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

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Sys-check should just repeat the same tests when you press start.. What happens if you press reset at that point? (At the black screen)

 

May also be interesting to know if any odd behaviour also shows up with @shoestring's RAM tester (replacement OS ROM - either flash into a slot on the syscheck, or swap the IC on the motherboard).

https://www.jammarcade.net/shoestrings-atari-8bit-ram-tester/

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I'm pretty sure when you press Start, it's supposed to move on to the OS checks.

 

When I first startup, the RAM test run automatically, then it stops, tells you the results, which mine says memory OK. At that point, at the bottom of the screen it says press Start to proceed. That's when it is supposed to move on to the OS tests. It's just that that never happens with mine. I just get the black screen and nothing else happens.

 

I'll play with it some more in a day or two, when I have the time, and double-check what happens when I press Reset, and I'll also look into flashing @shoestring's RAM tester into a slot onto my SysCheck and trying it out.

 

Thanks.

 

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9 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

I'm pretty sure when you press Start, it's supposed to move on to the OS checks.

Woops, yes you are right. OS + BASIC? are checked I think.

 

I wonder if it's something related to PIA control of OS ROM/BASIC ROM - but your RAM test pass would indicate it is successfully able to turn off OS ROM to check the RAM under the OS. (The part of the test with the random colours)

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11 minutes ago, Nezgar said:

I wonder if it's something related to PIA control of OS ROM/BASIC ROM - but your RAM test pass would indicate it is successfully able to turn off OS ROM to check the RAM under the OS. (The part of the test with the random colours)

 

Yep, I didn't watch it all the way through the first time I ran it. All I saw was the results. The second time through I watched it from start to finish. I can confirm I got the flashing colors and the Memory is good. No problem found. message.

 

I haven't tried flashing something into my SysCheck card before. Obviously, I'll be replacing something. Is there anywhere I can download the originals, so that I can flash them back if I want to in the future?

 

Thanks.

 

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9 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

I haven't tried flashing something into my SysCheck card before. Obviously, I'll be replacing something. Is there anywhere I can download the originals, so that I can flash them back if I want to in the future?

I cheated, possibly doing it the "harder way" by reading out the whole flash ROM with my TL866 programmer and patching one of the slots with a hex editor... so I have the original dump from that.. I presume the steps to program (and hopefully backup?) the original slots via the Atari are documented somewhere earlier in this topic...

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10 minutes ago, Nezgar said:

I cheated, possibly doing it the "harder way" by reading out the whole flash ROM with my TL866 programmer and patching one of the slots with a hex editor... so I have the original dump from that.. I presume the steps to program (and hopefully backup?) the original slots via the Atari are documented somewhere earlier in this topic...

 

I'll read through the manual a little more, and back through this thread.

 

Thanks.

 

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How convenient... Yesterday I was reading the syscheck manual to see how to modified (flash) the default OS selection. I'm interested on changing one of the 4 os already pre flashed. I could not find anything, maybe I read the manual too fast. So now I am very excited to read here that it can be done using the atari itself. I own a tl866 as well without accessories, so if the eprom is that big thru-hole IC I'd have another alternative. 

 

Edited by manterola

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Found it - see this link to the previous post in this topic for the 2.2 firmware image, flashtool, and flashtool documentation:

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/251315-sys-check-v22-ready-to-use-batch-available/?do=findComment&comment=3553758

 

Checking my notes, my flash chip is a 32-pin SST39SF010A which is directly supported by the TL866 with no adapters - it's 128KB total, divided into 4 32KB OS "banks" of which 16KB is used, and 16KB is duplicated or blank, "reserved for future use". You could replace it with a 27C128 or 27C256 for 1 OS, 27C512 for 2xOS, 27010/271001 EPROMS for 4 OS.

 

The 4xOS maps like this in the firmware image, with the usable OS taking the 2nd half of each 32KB, the first 16KB is currently unused so can be left blank, or the OS can be duplicated:

  • $00000-$07FFF - Firmware 1 ($00000-$03FFF Blank or duplicate, $04000-$07FFF OS 1 - Default: Sys-Check)
  • $08000-$0FFFF - Firmware 2 ($08000-$0BFFF Blank or duplicate, $0C000-$0FFFF OS 2 - Default: Genuine Atari XL/XE operating system w/o any patches, version 2)
  • $10000-$17FFF - Firmware 3 ($10000-$04000 Blank or duplicate, $08000-$17FFF OS 3 - Default: QMEG 4.04)
  • $18000-$1FFFF - Firmware 4 ($18000-$1BFFF Blank or duplicate, $1C000-$1FFFF OS 4 - Default: Genuine Atari XL/XE operating system with Hias´ Highspeed-SIO Patch V1.30)

 

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OK, I watched a couple of videos about the SysCheck, so I'm fairly confiedent that I have a good idea how it is supposed to operate when everything is working well, and how it should act when it finds an error, like a memory problem. Mine does not seem to operate that way at all, and I'm starting to suspect that I may have a defective SysCheck. I'm going to add a few videos to show the behavior mine is exhibiting.

 

In this first video, I'm running it on a known good 800XL that I've already checked out normally, just running various games, etc. I haven't had any cause for concern.

 

 

 

As you can see, the memory test said all was fine and to press Start to proceed. Once I press Start, the screen turns black and nothing more happens. I get no more response from my computer and I'm not shown the results of any BASIC/OS test.

 

In this next video, I removed the U13 RAM chip to simulate a fault.

 

 

Rather than pick it up quickly and showing me the screen that shows me the faulted chip, the screen turns red and it starts running through addresses for about thirty seconds before faulting out and locking up.

 

In this last video, I removed the U9 RAM chip to simulate a fault with another chip.

 

 

This time, again, SysCheck doesn't pickup the fault quickly and show me the bad chip like it does in the videos I've seen. Instead, it runs through addresses for about 45 seconds before stopping and locking up again.

 

None of this appears to be normal behavior for a SysCheck, especially when the computer being checked out appears to work perfectly under normal conditions.

 

Has anyone ever experienced this with a SysCheck before? Does anyone have any suggestions for what may be wrong?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

Edited by bfollowell

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@bfollowell I had symptoms like that on a machine I replaced the POKEY socket.... I stewed on it for a month, did a 2nd machine and started getting same thing... then I thought to thoroughly clean the solder flux leftover from my resocketing and that miraculously seemed to have solved the problem - I'm still not totally clear on why, but maybe something to do with signals bleeding between lines due to flux conductivity or marginal capacitance increase of the clock signals.... Maybe someone else might have a better opinion. Maybe replacing some of the clock buffers with faster/better ones would help... or try a whole set of new RAM, as marginal timing of some can be "helped" by more healthy ones.. (Thinking of 130XE's using 1 NEC dram + 7 mT drams...)

 

Probably still good to get a "second opinion" from shoestrings RAM tester too...

 

Edit: For the heck of it, you can switch sys-check to replace the base 64K with RAM on the syscheck itself - just as a sanity check to compare...

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Yeah, I'll try all of those. It's just really hard to imagine that there may be problems with this 800XL, that exhibits no issues whatsoever and under normal use and seems like a perfectly normal machine, that are causing these kind of problems with a tool that is supposed to help diagnose these sorts of problems.

 

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On 11/16/2020 at 4:19 AM, bfollowell said:

Has anyone ever experienced this with a SysCheck before? Does anyone have any suggestions for what may be wrong?

 

What I´m missing in all posts... do you ever have tried your Sys-Check device at any other (well-known working) XL/XE computer?

 

I´ve experienced this behaviour once with an Atari 600XL. At the PBI (600XL and 800XL) the R/W signal is not directly fed by the CPU, it´s a little bit delayed by the DRAM control circuitry (74LS375, 74LS51, 74LS14 and the Delay Line). Talking about my experience the 74LS375 was faulty.

 

So please test another XL/XE system first, if Sys-Check works fine, then this 800XL has a problem with one of the signals at the PBI.

 

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On 11/15/2020 at 5:28 PM, bfollowell said:

I haven't tried flashing something into my SysCheck card before. Obviously, I'll be replacing something. Is there anywhere I can download the originals, so that I can flash them back if I want to in the future?

 

A full recovery is only possible with an external EPROM programmer. In the Sys-Check archive you will found the full 128 KB file for the SST39SF010A flash chip and the Sys-Check diagnostic firmware (16 KB). All other OS-versions at Sys-Check are availible at the usual download sources.

 

The flash program has it´s own manual, please refer to it. The whole archive can be everytime downloaded again, find the links at the QRcode from Sys-Check´s bag or in my info PDF (link below my signature).

 

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31 minutes ago, tf_hh said:

 

What I´m missing in all posts... do you ever have tried your Sys-Check device at any other (well-known working) XL/XE computer?

 

I´ve experienced this behaviour once with an Atari 600XL. At the PBI (600XL and 800XL) the R/W signal is not directly fed by the CPU, it´s a little bit delayed by the DRAM control circuitry (74LS375, 74LS51, 74LS14 and the Delay Line). Talking about my experience the 74LS375 was faulty.

 

So please test another XL/XE system first, if Sys-Check works fine, then this 800XL has a problem with one of the signals at the PBI.

 

Well, the one that I'm using it on now, the one I used to make the videos, appears to be a well-know working 800XL. I mean, it wasn't mine until about a week ago, so I really know nothing of its history, but I've checked it out in all the normal ways, and spent a couple of hours playing games and running programs on it to check it out and, by all appearances, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

 

As seen in the videos, the memory test runs and completes without issue. It's only when I press Start to proceed that it locks up to a black screen. The next two videos show strange behavior when removing a memory chip to simulate a memory  problem, which seems odd, since the initial memory test seems to work perfectly.

 

Right now I have a bad 800XL that it doesn't work with at all. There are definitely bigger issues going on with that 800XL. I have the new, by all appearances, working 800XL that I just received, but SysCheck doesn't work properly with it. I have a 600XL on the way, but it is missing an Antic chip at the very least, so I have no idea what else may be wrong with it, but I suspect other issues. I also have my 1088XEL, but I've never tried my SysCheck with it and I don't know what sort of behavior to expect. I'll pop an Antic into the new 600XL when it arrives and check it out with SysCheck. I'll also try my SysCheck with my 1088XEL this weekend and see how it acts with it. I'll post my results here.

 

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On 11/15/2020 at 3:23 PM, Nezgar said:

Found it - see this link to the previous post in this topic for the 2.2 firmware image, flashtool, and flashtool documentation:

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/251315-sys-check-v22-ready-to-use-batch-available/?do=findComment&comment=3553758

 

Checking my notes, my flash chip is a 32-pin SST39SF010A which is directly supported by the TL866 with no adapters - it's 128KB total, divided into 4 32KB OS "banks" of which 16KB is used, and 16KB is duplicated or blank, "reserved for future use". You could replace it with a 27C128 or 27C256 for 1 OS, 27C512 for 2xOS, 27010/271001 EPROMS for 4 OS.

 

The 4xOS maps like this in the firmware image, with the usable OS taking the 2nd half of each 32KB, the first 16KB is currently unused so can be left blank, or the OS can be duplicated:

  • $00000-$07FFF - Firmware 1 ($00000-$03FFF Blank or duplicate, $04000-$07FFF OS 1 - Default: Sys-Check)
  • $08000-$0FFFF - Firmware 2 ($08000-$0BFFF Blank or duplicate, $0C000-$0FFFF OS 2 - Default: Genuine Atari XL/XE operating system w/o any patches, version 2)
  • $10000-$17FFF - Firmware 3 ($10000-$04000 Blank or duplicate, $08000-$17FFF OS 3 - Default: QMEG 4.04)
  • $18000-$1FFFF - Firmware 4 ($18000-$1BFFF Blank or duplicate, $1C000-$1FFFF OS 4 - Default: Genuine Atari XL/XE operating system with Hias´ Highspeed-SIO Patch V1.30)

 

Thanks @Nezgar for your help, I appreciate spending the time to solve this mystery (for me). I was able to read the Eprom in my tl866 and save the original rom image in case something went wrong. Then I used the Atari and Jürgen software to replace one of the OS rom. I changed a couple of bytes in the Hias High speed rom without keyboard handler to have Reverse Option behavior regarding enabling/disabling BASIC. Everything worked perfectly.

 

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I see it coming up more and more frequently. It looks like I need to invest in an EPROM programmer. I don't see it as something I would use a lot, but much like my USB Blaster, when you need one, you need one. I don't want to steer this thread too far off-topic, but any suggestions on a decent programmer that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg? Something that could be used with a decent variety of chips so that I could use it for my 8-bits and my 16-bits? Feel free to PM me so as not to take up space in this thread.

 

Thanks.

 

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27 minutes ago, manterola said:

I was able to read the Eprom in my tl866 and save the original rom image in case something went wrong.

It might be worthwhile to do a binary compare of your backup file against the one included in the ZIP with the flashtool - just to see if there was anything corrupted by chance...

 

14 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

I don't want to steer this thread too far off-topic, but any suggestions on a decent programmer that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg? Something that could be used with a decent variety of chips so that I could use it for my 8-bits and my 16-bits?

For 90% of basic needs, a TL-866 is $50-60 USD, and supports an amazing number of IC's out of the box. (Windows only though) Optionally you can get adapters included for different form factors like PLCC so you can directly read/program things like atarimax flash chips too... You can avoid purchasing a UV eraser if you stick to EEPROM or flash equivalents.

 

Compare the usual haunts like Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress... (They all come from China anyway) Here's one for $59 USD with adapters:

https://www.amazon.com/Programmer-Programmable-Circuits-Adapters-Extractor/dp/B07CDD9PGT/

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Yep! I followed Nezgar advice a couple or years ago and got a TL866ii (I guess) and I am super happy. The company keep updating the software , and adding support for additional eproms and devices. 

It actually works in Linux using command line and "minipro" software, but the ugly windows interface is sometimes more convenient.

I don't use it a lot, but I have created EPROMs for my XF551 5.25", the SF551 3.5" floppy drive, multiple computers Atari OS (qmeg, HS hias) and even I was able to write a PIC microcontroller for the sio2midi interface.

And now I know it can be used to backup and write new OS to be used in Syscheck.

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1 hour ago, damanloox said:

Are these boards still available for purchase...?

 

Yes, you can order a Syscheck V2.2XL or V2.2XE from tf_hh which will give you 512k XRAM, four different OS and a nice (RAM) system checker...

 

tf_hh Hardware

 

He also has internal RAM upgrades (512KB SRAM memory expansion for XL/XE/XEGS and 576KB SRAM memory expansion for 600XL) available.

 

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1 hour ago, CharlieChaplin said:

 

Yes, you can order a Syscheck V2.2XL or V2.2XE from tf_hh which will give you 512k XRAM, four different OS and a nice (RAM) system checker...

 

 

True, and I'm certain both are great devices, but they limit you to either one machine or the other. You can also get the Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE Standard version for just a little bit more, which can be used with either PBI or ECI machines. Also, for still a little bit more, you can get the Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE BBU, which works with PBI and ECI and has battery backup.

 

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4 hours ago, bfollowell said:

 

True, and I'm certain both are great devices, but they limit you to either one machine or the other. You can also get the Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE Standard version for just a little bit more, which can be used with either PBI or ECI machines. Also, for still a little bit more, you can get the Sys-Check V2.2 XL/XE BBU, which works with PBI and ECI and has battery backup.

 

 

Also true, but the actual PDF from March lists 0 (zero) Sys-Check 2.2 XL/XE and also 0 (zero) Sys-Check XL/XE BBU in stock - so they are not available atm. That's why I mentioned the separate Sys-Check XL and Sys-Check XE versions. But maybe all Sys-Check versions will be available again in a few weeks...  @tf_hh will surely let us know.

 

 

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 6:18 PM, CharlieChaplin said:

Also true, but the actual PDF from March lists 0 (zero) Sys-Check 2.2 XL/XE and also 0 (zero) Sys-Check XL/XE BBU in stock - so they are not available atm. That's why I mentioned the separate Sys-Check XL and Sys-Check XE versions. But maybe all Sys-Check versions will be available again in a few weeks...  @tf_hh will surely let us know.

 

New stocks of all my projects are planned for mid of April.

 

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This is slightly off topic but I have the 512K memory upgrade installed in a 1200XL that has been modified to use the 800XL OS. When I set up a RAM Disk, how many sectors should the RAM Disk have?

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6 hours ago, hueyjones70 said:

This is slightly off topic but I have the 512K memory upgrade installed in a 1200XL that has been modified to use the 800XL OS. When I set up a RAM Disk, how many sectors should the RAM Disk have?

 

There´s only one general answer: As many free sectors the ramdisk utility has with every other 512 KB RAMBO-compatible memory expansion 🙂

 

The amount of free sectors varies from ramdisk to ramdisk. Some ramdisk tools only use standard disk sizes (720 or 1040 sectors 128 bytes each or 720 sectors 256 bytes each), other use the whole memory or can be configured like SDX.

 

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