STFM internal IDE ?

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:16 am

If your offer to fit it, I'd consider one for my trusty old (and for ages unused) 1040STFM.....I personally don't feel comfortable enough to solder such large upgrades in.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:25 am

karlm wrote:Chris - I found some stuff on the 16mhz speedup card which has some gals etc for cache and the like if you want it. Also, my memory is hazy, but wouldn't you need to extend/replace the mmu to address the 14mb? I remember something like an extra ram card which involved the replacement of the mmu and using some kludge like a second mmu tacked on to decode everything ...

Cheers

karlm.


There is some stuff on Atarihacks I think like that, but think it used the next cpu up 020 version ?

There is no 14MB address lines on the MMU so either it would have to be replaced with a new ram controller or some logic to extend its range, either way is a lot of work.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:27 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:If your offer to fit it, I'd consider one for my trusty old (and for ages unused) 1040STFM.....I personally don't feel comfortable enough to solder such large upgrades in.


It wouldn't be a problem to fit it for people, have done a lot of upgrades for people in the past. Though don't forget the PCB will only physically fit on the later types of MB.. it would cost a fortune to make it for every MB type. Willing do do it if someone pays for it all though of course!

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:43 am

alanh wrote:Chris,

You might want to try casting the net a bit further.

Post to comp.sys.atari.st as well, and possibly a few other lists to make it known what you're doing. I'm sure there'd be a few buyers.

If it was 16Mb I'd take one, or possibly two depending on final price.

Alan.



I left comp.sys.. some time ago, in part my ISP stopped supporting the newsgroups, plus at the time I got constantly slated by people which just drove me to give up in the end with the group.

I remember getting slated as a auto 1.44 floopy kit was impossible and several enginners had tried and failed and was of course totally impossible that I had seen selling and fitting the kits for several years... be it know programming on the fly the 1772 was actually pretty easy.. one gets tired of such things after a while. I still potter about on there from time to time though.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:12 pm

As I see here it will be always like this... Some people makes some projects, and then most of posts in threads about are with some extra wishes.
Considering RAM expansion over 4MB: it was discussed here many times. Thing is not simple, and SW support is near to zero.
In reality only Mint can benefit from it. But Mint, multitasking on 68000 without PMMU is again not something really useful.

'If it was 16MB...' It can not be 16MB, only 14MB max because of address space usage of TOS and HW. Then, price will be high, for sure.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:47 pm

I think it has been said before that 14MB will not be used by many applications. Only thing which I could think of is when recording sampled sounds, but then again depends if the software would see 14MB or not.. not something I thought about much, but agree its a lot of work for something which may not be even usable.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby alanh » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:38 pm

Maybe if more people had access to 16Mb upgrades on the STFM then there would be applications available.

Heck, I'd hack on MiNT to make it use it.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Desty » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:34 pm

alanh wrote:Maybe if more people had access to 16Mb upgrades on the STFM then there would be applications available.

Would there really though? Let's be honest; 16mb-upgraded STFMs with hard disks and MiNT are hardly a teeming development platform.... how many people in the world have a 16mb STFM? I don't know anyone who does.
And what proportion of even retro Atari-heads actually program and release applications? Maybe 2%?

I'd say there are more practical and realistic places to direct our creative energies.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:18 am

Not to mention that all coders who need more than 4MB use Falcons, TTs and GEM compatibles to code.
On a plain ST it is not worth the effort to have the RAM. 4MB in my STE already feels as much as 14MB in my Falcon....it is simply enough and only sloppy coding requires more RAM.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:24 am

Other than the cost of dev and the apps using 14MB, there is also the issue of people may not even be able to fit this board as it will need a lot of soldering. It is
the problem at the moment that people do not even seem to want a 4MB/IDE board. At cost the PCB will cost £15 each, only 8 will be made, 2 I will have to keep her for dev work, which leaves 6. I can't afford to splash out on £100's to be landed which stuff which may not sell for a year.

This is why we took pre-orders of PeST of about 25 cables before they were made, as that was just to break even with production costs. So unless 6 people chip in with the buys of the 6 boards then it won't happen anyway.

another problem is after xmas I am planning to move away, have to find somewhere to live with a good paid job. So depending how long it takes to sort out my stuff and find work etc, in a couple of months I just won't have time to do any work on this project anyway, or indeed much of anything else. Its why I am trying to bring a close to projects I started before the move.. So other than building the prototypes and doind the final testing, its pretty much done really.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:36 pm

alanh wrote:Maybe if more people had access to 16Mb upgrades on the STFM then there would be applications available.
Heck, I'd hack on MiNT to make it use it.
.


It had some sense 15 years ago. Now we are far from critical mass needed to initiate some 'boom' :D

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Shredder11 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:32 pm

exxos wrote:It is the problem at the moment that people do not even seem to want a 4MB/IDE board. At cost the PCB will cost £15 each, only 8 will be made, 2 I will have to keep her for dev work, which leaves 6. I can't afford to splash out on £100's to be landed which stuff which may not sell for a year.

This is why we took pre-orders of PeST of about 25 cables before they were made, as that was just to break even with production costs. So unless 6 people chip in with the buys of the 6 boards then it won't happen anyway.

another problem is after xmas I am planning to move away, have to find somewhere to live with a good paid job. So depending how long it takes to sort out my stuff and find work etc, in a couple of months I just won't have time to do any work on this project anyway, or indeed much of anything else. Its why I am trying to bring a close to projects I started before the move.. So other than building the prototypes and doind the final testing, its pretty much done really.


I'm interested in having another IDE interface for one of my three 4160 STe machines. Two of them don't have TOS 2.06 though so I would require that. If you could give a little bit of information on what exactly the IDE board comes with, i.e. IDE ribbon cable 44 or 40 pin and/or power lead and is it pre-assembled with no further soldering required or at least just minor soldering of a few wires (I can't do chips yet)? So if you give a full account of everything, then I would be interested and yes....I will pay up front

Incidentally I already have a PeST adapter on order and awaiting delivery in the not too distant future. Alison is on the case as we speak... :mrgreen:

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:51 pm

These are not for the STE, these only fit STFM machines...

currently I am only looking to supply the PCB, though can supply sockets, cables and assemble the PCB if needs be.. but these are for STFM only. I have no plans to develop anything for the STE. I think ppepra already has a IDE solution which uses the cartridge port anyway so re-developing already built kit is a bit pointless...

I just wanted a hard drive (CF IDE) for my STFM as all my programs and everything I have ever done is on my STFM, storing everything internally on a CF card is of great use to me.. I am not really looking to supply these things as kits, but possible, but only really looking for 6 people to buy the PCB who want an easy/cheap solution to upgrade a STFM machine...

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Shredder11 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:40 pm

Ahhh yes, I keep forgetting you specialise in STFM... :mrgreen:

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Jo'ogn » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:45 pm

exxos wrote:I was just asking if anyone had done this "particular" arrangement before I spend hours developing a PCB for it all. I'm not upating to TOS206, so if it means I have to load HD8 from floppy then thats fine by me!

the ones on your site needs patches, cart ports, ASCI port, TOS 206, GAL's, Im NOT talking about all that stuff and going down that road just for the sake of booting from hard drive. I have a STE with Veloce TOS 206, works fine with my SCSI drive. The STFM is what I am looking at, TOS 104 ONLY!

So now thats all clear, has anyone developed a internal IDE such as listed on joogn's site ? or actually built that one ?

Yes, me ( ;

At its time I didn't want to bother with a GAL, so I... "raped" Pera's version.
But I had already TOS2.06 in my STFM. I also put that circuit into a spare Mega STE someone gave me, but the whole STE was kind of unstable, so I never really did much with it. But the IDE worked.

My STFM is running for years with the IDE drive now. I use it mainly with Cubase 3.10.
Get transferrates upto 1MB/s with large blocks of data.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby joska » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:48 am

ppera wrote:Considering RAM expansion over 4MB: it was discussed here many times. Thing is not simple, and SW support is near to zero.
In reality only Mint can benefit from it. But Mint, multitasking on 68000 without PMMU is again not something really useful.


It's true that MiNT is not really suitable for 68000-machines. It's not true that SW-support for extended ram is near zero, TOS 2 supports this. All applications running under TOS 2, MagiC or MiNT can be forced to use RAM > 4Mb if desired. It's true that not all apps will work (apps not using Malloc() for instance, or apps using DMA), but most will. 14Mb on a ST will make MagiC really usable even on a 68000 computer.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:04 pm

joska wrote:.... It's not true that SW-support for extended ram is near zero, TOS 2 supports this. All applications running under TOS 2, MagiC or MiNT can be forced to use RAM > 4Mb if desired. It's true that not all apps will work (apps not using Malloc() for instance, or apps using DMA), but most will. 14Mb on a ST will make MagiC really usable even on a 68000 computer.


OK. Can you give some examples? And please some APPs, because nobody has benefit from fact that some OS can handle RAM above 4MB. Or you meant that may run in multitasking several PRG at once ? ... hmmm - I think that it is not what I meant, but solo application what needs a lot of RAM.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby joska » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:22 pm

ppera wrote:
joska wrote:.... It's not true that SW-support for extended ram is near zero, TOS 2 supports this. All applications running under TOS 2, MagiC or MiNT can be forced to use RAM > 4Mb if desired. It's true that not all apps will work (apps not using Malloc() for instance, or apps using DMA), but most will. 14Mb on a ST will make MagiC really usable even on a 68000 computer.


OK. Can you give some examples? And please some APPs, because nobody has benefit from fact that some OS can handle RAM above 4MB. Or you meant that may run in multitasking several PRG at once ? ... hmmm - I think that it is not what I meant, but solo application what needs a lot of RAM.


All apps that allocates memory using Malloc (and that should in theory mean all of them) is able to use memory beyond 4Mb. Not that many *need* more than 4Mb, but if you're using apps like Calamus or Pagestream 4Mb is rather limiting.

I don't see the point in excluding multitasking here. On the contrary, multitasking is the number one reason for adding more RAM and a HD.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:47 pm

I did not exclude mulitasking. But was mentioned that it works not well on 68000. Not to mention low speed. Real benefit is that run solo app, at full speed possible on machine, and that it uses RAM more than 4MB.
Point is not in what is possible, but what is useful, what has good ratio usefulnes/price, invested time.
Do we really need multitasking on ST machines? For what? It is just to may say: my machine can do it...

So, if I get it correct only some desktop publishing SW is what can really benefit...

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby joska » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:56 pm

ppera wrote:I did not exclude mulitasking. But was mentioned that it works not well on 68000. Not to mention low speed. Real benefit is that run solo app, at full speed possible on machine, and that it uses RAM more than 4MB.
Point is not in what is possible, but what is useful, what has good ratio usefulnes/price, invested time.
Do we really need multitasking on ST machines? For what? It is just to may say: my machine can do it...


You have obviously never used MagiC. I've used it for many years on an STE (from 1994 to 2000) and it works brilliantly. It's faster than TOS, multitasks GEM-apps really well and makes the ST a lot more useful. Going back to TOS is a nightmare when you're used to MagiC. The only drawback is that MagiC+NVDI+desktop use about 2Mb, which is why adding more RAM would be very useful.

ppera wrote:So, if I get it correct only some desktop publishing SW is what can really benefit...


No. More RAM allows multitasking, which again enhance the user experience by ten-folds.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:04 pm

joska wrote:All apps that allocates memory using Malloc (and that should in theory mean all of them) is able to use memory beyond 4Mb. Not that many *need* more than 4Mb, but if you're using apps like Calamus or Pagestream 4Mb is rather limiting.


As far as I know in TOS 1.x and 2.x, Malloc can see first 4MB and Mxalloc is dedicated for additional ram (ALT-RAM in ST and TT-RAM)

For old programs (which do not know Mxalloc ) you can use PRGFLAGS and decide if they will use memory beyond 4MB (alternative RAM) :
BITS MEANING
31-28 This number, plus one, times 128K, is the minimum amount
of alternative RAM that is acceptable. Used when there
is more ST RAM than alternative RAM.
2 When 1, Malloc calls may be satisfied from alternative RAM.
1 When 1, the program may load into alternative RAM.
Last edited by Cyprian on Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:08 pm

I tried Magic, and have it ready on hard disk (and EPROMs). But it is not much faster. It is fast only as HW allows. For me slow, in other words.
As I remember most of RAM expansion boards for above 4MB were from Germany - not surprising :D
Maybe to try contacting developers for some documentation, schematics, SW?
In any case, this is not 1994. Magic is now only a relic :D
I agree that RAM expansion over 4MB may be useful. But for very limited number of people.
Situation is that there is much, more useful thing to develop.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby joska » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:23 pm

ppera wrote:I tried Magic, and have it ready on hard disk. But it is not much faster. It is fast only as HW allows. For me slow, in other words.


It is not any slower than TOS, but offers a lot more.

ppera wrote:As I remember most of RAM expansion boards for above 4MB were from Germany - not surprising :D
Maybe to try contacting developers for some documentation, schematics, SW?


The only software you need is TOS 2 or MagiC, and a compiler to compile this program:

Code: Select all

#include <tos.h>

void main(void)
{
   Maddalt(start_address, size);
}


ppera wrote:In any case, this is not 1994. Magic is now only a relic :D


And TOS is up to date, right? ;-)

ppera wrote:I agree that RAM expansion over 4MB may be useful. But for very limited number of people.
Situation is that there is much, more useful thing to develop.


Well, I don't think there's anything an ST can do that a cheap PC can't do a lot better, so why develop anything at all for it? The ST is for enthusiasts, and more RAM opens a lot of possibilites. If I still had that STE (I chose to spend $$$ on Falcons, accelerators and finally a Milan060) more RAM would be on top of my wish-list.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:23 pm

More RAM requires faster CPU, faster bus... 4MB is fine for ST(E).
I was Atari enhusiast, and I am still. But wishes still needs to be real.
Developing new SW for Ataris? I think that there is a lot of SW already, most is even forgotten.
I choosed to make supporting SW for easier usage of old SW.

Competing with today's PCs is total nonsense. Speed difference is enormous. Even fastest Atari clones are desparately slow. And it will be so, because we don't have choice - no fast CPUs. Unless someone here comes with idea of developing new 68000 at 3GHz :mrgreen:

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:37 pm

If someone can supply clear tested diagrams for 14MB then it wouldn't take much to add it to the PCB. Though up to now there hasn't been much interest in the 4MB boards with IDE, so investing more time into 14MB version...

I only wanted a IDE drive for my STFM, internal CF as this would be perfect solution for me, 4MB isn't needed for me, but I decided to add it as I may use RAM drive etc..

The PCB order (not this project) will be sent off this weekend, nobody has come forward into buying the 4MB/IDE boards so looks like it will not be developed any further.

If there is circuits for 14MB, then maybe this would generate some more interest, but I am not spending days/weeks/months developing something which may not be usable for most people.

I really am only doing this as a personal project, but I also just interested in boosting the CPU/RAM/TOS speed further, its just a small project to see what is possible. I think some games suffer from lack of CPU power, so even if a small increase in speed will make software/games run a little faster.

But at the moment there is not enough interest even in the smaller boards, so no use spending time in 14MB. Maybe no use in CPU speed boosters either.. but it just something I wanted to try..


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