STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

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MSuomi
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STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

Postby MSuomi » Fri May 05, 2017 10:08 pm

Hello, fellow Atari enthusiasts!

Been getting back to Atari user (even more, than I ever was back in the days). In the old days I had 520STFM, STE and finally Falcon (which was sadly stolen from me along with my model 1 Lynx and now getting one (Falcon) is just too expensive...). Well, I also have my Jaguar with CD-drive still ;)

In 2016 summer I bought 520STFM, Atari 800XL and now a little while back I bought 2600, 7800 and finally an STE with 4096MB memory.
Been using Retrodesign's Gotek with HcX in STFM and now in STE. Having strange errors, where folder names scramble and so on. Might be bad USB stick, haven't had a time to test yet. But mainly, everything works fine on STFM.

Was not as lucky with STE though... I knew, that the reset button wasn't working (a guy I bought it from said he had replaced broken reset button with original part). Anyway, transferred the Gotek from STFM to STE and started testing.

Mostly everything works OK, but Lethal Xcess is sometimes having difficulties to even load at all. Strange thing is, that from an USB-stick which works fine, it always stops into black screen during loading. But with the same images on the stick, that messes the directories, it loads ok.... Strange...
Ok, now when I get into game the colors go crazy, they flash from center downwards and occasionally whole screen. On STFM the game is normal. Wings of Doom works normally even on STE. Bad Taste STE-demo's loading screen is corrupted and then it just stops on black screen. Dynabusters+, Teramis, Pacman on E's (for example) work normally. I have something like 3 different images of Lethal Xcess, same thing with all of them. Also, the Lethal Xcess beta version doesn't run at all, straight in the beginning where there is logo and sample running, it hangs there with sample looping...

Today I decided to try to repair the reset switch. Remember, the one the seller said he replaced but "I don't know if my soldering is spot on"... Well, indeed his soldering was not "spot on" :roll: He had ripped the traces out of motherboard and most probably used something like big pliers to rip old one out, because the components on the top side, beside the switch were bent (gladly not broken, though). On the switch's 3rd contact leg, there was a piece of old component's leg in the inlet and the whole new switch was tilted :coffe:

At least the switch was still totally ok, though the soldering looked awful and was full of black residue and marks on traces. I got switch out and removed the leg from duct and cleaned the mobo. Then it was time to look out for some info about the reset circuit and I found topic here, where there was about similar problem.

I want to thank 1024MAK, who posted a schematic of the reset circuit. The switches 2nd leg's trace was broken and after seeing that schematic, it was easy to solder a wire from 2nd leg to + side of C100. I now have one working reset switch on my STE :cheers:

I also checked the DMA-chip and sadly it seems to be from the patch that is bad. I am going to get UltraSatan sometime later, so I most probably have to replace that too... Anyway, work never ends as I need to composite mod my 2600 and 7800, repair my non working Archimedes 3000, buy an oscilloscope as I want to adjust my Amiga CD32's laser and and and :angel: As I said, too much to do, so little time :lol:

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Re: STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

Postby czietz » Sat May 06, 2017 7:14 am

MSuomi wrote:Mostly everything works OK, but Lethal Xcess is sometimes having difficulties to even load at all. Strange thing is, that from an USB-stick which works fine, it always stops into black screen during loading. But with the same images on the stick, that messes the directories, it loads ok.... Strange...
Ok, now when I get into game the colors go crazy, they flash from center downwards and occasionally whole screen. On STFM the game is normal.


Does the color flashing go away when you disable the Blitter support in Lethal Xcess? I have an STFm where the Blitter has been added -- and it sometimes shows similar color flashing when the Blitter is used by the game. This doesn't happen on every power-cycle, though. Maybe some wake-state thing? I didn't bother enough to investigate further.

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Re: STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

Postby AtariZoll » Sat May 06, 2017 7:56 am

In case of such errors first thing to check and fix is power supply. As machines are very old, near to 30 years age, it is normal that electrolytic capacitors are weakened.
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MSuomi
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Re: STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

Postby MSuomi » Sat May 06, 2017 9:19 am

czietz wrote:
MSuomi wrote:Mostly everything works OK, but Lethal Xcess is sometimes having difficulties to even load at all. Strange thing is, that from an USB-stick which works fine, it always stops into black screen during loading. But with the same images on the stick, that messes the directories, it loads ok.... Strange...
Ok, now when I get into game the colors go crazy, they flash from center downwards and occasionally whole screen. On STFM the game is normal.


Does the color flashing go away when you disable the Blitter support in Lethal Xcess? I have an STFm where the Blitter has been added -- and it sometimes shows similar color flashing when the Blitter is used by the game. This doesn't happen on every power-cycle, though. Maybe some wake-state thing? I didn't bother enough to investigate further.


That was about the first thing I tried, but disabling Blitter doesn't help sadly.

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Re: STE graphical errors on Lethal Xcess (and few other things)

Postby MSuomi » Sat May 06, 2017 9:26 am

AtariZoll wrote:In case of such errors first thing to check and fix is power supply. As machines are very old, near to 30 years age, it is normal that electrolytic capacitors are weakened.


That might be very true, the who I bought it said that machine didn't work with the PSU that was in it, so he replaced it with another one. Though that doesn't actually say anything about the state of the PSU which is in there now. After seeing his soldering "skills", I don't very much trust his electronic knowledge. I might replace the electrolytics on the PSU just to be sure (I sadly don't have an access to oscilloscope now, so I don't have a proper way to check the output)...

Just to give more info, I have been also testing the memory with different programs and also tried running it with 2 sticks and with both 2 different sticks. But problem stays and I haven't been able to get an memory error from programs.


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