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Member Since 11 Sep 2007
ONLINE Last Active Today, 9:46 AM

#3141657 Orders for Sys-Check II (PCB w/ parts only) accepted

Posted by tf_hh on Today, 9:45 AM

Hi Marius,


I will place my order through e-mail!


One more question though:


Are the JEDEC files freeware, so in the (far) future I could fix the device if one of the gals or microcontrolers might get broken?


Thanks a lot!



Yes, Sys-Check II is freely published. In the attachment of this post you will find all files needed. Of course I publish also newer versions to the community.


Regards, Juergen


Attached Files

#3141197 Orders for Sys-Check II (PCB w/ parts only) accepted

Posted by tf_hh on Yesterday, 1:52 PM

Hi there,


announced for the ABBUC hardware contest, my project "Sys-Check" takes 3rd place - thanks to all voters. Now I´m ready to ship out the solution to all who are interested in.




Sys-Check will be only offered as D.I.Y. assembly kit. You will get:


- one high quality, gold finished PCB with markings and explanations on it

- all parts including sockets, chips, resistors, cables and so on to finalize it


Each assembly kit costs 25 euros (approx. 31 US dollar at today) plus shipping (from 5.60 euros to 27 euros depending on the destination and amount of orders). I only sell complete kits, no single PCBs or less parts.




- Orders accepted until January the 14th 2015

- Payment via bank transfer or paypal must be done until January the 19th 2015

- All orders after 14th January will be canceled, all payments after 19th January will be refunded

- PCB order will be placed on January 20th

- Delivery of each kit to buyer approx. at the end of February (depending on international shipping times)


This will be the first and last batch.


If you´re interested, please place order by EMAIL. I will not accept orders here in the forum or by personal message (PN). Please email your order to tf_hh@gmx.de. You will get an answer within 48 hours. Please sent my the name of your country to calculate shipping costs before I answer you.


In the attachment of this post you will find the english translation of Sys-Check manual.


Best regards, Juergen


Attached Files

#2856708 ANTIC versions and 800XL

Posted by tf_hh on Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:31 AM



IIRC only 128K and larger require the newer Antic - with any modern day upgrade that uses SRam it shouldn't matter.


It depends on the type of DRAM, not on the amount of memory. The most 32 KBit (i.e. 41256) DRAMs and above need a minimum 8-bit refresh, but not all. On the other hand, also some 4164 DRAMs (64 KBit, Standard in XL/XE) needs the new ANTIC. For example, the Micron (MT...) DRAMs doesn´t work with old ANTIC, but the  Hitachi 4864 and other do.


The biggest issue in this area is, that the normal user couldn´t realize instantly, that he _might_ be have a RAM failure. The ANTIC reduces refresh cycles when running without screen DMA or less display lines. That´s the reason why some demos, games and other programs, which switches screen DMA off during intialization or so on, doesn´t work with some DRAM and the old ANTIC. Also some sector copier programs writes garbage to disks, because they have to small screens and refresh isn´t enough for some DRAMs.


If somebody has an old ANTIC, it´s not a "no-go". Only use working DRAMs and test it with MEMDRV.COM or other RAM testers, which tests refresh.


Regards, Juergen

#2856697 ATARI 130XE Ram test Failure

Posted by tf_hh on Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:07 AM



Should I buy the same chip ratings (64k) ?

or can I replace them with compatible 256K for example?

Is it possible to mount the new ram chips on top of original ones (piggybacked) to be safer?

What are the recommended RAM brand(s)


As already told, the Micron (MT) DRAMs are often faulty. But it could be happen, that only one item is really damaged. If no one of the DRAMs gets very hot, it seems to be a "normal" failure - Some times some silly people plug in a Commodore C64 power supply into an Atari XL/XE, this kills mostly instantly all DRAMs first (because the C64 uses 9 volts AC and 5 volts DC, Atari XL/XE only 5 volts DC),


You can try to swap the banks, this is an easy test. In the attached picture I mark two resistors - the CAS_MAIN and CAS_BANK signals are there. Just swap the ends of both resistors (just choose one end, it´s not important which one) to each other, so that the resistors are not in parallel like in your picture, they have to be crossed like an X.


If the second bank is okay, then your 130 XE will start. Of course the extended memory is faulty now, but you can live without it - or better insert an U1MB :-)


Regards, Jurgen



#2761834 Original SIDE cart hardware fixes.

Posted by tf_hh on Mon May 27, 2013 1:37 AM

Hi all,

my zaxon built-SIDE 1 has also had instability issues. I have done the Xilinx update with the latest code from Candle - and since them it works very well. Just built-in the header (in my SIDE there was a 2mm pitched 10-pin header of the left lower side, I´ve only to solder the header itself into the holes) and use Impact! of the Xilinx IDE. You can download Impact! seperately. The CPLD is protected, but with Impact! you can force to erase the whole CPLD - this also deletes all lockings.

Candle has put the JEDEC-file needed for reprogramming on his website: http://www.spiflash....ide-release.jed


#2757269 flashing U1MB

Posted by tf_hh on Mon May 20, 2013 12:41 PM

If you have any flash cart with PLCC sockets, you use them also in the most ways. SiC cart with adapter (DIP to PLCC) works fine. But you also can use an AtariMax 8 MBit Flashcart, replace one of the both PLCC flash-roms with your from the U1MB, take the ready-to-flash U1MB 512 KB files found here in this forum, double them (add the file twice to get 1 exact 1 MByte (1.048.576 bytes) file) and flash it in the AtariMax 8 MBit flashcart. After flashing rebuild the U1MB flash-chip back in the U1MB and be lucky. For this you must use the newest AtariMax Studio Software, the old 1.xx versions are only able to flash AMD and SST 29F040 types, the newer loader can much more. Use function "Convert BIN to ATR Programming Image".

#2750855 How to make the myIDE II work on a Atari 800 with Incognito

Posted by tf_hh on Fri May 10, 2013 3:42 AM


yesterday I´ve found an interesting thing, which I didn´t know until now. On pin "S" of the cartridge-slots of an Atari 800 there´s not the "PHI2" signal attached as on all newer machines - there´s "RAS" connected. The falling edge of PHI2 and RAS is nearly the same, but RAS is much shorter low than PHI2 (of course, there must be some time for CAS, too).

Most modern circuits (in flash-carts or flashable carts) sample the PHI2 signal for their logic. So I think, this might be most significant reason for problems while writing to flash-memory or using special carts like the myIDE II.

See the signals on the scope:


So I try a little modification and use PHI2 on pin "S" instead of RAS. And these seems to be the solution... myIDE-II works now without any issues in an Atari 800 with Incognito. Also some other carts with suspicious failures works now.

I test this on two Atari 800 equipped with Incognito. On one machine I take the Incognito out and re-install the old genuine personaliy and RAM cards. Also everything works fine. I have only one cartridge with "Write to cart" features which works on the original old 800 system: Telelink II. But this also works fine with that patch.

If you want to do this patch by yourself, here´s a possible way:


Cut the RAS trace on the place in the picture.


Connect pin "A" and pin "S" on the "right" cartridge slot together - that´s all!

This mod is independent which TV system you have, it works also on NTSC as on PAL or SECAM.

Regards, Jurgen

#2733554 A gentleman never asks and a lady never tells

Posted by tf_hh on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:07 AM

I´m the answer of all questions... 42! :-D ;-)

#2720758 flashing sio2sd

Posted by tf_hh on Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:44 AM


i have problem with flashing SIO2SD with LPT cable.. like before

i habe new MB on PC without LPT, then i buy PCI LPT..


with old MB which have LPT works fine..

This is quite normal. These programs are awaiting the parallel register at the classical LPC/ISA address 0x378 and need direct hardware access to match needed timing and so on.

Switch to USB. There are a lot of solutions, the one I use is the open-hardware project USBasp. Extremly cheap, can be build on a breadboard. It´s compatible to ATMEL´s STK500, so you can use AVRDUDE and all other tools they are supporting STK-500.

Find schematics, infos, firmware and so on here: http://www.fischl.de/usbasp/


#2695710 Software incompatibility between Xl and XE?

Posted by tf_hh on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:27 AM


IRQ timing. The minimum IRQ delay time is two cycles on my 130XE and three cycles on my 800XL. This can cause IRQs to execute at slightly different times.

Floating/non-floating data bus. On my 800XL, unassigned addresses like $D600 always return $FF. On the 130XE, they return whatever was last on the bus. I have seen programs do crazy things that can be affected by this -- one had a bug where it would jump to an address in the $D5xx range and happened to work on XL systems because it would execute $FF opcodes until it hit the math pack, after which it would run some random code and then RTS. It looked like it had been generated by some cartridge-based freezer.

The reason for floating data bus on the XE series is the "Tramiel Save-Mania". On all XL PCBs there are pull-up resistors of 10 kOhm for the datalines D0...D7. So when no RAM or no ROM/IO-block is selected, the CPU reads always $FF back. Some monitor programs, the Speedy 1050 sector-copy-program and others expecting $FF in non-used areas, so some strange issues can be happen.

When using the Speedy 1050 sectorcopy, sometimes formatting a disk on non-Atari-Diskdrives or non-stock Atari-Diskdrives will fail, because the software uses $D500-$D5FF as "format buffer" and assumes, that there are only $FF. When the diskdrive on the other hand really inspects the 130 bytes sent with the format commando and gets garbled data, it hangs up or sent a NAK.

A harmless issue is a nice floating line of garbled dots in monitorprograms like in submon. The author wants to save 40 bytes of valued RAM and let point a line for visual "windowing" to $D500. On the XL (without SDX enabled or any cart inserted) it looks normal, on every XE it looks like this:


Here´s the reason, a look to the actual DL (Display List) when Submon is loaded:


Simple solution: Solder a 8-times 10K resistor array to D0...D7, common to +5 Volts. That´s all.

For the IRQ handling... do you have more informations? I can´t imagine why this difference may happen unless all main ICs are the same - and freddie has no effect on IRQ.


#2675750 Ultimate1MB - new preorder

Posted by tf_hh on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:44 PM

Hi Sebastian,

and again: Thank you. This was the solution. Yes, it was a U1MB from your first batch.

But I carefully look and these and the two other U1MB related topics on AtariAge and didn´t find this hint.

Perhaps you add your homepage with an XEGS section? :)

Best regards, Juergen

#2658034 Self Test issue

Posted by tf_hh on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:50 AM


is there an original ROM in the operating system slot (28 pin, under the BASIC ROM) or it´s an EPROM? If so, perhaps there a special patched version with changed OPTION meaning (you´ve to hold down OPTION to enter BASIC, if OPTION is not held, the OS boots without BASIC). Or it was an EPROM with two operating systems (for example: OLD-OS from 400/800, with this one XL-onboard-BASIC normally not works) burned and the switch was missing or anything like this.

The probability of a defective BASIC ROM is very, very low. Also a bad MMU could happen, but normally the system doesn´t boot when it´s gone. This defective from my experience is mostly a defective PIA (6520), burned by joystick-port experiements or something like that :grin:

Good luck, Jurgen

#2309936 What upgrades are these?

Posted by tf_hh on Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:19 AM


Here's another photo, which shows what appears to be a red PCB dangling at the front of the case:

This is an internal Centronics / Parallelport solution for using a standard Centronics printer. Thereīs a second PIA installed over the existing one (the second PIA is a 6821, which is nearly the same line 6520). The eprom and OS ROM adaptor PCB contains a special OS version with a modded "P:" handler, so every program that prints data to "P:" automatically works with the expansion.

I found this article from Erich Hauer (sorry - only in german) with schematics.

Hope that helps, Juergen

Attached Files

#2292991 IDE Plus 2.0 - preorder starts today

Posted by tf_hh on Thu Jun 2, 2011 4:39 AM


IMPORTANT: the IDE+ BIOS only supports LBA mode. This means that the drive you use with it must be produced in 1996 or later.

Is there any possibility to support it? The most CF (compact flash) cards with less then 4 GByte doesnīt support LBA. The most people Iīve been writing with to want to use your device with CF cards, because cheaper, absolutely no noise and no problems with not enough power from the PBI oder ECI. CF-to-44-pin-IDE adapters are cheap (less then 10 euros incl. shipping).

But to buy a 4 GByte CF card is wasting money, because a lot of folks have 512 MB, 1 GB CF cards from old digital camera and so on, these cards are waiting for new life to use :twisted:

Best regards, Juergen

#2292111 Atari 800 NTSC to PAL conversion

Posted by tf_hh on Wed Jun 1, 2011 1:08 AM


Is it possible to convert a NTSC 800 to a PAL 800?

Itīs possible, Iīve done that for a friend a few years ago. You have to change:

- system crystal (from
3.579 MHz to 3.546 MHz (Atari part no. CO16112 ))
- ANTIC (Atari part no.
CO21698 (the XL/XE type with more 8-Bit refresh, better for DRAM based memory expansions) or the older one from 800 with 7-Bit refresh: CO14887)
- GTIA (Atari part no.
CO14889 - Iīm not really sure, but I never heard about a second PAL version of the GTIA or a PAL version of the CTIA).
- Operating system ROMs (better to rip-off the three ROMs, insert one 27128 and a logic TTL).

The OSC input on pin 28 of the GTIA is coupled to pin 16 of the GTIA. The connection to pin 16 (from pin 28) must be cut-off. On pin 16 ("PAL") you must make a connection to a little circuit for generating the PAL color offset clock. These little circuit is shown in the picture attached. The crystal in this circuit is the PAL standard clock =
4.33618 MHz (Atari part no. CO16801, but can be ordered at ANY electronics store in europe).

And finally: The HF modulator wonīt work. If you want to connect the 800 to a television, also a new modulator is necessary. Better rip-off that sh*t and use a FBAS monitor :twisted:

Regards, Juergen