Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

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Anzac
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Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

I´ve posted first on Atari Age, but as suggested this might be a better forum for Falcon hardware related issues....

Starting a new topic as appropriate... :)

and as i have written before:

"i thought this would get some answers going.... never had an Atari 8-bit system, though maybe i´ll get one in the future. all my Atari experiences were ST based. from an 520STfm (later upgraded to 1MB), a MegaST that was my uncle´s machine, then finally an STe for me that i personally upgraded to 4MB when i was maybe 12-14 years old... :)

i don´t post much in forums though i follow the topics as best as i can. life managed to get all my Atari machines from me and for years i have dreamed of replacing my STe (better than go ask my ex-wife is she still keeps it in the shed or thrown it away)....

bigger dreams.... having one day a MegaSTe or a Falcon... the machines i wanted as a teen watching the Atari magic fade and go away.

20 years of work in IT followed and recently in craigslist style site we have in Portugal, i saw a listing for some music equipment including some Atari related. i contacted the person, who was a professional musical technician and he still had the Falcon and was willing to sell it!

better yet, he didn´t ask for the sky! it was actually something i could afford, since it was in the same country but relatively far from me, i had a friend that lives nearby pick it up and he will ship it to me this week....

i confess that i wait eagerly to actually seeing a Falcon, turn it on and see the magic working again..."


now...

The BeaST has arrived.... :)

It´s a german 4MB/60MB version.
IMG_2397.JPG
IMG_2398.JPG
IMG_2399.JPG
IMG_2400.JPG
Getting two bombs when starting up. Falcon service guide says:



"BUS ERROR. COMBO IC asserted bus error."

anyone has encountered this before? maybe in the trip some chips got loose? would that old ST trick be of help? ;)

thanks to the others who replied in the previous thread. yes, simple TOS will probably be enough, but i feel like i should try an advanced version of the software the machine is capable of running... just because... :)

now i CAN get a 14MB upgrade, maybe even a CT60, though i more inclined to keep the Falcon as stock as possible.

Confused if i should get an UltraSATAN or the new CosmosEX from Jookie. would the RTC from the UltraSATAN bypass the need to Exchange the NVRAM on the Falcon? also, don´t know if the CosmosEX has RTC function.

any chance to buy keys to replace the German setup?

Thank you all for any comments.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by christos »

Try disconnecting the hard disk. If it's so old, it's probably failing. You can try by pressing alt while booting with a floppy inside but it will only help you if you are lucky. Also try pressing control while booting, could be an auto folder program that's causing this, but it's not very likely.

Basically do everything in the reverse order I''m writing them :)
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Faucon2001 »

Congratulation for this nice aquisition.
I received mine 1 year ago :-)
Regarding your issue, first ensure that all the chips in the mother board are well sitted. Open the falcon case and press down all chips, clean the board of dust and mold and check that there is no oxydation. In case of , clean it with isopropyl alcohol. Last but not the least, your NVRAM battery may be dead, which is normal at that age.
I had to replace mine even though my falcon was brand new (old stock found in France sleeping ).
Installing a cosmos ex or ultrasatan wont solve a NVRAM issue ( by the way I don't think the ultrasatan works on a falcon)
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

UPDATE*

Pressing ALTERNATE when booting bypassed the hard drive and it booted to desktop ok.
Changed some video settings, seemed to work, though I got 3 bombs during a screen rez change.
Language was English both on desktop and menus, though after one restart, it had reverted to ST HI REZ, with the icons in German and menus in English.
On the first successful start-up bypassing the hard drive, I had drive A, B and an icon for a disk C
The floppy that came in the drive (there are several more in the box) was read and displayed the contents, though with warnings that the floppy disk might be bad and having to retry and/or eject/insert several times.
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oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by christos »

Seems like it's a bad desk accessory or auto folder program. Next time you boot try to remove them to check which program is the culprit.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Atari030 »

Yup, looks like it.

Welcome to the Falcon, ANZAC. Interesting username too. :-)
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

Atari030 wrote:Yup, looks like it.

Welcome to the Falcon, ANZAC. Interesting username too. :-)
Thank you :)
Yes, the username is the acronym you thought it was...
Came many years ago, when doing first simulator flights and RC model flying :)
Got to use it as PIC (Pilot In Command), on my first Cessna piloting session about 4 years ago...

Aussies are usually the ones to spot... ;)
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oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Atari030 »

I'm a Kiwi, mate. :-) That is like calling a Welshman, English.

I'd put Xboot on that machine and narrow down that rouge boot app.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

Atari030 wrote:I'm a Kiwi, mate. :-) That is like calling a Welshman, English.

I'd put Xboot on that machine and narrow down that rouge boot app.
Sorry, but your profile says "Melbourne, Australia" and I didn't realise from one post only that you were a kiwi ;)
And as you probably know the acronym refers to both Aussies and kiwis :-d

I'm going to try to find a working floppy this weekend and start trying to narrow down on what's going on with the machine.
The floppy might not be working properly either, but I have several laying around from old PCs...

Where can I get Xcontrol?

Thanks and best regards
Here i am, the Atari Avenger...
I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by wongck »

I was in Melbourne for vacation last Dec. Visited the penguins on an island that was freezing cold.

Back to topic....

Congrats on getting the bird.
I like the Falc best (especially the accelerated ones), compared to my other stuff including the TT.

you may get various floppies that came with the falc from http://www.atari.org/services/systemdisks.php
You should find the xcontrol and other goodies.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by trecool »

Congrats for your new machine and your Atari comeback!

I got myself a falcon 2 months ago. After using ST it was so weird hearing the fan noise and sound come from the internal speaker, wasn't it.
I think 14mb ram is a must and also maybe you should recap the psu. Those studio machines were on countless hours and heavily used.

Good to hear there was only a boot software ploblem. You were lucky on that. No luck for me, I still have some DSP communication problems. I am replacing my dsp ram chips for the moment. That may solve my issues. Fun fun fun.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

trecool wrote:Congrats for your new machine and your Atari comeback!

I got myself a falcon 2 months ago. After using ST it was so weird hearing the fan noise and sound come from the internal speaker, wasn't it.
I think 14mb ram is a must and also maybe you should recap the psu. Those studio machines were on countless hours and heavily used.

Good to hear there was only a boot software ploblem. You were lucky on that. No luck for me, I still have some DSP communication problems. I am replacing my dsp ram chips for the moment. That may solve my issues. Fun fun fun.

Thank you and the others for the kind words and support! yesterday when i turned the machine on and i couldn´t wait to get home, so i did it at work as soon as i got it (what you see in the photos is my never-ending quest to have the company network and servers working) and yes, hearing the fan and internal speaker was a little surreal ;)

when i heard the first keyboard "click" sound as you all know how it sounds, i confess i had shivers...

i took the Falcon to it´s new home but haven´t set it up yet, so all my impressions are still based on a few minutes of use. no idea if i might have more problems waiting... hope not...
Here i am, the Atari Avenger...
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oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

regarding the NVRAM i traded some messages with Arne and i have already placed an order and will wait until it arrives, knowing it might depend on available time and maybe enough orders. Thank you Arne!!

It´s something that sometimes is confusing for me to watch, when sometimes people complain that it takes a long time to receive hardware mods that are being made for 20 or 30 years old computers! please support our developers when they still exist.

let´s say i can´t afford right now to buy a CT6x or a CosmosEX that might cost a couple hundred euros, that doesn´t stop me from sending 2 or 20 euros to the developers to say "thank you for keeping support for my machine". Remember the shareware philosophy of the 80´s?

i have bought accessories even without having any Atari computer just to "keep the market going" a little.

when i first started checking what solutions i might have to do regarding the NVRAM issue, i was a little worried with some of the solutions i saw...
then i saw a suggestion from Atarimusic-net where a ultra-low profile socket could be used and i felt better. it was good to see that people were coming up with new and better solutions to old problems.

in the end, i figured that the solution from Arne was good enough not to interfere with shieldings and affordable enough that i could buy it now.

Lynxman also was kind and fast in the reply regarding a 14MB RAM upgrade, which i´ll wait a little to see if the machine has any other problems before ordering.

Let´s keep the community alive. we´re all we have to keep our machines and hobbies going. :)
Here i am, the Atari Avenger...
I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by trecool »

Anzac wrote:It´s something that sometimes is confusing for me to watch, when sometimes people complain that it takes a long time to receive hardware mods that are being made for 20 or 30 years old computers! please support our developers when they still exist.
I totally agree on that. Come on guys, I mean I dont want to offend anyone, but I see hardware developers complain about it and that means something.
Anzac wrote:when i first started checking what solutions i might have to do regarding the NVRAM issue, i was a little worried with some of the solutions i saw...
I have seen some people find the internal battery pole lines and solder a battery on. Arne has a better low cost solution for a neat system.
Anzac wrote:Lynxman also was kind and fast in the reply regarding a 14MB RAM upgrade, which i´ll wait a little to see if the machine has any other problems before ordering.
Lynxman is a nice guy, always there to answer question, fast shipment too.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

trecool wrote:
Anzac wrote:It´s something that sometimes is confusing for me to watch, when sometimes people complain that it takes a long time to receive hardware mods that are being made for 20 or 30 years old computers! please support our developers when they still exist.
trecool wrote:I totally agree on that. Come on guys, I mean I dont want to offend anyone, but I see hardware developers complain about it and that means something.
Yes, it is something i see across the board when i read the forums or personal websites of hardware developers.

I can´t believe anyone got rich making and selling hardware mods for Atari machines.
I think enough time has passed for people to understand that none of the developers became a Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson.

I would like to believe that the community is now also mature enough to understand that supporting a website or developer with a couple euros or dollars might make a difference to still have a place to discuss ideas and developers still making and shipping hardware for our beloved machines.

maybe i won´t ever be able to buy a CT6x, but i sure would like to have the option one day. i saw someone complain about the cost of the CT6x in some fórum and there was a reply that really stuck with me. whoever was lucky enough to buy a CT6x can probably sell it now for the same amount or more, so it´s hardly money thrown away! ;)
Last edited by Anzac on Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

before going to eBay, i thought i should ask here first...

anyone has a 68882 for sale that i can put in the Falcon?

Thanks!
Here i am, the Atari Avenger...
I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by trecool »

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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

you must have been reading my mind (or using the same search engine ;))...

i´ve just spent a good hour reading stuff on his page... :D

got some things in the cart even :cheers:
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oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

what i nice FPU upgrade exxos has... very tempting... though not for my nerves, i think... :)

great stuff there. i now remember i have seen his page before. i remembered the PSU mods. back in the day i (still) had an STe, i almost got one before losing the machine.

and during some regular Atari "what´s new about now" that would hit every couple of times in the year, i had come across his webpage before.

got to try the DarklordBBS again sometime, it´s been a while...
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I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Atari030 »

Ha, nice to see some enthusiasm. 68882's are drop in and forget on a Falcon, you don't necessarily need to overclock it.

If you have a PC floppy lying around, switch the ID to 0 and see how you go. I have kept piles of them over the years in wait for the impending apocalypse. Falcons are a thing of beauty, I'm pretty stoked to have two of them.

As for Melbourne cold in December? Blimey. :-) ANZAC, easy mistake to make, mate. I'm what is referred to as a ditch jumper.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by wongck »

Melbourne's fine on 1st day of Summer, 1st Dec, but not on that island especially sitting at the seaside at 8pm waiting with that Artic wind blowing, waiting for little sea creatures coming home to rest for the day. thought it was summer, should have brought my winter gear.
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Ragstaff »

Philip Island, I assume you mean. Yes, it's often cold even in summer, strong wind off the sea
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by wongck »

Yes, it's Philip Island. Beautiful place especially at the seasides. :angel:
Anzac wrote:yes, hearing the fan and internal speaker was a little surreal ;)

when i heard the first keyboard "click" sound as you all know how it sounds, i confess i had shivers...
Back to topic... re: the fan..... lots of owners have removed the power to the fan to stop the noise. It does not seems to affect the falcon.
I have mine on... the noise don't bother me as my floor box fan makes more noise. :mrgreen:
You can also set the key clicks off on the CPX I guess you know/remembered. 8) .
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Anzac »

After going through about 50 floppies on the PC that would not format, finally one worked and I copied the Falcon system disk to it.

But the Falcon wouldn't read it, so I guess I'm off to find a compatible drive... I remember reading about older is better and the need for jumpers to be present to select ID. I'll do some research first, but if anyone has ready advice, I appreciate it...

Guess I'm opening the BeaST sooner than I expected....

Odd thing, when pressing CONTROL at boot, it seems to bypass the HDD and boots to desktop fine and the hard drive is accessible and readable. It has an AUTO folder with two programs in it. One MACACEL34 or something and the other don't remember now. When trying to run them in TOS, I get TOS error 35. I think I'll change the name of the AUTO folder and see what happens
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I will bring back Power without the price...
oh, well... not on this planet anymore... :(
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Re: Falcon first steps... (semi)-old Atarian with (semi)-old Atari

Post by Atari030 »

Aussies are soft, try an Otago winter. :-)

Use control to boot, then rename all the prg files in the auto folder to prx. Once you have done that just rename them back to prg one by one till it drops its lunch again. CXbot can do that for you.

If it were me and there was nothing useful on the drive I would just format it an tailor it to your needs.

Xboot is here;

https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/boot-managers

You will need autosort to make sure Xboot is the first prg in the autofolder;

https://sites.google.com/site/stessenti ... s/autosort

Sometimes a clean slate is an easier option. If In doubt I grab everything in the partition and dump it into a temporary directory till you can sort it out.
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