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Project "Repair Falcon"


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#26 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 6:48 PM

Well, got the Falcon Service Manual and reversed the rest of the Nemesis install. Had to reinstall 3 resistors that were removed for the Nemesis. Tried powering up the Falcon. There is life in there but not getting a display. At least I know I'm on the right track and I got some kind of response.

I am now looking for a Falcon test cartridge to run service diagnostics on it. I have the test fixture board and cables but the Falcon takes its own test cart. If anyone knows where I can find one (Best is out right now), either for sale (preferably) or to borrow, let me know.

She Will Live!!!



I'm impressed by your work!

* For what it's worth to those reading this (other than Guitarman), I was the original owner of this Falcon.

So, it would appear that it wasn't the Nemesis after all (or the DMA chip, which was my guess).

Are you getting anything on the monitor when you power up? I would get a white screen, and maybe 1 out of 30 tries, the Falcon would boot to the desktop normally.

When I attempted to bypass certain features of the Nemesis temporarily (the acceleration of the DSP, and then the DMA), I would get a black screen. Based on comp.sys.atari.st user suggestions, I was intending to replace the DMA chip (which is why it was removed from the motherboard when you bought the Falcon). I'd rather not talk about the mess I made during that procedure, but... moving right along...

I did not have a Falcon test cartridge either, and pretty much gave up at that point. So, I'm following this thread with great interest. And I wish you the best of luck!
:?


Hey Paul!!

Not getting anything on the monitor other than, with my VGA flat panel connected, I get an 'unable to sync' error. The good thing is, it must be getting something to throw the error. I did try connecting to my TV with the RF out and got various reactions to turning it on. Mostly a black output with vertical scan lines through it, kinda like bad vertical hold. Every so often it will throw a blue screen but with the same skewing. Never a legible picture or desktop though. I did discover that there is a broken pin on the monitor connector which could have been part of the original issue. That will be an issue as I can not find a male 19pin D-Sub connector anywhere!!! The female ones are easy, straight out of an old MAC floppy drive!! I am either going to install a female connector to the mainboard and make a male DB19 to VGA adapter or I may just install a VGA port in it since I don't see myself ever using something else.

As far as proceeding, I have everything to start testing, minus the Falcon service cartridge, an that should be here in the next day or two. I have all the service diagnostic boards and carts for all the other ST/TT/Mega systems now that I got from an old Atari service center in San Diego. I actually have 3 complete diagnostic board sets w/cables so I may be posting up a couple here soon. I'll tell you, the Falcon service manual has a plethora of cool info!! A lot of very valuable information.

I'll keep you updated.

#27 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

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Posted Sun May 11, 2008 3:19 PM

Here's the latest.

Got the test cart and here's what we have. I am now getting display to the VGA monitor but various different results. The Falcon does have life though!! That's the best thing.

Here is the Falcon connected to the test fixture and powered with the test cart.
Falcon_Repair_Diagnostics_002__1024x768_.JPG

Here is a closeup of the screen. I am getting a cart version error and it will not load the test screen. Does anyone know how to bypass this???
Falcon_Repair_Diagnostics_001__1024x768_.JPG

Here is a picture of what is on screen just before the version error.
Falcon_Repair_Diagnostics_007__1024x768_.JPG

Here is what mostly shows on the screen when starting up the Falcon. I have to turn the power on and off many time before getting to go to the test cart
Falcon_Repair_Diagnostics_008__1024x768_.JPG

This also came up but just once.
Falcon_Repair_Diagnostics_003__1024x768_.JPG

As you can see, I am making progress. Just need to widdle down the issues.

If anyone can tell me how to bypass the cartridge version error, that would be great. I'm thinking that maybe if I short or remove the RTC chip???

Edited by Guitarman, Sun May 11, 2008 3:21 PM.


#28 nurmix OFFLINE  

nurmix

    Stargunner

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  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:31 PM

Got the test cart and here's what we have. I am now getting display to the VGA monitor but various different results. The Falcon does have life though!! That's the best thing. As you can see, I am making progress. Just need to widdle down the issues.

If anyone can tell me how to bypass the cartridge version error, that would be great. I'm thinking that maybe if I short or remove the RTC chip???



Wow, there's life in that bird! I wish I could offer some answers, but I never used one of those diagnostic cartridges.

I wish you the best of luck though...

Impressive work.

#29 JamesWD OFFLINE  

JamesWD

    Space Invader

  • 14 posts

Posted Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:34 AM

Just a suggestion but I would strongly recommend bypassing the internal power supply and use an ATX supply from a PC.

My falcon used to do very weird things at random times and occasionally not boot at all. I then ran it from an external rock solid power supply and all my problems disappeared.

I'm not saying this will cure your issue but while your messin with the inards use a different PSU during your mending process.

#30 rustynutt OFFLINE  

rustynutt

    Chopper Commander

  • 100 posts

Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008 12:35 AM

Well, got the Falcon Service Manual and reversed the rest of the Nemesis install. Had to reinstall 3 resistors that were removed for the Nemesis. Tried powering up the Falcon. There is life in there but not getting a display. At least I know I'm on the right track and I got some kind of response.

I am now looking for a Falcon test cartridge to run service diagnostics on it. I have the test fixture board and cables but the Falcon takes its own test cart. If anyone knows where I can find one (Best is out right now), either for sale (preferably) or to borrow, let me know.

She Will Live!!!


Opps, didn't read page two. Great work!

Edited by rustynutt, Sat Aug 9, 2008 12:36 AM.


#31 santosp OFFLINE  

santosp

    Dragonstomper

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Posted Mon May 11, 2009 3:45 PM

@Guitarman

I believe cause you must check one by one all the pins from the sdma ic, for continuity along the route to other parts (according the schematics). Especially the data and address pins. Is very dificult, but must be done. I believe that the poor export of ic has caused injury to printed board.


This is my friendly oppinion. :cool:

#32 santosp OFFLINE  

santosp

    Dragonstomper

  • 795 posts
  • Location:Athens - Greece

Posted Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:03 PM

Hello Guitarman. Finally, what happen with falcon?? I am very curious about it!

#33 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

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Posted Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:05 PM

Hello Guitarman. Finally, what happen with falcon?? I am very curious about it!


Nothing yet. It has been on the back burner for a while. It is still in a box from my last move and moving again in a couple of week, hopefully for the last time. Once settled in the new house and get my workbench area set up, will be busting it back out!!




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