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What piece of TI hardware to xray?


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#1 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:12 PM

 
If we could get a high quality xray of a piece of hardware, which one would we benefit from the most?
 
Like this xray of the iPhone X here, in Step 3:
 
 
The huge photo:
 
I'm not just speculating. The engineer who produced that xray made me this offer.
 
 
I'm thinking, the 4 layer PCB for the Geneve. I don't know if individual chips would be useful.. think of reverse engineering LSI.
I wonder if the Geneve gate array would reveal useful info?

Edited by FarmerPotato, Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:13 PM.


#2 RickyDean OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:55 AM

I would say the gate array would be the best candidate, I am just about to release cleaned up copies of the scans that Paul Charleton did of the Geneve and the HFDC, back in 1986-87. Therewere some places where it looked like traces just vanished, but all in all, fairly good images. an x-ray may shed some more detail on the board itself, but if it could help to determine the logic needed to replace the array, without decapping one, that would be awesome.



#3 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:54 AM

I would say the gate array would be the best candidate, I am just about to release cleaned up copies of the scans that Paul Charlton did of the Geneve and the HFDC, back in 1986-87. There were some places where it looked like traces just vanished, but all in all, fairly good images. an x-ray may shed some more detail on the board itself, but if it could help to determine the logic needed to replace the array, without decapping one, that would be awesome.

 

I have a non-booting Geneve then, if it benefits your effort I think it's the answer. I will ask for a board level scan and a focus on the gate array.

Although the TMS9995 and TMS9938 would be interesting.



#4 RickyDean OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:26 AM

 

I have a non-booting Geneve then, if it benefits your effort I think it's the answer. I will ask for a board level scan and a focus on the gate array.

Although the TMS9995 and TMS9938 would be interesting.

My only concern here is, the system, being  non-booting, is it because of the gate array, or something else?

If that's the case, was it made non- booting because of plugging the Geneve into an non-modified case, if the Geneve was modified to only plug into a regulated power supply system.

If so the array may be blown internally and only show the damage not good structure.

I recently had this issue and had to get another of the few Gate array's left in the known universe for my Genny, because I blew mine that way.

Anyone ideas?



#5 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:47 AM

I'm just reluctant to send my working Geneve anywhere. My non-booting one has only been plugged into a pbox under ordinary circumstances since it was last working in 2012. It's got one of the RAM mods (done by you know who) but not full GenMod. For some reason now it never lights up any disk controller card (TI, Myarc) and then complains it can't find a boot disk. 

 

(That gives me an idea just now to check what's wrong with it.)

 

If I really have to, I'll send my good Geneve out.. 



#6 RickyDean OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:01 AM

I'm just reluctant to send my working Geneve anywhere. My non-booting one has only been plugged into a pbox under ordinary circumstances since it was last working in 2012. It's got one of the RAM mods (done by you know who) but not full GenMod. For some reason now it never lights up any disk controller card (TI, Myarc) and then complains it can't find a boot disk. 

 

(That gives me an idea just now to check what's wrong with it.)

 

If I really have to, I'll send my good Geneve out.. 

Do you think there might be an issue, with getting it back? I do have a non-booting one, that I am working on as time permits, that does have a known good Gate Array, I would be willing to send it if you are doubtful that your good one would come back intact. But if you believe they stand a good chance of being damaged, or not returned, then I would have to say no.



#7 kl99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:10 PM

That reminds me of flying home from a TI meeting in Germany to Austria. I thought why not scan the TI-99 console in the security to see a cool xray of it. Maybe I can even take a picture of it on their monitor.

So I put it in hand luggage. I ended up being asked in another room for explosive inspection of that "device". They were very suspicious about it. Oh my.



#8 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:40 PM

Do you think there might be an issue, with getting it back? I do have a non-booting one, that I am working on as time permits, that does have a known good Gate Array, I would be willing to send it if you are doubtful that your good one would come back intact. But if you believe they stand a good chance of being damaged, or not returned, then I would have to say no.

 

I'm not worried.  I am waiting for a reply. They are busy this week.

 

 

Looking at the numbers, I think that 10 microns is the limit of what I would expect to get back. I think I see 100 pixels per cm on the detector, and single digit to maybe 10x optical magnification. That's an order of magnitude away from what is needed to resolve a grid on a GA from 1987 that is probably 2 micron feature size. 



#9 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:56 PM

That reminds me of flying home from a TI meeting in Germany to Austria. I thought why not scan the TI-99 console in the security to see a cool xray of it. Maybe I can even take a picture of it on their monitor.

So I put it in hand luggage. I ended up being asked in another room for explosive inspection of that "device". They were very suspicious about it. Oh my.

 

Same thing happened with a small Radio Shack electronic chess board from the early 80's I was carrying in my bag. The TSA totally freaked out  :D



#10 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:53 AM

Do you think there might be an issue, with getting it back? I do have a non-booting one, that I am working on as time permits, that does have a known good Gate Array, I would be willing to send it if you are doubtful that your good one would come back intact. But if you believe they stand a good chance of being damaged, or not returned, then I would have to say no.

 

Hey, I am clear to send in the Geneve. I'm going to send my 2nd one that can't find the boot disk.

 

I am told not to expect much on the gate array - 2 micron features (my guess) won't present enough contrast.


Edited by FarmerPotato, Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:54 AM.


#11 RickyDean OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:01 AM

Well as the old man said, We'll take what we can get!!  ;)  :-D  . Thanks

 

Wait, I'm an old man...oh no..!!


Edited by RickyDean, Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:01 AM.


#12 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:20 PM

Boot failures like the one you describe in post #5 suggest a faulty '244 or '245.  The Geneve attempts to scan the cards and execute their respective powerup routines at startup.  If one or more of those buffer chips has been damaged, external communication via the bus is impossible. Sometimes a bad RS232 can mimic these same symptoms.






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