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atrax27407

AVPC Card went flaky

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I have suddenly developed a problem with the screen color on my AVPC card. Instead of the usual white on blue, I suddenly get white on black. Strangely, DISKREVIEW has the usual white,red and blue coloring.   It appears that any program loaded from the MENU has the same color scheme. Ideas?

IMAG0908.jpg

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Look to see what your default color scheme scheme is set to in CFG. That one overrides whatever the program defaults are when launched from MENU (per the "I" command in section 4.5 of the ROS 8.14 manual). The attached manual is a mostly finished draft (it still has typos, but it is the full 8.14 manual in editable text). The font used came from Libre Office, switch to Courier if you want the formatting to look right using Microsoft Office products.

 

I would change your default colors to see if that changes the output--and if it does, toggle the "I" to see if that gets rid of it.

 

ROS_Manual.doc

Edited by Ksarul
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It has gone from bad to worse. Now, MENU won't even boot and I can't bypass the title screen even with a cartridge plugged in.

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The 80 column menu is supposed to over-ride CFG with its own scheme.  If you get it to boot properly, use Fctn-1 and Fctn-2 to rotate through the colors to see what happens.  What happens if you turn off the ramdisk switch?

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It won't cycle through the colors. In fact, all I get now is the title screen with no way to bypass it. I just tried my TIM console and it is not working as well. I'll see if I have another console that I can modify for the AVPC card. but that will be a project for tomorrow. If that doesn't work, unless I can get this problem resolved, I'm out of the TI business for the forseeable future - at least on real gear.

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Don't know. I can't get past the title screen. When I pulled the HRD16, there was no change. I'm done for tonight.

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OK - time to go "closet diving". Objective for today: find and modify a console to work with an AVPC and HSGPL card and delve into the parts box and put together a new video cable for my "Michael Becker" TIM. 

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I just spent a couple of hours modifying a console to work with the AVPC and HSGPL. It was not "entirely successful". In other words, I still get the title screen (custom HSGPL GROM) and nothing after that. I am still unable to bypass the title screen. FWIW, when the title screen appears, all of the lights in the PBOX go out - Interface Card, AVPC, and BWG Disk controller all blink off. I am now soliciting ANY suggestions. 

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One thought: do you have an unmodified console and a composite cable/monitor? Try that one without the AVPC in the PEB and check the HRD and your HSGPL (each one separately in the PEB) to make sure nothing has gone corrupt there. Test the disk controller while in this state too, just in case, but I am thinking that your custom HSGPL GROMs are corrupt.

 

If the HRD is fine, you might want to test with nothing but an AVPC (although in your configuration, you might have to put the console GROMs back in).

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OK - looking at the PEBOX lights when I power the console up, the first card accessed is the Interface Card, followed by the AVPC, then the BWG (for the clock), and finally the HRD16 whereupon they all "blink out", the system locks, and I get the title screen from my customized GROM0 (see attached picture). Normally, I get a "flicker view" of the title screen when everything is working correctly. I get colors which , I would think, indicates that the AVPC is at least working partially. The title screen displays the current date and time which would indicate that it is reading the BWG clock on the initial parse. The HRD16 attempts to load MENU (I would assume) at which point everything locks up. It should pass control back to the AVPC to display the 80-column MENU screen but it locks up on the title screen before it is displayed. 

 

With the HRD16 completely removed from the system, the sequence of cards accesses is the same but I get the second screen. Since there are artifacts of the title screen with distorted colors, I am wondering if the AVPC card might not be working properly when the HRD16 passes control back to it for the display of the 80-column MENU. Ideas?

 

I hope that I am more successful with my second project - the "Michael Becker" TIM clone cable.

Title screen (1).jpg

Without HRD16.jpg

Edited by atrax27407

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You might also try disconnecting power from the floppy drives in case something is pulling more voltage than expected and you don't have enough volts to drive another card.

 

Beery

 

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The first time, there was no change. I just got the locked title screen. When I tried it today, I got the weird colored artifact in the second picture. In no case, have I been able to get past the locked title screen. SHIFT/FCTN is supposed to bypass MENU and allow you to choose between Basic and XBASIC (or the cartridge currently in the slot) but even that has completely no effect - it remains locked as the title screen.

Edited by atrax27407

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I assumed that it was a function of the MENU program or the HRD. It isn't a function of the HSGPL. It has worked for me forever. If you depress SHIFT/FCTN at powerup, you get the title screen with the usual option of having BASIC and whatever cart you have in the console slot (or whatever appears in the top line of MENU) instead of the MENU program.

 

My attempt to get the "Michael Becker" TIM yesterday was not successful. I think that the cable that I used was for a 1084 instead of the Magnavox that I am currently used. It led to a very colorful screen display. I am going to fabricate a proper cable and try again either tonight or tomorrow whenever I get the cable finished. With no AVPC in the system and the custom GROMs installed, it should be an absolute test of the functionality of the AVPC. If it turns out to be the AVPC card, the problem will be finding someone to diagnose and fix it if it is defective.

Edited by atrax27407
additional info added

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I have tried with both RAMdisks removed. I have not tried the SAMS (since it has my 32K) or the HSGPL since I would have to take the console apart and re-install the GROMs. Since it fails when it tried to access the AVPC for the second time (the MENU display) I surmise that it is the like culprit. When I get the TIM cable put together, I will be able to remove the AVPC and try it that way which will provide definite proof one way or the other.

 

One of the problems is that, since I can't get past the locked title screen, I have no way to reload the custom GROMs. The behavior is not consistent with my experience years ago with corrupted GROMs when I first got the HSGPL card. 

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The TIM didn't work. Either a problem with the cable or the TIM itself since it hasn't been used in about 10 years. This is, needless to say frustrating and disheartening.

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OK - I found an old AVPC-modified console containing with the original TI GROMs in it. I pulled the HSGPL card out of the PBOX and when I powered up using that console, I get the same lockup at the title screen (this time with the stock 1981 GROM0). The sequence and display is exactly that of my original system. My conclusion is that the HSGPL card is probably good and the GROMs are NOT corrupted. The snafu must come later in the boot sequence.

 

On initial powerup, the first access (after the Interface card is the AVPC card. From there it goes to the BWG card and the clock. Since the date/time are correct on the GROM0 screen, I also surmise that the BWG is functioning properly. Then, the next card accessed is the HRD16 with MENU on it after which it goes back to the AVPC for the 80-column screen display. In normal operation, you only get a "flicker view" of the title screen before MENU is displayed. Now, MENU is not displayed at all and the title screen is locked with no exit. It appears to me that the problem is either the HRD16 or the second access to the AVPC when it switches to 80-column mode. Ideas anyone?

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Not to beat a dead horse here but you cannot assume any cards are working - you need to rule them (and their interactions) out one by one. 

 

Earlier you stated the system locked even after you removed the RAMDISKS, so what else can you pull that you haven't already pulled?  SAMS?  BwG?  Interface card? ROS uses the 32K card to load the menu so if your SAMS is flaking out, for example, you won't get very far.    

 

Don't add the ramdisks back into the system until you find the root cause.

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OK - I replaced the 1 Meg SAMS card with a standard 32K card. No change at all. That narrowed the problem down to either the AVPC or the HRD16 3 Meg RAMDISK. I pulled the HRD16 and disconnected the battery. I reinstalled the card and - voila! the lockup disappeared. In the process, the found that one of the chips had "walked" partially out of its socket. I re-seated all of the chips on the board, reloaded ROS and am currently in the process of reloading all of the programs.

 

A litte later. . .

 

Just when I thought I had everything fixed, I started getting some really strange behavior. Some of the programs display what appears to be "Klingon" characters on the screen and my BWG disk controller will just "go out to lunch" in the middle of a copy, save or other operation. I still think that the HRD16 is "not entirely right" and is interacting with the other cards in a strange way. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. 

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I am running 842 here without a hitch but I have neither the HSGPL nor AVPC cards.  You could try running with the ramdisk switch OFF for a while and if the problem clears, revert to 838 temporarily. 

 

ROS doesn't directly interact with other cards after powerup and while I doubt ROS is the issue I would be silly to discount the possibility during your troubleshooting. (turn off the ramdisk until CFG is loaded, turn on the switch, and rescan the devices before loading ROS. This will minimize potential impact of a corrrupt ROS).

 

 

 

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