Jump to content
flashjazzcat

U1MB, Incognito, SIDE2, SIDE3, 1088XEL/XLD Firmware 4.0 Released

Recommended Posts

21 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

Yes, I can confirm that if I disable the hard disk under PBI BIOS settings all cart images load perfectly.

@Mazzspeed,

 

I want to confirm we are talking about the same thing. The option I am talking about is a toggle in the side 3 loader options menu. It is called "Hard Emulation". As per the manual, "Use this setting for ‘difficult’ cartridge images which require the SIDE3 cartridge registers at $D5F0-FF to be completely disabled. Note that the only way to leave ‘hard emulation’ mode is via the cartridge reset button". It is not about the hard disk. This option can be toggled on or off and does not seem to require a reboot. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, scorpio_ny said:

@Mazzspeed,

 

I want to confirm we are talking about the same thing. The option I am talking about is a toggle in the side 3 loader options menu. It is called "Hard Emulation". As per the manual, "Use this setting for ‘difficult’ cartridge images which require the SIDE3 cartridge registers at $D5F0-FF to be completely disabled. Note that the only way to leave ‘hard emulation’ mode is via the cartridge reset button". It is not about the hard disk. This option can be toggled on or off and does not seem to require a reboot. 

What firmware are you running? I'm running version 4.05 and I only have the option for hard disk enabled/disabled:

 

SWUUxqh.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad, I found it. Sorry, I missed the part regarding 'SIDE loader'. Yes, I can confirm that disabling 'Hard Emulation' does the trick with no obvious negatives that I can see.

 

kZ1WPcs.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Actually, there is one disadvantage. PBI HDD performance drops considerably, although this is with DMA (screen) off, I haven't checked with DMA on yet. EDIT: Just checked, even with DMA on (screen on) HDD throughput drops by about 13,000B/sec:

 

Hard emulation off:

 

IWgepLm.jpg

 

Hard emulation on:

 

CBqfzWX.jpg

Edited by Mazzspeed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

Actually, there is one disadvantage. PBI HDD performance drops considerably, although this is with DMA (screen) off, I haven't checked with DMA on yet. EDIT: Just checked, even with DMA on (screen on) HDD throughput drops by about 13,000B/sec:

 

Interesting! Hopefully @flashjazzcat can give some insight on this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Mazzspeed said:

I can't find any real concrete reference as to what that option actually does?

It is in the manual. Page 61. "Use this setting for ‘difficult’ cartridge images which require the SIDE3 cartridge registers at $D5F0-FF to be completely disabled. Note that the only way to leave ‘hard emulation’ mode is via the cartridge reset button."

when I saw this, it caught my attention.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, scorpio_ny said:

It is in the manual. Page 61. "Use this setting for ‘difficult’ cartridge images which require the SIDE3 cartridge registers at $D5F0-FF to be completely disabled. Note that the only way to leave ‘hard emulation’ mode is via the cartridge reset button."

when I saw this, it caught my attention.

 

OK.

 

It'll be interesting to see what FJC has to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hard emulation is just for cartridge images that hit d500-d5ff area randomly, and apart from few titles, this should be set to off, and treated as a last resort of getting given title to work

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, candle said:

hard emulation is just for cartridge images that hit d500-d5ff area randomly, and apart from few titles, this should be set to off, and treated as a last resort of getting given title to work

 

There's a fair 13,000B/sec impact on performance when using SIDE3 as a PBI HDD with hard emulation disabled Candle? I know RWTEST results should be taken with a grain of salt and aren't the be all and end all, but that's a fair whack?

 

Having said that, I can just disable the feature when it's not needed, I'm not really terribly fussed. TBH, as stated before, I'm glad it wasn't just me - Great detective work @scorpio_ny! I thought there was something wrong with my system, as it turns out it's probably just this option I (we?) may have inadvertently enabled at some stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Faicuai said:

This may help providing a realistic, day-to-day idea of power consumption (800 and 800XL, with some popular upgrades. nowadays)

 

 

1.5amps @ ~5.0v seems at the very bottom of the scale, already.

I read this thread. You don’t specify how you did your measurement. It looks like you used one of those “energy meters” for this.

Many of these energy meters are completely inaccurate, especially at low Watts.

 

A proper measurement of -average- amps used can only be measured with a high quality DVM (F.I. Fluke) in series of the 5V supply line. 
 

Following this, your conclusion “1.5amps @ ~5.0v seems at the very bottom of the scale, already” is based on inaccurate measurements and thus based on loose sand.

 

The Fluke I used is from the company I work for and is used for inspections of fire alarms. It is calibrated every year.

 

 

By the way it’s not ~5.0v (AC) , it’s,  =5V (DC) what the Atari power supplies provide and is required by the computer! But I guess you meant “about” 5V ?

 

 

Edited by Level42

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@Mazzspeed I think the problem you run into is not specific to Side3, i flashed Flob to a real Atarimax 8mbit cartridge and i need to disable the Hard disk in the settings as well. If i enable it, the cartridge is ignored and the machine just boots from my attached Fujinet. I tested it with my XEGS, which is upgraded with U1MB, VBXE and PokeyMax.

Edited by Dinadan67

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:

It'll be interesting to see what FJC has to say.

FJC says: 'Well done for consulting the manual'. The notion that 'Hard Emulation' might be the culprit here unfortunately didn't occur to me until after I had gone to bed last night. I applaud @scorpio_ny's problem solving skills, anyway.

 

For the benefit of others, the description of 'Hard Emulation' appears at the bottom of a list of every setting in the loader's 'Options' menu:

Manual.thumb.PNG.666f9e15b101b903048bb0a42614b776.PNG

 

Although a more detailed description and a sterner caveat might be a good idea (and I'll add it), this would nevertheless rely on the user to actually read it after carelessly enabling a setting which is disabled by default and then suspecting their hardware doesn't work properly (and it would not be the first time that someone technically competent accidentally flipped a setting and then thought nothing worked). For this reason, I propose to grey out and deactivate this setting when the U1MB SIDE3 PBI HDD is active on the host system. 'Hard emulation' makes HDD operation impossible anyway while a cartridge image is 'Hard emulated', and since the setting is rarely needed, having to disable the PBI HDD in order to access it shouldn't present too much inconvenience.

1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:

I can't find any real concrete reference as to what that option actually does?

Further to the topical descriptions already offered: 'Hard emulation' extends cartridge control (CCTL) emulation across the entirety of the $D5xx address space the moment cartridge emulation is started. SIDE3 normally reserves $D5F0-FF for its own control registers, and these registers remain active even when a cartridge is being emulated (this is what facilitates use of the HDD, ATRs, etc, alongside emulated cartridges). A problem might arise, though, if an emulated cartridge type - say - deactives ROM at $A000-$BFFF on access to $D580-$D5FF, and insists on writing to $D5FF in order to do so. Without 'Hard emulation', this would never work. Hence provision of the option.

 

Because 'Hard emulation' makes software control of the rest of SIDE3's features impossible, the only way to 'get out' of Hard Emulation once cartridge emulation is active while the feature is enabled is to press the reset button on the back of the cartridge.

2 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Actually, there is one disadvantage. PBI HDD performance drops considerably, although this is with DMA (screen) off, I haven't checked with DMA on yet.

That's an illusion, since 'Hard Emulation' only has any effect at all when a cartridge image is mounted, and - as mentioned above - if you mount a cartridge with Hard Emulation enabled and then boot DOS and try to run RWTEST, the hard disk will not work at all, since the entire cartridge control space is then devoted to said emulation (and no access to the SD card is possible). Toggling the setting on its own without actually mounting an image does nothing at all, and the variation in HDD throughput you have observed is an anomaly (and is not reproducible here).

5 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

 

As soon as I applied your loader update regarding the initial reported PoP CAR image compatibility problems, MC and SiC PoP images worked, but the AM image never worked. After turning the machine off and coming back a while later I was surprised to find the SiC image still worked perfectly, but both the MC and AM images weren't working - Both would say 'Loading cartridge' in the loader and then go straight to a black screen.

 

Since then I have updated the loader once more with the update provided to fix menu corruption and the MC and AM images never worked, only the SiC image.

 

I thought it was just some finicky business regarding the PoP CAR images, until I went to load the FloB CAR image and realized I was seeing the exact same issue with a totally different title. That's when I tried another SD card thinking that may have been the issue, a change which achieved nothing as the problem was still present and exactly the same.

Delighted as I am that the problem appears fixed, nothing I'm reading here satisfies me that the issue was caused all along by 'Hard emulation' alone. The second loader update you speak of fixed one cosmetic issue introduced by the update which fixed Sic!, AtariMax and Megacart emulation, and changed nothing else. 'Hard emulation' was still disabled by default.

Edited by flashjazzcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Dinadan67 said:

@Mazzspeed I think the problem you run into is not specific to Side3, i flashed Flob to a real Atarimax 8mbit cartridge and i need to disable the Hard disk in the settings as well. If i enable it, the cartridge is ignored and the machine just boots from my attached Fujinet. I tested it with my XEGS, which is upgraded with U1MB, VBXE and PokeyMax.

The AtariMax 8Mbit deactivates the ROM in a touch-sensitive manner on any access to $D580-FF, IIRC, and since the U1MB firmware probes $D5Fx in order to establish the presence of SIDE3 and drive the HDD if SIDE3 is found, this is entirely expected. You should never have the PBI HDD turned on if you propose to use a cartridge other than SIDE3 anyway, though, since it serves no purpose and is likely to cause problems. This has been the case since the inception of the U1MB/SIDE combo.

Edited by flashjazzcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

You should never have the PBI HDD turned on anyway if you propose to use a cartridge other than SIDE3 anyway, though, since it serves no purpose and is likely to cause problems. 

Of course, i normally use a profile with SDX and Hard disk disabled to use regular cartridges. I just tested that out of curiosity 🙂

Edited by Dinadan67
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'll let the whole PSU discussion rest, there was just one thing that only occurred to me this morning: the measurement of my 600XL naturally included AntiX. AntiX has both the PAL and NTSC ANTIC chips powered on all the time, no matter which one is selected. It does "halt" one of course, but power (and consumption) is still there. I'm pretty sure this is a relatively big part of the 300mA "extra" that all devices in my machine use. Since no one else has an AntiX, this can't be happening in other systems :)

I think I'll start a separate thread about the whole PSU thing....don't want to stay off topic here, but I'll measure without AntiX as well.

 

Edited by Level42

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

FJC says: 'Well done for consulting the manual'. The notion that 'Hard Emulation' might be the culprit here unfortunately didn't occur to me until after I had gone to bed last night. I applaud @scorpio_ny's problem solving skills, anyway.

 

For the benefit of others, the description of 'Hard Emulation' appears at the bottom of a list of every setting in the loader's 'Options' menu:

Manual.thumb.PNG.666f9e15b101b903048bb0a42614b776.PNG

 

Although a more detailed description and a sterner caveat might be a good idea (and I'll add it), this would nevertheless rely on the user to actually read it after carelessly enabling a setting which is disabled by default and then suspecting their hardware doesn't work properly (and it would not be the first time that someone technically competent accidentally flipped a setting and then thought nothing worked). For this reason, I propose to grey out and deactivate this setting when the U1MB SIDE3 PBI HDD is active on the host system. 'Hard emulation' makes HDD operation impossible anyway while a cartridge image is 'Hard emulated', and since the setting is rarely needed, having to disable the PBI HDD in order to access it shouldn't present too much inconvenience.

Further to the topical descriptions already offered: 'Hard emulation' extends cartridge control (CCTL) emulation across the entirety of the $D5xx address space the moment cartridge emulation is started. SIDE3 normally reserves $D5F0-FF for its own control registers, and these registers remain active even when a cartridge is being emulated (this is what facilitates use of the HDD, ATRs, etc, alongside emulated cartridges). A problem might arise, though, if an emulated cartridge type - say - deactives ROM at $A000-$BFFF on access to $D580-$D5FF, and insists on writing to $D5FF in order to do so. Without 'Hard emulation', this would never work. Hence provision of the option.

 

Because 'Hard emulation' makes software control of the rest of SIDE3's features impossible, the only way to 'get out' of Hard Emulation once cartridge emulation is active while the feature is enabled is to press the reset button on the back of the cartridge.

That's an illusion, since 'Hard Emulation' only has any effect at all when a cartridge image is mounted, and - as mentioned above - if you mount a cartridge with Hard Emulation enabled and then boot DOS and try to run RWTEST, the hard disk will not work at all, since the entire cartridge control space is then devoted to said emulation (and no access to the SD card is possible). Toggling the setting on its own without actually mounting an image does nothing at all, and the variation in HDD throughput you have observed is an anomaly (and is not reproducible here).

Delighted as I am that the problem appears fixed, nothing I'm reading here satisfies me that the issue was caused all along by 'Hard emulation' alone. The second loader update you speak of fixed one cosmetic issue introduced by the update which fixed Sic!, AtariMax and Megacart emulation, and changed nothing else. 'Hard emulation' was still disabled by default.

Excellent reply and all fine on my end FJC. I honestly have no idea how hard emulation got enabled as TBH I rarely even access the functionality of SIDE3 due to the fact I have U1MB, I know for a fact that I definitely never enabled the functionality after performing the last two loader updates.

 

I do find it odd how HDD throughput appears unchanged at your end with the feature enabled/disabled however.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Mazzspeed said:

I do find it odd how HDD throughput appears unchanged at your end with the feature enabled/disabled however.

The oddness isn't at this end, though, but yours; as said: the Hard Emulation feature does nothing at all until a cartridge is mounted, at which point HDD access becomes impossible. It can't even be an undocumented behaviour of setting the hard emulation bit without mounting a cartridge, either, since the hard emulation bit is not set in the emulation register set unless a cartridge is mounted (at which point access to the HDD becomes impossible). So it must be 'something else', but not something I can replicate on real hardware.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW: Hard Emulation disabled here and yet everything (ALL PoP cartridge versions, Flob) load fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

The oddness isn't at this end, though, but yours; as said: the Hard Emulation feature does nothing at all until a cartridge is mounted, at which point HDD access becomes impossible. It can't even be an undocumented behaviour of setting the hard emulation bit without mounting a cartridge, either, since the hard emulation bit is not set in the emulation register set unless a cartridge is mounted (at which point access to the HDD becomes impossible). So it must be 'something else', but not something I can replicate on real hardware.

So odd...

 

I just tested again with hard emulation on vs off and there's no difference in RWTEST results at all, but there was and as you see I provided screenshots. I'm gonna take a Valium and have a good lie down FJC. Thanks for everything, sorry it took up your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Level42 said:

FWIW: Hard Emulation disabled here and yet everything (ALL PoP cartridge versions, Flob) load fine.

Can you see if RWTEST results on the HDD are any different with Hard Emulation enabled and disabled and no cartridges emulated? Run several tests before drawing any conclusion if you can, since SD cards will often behave differently immediately after power-up compared to subsequently after caches have filled up, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mazzspeed said:

I just tested again with hard emulation on vs off and there's no difference in RWTEST results at all, but there was and as you see I provided screenshots. I'm gonna take a Valium and have a good lie down FJC. Thanks for everything, sorry it took up your time.

No worries. I suspect you're seeing 'cold' SD card behaviour. I got 28KB/s writes on my Sony Card just now after a cold power-up, but this doubled on the second run and stayed that way (I assume owing to the SD controller's internal caching).

 

@Level42: scratch that prior request. ;)

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SIDE3 loader 0.42:

 

s3loader.xex

  • 'Hard emulation' disabled and greyed out when U1MB SIDE3 PBI HDD is active
  • Cleaned up exit from PDM player back to menu
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

Can you see if RWTEST results on the HDD are any different with Hard Emulation enabled and disabled and no cartridges emulated? Run several tests before drawing any conclusion if you can, since SD cards will often behave differently immediately after power-up compared to subsequently after caches have filled up, etc.

I could, if I knew how :).

 

Crazy thought: since I have problems running PDM music, very likely caused but the fact I’m using a very old SD card, could it be that actual loading of PoP is totally unproblematic for me BECAUSE it’s a slow SD card and the other guys are using much more modern faster cards ?

 

Hmmmm…. Nah, you’re using a fast card as well Jon….

 

Anyway, the three different modern day fast 64GB SD cards will arrive this evening, hopefully I have some time to test…

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Level42 said:

I could, if I knew how :).

Prepare 512 bytes/sector APT partition (say, D3:) as per user manual:

 

https://atari8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/APT-Software-Manual-8th-Edition.pdf

 

Format it SDFS, then grab RWTEST:

 

http://drac030.krap.pl/en-inne-pliki.php

 

Copy RWTEST.COM into the APT partition, make if the current drive, then type RWTEST.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...