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Coming soon, more experiments with HyperXF 4 partitions on 1 physical floppy (well 3,5 inch stiffie :) ) and QMEG.

I upgraded my internal floppy PCB from Zaxon with a WesternDigital 1772 and removed the jumper to enable the HyperXF ROM .

( PCB has stock and HyperXF ROM but HyperXF is disabled by jumper because of the WD1770 not being able to work with it)

 

I'm still learning a lot on U1MB, Spartados X , HyperXF, QMEG.

 

Todo : install TrackDisplay and swap buttons

 

Waiting on : 1030XEfm badge

Edited by Lastic
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1 hour ago, Lastic said:

Coming soon, more experiments with HyperXF 4 partitions on 1 physical floppy (well 3,5 inch stiffie :) ) and QMEG.

I'll be very interested in seeing QMEG in action. Although it's in one of my U1MB OS slots, I've not taken the time to understand what all it's good for (which I'm sure is a lot).

 

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QMEG gives a lot benefits for me. As I installed QMEG, I loved it, and actually I don't use original XL-OS. I think QMEG is compatible with about 99% of software.
Most important advantages for me:
- cold reset (Shift+Reset)
- reversed Option key behavior for Basic
- built in turbo routines for SIO2SD and FDD
- built in sector copier
- built in freezer
- mapping any drive number as D1 for booting from any drive

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2 minutes ago, Mq. said:

QMEG gives a lot benefits for me.

Yes: it's certainly feature-packed. But since Lastic's machine already has U1MB installed, several features in the list are already handled by the device firmware, and completely independently of whichever OS is in use at the time:

  • Cold Reset (Select+Reset, if activated, and CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE+RESET for a 'BIOS level' reboot)
  • BASIC may be forced OFF by default (with any OS, providing the PBI BIOS is enabled)
  • Hias' high-speed driver (exactly the same as the driver found in his patched high-speed OS, but with SIO2BT and PCLink support) is built into the firmware and works with any PBI-aware OS
  • The system may be booted from any drive number attached to a SIDE HDD partition, and D1: and the boot drive number may be swapped (i.e. IO on one directed to the other, providing both are partitions)

No built-in sector copier or freezer, though. :) But the comparison is interesting.

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Back in the day, embedding DEVICE-dependent functionally into OS (e.g. Q-Meg 4.04) may have been perfectly sound... but in today's "brave" world of PBI-based BIOS extensions, etc., such embedding no longer sounds cool, or even needed (I would definitely agree).

 

Having said this, I have to say I like Q-Meg 4.04 very much, and it is (in fact) my go-to OS to boot games, demos, etc. It bridges the past and present of XL/XE SW evolution, pretty well, indeed. There are some important considerations, though, in terms of advantages and also disadvantages:

 

  1. At its very core, it is still an XL-load OS. You can see this, clearly, by just running Avery's AcidOS Timing tests, and you will notice that interrupt-servicing timings are essentially IDENTICAL as an XL-OS (this is going much deeper into the OS).
  2. OS-based tape-loading and International Character set have been completely stripped off from its originating OS-load.
  3. You CANNOT drive SIO-attached devices at Pokey divisors lower than 6. You max out at 6, if supported by your SIO chain. Here is where PBI-HSIO support in BIOS blows Q-Meg out of the water, by being able to dive down to Divisor 0, if supported by SIO chain.
  4. It is definitely capable of booting titles that XL/XE OS-loads actually choke at. I have seen this, repeatedly, in controlled comparisons.
  5. It offers the possibility (among other features) to turn off KEY-click (CTRL-4) and to control DMA at will (CTRL-6). This is WONDERFUL, indeed.
  6. Q-Meg 4.04 is fully PBI-aware (prior versions were not). v4.04 is THE version to have, nothing else. For this reason, you can still use Q-Meg with PBI-HSIO from Bios, as mentioned in #3 (!)
  7. It comes with a SLoOoOoW FP pack, and with a proprietary computation of ROM-checksums. However, this can be cured, and you can upgrade FP-pack to much better version (my daily-driver load of Q-Meg 4.04FP does precisely this).
  8. User-interface communication and details are cryptic, at best. However, after learning and memorizing a bit, it does become pretty functional.

 

Just my 0.02c

Edited by Faicuai
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Just a minor update, thanks to the info that @Mq. has provided, I'm still playing around with multi-disk games written to partitions on D1:

 

Awaiting feedback from Drakon on my 1030XEfm badge , but in the meantime an Exacto knife has aided in succesfull surgery.

 

1600680166_BadgeRemoved.thumb.JPG.4db388536381c364f1b8a8ff55c26113.JPG

 

Still need to figure out the necessary connections for the TrackDisplay and decide where I will place it.

 

I also was thinking of having swap buttons 3D printed similar to the Help,Start,Select,Option,Reset keys but smaller in size of course.

What do you guys & girls think ?

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A few updates whilst I've been playing around with a lot of stuff.

Badge courtesy of Drakon arrived, one set is going on the Post towards @manterola

 

1560249348_Newlabels.thumb.JPG.53fb12130b231d2e9b6e6aea3790ef66.JPG

 

Finally got around to solder the connections for the TrackDisplay PCB by Mq.

This was a quick and dirty job just to be able to test it, I will probably need longer cables but haven't decided where I will place it yet.

I decided to solder onto the FFC cable on the area that is visible after inserting the cable into it's connector.

FFC cable is cheap to replace , Zaxon's PCB isn't that easy replaced if I messed up the connector.

 

1380536877_FFCsoldering.thumb.JPG.0ed5c259427f25ad9f18e4b5f3d5c4e0.JPG

 

249456161_ZaxonPCBTrackDisplaysoldering.thumb.JPG.4c9af30038397473a68feef43db36696.JPG

 

And here it is in action, formatting a disk

 

Formatting.thumb.JPG.c52cc65e306a679f9987e9897b10d37c.JPG

 

342618359_Trackdisplayduringformatting.thumb.JPG.f395e505611a34d4a407eb728a7c8c43.JPG

 

Of course it has more functionalities than just track display , once the buttons PCB is attached, I can hotswap drive numbers without having to set jumpers.

 

I'm still thinking about 3D designing miniature Previous and Next buttons like the Help,Start,Select,Option,Reset buttons.

 

One possible idea was to mount the display above the label, move the buttons above their bigger brothers and the read/write LEDs to the righthand side.

I would need to change the headers on the TrackDisplay PCB so they don't stick out but point to the side, maybe use the same connector Sofia DVI does.

 

994592985_PossibleplacementTrackDisplay.thumb.JPG.aa29ca370a4880b97c16a15dc83e4321.JPG

 

On the LED topic, since there is a hole in the 130XE keyboard, I can run the SIO2MIDI LED through it and maybe use the insert from another broken case to create an activity LED above the power LED.

 

64194579_MIDILedkeyboard.thumb.JPG.7121a226d6a4c1a6309f4bef73d675f7.JPG1038224897_MIDILedplacement.thumb.JPG.d94fea50b3fae7c00185712e7d6e73c8.JPG

 

Thoughts/Opinions/Criticism, all welcome ...

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How about replacing the power led with a dual color led? Wire it up as red and have it change color when there's MIDI activity :)  Just a thought...

 

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Some proposals for the track display.

Consider placing the buttons on the side of enclosure above the FDD, so the top of enclosure will be less modified (less cuting and drilling).

Floppy side indication LEDs, you can place near the power LED inside enclosure without any drilling etc. First of them on the left side of power LED, and second on the right side. I mean such effect so both of them will be visible together with power LED through the existing transparent window of the power LED. When a floppy will working, then power LED will move to the left or to the right of that window, and will be lighter then. I think it could be very intresting and nice looking effect.

Edited by Mq.

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15 hours ago, ivop said:

How about replacing the power led with a dual color led? Wire it up as red and have it change color when there's MIDI activity :)  Just a thought...

 

That is a really good idea ,actually also for the diskdrive activity LED's.

 

Only complication that comes to mind, is that the power LED rests inside the 130XE's keyboard, will open up the keyboard to have a look where I could run wires.

 

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14 hours ago, Mq. said:

Some proposals for the track display.

Consider placing the buttons on the side of enclosure above the FDD, so the top of enclosure will be less modified (less cuting and drilling).

Floppy side indication LEDs, you can place near the power LED inside enclosure without any drilling etc. First of them on the left side of power LED, and second on the right side. I mean such effect so both of them will be visible together with power LED through the existing transparent window of the power LED. When a floppy will working, then power LED will move to the left or to the right of that window, and will be lighter then. I think it could be very intresting and nice looking effect.

 

A lot of ideas myself but a very good proposal also.

 

I thought about moving everything to the side except the drive activity leds but the height of the Display PCB sits in the way.

Or I could relocate/rotate the Drive Display so the PCB is on the side ?

(very ugly Paint Mockup, my apologies)

 

1021069283_DiskdriveTrackDisplaymockup.thumb.png.6c6b78b0c1a229a8263a982e664eeaf6.png

 

I could move the buttons above the floppydrive, I could use the ST eject button as buttons , there is a 3D print stencil for them https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3141512

 

1938774350_STFMDiskdrivebutton.png.ab89850ff25591f6b2bcf0f4469d1fb5.png

 

The idea of ivop using bi-color LED's is also interesting , my current idea would be to mount the drive activity LEDs ST style (buttons above floppy) using a bi-color LED

 

792441608_1040STFloppyLED.thumb.jpg.34f951b8ae9f5de6982c6c3eeae3030a.jpg

 

With the Track Display , buttons above the floppy drive (side) , the only modification to the top case would be the little cutout with a plastic insert on the inside and a bi-color LED underneath.

I would place it

  1. above the Reset button ?
  2. next to the Reset button (tiny triangle on the inside topcase)
  3. on the same height as the Power LED but on the right hand side 
  4. above the Power LED but that means a length of wires
  5. next to the Power LED like you proposed but also lengthy wires

 

 

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23 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

Before you do anything else, please buy one of these and use it on that floppy cut-out:

 

file.thumb.jpg.fd47f14862a336b10f5707a0c3b4f8cb.jpg

:)

 

That picture of the cutout was the work in progress, this is the final result.

I did mess up as you can tell .

 

1583391364_DiskdriveSideview.thumb.JPG.6da2aa0e4b0c3f08099c04e82a095879.JPG

 

I used these :) 

 

IMG_4833.thumb.JPG.1cdd056b236ecc739fbf6b3064925a8e.JPG

Edited by Lastic
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On 9/29/2019 at 11:00 AM, Lastic said:

 

A lot of ideas myself but a very good proposal also.

 

I thought about moving everything to the side except the drive activity leds but the height of the Display PCB sits in the way.

Or I could relocate/rotate the Drive Display so the PCB is on the side ?

(very ugly Paint Mockup, my apologies)

 

1021069283_DiskdriveTrackDisplaymockup.thumb.png.6c6b78b0c1a229a8263a982e664eeaf6.png

 

I could move the buttons above the floppydrive, I could use the ST eject button as buttons , there is a 3D print stencil for them https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3141512

 

1938774350_STFMDiskdrivebutton.png.ab89850ff25591f6b2bcf0f4469d1fb5.png

 

The idea of ivop using bi-color LED's is also interesting , my current idea would be to mount the drive activity LEDs ST style (buttons above floppy) using a bi-color LED

 

792441608_1040STFloppyLED.thumb.jpg.34f951b8ae9f5de6982c6c3eeae3030a.jpg

 

With the Track Display , buttons above the floppy drive (side) , the only modification to the top case would be the little cutout with a plastic insert on the inside and a bi-color LED underneath.

I would place it

  1. above the Reset button ?
  2. next to the Reset button (tiny triangle on the inside topcase)
  3. on the same height as the Power LED but on the right hand side 
  4. above the Power LED but that means a length of wires
  5. next to the Power LED like you proposed but also lengthy wires

 

 

Still haven't decided where to place stuff, waiting on led's and connectors in order to proceed.

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And so after a long hiatus due to work, severe backspin, waiting on parts, resurrecting both an Atari 1040STfm and an 800XE, progress.

 

After soldering buttons, LEDs and various cables , the TrackDisplay assembly has finally been wired up.

 

IMG_4949.thumb.JPG.d806bb3dfe5f37ed919170b777e75ef7.JPG

 

IMG_4950.thumb.JPG.4579f3dd2139f64392b11b648579f49c.JPGIMG_4951.thumb.JPG.b9dca2b59a8b1c07afb21e7553f83e7e.JPG

 

I also used a longer FFC cable and a 2x4 Dupont connector that connects to the Display PCB.

 

IMG_4952.thumb.JPG.5ae5fd4b5aa4bfe07a922aceda351811.JPGIMG_4953.thumb.JPG.257dd40298f28faa224e46a2459cce53.JPG

 

Since I had it working like this with my previous shorter FFC cable , I again solder the wires directly to the exposed part of the FFC connector.

 

IMG_4954.thumb.JPG.b07ac84ff5b77d8063c9c8c84b6b56ad.JPGIMG_4955.thumb.JPG.7714c2a6fc2009351426ce167740a47b.JPG

 

Since I now have more length due to the longer ribbon cable, I decided to lay the PCB lengthwise also but had to desolder/resolder and bend some connectors

for this new layout so the shorten cables would reach it.

 

 

IMG_4956.thumb.JPG.259785d285cfc8806312b4fbf34d44ca.JPGIMG_4957.thumb.JPG.6e3b1d01fc3a849e641f915994779949.JPG

 

And last but not least, I wanted to add a power off/on switch so I can switch on the diskdrive independently of the main Atari power switch.

 

IMG_4959.thumb.JPG.fd6c0a7c169a8c779056dc27f73f38cb.JPG

 

I ran the cables thru the side for now to test them , still not sure where I will place the buttons and display but I should have enough wire to position them.

 

IMG_4958.thumb.JPG.41e41c62c26d46df56085e9601b17483.JPG

 

But now , where to put them ?

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Day 2 of my 5 weeks vacation so I thought to properly install the switches and wilst doing that, I brought back an old item which Jon will remember :)

 

Using smaller files helps ...  a lot

 

IMG_4991.thumb.JPG.3ddc3b0267e6e5071ed56370bb4f8b6f.JPGIMG_4992.thumb.JPG.568af621991304ad94e07f76c8a9fe83.JPG

 

So this is how currently the inside is looking, still haven't decided where to install the Track Display and Buttons.

 

IMG_4993.thumb.JPG.8cfa36337a236334ce814f458abf3db4.JPG

 

I do need a better pin for the power to the floppy PCB since it sits too high when putting the topcase onto it.

IMG_4995.thumb.JPG.7a59fd50aab9e3a6eea8dadd29535435.JPGIMG_4996.thumb.JPG.6d11c6bd418bf067e6f3d8ec10f20956.JPG

 

And yes, I've cut a part out of the shield and reinstalled it so it supports the floppy and keeps it laying flat.

 

IMG_4994.thumb.JPG.beef1e7f39a3dbfef934f99c676a1094.JPG

 

To be continued ...

Edited by Lastic
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Where to put the display, top left corner aligned with the power led ?
I could route the cabling under the U1MB cables , around the U1MB PCB and come back up to the top.

 

IMG_E4997.thumb.JPG.99d8175bba96c850c80e29a7e77b1ea2.JPG

 

Due to the connectors pointing downwards (double row) , it's hard moving the trackdisplay PCB on top of the floppy.

 

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Day 3 , decided to take the plunge and install the LED display in the top left corner.

Since this topcase has been a hacksaw job from day one, altough my tools and skills have improved from then up to now, I thought let's make another hole into it :)

 

I felt it was more aligned with the power LED and still not too obstructive, thoughts ? 

 

IMG_5012.thumb.JPG.2cd2ec759fbfd149ff36a3d5589b2b75.JPGIMG_5015.thumb.JPG.0a70d363d3753367fa592510d0089b4c.JPG

 

Placed the buttons PCB on the righthand-side above the floppydrive since it felt more logical to move them there.

Still did a horrible job on the buttons on the side above the joystick ports/floppy-drive , but well I'm still not convinced I won't replace these knobs with Atari ST floppy drive eject buttons
(to have a more diamond shaped Atari themed button).

 

IMG_5013.thumb.JPG.0799bda521237bc9453eccbfa675fb4e.JPGIMG_5014.thumb.JPG.908729dc732a4a647f45faf6f5bebc5d.JPG

 

And thought I might finally install the label created by Drakon.

 

IMG_5017.thumb.JPG.8c1701fae43e95ad7319d531caa3c6d3.JPGIMG_5021.thumb.JPG.fd5b5a3dd2555e26bfffd39f6454f184.JPG

 

Funny how without a flash , the case looks grey :)

 

Next up  , reorganize the wiring , things are looking busy inside nowadays.

 

IMG_5016.thumb.JPG.b28ccd9f39027de335222f7d42565789.JPG

Edited by Lastic
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3 hours ago, Lastic said:

I won't replace these knobs with Atari ST floppy drive eject buttons
(to have a more diamond shaped Atari themed button).

It is very good idea, I like it.
BTW, Lastic, I'm sorry that I didn't write any answer to the question about track display placement, but although I designed this piece of electronics, I don't know where to place it:-) I think you found nice placement for everything, and I didn't have better idea.

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58 minutes ago, Mq. said:

It is very good idea, I like it.
BTW, Lastic, I'm sorry that I didn't write any answer to the question about track display placement, but although I designed this piece of electronics, I don't know where to place it:-) I think you found nice placement for everything, and I didn't have better idea.

No worries, today I thought what the heck I'll just saw a hole in the case and see how it looks.
I'm glad of the result.

This topcase has been my try-out one anyhow, a like new topcase and keyboard is returning from Jon since the 130XE innards are dead beyond reasonable repair.
Version 2.0 will also be smoother since I've gathered more patience, more holidays and better tools.

Idea is to use the ST eject buttons that @R0ger kindly proposed to print on the right-hand side and to move the floppy drive a tiny bit more inwards.

Then to create a cutout like perinoid did (with maybe a bezel), the display will go on the same place as now.

And of course Drakon's second badge will be used.

I was convinced for a long time that I could splice an 1040STfm and a 130XE badge together but his badge will look 300% better than my splicing things together.

 

It is a nice distraction from instead of sitting at a computer to be working on a computer.

 

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Atari 1030XEfm version 2.0 has started, my like new topcase returned back from Jon who sadly had to declare the patient a lost case.

First step today , splicing badges.

Out of the ashes of the 130XE rises the ...

 

IMG_E5069.thumb.JPG.c3e6aa2fd2562c938c9d6cb1d9c2b07e.JPG

 

It actually turned out quite OK, not ?

 

Next few cold days will be spend measuring and prepping the topcase.

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Will to have to resort to my parents workshop, since it is way too cold outside on my terrace to do filing or sawing , brrr.

 

But well today's efforts :

 

Cut of these supports on topcase 2.0 , they actually sit on top of the floppydrive now, pushing it down

 

IMG_5073.thumb.JPG.29ea62078a01116e3a698ad760e62942.JPG

 

Mockup of where the cutout will reside on topcase 2.0 and the cutout for the track display

 

IMG_E5070.thumb.JPG.a25555954a6d1037d08e3e42f95db49e.JPGIMG_5074.thumb.JPG.fafd390633a5df1d46cde9ffa905e731.JPG

 

Options at the moment :

 

  1. transplant the floppydrive LED somewhere else
  2. or make a hole for it
  3. create a
               ______
     _____|          |_____
    |_________________|
     
  4. or a 
               ______
     _____|          |_____
    |_____            _____|
              |______| 
    cutout


The track display PCB could actually be wedged between the case and the lefthand-side pylon so that's a win.

 

I also filed the cutout on the cart/eci holder a bit further so the floppydrive now sits flush with the bottom-case.

This will allow me to minimize the cutout on the topcase 2.0 .
And the righthandside pylon will be cut so it supports the floppydrive from the bottom also.

 

IMG_5076.thumb.JPG.e410ad10204cc669aca24a4be5f16d62.JPGIMG_5078.thumb.JPG.26963993d823ac84f9a7625cc727f4e8.JPG

IMG_5079.thumb.JPG.d615703148bf69a8e1d2fbac8b0bab5c.JPGIMG_5080.thumb.JPG.440e2d8e2dbcfd082c94d7623b83893e.JPG

 

Edited by Lastic

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