exxos blog - random goings on

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exxos
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Upgrades will be all integrated eventually, but they have to be developed first. Things like IDE, the mainstream solutions generally have issues. So I'm not one to just copy any old ide interface and add it. I developed my own, which took some years. With the help of many people I am happy that's as good as it can be. But that is just 1 project.

@Icky has developed a HDMI shifter which is near completion. But we want to speed up the ST to more like a true 64mhz machine. But this means going to FPGA, which is new to us and takes time to learn. Plus the ST code for FPGA isn't accurate enough yet to replicate the ST chips, which is more work to diagnose and update. Again nobody helps us with such work. So everything takes a huge amount of time and effort. It will take several years to get the remake ST where I want it to be, easily. But it all depends on interest and motivation for such projects.

Overall it's better to release smaller addons more often so people can use them now. Integrating can only be considered when all projects are completed. But then it's porting over the FPGA so it's almost starting at square 1 again. Again some years worth of work ahead.

So starting another motherboard type is really not a good idea anyway at this time. I started a legacy board but not sure even if it will get produced and that was based on the H4 board. Addons we are working on are on a 68k footprint so you can pack in a lot of upgrades into the H5 already. In fact boosters would be obsolete with a true 64mhz system.

It all boils down to time. There is only myself and @Icky developing this stuff and we are maxed out 20 times over already. I've had to drop no end of upgrade ideas and projects just down to lack of time. I pretty much spend 16 hours a day working on all this stuff already and been going like that for 20 odd years now, I'm beyond exhausted and with my RSI I'm really struggling to do a lot of things lately.

Anyway, I will keep plodding away while people are buying stuff from my store. I hope I can build my dream ST one day, but it's going to be a lot of work to get it there that's for sure. Probably 5-10 years of work... As to who will care about ST computers over the next 10 years is another matter..
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Tbs123456
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Tbs123456 »

Cool. Can't wait to see what else you (and everyone else) come up with. I grew up with the atari 8bit line and video game systems, but never got into the 16/32 bit computers. It has been a lot of fun reading up on all of these projects going on. Your site has been a great resource, so thank you for keeping everything going.
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Darklord
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Darklord »

Looking forward to a video upgrade/VGA/HDMI adapter that the average user can install.

Been one of my dreams for a long, long time...

PS I'll still be supporting you and Atari stuff Chris,
assuming I don't die first. I ain't getting any younger
ya know. :)
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by DoG »

Tbs123456 wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:20 am ATX I'd figured would would allow more room for upgrades and better airflow. Again, just curious.
There is others doing ATX style ST motherboard. Only prototype at the moment, but it's running.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Darklord wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:17 am Looking forward to a video upgrade/VGA/HDMI adapter that the average user can install.
There is for the H5. https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/forum/viewt ... 610#p64394

There is also a HDMI scan doubler for the STFM in its final stages.
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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 ~
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Been busy the past few days trying to work out how to speed up production of my power supplies. Thankfully I found 140 of the switch mode chips which I need to send off to the PCB guy in China.. I guess this would be the last batch until prices stabilise on parts again which could be ongoing for a couple of years yet :(

I finally got a parts list cobbled together which could otherwise be obtained from Mouser. Only to find out yesterday that the rectifier diodes had been totally wiped out from their stock. So then I had to spend time again looking for a substitute part of good specification and would fit, without increasing the price too much.

While I would like them to be a UK made thing, I guess really they never were fully, because the circuit boards were made in China anyway. Only this time China will be assembling the surface mount components as well. As I said before I just do not have the time to do this any more, and because of my RSI, it's not something I could do even if I had time. Aside from that, it really is soul destroying having to pick and place thousands of components all the time and solder them on.

So when I get the PCBs back, they'll be going off to my friend for final assembly and testing, he did the previous batch of 70ish anyway. Ironically I just do not have time to even test power supplies, never mind anything else. I do not know how long all this will take, probably 2-4 months in total. Meanwhile I need to find a source for transformers, going by the epic load of drama last time I suspect it will be even more fun now.

In other news, I have programmed about 20 H5 1.44 floppy GALs. My stickers came for these yesterday. So I need to bag them up and put them in the store next. Speaking of store items, and trying to keep the levels up as much as possible, and I am plodding away at all this in the background continuously. I have not really had much time to update the current status page of store items either. I know there are a lot of items out of stock, but a lot of things require assembly and testing and such, which again I just do not have time to do at the moment.

Speaking about bags, I'm trying to think of a new system for my girlfriend to pick and pack orders. The number of bags and the space they take up is just phenomenal. I have been trying to look for racking And other storage solutions bought after the past week of looking I have given up. So rather than trying to increase storage area of items, I need to reduce the amount of space the items actually take up.

The long and short of it, while everything is bagged & numbered for packing orders, small items will be just kept in a drawer and put in the antistatic bag when my girlfriend picks them up ready to pack and send off the orders. The problem is while the system I think will work, it will require me to do a new automated system to process the orders on the server backend :roll: So much I need to do it is unbelievable.

Main problem overall is my hands are killing me at the moment because of starting back work :( it's why I have been mostly flickering between various different projects at apparently random, just because I am trying to do the stuff which won't hurt my hands as much as doing more stuff like writing firmware or updating my server etc.

In any case, updates and news may be sparse for me for the foreseeable future, not because I am not doing anything, and just trying to prioritise what is going on in the background with everything.
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Been having problems with a few keys not working correctly so took my keyboard to bits and cleaned it all out and it looks like a new again now :D

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Was actually surprised how easy the keyboard to bits and reassembled, not a single screw in sight! The key is removed just by simply popping them out.. Maybe I will clean it again in another 20 years time :lol:
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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 ~
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

My new replacement glass for my 3-D printer came. Did all the bed levelling and ended up with this problem again on the bottom :roll:

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While this looks like it is under extruding, bizarrely the height of a 3mm high square ends up at 3.40mm . I have tried various heights of the bed and the bed is almost hitting the nozzle that is that high up now. I have literally played with every setting in the software. Layer heights, speeds, filament temperatures, calibrating filament thickness etc etc. I just cannot get it to print any better the height problem. Ironically before I changed the glass the height was actually spot-on so I'm not really sure what is going on now ?!.

I have even tried the left head with normal ABS, and the right head with PLA. The only real difference is the ABS height ends up at about 3.20mm. to be expected because of shrinkage really.

The only thing I have noticed is that while the square is to be 24.5mm it ends up at 24.30 x 24.07. Though as previously mentioned I have a lot of problems with one of the axis been out all the time so it has got some compensation in there ( which I've also tried turning off).

I'm starting to think while this was a great beginner printer, and it worked out of the box, I think any sort of " professional use" is grossly inaccurate just as too many sets of problems which there are no way to adjust :(
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by PhilC »

@exxos are you able to set a print height for the first layer? Its got to almost squish the filament into it. As you say, it does look like under extrusion but could be that first layer is too high?
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

PhilC wrote: Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:11 pm @exxos are you able to set a print height for the first layer? Its got to almost squish the filament into it. As you say, it does look like under extrusion but could be that first layer is too high?
Yep. taken that right down also. I've got the bed almost touching the nozzle so the print height should be too small if anything.

I'm trying to pretend the nozzle is 0.35mm now see what chaos that does.
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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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