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Interesting homebrew 1050 happy mod pics


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#1 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 7, 2019 1:52 PM

i just acquired a hardware lot and it included a 1050 drive with a homebrew happy mod - see pics

 

the 40-pin IC has a 74LS139 glued onto it so i am unable to identify it.

 

the switches operate the fast/slow and also happy/unhappy

the left switch is 3-position: fast write, slow write and write protect

the right switch is happy/unhappy

 

the EPROM socket has 4x chips stacked

 

the memory socket has 2x chips stacked

 

the uppermost jumper is lifted on the right side

 

anyone know of a guide to make such a thing? i'd rather not pull it apart because it works!! :)

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1214.JPG
  • IMG_1216.JPG


#2 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 7, 2019 2:00 PM

The 40-pin IC should be a 6502 of some flavor. You could probably test pins for the location of Vcc and Vss to verify which version of the chip is being used. There may be easier ways but that's what I'd try first.



#3 spinnaker15136 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 7, 2019 2:49 PM

So what was the Happy mod?     I don't remember hearing about this    Maybe it came in somewhere after IBM PCs came on to the market?



#4 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 7, 2019 2:52 PM

So what was the Happy mod?     I don't remember hearing about this    Maybe it came in somewhere after IBM PCs came on to the market?

 

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Happy_drives



#5 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 7, 2019 3:17 PM

Hi,

I have a similar 1050, see http://atariage.com/...-lazer-upgrade/for pics.

Mine is a Lazer/US Doubler drive - the Lazer is fairly Happy compatible, but I think the Rom is different. I wrote a program for dumping Happy and compatible ROMs (actually, most of the code came from Atari Magazin), any chance you can try it out?

I think you have a combination Happy/US Doubler drive (given the U.S.D. on the label of the EPROM) - probably one of the switches toggles between US Doubler and Happy (?) mode.

How does the drive check out with Happy 1050 disks, the diagnostic should print "PASS" for revision 1, and "Pass" for revision 2 (iirc, though it may be the other way round). There was a thread a while back that contained a lot of different versions of the Happy Backup ATRs, you might want to try some of them out to see what they say about your drive, if you have a way of loading ATR files.

#6 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 2:40 AM

thanks for your responses.

i have heard of the laser mod but there is much less info about it online compared to happy mods. it certainly looks very similar to mine. I assumed mine is a homebrew happy mod as my happy software detects it as a happy drive but it could just be a compatible variant?

 

when i saw the eprom sticker i wondered if one of the switch positions reverts it to ICD USD mode. i'll record a double density disk and test it later on today.

 

does anyone know if there is a resource online for laser warp info and/or software? or any other topics on here?

cheers!



#7 tf_hh OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 5:20 AM

i just acquired a hardware lot and it included a 1050 drive with a homebrew happy mod - see pics

 

anyone know of a guide to make such a thing? i'd rather not pull it apart because it works!! :)

 

I would suggest, this is a combination of a Mini-Speedy 1050 and an US-Doubler circuit. Where by default the 1050 O.S. ROM/EPROM is, the pictures shows one 28 pin EPROM, one 28 pin SRAM (I´m pretty sure) and a 24 pin 2732 EPROM on the top. The 28 pin EPROM contains the Speedy firmware, above the needed 6264 SRAM is located and then follows the US Doubler EPROM.

 

The 74LS139 above the 65C02 CPU (the new 40 pin one) is the only additional logic needed for a Mini-Speedy 1050. The Happy 1050 requires at minimum three 74 series chip or one 6002 GAL (as Steven Tucker used it). Piggy-packed on the 6810 SRAM there´s a second one as usually found needed for all US-Doubler installations.

 

As long no illegal opcodes used, all firmwares written for the 6507 CPU would also run at a 6502 (Happy 1050) or 65C02 (Speedy 1050).

 

The amount of wires to the front switches makes me pretty sure about my suggestion.



#8 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 11:06 AM

thanks for the further info.

 

ive tried all switch positions and i can always read double density.

with the right switch off, the happy software says it is unhappy and when loading DD it sounds just like a US doubler - slower and more punctuated. with it on the happy software detects it as happy and i get the high speed read/writes.

 

i tried the drive with no disk inserted and no combination of switches would give me the speedy menu - does the clone version have the menu? if so, this should confirm it is not a speedy.



#9 tf_hh OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 12:44 PM

with the right switch off, the happy software says it is unhappy and when loading DD it sounds just like a US doubler - slower and more punctuated. with it on the happy software detects it as happy and i get the high speed read/writes.

 

i tried the drive with no disk inserted and no combination of switches would give me the speedy menu - does the clone version have the menu? if so, this should confirm it is not a speedy.

 

Very strange. The speedy firmware contains always a tool with can be booted with open disk lever, so it seems to be not a Speedy. I never saw any Happy clone with works with only one 74 series chip. That was the reason why I was sure it´s a Speedy... :?



#10 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 1:30 PM

Hi,

My Lazer/Doubler possibly has only 1 7400 series chip, but it's hard to tell as it's the one that is glued upside down to the 6502.

Have you tried running the Happy diagnostics when you are in Happy mode? That should give you an idea if your 1050 is actually Happy compatible. Also, I have heard that Lazer/Doublers where made in the UK, I'm guessing if you are in the States it's much more likely you have a Happy/Doubler homebrew.

I have a Lazer ATR somewhere, I think it might also be on pigwa, but I will try and upload it if I can find it. I also have the "original" Lazer utils disk, but I can't convert it to an ATR as it is protected with a bad sector.

I don't think there is any detailed info on the Lazer, there is a document posted by brenski on AtariSector describing the SIO command codes it supports, but I think that is about it.

Actually, I remember I dumped the command code table and ROM a while back, I should upload it when I get back home!

Hope this helps!

#11 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 1:38 PM

shame, idve liked a full speedy mod for the track display and ROM select :/

 

i am in the UK so maybe it is a Laser clone... i'll run the happy diags again when i get home later on



#12 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 2:40 PM

Hi,

I think the Lazer/US-doubler just uses a single large EPROM, and the switch toggles an address line. I'm not sure what is going on with the different sized eproms in your new 1050, but I think there must have been a certain amount of hacking to get the 2 ROM banks used by a Happy into the single bank in your drive (unless this is what the 7400 series chip handles). I'm guessing that makes it more likely it is a Lazer, but you will have to check it out to be sure.

Oh, I think you're thinking of a MegaSpeedy, which only a select few have.

Edited by E474, Mon Apr 8, 2019 2:43 PM.


#13 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 3:07 PM

Hi,

There's an ATR for laser drives (The Lazer Drive Supercharger
.zip) in: http://ftp.pigwa.net...t/Holmes Utils/

- though there is a lot of other interesting stuff in there too!

#14 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 5:15 AM

thanks for the link - i often refer to the pigwa site. shame there is no keyword search but the content is great to browse :)

 

im inclined to think my drive has the Lazer mod. I loaded the "Lazer Drive Supercharger" atr file and the drive is detected as a "Lazer" (see image). i selected the option to disable it and sure enough it disabled it in software.

 

i'll do some more searching for more software or other resources and add them to this topic if i find anything.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1219.jpg

Edited by xrbrevin, Tue Apr 9, 2019 5:16 AM.


#15 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:48 AM

Hi,

There's also the Lazer to Chip (archiver) convertor from LPS, if that works that's also probably a good sign. At some point I can try and make an ATX using the latest RespeQt build on a pi (which I haven't set up yet), or just do an ATR of it, and tell you which sector needs trashing using the archiver/editor.

Link in pigwa.net is along the lines of:

RK-DVD/Atari 800 Images und Files/Spielesammlungen/Holmes
Archive - komplett/Holmes Utils/Laser 1050 to Chip Converter
[LPS] .zip

Edited by E474, Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:49 AM.


#16 DjayBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:46 AM

I also have the "original" Lazer utils disk, but I can't convert it to an ATR as it is protected with a bad sector.

 

Post an ATR and I will try to crack it.

"Disclaimer": IMHO it does not make much sense to copyprotect a tool disk for a disk copier with only a bad sector which can be copied easily. There is probably more to it.



#17 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:32 AM

Hi,

Thanks! I'll post it when I'm back home - I don't know if the bad sector is from age, or by design, but I can have a look at what the archive/editor says about it too, if that helps.

#18 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:25 AM

Hi,

Thanks! I'll post it when I'm back home - I don't know if the bad sector is from age, or by design, but I can have a look at what the archive/editor says about it too, if that helps.

 

Hi,

Did you get chance to find the Lazer utils disk?

cheers

:)



#19 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:45 AM

Hi,

Still travelling - should be able to post the ATR first week of May!

#20 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:17 AM

Lazer copier and 1050 laser to chip.

 

Not knowingly got an original Lazer drive utils disk, I do remember that I got 2 disks with it when I brought my lazer drive, one was the copier but not sure what the other was, perhaps and un lazer switcher?

Attached Files


Edited by Mclaneinc, Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:23 AM.


#21 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:38 AM

thanks E474, no rush. sounds like you have unusual circs - hope your travelling to nice places!

 

thanks also mclaneinc - i'll get them burnt to a 5.25 disk and have a tinker. i love the extreme homebrew look to this mod and its a real flyer :)



#22 E474 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:58 PM

Hi,

The utils I have are very similar to the Happy 7.0/7.10 disks, save the menu has an orange background colour. I think there are between 6 & 8 menu items, e.g. sector copier, diagnostics, Lazer backup etc., but I can't remember the others. I think there might have been a hacked Happy Backup disk floating around, but I'm not sure. I am sure that the read/write files to a 180K IBM PC-disk utility worked fine, as that was my only way to transfer files for a long time. I think the Happy PDB files worked fine with it too, and there can't have been too many differences between it and a Happy drive as I could dump the Laser ROM using code from the articles in Atari Magazin.

I also remember that there was a bug in Lazer mode where you could corrupt disks when running SpartaDos, so I am guessing there must be a lot of shared code with the Happy, as there was a similar bug with Happy drives (iirc).

I think my laser/Doubler is a little different from yours, I have either a single large EPROM, and the switch toggles the address line to select a bank of code, or I have 2 identical stacked eproms, and the switch toggles between them somehow.

I'll upload the disk image as soon as I can, it would be good to preserve it, and it is probably quite easy to make a protected version using the archiver editor, then someone with a Kryoflux can write out the ATX (I guess).

I think Nezgar found some info on this mod on pigwa, but I don't have the link handy - I think it was posted on one of the earlier threads.

Hope this helps!

Edited by E474, Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:00 PM.


#23 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:20 AM

I think Nezgar found some info on this mod on pigwa, but I don't have the link handy - I think it was posted on one of the earlier threads.

 
Found it! Lots of other great Lazer investigation on that thread too.
 
http://atariage.com/...rade/?p=4053554
 
Thanks Mclaneinc for the upload, the "Lazer to CHIP" disk I did not have. It also appears to work just fine on Happy 1050 V1, V2, and a suspected 'lazer' ROM I have. Further supporting my theory that the lazer is just a hacked up Happy Rev 2 ROM & utility set.
 
I spent some time attempting to test these disks in Altirra with full drive emulation trying some ROM's in Happy 1050 mode, got some screenshots.
 
The ROM that I thought might be a lazer variant works like Happy 1050 V2, except the stepper rate is audibly increased. This ROM seems to work perfectly fine with the original happy utilities, it just fails the ROM test. (Due to at minimum, the change in head seek timing). Happy Backup works fine, but using the "Lazer Ultraspeed 1050 Supercharger (IS Plate).atr" the program always crashes the drive after uploading the copy code. (Cycles motor on/off 1 second intervals) - so I suspect my ROM is not quite a match for the lazer software, or I need to test it on real hardware.
 
Lazer Ultraspeed 1050 Supercharger (IS Plate)-intro.png Lazer Ultraspeed 1050 Supercharger (IS Plate).png Lazer Ultraspeed 1050 Supercharger (IS Plate)-Sector Copier.png Lazer Ultraspeed 1050 Supercharger (IS Plate)-Sector Copier-active.png
 
The next interesting thing was Mclaneinc's "Laser 1050 to Chip Converter [LPS].atr".... It appears to be yet another hacked version of a few other Happy to CHIP converters... check this:
Laser 1050 to Chip Converter LPS.png Happy 1050 to Kiwi Chip Archiver (19xx)(Kiwi Systems).png Happy 1050 To Chip Converter (19xx)(Marquis).png
 
So... xrbrevin, can you let me know if the Lazer Copier successfully loads with your drive? Likewise, try the Happy 7.1 disk diagnostics and see if you get a ROM test fail, and then try the Happy backup and see if that loads. Also listen/watch closey to the head seeking, and see if you observe it faster than a stock 1050. Might sound more like a higher pitched buzz instead of a grind when seeking multiple tracks. May give some clues if it's just a slightly modified happy ROM or something else...
 
Cheers!

#24 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:50 AM

nice one, i plan to meddle with it this weekend so i'll let you know the results

:)



#25 ijor OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:47 AM

 I spent some time attempting to test these disks in Altirra with full drive emulation trying some ROM's in Happy 1050 mode, got some screenshots.
 ...
The next interesting thing was Mclaneinc's "Laser 1050 to Chip Converter [LPS].atr".... It appears to be yet another hacked version of a few other Happy to CHIP converters... check this:

 

All those screenshots look too similar to the original Happy and Happy-To-Chip software. Probably they were all just hacks.






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