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Pokeymax v2

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Ok, makes sense - now reading configuration etc. works fine, but just fyi, setting $D212 to $FF does not change anything in the distortion, still "breaks" when changing from 164 to 165...

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Posted (edited)

I checked again playing 16 voices on all four POKEYs: Up to a volume of 3, all 16 voices are fine. Once I move to 4 and above distortion sets in. Here is a quick recording at full volume where you can hear that distortion kicks in after the ninth simultaneous note. With lesser volume, it's after the 11th or so. I don't understand why with the listing above (that has in total lesser volume), only five simultaneous notes are sufficient to create distortion...

PokeyMax.mp3

Recording quality is poor because I couldn't quickly record to my phone other than using the built-in mic, but I hope you can still hear the difference, and also that notes 15 and 16 are again without distortion.

Edited by freetz

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Posted (edited)

Found the issue. I will provide a fixed core to @Duddie. Did you say you had a usb blaster so could flash one locally?

 

I store the sum of all channels as a 20-bit value. Each source is 16-bit each and they get added together, so there is space for 16 sources. However I forgot to extend the number of bits in the pokey source before the adder.

Edited by foft
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Posted (edited)

I think it only works with the Altera USB blaster. There are a lot of cheap clones on ebay that work fine. It needs a custom wire from the 10 pin connector on the adaptor, to the 6 pin on the pokeymax.

 

edit: Note that a lot of the blaster clones ship from china so can take a while, though there are a few available in the EU which will be quicker.

Edited by foft

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Posted (edited)

Yes. It'll work on Linux. You need to download the quartus programmer.

Yes dupont probably easiest, will mail you the pinout (tomorrow - late now...)

Edited by foft

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It'd be great if some instructions could be provided on how to do this ourselves for those of us who'd like to try.  I don't currently have a USB Blaster, but it seems like they can be had for < $10, which is cheaper than what it would cost to ship the chip back for reprogramming.

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Posted (edited)

Guys, firmware update is quite complicated process. First, you need to register to Intel-Altera website, download a few gigabytes of Quartus IDE, choosing parts of it to be downloaded and installed (chip libraries etc.). Then you need to install it, including USB Blaster drivers - it cannot be done automatically - device is not detected by Windows, you have to do this manually. If you pass this time-consuming process, next obstacle will show - JTAG connector on PokeyMAX is non-standard: USB Blaster has 10 pins connector, while PokeyMAX has 6 pins. You need a special adapter, which cannot be purchased anywhere. You need to make it by yourself. Then, you need to select a proper firmware version, as we have a lot of them - for now it is more than 15 different versions, due to variety of PokeyMAXes available on the market. Of course we will have more soon, because PokeyMAX is still being developed with new features. 

After gaining of some experience in supporting customers, I can say that I seriously doubt that you can update firmware by yourself. People have difficulties even with simple installation process and many of them did it wrong - despite of very few schematics versions in the installation manual, some users choose a wrong one, some made mistakes in wiring.

Don't get me wrong, we are working hard with Mark on providing you a safe way of updating firmware. We do not want to generate problems four users and ourselves - many bricked devices would appear and of course users will ship them for replacement under warranty. This would generate loss and we would be forced to close production of this chip. Due to its complexity and very modern parts usage, it is expensive to manufacture it.

For now, I strongly suggest to ship your devices back to me for update. In the future it is possible that we will offer a special flashing tool which allows FW update on Atari, without USB Blaster.

I hope you understand my concerns.

Edited by Duddie
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4 minutes ago, jamm said:

I had no idea it was so complicated. 

 

Well it’s not that hard to be honest, but I fully respect what @Duddie says since he has to handle support/warranty etc.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Duddie said:

many bricked devices would appear and of course users will ship them for replacement under warranty.

Hm, I think if I would try to change the firmware by myself, I do that on my own risk; if I brick the device this is not covered by guarantee and I have to pay for repair or replacement. Finally, I´m doing something not intended by the seller.

 

1 hour ago, Duddie said:

In the future it is possible that we will offer a special flashing tool which allows FW update on Atari, without USB Blaster.

This would be very very cool... 🙂

 

Sleepy

Edited by Sleepy
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I know that this is not a noob process, but people who have experience flashing JTAG devices, such as AVRs, should not have any significant problems. All these include installing (often times huge) IDEs, drivers for the flashing device etc.

Of course it would be necessary to be able to identify the correct firmware, but there would probably be some kind of identifiers such as serial number or something like that which would make it possible.

 

Like Sleepy said, people will do this at their own risk, be it because people just want to have the newest firmware, of if they just want to get it fully functional in the first place (as in my case).

 

As for the availability of the firmware, at least the version for v1, which participated in the ABBUC hardware contest, should be available for ABBUC members as provided by the contest rules so that people can build their own device. While this does not oblige you guys to publish the other firmwares as well, it would of course be nice to do so.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Sleepy said:

  

   7 hours ago,  Duddie said: 

In the future it is possible that we will offer a special flashing tool which allows FW update on Atari, without USB Blaster.

This would be very very cool... 🙂

 

Sleepy

 

E4C27FA7-1153-452F-9AE9-AADC7CF4DA10.jpg

DE1E164B-07CD-4A07-BC8B-83CB2A8CA77E.jpg

 

Edited by foft
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13 hours ago, Duddie said:

Guys, firmware update is quite complicated process. First, you need to register to Intel-Altera website, download a few gigabytes of Quartus IDE, choosing parts of it to be downloaded and installed (chip libraries etc.). Then you need to install it, including USB Blaster drivers - it cannot be done automatically - device is not detected by Windows, you have to do this manually. If you pass this time-consuming process, next obstacle will show - JTAG connector on PokeyMAX is non-standard: USB Blaster has 10 pins connector, while PokeyMAX has 6 pins. You need a special adapter, which cannot be purchased anywhere. You need to make it by yourself. Then, you need to select a proper firmware version, as we have a lot of them - for now it is more than 15 different versions, due to variety of PokeyMAXes available on the market. Of course we will have more soon, because PokeyMAX is still being developed with new features. 

After gaining of some experience in supporting customers, I can say that I seriously doubt that you can update firmware by yourself. People have difficulties even with simple installation process and many of them did it wrong - despite of very few schematics versions in the installation manual, some users choose a wrong one, some made mistakes in wiring.

Don't get me wrong, we are working hard with Mark on providing you a safe way of updating firmware. We do not want to generate problems four users and ourselves - many bricked devices would appear and of course users will ship them for replacement under warranty. This would generate loss and we would be forced to close production of this chip. Due to its complexity and very modern parts usage, it is expensive to manufacture it.

I hope you understand my concerns.

 

Errrm well,

 

I made such an experience once with the Ultimate cart. (requires the same software and hardware to update, Quartus IDE, USB BLaster cable) and it was very frustrating. In the end I was unable to do it and asked my friend (who was studying IT and networking and therefore has a master) to do it for me. He really hated doing that update and shouted some rude words several times, but in the end he was successfull. For me of course this means: Never again!

 

It is sad to hear, that PokeyMax requires the same shitty software to update the firmware... so I am waiting until that special flashing tool is available to update the firmware without USB-Blaster and Quartus IDE.

 

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I should note two things about the flashing tool:

i) It requires support logic on the fpga, so an updated core is required to use it.

ii) It is supported only on the larger fpga, due to space reasons.

 

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Oh and

iii) I like Quartus! Though I can see it’s a bit painful to have such a large download for just flashing. They do have a standalone programmer but it looks older than the max10.

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On 4/20/2020 at 10:10 AM, Duddie said:

Prices:

 

1.Mono - 49 USD
2.Stereo Auto - 53 USD
3.Stereo with U1MB control - 53 USD
4.Stereo Auto plus Covox (4-channels) - 58 USD
5.Quad Auto - 63 USD
6.Quad Auto plus Covox - 63 USD

 

Replies to above questions:

1.The 4-channels refer to Covox ?

Yes. Irregardless of version, Covox has 4 channels, registers are mapped from $D280 to $D283.

2. If I choose a Quad Auto , can I use with U1MB ? Can it also be used as a Stereo Auto ?

It can be used with U1MB, but cannot be controlled by U1MB, at least - yet. All versions except Stereo U1MB need a switch, which selects mono/all features. It can be used as a Stereo Auto, because you have 4 Pokeys, two of them are in the same place as in Stereo version.

 

I know that manual is incomplete, but give me a few days more, I will update developer's section.

 

 

If I wanted to use this to replace a quad pokey on an Atari Major Havoc arcade pcb, would I use the Quad Auto?

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2 hours ago, JRudebaugh said:

If I wanted to use this to replace a quad pokey on an Atari Major Havoc arcade pcb, would I use the Quad Auto?

No, you need 4 audio output channels for that. I can make a special core.

 

Pinout also differs. I designed a small adaptor pcb (correct I think but untested). I’m not sure if @Duddie will make it, if not we can organise a run and I can provide a special core to @Duddie.

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Discussed with @Duddie. He will order a few and I will make a special core. Note that we do not have arcades so will need a few people to help verify for the first few orders.

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Quad plus 2xSID are available. Stereo plus SID were never produced.

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Sample support is almost ready. Inspired by Paula, with 4 channels clocked at phi2*2. Auto-reload and irq per channel. 42KiB ram buffer and 4-bit ima adpcm support (i.e. 80Ki lossy 16-bit samples). 

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I am getting ready to order a Pokeymax from Duddie/Retronics through eBay. I currently have the Quad Pokey in my basket, but I want to make sure this is what I want first. I tried to download the manual with the link to Onedrive in the auction, but the site is experiencing technical difficulties atm. Will the Quad Pokey work in mono, stereo and quad when needed? If it's auto-quad will stereo still sound fine/right if it's in quad mode? Is there some firmware that comes with it to choose the mode or does it auto-change to any mode needed. i.e. mono/stereo/quad?

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