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1088XEL Atari ITX Motherboard DIY Builders Thread

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On 5/18/2020 at 6:15 PM, DrVenkman said:

There’s a lot of ground noise “ringing” in your scope traces. Try to ground your probe as close to your measurement point as possible to get a better idea how much of that noise is real noise in the ground plane versus noise in the measurement process. 

Months later, after a short Covid-19 break, @tf_hh had a totally different idea: He sent me a new 64k RAM to replace my old one. Believe it or not, but my XEL is working now, stable from fresh startup. Hooray!

Alas, I did everything correct and was screwed by this damn bug all the time. Nevermind... Have to setup the VBXE now and let the show begin :)

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As someone who places multiple Mouser orders a year, I don't think I've ever received one quite this large before. Yikes, this will keep me busy for a while. I need to recheck everything against the BOM, but fairly sure I have everything except for the svid stacked jack. If anyone in the US has one for sale, please let me know. PCB and more parts should be on the way soon. 

 

Thanks to everyone who has put in the hard work on this project. I haven't touched an Atari 8bit since the late 80's and can't wait to build this very soon. 

 

Currently 3D printing a case right now to try out, thanks to Lavalamp for his model. Pics to come. 

parts.jpg

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I've got a few spares of that connector (I recall I had to order 5 from ebay to get the 1 i needed), PM me your address

 

Sorry I mis-remembered. I have multiple PS2 Keyboard/Mouse connectors, I don't have any of the connector you need, I know @MacRorie from the Brewing Academy will be able to help you out, he has all the XEL parts in stock.

 

Edited by Mr Robot
I'm a forgetful eejit
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Well,

I built one and it was a bust. I had a few IC sockets that at the time I did not notice that there were no holes drilled into the pins for my gold plated machine pin sockets. I had to drill holes to correct but to no avail, it was a failure. de-soldering is a bitch!

I built another one and it fired right up!

Expect a trouble or two but... persevere!

Enjoy your build and ask before you leap!

 

Douglas

 

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9 hours ago, rockdoc2010 said:

I built one and it was a bust. I had a few IC sockets that at the time I did not notice that there were no holes drilled into the pins for my gold plated machine pin sockets. I had to drill holes to correct but to no avail, it was a failure. de-soldering is a bitch!

I just want to point out that the failure this builder experienced was obviously due to a sub-standard IC socket being used, and not anything to do with the 1088XEL board or design.

 

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On 7/14/2020 at 5:32 PM, DrVenkman said:

Another easy mistake to make (don't ask how I know this ... 👀 ) is inserting your U1MB offset to the left or right by one pin position. That will give exactly the same symptoms - just a black screen on boot. (Again don't ask how I know this ... :D )

Boy, I wish I had seen this post before spending an hour trying to troubleshoot my 'initial power up' black screen issue yesterday. Quickly traced my D2 and D3 data bus shorts to the U1M board and STILL proceeded to reinsert the board the exact same way. I then stared at the U1M portion of the schematic long enough and the light bulb finally went off in my head...  Doh!  Up and running at least. 

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Well, I spoke too soon. I saw the U1M screen during my last posting and assumed it was all good. Then shut it down until today. 

 

When I power up, it immediately goes to this U1M menu. I don't see any splash screen, but not sure how long that should appear and perhaps I'm missing it during DVI sync. The Keyboard arrows don't do anything. The three keyboard lights do flash once at power up, so assuming that's good. I may be doing something stupid here as this is all new to me.. 

 

What I've tried so far: 

 

- Tested all Atari related chips in my 800XL. All check good. 

- Tested the 64K ram in my minipro - tests good. Also tested with a second chip (had ordered two originally).

- Removed tk-ii U7 and read/verified v2.4 hex load with MPLAB IPE. Also removed/reprogrammed the mousetari chip as a tk-ii chip for troubleshooting. No change.

- Verified all RN resistor packs, checked all chip 5v/GND and currently going through each remaining discrete component. 

- Tried two different PS2 keyboards, one is brand new. No change with either. 

- Verified all solder connections again. I was micro/min solder certified in the military and am pretty anal about having perfect solder joints.

 

Only thing I can think of so far is that maybe the U1M board got damaged when it was installed one pin over during the initial power up. I'm not hearing any audio during power up other than a slight turn-on pop when power is applied - not sure if I should be hearing the atari fart or not. 

 

The only key that seems to do anything is F11, if held down it appears to reset everything and comes back up with "profile 3 reset!".

 

IMG_9155.JPG

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The system will always boot straight to the setup menu until you save your settings to the active profile (see the rightmost menu), assuming the device has shipped in the proper uninitialized state (although if profile 3 is pre-selected, this does not seem to be the case). Of course you will need the keyboard to work to accomplish that.

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You might want to see if you have a spare keyboard handy. Be advised, too, that most PS/2 adapter dongles will not work with a TKII-based interface, although some very early USB 1.1 / PS/2 keyboards will (these are increasingly rare). “True” PS/2 keyboards are generally still available and pretty easy to find on eBay if you need to find one.

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You could also try installing the U1MB in your working Atari 800XL and see if if you b0rked it by the misaligned install. The flash ROM portion seems to work (mostly?) OK, otherwise you won't see the menu at all, I suppose. FJC knows more about that.

 

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3 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

You might want to see if you have a spare keyboard handy. Be advised, too, that most PS/2 adapter dongles will not work with a TKII-based interface, although some very early USB 1.1 / PS/2 keyboards will (these are increasingly rare). “True” PS/2 keyboards are generally still available and pretty easy to find on eBay if you need to find one.

Thank you both.  Both keyboards that I've tried act similarly and they're both true PS2, no adapters. One is pretty old, other is brand new. No keys work on either other than F11 and F12, which just seem to reset the entire board. 

 

Perhaps there a way to init the U1M board out of system? I'm downloading the documentation for it now. 

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2 minutes ago, ivop said:

You could also try installing the U1MB in your working Atari 800XL and see if if you b0rked it by the misaligned install. The flash ROM portion seems to work (mostly?) OK, otherwise you won't see the menu at all, I suppose. FJC knows more about that.

 

Thanks, good suggestion! I did think about this earlier, just wasn't sure about the compatibility part. I'll try this next after I finish checking all other board components. 

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39 minutes ago, MisterOz said:

Thanks, good suggestion! I did think about this earlier, just wasn't sure about the compatibility part. I'll try this next after I finish checking all other board components. 

It has been a while since I installed it, but AFAIK it's removing BASIC/OSROM/MMU, connect the flatcables, connect to OS and MMU socket, solder four wires. But I might have forgotten a thing :)

 

Here's FJC's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxHnF5lfrps

 

Edited by ivop
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Thanks for everyone's replies. It turned out to be a dodgy 40pin pokey socket that I was using to gain extra height.. One of the very few parts that I hadn't ordered new and just grabbed from one of my electronics bins. I should have known better, they were very old cheap sockets and I knew that. Ordering some new ones now. 

 

So for now, I have full menu control and will press on with testing and learning all of these modern A8 accessories. I haven't touched an A8 since the mid 80's and only learned about all this from stumbling upon Jon's YT videos recently. I've already picked up a pristine condition 800xl (just installed a Sophia DVI yesterday), a non-working 1050 drive (fixed with a recap and retrobrite - looks brand new!), Sdrive-max and built an Ultimate Cart from scratch just for the fun of it. That FPGA was no fun to solder, but it works first try. I just need to print some cases now.

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1 hour ago, MisterOz said:

a non-working 1050 drive (fixed with a recap and retrobrite - looks brand new!),

You also might look into replacing the 7805 and 7812 regulators. There are modern equivalents that won't get hot.

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6 minutes ago, ivop said:

You also might look into replacing the 7805 and 7812 regulators. There are modern equivalents that won't get hot.

Candle suggested I do this on the Rana 1000 which I just discovered works. Running the drive out of the chassis resulted in malfunction when the regulators started burning up (since they were no longer screwed to the metal frame).

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7 minutes ago, ivop said:

You also might look into replacing the 7805 and 7812 regulators. There are modern equivalents that won't get hot.

Good call. I did replace the 7812 with a modern one, but not the 7805. They're cheap, I'll order one when I place the order for the new 40p dip sockets.

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1 hour ago, MisterOz said:

Thanks for everyone's replies. It turned out to be a dodgy 40pin pokey socket that I was using to gain extra height.. One of the very few parts that I hadn't ordered new and just grabbed from one of my electronics bins. I should have known better, they were very old cheap sockets and I knew that. Ordering some new ones now. 

 

So for now, I have full menu control and will press on with testing and learning all of these modern A8 accessories. I haven't touched an A8 since the mid 80's and only learned about all this from stumbling upon Jon's YT videos recently. I've already picked up a pristine condition 800xl (just installed a Sophia DVI yesterday), a non-working 1050 drive (fixed with a recap and retrobrite - looks brand new!), Sdrive-max and built an Ultimate Cart from scratch just for the fun of it. That FPGA was no fun to solder, but it works first try. I just need to print some cases now.

 

Glad to see you solved your XEL problem 👍

 

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Here are some pictures of a 1088XEL with a different housing. Both joystick ports are on the front, a SIO2SD with a small display is integrated. The cartridge port of the 800XL has the plastic base and is finished with a 3D printout at the top. Internally installed Sophia1, midi interface from HardwareDoc (Christoph) with DreamBlaster S2. I love the Atari jingle, but if you hear the notes every time you restart, you will eventually get annoyed by it. Hi Montezuma ;-)

 

https://www.amazon.de/Chieftec-IX-01B-OP-Compact-Mini-Tower-PC-Gehäuse/dp/B00B5QY4SW/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-drs1_0?cv_ct_cx=Chieftec+IX-01B-OP&dchild=1&keywords=Chieftec+IX-01B-OP&pd_rd_i=B00B5QY4SW&pd_rd_r=4fac01b8-cd77-475e-b0dd-8b16af6268af&pd_rd_w=HYq4R&pd_rd_wg=QSLED&pf_rd_p=10e68c58-2c30-45f0-9479-867ac48fc4e5&pf_rd_r=FYM2VESP9276RT7YNDAG&psc=1&qid=1608325593&sr=1-1-69f2aa40-4718-4485-ba0d-6c4119696677

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I have a question about the XEL-CF3 and CF card size.

 

So, am I correct in assuming that we're limited to 15 drives when using SDX?

 

If so, assuming I reserved D1 & D2 for physical floppy drives, or SIO2PC drives, and used the remaining 13 drives on the CF, at 32MB per partition, that comes to 416MB. So, basically, it's a complete waste to have a card, single or combination of 2, larger than 416MB. I can't recall why, but it was at the urging of some member, thread, or web site, or maybe it was @mytek, to purchase two 4GB cards, and now I'm wondering why? I mean, any CF cards are getting hard to come by, so I guess it doesn't matter if they're overkill size-wise, as long as I have good brand, dependable cards, but it seems like a couple of 256MB or 512MB CF cards would have been more appropriate.

 

What am I missing?

 

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perhaps the card is used on more than one device and set up to work on all for portability...

some devices also waste half the space...

because of the way CF card cluster sizes and there is wasted space after a file padding out a cluster...

certain DOS schemes also waste some space...

what if you have other Atari related files and materials such as...

images and movies for Avery's player...

PDM files...

disk image slots for single disks...

 

the limit isn't just 15 disks, you can swap partitions in and out of those 15 slots...

you also can have MyDos and other formats on that CF card...

I've run out of space on the smaller CF cards as a result...

 

I can definitely see why it would be suggested that 4 or 8 gig cards be used!

Edited by _The Doctor__

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59 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

What am I missing?

As well as the foregoing (you can dynamically mount partitions using the loader, for example):

 

1. You could have a 3GB FAT partition on a 4GB card, filled with thousands of XEXs and ATRs.

2. You can use one (or more) of your fifteen SDX drives as an 'external' FAT16 partition (which - IIRC - may be up to 4GB in size).

 

Edited by flashjazzcat

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47 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

perhaps the card is used on more than one device and set up to work on all for portability...

some devices also waste half the space...

because of the way CF card cluster sizes and there is wasted space after a file padding out a cluster...

certain DOS schemes also waste some space...

what if you have other Atari related files and materials such as...

images and movies for Avery's player...

PDM files...

disk image slots for single disks...

 

the limit isn't just 15 disks, you can swap partitions in and out of those 15 slots...

you also can have MyDos and other formats on that CF card...

I've run out of space on the smaller CF cards as a result...

 

I can definitely see why it would be suggested that 4 or 8 gig cards be used!

 

12 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

As well as the foregoing (you can dynamically mount partitions using the loader, for example):

 

1. You could have a 3GB FAT partition on a 4GB card, filled with thousands of XEXs and ATRs.

2. You can use one (or more) of your fifteen SDX drives as an 'external' FAT16 partition (which - IIRC - may be up to 4GB in size).

 

 

Ok, thanks guys! I can see I need to look into this quite a bit more. I still have quite a bit to learn!

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