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eclaire XL P.C.B. aka "Atari on FPGA project"

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2020 at 7:55 PM, foft said:

Any particular cart that fails? I just selected about 20 random ones on v40 core with the v1 EclaireXL and it seems fine.

The scenario was to select 2players.car then start Archon game and then press F10.

Eclaire was booting to BASIC instead of showing the CART menu. Selecting another car file via F12 was also ending in BASIC.

What helps is to show F12 menu, go for CART selection, but this time select nothing - press ESC. Then press once again F12 (this time it shows: CART: NONE). If you now select a *.car file, it works.

It would be interesting if you can reproduce it.

 

Regarding OS ROM selection. I'm pretty confused, so I have a few questions:

 

When I rename the ROM folder on the SD card, then Eclaire can not find it, but even when I start Eclaire without SD card:

OS works, BASIC is there. Even Freezer works.

 

1) What happens?

2) Are these ROMs located in internal flash memory?

3) Where are they originally coming from? atari800core_eclaireXLv3_auto.rpd?

4) Is there any way to clean-up the flash memory?

5) What happens when I select F11 / "SAVE FLASH"?

6) What happens when I select F11 / "SAVE SD"?

 

Edited by TheMontezuma

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3 hours ago, TheMontezuma said:

Regarding OS ROM selection. I'm pretty confused, so I have a few questions:

 

When I rename the ROM folder on the SD card, then Eclaire can not find it, but even when I start Eclaire without SD card:

OS works, BASIC is there. Even Freezer works.

 

1) What happens?

2) Are these ROMs located in internal flash memory?

3) Where are they originally coming from? atari800core_eclaireXLv3_auto.rpd?

4) Is there any way to clean-up the flash memory?

5) What happens when I select F11 / "SAVE FLASH"?

6) What happens when I select F11 / "SAVE SD"?

 

Good questions

 

1) After the startup, the ZPU starts to run the firmware. It mounts the SD card and checks for the OS rom, basic rom, freezer and settings file. If present they are loaded into block ram (OS), block ram (basic), sdram (Freezer) and register file (settings). If not present then it loads them from the flash chip profile 1.

2) They are stored on the flash chip which stores the FPGA core. 

3) They are in the jic file. The rpd/pof file only contain the fpga core.

4) The flash memory can be written to by the fpga core and by the jtag. To 'clean up' I guess you mean start afresh. You can flash a new .jic file with the usb blaster. 

5) It loads the flash content to sdram (all 4 profiles). Then it stores the current os rom/basic rom and settings to sdram - in the location of the selected profile. Finally it stores the whole content back to flash (erase then write).

6) It saves the settings to sd card in atari800/rom/settings (IF the file exists). The settings are 8 bytes with flash for memory/drive speed etc. 

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I see one good reason to have /atari800/rom folder on the SD card:

to store the settings file there, so you don't get a black screen after software update, like me 😉

 

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thanks for detailed explanation. 

 

Another noob question:

Is SIO Audio In connected in Eclaire?

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9 hours ago, TheMontezuma said:

I see one good reason to have /atari800/rom folder on the SD card:

to store the settings file there, so you don't get a black screen after software update, like me 😉

 

When you update the core with the rpd file then the other data in flash is not touched.

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6 hours ago, bocianu said:

thanks for detailed explanation. 

 

Another noob question:

Is SIO Audio In connected in Eclaire?

On the large ones it is (though not well, I didn’t do the adc very well, noisy). On the mini it is not.

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19 minutes ago, foft said:

When you update the core with the rpd file then the other data in flash is not touched.

Thanks. It works :). A few days ago I got black screen after updating firmware, because I didn't have the settings file on the SD card (so I got default settings from flash and I had to press F11 / H, to get video over HDMI). Are you sure that flashing rpd file does not override settings (in flash)?

 

For every day usage I decided to rename rom folder as @DjayBee suggested.

This way Eclaire starts faster and I can use various OS ROMs and settings stored in 4 different profiles.

The only drawback is that one has to remember which OS is stored in which profile, since this information is not available when your press F11.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, TheMontezuma said:

Are you sure that flashing rpd file does not override settings (in flash)?

98% sure, but there can always be bugs 🥴

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16 hours ago, TheMontezuma said:

The scenario was to select 2players.car then start Archon game and then press F10.

Eclaire was booting to BASIC instead of showing the CART menu. Selecting another car file via F12 was also ending in BASIC.

What helps is to show F12 menu, go for CART selection, but this time select nothing - press ESC. Then press once again F12 (this time it shows: CART: NONE). If you now select a *.car file, it works.

It would be interesting if you can reproduce it.

 

P.S. I didn't forget this just not tried it yet...

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On 6/11/2020 at 3:03 AM, foft said:

On the large ones it is (though not well, I didn’t do the adc very well, noisy). On the mini it is not.

Btw, the lack of SIO audio In has an interesting side effect (besides actually loosing the tape audio channel). You don't hear the disk loading audible crosstalk when Pokey volume is off. You could simulate the sound, I guess. Not saying you should, just thinking in loud voice :)

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If it works on a real Atari, but not on an eclaire, then the folks working on/with the eclaire will want to fix it. Getting #FujiNet working on all real Atari computers is challenge enough I'd think. All emulators and fpga based solutions etc. have made it their mission to keep reworking their creations until they do. This is what makes their work interesting... it's amazing insight gained into what goes on in the real thing.

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Returning to AudioIn of SIO:

On 6/11/2020 at 8:03 AM, foft said:

On the large ones it is (though not well, I didn’t do the adc very well, noisy). On the mini it is not.

 

 

Is it possible to wire it up somehow? :D

It's analog signal, so maybe there is some way to make it work at least with jack audio output?

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25 minutes ago, bocianu said:

Returning to AudioIn of SIO:

 

 

Is it possible to wire it up somehow? :D

It's analog signal, so maybe there is some way to make it work at least with jack audio output?

Low tech: Connect pokey to left on your amp and sio audio to right

 

Or you could build your own mixer circuit (https://www.eleccircuit.com/simple-audio-mixer-circuit-with-fet-2n3819/, https://sound-au.com/articles/audio-mixing.htm), or buy one (for example something like this https://quasarelectronics.co.uk/Item/cebek-p-6-4-channel-mixer-module) or ...

 

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Thanks! I have an external audio mixer. You gave me the courage to try and connect it ;)

 

I will take this opportunity to ask one more question about keyboard mappings.

It's great that joystick directions are mapped to keyboard arrows, but is there a joystick button mapped to any key?

I cannot find it. 

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5 hours ago, bocianu said:

It's great that joystick directions are mapped to keyboard arrows, but is there a joystick button mapped to any key?

I cannot find it. 

I think that Mark have map it at second  windows key -right side-.  I  asked from him in the past to change this.....

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3 hours ago, santosp said:

I think that Mark have map it at second  windows key -right side-.  I  asked from him in the past to change this.....

The really silly thing is that I don’t even have one on my Eclaire keyboard!

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26 minutes ago, foft said:

Any preferences for which key to use instead?

Yea, right windows key was unfortunate choice. My keyboard does not have one :D

I would like to have it on left Windows (or any Windows key) or left Alt. It's still unused. 

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Not to revive an old sub-topic or anything.

 

The code or "core" that goes into the FPGA to make it perform a desired function is called the Bitstream. It is an official definition, at least by the guys that make FPGA chips. Can't argue with that!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Keatah

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On 9/2/2020 at 8:37 AM, foft said:

Any preferences for which key to use instead?

So, is there any chance for an update?

That would be great, please 🙏

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