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mytek

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mytek last won the day on June 24

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About mytek

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    River Patroller
  • Birthday 02/28/1956

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    Releasing Magic Smoke
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Electronics, Computers, Cryogenics, Embedded System Design

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  1. Ok so I went back to the beginning of this topic and I see that the development and testing of this project has been ongoing by @kenames99 and @atari-passion. I should have done this earlier Anyway it's good to see that development is happening, and real PCBs based on this re-creation are being tested. All great stuff 👍 . And from what I see in the posts, it looks like the system is working, although the ribbon cable does appear fairly short between the box and the computer, which is how I assumed it would have to be for reliability. In further searching I did come across a couple of very interesting videos by Curt Vendel that show him testing what was a mystery wire-wrap board in the 1090, and turned out to be an LCD driver board for the once destined Atari laptop. EDIT: very cool to see the 1090 80 column card running in that first video. Any plans to duplicate that? Does someone have the schematic or that actual board to reverse engineer? And of course a dump of the ROM(s) will be needed as well.
  2. Jeez I'm not strong arming. I simply wanted to know what your background was concerning Atari et al, because I often see you post references and information that makes it sound like you worked for them. Funny thing is, you still haven't answered the question. And I really sincerely wanted to know if the 1090 has ever been conclusively shown to work and/or not have issues with the ribbon interconnection between the box and the Atari computer's PBI. because quite frankly I don't think I've ever seen a video showing one in operation, or a review of how well it works. This led me to wondering if it really was ready for prime time. If you have links, please post them here. I also wanted to curb people's desire to have a couple of feet of cable to place the 1090 off to the side or on a shelf away from the computer, because I don't have any doubt that would be an utter failure. And my response to the expectation for people to just build this and hope and pray that it works correctly, and if it doesn't then they'll need to execute a possible plethora of fixes, just seemed unreasonable to me (not my response, but the expectation). I for one would never do that, as I think I've demonstrated many times in my own projects. Now understandably @kenames99 might not have the funding or inclination to fully test his recreated PCB designs, and we are all thankful that he did indeed take the time to design these recreations and share them. But the question still needs to be asked before others fork out money to build these - has this design been vetted ? If not then at least people know what they are getting into from the get go. Without tracing back through all the posts both here and about the 1090, I seem to recall that these recreated boards have not been fully tested, but I certainly could be wrong since my memory isn't what it used to be.
  3. This is fine for developers such as myself who happen to have the excess income to do so. But the community shouldn't be expected to bear the individual cost if it doesn't work properly. Every device I put out there for public consumption has undergone a very extensive vetting process to insure the best chance for success, and to not waste everyone's money. Normally I see between 3-4 prototypes before landing on the final configuration that gets released to the public, and only a handful of BETA testers are subjected to the issues and the fixes that result from that development process. @_The Doctor__ I'm still waiting on the answer to this question, which I think needs qualification before you continue to speak with authority on what actually happened concerning 1090 development at Atari. I'm an open book when it comes to my history and qualifications on the subject of hardware design, so I think I've earned the right to speak with some authority on the potential issues involving bus interfacing to the Atari 8-bit. hence the reason behind my questions concerning the 1090.
  4. Getting back to the parallel ribbon cable interface, and the very possible reliability issues with that approach... When I was first developing the XEL-CFx IDE interface for the 1088XELs I initially had taken the approach of putting the buffering on the downstream side of the ribbon interconnect cable between the XEL motherboard and the IDE board. This is very similar to how the 1090 interfaces with the Atari bus, where the 1090 box incorporates the buffer chips. On my first tests I had the IDE board directly plugged into the motherboard without any cable. It worked great in this configuration, but this wasn't how it would be done in the final application where the ribbon cable would be required. So long story short, several boards got sent out to BETA testers along with a 8" long ribbon interconnect cable. Well suffice it to say that even having that relatively short ribbon cable between the IDE board and the XEL was all that it took to see the whole concept crash and burn. Thus back to the drawing board to create the XEL-CF3 which placed the buffering right next to the motherboard, with the ribbon cable only being used for connecting to a passive IDE-to-CF adapter remotely, and then things started to work. Based on my Atari hardware design experience, which is considerable, the 1090 has the buffering on the wrong side of the interconnect cable. Yes it might work, but I doubt that you'll be able to use much more than 4-5" of ribbon cable at best. So this is why I asked the questions I did in my previous post. How do you really know this ? I think it's time you come clean on what your background and relationship with Atari really was BITD. Otherwise this is all hearsay and rumor in my mind. Besides as Herb pointed out, I'm not trying to bash the 1090. I'm just asking whether anyone on these forums ever got to play around with one, and if any reliability issues were ever seen in that experimentation. And I do have very valid reasons to question this based on the information about my XEL-CFx development. Also before people rush off to have PCBs made and invest in the components to stuff the boards, I think we really need to know if this Atari prototype really ever worked properly, or has the reproduction even been thoroughly vetted in this regard ?
  5. And now to address the elephant in the room... Has anyone on these forums ever actually used the 1090 system ? Did it really work properly, and/or were there issues ? Since these reproductions are based on Atari prototypes, the possibility exists that it might not really work all that well, and that too may have played into why it was never released.
  6. Well I wouldn't exactly call a prototype that Atari never pursued past the development stage or got into the hands of consumers a standard. So realistically there is no standard as of yet in my mind, beyond the 1090 retro prototype re-make and a few recreated prototype cards to go in it. Yes I know that through some very creative reverse engineering the 1090 that Atari envisioned is getting close to reality, and that in itself is very cool. But other than the few cards that Atari made including the one that has also been reverse engineered and what this topic is about, I doubt that there will be all that much in the way of new boards developed for it based on the fact that it is incompatible with all existing PBI/Cart-ECI products from a plug 'n' play standpoint (the slots are completely different) Yes the approach of having a large parallel ribbon cable hanging out the back is just not practical and wouldn't lend itself to having the 1090 box more than a few inches away from the computer if you want this thing to reliably work. I believe it was @Spaced Cowboy that was working on a much better approach via a high speed serial cable, where there would be a small compact parallel-to-serial interface board plugged into the Atari's PBI for transition to the high speed 'skinny' cable that would go to the expansion box located many feet away if desired.
  7. Maybe he can be convinced to do one for the 1090 as well, or better yet add a standard Cart/ECI slot in the box
  8. Thanks for the offer Ken, but I got what I needed done by appending the files in MSDOS which worked quite well, and then ran StreamLiner in an emulator to strip out the two extra unneeded bytes that resulted by the merge. The new combined file worked perfect, thus allowing me to stick to an unmodified DOS 2.5 which plays better with AtariWriter 80's disk directory function, and likely also the format command from the menu (haven't tested that last part yet).
  9. Yep you guessed correctly But I had a change of heart, not wanting to dictate how I thought it would be better used. So now that the cat is out of the bag, I was going to suggest using a U1MB instead, which kills at least 3 or more birds with one stone, and leaves the 1090 slots free to do other things. Such as video enhancement, ethernet, fast serial or better yet buffered USB. Just seemed like such a waste to pack it full of memory expansion boards and have no room for anything else. Just because Atari was going to create a 64K card BITD, doesn't mean that makes sense to still do so now days, other than for pure nostalgia and trying to exactly mimic what they were doing back then.
  10. Never mind - I deleted my original post because I realized that people are looking at this from a nostalgic viewpoint, and not necessarily what makes sense in 2021
  11. Those modules do not have any PSRAM. The FujiNets require 16MB of PSRAM, unless I'm mistaken. Correction: FujiNet requires the 16MB Flash/8MB RAM WROVER module - ESP32-WROVER-E (16MB). The link posted above is for the 4MB flash WROOM module which is not interchangeable for the FN application.
  12. Well let me just add that on my 1200XL I first modified its video per the ClearPic 2000 instructions, which looked much better. However I found that it really required a switch to deactivate the chroma mix for the composite video when only S-Video was going to be used (prevents jail bars). Other than that the picture quality was very good. Then later on I installed a UAV, and have never regretted that decision. Both composite and S-Video outputs are perfect, and no chroma mix disable switch required.
  13. I don't presently have an 800 for comparison, but from my recollection I would have to say that the UAV is everything that the 800 was and even better. So in other words the UAV was designed to match the latest iteration of the 15 Khz analog based video standard, and from what I understand the 800 came pretty close to doing that as well BITD. Yes a cable with composite, luma, and chroma would be the ticket if you want to use either without switching cables. In fact the old original Atari audio/video cables with 4 RCA plugs would also work (and were composed of individually shielded wires), but might require a dual RCA to Mini-Din4 S-Video adapter to mate with a more modern monitor depending upon it's requirements. Keep in mind that these cables rarely follow traditional color code as it applies to the signals, so some fiddling around and/or continuity checks may be required. Atari Audio/Video DIN5-to-4xRCA cable from eBay Dual RCA-to-Mini-DIN4 adapter: Hercules Workshop P/N H0A4PX2 ----- As has been pointed out, there are entire threads devoted to this subject, but unfortunately they keep getting buried and new topics get started that end up rehashing this stuff
  14. Well if you like the over saturated color output from a stock 1200XL, then yes the UAV will appear muted by comparison, but only because it outputs the proper color level. Keep in mind that the 1200XL's video is not a correct representation of how things should be. In my opinion Atari really screwed this up, which is par for the course when it comes to consistency of video output with each machine they built. It's almost like they would assign the video circuit design to whoever was standing around the office looking for something to do - not that they really had clue as to what video should really look like. BTW, even when applying the ClearPIC mods, the color saturation gets reduced to something more in the proper range. So that too will appear muted in comparison to the unmodified video circuit. Artifacting is only suppose to be a composite related thing, unless your S-Video circuit or cable is so poorly made that the chroma is bleeding across. So yes if you want to do this right, only expect artifacting from the composite output via a composite input on your monitor or TV. For S-Video use a high quality individually shielded cable as I already mentioned (and linked to) via an S-Video designated input on a monitor. I don't see how a switch box comes into play, since Composite and S-Video are already independent outputs destined for their individual respective inputs (S-Video -or- Composite input on monitor).
  15. If you use a fully shielded video cable that will help greatly. No guarantees, from my experience. In my experience it always comes down to cross-talk between the luma and chroma lines, or in other words chroma bleeding into the luma signal. So first and foremost any video circuit that doesn't fully isolate these two signals will cause this, as well as any video cable that doesn't use 'individually' shielded signal wires. I know people often say it's due to the DRAM refresh, but in my opinion this is often not the case, at least not where jailbars are concerned. So invest in a high quality video cable with individual shielding such as the ones made by Hercules Workshop. And be sure to steer away from the one made by Lotharek which is not built as advertised. If you still want both the composite and S-Video present at the highest quality, and without cross-talk, the UAV is the ticket.
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