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FifthPlayer

SDX and SIO2SD don't seem to get along

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I'm trying to make SDX 4.46 work properly with my SIO2SD, but I've run into trouble and I'm looking for ideas.

 

I have a stock 130XE, and an SIO2SD running version 3.1 firmware. I burned SDX to an AtariMax 8Mbit cart.  No other devices are on the SIO bus.

 

The SIO2SD works just fine normally, and I can boot OSes like MyDOS 4.53 and Atari DOS 2.5 just fine.  It also loads .xex games and PicoDos formatted game ATRs no problem. 

 

I boot the system off the SDX cartridge and with a DOS 2.5 ATR mounted. SDX prints its banner, then stalls with the "fart" sound for what seems like a minute or so.  The farting is punctuated with a bleep of attempted sector access maybe once every 10 seconds.  When that happens, the SIO2SD displays "$3F (?)" on its display.

 

Eventually SDX gives up and gives me a D1: prompt, but I still can't get a directory listing - just more farting and error 170.

 

I tried turning off SIO high-speed mode on the SIO2SD, as well as turning off "top drive" mode on the SIO2SD, but that didn't help.

 

Can anyone provide some suggestions to what might be wrong?  Thanks!

Edited by FifthPlayer

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The first thing SDX does is to load the CONFIG.SYS file from D1, using the OS I/O routines. If it does nothing but "farting", there may be no disk inserted in D1.

Also, the message "error 170" (i.e. "170 File not found", to be exact) after a DIR command is rather abnormal: are you sure you typed it well?

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@Stefan - I tried disabling D1:, then mounting the image on D2:  No difference.

 

@drac030 - The error 170 is a mistake on my part.  I typed "1" at the D1: prompt, then got the error 170 - meaning the file "1" is not found.

 

This is what I tried next:

 

I put the SD card in a PC, and used the "MakeAtr" tool for Windows to create a 16 MB SDX filesystem, then formatted the filesystem on the PC and wrote the ATR to the SD card.  No files were on the ATR image.

 

I rebooted SDX, and got the same stall on boot.  I got the following output from CHKDSK /X.  About 30 seconds elapsed between the type I typed CHKDSK and finally got this summary, complete with the "farting" timeout sound the whole time.  It seems like things almost work, except there are very long timeouts whenever the computer tries to access the disk.

 

(There was no config.sys on the disk image, I don't know what to put in a config.sys file yet.  I'm a SDX newbie).

Edited by FifthPlayer

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Hope you get your problem solved, but noticed the nice screen display in your pic.

 

 A stock 130XE with a Sony flat panel TV -or- ? 

 

-Larry

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The SIO2SD website has "upgrade" versions and "full" versions.  If I'm downgrading from 3.1 to 2.5, should I use an "upgrade" version of sio2sd.bin or the full version?

 

@Larry - it's a Sony flat-panel TV (circa 2005) connected to the 130XE via s-video cable.  I do get vertical banding, and saturated colors can cause flashing in places, but in general most games look fine on it.

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The SIO2SD website has "upgrade" versions and "full" versions.  If I'm downgrading from 3.1 to 2.5, should I use an "upgrade" version of sio2sd.bin or the full version?

Just the upgrade version and rename to sio2sd.bin...

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Thank you, AtariGeezer.

 

Here's what I found, testing different versions of the SIO2SD firmware:

 

  • 2.5 - works with SDX 4.46, with SIO highspeed turned off
  • 3.0rc5 - works SIO highspeed off, fails with SIO highspeed on
  • 3.1rc1, rc2 - fails all the time

 

I'd like to use 3.0rc5, but the key assignments in that version are so confusing and baffling to me it's basically unusable. So it's either 2.5 firmware, or no SDX.

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Well, I personally do not have SIO2SD, so my suggestion may be misled, but: does the SIO2SD allow to control the SIO transfer speed? If so, set it to smaller baudrate. It is a known issue with SDX SIO drivers (which did not change much since 1988), that they can hardly handle speeds at POKEY divisor lower than 4. 5 or 6 should be absolutely fine.

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Yes, the SIO2SD has a config option to set the divisor for the transfer speed.

 

With the SIO2SD 2.5 firmware and SDX 4.46:

  • SIO divisor 6 (68837.40) - does not work
  • SIO divisor 7 (63920.45) - works

I think I'll stick with the 2.5 firmware as a solution.

 

Thank you AtariGeezer and drac030 for the help.  

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Yes, the SIO2SD has a config option to set the divisor for the transfer speed.

 

With the SIO2SD 2.5 firmware and SDX 4.46:

  • SIO divisor 6 (68837.40) - does not work
  • SIO divisor 7 (63920.45) - works

I think I'll stick with the 2.5 firmware as a solution.

 

Thank you AtariGeezer and drac030 for the help.  

 

Obviously this is an old thread, so I appreciate you may no longer be interested in the "SIO2SD" or even reading here.  However, I have been very active in this area recently and can be pretty sure the problem you are experiencing is not because of some fault with the device but instead that you are trying to run at a high transfer rate without having modded the SIO socket on your motherboard.  To get the best from the unit you must remove two capacitors and solder in a resister.  This tells you the specifics:

 

http://sio2sd.gucio.pl/wiki/HighSpeed_en

 

This I have have done and can set the POKEY divisor to 0, giving absolutely blistering transfer rates through the SIO2SD - even virtual disk to virtual disk.

 

The mod itself is just about the simplest work you can do on the motherboard - you just need a soldering iron and a 4700 ohm resister.  I got a box of 5 super-high quality ones for £1.25 in Britain.  They are probably much cheaper in other countries.

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The 2.5 firmware solution is what was needed on the 800... Not sure if the cap mod would help, has anyone tried yet?

 

Agree with AtariGeezer - SDX 4.46 and 4.47 both fail to work on SIO2SD 3.1 firmware at any baud rate on the SIO bus.  I had to downgrade to 2.5 firmware to make SDX work.  The cap mod may help (I haven't tried), but there's a fundamental incompatibility between the newer SIO2SD firmware and the SDX SIO driver.

 

In the end, I decided I wanted to use the SIO2SD 3.1 firmware due to its enhanced SD filesystem support, so I dropped SDX in favor of MyDOS.

Edited by FifthPlayer

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