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Curt Vendel

XM has shipped!

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23 hours ago, Giles N said:

@Curt Vendel

And when will the next load be up for grabs...?

 

🙂

Probably in 2 weeks, I still have 3 more here I am preparing.     Waiting on the final end user BIOS and we just need to complete the signature sense for the Versa boards.

 

I need to make sure this is all locked down, its important to support CPU's boards as many people have them and I don't want them to not be able to use them.

 

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5 hours ago, Randolph Laterca said:

So... can i start to dream about that 3200 clone that you promised? 😁

I don’t recall making a promise.  It’s something I threw out there.  Maybe it can be looked at later on, let’s just get everyone their XMs first.

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15 hours ago, Curt Vendel said:

Probably in 2 weeks, I still have 3 more here I am preparing.     Waiting on the final end user BIOS and we just need to complete the signature sense for the Versa boards.

 

I need to make sure this is all locked down, its important to support CPU's boards as many people have them and I don't want them to not be able to use them.

 

Excellent!

 

Asking as user;

- will the next batch likely be brought from page you redirect to, or sold in the AtariAge hardware shopp along the edladdin controllers?

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2 hours ago, Giles N said:

Excellent!

 

Asking as user;

- will the next batch likely be brought from page you redirect to, or sold in the AtariAge hardware shopp along the edladdin controllers?

 

I'm near positive he means the next batch of units that go to those that have pre-ordered. You still have close to 200 people in front of the line before new orders are being taken. It's gonna be a long time before that happens.

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So, getting some video's and feedback from the developers, they are hitting the RAM pretty hard and looks like they are getting some random pixels on the screen, seems to be thermally related.   We are looking at the issue and trying to isolate the cause.   This is very helpful that the dev's have the XM's only so that they can really push them hard and anything still lurking can be resolved.   Mark is busily working on the End User BIOS and I also found a missing ground to a PAD for the SIO, so these tiny things are being sorted out.   Nothing is going to be a show stopper, so this is just getting any final issues out of the way so that we can make sure that the user versions are as bug free as possible.

 

Something I'm going to say.  The XM's are going to come with a disclaimer on them.    There is a lot of hardware in these units and we all have to remember that our 7800's are 28-35 years old.   I had to replace PacManPlus' 7805 and one of his caps on his 7800 because it wouldn't power up with the XM installed.  Once those were replaced, the 7800 with the XM powered up fine.  So there is the possibility that a persons 7800 may need repairs if they don't work with a XM installed.   I might have to consider given it, its own P/S to power it to reduce the pull the 7800's.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Shawn said:

 

I'm near positive he means the next batch of units that go to those that have pre-ordered. You still have close to 200 people in front of the line before new orders are being taken. It's gonna be a long time before that happens.

Exactly.. there are almost 178 (Several of the Dev's are also pre-orders so the count has gone down) people who are in front of the line with pre-orders, until everyone is taken care of first, none of the XM's being made are being sold for new orders.  

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9 minutes ago, grips03 said:

Sounds like ground noise, is there an inductor between XM ground and 7800 ground?

Could be...   checking that.

 

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2 hours ago, Curt Vendel said:

So, getting some video's and feedback from the developers, they are hitting the RAM pretty hard and looks like they are getting some random pixels on the screen, seems to be thermally related.   We are looking at the issue and trying to isolate the cause.   This is very helpful that the dev's have the XM's only so that they can really push them hard and anything still lurking can be resolved.   Mark is busily working on the End User BIOS and I also found a missing ground to a PAD for the SIO, so these tiny things are being sorted out.   Nothing is going to be a show stopper, so this is just getting any final issues out of the way so that we can make sure that the user versions are as bug free as possible.

 

Something I'm going to say.  The XM's are going to come with a disclaimer on them.    There is a lot of hardware in these units and we all have to remember that our 7800's are 28-35 years old.   I had to replace PacManPlus' 7805 and one of his caps on his 7800 because it wouldn't power up with the XM installed.  Once those were replaced, the 7800 with the XM powered up fine.  So there is the possibility that a persons 7800 may need repairs if they don't work with a XM installed.   I might have to consider given it, its own P/S to power it to reduce the pull the 7800's.

 

 

Okey-dokey people... 

Me just askin’ ye know...

 

👍🏻😊🙂🤲🏻👍🏻🤛🏻🤙🏻🤙🏻

 

Should I put an XM as Birthday- or XMas-wish number 2, 3, 4 or even 5... (I mean... as to realistic expectancy?)

 

 

Dunno...

 

... just felt like gettin’ a bit 80ies there for second... The-who’s gonna-know-why...

Edited by Giles N

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7 hours ago, Shawn said:

 

I'm near positive he means the next batch of units that go to those that have pre-ordered. You still have close to 200 people in front of the line before new orders are being taken. It's gonna be a long time before that happens.

Ok ok - so I’ll get it at earliest in 2022 (practically speaking; in a ‘robocopian’ future)... 🙂

 

But it will provide cool sound!!!

 

 

Edited by Giles N

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10 hours ago, Curt Vendel said:

Something I'm going to say.  The XM's are going to come with a disclaimer on them.    There is a lot of hardware in these units and we all have to remember that our 7800's are 28-35 years old.   I had to replace PacManPlus' 7805 and one of his caps on his 7800 because it wouldn't power up with the XM installed.  Once those were replaced, the 7800 with the XM powered up fine.  So there is the possibility that a persons 7800 may need repairs if they don't work with a XM installed.

A hardware test feature in the XM's BIOS might be a good addition, if it's not already there. Not just for the XM's hardware - but the base 7800 as well. That way when there is a problem in a user's console you won't be in the dark.

 

 

10 hours ago, Curt Vendel said:

I might have to consider given it, its own P/S to power it to reduce the pull the 7800's.

I highly recommend going down this route, and thought the hardware was already designed this way. The XM adds quite a bit of junk in the trunk and a cartridge can be plugged into it. Given the age of the 7800 and unpredictability of what could be inside any cartridge, it's a good investment - there's a reason Sega did this with the 32X.

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On 3/12/2020 at 9:47 AM, TailChao said:

A hardware test feature in the XM's BIOS might be a good addition, if it's not already there. Not just for the XM's hardware - but the base 7800 as well. That way when there is a problem in a user's console you won't be in the dark.

 

 

Any more additions are really not going to be welcomed by many at this point. There needs no reason for further delay. Perhaps a binary that could be run from a cartridge would be a more palatable option if that is a thing in the future.

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12 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

Any more additions are really not going to be welcomed by many at this point. There needs no reason for further delay. Perhaps a binary that could be run from a cartridge would be a more palatable option if that is a thing in the future.

 

There is zero reason to implement this into the BIOS, we can already take over the entire system with a cart.

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On 3/12/2020 at 9:47 AM, TailChao said:

I highly recommend going down this route, and thought the hardware was already designed this way. The XM adds quite a bit of junk in the trunk and a cartridge can be plugged into it. Given the age of the 7800 and unpredictability of what could be inside any cartridge, it's a good investment - there's a reason Sega did this with the 32X.

Yep, agree 100%!  I hope you decide to go this route, Curt!

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On 3/11/2020 at 11:07 PM, Curt Vendel said:

   I might have to consider given it, its own P/S to power it to reduce the pull the 7800's.

 

 

This would probably be a great idea. What a headache it would be when 100 people give or take have an xm and can't use it with their system. Most people can't solder or want that hassle. I would gladly pay you for the power supply if need be. 

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1 hour ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

There is zero reason to implement this into the BIOS, we can already take over the entire system with a cart.

 

Exactly.

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17 hours ago, Shawn said:

Any more additions are really not going to be welcomed by many at this point. There needs no reason for further delay. Perhaps a binary that could be run from a cartridge would be a more palatable option if that is a thing in the future.

No worries - not my hardware, not my call.

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On 3/12/2020 at 8:47 AM, TailChao said:

A hardware test feature in the XM's BIOS might be a good addition, if it's not already there. Not just for the XM's hardware - but the base 7800 as well. That way when there is a problem in a user's console you won't be in the dark.

 

 

I highly recommend going down this route, and thought the hardware was already designed this way. The XM adds quite a bit of junk in the trunk and a cartridge can be plugged into it. Given the age of the 7800 and unpredictability of what could be inside any cartridge, it's a good investment - there's a reason Sega did this with the 32X.

I can see where auxiliary power might be a "must" rather than a  "how about", unfortunately.

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On the one hand, if there is another board rev coming, (due to the missed ground pad, for example) then adding a jack would be rather easy. It can be added, and appropriate means for isolating and/or combining the power from both sources also needs to be designed in, which would require some thought and consideration for different versions of the 7800, possibly.

 

HOWEVER, that means there needs to be room on the edge of the board and a hole in the case, which there probably is not. That means, if a suitable location is found, isolation/combining of dual sources, an access hole still would need to be manually added to the existing run of cases. Curt already has, what, 100 cases?

 

 

Leave it up to them to decide...

Edited by Zonie
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5 hours ago, Zonie said:

Curt already has, what, 100 cases?

 

 

A LOT more than that last I knew of.

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On 3/17/2020 at 12:41 PM, Zonie said:

On the one hand, if there is another board rev coming, (due to the missed ground pad, for example) then adding a jack would be rather easy. It can be added, and appropriate means for isolating and/or combining the power from both sources also needs to be designed in, which would require some thought and consideration for different versions of the 7800, possibly.

 

HOWEVER, that means there needs to be room on the edge of the board and a hole in the case, which there probably is not. That means, if a suitable location is found, isolation/combining of dual sources, an access hole still would need to be manually added to the existing run of cases. Curt already has, what, 100 cases?

 

 

Leave it up to them to decide...

500 cases were made.   

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Hi,

 

   Sorry, trying not to leave everyone in the dark too long, just not much to report.   The next batch of boards just shipped, I just got the DHL notification.   Also Mark just sent me another BIOS update for testing the PIA if installed.  This is doing some loopback tests just to make sure the BIOS can control the PIA.    Going to be testing something very important in the next week and hoping to have something real eye opening to show everyone that will be in the End User BIOS, this is something that will be an important element to the XM for the Dev's and for the End users alike.

 

  So, I'll have the new boards this week, will see if the timing issue that the Dev's found is resolved, I added the missing +5 to the pad that was missing.  Hopefully the Dev's will have some goodies coming to show off to everyone again soon and as I mentioned, a key part of the End User BIOS should be ready soon and will see how much is left to pull these remaining things together.  

 

  As for adding power, its not that complicated a feat to do.   I'm kinda hoping to see if I can use standard Atari 9v 500ma P/S's and put together a clean VR circuit and then isolate the XM power from the 7800's...  My only other thought is looking to sense if the 7800 is off and turn off the XM as well...

 

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 9:47 AM, TailChao said:

A hardware test feature in the XM's BIOS might be a good addition, if it's not already there. Not just for the XM's hardware - but the base 7800 as well. That way when there is a problem in a user's console you won't be in the dark.

 

That's not something I would even consider...   If it were to ever happen it would come as a BIOS update down the road, not something in the current release.   Right now its about completing the current End User BIOS and sweeping out these last couple of bugs and challenges.

 

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