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RAM upgrade mod atari

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#51 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:53 PM

One of the challenges is that most of these upgrades go through multiple production periods.  Someone announces they will build a batch if there is sufficient interest, orders come in, a certain number are made and then they are out of production until another batch is announced, sometimes years later by an entirely different person.

 

This is what makes understanding what is available so difficult for newbies. 

 

Exactly! And frankly why something like the U1MB is now so commonly-recommended for "serious" hobbyists who want to use their machines for a variety of general purposes - being commercially-produced for a number of years now, it's readily available, the firmware is still have active bug-fixes and maintenance (thanks, Jon!) and all the quirks associated with it are pretty well-understood at this point. 



#52 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:55 PM

One of the challenges is that most of these upgrades go through multiple production periods.  Someone announces they will build a batch if there is sufficient interest, orders come in, a certain number are made and then they are out of production until another batch is announced, sometimes years later by an entirely different person.

 

This is what makes understanding what is available so difficult for newbies. 

I'll add that bit in and make a category for those that, as far as I know, are plagued by such availability issues. Which makes things a bit easier.



#53 JoSch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:30 PM

 
As far as I know, the SysCheck requires the 600XL to be upgraded to 64K for the 512K expansion to work. 
 
Edit: I ran a quick test on a 600, and the ram expansion doesn't work. The O/S switcher works, but my imagination isn't vivid enough to imagine what a 16K machine can be used for.  

Yeah, just wanted to be sure for the sake of a correct guide.
As for the usefulness: The 16k 600XL sure is a fine machine for cart games. But I have to say that I upgraded my 600XL to 64k.

#54 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:35 AM

Does anybody know good and broad guides to install upgrades (preferably ones that adress multiple machines)? I think that adds a lot of value to the guide as it also shows difficulty of installing, which would impact a purchasing decision.

Also, more out of curiosity, what is the difference between the original U1MB and the U1MB 2K14 revision?



#55 Stefan Both OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:00 PM

the aditional resistors as far as I remember...

Stefan

#56 steddyman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:29 PM

Great post.  This should be stickied.



#57 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:31 AM

Also, more out of curiosity, what is the difference between the original U1MB and the U1MB 2K14 revision?


First run of U1MB (Candle) required resistors in the MMU cable (to prevent over-voltage of Xilinx chip with certain cartridges). Subsequent black PCBs had the resistors incorporated on the PCB. "Revised" 2K14 version simply replaced the boxed IDC connectors on the board with inferior right-angle header pins and omitted the JTAG connector.

#58 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:49 PM

Than a lot of tutorials on how to install it seem to be outdated considering, I assume because it's logical, the only board on the market already has the resistor fix in. Something, aside from Lotharek bullet points which aren't very newbie friendly, all mention you should do by cutting traces and adding resistors (but maybe I'm looking in the wrong places).



#59 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:06 PM

Than a lot of tutorials on how to install it seem to be outdated considering, I assume because it's logical, the only board on the market already has the resistor fix in. Something, aside from Lotharek bullet points which aren't very newbie friendly, all mention you should do by cutting traces and adding resistors (but maybe I'm looking in the wrong places).

 

To install a U1MB in a fully-socketed motherboard, all  you do is pull two chips, insert the two ribbon cables from the U1MB in their places, and then solder four jumper wires between the U1MB and vias on the board. No need whatsoever to cut traces or add resistors (*).

 

CAVEAT: to ensure stability in a troublesome board, you might need to add a very small capacitor between two pins on the U1MB. This fix was identified in the last year or so for difficult "noisy" machines by Hias and flashjazzcat. My 800XL does not need this fix but if I ever install a second one in a 1200XL of mine that was problematic, I'll give that a try.



#60 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 9, 2017 7:09 AM

Small update, I added a resource header for other or more in depth info on ram upgrades. And I'm planning to add a section that shows chip locations on the motherboards (or a link to a post that shows them), unless someone already knows of such a resource. As that is quite useful for modding purposes.



#61 scotty OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 9, 2017 9:08 AM

 

But if you go the U1MB route, there are other benefits: first, it's super easy to install - two ribbon cables that plug into existing sockets in XL machines (some later models and the XE machines might require desoldering chips), plus four easy wire jumpers to solder to via points on the board. Second, the U1MB lets you select from four different OS roms for your particular needs, 4 versions of BASIC (or any other 8K rom you might want to use), and optionally 4 XEGS game roms if you use an XEGS OS and set a jumper on the U1MB board. 

 

Which jumper is it??  Also, what is the procedure to get it to boot the XEGS game?  Real hardware is to unplug the keyboard.  I am sure that is not the case with the U1MB.

 

 

 



#62 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 9, 2017 9:18 AM

Which jumper is it??  Also, what is the procedure to get it to boot the XEGS game?  Real hardware is to unplug the keyboard.  I am sure that is not the case with the U1MB.

 

http://atariage.com/...te-1mb-on-xegs/

This suggest P3 header. Although I see online that other versions of the board can call it XEGS mode.



#63 dakidski OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 9, 2017 10:05 AM

I never really needed more than 64KB. :)



#64 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 7:50 AM

I installed the Ultimate 1MB (I'll write up a more detailed and updated install guide than I could find online), how do I set it up though? When I boot it it goes straight into SpartaDOS and help+Restarting doesn't seem to do anything.



#65 JoSch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 8:10 AM

From SDX, you can do COLD /N, which cold starts the Atari without booting to SDX.

If you are using flashjazzcat's BIOS, you can disable SDX and reboot. Since you have two config slots, you could config one slot with SDX enabled and one with SDX disabled. I also configured different theme colors, so I can switch between them and see with the color what config is active.


Edited by JoSch, Mon May 15, 2017 8:11 AM.


#66 seastalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 8:04 AM

Anyone have a good comparison of the Ultimate 1MB vs Antonia 4MB? If not knowing memory standard differences, most noobs likely would say "4 is more than 1" which means "better" then when looking deeper, see that Antonia is newer and confirm in their mind then Antonia is the latest and greatest; This conclusion would imply the Ultimate 1MB USED to be the best but is made moot by the Antonia board... an unfair assumption.

 

A comparison at the start of the thread could correct this misconception and a "Which upgrade is best for me" section could advise the best upgrade depending on usage.


Edited by seastalker, Thu Jul 6, 2017 8:05 AM.


#67 relo999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 8:21 AM

I'm not going to state I'm a master of memory upgrades, but going by the antonia 4MB configurator it does support the same standards as the U1MB and some more. That said, I think the U1MB is maybe not the best but is the standard due to it's availability. When I looked for the Antonia 2 months or so back I couldn't find it (which is why the first post has a, what seems to be, an outdated listing), meanwhile getting an U1MB is easy and freely available.

That said I'm perfectly willing to add a comparison if someone more knowledgeable than me would give the info.



#68 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 8:42 AM

Anyone have a good comparison of the Ultimate 1MB vs Antonia 4MB? If not knowing memory standard differences, most noobs likely would say "4 is more than 1" which means "better" then when looking deeper, see that Antonia is newer and confirm in their mind then Antonia is the latest and greatest; This conclusion would imply the Ultimate 1MB USED to be the best but is made moot by the Antonia board... an unfair assumption.

 

A comparison at the start of the thread could correct this misconception and a "Which upgrade is best for me" section could advise the best upgrade depending on usage.

Well, the U1MB has quite a bit more to offer than just a RAM upgrade.  It gives 4 switchable OSes, 4 carts which can be used for the built in BASIC slot, as well as incredible PBI support.  When coupled with a SIDE2 cart this allows for a fully PBI compliant hard drive solution using a CF card.  What this means is any DOS or OS which supports the PBI can see the hard drive.  The U1MB also has built in Sparta DOS X and a Real Time Clock.



#69 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 8:59 AM

Not to mention the built-in loader (also intended for use with a SIDE cart) which loads XEXs and mounts ATR disk images direct from a FAT partition, and the ability to control other upgrades via four signal headers. And if you use the donation-supported alternative U1MB firmware you get:

  • Dual configuration profiles
  • BIOS plugins enabling complete customisation of the signal headers (Rapidus core control, etc)
  • New high-speed SIDE loader with recursive directory search and multiple FAT partition support
  • Built-in Hias PBI High-Speed SIO drivers which work with any OS (no SIDE cart required)
  • Built-in "Z:" RTC device providing access to the date and time from BASIC, etc
  • SIO2BT support (via PBI HSIO driver)
  • Flash ROM write protection

Unfortunately not much of this is advertised on Lotharek's U1MB page since almost all of the extra functionality is provided by my aftermarket firmware which is alluded to by a paragraph mentioning "software support" and a downloadable ATR which doesn't necessarily contain the most recent version of BIOS. ;)


Edited by flashjazzcat, Thu Jul 6, 2017 9:00 AM.


#70 seastalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 9:02 AM

Ok- well the last two posts (edit: now three- FJC beat me to it) are a great start! From those it seems the U1MB is the winner in the availability and feature department. If the Antonia supports SOME of the functionality as the U1MB but not all, then determining the best choice to get (or hold out for when available again) is to determine what features Antonia has that U1MB does NOT have. Also, the 3MB difference may be obvious, but then looking at present day available software that takes advantage of this would be helpful.

 

Not claiming to know: It may be that the U1MB is compatible with all software pre-year 2014 (arbitrary year from thin air) while the Antonia can play new demos/games designed for the extra 3MB RAM since then.  If what is available is just a port of a game and a hi res demo pic of Angelina Jolie, I'd go for the U1MB.  Again, just an example. :)


Edited by seastalker, Thu Jul 6, 2017 9:03 AM.


#71 Kyle22 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 6:39 PM

Antonia gives you memory, some switchable OS's, and an 816 CPU. The 816 and the RAM are great, But I couldn't live without all the features the U1M adds, Especially with Jon's BIOS.

#72 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 7:14 PM

Yeah - for me, the U!M is still, the "Ultimate" upgrade for our little 8-bits.







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