exxos blog - random goings on

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exxos
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Steve wrote: Mon Aug 21, 2023 8:24 pm @exxos I hope this advice is helpful, or not completely redundant - but I think you've suffered enough when it comes to STe, ACSI, DMA etc over the years. It's just gonna drag you down and make you frustrated! Perhaps you could put this to bed and then you'll have the energy to work on more fun projects for yourself :)
Yep. Pretty much about to throw in the towel with it all. I must have wasted 100+ hours on this by now. I just see it all as unpaid work which I didn't want to do in the first place. There is just no way to diagnose what is going on with anything. It's just another screwy fault in a long line of screwing faults with these original machines.

Mostly I started this because the STE booster aggravates this new problem. I didn't want to end up with people having issues and not having a solution. Though not using the blitter, or using TOS162 seems to be the only solution. Though its unverified as there's only one other person who has this problem, and doesn't have the booster AFAIK anyway. I may try a different STE tomorrow, see if it happens on a different machine. Also try a integrated blitter machine as maybe Atari ditched the external blitter for more than just "cost saving" measures. Who knows.

I need to get back to the H5 stuff. As I can use TOS206 on the H5, it be interesting to do my tests to see if the H5 suffers from the same problem. Though i'd assume not. But if it does, then it could well be a bug in TOS206.
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

New MB. Integrated blitter 001A DMA if anyone's interested.

Other than the Pico drive (fails with ultrasatan as well) , PSU, DUALTOS, FLOPPY DRIVE which were transferred over.

I think it must be a software problem. It's odd as I can still move the mouse and the floppy light is still flashing. Beats me.

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IMG_1012.JPG
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I do notice the drive LED stays on all the time with TOS162. I did wonder if it was floppy polling which was causing it previously but I have no way to prove that either.
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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 JezC »

@exxos If you want me to try and test on a couple of different STEs (with & without external blitter) without the booster then I can have a go...but at present I only have old mechanical ACSI drives (I'll try to fix that 'issue' once you have some of the pico drives back in stock ;))

I've yet to have the time to fit the plug-in booster to any of my STEs but testing without the booster is not going to take much time.
I can probably try the booster on external & internal blitter machines @ 8MHz (I think you said that is still a problem?) & I do have at least one STE with a TOS switcher in place (currently 2/06 or 1.06 but I can probably program in 1.62 instead of 1.06 if needed).

Just let me know if any/all of the above might be at least some help!
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

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JezC wrote: Mon Aug 21, 2023 10:00 pm @exxos If you want me to try and test on a couple of different STEs (with & without external blitter) without the booster then I can have a go...but at present I only have old mechanical ACSI drives (I'll try to fix that 'issue' once you have some of the pico drives back in stock ;))
Yeah, we are working on a new batch :)
I can probably try the booster on external & internal blitter machines @ 8MHz (I think you said that is still a problem?) & I do have at least one STE with a TOS switcher in place (currently 2/06 or 1.06 but I can probably program in 1.62 instead of 1.06 if needed).
Yeah if you have TOS 206 that seems mostly the cause. Though the problem only shows up with HD11 ( HD8 also) when the blitter is on. You would just need I'd say, at least a 100mb partition to copy my test files.

Without the booster is fine. Stock machines are having this issue regardless of what stock is.

The problem doesn't seem to show up with PP driver. I'm just double checking with the blitter on in fact. It's deleted half my test files so I'd imagine it will complete fine.

I had a quick look at the TOS sources and there a lot of code turned on at TOS200 . So something buggy must have been introduced at that point.
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by JezC »

Ok, I have HD11 already (not yet upgraded to 12) so will try to test on a couple of STEs later this week.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Steve »

I guess you've played with blitter transfer enhancement setting in HD Driver? I can't remember whether it's IDE or ACSI only.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

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Steve wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2023 8:25 am I guess you've played with blitter transfer enhancement setting in HD Driver? I can't remember whether it's IDE or ACSI only.
I think that was just for IDE AFAIK.
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Next up.

Same test, HD11, Blitter ON, TOS206.

( I had forgotten how much better the video quality is on the H5!)

IMG_1013.JPG
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EDIT:

Failed on the H5 also.

IMG_1014.JPG
IMG_1014.JPG (57.63 KiB) Viewed 588 times

So I think it would be highly unlikely that three totally different motherboards would exhibit exactly the same hardware problem.
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by stephen_usher »

It's probably all to do with timing.

UltraSATAN definitely violates the timing on the ACSI bus, I'm guessing that this new one does as well and happens to work on some machines most of the time.

Without debugging the firmware on the device to see if it's missing some commands (I'm guessing seeks are the most likely as they will cause corruption of the original files and FAT entries if missed) you're going to get absolutely nowhere with this. You'd need a monitor on the bus to see what's being sent and tally it with the firmware debugging to see what's being read.

Knowing the Pi Pico a bit, I wouldn't be surprised if the PIO buffers are being overrun as the ARM core can't keep up with processing the data. I s'pose that overclocking the device may help. This is where I'd investigate first rather than on the ST side.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

@stephen_usher Timing it may be, but doesn't explain why PP driver works, ICD driver works, TOS162 works, EMUTOS works.

I've plugged in a old spinning metal drive and its about the same speed as the pico driver at first glance.
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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