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Rick Thornquist

Horizon Ramdisk Questions

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Continuing the story from my last post... I got the Flex Cable Interface, crammed it into my PEB, and tried the floppy drive. It works! No expansion memory required! Of course, it doesn't do much without the memory, but that's another adventure...

 

Along with the Flex Cable Interface, I got a Horizon Ramdisk. Not having dealt with this thing before, I did some research but still have some questions. I've attached a picture of it for your edification.

 

1. What model is this? My guess is HRD+, but you all are the experts.

2. How much memory is on this? There are 24 x HM6264LP-12s on it, so I'm guessing 192KB?

3. I haven't been able to find any manual for this. Is there a scanned manual available for this model?

4. I know this is a dumb question, but... When I got my PEB, I didn't get the memory expansion. Is there some way I can configure 32K of RAM in this thing to work as expansion memory? I know this may be a pipe dream, but if it has that capability it would save me from having to track down a Memory Expansion card.

 

I'm ordering some batteries for the thing and will no doubt will have more questions when I get to the point of installing and configuring it.

 

Thanks!

 

- Rick

 

 

 

Horizon Ramdisk.jpg

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I would say it's possible, and if you can find the manual for that one, it may be documented in it, as how to load d 32k memory. There are ways to add it into the console and other devices, so some searching will help. I believe questions about the hrd+ have asked and talked about in a thread about a year or so ago, so searching the forum may help.

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Your best bet is to get a SAMs from arcadeshopper. 1mb takes care of the 32k plus a lot more. In sidecar or peb.

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Only the later Horizons have the built-in capability to add 32K. This is definitely an HRD+, based on the serial number and the board layout. I believe there may be a mod to add 32K to it, I will have to check all of my Horizon documentation to verify that though. I am the current rights holder for the Horizon, so I have a lot of documentation on the older ones as well. I dug out a soft copy of the HRD+ manual and added it here (along with the 32K mod, and change notices #1, #2 (same document), and #3). The current Horizon card is the 4000B, expandable to 8M. The current ROS is in the 4000B Horizon thread, along with a lot of additional information that may be helpful. I also included it here, just in case. Note that some of the changes are important if you plan to use the current version of ROS (or anything starting with 8.x, for that matter).

HRD+ Ramdisk.pdf HRD Change 32K MOD.pdf Horizon Change Notice.pdf HRD Change 1988.pdf ROSCFG842C 3-14-2020.zip

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The wiki link in my signature has some basic info and while not as comprehensive as the manual, may give you another avenue to explore.  Edit:  The wiki software section has a link to the first post of the Horizon ramdisk CFG/ROS development thread which contains the manual and ramdisk operating system (ROS) releases.

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20 hours ago, Ksarul said:

Note that some of the changes are important if you plan to use the current version of ROS (or anything starting with 8.x, for that matter).

Can you tell me which of these changes are important? I scanned through the HORIZON RAMDISK - User Operating Manual - 3 May 2020, but couldn't find any reference to any changes required for the HRD+ to work with the current version of ROS. 

 

- Rick

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Read the modification documents to the HRD+ manual. The May 2020 manual is primarily focused on the current ROS and the HRD 4000B. The nuances of earlier cards are described in their manuals and the applicable modifications to them. Read The Horizon Change Notice and pay close attention to Change #3, as that points straight at the ROS 8 issue.

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Ksarul - 

 

Ah, got it. It looks like change notice #3 doesn't apply to me as my board uses 6264LP chips. Lucky me. I'll still probably do change notice #1, the reset thing, as it's pretty simple. I'll also do the resistors on the batteries as that's also pretty simple.

 

One last question, if I may: I was going to get the Fetzner 1mb SAMS memory board in order to get a much needed 32K expansion. Will this conflict with the HRD+ at all or should both cards co-exist peacefully?

 

Thanks for your all your help on this.

 

- Rick

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imho:  spend 85 and get a sams.. you gain much more than 32k..and you won't risk damaging your ancient ramdisk.. + you get to use all the ramdisk

 

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The SAMS coexists peacefully with any Horizon, even the ones with 32K as part of the base build (you just have to pull the 32K and the selection chip from the board before you install the Horizon in a PEB with the SAMS).  BTW, I'm the guy who builds the SAMS boards too, LOL.

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Ksarul - 
 
Ah, got it. It looks like change notice #3 doesn't apply to me as my board uses 6264LP chips. Lucky me. I'll still probably do change notice #1, the reset thing, as it's pretty simple. I'll also do the resistors on the batteries as that's also pretty simple.
 
One last question, if I may: I was going to get the Fetzner 1mb SAMS memory board in order to get a much needed 32K expansion. Will this conflict with the HRD+ at all or should both cards co-exist peacefully?
 
Thanks for your all your help on this.
 
- Rick
No they don't conflict

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

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After getting help from both the guy that builds the boards and the one that sells them, I guess I have to get one!

 

The order has been placed. Thanks to all for your help.

 

- Rick

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Just wanted to post a quick update:

 

I received my SAMS, installed it, and it works great. I then installed the Horizon Ramdisk, configured it, and it works great as well. Thanks to everyone for your help!

 

- Rick

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What can the SAMS be used for besides the obvious 32K expansion?

Is there software that comes with it to allow it to be used as a ramdisk without battery backup?

Just wondering if it's actually worth it if one already has 32K memory expansion in the PEB.

 

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2 minutes ago, rgjt said:

What can the SAMS be used for besides the obvious 32K expansion?

Is there software that comes with it to allow it to be used as a ramdisk without battery backup?

Just wondering if it's actually worth it if one already has 32K memory expansion in the PEB.

 

SAMS doesn't work like a RAM Disk--it works as a bank-switched memory expansion space. Quite a few utilities recognize it, including versions of most of the programming languages used on the 99/4A. There are also a few games out there that absolutely require it (with Realms of Antiquity being a reason to have a SAMS card all by itself). SAMS has finally reached a level of penetration within the community that a lot of newer software is actually designed with it as part of the expected hardware baseline, and a 1M SAMS card is relatively low cost--not much more than a second-hand 32K card.

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6 minutes ago, rgjt said:

What can the SAMS be used for besides the obvious 32K expansion?

Is there software that comes with it to allow it to be used as a ramdisk without battery backup?

Just wondering if it's actually worth it if one already has 32K memory expansion in the PEB.

 

LOL using SAMS as a RAMDISK is like using a spoon as a shovel.

It was not designed for that, yea you can do it but really why?

 

Example is my game IN THE DARK in RXB that is 544K of maps in game all in RAM not on DISK!

I even made a 844K version that is larger then 2 single side disks.

RAMDISK is great for loading or saving IN THE DARK, but to run it from RAMDISK would be PAINFUL at best.

RAM is 1000 times faster then RAMDISK.

INTHEDARK - YouTube

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So, you basically you're saying that RXB is required in order to take advantage of SAMS, otherwise you are limited to 32K unless a program is specifically written to take advantage of SAMS.

 

 

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So, you basically you're saying that RXB is required in order to take advantage of SAMS, otherwise you are limited to 32K unless a program is specifically written to take advantage of SAMS.
 
 
No RXB will let you use it there are many programs and other languages that support sams

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

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There are SAMS extensions using Assembly (RAG Assembler and others), Extended BASIC (RXB and Winkler's XB3), Forth (Turbo Forth, Camel99 Forth, and fbForth), and C (Small c and GCC).There are a number of utilities and games that also take advantage of it--and that number has been growing steadily over the last few years.

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So, it's popularity is growing as more programs require greater memory requirements. Is that a fair assessment?

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10 hours ago, rgjt said:

So, it's popularity is growing as more programs require greater memory requirements. Is that a fair assessment?

Users having more available memory is also spurring the creation of more programs to take advantage of it. It is much more a synergistic change than a one or the other thing.

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