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SDrive-MAX ATX support

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22 minutes ago, michomis said:

But how would one check it? I have no possibilities to copy ATX on real drive. Originals of these games (ex. from Retronics) load normally from real fdd, and images from what I know, are made exactly like them, with bad sectors etc.

Fact that these "bad" ATX files load through SIO2USB, is enough for me to consider something is wrong with SDM or SDM firmware.

Didn't the ATX format originate with Atarimax's APE software? Pretty sure there's an option to write back to a real 1050.

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1 hour ago, firebottle said:

Didn't the ATX format originate with Atarimax's APE software? Pretty sure there's an option to write back to a real 1050.

Read all the posts in this thread - the modern “ATX” format contains information to help simulate bad or phantom sectors, extra or missing tracks, etc. A stock 1050 cannot write those back to a real floppy, and even a Happy board or modern board like the Speedy generally cannot do all of that either. Software running on modern (much faster hardware than the 6507 in a 1050 drive) can simulate the SIO responses such a copy-protected disk would give to an Atari during loading, but a real 1050 cannot do that without a real, copy-protected disk to read. 

 

As applied to the SDrive-MAX, the UNO has a specific clock speed and a limited amount of flash memory for code in which to simulate these behaviors. 

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55 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Read all the posts in this thread - the modern “ATX” format contains information to help simulate bad or phantom sectors, extra or missing tracks, etc. A stock 1050 cannot write those back to a real floppy, and even a Happy board or modern board like the Speedy generally cannot do all of that either. Software running on modern (much faster hardware than the 6507 in a 1050 drive) can simulate the SIO responses such a copy-protected disk would give to an Atari during loading, but a real 1050 cannot do that without a real, copy-protected disk to read. 

 

As applied to the SDrive-MAX, the UNO has a specific clock speed and a limited amount of flash memory for code in which to simulate these behaviors. 

Ok, thanks for the info...

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2 hours ago, firebottle said:

Didn't the ATX format originate with Atarimax's APE software? Pretty sure there's an option to write back to a real 1050.

I developed the original ATX image format. As already commented, a stock 1050 can't create copy protected disks. It is possible to write back some, but not all, ATX images to enhanced drives like the Happy.

 

Anyway, if the image runs under Altirra it is likely ok

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19 hours ago, michomis said:

Today I have checked all these problematic for SDM ATX files on newest RespeQT, and loaded them all using SIO2USB with no problem.

Is there any chance to update SDM firmware I wonder...

I was concerned this post got lost in the large thread. While I hope the firmware is updated, I saw a post that made it sound like there may not be much room left to make changes. 
 

Since these files load on an actual Atari using a different device, it does sound like a firmware problem with SDM. 
 

Since people work on it as a hobby project, I would not expect an immediate fix. Even if this is never fixed, SDM already does what I want it to do. 
 

Bob C

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2 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

As applied to the SDrive-MAX, the UNO has a specific clock speed and a limited amount of flash memory for code in which to simulate these behaviors. 

 

May be it's about time for a new version with more powerful hardware? May be something based on the blue pill that is extremely cheap. Any takers? :)

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33 minutes ago, ijor said:

 

May be it's about time for a new version with more powerful hardware? May be something based on the blue pill that is extremely cheap. Any takers? :)

If you build it we will buy it 😈

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3 hours ago, ijor said:

 

May be it's about time for a new version with more powerful hardware? May be something based on the blue pill that is extremely cheap. Any takers? :)

 

Do you take the blue pill or the red pill, Neo ?

Well, Ijor convinced me to take the blue pill...  ;-)

 

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:)  Just in case ...

I didn't mean this blue pill:

 

Red_and_blue_pill.jpg

 

And of course I didn't mean this blue pill:

 

viagra.jpg?width=534&height=401&fit=crop

 

 

 I meant this one, which for those that don't know, it's an extremely cheap ARM cortex Arduino compatible board:

 

STM32F103C8T6_Blue_Pill-1.jpg

 

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8 hours ago, michomis said:

There were already some tests by Drygol of smaller Arduino boards: https://retrohax.net/atari-800-xl-refurb-sdrive-max/

 

It's not about size but about power (please, no more double meaning jokes :) )

 

The current MAX is based on an 8-bit AVR CPU at 16MHz with 32KB flash and 2K RAM (somebody corrects me if I'm wrong). The blue pill has a 32-bit ARM Cortex at 72MHZ with 64KB flash and 20K RAM.

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Looks nice, but to me there seem to be two issues with this idea. 

 

1. Somebody needs to port the code from AVR to ARM and test everything including the critical timing needed for ATX-emulation. 

 

2. How do you fit the 2.8" display to this stamp-sized board? 

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Since many people buy premade SDrive-MAX anyway and you still need to make uno2sio pcb, I am thinking about combining display and microcontroller on one board. The cost for pcb will be only slightly more than for current uno2sio pcb.

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On 3/12/2020 at 4:12 PM, darwinmac said:

I was concerned this post got lost in the large thread. While I hope the firmware is updated, I saw a post that made it sound like there may not be much room left to make changes. 

There should be nothing wrong with the enhanced density ATX files that we (the preservation initiative) published. As others speculated, I simply never implemented enhanced density support in the SDrive Max's ATX emulation. Given all the support for additional screen types that have been added in recent months, I have no idea what kind of space is even left on the device at this point 😛

 

I'll look into it at eventually if someone else doesn't get to it first, but unfortunately, it's not high on the priority list.

 

An all-in-one board that includes the Arduino, multi-SIO mod and screen would be fantastic!

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1 hour ago, Farb said:

 

I'll look into it at eventually if someone else doesn't get to it first, but unfortunately, it's not high on the priority list.

 

So there is hope :D

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2 hours ago, Farb said:

There should be nothing wrong with the enhanced density ATX files that we (the preservation initiative) published. As others speculated, I simply never implemented enhanced density support in the SDrive Max's ATX emulation.

I think there are also issues with double-density ATR files like those used with and by SpartaDOS. Frankly that would be a very generally useful feature for those who want to use an SDrive-MAX as a standalone do-it-all storage device for their A8 machines. 

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I have recieved info from Klaus (Thank you!):

https://github.com/kbr-net/sdrive-max/commit/afa2a31e95742337ec42d181966b6bae767c345f

"But timing may be poor, and needs some more adjustments, but that is
Farb's part i guess..."

Can any one take over and make more needed changes?

Also these need to be merged into *.hex files I suppose. But I have no idea how it should be done.

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On 3/29/2020 at 4:41 AM, michomis said:

I have recieved info from Klaus (Thank you!):

https://github.com/kbr-net/sdrive-max/commit/afa2a31e95742337ec42d181966b6bae767c345f

"But timing may be poor, and needs some more adjustments, but that is
Farb's part i guess..."

Can any one take over and make more needed changes?

Also these need to be merged into *.hex files I suppose. But I have no idea how it should be done.

@michomis - A new firmware (1.2) was created for the Sdrive Max today. I tried your sample Robbo ATX file that was enhanced density. I was able to get the game to run. I do not know how to play Robbo so I died very easily, but it appears the patch fixes at least some Enhanced Density ATX files.

 

In my case, the firmware upgrade did two things:

1. My touchscreen is upside down. I tried every one in the folder, but the best result I could get was the touchscreen being upside down. 

2. The new firmware has appeared to change the boot-up timing enough that my XEGS boots up prior to the Sdrive Max. I know most people have been running it on external power, but SIO power was much more convenient for my setup.

 

Bob C

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1 hour ago, darwinmac said:

In my case, the firmware upgrade did two things:

1. My touchscreen is upside down. I tried every one in the folder, but the best result I could get was the touchscreen being upside down. 

Have you tried the Rotate button on the Cfg page? If not, tap Cfg, tap Rotate, tap SavIm and then Save.

Edited by DrVenkman
typo
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43 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Have you tried the Rotate button on the Cfg page? If not, tap Cfg, tape Rotate, tap SavIm and then Save.

@DrVenkman - Thanks so much. I tried Rotate, but I didn't do the other two steps. Now, it's much more usable again. It's unfortunate that the timing changed enough to force me to use external power but, from what I read, I was lucky to be able to use it on SIO power previously.

 

Bob C

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Silly question... :?

 

Trying to increase FastSIO to get faster load rates, but I am doing something wrong. I can set the FastSIO to any speed, but I do not get faster load speed. It's still default load speed even though it shows the faster rate.

 

After choosing the speed I want, I choose Control W then U then Y to confirm saving it, but nothing changes and I still have same speeds.

 

Thoughts on what I am forgetting to do or not doing correctly?

 

I've done this before, but it was a while ago. I don't recall how I did it and can't figure out how I reset it to standard speeds the other day.

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1 minute ago, NISMOPC said:

Silly question... :?

 

Trying to increase FastSIO to get faster load rates, but I am doing something wrong. I can set the FastSIO to any speed, but I do not get faster load speed. It's still default load speed even though it shows the faster rate.

 

After choosing the speed I want, I choose Control W then U then Y to confirm saving it, but nothing changes and I still have same speeds.

 

Thoughts on what I am forgetting to do or not doing correctly?

 

I've done this before, but it was a while ago. I don't recall how I did it and can't figure out how I reset it to standard speeds the other day.

Remember, you have to be using an OS that supports higher-speed I/O or something like an Ultimate 1MB with Jon's firmware that incorporates Hias's HSIO code. 

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Just now, DrVenkman said:

Remember, you have to be using an OS that supports higher-speed I/O or something like an Ultimate 1MB with Jon's firmware that incorporates Hias's HSIO code. 

Well, there's my answer and that would be the problem.

 

I was using my Eclaire Xl, but the FPGA chip is not seated properly (waiting for COVID-19 shipping restrictions to get replacement) and swapped in one of my 800XL's as a temporary fix. Just so happened, I completely forgot about this little bit of simple, yet important information.

 

Thank you!

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