4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:35 pm

Yes :)
Does fast-rom access affect the ST compatibility? I mean I know all accelerators affect compatibility with games but how much do you think it will?
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:40 pm

qq1975b wrote:Yes :)
Does fast-rom access affect the ST compatibility? I mean I know all accelerators affect compatibility with games but how much do you think it will?


AFAIK, It shouldn't effect anything. I am not really sure if games really use TOS calls much, maybe AtariZoll or someone can chime in here.... Though fast-rom was more the intention of making GEM run faster as its painfully slow. Of course as the ROM side can cycle faster, it frees up some bus time, so I guess games would still see a small speed boost even without making TOS calls.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:17 pm

m1ra.jpg


So I fiddled the STFM ROM adapter to the MEGA layout. I'm going to make the huge assumption that Atari didn't move the ROM sockets about across MEGA revisions. Maybe if someone has a MEGA4 motherboard handy they can measure the spacing between ROM sockets..

m1r.JPG


I have also designed the PCB for the V1.5 booster. Actually I have done a DIP and SMT GAL version. The DIP was mostly to just do DEV work on so I can socket the GAL easily. I guess the DIP version would be better for the MEGA as it has more room than the STFM.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby DarkLord » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:52 am

exxos wrote:
qq1975b wrote:Yes :)
Does fast-rom access affect the ST compatibility? I mean I know all accelerators affect compatibility with games but how much do you think it will?


AFAIK, It shouldn't effect anything. I am not really sure if games really use TOS calls much, maybe AtariZoll or someone can chime in here.... Though fast-rom was more the intention of making GEM run faster as its painfully slow. Of course as the ROM side can cycle faster, it frees up some bus time, so I guess games would still see a small speed boost even without making TOS calls.


I can't say much about *original* games, but the games by Dbug and Klaz that are "fixed" for hard drive use and (sometimes)
faster processors work just fine on my TOS v3.06 STacy. That's running at 40mhz, 40mhz FPU and I believe the TOS ROMs
are faster than stock but I'm not absolutely sure about that... That is to say, the few dozen games that I've tried.

I keep forgetting that TOS v3.xx is 32 bit and the PAK board utilizes that.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:09 am

Great news on the progress so far! The 1.5 sounds interesting, wouldn't mind buying that (and the ROM board). Does that 1.5 use the Blitter socket still or does it fit into the existing 68000 position?

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:39 am

GadgetUK164 wrote:Great news on the progress so far! The 1.5 sounds interesting, wouldn't mind buying that (and the ROM board). Does that 1.5 use the Blitter socket still or does it fit into the existing 68000 position?


Still uses the CPU location, same as V1 booster.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:07 pm

exxos wrote:So I fiddled the STFM ROM adapter to the MEGA layout. I'm going to make the huge assumption that Atari didn't move the ROM sockets about across MEGA revisions. Maybe if someone has a MEGA4 motherboard handy they can measure the spacing between ROM sockets..



I will try to check that this weekend.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:15 pm

qq1975b wrote:
exxos wrote:So I fiddled the STFM ROM adapter to the MEGA layout. I'm going to make the huge assumption that Atari didn't move the ROM sockets about across MEGA revisions. Maybe if someone has a MEGA4 motherboard handy they can measure the spacing between ROM sockets..



I will try to check that this weekend.



Cool - The boards have been made anyway now, so if they don't fit, they don't fit :lol:
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:41 pm

Small update that the MEGA ROM adapters & V1.5 boosters & V2 boosters should be here end of the week. The 4MB kits are being assembled and will hopefully be here in about a weeks time. More progress on those as it happens.

The round up so far is..

V1 kit - 16mhz CPU ~ 30% speed boost
V1.5 kit - 16mhz CPU & TOS ~ 60% speed boost (limited by 8mhz GLUE decoding)
V2 kit - 16mhz CPU & TOS, TOS104 & TOS206 swithcable. GAL ROM decoding (faster than GLUE). Target is to get this design to 32mhz speeds.
V3 kit - similar to V2 kit, but with expansion bus, blitter, and option to double clock ST RAM and blitter (which will require my 4MB ST RAM kit also).


To thank V1 customers, I will be offering discount for those people who want to order a V1.5 booster. I will post more info on this in due time.

The V2, and future V3 designs are going to be more expensive but also faster. So my thoughts are to currently work on V1.5 as the cheaper kit and V2 as the more expensive version. V3 isn't probably going to happen until sometime next year. Thats assuming there are enough sales in current boosters to fund the V3 project.

I suspect with all this in mind plus other kits I am developing, that people would agree to discontinue the V1's is a good choice to make ? I think there is 3 V1's left in stock currently so anyone who wants to grab one.....
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:10 am

Regarding the V1 booster and adding the 16mz switch..

This is starting to confuse people as the original V1 switching was totally different to fit with machines with or without a blitter. This was simplified on the REV A boards, but it also adds 3rd method which is catching people out as its different again.

So in light of this, I have removed all methods from my page and added in a fix which will work for all combinations of stuff.

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/v1booster/index.htm#16m

For those who already have the switch working, then there is no need to "Fix it". Golden rule "Don't fix it if it isn't broke" :lol:

I won't mention the V1.5 booster switching is different again :lol:
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:52 am

My knowledge of english is not good enough to be sure following your instructions. If someone installs the switch, it would be nice if he posts pictures or if he sends you pictures so you can update your website. :)
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:08 pm

qq1975b wrote:My knowledge of english is not good enough to be sure following your instructions. If someone installs the switch, it would be nice if he posts pictures or if he sends you pictures so you can update your website. :)


Yeah, if someone does it I can post the image up on my site. I'm swamped with all sorts at the moment, so not really sure when / if I will get chance to taking images of V1 switch fitting.

I did draw this, but don't think it really helps.

toggle.png
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:50 pm

v2new.jpg
v1_5.jpg


V2 booster PCB and SMT & DIP version of V1.5 booster.

Pretty busy this week , but will try and make a start on the V1.5 kits :)

Also the new MEGA ROM adapter kit which I also need to try out :)

mega_rom.jpg
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:56 am

plenty of news! :lol:
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:58 pm

Bit more news...

Working on the DIP version so I can fiddle with the code easily on that board.

dev15.JPG


15NOBLT_result.jpg


Updated my site a little with it also.

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/16mhz/index.htm#apr202015

GEM functions get the speed boost this time around. So Display hits 56% faster. Which is 31% faster than just the CPU boost.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby NikolaL » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:07 am

I call this on right time :)
Maybe you can get eazyer hier with cpu, signal E that cpu generates is 1/10 of main cpu clock, ic 1 can be divided?, multiply by 1/2, 3/4 ect. as many other singnals.

But only small cache chip will help alot since you got gal :)
Place for 5 volts, atleast 1000uF 6.3V or 16V capacitator into board at your psu power plug :wink:

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:47 am

NikolaL wrote:I call this on right time :)
Maybe you can get eazyer hier with cpu, signal E that cpu generates is 1/10 of main cpu clock, ic 1 can be divided?, multiply by 1/2, 3/4 ect. as many other singnals.

But only small cache chip will help alot since you got gal :)


I already had 32mhz working, so E clock seems not so important if ACIA support faster speeds.

Cache is a good idea, but we talked about this some time ago. Very hard to find. I think it better to speed up all ST RAM. Whatever figures I can get with upgrades so far, those figures will double when ST RAM is boosted in speed. I think this will be overall much faster than using cache anyway. This is one reason I develop 2 RAM kits which can work at higher speeds.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:41 am

4MB UPDATE

Was told this morning they are ready to be shipped. So probably will have them here around Monday.

I will start testing them when they arrive as they are a few outstanding orders. Though please note, it will take a few days to test and write the install instructions and I am swamped with real life work this week and next week. But I will do what I can.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sat May 02, 2015 8:16 am

V1 BOOSTER - PCB ONLY ?

Would there be any interest in the V1 booster without CPU ? (cheaper price also).

I'm thinking for starters it would be small enough to fit though the 25mm slot , so it could be posted worldwide as a small packet rather than a box (or large packet thicker than 25mm).

Also, it saves me having to solder the pins on the PCB & CPU . Also saves about half hour in trying to get the 68000 into the bloody socket for testing the thing :lol: The PCB will of course be tested before sent out.

I do have around 20-30 PCBs almost completed. Though I just don't have time to assemble them all with the CPU and test them. It is highly unlikely the V1 will be produced again after these last batch of boards. As said a few days ago, I plan the basic kit to be the V1.5 which will be a more expensive kit (and faster) .But with time involved & costs , I can't keep everything in production.

The V1 booster without CPU will probably be about £12 So it is dirt cheap. If anyone wants to bulk buy some boards and fit the CPU to sell themselves , I have no problem with that.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby 1024MAK » Sat May 02, 2015 1:21 pm

Um £12 for the PCB?
According to your order page, "STFM SIMPLE 16MHz booster V1 REV A- £25", "Kit Includes 16mhz DIL CPU and tested assembled PCB."
And...
"GENUINE NEW MC68000 16mhz CPU - £15"

I don't need a computer to do the maths :roll: :lol:

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sat May 02, 2015 1:29 pm

1024MAK wrote:Um £12 for the PCB?
According to your order page, "STFM SIMPLE 16MHz booster V1 REV A- £25", "Kit Includes 16mhz DIL CPU and tested assembled PCB."
And...
"GENUINE NEW MC68000 16mhz CPU - £15"

I don't need a computer to do the maths :roll: :lol:

Mark


As you see the V1 was really good value. People can source the CPU themselves in their own country probably cheaper which was the assumption.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu May 07, 2015 3:14 pm

V2 booster

I have been working on the V2 booster for some time though current progress I posted on my site. Not much progress to report. But its just to let people know where I am at.

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/16mhz/index.htm#07may2015

I know the sync issues with the ST bus has a lot of peoples confused (including myself). While the 68000 is capable of working asynchronous, I suspect the custom Atari chips cannot. What it boils down to is, the Atari chips expect very specific timings, and if they do not get it, it just screws up badly. Just 10ns delay on /AS line causes issues. In fact just 10ns delay on the 8mhz line to the GLUE causes huge issues. Some of the latest crash screens I posted were due to just the delay in the 8mhz clock. When I am up against such impossible situations, its just pointless to keep trying.

There is probably a solution but with it taking up so much time I think its not worthwhile. I propose a workaround to TOS104, in just using GLUE to decode as normal. Its not going to be ideal, but its either that, or the booster is TOS206 only. I have been asking around for possible solutions to the GLUE isolation problem, though I am not hopeful that there will be a solution. After weeks of constant faffing around with it, I think its just time to move on from that problem and start working on other areas like the 32mhz boost otherwise the project will never get out of the development phase.

V1 boosters.
As there has been no interest in anyone taking over V1 production or PCB only, I will make up 10 for stock with the CPU as currently sold and then that will be the end of the V1 production. The cost of this last batch will increase slightly over the price it was sold before as they require a lot of time to build and test which I wasn't charging for before as needed quick sales to fund V2 design. I have 1 or 2 left in stock currently so when the are gone, they will be out of stock until I get chance to build up the next batch.

V1.5 boosters
V1.5 will ultimately take over from V1 boosters but will be more expensive as it also requires my ROM boards to work at faster speeds. The V1.5 works in conjunction with my ROM boards to give faster access to TOS. Its more expensive than the V1 but also is faster with TOS access. I don't know when V1.5 will go into production yet as I am just swamped with other work at the moment.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby 1024MAK » Thu May 07, 2015 3:58 pm

exxos wrote:V1 BOOSTER - PCB ONLY ?

Would there be any interest in the V1 booster without CPU ? (cheaper price also).
<snip>
The V1 booster without CPU will probably be about £12 So it is dirt cheap.

You are not the only one who is time poor :twisted:
I may well buy two of these V1 boards without CPU. But I need to check some things out first.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby spiny » Mon May 18, 2015 5:14 pm

I've just fitted one of the new 4Meg boards, and I'm getting the classic 'white border, black screen' error.
Is there a fitting guide, just to make sure I've not missed something out ?

currently I have:

fitted the small board, linked it to the shifter board, 'cut' R60, R61, R71 and R72 (this is a 1meg FM) and fed the resistors +5v.

The old Marpet boards needed a +5 supply too, I guess these boards dont ?

cheers :)

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon May 18, 2015 5:45 pm

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