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Simius

Sophia 2 - improved GTIA replacement

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5 minutes ago, Calab said:

I have the EXE, but no way to move it from my Windows PC to my Atari as I only have a FujiNet. I don't see any way to move files into ATR images on my Windows PC, or using the FujiNet.

Not to be a wise-guy, but there is a uSD slot in the Fujinet. If you don't have a uSD card, than there is the windows tnfs server that you can download from the fujinet github repository. IIRC, fujinet can load an executable directly.

Edited by SenorRossie
Fujinet can load an executable.

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6 minutes ago, SenorRossie said:

Not to be a wise-guy, but there is a uSD slot in the Fujinet. If you don't have a uSD card, than there is the windows tnfs server that you can download from the fujinet github repository. IIRC, fujinet can load an executable directly.

Hrm... Time to read the DOCs.  :)  Got a TNFS server running, and tried to start from there. Will copy to the uSD card and see if it's any different.

 

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2 hours ago, Calab said:

Hrm... Time to read the DOCs.  :) 

I just did. Seems that fujinet only supports booting from floppy images :(

 

You could use Altirra to create a (bootable dos) disk image with the executable.

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18 minutes ago, SenorRossie said:

I just did. Seems that fujinet only supports booting from floppy images :(

 

You could use Altirra to create a (bootable dos) disk image with the executable.

Actually, FujiNet will boot an executable. I had to rename the file from an .EXE to .XEX though before it would work.

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7 hours ago, Calab said:

What I've decided to do is use a drill bit the same size as my DVI cable and cut a small notch at the back of the case in the top cover. That way I can make the DVI connection inside the computer, insulate it from the rest of the electronics, and feed the cable out the back of the machine. Just need to be sure that the cable will be long enough to reach the monitor. 

Well, it was good enough for the original 800, right? 🙂

 

Of course, now I have that RF cable tucked away inside the left side of the case.

 

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On 12/15/2020 at 7:21 PM, manterola said:

I installed Sophia 2 and the picture is so good that it kind of freak me out: looks like an emulator... it is gorgeous.

I’m had the same kind of surreal experience. It reminds me of playing games on 2600 for the first time with all the colors and images so clearly defined.

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I ordered four Sophias and installed two so far. Each had different default settings.

 

One of them was defaulted to 720x480p and it worked perfectly with my older plasma TV. The second one was defaulted to 1344x960 and did not work with my older plasma TV. I changed to a modern monitor with a DVI port and a perfect picture appeared. Then I was able to run sconf.xex to check the settings. I lowered the resolution and now the board works on my TV.

 

Bottom line - if you see a black screen but the computer boots then don't panic! :) 

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7 hours ago, 1200XL M.U.L.E. said:

I ordered four Sophias and installed two so far. Each had different default settings.

 

One of them was defaulted to 720x480p and it worked perfectly with my older plasma TV. The second one was defaulted to 1344x960 and did not work with my older plasma TV. I changed to a modern monitor with a DVI port and a perfect picture appeared. Then I was able to run sconf.xex to check the settings. I lowered the resolution and now the board works on my TV.

 

Bottom line - if you see a black screen but the computer boots then don't panic! :) 

Yeah, my experience has been that 1280x1024 seems to be about the easiest to work with, most compatible resolution. Of course, it depends on your equipment, but overall...

 

Still, it seems kind of weird that he wouldn't have some sort of standard procedure when checking them out and wouldn't leave them in the same resolution at the end, regardless of what that actually was.

 

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On 4/19/2021 at 6:31 AM, Calab said:

Does anyone have the Sophia2 configuration program on a diskette image that I could download?

 

I have the EXE, but no way to move it from my Windows PC to my Atari as I only have a FujiNet. I don't see any way to move files into ATR images on my Windows PC, or using the FujiNet.

 

(which reminds me that I need to update my Fuji firmware)

You could try DIR2ATR, it's a command line utility by @HiassofT which creates an ATR containing the files from the source directory. It's available for Windows and Linux.

https://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/

 

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:01 AM, Simius said:

Thank you for the links.  I ordered 2 of the 200mm and 250mm from Dijikey Canada late Wednesday and they arrived this morning.  Works great.

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I finally drilled my 800XL case for the DVI connector...

 

Desoldering the RF modulator was a time consuming process: it's secured by 4 tabs and the factory used a lot of solder. Lifting the pads from the bottom of the logic board is quite probable because so much heat has to be applied. Be careful because you need these pads to secure the sub-board with the DVI connector.

 

1. The sub-board is designed for the attachment of 0.1" header pins. Make sure that they will align in the slots left behind by the RF modulator and solder the pins to the sub-board from the top. The holes for the pins at the front where the DVI connector is located are blind holes and you'll have to hold them in place while you solder.

 

I cut the plastic off the front pins so I could solder them and allow for mounting height flexibility later.

 

717281173_1HeaderPinsonsub-board.thumb.jpg.6a0689af0b976509e6e8c776aeb6a225.jpg

 

2. With the motherboard in the case bottom, use two pieces of painter's tape to mark the left and right side of the connector (1).

 

Make a another mark (2) at the edge of the hole for the RF modulator jack.

 

I made some other marks as a guide but only the two marks (1) and (2) on the right side are necessary.

 

1171867945_2MarkOpening.thumb.jpg.5ede360ab97629a0a3231a7b899bf8ef.jpg

 

3. Transfer the second tape to the backside of the case bottom and align the the second (2) mark with the edge of the hole.

 

161523404_3TransferTape.thumb.jpg.ebaeb98c2defe78fc5e97dcf77c90246.jpg

 

4. The opening for the RF modulator is a little gt. 11mm which is very close to a 7/16" drill bit.

 

Mark the back for a second 7/16" hole and drill a pilot hole.

 

939144782_4Mark2ndHole.thumb.jpg.c13799ca8da24d8b46ffc7ed95ea35d9.jpg

 

5. Using successively larger drill bits up to 7/16", create a duplicate hole.

 

Use a dremel to cut away the bulk of the unwanted plastic away where the "X" is shown and then using a small flat file, clean and deburr the opening into an oval.

 

1696740696_5RemovePlastic.thumb.jpg.c35b4246d586f11813c05d79c3b8eec4.jpg

 

6. My goal was to have the connector flush with the case but later I realized that trying to "fine tune" back offset as seen below can be done later...

 

1545222997_6AlignConnector.thumb.jpg.e81069ead72144e125f331bd37177ddc.jpg

 

7. Instead, use a DVI->HDMI adapter to set the offset of the sub-board and tack the board in one place so it can be desoldering easily to make a fine adjustments.

 

Remove the adapter and check that the connector is centered. If not, apply some heat to the solder joint and adjust the board with your other hand.

 

70136839_7SecureHDMIadapter.thumb.jpg.61cf699ce12cae81c782e928637d91aa.jpg

 

8. Mark the ends of the screws on the DVI->HDMI adapter with ink, recess them and attach the adapter once more. Push the knobs against the case in to mark the two holes to drill next. You will achieve perfect alignment this way.

 

Again, drill a pilot hole and enlarge with successively larger drill bits until the final 1/8" drill bit is used.

 

240618176_8DrillSecurityHoles.thumb.jpg.c48a820c873d5644ff373bcc787b90fd.jpg

 

9. Using some more tape (not depicted), and without the jack screws attached, mark where the DVI connector goes through the oval hole.

 

Remove the logic board, attach the jack screws and mark them where they would be flush with the case using the tape as a guide.

 

Grind down the jack screws so they are flush with case and re-install as shown.

 

784186514_9Grinddownnuts.thumb.jpg.9a55eb6bc40adfac68352168e37754e1.jpg

 

10. With the logic board in the case and the DVI->HDMI adapter securing the connector to the case, solder the remaining header pins to the rest of the RF solder pads for a secure connection. I think this is best done from the top of the logic board because the pads will be in the best condition.

 

Always keep an eye out for obstructions that the soldering iron may touch and melt.

 

1415384506_10Soldersub-board.thumb.jpg.c7a3598796bc789f3609c6d57797348f.jpg

 

I have no DVI monitors so I plan to leave the adapter connected at all times for a rock solid connection to HDMI.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

Edited by ratwell
Added some markup to the images.
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So what might sound a dumb question.  What are the screws (and diameter) that are used to connect the DVI adapter to the case called?

 

Once i have drilled the holes on my 800XL the included screws are work but they are only holding the adapter in place about 3mm.  I would be way happier to put longer screws in (and yes i know not to over tighten for risk of shattering the plastic)

 

BTW the Sophia 2 mod is incredible.  It's like i am looking at the playing with a totally different machine.  The colours just POP! 

IMG_1882.JPG

IMG_1881.JPG

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39 minutes ago, Alessiman said:

What are the screws (and diameter) that are used to connect the DVI adapter to the case called?

Hex nut jack screw is one name for them. They are 4-40 thread and come in different lengths.

 

Try your local PC builder as they might have a drawer full of different sizes.

Edited by ratwell

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One of my Sophia boards failed last night.

 

It was installed in my 1200XL with the UAV Rev D modification. The computer would not boot up right away after powering on. I had to hold the reset button down for 5 seconds and then it would boot after release. Sometimes the picture would also shift left and right by a few Atari pixels, almost like slow jitter. All this went on for about a week.

 

Now the DVI output is seemingly dead. The computer still boots so it’s probably working as a whole. This happened late last night so I didn’t have time to diagnose it much.

 

Maybe the Sophia board is dead?

 

Maybe the Sophia board is corrupted?

 

Maybe the Sophia board needs a configuration reset with SCONF?

 

Maybe something feeding Sophia died and I have a broader system problem?

 

Anyone else have this experience?

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If you got the image through UAV it means the Sophia isn't dead. Use SCONF first is a good idea. 

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Looking at everyone else case mods it looks like i am the only one to mount it using the Hex Nuts through the 800XL case.  Regardless i think for a 1st time case mod I did a pretty good job.

 

Once again i cannot believe how good the image using SOFIA. So much so i am thinking i should mod my XEGS now too

176765061_318733823020985_1455865316587065721_n.jpeg

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On 4/27/2021 at 9:37 PM, Simius said:

If you got the image through UAV it means the Sophia isn't dead. Use SCONF first is a good idea. 

@Simius I tested the system. Unfortunately, no good news. :( 

 

I do not have any image through UAV S-Video or Composite with Sophia plugged in.

 

I installed original GTIA chip back in the socket and I have an image again.

 

So, the Sophia board seems dead. :( Is there anything I can to revive it? Can I send it back to you for a failure analysis at least?

 

Maybe there is some incompatibility between Sophia and UAV that may have overloaded Sophia?

 

I am beginning to see some similar symptoms in my other 1200XL motherboard. The image seems to jump or jitter sideways (left to right to left) sometimes. Not often but it happens. Maybe this is my plasma TV?

Edited by 1200XL M.U.L.E.

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1 hour ago, 1200XL M.U.L.E. said:

Maybe there is some incompatibility between Sophia and UAV that may have overloaded Sophia?

Both have been rock solid in my 800XL.

 

One time the DVI output went blank but I had video out the monitor port.

 

I ran sconf and the output resolution was not on the default setting. When I switched it back the DVI output was restored to my LCD.

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