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massiverobot

Current: Atari 576 NUC Quick Reference Guide

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Posted (edited)

I have put together a 576NUC+ Quick Reference Guide. I have also listed my other guides and creations below. Enjoy!

 

576NUC+ Quick Reference Guide

Intended for new owners of the 576 NUC+ to get up and running as fast as possible. More content to be added as time permits. Please let me know of any corrections or errors you see:

https://1c8t.short.gy/576NUC

 

Version 1.0h, August, 2021

 

Changes for 1.0h:

  • Reduced size of document
  • Fixed wrong desc in screenshots
  • Added QR codes for all URLs in Doc
  • Edits for readability

 

 

1088XEL Missing Manual

And I have my mytek 1088XEL Missing Manual available for those getting a 1088XEL:

https://1c8t.short.gy/1088xel

Version Date: 2018 (needs update yes)

 

Neon Programmers Reference

Create Atari HyperLink documents today and use Neon to browse them on your Atari!

https://1c8t.short.gy/neon

Version Date: Aug 17, 2021

 

Andy's Atari Reference (AAR)

And for fun, a start of a collection of reference material that I've found around the web and collected into a well-formatted PDF:

https://1c8t.short.gy/aar

Version Date: Aug 17, 2021

 

 

 

Thank you mytek for creating the NUC and 1088, Fujinet team for creating the Fujinet and Mr. Robot for the wonderful cases.

Edited by massiverobot
Updated URL for Guide on Dropbox, correct mytek
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Thank you, @massiverobot for this quick start guide!

 

I was not aware of the requirement of a special USB cable to flash new firmware to the Fujinet board, good to know, since I'm still waiting for my 576NUC to arrive!

 

I'd like to express my gratitude to @mytek, @Mr Robot and everyone involved in this great project!

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Hope everything just works for you guys.  As a hardware beta tester I can say that everything basically just worked with this setup.  Stability and video output is fantastic.

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20 minutes ago, Peruchi said:

I was not aware of the requirement of a special USB cable to flash new firmware to the Fujinet board, good to know, since I'm still waiting for my 576NUC to arrive!

Well it's really not all that different cost-wise to buying a Micro-USB cable, which is what the FN for the retro system uses.

 

Here's what I use: PL2303TA Serial Cable

$5 with FREE shipping

 

You could also use an FTDI cable as well, which can sometimes be less problematic for Windows and MAC users to get the drivers installed. Linux users rarely ever have this issue, since the latest drivers for all the serial cables are usually present.

 

Keep in mind though that the updates are coming much less frequently now that the FN is maturing, and also in many cases the updates might not even apply to your usage. Kinda like my linux box, I usually ignore the updates for a month or more, then do them and wonder what's changed, or was it even necessary?

 

20 minutes ago, Peruchi said:

I'd like to express my gratitude to @mytek, @Mr Robot and everyone involved in this great project!

Thank you :)

 

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Update: Version 1.b. NOTE: the URL always remains the same (first post) the updates just overwrite the version so the current version is always the same URL.

 

Minor updates:

  • corrected spelling of mytek's name :(
  • added in section about AKI and TK keyboards- I didn't understand what AKI was, now everyone can.
  • minor corrections

 

Upcoming:

  • a section on the history of the NUC, what it really is, how it came into being, who helped make this a commercial product
  • BBSing - using the FujiNet for super easy BBSing on your NUC.

 

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Thanks for making this, it'll be super helpful when my NUC+ arrives. Wasn't aware of some of the macro functionality, or that there was a dedicated config screen.

 

Once question though:FN F9-F12 are listed as Ultimate 1mb shortcuts. I assume this would be if you installed one, and not that the system comes with one installed? If that's the case, this seems to be the easiest way to get Spartados X on the machine with plenty of memory. I'm not the world's greatest soldering guru, is this a tough install or fairly trivial? I'm wanting to set this up so that I can take it to work and learn 6502 assembly while I'm repairing windows endpoints, and I'm used to U1mb/Sparta on my XL, and would love to use the same thing here.

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36 minutes ago, Lord Thag said:

 

 

Once question though:FN F9-F12 are listed as Ultimate 1mb shortcuts. I assume this would be if you installed one, and not that the system comes with one installed?

 

U1MB is _not_ part of the NUC. As I understand it- since the NUC is using a built-in TK-II, those key-maps are just available in the TK-II chips/code, but not actually used (as there is no U1MB).

 

I don't believe that a U1MB would fit in the NUC, especially if the FujiNet board is installed.

 

the NUC already incorporates a lot of the functionality of the U1MB - 512Mb RAM, 64mb ROM/OS, multiple 'slots' for loading OS/Cart combinations...

 

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57 minutes ago, massiverobot said:

U1MB is _not_ part of the NUC. As I understand it- since the NUC is using a built-in TK-II, those key-maps are just available in the TK-II chips/code, but not actually used (as there is no U1MB).

Yep that is definitely the case, since this code was ported over from the existing TK-II line and then modified for the 576NUC+, certain aspects such as U1MB hot keys were retained even though the hardware for such was never intended to be there. if I had needed the code space for something else those hot keys would have been the first thing to go. Not that the U1MB isn't a great piece of kit, which it certainly is, but it really was a never intended scenario with the NUC.

 

Quote

I don't believe that a U1MB would fit in the NUC, especially if the FujiNet board is installed.

Very true, but you know someone will try none the less ;)

 

Quote

the NUC already incorporates a lot of the functionality of the U1MB - 512Mb RAM, 64mb ROM/OS, multiple 'slots' for loading OS/Cart combinations...

Yes that was my intention on this device, to replicate at least some of the functionality of the other upgrades (U1MB, UAV) in an off the shelf build. Basically this unit is built entirely from discrete components, without the use of 3rd party upgrades. The only exception to this is the WROVER ESP-32 module in the FujiNet aspect.

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One thing worth pointing out for NUC+ newbies - the OS ROM “slots” are not really the same as the U1MB in terms of flexibility. First, to change them, you need an EPROM or EEPROM burner, and you need to be able to use a hex editor to create the monolithic file to write to the OS ROM chip in the first place, then you have to disassemble the NUC+ to access the chip, remove it, burn the new file to the chip, and then reinstall it. People can and will do it, but it’s not really going to be an every day thing. If you want/need the flexibility that a U1MB gives in terms of separately selecting one of four different OS ROMs, one of four different “BASIC” slots, with or without HSIO through the PBI BIOS, you will NOT find it with the NUC+. You will need an upgraded vintage A8 or one of Michael’s other project designs instead.

 

That said, the NUC+ is just about ideal exactly the way it is and for what it is intended.

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2 hours ago, massiverobot said:

added in section about AKI and TK keyboards- I didn't understand what AKI was, now everyone can.

When Lotharek released his new improved AKI (Atari Keyboard Interface), he incorporated the DarkAKI revised firmware that was a completely re-written version of the original AKI that had come on the scene over a decade ago. When I saw the mapping of the console keys, and that it was nearly identical to what the Altirra emulator's mapping of those same keys, I liked it and updated the TK-II firmware to incorporate it. So this happened in steps, with a choice added to the standard TK-II line for either the original TK-II mapping or the AKI mapping via the toggle action of the EMU key (CTRL+ALT+E on PS/2 keyboard). When I got to the 576NUC+ project, I decided to drop the selection process and just embrace the AKI mapping from the get go.

 

Other than that F-key to console key mapping, don't expect the AKI and the TK-II to share other aspects of operation ;)

 

2 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

One thing worth pointing out for NUC+ newbies - the OS ROM “slots” are not really the same as the U1MB in terms of flexibility. First, to change them, you need an EPROM or EEPROM burner, and you need to be able to use a hex editor to create the monolithic file to write to the OS ROM chip in the first place, then you have to disassemble the NUC+ to access the chip, remove it, burn the new file to the chip, and then reinstall it. People can and will do it, but it’s not really going to be an every day thing. If you want/need the flexibility that a U1MB gives in terms of separately selecting one of four different OS ROMs, one of four different “BASIC” slots, with or without HSIO through the PBI BIOS, you will NOT find it with the NUC+. You will need an upgraded vintage A8 or one of Michael’s other project designs instead.

 

That said, the NUC+ is just about ideal exactly the way it is and for what it is intended.

Thanks for that comparison DrVenkman :)

 

And although many will be tempted to try and replace one of the OS versions with something else, please keep in mind that the root architecture of the NUC is based on the XEGS and does require compatibility with such to support the game slots.

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Just an observation on the quick reference manual. There is a photo showing a close-up of the PCB with yellow solder mask and a black silkscreen. This was taken from an earlier prototype, hence the V1.1 designation. All new boards are the V1.2 revision level.

 

576NUC_v1_2.jpg.4d5856d2fde1c10a369ea2bbfb186bfa.jpg

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1 hour ago, massiverobot said:

 

the NUC already incorporates a lot of the functionality of the U1MB - 512Mb RAM, 64mb ROM/OS, multiple 'slots' for loading OS/Cart combinations...

 

Thanks for the detailed reply, I've been 'out of the loop' for the last year due to Covid and work, so I've missed quite a few details around NUC+, Fujinet etc. Trying to catch up before mine arrives. While I understand that that the OS 'slots' require an EEPROM burner and soldering (ain't happening, I'm all thumbs lol), based on your quote listed here, does the built in Fujinet/NUC+ combo allow cart images to be loaded? I thought it was just .xex/.atr/.cas files. In other words, could I say, take a Spartados X cart image and boot to DOS with the stock setup? If so, yeah, there's no need at all for U1mb. My main 'hope' is that I can boot into Sparta and use it as a work-portable dev system for assembly, Action or fastbasic.

 

Quote

Yes that was my intention on this device, to replicate at least some of the functionality of the other upgrades (U1MB, UAV) in an off the shelf build. Basically this unit is built entirely from discrete components, without the use of 3rd party upgrades. The only exception to this is the WROVER ESP-32 module in the FujiNet aspect.

Very affordably too, I was really surprised at how cheap this thing ended up being.

Thanks for the responses guys, very helpful.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Thag said:

While I understand that that the OS 'slots' require an EEPROM burner and soldering (ain't happening, I'm all thumbs lol)

No soldering required if all you want to do is change the ROM image since it's a socketed chip.

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Thag said:

does the built in Fujinet/NUC+ combo allow cart images to be loaded? I thought it was just .xex/.atr/.cas files. In other words, could I say, take a Spartados X cart image and boot to DOS with the stock setup? If so, yeah, there's no need at all for U1mb. My main 'hope' is that I can boot into Sparta and use it as a work-portable dev system for assembly, Action or fastbasic.

No cart images can be loaded with FujiNet as far as I know. I think this applies to all SIO interfaced devices.

 

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32 minutes ago, mytek said:

Just an observation on the quick reference manual. There is a photo showing a close-up of the PCB with yellow solder mask and a black silkscreen. This was taken from an earlier prototype, hence the V1.1 designation. All new boards are the V1.2 revision level.

 

Yes, that is specifically just a artistic element to take up some empty space, until the next version. I like the color of that yellow board. That is why it's a close up and not representative of the NUC itself.

 

But please keep the comments and corrections coming, so I can incorportate them into the next revision.

 

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5 minutes ago, massiverobot said:

I like the color of that yellow board.

Me too. :) 

 

(My personal board before building)

FBD2162C-CAFF-43BB-B98F-847BFE769E6C.thumb.jpeg.5eeb828749a961bcec7096a6357b7573.jpeg

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12 minutes ago, mytek said:

No soldering required if all you want to do is change the ROM image since it's a socketed chip.

 

No cart images can be loaded with FujiNet as far as I know. I think this applies to all SIO interfaced devices.

 

Ok, that's what I thought. I hadn't heard that it allowed cart functionality, as that requires a PBI interface (I think). You just mentioned something about OS/Cart combinations so I wanted to make sure I had it correct. 

So in other words, if I wanted to boot, say, Spartados, I'd need an OS Image compatible with the NUC+, and then just pull the chip and flash it with an EEPROM burner? That sounds doable. Soldering is what I'm not good at.

For dev work then, the best bet seems to be to just use the disk/atr based versions of MAC/65, Action or Fastbasic to write code and save it to an .atr. 

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1 hour ago, DrVenkman said:

One thing worth pointing out for NUC+ newbies - the OS ROM “slots” are not really the same as the U1MB in terms of flexibility. First, to change them, you need an EPROM or EEPROM burner, and you need to be able to use a hex editor to create the monolithic file to write to the OS ROM chip in the first place,

@flashjazzcat just said "...Hold my beer..."

 

I wonder if there won't be more advances in those slots in the future.

 

Can SDX be enabled as a cart in one of the slots I wonder?

 

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Just now, Lord Thag said:

So in other words, if I wanted to boot, say, Spartados, I'd need an OS Image compatible with the NUC+, and then just pull the chip and flash it with an EEPROM burner? That sounds doable. Soldering is what I'm not good at.

The only versions of SpartaDOS you can use with the NUC+ are the 3.x and earlier disk-based versions. You cannot use SpartaDOS X. Those are cartridge-based by design and will not fit into the NUC+ OS ROM slots or architecture. 

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Just now, massiverobot said:

@flashjazzcat just said "...Hold my beer..."

 

I wonder if there won't be more advances in those slots in the future.

 

Can SDX be enabled as a cart in one of the slots I wonder?

 

No. There’s zero provision to flash the OS EEPROM internally. It must be removed and flashed in an external burner.

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Just now, DrVenkman said:

The only versions of SpartaDOS you can use with the NUC+ are the 3.x and earlier disk-based versions. You cannot use SpartaDOS X. Those are cartridge-based by design and will not fit into the NUC+ OS ROM slots or architecture. 

Unless you doubled up slots?

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Just now, DrVenkman said:

No. There’s zero provision to flash the OS EEPROM internally. It must be removed and flashed in an external burner.

I have no real knowledge about this, so I'm ready to believe you. Just ideating on using SDX w/ my little nuccky...

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1 minute ago, massiverobot said:

Unless you doubled up slots?

Nope. That’s not how the memory map works; SDX is cartridge ROM based, either via an actual physical cart or via the PBI magic of Incognito/U1MB etc. It cannot fit into the memory map of the NUC+ nor can the memory be addressed that way by the MMU/EMMU of the system.

 

SpartaDOS X is a no-go until/unless the external cart board option materializes. 

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2 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Nope. That’s not how the memory map works; SDX is cartridge ROM based, either via an actual physical cart or via the PBI magic of Incognito/U1MB etc. It cannot fit into the memory map of the NUC+ nor can the memory be addressed that way by the MMU/EMMU of the system.

 

SpartaDOS X is a no-go until/unless the external cart board option materializes. 

Is there a PBI in the 576? Or is it totally removed?

 

I've looked at some XEGS info, I don't recall if the PBI was still in that design.

 

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Just now, massiverobot said:

Is there a PBI in the 576? Or is it totally removed?

 

I've looked at some XEGS info, I don't recall if the PBI was still in that design.

 

Nope.

 

If you want to use SDX with your NUC+, you will need an external cartridge port and plug in one of the cart-based solutions.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

NUC+ nor can the memory be addressed that way by the MMU/EMMU of the system.

 

 

Ok, that brings up a question I have- I have read that the XEGS shadow-maps the ROM into RAM- does the 576 do that?

 

Can someone @DrVenkman or @mytek explain what the MMU does compared to what the EMMU does? Why are both needed? I get that a Memory Management Unit is swapping the blocks of 64k addresses (for ram and rom) in and out for the CPU to address, but what function do they play for the 576 (and XEGS)?

 

[and I think I just realized that 576 refers to the RAM of the system?]

Edited by massiverobot

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