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tf_hh

Member Since 11 Sep 2007
OFFLINE Last Active Aug 9 2016 12:04 PM

#3553758 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:40 AM

Hi,

 

a new firmware and flashtool is availible for Sys-Check V2 series.

 

Attached File  Sys-Check Files V2_2 Release 20160717.zip   517.13KB   39 downloads

 

The new flashtool now supports both Sys-Check PCBs equipped with a SST39SF010A flash chip (V2.1 and V2.2). When you start the flashtool, it will ask you which version you have. To be absolutely sure, the flashtool shows a simplified graphic view of both versions. I think, everybody can handle it :)

 

Of course the flashtool (and all other documents) are written in german and english.

 

Also there´s a new firmware V1.4 out. This firmware can be used with ALL Sys-Check versions - also with the old V2.0 (without flash). Owners of the V2.0 must burn the 16 KB firmware image into a 27128 EPROM. All other please use the flashtool to update their Sys-Check.

 

V1.4 has this minor changes:

 

- Sys-Check can be used with the U1MB expansion.

- The new version first checks the whole memory (to be more exact... the first 48 KByte) and then displays the defective bits (if there are any...)

- When bad memory within the first 48 KB is found, the upper 16 KB will not be tested

- If memory is fine, OS-ROM will be tested as before

- If both tests are fine, then pressing START after this will set Sys-Check into endless loop test mode. Memory and OS-ROM are tested infinite - until any error occurs

- During memory tests the background will be coloured red if defective bits were detected

 

Jurgen

 




#3521358 Dead Atari 800XL

Posted by tf_hh on Tue May 31, 2016 3:53 AM

But the RAM is throwing me off. I expected Hitachi RAM, but here's what's on the RAM chips:

 

W.Germany 4C3U

HM4864P-2

 

When I went searching for the HM4864P-2, it comes up as Hitachi memory, but none of the images matched this "W.Germany 4C3U" so I just want to be certain before I actually order replacement RAM.

 

The only other chip that felt a little warm was the CO61598B-01 at U5, which, oddly enough, has stamped on the mainboard, next to that socket, "CA061854" and I didn't leave the system on long enough to see if this chip would get any hotter, considering how blasted hot that RAM got within seconds.

 

Hoping someone can provide some direction.

 

Hi Tim,

 

I´ve seen many 800 XL with these DRAMs. They are from Hitachi and yes, far times ago Hitachi has let produced these DRAMs in a fab near Cologne, which later were acquired by Infineon, a Siemens spin-off. The Hitachi HM4864 are equivalent to any 4164 DRAM. And yes, these kind of DRAM could be get very hot if something inside is damaged - like the Micron MT4164, too.

 

The CO61598B is the operating system ROM. It get´s a little bit warmer than usual, when the computer can´t start normally, because CPU is doing endless loops in the ROM sometimes. But as long you can put and holt your finger on it´s surface, all is fine :-D

 

BR Jurgen




#3517528 How many mods will fit in a 600XL?

Posted by tf_hh on Wed May 25, 2016 1:44 PM

How many mods has someone actually squeezed into a 600XL?  I love the small size, but realistically I know there is limited real estate inside.  It would be great to have everything: U1MB, VBXE, stereo pokey board, u-switch, TK-II or AKI, Rapidus, and I'd have to do the 64k and a/v mods.

 

Is it doable or do I need to play it safe with a larger model?

 

Sure. There´s a lot space! :-D

 

Look, this is one modded 600XL I´m working on for an ABBUC member. Ultimate 1 MB, VBXE, Stereo. Of course already 64 KB main memory upgrade, S-Video Upgrade. The stereo PCB is my own and includes an SIO2PC-USB, for that I will install an USB jack over the SIO jack. When I´m going totally nuts, I will try also to include a SIO2SD using one of the very small displays used by Panos for the external Micro-SIO2SD.

 

600XL_1.jpg

600XL_2.jpg

 

As FJC already told, you´ve to use BASIC ROM´s place. I replace the 24 pin socket, solder a 28 pin socket into. Also you´ve the change the both "jumperfields" (look at the red jumpers upper right corner in picture 2) to the opposite places.

 

And, it´s a good idea to remove the plastic mylar cable from keyboard to the adapter PCB used in the 600 XL and use some standard ribbon cable.

 

Jurgen




#3502176 BitWriter Replica 1050 - Order phase has started

Posted by tf_hh on Sun May 1, 2016 1:26 PM

Thanks Jurgen. When I thought that the BitWriter had some kind of programmable logic, I wasn't thinking exactly on processing power, but more on protecting the design. We know that CSS (don't know if it was Bob himself or not) liked to protected his products, almost at the paranoid level.

 

Oh yes... he does! For example, in the BitWriter circuit the "R0" input from PIA are not as usually connected to "A0" from CPU (and "R1" to "A1"), they are exchanged... R0 is connected to A1 and R1 to A0... of course I miss that point and the first prototype PCB won´t work until I look more exactly... :mad:




#3498188 SpartaDos X Original Cartridge Reimage

Posted by tf_hh on Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:59 PM

Unrelated general question: why does the website talk about the SIDE2 build of SDX being used on the Supercart? Does the cart not use the original SDX base register ($D5E0)? The SIDE2 build of SDX banks at $D5E1.

 

Simple answer: To make the SDX Supercart work together with an U1MB expansion - even if there´s no really NEED for it, but it works. That´s the reason why I choose $D5E1 for SDX logic instead of using $D5E0.




#3497263 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:28 AM

I want to change the #2 rom from QMeg to another OS rom, but for me the documentation about dip switches is confusing and I never succeed at changing the individual rom..  An idiots guide to dip switches for the new board would be helpful.

 

I´ve added some useful (hope so!) hints to the manual. At the last pages of the new version of the manual you will find some graphical explanations how to set up Sys-Check and use the common functions and features.

 

Attached File  Manual Sys-Check II English.pdf   217.05KB   70 downloads

 

Jurgen




#3496782 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:00 PM

I want to change the #2 rom from QMeg to another OS rom, but for me the documentation about dip switches is confusing and I never succeed at changing the individual rom..  An idiots guide to dip switches for the new board would be helpful.

 

the SYSFLASH.XEX file reads the desired rom but the screen never turns WHITE.. or return no flash chip found.

 

Yes, I got another feedback in the same direction. I will do it better and include tomorrow in the manual some simplified photos with the settings of the DIP-switches for each function. One picture told you more than 1000 words ;-)

 

Second thing is related to the post I´ve done some days before, the flasher´s instructions are only suitable for Sys-Check V2.1. I will publish the new flasher version in the next days.

 

Jurgen




#3496576 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:34 AM

Two users report problems with their Sys-Check. They work for some time (less than one hour), after they fail. In both cases Sys-Check starts, works up to 1 minute and then the screen gets garbled, computer hangs. Because until now I don´t have these both devices back, I can´t examine what´s wrong with them.

 

Last week I got both defect Sys-Checks back. Both really have an issue, one part has a defective SRAM, the other a bad 74HCT74 chip. Both failures doesn´t appear in my initial first test after assembling, but I´ve learned to test every Sys-Check now for 6 hours at minimum.

 

Other negative feedbacks doesn´t reach me, so I think, these both experiences regards only to bad parts - something can happen when handling with +20 years old components.

 

If anyone have an issue with one of my solutions, please contact me.

 

Jurgen

 




#3492201 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:14 AM

Hi folks,

 

maybe it´s nothing, only bad luck with two units. But in my opinion it´s better to publish this fact then being silent.

 

Two users report problems with their Sys-Check. They work for some time (less than one hour), after they fail. In both cases Sys-Check starts, works up to 1 minute and then the screen gets garbled, computer hangs. Because until now I don´t have these both devices back, I can´t examine what´s wrong with them.

 

Maybe one of the parts I purchased has an issue. I´ve tested every Sys-Check before shipping out of course the following way:

 

- One pass with Sys-Check firmware (memory test, O.S. test)

- One pass with activated extended memory expansion using XRAM.COM (Satantronic)

- One pass with MEMDRV.COM (tool for myDOS with excellent memory test)

 

All Sys-Checks shipped out passed these tests. Perhaps one of the chips gets defect after one hour of usage or so. Don´t know the exact reason until now.

 

So PLEASE all purchasers... test your Sys-Check. Let it work on any Atari computer for 2 hours. If nothing unsual happens (screen gets garbled, computer hangs), then all is fine. Otherwise please contact me. Of course I will exchange bad units.

 

Jurgen

 

 




#3491571 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:00 AM

Hi all,

 

thanks for feedback :thumbsup:

 

I start coding some more and better RAM checks in the Sys-Check firmware. Some points...

 

1.) The new firmware will check first the whole base memory (64 KB) and shows then all defective bits. Actual testing stops after first error, but maybe another bit in another chip is defect also

2.) Standard (fast) and intensive test can be choosen after startup (only function keys for navigating needed)

3.) Extended memory using PORTB ($D301) will be also tested - of course the exact source of trouble can´t be displayed, because there are millions of ways how to add extended memory to an Atari...

 

Please don´t ask when I´m ready... coding takes more time for me than soldering :D

 

"It´s done, when it´s done"

 

BR Jurgen

 




#3489100 IDE Plus 2.0 - the newestl edition available very soon

Posted by tf_hh on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:32 PM

ProWizard, thanks for the offer, but I have to decline. And perhaps I have not expressed it well enough, but it is not a question of money. As everyone, I have things to do for living. In the remaining time there is some window for hobbies, and inside it - for the Atari. In my Atari time I have many (already too many, I admit) projects going (and a program, once you start writing and maintaining it, usually needs maintaining and development usque ad infinitum: e.g. SysInfo, which is 24 years old already etc.). So it is really hard to keep up sometimes and this and that has to wait.

 

Fully agree with that. And, some people forgets the most important thing: make a circuit and make new hardware is one thing - with some experience and some good tools it´s not the hardest part. But writing software (or firmware) and make it USABLE for ALL kind of users (knowledge of them) - that´s the challenge.

 

Without knowing it really (and it´s not mean as a vilification), I think, Jon has spent more hours of development in the U1MB new bios than Sebastian in the whole development of the board. Or - where I know it, because I was beta-tester of the team - the Turbo Freezer 2011, Hias rewrites the code completely, the TF2011 is a complete new thing. The hardware (PCB and so on) was made in a few days (1st prototype).

 

So I can please everyone to be patient with all developers. It´s hobby, the most of us have a family and a real life ;-)

 

Just my 2 cents... Jurgen

 

 

 




#3487750 Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Posted by tf_hh on Sat Apr 9, 2016 1:40 PM

Hi,

 

as promised in the old thread, I´ve make 20 pieces of Sys-Check V2.2 ready. The board is a ready-to-use external device, no need to solder.

 

Sys-Check V2.2 can be used with every XL (with PBI, so all models except the 1200 XL) and XE (which have an ECI). The XEGS and same rare 65XE/800XE models without ECI can´t used with Sys-Check.

 

The external solution Sys-Check V2.2 enables the following features:

  • Diagnostic for dead (not starting) computers. In a lot of cases the computer will start which Sys-Check attached and will check the memory. If any bad RAM chip is detected, Sys-Check will show it - using a simple, but easy to follow graphical expression.
  • Also bad OS-ROMs will be detected
  • Sys-Check use a flash-ROM for it´s contents. This flash can be changed using your Atari XL/XE computer, no special hardware needed. I will work on more functions for diagnostics this year.
  • Up to four different operating systems or Sys-Check firmwares can be hold by the flash-ROM
  • For testing purposes, any standard ROM or EPROM with a XL/XE operating system can also be placed in the flash´s socket
  • Sys-Check can also be used as an external operating-system switcher / enabler. You can easily enable the Old-OS (from 400/800) for old games or so - without changing anything inside your computer
  • 512 KByte external, RAMBO-compatible memory expansion. This memory expansion is 100% compatible to the classic RAMBO standard and can be used with any software which uses extended memory
  • External operating-system switcher and external 512 KByte memory expansion can be used together - so Sys-Check V2.2 can lift up any stock XL/XE to an actual machine for modern games and demos - without soldering

 

Of course a complete manual is offered for Sys-Check explaining the technical hints and how to use it (in english and german)

 

Scope of delivery:

  • Soldered and tested Sys-Check V2.2 PCB for all Atari XL (except 1200 XL) and all XE (except XEGS and XE without ECI)
  • Manual and technical documentation (sent by email)

 

Important note - please read carefully!

 

As written above, I´ve make 20 pieces ready. These 20 units will be shipped out to the purchasers in 2-3 days after received payment! The rule is simple: First come, first serve. The "ranking" is done by timestamp of the paypal payment notication email. So the "early birds" are getting their Sys-Check within 2-3 weeks (typical delivery time to the USA for example, within europe 3-4 days). All other have to wait until I assemble the next batch, which may take until the beginning of May 2016 (so delivery at your home make take until the end of May 2016).

 

 

How to order:

  • 1 (one) Sys-Check V2.2 external PCB costs 45 Euros.
  • Shipping for one or two pieces worldwide is 7 Euros (Registered Letter "Recommandé", refund in case of lost or damage max. 37 Euros!) or 9 Euros (Insured & Registered Letter, refund in case of lost or damage up to 100 Euros)
  • If you want to order more than 2, please contact me before sending money (email: tf_hh@gmx.de)

 

 

Please multiply the quantity of Sys-Check V2.2 you want with 45, add the shipping costs and sent the money via Paypal. Please have attention to the following hints to make it easier for me and you!

 

- Sent the money in the currency EURO to the Paypal-Account tf_hh@gmx.de

- Please add your AtariAge nick name to the comment field in the Paypal transaction to know who you are ;)

- Be sure that the delivery address is complete and fully written in the Paypal transaction

- I will respond to the email address sent by Paypal. If you want me to use an other email address, write it down in the comment field ("informations for seller")

- DO NOT SENT THE MONEY AS A GIFT

- DO NOT SENT THE MONEY FOR A FRIEND

- Use "Pay for goods and services"

 

I know it´s friendly to do that, but Paypal will close my account when I got to much transfers "as a gift". In the calculation of Sys-Check´s price of 45 Euros the Paypal fee for receiving money and currency conversion is already included. So don´t worry about it!

 

Every payment is confirmed by email within 24 hours. I will add your email-address to my mailing list and will keep you up-to-date on every step I do until items are shipped.

 

Payments will collected until April, the 17th (then I order PCBs and parts, if more than 20 units are sold).

 

Any questions? Don´t hesitate to contact me!

 

Regards, Jurgen




#3483685 Fixing an 800XL that used the wrong power supply

Posted by tf_hh on Mon Apr 4, 2016 12:29 PM

Hi,

 

maybe it sounds crazy, but I suggest to try repair it. A few years ago I buy a ebay lot containing over 10 XE mainboards and 800 XL Mainboards plus a few case (parts). Also three power supplies... for C64 :D

 

You can imagine, I know really good when opening the box what happens to the boards... nothing of them runs. ALL boards has defective RAMs, and most of the DRAMs are getting hot as hell in seconds. The typical problem when an Atari XL/XE was "commodorized" by a C64 power supply. I change all 16 DRAMs of a 130 XE mainboard and... all fine, this computer works without any issue in a 12 hour loop test using the CPS SALT test fixture.

 

Because I´ve a lot of boards working after changing DRAMs, I do some strange tests.

 

So I connect an old C64 power supply (the first model looking like a door stopper) with Ampmeter and Voltmeter and measure voltage at some points. Of course the boards was flooded with 9V AC, but for example at ANTIC and PIA only 1,7 Volt AC appears. The big amount of power was consumed by the DRAMs. This is logical, because the DRAMs power rail is directly after the power switch. Current drops down to approx 500 mA, because the 9V AC part of the C64 power supply isn´t very strong. In the longest test I connect it for 10 minutes... DRAMs began to smoke, but all Atari custom chips survived. Only two TTL ICs was burned, too. But 10 minutes... :-D

 

All of these boards were repaired successful. Only two customs chips were killed also, one Freddie and one CPU. But issues with CPUs are not so rare, so it maybe random.

 

Try it! Change all DRAMs... the chance to win is 50:50 I would say.

 

Jurgen

 




#3482943 BitWriter Replica 1050 - Order phase has started

Posted by tf_hh on Sun Apr 3, 2016 12:36 PM

Hi all,

 

I forget one thing :( ...

 

The flasher tool in the Sys-Check V2.2 package (for those who ordered the BitWriter Replica with a Sys-Check V2.2) isn´t adapted for the Sys-Check V2.2 dip-switches. It works physically, but the explanation is wrong. I will program asap a new version with takes care of the newer settings (but will also work with Sys-Check V2.1).

 

BR, Jurgen




#3482215 BitWriter Replica 1050 - Order phase has started

Posted by tf_hh on Sat Apr 2, 2016 11:15 AM

Hi all,

 

the job is done... All BitWriter Replica orders are assembled, finished, tested and packed. Also all additional Sys-Check orders are built, tested and packed. Some orders are already shipped out on wednesday this week, the rest will be shipped out on monday (2016/4/4).

 

Each purchaser get a personal email with tracking code.

 

Thanks for all for making this project possible. Special thanks to Michael Alers and Guus Assmann for help und support.

 

Best regards, Jurgen