STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

Post by rubber_jonnie »

GALs ordered ready for some tinkering. Will hopefully have then next week, but in the meantime will try and do some testing tonight on the 40Mhz STE as it is.
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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rubber_jonnie wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:34 pm GALs ordered ready for some tinkering. Will hopefully have then next week, but in the meantime will try and do some testing tonight on the 40Mhz STE as it is.
The DMA pulls ups are definitely needed for things to be stable. The 1K pull up on /AS I should also add. You could try the booster like that...
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

Post by rubber_jonnie »

I do have a bunch of 10k SIL resistor packs bought specifically for this, so I can test it out.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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rubber_jonnie wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:47 pm I do have a bunch of 10k SIL resistor packs bought specifically for this, so I can test it out.
It will be interesting to see if this did actually fix the issue on your machine as I think yours has a external blitter?

For some reason the external blitter boards seem to behave a lot better than the to integrated blitter boards.. so you never know until tried...

I have half thought that the blitter itself with it loading a lot of signals on the bus, is naturally adding some immunity to the signals because of the extra loading. I guess the integrated blitters will have some loading effect, but I suspect it would be actually be more with the external blitter.. It does not really take much to upset things either way.
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

Post by rubber_jonnie »

exxos wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:59 pm
It will be interesting to see if this did actually fix the issue on your machine as I think yours has a external blitter?

For some reason the external blitter boards seem to behave a lot better than the to integrated blitter boards.. so you never know until tried...

I have half thought that the blitter itself with it loading a lot of signals on the bus, is naturally adding some immunity to the signals because of the extra loading. I guess the integrated blitters will have some loading effect, but I suspect it would be actually be more with the external blitter. It does not really take much to upset things either way.
If its U101, then yes, it has an external Blitter. That's the STE with the 40Mhz booster, the 32Mhz STE, on which the CosmosEx worked fine has an integrated Blitter.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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rubber_jonnie wrote: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:03 pm If its U101, then yes, it has an external Blitter. That's the STE with the 40Mhz booster, the 32Mhz STE, on which the CosmosEx worked fine has an integrated Blitter.
U101 blitter yes..

The 32MHz board uses the STE's 32MHz clock, so everything is synchronised and timed exactly every cycle. There has never been a issue reported with that design..

But of course when using a external oscillator, even if it is still 32Mhz, opens up a whole new can of worms because things are always slightly out of sync somewhere. Most of the code is synchronised to the 8MHz clock anyway, so the speed of the CPU should not really matter anyway... But there is still some odd things going on somewhere.
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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I managed to get near full speeds last night, but kept on having intermittent lockups, even if I slowed things right down. So I don't know if if there is a bad connection or not somewhere or some odd fault. I can't seem to track it down.. But this morning, I turned on the machine and its dead (works in 8mhz). I think there are just to many variables of faults and bugs to track down issues. I just don't have time to debug the STE and STFM stuff.

Mix in as the CPU's are being overclocked, not all of them can run at 36MHz, this is why I dropped from 40MHz as some CPU's couldn't work for long. Though I suspect some can't even do 36MHz, and as they are soldered into the boards, I can't simply swap them out. But again, testing every CPU to see what it will overclock at just takes a huge amount of time.

I really think the "plug in" board is a bad idea as even a slight bad connection can cause intermittent hang ups. If it shifts even a tiny bit during running it will crash. Plus as there are 3 brands of CPU socket, its making fitting them difficult without doing a separate board for each socket. For the few of these which sell, its just not worth producing them all. Soldering the boards up with the tiny header pins has always been a nightmare as well :(

I could produce the V1 again, but with most people damaging the motherboard removing the socket, and PLCC socket issues, I would need to do a new board with a SMT socket.. and again, I don't have time to start over again on another board anyway. So its looking like the STE series of booster will not be produced again.

Incidentally, The STFM SEC booster, for those keeping up with that project, doesn't suffer with any of these issues.

So tomorrow I will try the STE's 32MHz clock and do firmware for it. This should get people running correctly.
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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I have been looking into this issue still and is really bizarre..

It's like one day I can do some code which does not work, and I make some changes, and that code then works fine basically all day. I go back to the machine the next day and the code that was working no longer works, and the code which wasn't working previously now works.

So it is like the fault changes on the STE maybe every power off, or maybe after it has been turned off several hours. It is very difficult to track down such faults when they seem to appear at random. So I just cannot solve this problem easily.

However, I have patched the firmware similar to how the V1 firmware works. So this will need the on-board oscillator removing and link to the STE 32MHz clock as the V1 did. I will post instructions to this in another thread suddenly later today. There doesn't seem to be any issues with the V1 design, but I will test this out before posting any official updates.
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

Post by rubber_jonnie »

My parts are all here now, so there should be no issue in me trying out the process, hopefully in a couple of days. I guess we'll see how it likes the STEs 32Mhz feed and new firmware.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...
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Re: STe booster v 1.5 36Mhz

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rubber_jonnie wrote: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:40 am My parts are all here now, so there should be no issue in me trying out the process, hopefully in a couple of days. I guess we'll see how it likes the STEs 32Mhz feed and new firmware.
My machine is now acting up even with the STE's 32MHz.. :roll: :evil: :evil: Something must be bad on my test machine somewhere so trying to debug this is just getting nowhere.

This is the file I am currently using.. People will just have to reprogram the GAL with this firmware and see if it solves their problem or not..
V1D.zip
(709 Bytes) Downloaded 163 times
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https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
Just because a lot of people agree on something, doesn't make it a fact. ~exxos ~
People should find solutions to problems, not find problems with solutions.
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