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musicanic

Need help setting up HxC floppy emulator

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For the record: I was also getting "ERROR 16" in Disk Manager 2, despite doing everything right. Turns out that the floppy cable I bought from Lotharek was crap; after replacing it with an old PC floppy cable everything is working fine.

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APOLOGIES to all, particularly Schmitzi and Omega.

You were vey helpful in August and I am really sorry I haven't got back to you before. I got really bogged down with lots of things and couldn't spare the time to progress my "problem". However, things are easier now and I have spent some time assessing just where I am as follows:-

I am happy now that the Lotharek device is working as it should. I still don't understand why the Lotharek software doesn't seem able to produce a working ,hfe file, but it doesn't really matter because the ones Schmitzi provide do the job and I can replicate them as necessary. All this started out because I wanted to get the Adventure games onto disk. I have downloaded them from the ftp site, but I don't know how to get them added in to a .hfe file so I can load them on to the TI. Any guidance on this would help. I assume I need some software to convert the files to a disk image or something? Do I need a 99/4a emulator on my PC?

 

I have also pretty much convinced myself that the 32k expansion in my PEB is faulty. Some of the programs Schmitzi provided, which require Extended Basic and 32k, don't load properly and look garbled when listed. If I load them without the 32k removed, they load OK but fail where they try to use the 32k (obviously). I have tried a number of simple memory tests and get different results, but one which is fairly consistent is that memory locations C000 to DFFF (at least) seem to have the least significant bit permanently set to 1, so any number you LOAD and PEEK returns the nearest odd number (no evens). I am not convinced this is the only fault and there may be intermittent faults. Are there any usually suspect chips which I should try and replace? I have been looking out for another 32k, but nothing has come up yet.

 

So, I hope you will forgive my absence and help me move forward - I should be able to keep up regular communication now.

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I have downloaded them from the ftp site, but I don't know how to get them added in to a .hfe file so I can load them on to the TI. Any guidance on this would help. I assume I need some software to convert the files to a disk image or something? Do I need a 99/4a emulator on my PC?

 

I have also pretty much convinced myself that the 32k expansion in my PEB is faulty. Some of the programs Schmitzi provided, which require Extended Basic and 32k, don't load properly and look garbled when listed.

 

First, to copy things into and out of a .DSK image will require Ti99Dir...

<< Click this link to download TI99Dir version 6.2 >> <--- AWESOME PROGRAM

 

Okay now that you have that, you still may have some issues with your programs working if your 32K is truly bad. If it is, there are a couple of options, buying a new card or participating in this thread starting << HERE >>. Of course I'd try to dig up a program to check that before proceeding.

 

Assuming things are working, once you get everything 'just so' in the .DSK image, use the Lotharek software to convert it into an .HFE and you'll be good to go. :thumbsup:

 

Good Luck,

Ω

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Thanks, Omega,

I now have some help sorting out my 32k, so I am going to do that first to establish what the problem is and fix it if I can. I have downloaded TI99Dir and am "playing" with it. I will get back with progress in a few days, hopefully.

John

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Lucky Mainbyte has << this project >> if anyone ever needs it.

 

The instructions at that link are extremely obsolete.

 

Yes, replace every 74LS244, but replace with 74ACT244 (not 74HCT244). Also replace the 74LS245 with a 74ACT245. I'd do this for the bus drivers in the console, on both ends of the firehose, and every card in the PEB.

 

("why" is documented at https://www.disavowed.jp/index.php?/archives/12-The-TI-994A-PEB-flex-card-tune-up..html... but that one-liner should suffice)

 

(yes, I was gone for awhile. Life got unpleasant. Sorry)

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It is very good to see you back, ckoba!

 

Thank you. It's good to be back. It's been a weird half-year.

 

Lots of forum posts to catch up on. I see that we lost Gazoo; that's unpleasant news.

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With help, I have established that my 32k memory has at least one bad chip. A few replacements ordered, so I can, hopefully, fix it. I prefer to keep the machine as original as possible. Also, again with help, I have figured out the workings of 99/Dir and the Lotharek software and have successfully transferred the adventure games from the ftp site onto my Lotharek disk. This will save a lot of time trying to get my ageing cassette player to work !

Thanks for the help so far. There are some very helpful people on this site!

John, UK

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This will save a lot of time trying to get my ageing cassette player to work !

 

You wouldn't happen to have a shoebox full of old TI cassette tapes, would you?

 

If so ... well, might I suggest reading them in, converting them to TIFILES format, and putting them on a FTP/website for posterity? The world has lost a *lot* of data (read: "fun games") because steps weren't taken to preserve them, and it'd be a shame if you had something in that shoebox that doesn't exist anywhere else.

 

Just food for thought. Happy New Year.

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Good point, Ckoba. I do have a couple of dozen, although I suspect they are run-of-the-mill. Here in the UK it was a little difficult getting anything out of the ordinary (without paying silly money). However, I will certainly have a look and see what I have. Where is the best place to check what is already around - I have found the "games" folder on the whtech.ftp site - is there anywhere else? (Got the Cassettes folder too, of course).

 

Happy New Year to you, and all the other helpful people on AtariAge.

John

Edited by musicanic

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I'd also check the database section of the Italian User's Group, as Ciro has been hard at work converting/preserving a lot of the European cassettes. You might be surprised at some of your tapes too--a lot of the British tapes are very difficult to find now. . .

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Thanks, Omega,

I now have some help sorting out my 32k, so I am going to do that first to establish what the problem is and fix it if I can. I have downloaded TI99Dir and am "playing" with it. I will get back with progress in a few days, hopefully.

John

 

So how's the progress coming?

I might have to check and see if anyone has done a You Tube video on Ti99Dir yet. It's a great program and sometime video can bring things to peoples attention.

 

Below is a small video that is short on detail, but then again it's only designed to point out that a solution to a common problem exists, and hopefully bring people to our little corner of the Web for more detailed answers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oXtpwopFiE

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Progress is complete on that project. I now understand better how to use the Lotharek with the TI and PC - Your video is very good, too. So I managed to transfer all the adventure files from the ftp site onto my Lotharek, and copied them on to a floppy (just for originality's sake !). This was my main aim, although I assumed originally that I would have to read the tapes onto my TI and then, somehow, save them on floppies. My tape player remains very unreliable, so I am glad I found this other way of doing it, which opens up many possibilities. It might even be easier to type any BASIC or XBasic programs into my PC and then transfer them to the TI (I assume that will work?), because my TI keyboard stutters badly ! If I hit the keys quick and hard it is fine, but tiring, otherwise I spend lots of time backspacing and deleting characters.

 

There was some earlier mention of possibly uploading my cassette details to the ftp site and to the Italian user group. However, having found and checked my box of tapes (about 30), I find that most of the ones which aren't adventures, are BASIC and XBASIC programmes I inputted myself, probably from the various magazines which were around in the early-mid 80s in the UK, together with my own programs when I was learning Basic and then Assembler. I think there are only two proprietary tapes of games, one loads but sticks part way through and I haven't yet been able to get the other to load.

Is it worth trying to load tapes onto a PC using a TI emulator? Is it likely to be more reliable - I have programmes which can modify sound files - e.g. Audacity. If this is worthwhile, what is the best emulator to try. I looked at v9t9, but don't understand how to get the ROMs downloaded or sourced from somewhere. Any advice?

 

STOP PRESS ! - I just found your video "Text listing to you TI..." in YouTube, which pretty much answers my last question. I will have a go at that next...

Edited by musicanic
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STOP PRESS ! - I just found your video "Text listing to you TI..." in YouTube, which pretty much answers my last question. I will have a go at that next...

 

Yes, that'll work! Once you paste the text listing into Classic99 and save it to a FIAD directory, simply load up Ti99Dir, make an image disk in the proper format, then copy the file(s) from the FIAD directory into the new .DSK image. Convert to .HFE and you are good to go once you save it to your SD card.

 

Glad to see my short, sweet and to the point little videos helped. :) Thanks!

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my TI keyboard stutters badly ! If I hit the keys quick and hard it is fine, but tiring, otherwise I spend lots of time backspacing and deleting characters.

My main console had this problem. It turns out that the wires in the ribbon cable between the main board and the keyboard had become quite brittle (actually, the connection between the cable and the connector to the keyboard header), and thus every time I hit a key it would break-and-make the connection several times.

 

My fix was to desolder the header from the keyboard PCB and solder a new ribbon cable between the two boards. Presto, no more stuttering keyboard. I suppose I should put a connector in the middle of the cable one of these days.

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