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flashjazzcat

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

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22 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

Yes, agreed, but we come full circle then, since I'm sure efforts were made to do this with SIDE3, but we still have a problem.

Agreed. And my "idea" of a register to influence the shortening was dumb. If you can't write to the register, all bets are off.

 

That leaves us an on-cart phi2 shortening circuit outside of the FPGA, which can be influenced by a screwdriver through a hole in the housing :)

 

Edit: or influence the FPGA shortening by means of a pot, i.e. voltage divider to a DAC pin or something.

Edited by ivop

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2 hours ago, ivop said:

Agreed. And my "idea" of a register to influence the shortening was dumb. If you can't write to the register, all bets are off.

 

That leaves us an on-cart phi2 shortening circuit outside of the FPGA, which can be influenced by a screwdriver through a hole in the housing :)

 

Edit: or influence the FPGA shortening by means of a pot, i.e. voltage divider to a DAC pin or something.

As I said I tried some of this Phi2 pulse shortening without any luck, and actually to the detriment of my XEL-CFx interface. Which makes me suspect that this isn't the solution, and what we would call barking up the wrong tree. Without proof, I'm currently leaning towards buffering of at least the data signals right at the CPU, and possibly even the address lines as well. this could be done with a piggyback board of some sort not much bigger than the CPU itself, although offset to one side due to the need to break connections that are currently going to the system bus.

 

Now I'm not saying this is the solution, but it is something I would like to try, and seems plausible as a possible fix. I would probably go with 74F245 chips or similar, since we already saw some benefit switching from an 'LS' to an 'F' variant on the Phi2 buffer. In fact why stop there, R/W should also get an 'F' buffer as well. Basically what I'm indicating is that all distributed signals coming out of the CPU should get buffered, and preferably with the same 'F' type family to keep the timing matched for all signals - maybe even drop back to HCT to see if that works when all signals have the same propagation time. Keep in mind that the drive capabilities of the 6502 is limited, and it was not uncommon to buffer all of its signals in some designs.

 

EDIT: I wonder how one of those early 6502 based versions of the CPU board circuit on the 400/800 would work out since they are fully buffered if I recall correctly (prior to Sally becoming available).

Edited by mytek

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I will say that it's a few moving parts, you can change one and the other two things align, you can change 2 and one thing mis aligns, you change all three and all it no longer will line up... you change the CPU and and it's all good or the opposite... it's down to tolerance, age and fine tuning. The path of least resistance is a qualiy HC/HCT/F component, isn't always a bad choice but it was a terrible choice in this application, just to get the machines out the door. What a grab bag, never know which you will get. Propagation of the signal being delayed or acted on to quickly by the component used is such fun.

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Lately I experience problem with U1MB/Side3 on my 130XE. Lucas Arts games (The Eidolon, Koronis Rift) loads Lucas Arts intro and then they are stuck at that point. Same ATR's loads from SIO without problem.

Side3 version 0.44 and U1MB version 4.05 (7.7.2021) plugin SOS3P2. Besides Lucas Arts game also many others won't load but are stuck at intro.

I have already swapped 74LS08 with 74F08 with no change.

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For games that use their own SIO routines you will have to source a patched/cracked version.

 

For the Lucas Arts' titles you can use cartridge based versions, e.g. here. Though you are best of loading these into Altirra first and then saving as a 'car' file to assist the SIDE3 cart by stating the mapper to use.

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10 minutes ago, Wrathchild said:

For games that use their own SIO routines you will have to source a patched/cracked version.

 

For the Lucas Arts' titles you can use cartridge based versions, e.g. here. Though you are best of loading these into Altirra first and then saving as a 'car' file to assist the SIDE3 cart by stating the mapper to use.

Awesome, thanks!

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1 hour ago, Wrathchild said:

For games that use their own SIO routines you will have to source a patched/cracked version.

 

For the Lucas Arts' titles you can use cartridge based versions, e.g. here. Though you are best of loading these into Altirra first and then saving as a 'car' file to assist the SIDE3 cart by stating the mapper to use.

OK, just tested Eidolon, Koronis Rift and Gauntlet with Side3. Maxflash works great but Megacart does not. Like you suggested, I have loaded ROMs in Altirra and then exported them as CAR.

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Maybe @flashjazzcat could check that mapper when he gets a chance

 

[Edit] MegaCart 128 KB cartridge is #29 ($1D), occupies 16 KB of address space between $8000 and $BFFF. It is controlled by a byte written to $D500-$D5FF. Bits 0,1,2 select one of 8 available banks, bit 7 disables the cartridge.

Edited by Wrathchild
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New SIDE3 Loader is obviously taking longer than expected, but the profusion of new features has at least resulted in pretty thorough testing of the base filesystem drivers (and the discovery and correction of a lot of bugs). Since I missed a New Year release, I'm now aiming to have the beta released in a couple of weeks, which seems a realistic target at this point.

 

Some screenshots, in the meantime:

 

copying.thumb.png.fed2388d49362e0d26f809a125de4b87.pngfileinfo.thumb.png.5ed2a80183fbf2edc3aa83735dafd276.pnginfo.thumb.png.2b6f29a39e6514e39803108d0a4ecb71.pngmenu.thumb.png.6b4ff394af17d155a0639b7106c2484d.png

 

You can copy and get properties on entire directory trees. I'll describe some of the other interesting new stuff when I release the beta. :)

 

Happy New Year!

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This is my most-anticipated firmware update of 2021 2022 :P

 

In all seriousness, though, I am greatly looking forward to it.  This is going to massively push forward what can be done with these devices.

 

Happy new year, BTW!

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On 1/1/2022 at 9:53 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

In all seriousness, though, I am greatly looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to releasing it too. I'm hoping user feedback will inspire me a bit, since just getting the thing fit for release in a vacuum, so to speak, is becoming a bit tiring.

 

I just finished one of the most complex and intimidating bits of file management functionality, so it should be fairly procedural from here on in. Back end of next week is looking pretty attainable now. :)

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1 hour ago, flashjazzcat said:

I'm looking forward to releasing it too. I'm hoping user feedback will inspire me a bit, since just getting the thing fit for release in a vacuum, so to speak, is becoming a bit tiring.

 

I just finished one of the most complex and intimidating bits of file management functionality, so it should be fairly procedural from here on in. Back end of next week is looking pretty attainable now. :)

Well, if ya want a beta tester so you can be in a vacuum with one, just ping me.

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Update:

Still aiming for beta release shortly, problems described in the video notwithstanding. ;)

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Hey man, no problem on any delay.  Obviously you have many competing demands on your time.  I can totally relate.  There's never enough hours in the day it seems.

 

I must say your attitude is commendable though, typical English resolve to get things done haha.  Keep your sails up.  Take some time to resolve the big things then you can spend more time on the fun things.

 

And yes, hopefully 2022 will be better than the last 2 years.  Cheers mate!

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@flashjazzcat Hey Jon, just watched ya vid in it's entirety. Really feel for ya and sorry to hear things have kicked off yet again on top of everything else. (Will drop you an email at somepoint today - owe you a reply anyways).  Been there in many respects at some point myself in recent years and it's tough - especially when these things seem to hit simultaneously.

 

As I've said before - and hopefully speaking for many others here on AA - there is absolutely no expectation or pressure re the loader beta, especially in light of the pressures you are under outside of the world of A8. I do understand why you wish to get it out there too  - I am sure it has been a positive focus and distraction to have such a project on the go. (I find I need to have projects on the go all the time - keeps me sane as much as anything else:P).

 

I am as always eternally grateful that you are using your knowledge and skillset for the benefit of the A8 community in continually innovating/improving/supporting SIDE3 (U1MB and everything else you do) - it's totally going to be worth the wait I am sure of it.:D You work ethic is commendable and appreciated..

 

I have worked in a bubble on projects before for months on end and you are right in terms of needing to share the "product" (whether by way of a beta or finally a finished product), after so long working solo. I have no doubt that soon the whole exercise with beta testing and feedback will ultimately result in a well crafted firmware/interface and a huge jump in functionality for the loader. The amount of work and dedication you have put into this is astounding, especially given the snowballing nature of undertaking such a project!:)

 

Anyways - for what it's worth Happy new year and fingers crossed you will get a resolution with the things mentioned in your video. (I will drop you a line.:):thumbsup:)

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I will feverishly test whatever you release.  Looking forward to something to make me play with the 8-bit again!

 

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