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Announcement: Sys-Check got some siblings!

SysCheck XL XE

12 replies to this topic

#1 tf_hh OFFLINE  

tf_hh

    Dragonstomper

  • 660 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Fri May 11, 2018 9:03 AM

Hi!

 

Due some feedback to one of my oldest projects "Sys-Check V2.2" I create two new versions of Sys-Check. They´re simply called

  • Sys-Check V2.2 XL and
  • Sys-Check V2.2 XE

Technically there´s no difference to the standard version. The standard version is also offered furthermore. All new versions of the firmware will work on all Sys-Check versions and revisions like ever promised. While Sys-Check V2.2 "Standard" remains usable for all Atari XL computers (except 1200XL) and all XE computers with ECI-Port, the new versions are specialised for XL or XE models only.

 

Both new solutions have distance bolts to have the PCB secured for continuous usage - a lot of users of Sys-Check reported me they never use it for diagnostics, but main time for external memory expansion or a different O.S. like for SIO2BT and others.

 

The reasons for these new versions are:

  • Some XL owner wished to have a Sys-Check version which is not upright assembled to easier access the switches
  • Some XL users want to have the possibility to add a second PBI device, for example a harddisk-interface
  • Some XE users need the possibility to connect a PBI device to your XE computer

Here are the pictures of Sys-Check V2.2 XL

 

SXL_1.jpg

SXL_2.jpg

 

The PBI connector at the end of the PCB is a 1:1 connection to the computer´s PBI. You can plug, for example, the Turbo Freezer 2011 behind Sys-Check XL and it will work. Of course you got problems when you enable OLD-OS or the memory expansion at the Turbo Freezer device AND also enable OS-ROM external support by Sys-Check and/or the memory expansion by Sys-Check. Only one external OS or one external memory expansion should be enabled.

 

And some pictures of Sys-Check V2.2 XE

 

SXE_1.jpg

SXE_2.jpg

 

The XE version has a PBI connector, which is mostly 1:1 compatible to the XL PBI. There are four signals, which aren´t existing at the XE ECI connector: RAS, CAS, EXTENB and RDY (Ready). These signals have a 6k8 pull-up resistor each to gain maximum compatibility. The most actual PBI devices don´t need one of these four signals and run fine. I found only the older Turbo Freezer II with DRAM memory expansion, which won´t run, because it needs RAS for the memory expansion part. But maybe more old PBI devices won´t run. This limitation always exists on any XE ECI to PBI adapters.

 

I will assemble a few units of each version in the next 2-3 weeks. Watch out my most time each week updated info PDF found in this post :)

 

Jurgen

 



#2 Gunstar OFFLINE  

Gunstar

    Gunstar

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Posted Fri May 11, 2018 9:20 AM

Very nice! I would have gotten the new XL version, if it existed when I bought my Sys-check because I would prefer it laying flat too. But, I have the original and have been planning on swapping out the connector myself for a right angled one to make it sit like the new XL version myself. Also make a case for it. I will probably buy the new XL version too, eventually, if you still have them when the time comes, mainly for the pass-thru properties for a computer I plan on using and IDE 2.0 for eventually, and keep the original connected to a computer that uses other "HD" solutions like MyIDE II.



#3 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

xrbrevin

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Fri May 11, 2018 9:43 AM

a valuable piece of kit - highly recommended for repair diagnosis but with an added bonus RAM expansion! :)



#4 tf_hh OFFLINE  

tf_hh

    Dragonstomper

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Posted Fri May 11, 2018 9:47 AM

I will probably buy the new XL version too, eventually, if you still have them when the time comes, mainly for the pass-thru properties for a computer I plan on using and IDE 2.0 for eventually, and keep the original connected to a computer that uses other "HD" solutions like MyIDE II.

 

As long somebody wants to have sometime one of them three, I will offer them. Maybe not in stock at all times, but the lead times are mostly less than one month. Dependent on my wife when she grants spare time for Atari :grin:



#5 larryleffaovell OFFLINE  

larryleffaovell

    Space Invader

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Posted Fri May 11, 2018 10:38 AM

Congrats! I bought one of the "old ones" some weeks ago and can recommend these for anybody regardless of the purpose.



#6 erichenneke OFFLINE  

erichenneke

    Moonsweeper

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  • Location:USA

Posted Fri May 11, 2018 8:16 PM

i recommend it as well.  I have the original syscheck2.2 and it has come in very handy for diagnosing and isolating memory issues on multiple systems, which is why i bought it.  But the added bonus of an alternate OS switcher is awesome, and turns out that's what I actually use it for most of the time! 

 

-Eric


Edited by erichenneke, Fri May 11, 2018 8:17 PM.


#7 Faicuai OFFLINE  

Faicuai

    Dragonstomper

  • 808 posts
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Posted Sat May 12, 2018 10:31 AM

Have the original v2.2 Sys-Check and works VERY nice on the XLs that I have here... I rather prefer the vertically-oriented version, mostly because I am not using the PBI expansion-bus that much...

 

NOW, having said that, the Incognito has a PBI-port / connector on it, and I have always wondered how Sys-Check would behave when connected there, instead... I don't have the necessary cables / ribbons for it, but not sure if you ever had the chance to test it on the Incognito... In fact, I am not even sure if Incognito's PBI port is fully functional, either... 

 

Just wondering! :-)))



#8 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

Dropcheck

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Posted Sat May 12, 2018 10:32 AM

I use the 'older' version all the time.  Highly recommend Syscheck as an essential troubleshooting tool.  ;-)



#9 tf_hh OFFLINE  

tf_hh

    Dragonstomper

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Posted Mon May 14, 2018 2:41 AM

NOW, having said that, the Incognito has a PBI-port / connector on it, and I have always wondered how Sys-Check would behave when connected there, instead... I don't have the necessary cables / ribbons for it, but not sure if you ever had the chance to test it on the Incognito... In fact, I am not even sure if Incognito's PBI port is fully functional, either...

 

Theoretically it should work, but I´m not sure (and haven´t tried it yet). Incognito is based mostly on the Ultimate 1 MB. The U1MB has the REFRESH (REF) signal attached at the Xilinx CPLD and in fact that U1MB emulates the MMU also I assume that U1MB would suspend all activities when REF = low. So Sys-Check as the Turbo Freezer works fine with U1MB.

 

But, Incognito replaces not only the expansion memory, also the standard memory. So there´s no need to recognize the REF signal anymore, because Incognito controls everything. When Sebastian left the logic terms regarding REF in Incognito´s CPLD program code and REF is attached to the IDC header (PBI), then it should work. I asked him this several years (...) ago, but didn´t get any answers to my emails.



#10 Faicuai OFFLINE  

Faicuai

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Posted Mon May 14, 2018 11:39 AM

Theoretically it should work, but I´m not sure (and haven´t tried it yet). Incognito is based mostly on the Ultimate 1 MB. The U1MB has the REFRESH (REF) signal attached at the Xilinx CPLD and in fact that U1MB emulates the MMU also I assume that U1MB would suspend all activities when REF = low. So Sys-Check as the Turbo Freezer works fine with U1MB.
 
But, Incognito replaces not only the expansion memory, also the standard memory. So there´s no need to recognize the REF signal anymore, because Incognito controls everything. When Sebastian left the logic terms regarding REF in Incognito´s CPLD program code and REF is attached to the IDC header (PBI), then it should work. I asked him this several years (...) ago, but didn´t get any answers to my emails.


NICE!!!

THANKS for the detailed, obscurantism-free response!!! I would like to try it out on my Incognito setup (I have back-up Incognitos, so we are covered).

Any idea on how to get or build the interface connector / adapter? It is one thing on one end (XL) and another on the other end (Incognito)...

#11 tf_hh OFFLINE  

tf_hh

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 12:04 PM

Any idea on how to get or build the interface connector / adapter? It is one thing on one end (XL) and another on the other end (Incognito)...

 

Using your Sys-Check V2.2 standard edition: Remove the card edge connector and solder in (see the middle row of pins reserved for that) a standard 50 pin male IDC header. Now take a standard SCSI-1 50 pin cable, these are straight 1:1 connected. This should work when Incognito use the same pinout like the PBI at it´s IDC header, what I strongly assume :)



#12 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

flashjazzcat

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 12:34 PM

This should work when Incognito use the same pinout like the PBI at it´s IDC header, what I strongly assume :)


It does. This is how I managed to connect IDE Plus 2.0 and the Turbo Freezer to an Incognito machine in the past. Secondary 50 way male headers on PBI devices are rather handy in this respect (also for my 1200XL, which uses a completely non-standard PBI connector).

#13 Faicuai OFFLINE  

Faicuai

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Posted Wed May 16, 2018 7:11 AM

THANKS guys!!!

I was actually thinking of an adapter that would allow using SysCheck with BOTH Atari's PBI port interface, and Incognito's one... Corresponding SCSI form-factor in one end, and Atari PBi on the other... with maybe an intermediate tiny board in the middle of both for facilitating the physical exchange / interconnection if such adapter does not really exist....

Using or extending SysCheck to also diagnose / test Incognito sounds like a wonderful / logical idea, to me, considering how NICE and smart SysCheck is on its own!!!





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