Jump to content
tf_hh

Sys-Check V2.2 ready-to-use batch available

Recommended Posts

Does Syscheck do anything else apart from RAM and ROM testing ?

 

Does it test any of the VLSI's in some way ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Syscheck do anything else apart from RAM and ROM testing ?

Does it test any of the VLSI's in some way ?

 

At this time it tests only main memory and O.S. ROM. I´m working on the 1.5 firmware with has a deep RAM test with test for all thinkable RAM issues included. BASIC ROM will be tested, too. And maybe I can also finish the testing of expanded memory.

 

Other, by owners loved features are the external 512 KB memory expansion without any soldering and the external O.S. switcher - you can flash your own operating system into Sys-Check´s flash chip and use it like an internal existing O.S. ROM.

 

BR Jurgen

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that's a great feature that it indicates which chip is dead.

 

You could say, replace all RAM because they are all mT brand, which are infamous enough....but on the other hand, I have a fully working 130XE with mT's and I see no reason to replace them all just because....as long as they work.....that's fine with me :)

 

The other 130XE board I recently repaired had ALL RAM chips dead. I'm pretty sure it has either experienced a Commodore power supply OR an Atari supply that went bad and supplied 10V or so..... replacing all the RAM fixed the board though so that was great.

Edited by Level42

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got one of these bad boys a few weeks ago, I haven't tried it yet, but looking forward to it when I have the time. I have an 800XL to repair. I'm still planning on getting a Super Salt cartridge too, for my 1200XL's (except the one with a PBI mod, but it's only half installed ATM). Looking forward to the firmware update!

Edited by Gunstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

just a little note, I´ve updated the manual (no new firmware at this day - sorry).

 

I correct some very little mistakes in the manual and remove the warning about usage Sys-Check with internal memory expansions.

 

Thanks to the people who remind me ;-)

 

Jurgen

 

Sys-Check Files V2_2 Release 20180408.zip

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up my SYS-CHECK at the Post Office yesterday. This thing is fantastic!



First thing that I did was to run the diagnostic tool. Not that I had any real concerns about my 800XL but it's nice to have a confirmation that everything is running AOK anyway. Plus, this will be a great resource for when I eventually do pick up a second XL system that I have long talked about but have never actually gotten around to.



Mostly, however, I will be using the SYS-CHECK device as an external extended RAM card. I was pretty bummed that I missed out in getting the 320XL RAM expansion module that was sold in the earlier 2010s. Well, other than a pretty casing, the SYS-CHECK card does everything that device did and more! It's pretty awesome to see my Atari now running 576K without the need for any internal modifications. If I ever do get a second machine I will probably tinker around with that but my current XL is the same one that I have had since early 1985; it has always been faithful to me and I have been reluctant to mess around with its innards very much. Luckily, now I don't have to! First I ran an extended memory check and then I loaded up "Stunt Car Racer". So great to be able to play this game on my real hardware! I had the day off from work so I spent the rest of the afternoon testing out a bunch of other extended memory games that I've been missing out on.


Edited by SS
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would pin #10 of the SIO port work just as well as pin #7 of the joystick port to plug the SYS-CHECK power cord into? I assume so but would like a second opinion before I go mucking something up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would pin #10 of the SIO port work just as well as pin #7 of the joystick port to plug the SYS-CHECK power cord into? I assume so but would like a second opinion before I go mucking something up.

I did exactly this a few weeks ago, and it worked just fine. (I needed both joystick ports) 5 volts is 5 volts. Only concern I had is that the SIO pins are a bit larger than the joystick port pins, so I was worried about loosening up the connector and it not being secure on joystick pins in the future...

 

It gave me incentive to add +5V to the PBI connector of that machine after that. Speaking of that - I wired it from Vcc pin of the nearby BASIC ROM, I'm curious if anyone recommends a better place to pull it from.

Edited by Nezgar
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gave me incentive to add +5V to the PBI connector of that machine after that. Speaking of that - I wired it from Vcc pin of the nearby BASIC ROM, I'm curious if anyone recommends a better place to pull it from.

 

I always use the upper side of the capacitor left beside the cartridge port, because it´s closer to the power jack than the OS-ROM / BASIC-ROM. But by default this shouldn´t make any difference.

 

Look here for an example...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Jurgen, do you have any SysCheck available to purchase?

 

Thank you.

 

PM sent :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I discovered a (very little) issue with all Sys-Check V2.2 PCBs ever produced and shipped out until mid of July 2018. In some rare cases an Atari XE computer (only XE models are affected) won´t boot anymore when Sys-Check is attached. You get a red/brown screen after powering the machine on, and nothing happens. Sometimes you can press RESET and the machine will start (if it´s ok anyway), but most times it hangs. When Sys-Check is removed, the machine starts normal.

 

Again: Only XE models are affected. And until today only 3 examples from 2 different users are reported.

 

The reason is simple: I add an wrong capacitor at a special point. After having some discussions during the prototyping of the Turbo Freezer 2011 Hias found out, that sometimes the Xilinx CPLD will detect a RESET even when there´s none. Reason is the flaky RESET line in most Atari XL/XE computers. Standard parts like 74xx TTL chips, CMOS 40xx chips or GALs are too slow to be affected by these spikes, but a fast CPLD or FPGA is influenced. The solution is easy: Just put an additional 100 pF capacitor between RESET and GND in the near of the RESET signal´s input to the CPLD/FPGA device.

 

Although Sys-Check only uses GALs and 74HCT logic chips, I decide to add this one, too. Just to be safe in all circumstances. But I made a mistake: I wrote "100 nF" in the silkscreen, not "100 pF". I use always own part descriptions instead of using the one from Eagle. So all Sys-Check´s until today are assembled with the wrong capacitor at this place.

 

If you have an Atari XE with this behavior, the easy fix is to remove the capacitor being the source of trouble. Until today I didn´t found out why only a few XE systems are affected. Maybe there´s a little difference in the NE555 delay circuit for RESET. Personally I didn´t own any system with problems using Sys-Check, but I got reports - and the removal of the capacitors helps in all cases. You can replace it with a 100 pF SMD ceramic capacitor in 1206 or 0805 (imperial) package, but it´s not mandatory - just leave the pads empty and Sys-Check will definitely work flawless!

 

Here´s a picture of the bottom side of Sys-Check V2.2 to show the capacitor which must removed:

 

post-15670-0-84343300-1532366698_thumb.jpg

 

All shipped Sys-Checks from now on will have the correct value (100 pF) capacitor.

 

Best regards, Jurgen

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got one here Jurgen, and had a few through my hands in the past. I can confirm that this one and the previous one both work with SysCheck 2.2 (indeed, I used the tool to diagnose the DRAM issues in one case).

 

EDIT: I did suggest to Brenski that the ECI contacts (since the ECI is rarely used) could be corroded or dirty. I wonder if other ECI devices were tested? Just scanned back through emails, in fact, and in one case he said that SysCheck worked with the 65XEN only when SysCheck was plugged into the pass-thru of a Citrad ECI RAM upgrade.

In light of the capacitor, reset line discovery, maybe the Arabic XE's will now work....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I discovered a (very little) issue with all Sys-Check V2.2 PCBs ever produced and shipped out until mid of July 2018.

 

 

Is this only for "Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE Standard-Version"

 

and not for:

 

"Sys-Check V2.2 XL",

"Sys-Check V2.2 XE" ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In light of the capacitor, reset line discovery, maybe the Arabic XE's will now work....

 

Yes, good point. I´m pretty sure that this mainboard revision has "anything" different. Yesterday I see that some XE mainboards have an extra diode around the NE555 chip, some not. When I´m remember right, I´ve also seen a factory-added (manually) diode soldered over the NE555. Maybe that´s the reason for different behavior of this issue.

 

post-15670-0-66179900-1532418819.png

post-15670-0-31614200-1532418825.png

post-15670-0-31761400-1532418830.png

post-15670-0-03741500-1532418837.png

post-15670-0-13152300-1532418844.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this only for "Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE Standard-Version"

 

and not for:

 

"Sys-Check V2.2 XL",

"Sys-Check V2.2 XE" ?

 

It´s affected to all Sys-Check versions... but, with Sys-Check "XL" there´s no problem at all, and Sys-Check XE has the concerned capacator at a different place. Will sent a picture in the evening.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jurgen, very interested in purchasing a SysCheck for 130XE. Looks amazing!

 

PM sent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, do you have the picture for the XE version?

 

Here´s a picture and marking which cap must be removed at the Sys-Check XE version in case of failures:

 

post-15670-0-11489700-1532625830_thumb.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can replace it with a 100 pF SMD ceramic capacitor in 1206 or 0805 (imperial) package...... sounds like good advice I'll take :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Jurgen,

 

nice finding... Not sure if this also explains my case... I sent you a photo of my 800xe (working) motherboard which also has QMEG/320kB mod (email from 5.5.2017). I may try to do a mod to my Sys-check module and eventually report back... :)

 

btw. is the latest firmware 1.4?

 

Thanks!

Edited by docertabum01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...