu of the HC74 that hasn't arrived yet)
The datasheet says the 7474 is good for 25mhz so I'm not too suprised. (Even the LS version is rated 20mhz)

Apart from the cold boot issue the old 8mhz cpu is taking the time shared 8/16 mhz mode nicely.

Again, how cool.


The only flaw is Gembench 3 bombs out if doing display tests with blitter & 16mhz on, and no nvdi loaded.... But the blitter is on running the IDE fine. NVDI's gem test also fails if no NVDI installed.

NVDI seems to 'fix' the bug. Or ignores the blitter enough for display use to hide it. Because copying files etc using the blitter is perfect.....

I hope the new cpu fixes all this. {Cold boot and blitter crash} But I'll also fit the HC74 before replacing cpu- since Nik says he got some crashes too until changed to HC type.It might be that the 7474 can't actually change speeds fast enough to keep the bus fed correctly. Odd that IDE seemingly isn't affected.
(I might assume the cpu is still not 100% happy at ~16mhz. talking to blitter.... I wonder why??? - but only during display 'tests' )

I'm going to see if I can alter the mod somehow to not let the 16mhz be the initial output from power up.. then perhaps we could use existing 8mhz cpus for this modification. I'm sure this blitter bug is switching speed related, so I'll know the answer to that soon. Since I've been running the ST all afternoon now @ 16mhz- and its running sweet without crashing. IDE speed tests, Gembench....etc. (Using NVDI obviously)

I hope Nikolas/Ego can post up Quick Index for me. And show me a photo of 16mhz ON, Blitter & NVDI OFF. So pure cpu speed- so we can compare if the same result on our STs. (Should be)
Or maybe run Gembench for me under the same conditions since it appears to have more CPU tests. Just to compare results.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Also running the FPU test program atached (I found it here somewhere, it has two prgs.. software and hardware versions) ... shows now 120% for speed. Was ~103%.

Not a major improvement, but I guess its accessing memory and clocking down.

Any benefit is a good one!!!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

I fixed the blitter crash. {Also I noticed in a clean boot into TOS- before loading gemtest, that quickly scrolling through the menus would crash it too}

Decided that Address strobe could use a pull up resister like BG has for its disabling jumper. (And Address strobe also gets used by the ROM IF, and didn't get one as part of the gang resister pack on A17-23)

Figuring the line could use a little help I placed a 4.7k resister on the 74HC00 across Pin 2 & 14. (AS in and 5v)

So it now passes GemTest with blitter on (and NVDI either on OR off) ! - And the menus work good too.

1 cold boot in 10 will startup without a reset interestingly... Still analysing the circuit for a cure... Somehow involving the reset line I imagine.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

ralcool wrote:The only flaw is Gembench 3 bombs out if doing display tests with blitter & 16mhz on, and no nvdi loaded.... But the blitter is on running the IDE fine. NVDI's gem test also fails if no NVDI installed.

NVDI seems to 'fix' the bug. Or ignores the blitter enough for display use to hide it. Because copying files etc using the blitter is perfect.....
From what i know, NVDI seems to turn the blitter off by default.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

I've read that too- but it can't be actually true.

Because if you run different benchmarks with NVDI- with and without blitter enabled - its still faster again WITH the blitter. (So its doing something)

Remembering the main reason NVDI works is replacing GEM/VDI etc routines written (poorly) in C, are replaced with assembly.

Stands to reason the very instructions that blitter is equipped to handle would be compiled to take advantage of the chip if present.
It is a type of data the blitter processes- not the language.

?Maybe some have the impression that nvdi disables the blitter because they didn't have a desktop inf saved with it ticked before installing nvdi.?

So a screen shot.. NVDI 2.5, Blitter On, 16mhz On. (Oh, and LASCAN ON!)
Image

Integer Division got the best outcome from the 16mhz mod....
RAM is expectedly 100% normal- despite being 70ns.
Even ROM access didn't improve using 90ns chips (old were 250ns), but is faster @ 16mhz to 116% (Scores 99% at 8mhz)
Most items in the tests show 20-30% improvement @16mhz... and as much as 90%

With all this, the ST does feel quite nippy! (I also run Cache90.prg)
Last edited by ralcool on Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

From report I read of old publishcation the 16Mhz will
give around 30% improvement due to the bus speed
so if your 16Mhz have cache on it will not waste time
getting from the slower dram.

rom access should it be faster?
I think the bus slows down to 8Mhz to fetch data from it.

guess the blitter is useful for both the ide and drawing of certain rect
as said in the other thread.
WOW the graphic shot up to 600% 8O
That will sure be a fast system!!

.... If I am still using my STFM, I will sure to want to get some
of these upgrades :mrgreen:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

I was wondering about the cache too; have you already done this or is it too late now? Great to hear the extra component tweaks are working out. :thumbs:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

No cache.. can't find chips required... and fairly major pcb to create. (And several GALs to make too....)

Some good news... The 16mhz cpu arrived today. A nice Motorola 68HC00016... I'll fit it when I'm satisfied I actually need it!

Also the 74HC74s AND the 74LS151s arrived too. So I can complete the requested and otherwise finished mods for those who asked, and get to finishing yours too Shredder.
Now that I finally found the STE 16mhz signal, I might reduce the chip count to 3 and omit the 32mhz clock divider. (Or make it optional and add holes to inject 8 & 16mhz where it would have exited it)
Decisions Decisions...

*******
I have 2 151s spare after this, so I'll try to make a couple more high density mods. (surplus parts enough to complete one just now)

I have one spare LASCAN ready to assemble.

And enough chips to build 2 16mhz overclock boards. With HC type components. I just needs some more 14pin sockets to arrive.

Not sure when I'll get time to get these done... but when they are actually built and ready.. I'll make a post to announce it.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Woot!.. 2.5" HDD arrived today.. Seller said no warranty on this $15 item... BUT it works just fine. 80Gb worth of slim fast storage. (was there even 80gig of software even WRITTEN for the ST!)

Setup some partitions.. (only up to not even 9Gb so far)... and not even enough letters in the alphabet to do so at 2gb max per partition- might need Mint or something for anything larger @ FAT32)

Tonight I'll configure the mounting plate and get the thing internal. Will get some shots to show the plan.

I intend to have this ST with a factory looking closed case. How deceptive!
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by wongck »

ralcool wrote:I intend to have this ST with a factory looking closed case. How deceptive!
Will it be a desktop or tower unit?
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

Yeah a standard ST form factor case but with a modified badge saying, "Atari ST;-)" or "Atari ST++" :mrgreen:

Oh and more photos are always welcome! :thumbs:
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

How about STE... sh!t, its been done b4....... :D 8) I might need one of your 4160 STE badges Shredder....

Yes, in the original case.... just finished the mounting..

First pic..

Image
Last edited by ralcool on Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Nikolas »

Back to ram.. i got 60ns and 70ns rams too
I think mmu timing is 250ns so is posible to add some logic chip to make 175ns data transfer, as data multipler, infact on paper numbers will devide data by 2?
That mod will speed up ram acess
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
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My english may not be correct
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by joska »

ralcool wrote:Remembering the main reason NVDI works is replacing GEM/VDI etc routines written (poorly) in C, are replaced with assembly.
The VDI in TOS is written mainly in assembly. Which only proves that there is good code and bad code - especially when it comes to assembly ;-)
ralcool wrote: ?Maybe some have the impression that nvdi disables the blitter because they didn't have a desktop inf saved with it ticked before installing nvdi.?
NVDI does not use the blitter, atleast on the Falcon. That's why NVDI is needed with accelerators with fast-RAM (like the Afterburner) - the blitter can't access fast-RAM and TOS VDI can't blit without the blitter.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Trouble with RAM access, is it shared by video shifter. 50/50 with MMU.

Any change to MMU speed might affect shifter access to RAM.

Bad code, on Atari. Must be joking. :)

Falcon is a special case though, so much perhaps limited by need of compatibility with ST. If it was clean sheet design for 68030/40 - imagine the possibility.
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

So, HDD is in (can see by edited post up there ^^^)

Power from main 5v trace on board. Filter with 100uf cap. Gnd to outer gnd border track.

Seems to work nice. Has twisted ide cable (which provides some flexibility, and lets floppy cable go through hole.

Image
Everything reinstalled.. just now need to squeeze in PSU when I'm happy its finished (But still not for a long while yet!)

C16 needs reinstalling... have to test if IDE will boot into DOS... will twisted mode work.... will I fit 16mhz 68000..... tidy up wiring....
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by ralcool »

Well I've discovered tonight a few things.

1. The refitted C16 still works- boots off 1.44Mb disks fine, runs all my usual tests... Qbasic, SpaceQuest2... Zork.. :) So its OK (using 16mhz mod and SuperTOS 2.06), just no HDD support.....
Given it doesn't actually rely on the motherboard clock, I'm not too suprised. Has its own 16mhz crystal... but strangely AS/BG are still operating (maybe from the C16 pcb) but everything is working fine.

2. C16 doesn't correctly support overscan (Lascan) mode. (Its a option in the manual) When run- it turns off Lascan. I cannot seem to use the overscan enhanced vga mode, but I have an option to use the emulator software as an accessory- When I run the emulator- It auto switches back to regular screen resolution- then 'exiting' back to overscan enabled ST without reboot (the reason for *.acc option) it enables and regains the full screen size properly. Nice. So I guess it wants a real Overscan unit to work correclty under emulation. (And given the real overscan driver software also won't operate Lascan properly it makes sense) At least it supports correctly this 'hot switching'. :)

3. The software for the emulator simply does not support IDE HDD. Even using ACSI 6.06 drivers which it should [maybe] support. (Tested using an old 60mb drive- which seems to run fine with TOS partitions) It simply cannot 'see' a hard disk. Pity.. It must need a ACSI/DMA device. (like the old MegaFile 30 that used to run this emulator) Slightly strange..but it must access DMA directly.

I've tried different partition sizes, different drivers.... just no go for IDE.

So..............

Not having IDE support during emulation is a small pain, but perhaps an UltraSatan using ASCI port MIGHT work for C16 / DOS stuff.... and provide a way to still provide a method to transfer data off the PC to the ST without removing the internally mounted 2.5" HDD- which is annoying to remove for such a thing. SD cards have their uses! Serial Transfers are TOO SLOW!

Not having Overscan support IN the emulator is an un-needed feature I never used, and won't make a Windows 3.1 experience any better... and I use DOS more. I still have 640x400 VGA mode.

Somehow the Supermon accessory program (not that useful) is unhappy now the C16 is fitted, and causes the ST to crash (only in 16mhz mode & WITH the C16 fitted) when using GEM. Yet the cartridge still seems to work fine.... how odd. Maybe the databus is getting a little overloaded !!!!! A little wierd, but not an issue. Clock still works. ACC is simply a 'shortcut' to the cartridge features. (I'll try some faster ROMS- maybe 200ns is too slow...)

Bascially, Without writing custom drivers.. The hardware is ALL GOOD! Nearly finished. (I mentioned elsewhere that a dead cold boot will see 16mhz start right up no problem) Pretty happy. 8)
4160STFM, (Blitter, 4Mb RAM 72pin, 16Mhz OC, IDE, HD FDD, Quad TOS, LaScan, DS1216E Clock, AT-Speed C16, Tom Kirk PS2 mouse, MegaST Keyboard)
What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away
Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy
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Shredder11
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
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Re: Modified ST hassles

Post by Shredder11 »

Regarding SD to IDE 44-pin adapters, I bought one from Deal Extreme as mentioned in the topic above, but it did not work or not yet anyway. The other day I received the one Simbo recommended recently, so I will be testing this on my STE and Falcon computers soon. The Ebay item number at the moment is 140411329283
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