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flashjazzcat

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

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3 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I appreciate the positive feedback. :) Still, things like this make me uneasy.

 

The situation has been complicated by many factors since machine became ever more top-heavy with upgrades. I endured quite a saga this year with a customer 600XL which was unable to work reliably with U1MB+SIDE3 unless the switch-mode power supply was capable of outputting 5.2V. I eventually built the client a replica of the Cisco/LiteOn PSU I was using at the time (which solved all his problems), and simultaneously replaced my own 5.2V PSU with a Lotharek 'Meanwell' unit which puts out 5V on the nose (in order to provide a truer picture of the customer setup when I am testing machines here).

 

Meanwhile, my LG monitor is slow to sync to the Sophia 2 DVI source, so I often resort to the legacy output when trying to diagnose problems. Most recently, I received a machine back from a client for whom the thing is crashing all the time, and I have yet to replicate a single issue with it. :)

I guess with a lot of these newer upgrades the 40+ year old hardware is being pushed to places it was never meant to go.  Fun and exciting as it is, there's a limited test base to find where all the kinks are going to be so new hardware can't be fully tested until it's in the wild with a significant user base.  I suppose at least with FPGAs etc there's a good chance to iron out 'hardware' problems with a flash upgrade.  All your firmware upgrade work is proof of that, it's nothing short of miraculous.

 

I've been experimenting with the XL again briefly, I'm wary about powering it on and off too much, seems like that's asking for trouble, like flicking a light on and off to see if the bulb is faulty... "no... no... no... no... yep, I knew it was!" :)

 

With the Sophia2 connected to the HDMI switch as the only input, things seem fine.  As soon as I power up my PC then the XL starts giving the black screen on powering it on (most times).  Pressing System Reset takes me through to the normal boot process.  With the Sophia2 connected to the DVI input of my monitor, so far the XL boots successfully every time, which makes me think it's the HDMI that is the common factor and nothing to do with the U1MB or Side3 firmware.

 

I'm struggling to think how another HDMI signal into a switch can affect the XL so that it refuses to boot.  Maybe there's some kind of signal being fed back directly to the Sophia2 and interfering with my Atari?

 

Anyway, I'll try again over the next few days and see if I can definitively say it only occurs when the Sophia is connected through the HDMI splitter *and* the PC is also hooked up and running.

 

The Side3 looks like it's working perfectly, SDX reads the config from an APT drive on the Side3 and there have been no issues with that at all.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

From the Readme file included in the ZIP:

 

 

 

Very good, thank you. I haven't downloaded the necessary files yet, I probably wont until this evening as I have work this morning, so I haven't read the readme file yet. :)

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11 hours ago, GreyHobbit said:

I'm struggling to think how another HDMI signal into a switch can affect the XL so that it refuses to boot.  Maybe there's some kind of signal being fed back directly to the Sophia2 and interfering with my Atari?

Yeah - this is really puzzling. We may be getting into the kind of territory which requires the expert opinion of the likes of tf_hh and Candle here. :)

11 hours ago, GreyHobbit said:

I guess with a lot of these newer upgrades the 40+ year old hardware is being pushed to places it was never meant to go.  Fun and exciting as it is, there's a limited test base to find where all the kinks are going to be so new hardware can't be fully tested until it's in the wild with a significant user base.

It's fun, but occasionally quite stressful when one is trying to prepare mission-crtitical firmware which could end up costing people money if it bricks their machine. Candle and I spent 3-4 days spread over two weeks a while back testing the JED update for Incognito. I was exploiting the fact I had two Incognito 800s here (my own machine and a customer 800); with Candle's computer (when he had access to it), that gave us three test cases. And at the end of that, with the customer machine long gone, everything looking stable, and most of the hard work completed, my own Incognito 800 gets a config reset half the time I power it up from cold. If I go back to the older JED, all is well. So there's more testing and tweaking to do on the CPLD side... one could cry at times. :)

11 hours ago, GreyHobbit said:

The Side3 looks like it's working perfectly, SDX reads the config from an APT drive on the Side3 and there have been no issues with that at all.

That's good to hear.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Sinjinhawke said:

My U1MB now shows version 4.02 but the plugin says VXS2STCO version 2.04. <-- what did I do wrong?

No longer sees my SIDE3 cart and I don't see any SOPHIA controls.

VXS2STCO:

 

VX = VBXE with NTSC palette option

S2 = SIDE2

ST = Stereo POKEY

CO = Covox

 

You need to install the SIDE3 plugin and PBI BIOS; fastest way to do this (since I cleverly forgot to include a separate copy of the SIDE3 PBI BIOS) is:

  1. Flash U1MBS3FW.ROM to the 'Firmware' slot
  2. Head to plugin folder and flash 'SOS3P2.ROM' to the 'Plugin' slot

This will give you the Sophia2, SIDE3 and PokeyMAX plugins; I realise PokeyMAX is extraneous here but it will do no harm and I will produce a plugin build which omits it if this is useful. ;)

 

Here's a Sophia2/SIDE3 only plugin, and the SIDE3 PBI BIOS:

 

ults3pbi.rom

sos3.rom

Edited by flashjazzcat
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17 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I should probably have pointed out that a power-cycle is needed to make the palette change show up after it's enabled (it's only loaded on a cold power-on), but I guess people figured this out for themselves. :)

 

Does this mean PAL users with VBXE can switch to NTSC and finally see proper colours in artefacted games like Ultima? 

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4 minutes ago, Steve Mynott said:

Does this mean PAL users with VBXE can switch to NTSC and finally see proper colours in artefacted games like Ultima? 

No. This just means that NTSC (and even PAL) users can get an NTSC colour palette by default on the RGB output.

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The new firmware is great after some trouble I was able to instal it on my 800XL+U1MB+S3.

Thanx to FJC and tf_hh.

 

If you like stories about trouble, how to get over it, and what tf_hh has to do with it then you can read further.

 

The news about the new firmware arrived at my desk on late Sunday afternoon. Great time to try it imminently. I had downloaded everything and start flashing U1MB but the update progress indicator stops at „Erase“. I waited 1 minute, 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. All the time reading the bottom line: Do not reset or switch off the machine. Eventually I switched off the machine already knowing something really bad must be happen. I toke a deep breath and switch it on again. My worst worries came true: The dark red screen of death. What to do now? No booting, no prompt, just dark red. After the first shock I started to think. What could be broken? Usually I get the dark red screen if the main memory was bad. So maybe it just got broken during flashing? At this moment I reminded myself of a handy tool: SysCheck 2 (thanx to tf_hh). I mounted the board to the PBI and check the main memory. Everything OK. The main memory ist good! Light on the horizon. After RAM check the ROM check was done with error wrong check sum. OK, main memory is good but the flash memory of U1MB seems to be corrupted. How can I flash the U1MB if the flash memory is bad  and the machine won’t boot? I switched the SysCheck to external OS via PBI. Eureka! The machine booted and was working. Next: How can I flash the U1MB? I just started UFLASH but received the error message that there is no extended memory. Ok, I thought by myself, the SysCheck has 512k extended memory via PBI. I also switched on the 512k extended memory of SysCheck. After restarting UFLASH it recognized the extended memory from SysCheck and the U1BM. Now I was able to select the flash slots and flashed the whole memory of U1MB. Everything went well now: Erase, Flash, Verify. Wow, I was happy! After flashing finished I crossed fingers and restarted the machine. Everything works as expected! Now I can enjoy the newest firmware by FJC with the help of tf_hh.

 

OK, this was my little Sunday afternoon story.

It is always nice to see great and robust software working!

 

Thanx to the whole community

Holger

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2 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

You need to install the SIDE3 plugin and PBI BIOS; fastest way to do this (since I cleverly forgot to include a separate copy of the SIDE3 PBI BIOS) is:

  1. Flash U1MBS3FW.ROM to the 'Firmware' slot
  2. Head to plugin folder and flash 'SOS3P2.ROM' to the 'Plugin' slot

This will give you the Sophia2, SIDE3 and PokeyMAX plugins

This of course makes sense and did the trick.  Many thanks good sir.

 

"Bally Jerry pranged his kite right in the how's-your-father; hairy blighter, dicky-birded, feathered back on his sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the Bertie."

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Hi FJC,

thank you very much for the new firmware! Always happy to see new stuff from you! :)

 

Just my Pokeymax2 is not sure about it yet:

Since i have a PokeyMax2 (M02 core, with the 'ultimate1mb' core, where i could toogle mono/stereo with former v3 revisions of your firmware)

i also flashed the SOS3P2 plugin with it. (Side3 and Sophia2 are also in that machine)

 

Unfortunately the Pokeymax doesn't seem to be recognized (Pokeymax string in the 'sysinfo' tab  is 'dddddddd' (inverted); 

nor do any of the change to the selectable Pokeymax options in 'device control' tab do any difference.


Question:
- Do i have an too old Pokeymax2 core or is the pokey max "SU" core generally not suitable for the pokeymax plugin?

- Would i rather need a (hypothetical) 'SOS3ST.ROM' ?

 

Attached a screen of the output of 'pokeymax config v.1.1' with the values of my installed Pokeymax. 

(just currently attached to an CRT, i know i could also do that without Sophia2 ;) )

 

20210607_173408.thumb.jpg.31a0b00e0bbb18808df53aa49a3990ac.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Atlan_Roland said:

Do i have an too old Pokeymax2 core or is the pokey max "SU" core generally not suitable for the pokeymax plugin?

The PokeyMAX core you have, IIRC, is set up for the original U1MB Stereo POKEY control (via a wire on the M0 pin). So you should either change PokeyMAX cores, or just install one of the 'ST' plugins (which control stereo via the M0 signal).

2 hours ago, Atlan_Roland said:

Would i rather need a (hypothetical) 'SOS3ST.ROM' ?

Here's the plugin:

sos3st.rom

:)

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Can I just clarify, reading the readme.txt it states SIDE3 users wishing to get up and running as quickly as possible can simply flash U1MBS3FW.ROM to the firmware slot of their U1MB and that those wishing to flash the entire ROM can use U1MBS3.ROM as it includes the SIDE3, PBI BIOS and plugin for SIDE3 as well as VBXE, stereo and covox.

 

So am I correct to assume that if I want to flash everything at once (so U1MB and SIDE3 with plugins) I can just flash U1MBS3.ROM to the firmware slot? It's just not 100% clear in the instructions as someone that's used uflash about three times in the past.

 

Also, do I still need to update the SIDE3 loader separately?

 

Cheers guys.

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U1MBS3.ROM has everything: the whole 512K image with SDX, BIOS, etc. U1MBS3FW.ROM is just the 64K firmware file. Attempting to flash U1MBS3.ROM to the firmware slot won't work and is the exact opposite of what the readme suggests.

 

Yes, you need to flash SIDE3 separately.

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1 minute ago, flashjazzcat said:

U1MBS3.ROM has everything: the whole 512K image with SDX, BIOS, etc. U1MBS3FW.ROM is just the 64K firmware file. Attempting to flash U1MBS3.ROM to the firmware slot won't work and is the exact opposite of what the readme suggests.

 

Yes, you need to flash SIDE3 separately.

Sorry, I know this probably sounds stupid. But if I wanted to flash U1MBS3.ROM what slot would I flash it to? I'm a little confused but trying to get my head around the process.

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No worries! Select the name of the flash chip at the top of the list.

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So I applied the full 512k update to the ST39SF040 directly from the FAT partition on my SD card via SIDE3 with PBI BIOS disabled and the switch in the up position and everything went through and verified perfectly. I then updated the SIDE3 loader, which went fine.

 

I went in to the U1MB setup and reenabled the PBI BIOS and double checked my settings, everything seems fine. The problem is: when I boot with the switch on the SIDE3 in the down position, the emulated PBI pips are slower than normal, my CONFIG.SYS isn't loading and I can't see my D3: drive?

 

Any ideas?

 

CdsYh0r.jpg

 

7NTMblA.jpg

 

gqzgbC7.jpg

 

cKfbjrv.jpg

 

The result:

 

R8I9BCw.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

VXS2STCO:

 

VX = VBXE with NTSC palette option

S2 = SIDE2

ST = Stereo POKEY

CO = Covox

 

You need to install the SIDE3 plugin and PBI BIOS; fastest way to do this (since I cleverly forgot to include a separate copy of the SIDE3 PBI BIOS) is:

  1. Flash U1MBS3FW.ROM to the 'Firmware' slot
  2. Head to plugin folder and flash 'SOS3P2.ROM' to the 'Plugin' slot

This will give you the Sophia2, SIDE3 and PokeyMAX plugins; I realise PokeyMAX is extraneous here but it will do no harm and I will produce a plugin build which omits it if this is useful. ;)

 

Here's a Sophia2/SIDE3 only plugin, and the SIDE3 PBI BIOS:

 

ults3pbi.romUnavailable

sos3.romUnavailable

Due to the fact that my issue is literally identical to the one Sanjinhawke experienced, I downloaded the above ROMs and repeated my process of installing the ROMs onto my SD card, disabling PBI BIOS, booting into SDX with the SIDE3 switch in the up position, entering CAR, entering the loader and attempting to start uflash when I get the error 'Please enable extended ram or disable SDX RAM disk'?

 

lZrOXhN.jpg

 

 

Edited by Mazzspeed

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2 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

One small setting...

Yep. 'Please enable extended RAM'. :)

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3 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

Yep. 'Please enable extended RAM'. :)

Yes [cough]...

 

That was the one! ;)

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This is almost certainly a user-error situation, but is there a chance .MAP file parsing is broken currently? For whatever reason, I've never actually used .map files until I decided to try one tonight. My .map file is pretty simple:

 

D1:hibernated-1 Directors Cut (Puddle)(2021).atr
D2:HibernatedSave.atr

 

These are the only lines in the file, and the .map file is itself contained in the same \GAMES\H\ folder on my CF card. When I press RETURN on the .map file, D1: is mounted and the game loads and runs fine. But D2: is not mounted; when I try to save my game on D2:, the game gives me an error. Going back to the Loader shows me that D1: is loaded as expected by D2: is empty.

 

However, if I forgo the .map file, I can mount D2: manually in the loader and the ATR is then readable and writable as expected from the game in D1:  So for whatever reason, D1: is mounting but D2: is not when I try to use my .map file.

 

The .map file was created by simply typing the file names in Notepad++ and saving the plain text with a .map extension, then dragged and dropped into my CF card folder. 

 

So what am I doing wrong?

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7 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

So what am I doing wrong?

I test MAP files with every update. Does the second line have EOL termination? If the mount was attempted but failed, you should get an error message.

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3 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I test MAP files with every update. Does the second line have EOL termination? If the mount was attempted but failed, you should get an error message.

Hmm. Well, I definitely don’t get any visible error message. I hit RETURN on the .map file in the Loader and the machine boots the program .atr from the first line of the file.  As for an EOL terminator, is a carriage return at the end of a line in Windows Notepad or Notepad++ sufficient? I’ll experiment more after work. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Hmm. Well, I definitely don’t get any visible error message. I hit RETURN on the .map file in the Loader and the machine boots the program .atr from the first line of the file.  As for an EOL terminator, is a carriage return at the end of a line in Windows Notepad or Notepad++ sufficient? I’ll experiment more after work. 

Windows and Linux CR/LFs should be handled properly, as well as Atari EOLs. If you make no headway, please upload the MAP file and the ATRs and I'll have a look. :)

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Quick question: Is the Prince of Persia ATR known to not work on S2/U1MB ? Can't get it to load.

 

 

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