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atarifanboi

What could my next STE hardware project be?

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So, I've upgraded my STE to 4MB of RAM, upgraded TOS to 2.06, added Alan Hourihanes dual IDE interface and a pair of CF cards for hard drives, and added a 1.44Mb fdd, courtesy of Exxos and his excellent adapter board.

 

So, my question to all fellow Atarians, is what would be a good next hardware project?

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Hmm, not a bad idea, I will have a look and see what model PSU I have and see which kit I need, you're likely to have an order by the end of the week ;-)

 

There are a couple of other things I would like to look into, namely:

 

1. Real time clock

2. Network adapter (That isn't enormous!)

3. USB adapter

 

So if anybody has any experience with those and the STE I'd be interested to hear.

 

Also, I have an adapted optical mouse and 9 pin to PS2 connector, which I think need to be fitted internally for most consistent operation, so I will do that at some point soon and document on this forum :)

 

I'm also considering upping the game with the IDE adaptor and upgrading the driver to allow both channels to operate, and trying to add a CD rom drive too.

Edited by atarifanboi

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A bit more rare and involved, but you could look at accelerator options. Nothing like a faster Atari. :)

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Let me know when you're ready to sell this souped up monster! ;-)

 

Any pics?

Yep, my floppy upgrade is detailed on this forum here, pic included: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/248255-atari-ste-and-144mb-floppies/

 

The parts were ordered here from Exxos for the floppy upgrade: http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/store.htm

 

And the dual IDE upgrade came from Alan Hourihane here: http://www.atarikit.co.uk/

 

And I have also just taken delivery of a PSU upgrade kit, again from Exxos, which I'll hopefully do pretty soon, and will document on this forum.

 

The RAM and TOS upgrades came from eBay :-D

Edited by atarifanboi

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A bit more rare and involved, but you could look at accelerator options. Nothing like a faster Atari. :)

I have thought of that, but my IDE interface plugs into the PLCC socket directly on top my 68K, so I'm not sure how feasible an accelerator might be.

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I could adapt the V1.5 booster to solder into the STE CPU socket. Though everyone would then ask "will it work with monster, and their might not be enough height to have both. I did fit a V1.5 booster to a STE but it was such a huge hack its not really viable to do it.

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I am interested in an Accelerator/Speed booster as well. For my Atari STe. Is it available? I did just order the CosmosEX. And now looking at the Monster and Power supply upgrade. I also picked up the 1.44 floppy upgrade from you withing the last few years, it is working well. I have 4mb and Tos 2.06.

 

I want this thing to FLY now :) with Blistering CPU Speeds.

 

 

 

Robert

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I am interested in an Accelerator/Speed booster as well. For my Atari STe. Is it available? I did just order the CosmosEX. And now looking at the Monster and Power supply upgrade. I also picked up the 1.44 floppy upgrade from you withing the last few years, it is working well. I have 4mb and Tos 2.06.

 

I want this thing to FLY now :) with Blistering CPU Speeds.

 

 

 

Robert

 

 

I don't make a STE booster simple because....

 

For starters, I can design a STE 32mhz booster in a couple days and get them on sale in a couple of weeks. Though the first question people will want to know "will it work with monster". Well likely yes, physically all fit in the case.. probably not so much, not something I have tried. Someone else can look into heights if they like... If 50% of people who brought a monster want to use a booster aswell and it all fit in the case, then those 50% will likely not buy one.

 

Next up, 32mhz will give some speed boost, but without 32mhz access to alt-ram, the system isn't going to run hugely faster. I do have benchmarks on 32mhz on my STE with 32mhz access to TOS though. And its pretty nice. Though then it means *really* I should do a board with 32mhz access to alt-ram, which is easy enough, but thats pretty much the V3 series of booster which will use the 020 CPU fot even higher speeds as it has 32bit access to ROM and alt-ram. As we get little help with solving issues with that project, could be 2 years before it goes into productions, maybe more.

 

If people are not bothered about alt-ram and internal IDE and use ultrasatan for external drive, then use a 32mhz booster, then everything is super simple and quick to do. But I found no matter what I design, people always want "more". While "everything" is under design, it takes time. Currently I've not had time to work on the STFM booster for 4 months now and I can't see me having time to work on it until the end of the year now.

 

So where is the line drawn ? I don't have unlimited funds and unlimited time and can't please everyone :) So if people are happy for 32mhz booster with 32mhz ROM, then I can design that pretty quick. anything "more" will have to wait.

 

See DEC 10 2015 updates for the STE tests I did.

 

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/16mhz/index.htm

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I did read your website a few weeks back I searched through your projects available for purchase thinking you must have had a version available at 16mhz. But could not find any. I read about the issues you are working on for the 32mhz version. I hope a version gets released for the ste some day.

 

Thank you.

 

Robert

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A simple STE booster can be done, that is 32mhz CPU and TOS. Its the same as the V1.5 booster I make for the STFM in fact. 32mhz works on the STE, but not the STFM. So while I am "stuck" with the STFM at 16mhz currently, a 32mhz STE booster is actually the same design as the V1.5 booster for the STFM. It only really needs a new PCB doing for the PLCC CPU for the STE.

 

If people only want the CPU boosters over the CPU socket then its simple enough. Though if people want to start adding in more stuff, it just gets more complicated and more PCBs/adapters have to be done. It gets to the point where I would never get the money back with all the PCB runs with demand for it all being so low.

 

I will see if I can look into a proper PCB layout for the V1.5 booster for the STE this week. Likely the CPU socket will have to be removed like on the STFM version. I could add 2 CPU sockets on my board, then at least monster could be plugged in, but it could end up having to be a 4 layer board to get all the routing good.

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The PLCC plug in booster would be nice, but would not work for me as Alan H's interface is already plugged in there, so height is also an issue.

 

I'd want a solderable kit as I can access the top of the header pins on the IDE board, but I have to say that I'm not sure it's worth it from my own perspective.

 

I'd probably be more interested in a 68020 board, not dissimilar to my Amiga 1200 accelerator.

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The PLCC plug in booster would be nice, but would not work for me as Alan H's interface is already plugged in there, so height is also an issue.

 

I'd want a solderable kit as I can access the top of the header pins on the IDE board, but I have to say that I'm not sure it's worth it from my own perspective.

 

I'd probably be more interested in a 68020 board, not dissimilar to my Amiga 1200 accelerator.

 

The 020 is being worked on, but we dont have free time to work on it much these days. Its why I was suggesting a simple STE booster as that could be built pretty quick.

 

I'm not going to add alt-ram to this board, to much time and expense for me right now. With alan selling alt-ram boards, I don't want to start re-inventing stuff he is producing either. I did ask alan about the blank pins on his board. But I think it would be easier just to design a new booster board with IDE built on it.

 

Other wise, I'd have to buy one of Alan's STE boards, then design a prototype to fit, and then test it out where it possibly might not work anyway. When pushing 16mhz and over, you have no choice in the matter about a good gnd layer, and if I "bolt on" a 32mhz booster onto alan's board which (assuming) doesn't have a good gnd layer, then its just not going to work at higher speeds. The only way would be to do it where alan's board plugs into the top of my booster board, but then your at likely height issues. So even before starting such a project, its riddles with to many issues to make it a viable project to start.

 

 

I am talking to PP about adding IDE onto the STE board. I think storage is a good option to add. Problem is, with the trouble we have had with CF cards, it might not be so quick to get the project running.

 

I don't know what people use alt-ram for anyway ? Its only benefit for me would be faster RAM access, but that needs faster CPU board so 8mhz alt-ram isn't that interesting to me. I don't use 4MB ST-RAM, so 8MB alt-ram isn't useful to me. so wondering what people are actually using it for ?

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Personally I don't use alt-ram, I simply have 4MB and that should be enough for most things I use, but having read some other forum posts stating that potentially up to 14MB can be used (Excuse my possible lack of knowledge here), is it possible to add higher capacity SIMMS to an STE without any other hardware, and have the STE use it as alt-ram?

 

In terms of the CPU stuff, I can have a look at the space above my IDE board to see what room there is.

 

I'm also kind of questioning the need to go faster atm, as I don't really need to.

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The other thing that for me would be a useful hardware mod, would be the ability to directly drive a colour VGA display in colour, rather than monochrome, it would give me more display options, but I'd want it to be internal, not a big dangly box :-D

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The other thing that for me would be a useful hardware mod, would be the ability to directly drive a colour VGA display in colour, rather than monochrome, it would give me more display options, but I'd want it to be internal, not a big dangly box :-D

I'd give anything for something like that. I'm tempted to mount a SCART -> HDMI board inside a Mega or something of that nature.

 

No, you can't add bigger SIMMs to an ST and have it work 4mb limit on main board ram (unless you're talking Falcon, but even that needs a ram board to get the full 14mb.

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I'd give anything for something like that. I'm tempted to mount a SCART -> HDMI board inside a Mega or something of that nature.

 

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie friend. We've seen so many "projects" and promises for solutions

for this problem, but to date there still isn't a single, once size fits all, 100 percent guaranteed

answer. :(

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BTW, my PSU is successfully upgraded and installed in the STE :-D

 

I will add photos as and when I can, but I'm in the middle of a Windows 10 refresh on my main laptop, so I don't have the images avaialble on it just yet!

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Getting back to the thoughts about an accelerator plugged into the board, with Alan H's plugged into the top, I just don't think, looking at mine, that there would be room, the shielding is starting to angle down to the front of the case, and even cutting to make room may not be an option, as anything at that point might impinge on the keyboard.

Personally, at the moment, I would rather have the IDE controller than a speed boost, and unless you're going to move to a tower case, there isn't the room to stack on top of the PLCC socket.

On another couple of subjects, I have just bought a SCART to HDMI adapter board from eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272004260092?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) which may be small enough to fit inside the case of my STE with a bit of tweaking. I'll report back when it arrives.

 

Similarly, I have a Jerry+ adapter coming (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172007059422?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) which I'm looking to fit internally too, though I'm not sure where at the moment!!

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