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Kelvintronic

Side2 and Ulitimate 1MB upgrade but still can't play ATR games

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Hi from Aoteora (New Zealand) in the south Pacific.

Around a year ago I bought an Atari 800XL off Ebay. Then I went online to find a solution to allow me to start playing all my old favourite games again. I settled on the Side2 by Lotharek. It seemed like an elegant solution.

When I finally got it I tested it out and sure enough I was able to play some games. Then I discovered that I couldn't play ATR games without a memory upgrade so I bought the Ultimate 1MB upgrade from Lotharek.

Unfortunately my wife and I started renovations and the Atari went into storage.

That brings us to last week.. I pulled it out and installed the upgrade. It was really easy and I was excited to finally be able to play ATR games!

But.. nope. I still can't play ATR games :(

I hope someone can help me out. The U1MB upgrade definitely works.

I have set up my CF card by following the video on Lotharek's site.

I followed the instructions for the Side2 in the pdf on Lotharek's site:
- In U1MB bios: enable SpartaDOS, Enable Side2 with button, save and hold L
- I mark the ATR with the space bar then press enter
- I hear loading sounds then the Atari reboots and brings up the READY prompt or runs Missile Command depending on what is set in the U1MB bios

I'm pretty sure the firmware for both the Side2 and U1MB is version 1. So I thought I should update both. I followed the instructions to upgrade the firmware in the pdf on atari8.co.uk. I put the UFLASH utility and the appropriate firmware file in the Fat32 partition of my CF card and I run the utility, but I can't get the utility can't find the ROM file!

It seems I have to copy them onto one of the APT formatted drives on my CF card but I can't do that without access to the FAT32 partition. To get access to the partition I need to initialise FATFS.SYS from the APT toolkit but I can't access it unless it's on one of the APT formatted drives! Catch-22!

Can anyone out there tell me what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks

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Hi from Aoteora (New Zealand) in the south Pacific.

 

Around a year ago I bought an Atari 800XL off Ebay. Then I went online to find a solution to allow me to start playing all my old favourite games again. I settled on the Side2 by Lotharek. It seemed like an elegant solution.

 

When I finally got it I tested it out and sure enough I was able to play some games. Then I discovered that I couldn't play ATR games without a memory upgrade so I bought the Ultimate 1MB upgrade from Lotharek.

 

Unfortunately my wife and I started renovations and the Atari went into storage.

 

That brings us to last week.. I pulled it out and installed the upgrade. It was really easy and I was excited to finally be able to play ATR games!

 

But.. nope. I still can't play ATR games :(

 

I hope someone can help me out. The U1MB upgrade definitely works.

 

I have set up my CF card by following the video on Lotharek's site.

 

I followed the instructions for the Side2 in the pdf on Lotharek's site:

- In U1MB bios: enable SpartaDOS, Enable Side2 with button, save and hold L

- I mark the ATR with the space bar then press enter

- I hear loading sounds then the Atari reboots and brings up the READY prompt or runs Missile Command depending on what is set in the U1MB bios

 

I'm pretty sure the firmware for both the Side2 and U1MB is version 1. So I thought I should update both. I followed the instructions to upgrade the firmware in the pdf on atari8.co.uk. I put the UFLASH utility and the appropriate firmware file in the Fat32 partition of my CF card and I run the utility, but I can't get the utility can't find the ROM file!

 

It seems I have to copy them onto one of the APT formatted drives on my CF card but I can't do that without access to the FAT32 partition. To get access to the partition I need to initialise FATFS.SYS from the APT toolkit but I can't access it unless it's on one of the APT formatted drives! Catch-22!

 

Can anyone out there tell me what I'm doing wrong?

 

Thanks

 

 

What games are you trying to play? Would love to try them on my SDrive-MAX and original Atari 800.

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Hi from Aoteora (New Zealand) in the south Pacific.

 

Around a year ago I bought an Atari 800XL off Ebay. Then I went online to find a solution to allow me to start playing all my old favourite games again. I settled on the Side2 by Lotharek. It seemed like an elegant solution.

 

When I finally got it I tested it out and sure enough I was able to play some games. Then I discovered that I couldn't play ATR games without a memory upgrade so I bought the Ultimate 1MB upgrade from Lotharek.

 

Unfortunately my wife and I started renovations and the Atari went into storage.

 

That brings us to last week.. I pulled it out and installed the upgrade. It was really easy and I was excited to finally be able to play ATR games!

 

But.. nope. I still can't play ATR games :(

 

I hope someone can help me out. The U1MB upgrade definitely works.

 

I have set up my CF card by following the video on Lotharek's site.

 

I followed the instructions for the Side2 in the pdf on Lotharek's site:

- In U1MB bios: enable SpartaDOS, Enable Side2 with button, save and hold L

- I mark the ATR with the space bar then press enter

- I hear loading sounds then the Atari reboots and brings up the READY prompt or runs Missile Command depending on what is set in the U1MB bios

 

I'm pretty sure the firmware for both the Side2 and U1MB is version 1. So I thought I should update both. I followed the instructions to upgrade the firmware in the pdf on atari8.co.uk. I put the UFLASH utility and the appropriate firmware file in the Fat32 partition of my CF card and I run the utility, but I can't get the utility can't find the ROM file!

 

It seems I have to copy them onto one of the APT formatted drives on my CF card but I can't do that without access to the FAT32 partition. To get access to the partition I need to initialise FATFS.SYS from the APT toolkit but I can't access it unless it's on one of the APT formatted drives! Catch-22!

 

Can anyone out there tell me what I'm doing wrong?

 

Thanks

 

To load ATR game files, DISABLE SpartaDOS X and in many if not most cases, press and hold OPTION during boot to disable BASIC.

 

To update the BIOS to Jon’s “alternate” (and incredibly better!) version, mount the ATR file he provides in the SIDE Loader, boot it with SpartaDOS X enabled (press and hold

OPTION to disable BASIC). At the SDX command line, type X UFLASH.XEX and you will launch the tool you need to flash the new BIOS.

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The loader in the original firmware requires SDX to be enabled in the BIOS menu, IIRC, but the loader will in any case silently suppress SDX in order to boot an ATR.

 

As for updating the firmware: it sounds like the currently installed loader has no FAT file system handler built into it, which is a major obstacle to updating using the FAT method. I can't be sure that this is the issue since the error condition encountered when running UFLASH is not specified. If you get a 'Nonexistent device' error or similar when trying to access D1: after launching UFLASH from the loader, you can be sure there's no CIO file system handler.

 

In any case, addressing the original issue is probably the best way to proceed at the moment. Since the loader turns off SpartaDOS X (as mentioned earlier) and the firmware update ATR requires SDX to be present, you should 'tag' the ATR with the space bar using the loader so that D1: appears next to it. Then, instead of rebooting via the RETURN key, press HELP+RESET to get back into the BIOS setup menu, and then press 'C' to coldstart (there is no need to hold down the OPTION key to disable BASIC). This should result in SDX booting with the update ATR mounted on drive 1. At this point you may proceed as per the instructions.

 

The forthcoming firmware update allows ATRs to register themselves as 'SDX dependent' in the loader, and booting them with RETURN will restart with SDX enabled. This makes the mount/jump into BIOS/restart workaround unnecessary.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Thanks for your help.

 

DrVenkman,

 

I tried holding option but the Atari's self test activates. Specifically: I disable SpartaDOS in the U1MB and try to press L to go to the loader - it won't load. If I activate spartaDOS it does, I then try to execute an ATR (by pressing return) and hold option while doing so. I have to use this method as the PBI driver is not loaded if I enter the loader at bootup.

 

flashjazzcat,

 

I tried your workaround but when SpartaDOS loads after I press C from the BIOS, D1 does not respond, i.e. I get error 138 Device does not respond

 

It seems that when SpartaDOS is loaded via the U1MB as opposed to the Side2 the drivers for the CF card reader are not loaded.

Edited by Kelvintronic

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I tried holding option but the Atari's self test activates.

This is expected if the disk boot fails, since the OPTION key suppresses BASIC. The machine will then boot directly to the Self-Test.

 

Specifically: I disable SpartaDOS in the U1MB and try to press L to go to the loader - it won't load.

It appears my memory was correct and - as I wrote above - SDX must be enabled for the loader to work on the original firmware.

 

I tried your workaround but when SpartaDOS loads after I press C from the BIOS, D1 does not respond, i.e. I get error 138 Device does not respond.

Did the loader report any error when you attempted to tag the ATR file as 'D1:'? It's a little difficult to remember the behaviour of the original firmware, but I do think it would issue an error message if the ATR mount failed for any reason.

 

It seems that when SpartaDOS is loaded via the U1MB as opposed to the Side2 the drivers for the CF card reader are not loaded.

The hard disk driver is built into the U1MB ROM and is enabled by the 'SIDE Hardware' setting in the BIOS setup menu. The driver employed by SDX on the SIDE cart itself is not needed (indeed, SDX on the SIDE cart is entirely redundant when you're using SIDE with U1MB). Be sure that the operating system you have chosen to use actually supports PBI devices, since - by the sounds of it - the OS is completely unaware that the driver is present.

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There are a few possibilities.

 

1) There is a chance that the CF card is not entirely cool. I have some CF cards that seem to work great, but in the end they are not. Try to use SANDISK

 

2) There is a non compatible OS selected in the U1MB menu. You absolutely need an Atari XL/XE OS. Since you can get into SDX, I am pretty sure you have XL/XE Os... but still. If you have an OS selected with no PBI-handler then this fault will also occur.

 

3) You indeed have the wrong firmware on the U1MB, something I can hardly imagine since you bought it a year ago or so. The earliest versions of U1MB (non Lotharek) had a firmware without loader (There was also a CPLD update needed, something that can not be done with uflash).

 

4) For some strange reason the ATR is not mounted to D1: but to another Dx: number. I have no idea whether this was possible with your version of the firmware. But when you mount the ATR to D2: it will give exact this behaviour.

 

5) You made a mistake in the U1MB installation. It seems to work, but it does not.

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This is expected if the disk boot fails, since the OPTION key suppresses BASIC. The machine will then boot directly to the Self-Test.

 

I am aware of this functionality. I was responding to DrVenkman and attempting to be concise.

 

Did the loader report any error when you attempted to tag the ATR file as 'D1:'? It's a little difficult to remember the behaviour of the original firmware, but I do think it would issue an error message if the ATR mount failed for any reason.

 

No error was reported.

 

The hard disk driver is built into the U1MB ROM and is enabled by the 'SIDE Hardware' setting in the BIOS setup menu. The driver employed by SDX on the SIDE cart itself is not needed (indeed, SDX on the SIDE cart is entirely redundant when you're using SIDE with U1MB). Be sure that the operating system you have chosen to use actually supports PBI devices, since - by the sounds of it - the OS is completely unaware that the driver is present.

 

OK. I have four options for the OS: StockXL, StockXE, Q-Meg and High Speed. I have been using StockXL. How can I be sure which one supports PBI? I have tried them all anyway.

 

The OS is definitely unaware of the driver when SDX is loaded via your workaround. If I load up SpartaDOS via the Side2 the card is reported present and all the atari drives are readable, but in the U1MB SDX it is not. Also, one thing to note is that SDX on the Side2 is version 4.46a and on the U1MB it is version 4.46.

 

 

There are a few possibilities.

 

1) There is a chance that the CF card is not entirely cool. I have some CF cards that seem to work great, but in the end they are not. Try to use SANDISK

 

2) There is a non compatible OS selected in the U1MB menu. You absolutely need an Atari XL/XE OS. Since you can get into SDX, I am pretty sure you have XL/XE Os... but still. If you have an OS selected with no PBI-handler then this fault will also occur.

 

3) You indeed have the wrong firmware on the U1MB, something I can hardly imagine since you bought it a year ago or so. The earliest versions of U1MB (non Lotharek) had a firmware without loader (There was also a CPLD update needed, something that can not be done with uflash).

 

4) For some strange reason the ATR is not mounted to D1: but to another Dx: number. I have no idea whether this was possible with your version of the firmware. But when you mount the ATR to D2: it will give exact this behaviour.

 

5) You made a mistake in the U1MB installation. It seems to work, but it does not.

 

I appreciate your suggestions Marius. I will get a SanDisk CF card. I will check my U1MB installation. The only thing I can think I have done wrong is perhaps the four wires to the CPU are incorrectly wired? The 800XL board had socketed chips. Although it has crossed my mind that there could be something actually wrong with the Atari itself.

 

I sure hope I don't have to pull the chip off the U1MB board and flash it separately :(

 

I have purchased a SIO to USB (PC) adapter from Lotharek so I should be able to access the ATR update files with that. It's just a shame I'll have to wait three weeks for it to be delivered to little old New Zealand :(

Edited by Kelvintronic

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Once you get the Sio2USB from Lotharek you will be able to flash your U1MB with the latest firmware anyway. Once you have flashed Flash Jazz Cat latest loader and stuff, you will see how it should have been done in the first place. FJC's bios is the only firmware that gives the U1MB the power it has. Original firmware is a joke.

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With the original BIOS side loader 'L' .. If any atr show at all then scroll to file and tag with the SPACE bar.

verify D1: then press RETURN..

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Hey Guys,

 

I got the SIO2PC adapter earlier in the week and I can't get it to work!

 

I'm starting to think there's something wrong with the Atari :(

 

I've followed Lotharek's instructions - they're pretty simple. I'm using RespeQt. I set the com port appropriately and the handshake to DSR. I decided to load a game to start with. I hold option and switch on the machine just like I did when I was a kid. But all that happens is the screen goes completely yellow.

 

Well, so then I tried to boot into SpartaDos from the 1MB Upgrade: I set the disk to the upgrade.atr and with the Side cart removed I went into the bios and enabled SpartaDos. Then used the coldstart key to get to spartados. The light on the Sio2PC flashes a bit the SpartaDos prompt appears. I try typing DIR and the lights flash a little but the response is 138 - device does not respond.

 

I tried to set the COM port up on the PC to match the settings but that didn't help.

 

Either there is something wrong with the Sio2PC or the Atari.

 

Have you guys got any advice on this one?

 

The Atari's about to be boxed up indefinitely :(

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If you're using RespeQt, are you sure have emulation running in that program? Look at the small connection icon in the bottom of the RespeQt window below the log pane. There you'll see a symbol - it will either be joined if RespeQt peripheral emulation is running or separated if it's not.

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If you're using RespeQt, are you sure have emulation running in that program? Look at the small connection icon in the bottom of the RespeQt window below the log pane. There you'll see a symbol - it will either be joined if RespeQt peripheral emulation is running or separated if it's not.

 

Yup the emulation is running. The icon is joined and there is blue text in the window saying 'Emulation started through standard serial port backend on 'COM3' with DSR handshaking.'

 

But something is not right when I turn the Atari on and the screen is completely yellow. The device is doing something to the Atari to make this happen. If I boot without it plugged in the machine works normally.

 

I wish I new someone locally with another Atari so I could test the device on their machine.

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Try loading a DOS 2.5 disk into the D1: slot, turn off the Atari for 10 seconds or so and then go to the U1MB menu. Just as a test, disable SpartaDOS X and boot the machine. You *should* hear DOS loading, then the BASIC "READY" prompt. If so, type DOS and see if the menu loads.

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Try loading a DOS 2.5 disk into the D1: slot, turn off the Atari for 10 seconds or so and then go to the U1MB menu. Just as a test, disable SpartaDOS X and boot the machine. You *should* hear DOS loading, then the BASIC "READY" prompt. If so, type DOS and see if the menu loads.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a go but it didn't load.

 

I'm pretty sure the Atari is faulty. I decided to remove the U1MB and reinstall the original chips. When I did, I noticed that someone has resoldered the serial socket. The machine probably won't even work with a 1050.

 

I tested the booting after removing the upgrade. Still the same.

 

I wonder if this is a common fault? I had several Atari's back in the day and I had one fail where it wouldn't boot disks. I never got to the bottom of it.

 

Oh well, time to look for another machine on Ebay I guess.

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The SIO port itself is pretty simple - just 13 pins bent at a 90 degree angle, mounted in a plastic housing and soldered to the PCB. If the pins are all present and not bent, there’s not much to go wrong.

 

However, the POKEY chip inside the Atari, which handles sound, keyboard and (ta da!) most of the signals for serial I/O can go bad, or it can have a socket going bad. I actually had a 1200XL that I first thought had a bad POKEY chip but turned out that the socket it was sitting in had a broken wipe (the flat metal contact inside the socket cavity that the chip leg contacts. I had to replace that socket, after which the POKEY worked just fine.

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The SIO port itself is pretty simple - just 13 pins bent at a 90 degree angle, mounted in a plastic housing and soldered to the PCB. If the pins are all present and not bent, there’s not much to go wrong.

 

However, the POKEY chip inside the Atari, which handles sound, keyboard and (ta da!) most of the signals for serial I/O can go bad, or it can have a socket going bad. I actually had a 1200XL that I first thought had a bad POKEY chip but turned out that the socket it was sitting in had a broken wipe (the flat metal contact inside the socket cavity that the chip leg contacts. I had to replace that socket, after which the POKEY worked just fine.

 

Awesome! I'll take a look. Thanks :)

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For those who are interested, the saga continues... I've been trying to get the Atari to boot from RespeQt...

 

I tested the sio port with a multimeter and traced each pin to their destination on the chips and all was good.

 

I reseated the POKEY chip and PIA chips.

 

So then I decided to risk it and bought replacement POKEY and PIA chips from Best Electronics.

 

While I was waiting for the chips to arrive I found a 130XE for sale locally so I bought that. But I couldn't get that to boot from RespeQt either.

 

With the 130XE I tried the Side2 and that works as with the 800XL except that if I boot SDX I get error 13 when I try to access the drives on the CF card. I installed the U1MB and that works but the workaround sugested by jazzflashcat won't work because the loader freezes when I try to mark the atr files with the space bar. The machine won't boot into SDX at all with the U1MB installed. Looks like I've bought a dud!

 

Anyway, the replacement chips arrived yesterday and I installed them in the 800XL but the machine behaves exactly the same - I can't boot using RespeQt.

 

I'm so done with this. Does anyone know a good repository with XEX files I can download? At least I know I can run those with the Side2.

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Most games are available on XEX format.

 

You found dowload links on Topic for newbies but the best repository of games is Homesoft (click on download all on the right side).

Games are in ATR format only when they are not available in XEX format.

Moreover, XEX versions are always updated to be clean (no crack intros, no screen flickering on loading...).

 

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It’s exceedingly odd that you can’t boot two different machines using RespeQt - not even a plain d DOS 2.5 disk? That should run on almost any hardware, even a stock 16K 400. 

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so many variables at play...  he shouldn't have to but make sure the sio caps are not somehow on either machine, next he should make sure his sio divisor is not set too high/fast....

 

Pictures close up of his installs of pcb's are in order...

 

Latest firmware / BIOS and software need to be done on all devices...

 

Make sure whatever ATR you use is a game that works with your specific OS... etc.

 

double check settings and switches.

 

Pictures of all installs and switch positions wiring jumpers would be helpful..

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