Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

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Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

In case you've missed it - couldn't announce it here for obvious reasons.

The Thunder/Storm/Lightning team is proud to announce the Storm ST, an 8 MB alternate RAM board for the ST/MegaST.

What you’ll get:
  • 8 megabytes of additional RAM (alternate RAM, like on the MonSTer or Magnum ST) usable with TOS 2.06, EmuTOS, FreeMiNT, MagiC and Geneva.
    (Note: TOS 1.x lacks the API for adding alt-RAM and is therefore not supported -- same as with any other alt-RAM board.)
  • Real time clock (RTC): separate board, but included in the price.
  • Combine it with a Cloudy to also get a flashable dual-TOS board. When combining Storm ST and Cloudy, the TOS on the Cloudy can be selected via software. The last selection is kept over a power-down thanks to the battery-backed RTC.
  • Fully compatible with a variety of expansions, e.g., Cloudy, Lightning ST, 12 MHz acceleration, PAK, ...
Storm ST.jpg
See http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=Storm_ST for more photos and details.

Price: 70 € incl. worldwide shipping, or 100 € in a bundle with the Cloudy (flashable dual-TOS board).

Orders and inquiries via email: thunderstorm@tuxie.de.

Please do not place your orders in this thread!
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by frost »

Hi,
I have a question regarding the Storm/Cloudy/Lightning stack on a Mega ST. My Mega ST has a blitter patch soldered on the CPU. I guess I should keep it as is while mounting the CPU on the top of the stack ? I didn't see any mention about it on the wiki.
Thanks
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

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frost wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:48 am I have a question regarding the Storm/Cloudy/Lightning stack on a Mega ST. My Mega ST has a blitter patch soldered on the CPU. I guess I should keep it as is while mounting the CPU on the top of the stack ?
Storm ST, Lightning ST, and Cloudy contain no replacement for the Blitter patch. If it is needed before their installation, it's also needed after installation and should be kept. Thus, it comes down to the question: Is the Blitter patch required in your machine? I don't own a Mega ST, but I know a lot of Mega ST owners that have removed the patch without consequences.

There is even an official document (from Atari) that shows, depending on manufacturer and datecode of the Blitter, whether the patch is needed ("oui") or not ("non"):
blit.png
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by frost »

Thanks a lot, I wasn't aware of that.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

PS: We will include Storm Disk software with the Storm ST: a reset-proof RAM disk optimized for use with the Storm ST. It's size is of course configurable. For example, with the Storm ST you could have 4 MB extra RAM in your ST for applications and 4 MB for the RAM disk (or any other split).
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Wow, looks great.

So if you used it with a Pak board, you wouldn't need anything else, TOS wise,
since TOS v3.06 is there already.

Thanks! (and thanks for supporting the Atari community) :)

PS How hard is this to install? Much soldering? Will it fit in a STacy?
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

DarkLord wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:52 pm So if you used it with a Pak board, you wouldn't need anything else, TOS wise,
since TOS v3.06 is there already.
Yes, one of my co-developers confirmed to me that he successfully used the Storm ST with TOS 3.06 on the PAK.
DarkLord wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:52 pm Thanks! (and thanks for supporting the Atari community) :)
You're welcome! :D
DarkLord wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:52 pm PS How hard is this to install? Much soldering? Will it fit in a STacy?
With a stock ST the only soldering that is required is installing a DIP64 socket on top of the existing CPU, which is a fairly easy task, imho. (No desoldering of the CPU is required.) But when you have a PAK, you will already have removed the original CPU, I guess, and put a socket in its place. Then it's plug and play since the Storm ST is "stackable", i.e., it can go between mainboard and PAK, without any soldering.

As for the STacy, I'm afraid I can't answer that. I have never even seen a STacy (apart from photos), and I don't know much space there is. The Storm ST is a really compact board, though, thanks to 4-layer PCB design and the use of BGA ICs. Maybe you can judge from the photos on our wiki page (http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=Storm_ST) how much space it'll take.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Thanks for the quick reply.

The board looks very compact, and well designed. :cheers:

Ugh, space in a STacy is horrible, at best. :cry: I had to move the internal P/S
board to the (not in use) battery compartment to have enough room for the
Pak board. The CPU is already socketed, as you surmised. I'm thinking that I
might try it using one of those CPU extenders - where there's a will, there's
(usually) a way. :)

Thanks again.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by frost »

Hi,

I'm bumping this thread again, regarding the Blitter patch. My blitter has stamped S9006 / MM9092V. I assume this is a National manufactured blitter and does not need the patch. I'll finally give it a try this evening !
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

I'd like to know if this is even still available.

First e-mail I sent I got a reply that they couldn't ship to the US because of the
Covid-19 situation.

Last 2 e-mails have gone unanswered.... :(
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

Shipments to the US are possible again. Let me check with Matthias, who handles all orders, whether he received your emails.

EDIT: See private message.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

czietz wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:02 pm Shipments to the US are possible again. Let me check with Matthias, who handles all orders, whether he received your emails.

EDIT: See private message.
Got it, thanks much.

Looking forward to re-establishing communications. :)
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by frost »

So, I'm in the process of installing the Cloudy, Storm ST and Lightning. But the Wiki seems to redirect to a bee keeping website. Is there an alternate documentation page available ?
Thanks a lot
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

frost wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:33 pm So, I'm in the process of installing the Cloudy, Storm ST and Lightning. But the Wiki seems to redirect to a bee keeping website.
Huh? These links work for me:
http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=Cloudy
http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=Storm_ST
http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=Lightning_ST
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by frost »

Ah damn, I figured what is wrong. I have the browser extension https everywhere activated. When browsing the wiki with https instead of http, the beekeeping website shows up ! Sorry for the noise, thanks !
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by tuxie »

I am sorry for that trouble, I already fixed this issue. The wiki is now available using SSL (HTTPS). There was an bug in the configuration software, where the Config of the Webserver was mixed with other websites. The Bee Keeper Website is my fathers website!

Regards Ingo
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Just wanted to give a shout out to the STorm ST/Lightning/Cloudy team.

We finally managed to sort things out and I got my order a few weeks ago.

I installed the STorm ST and Cloudy decoder board into my Mega ST4. It
really is pretty much a plug 'n play installation, especially if you've already
got your CPU socketed (in my case, I had an AdSpeed accelerator already).

The hardest problem I had was, for whatever reason, the AdSpeed did not
want to go into the STorm ST pass-through holes without some really serious
force being applied. I can't say this was the STorm ST's fault, it was just a
really seriously tight fit.

One disappointment for me was that, even with the RTC, the software that
I use to run my BBS (BBS Express! ST) still didn't recognize the correct date. I
have reached the conclusion that the software itself is just not Y2K compatible
This is absolutely NOT the STorm ST/Cloudy/RTC setups fault though...

Other than that, and copying the software over to the AUTO folder, it's been
rock solid since. So nice to have the TOS 2.06 desktop and 12 total megs of
RAM to play with! :)

Thanks again and major kudos to the STorm/Lightning/Cloudy team! :)

PS Not had a chance to attempt the STorm ST board installation into my Pak
equipped STacy yet. Hopefully soon.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

Thank you for letting us know! Since (understandably) many people only write back when they encounter problems, it's always appreciated to get positive feedback, as well.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Thank you !

As soon as I get a chance to install the 2nd board I purchased into my
Pak equipped STacy, I'll post the results here.

If only the STacy were as easy to disassemble as the Mega ST! :)
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Oh, here's a couple of pictures showing the installation.

Veritable "Tower of Power", eh? :)

Thanks again.

P1010001.JPG
P1010004.JPG
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

Looks good!
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

Just a quick question. I've run into a rather odd problem but I don't
want to go into great detail at the moment.

Anyone who is using the STorm ST out there, can you please post if you
are using it with any accelerator like the AdSpeed?

Also, are you running Xcontrol?

Thanks.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

I use XCONTROL on my ST with Storm ST and Cloudy (but without AdSpeed); mainly under EmuTOS, but sometimes also with Atari TOS 2.06. Haven't observed any problems.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by DarkLord »

czietz wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:49 am I use XCONTROL on my ST with Storm ST and Cloudy (but without AdSpeed); mainly under EmuTOS, but sometimes also with Atari TOS 2.06. Haven't observed any problems.
Hmm...

Okay, if you don't mind (and you've probably already done this, during the normal course of a day),
please do some file copies, starting small and then gradually moving up to around 200k or so. This
is with TOS v2.06.

As you do so, watch the ACC slot where Xcontrol resides and see if it does anything weird.

Also, did you remove the original TOS ROMs from the motherboard when you installed your
STorm ST/Cloudy?

Thanks.
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Re: Storm ST: 8 MB Alt-RAM + RTC + more

Post by czietz »

Your assumption is right: This computer being my main development and testing ST for everything Cloudy and Storm ST related, I certainly would have noticed if copying files failed. But still, I repeated the test: under TOS 2.06, and with XCONTROL and ALTRAMON loaded, I was able to copy files from floppy to an ACSI disk and vice-versa. The biggest file I tested with was about 300 kByte in size. Nothing unusual regarding XCONTROL's ACC slot, either.

And yes, I did remove the original ROMs.

As you're already in contact with Matthias via the official support channel, I would very much like to avoid opening a second parallel discussion thread here, though.
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