Beginning of very long journey

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:28 am

calimero wrote:Implement all Falcon signals on VGA connector and no problem - if someone need old DB19 it can make VGA <> DB19 adapter.

E. g. I am using SM124 sometimes with my Falcon (I have original Atari DB19 <> DIN13 adapter for this).

Unfortunatelly, there are no NC pins on VGA pinout. They are all either signals or ground. That would mean some of the Falcon signals would have to be mapped onto a pin that VGA standard defines as mandatory ground. Meaning you could not just connect just any VGA display, since they can have (and they mostly do) all gnd connected to the common gnd point. In that case, your Falc would go smoke.
If I go a VGA path, it will only be pure standard VGA.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby viking272 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:15 am

mpattonm wrote:With just 0,5mm pin pitch, this basically mean pins 1 ot 52 would have been completelly misplaced off their pads, sitting right in between them. Actually, close to/partially on wrong pad. I wonder how they managed high volume productin with a f*up like this.


Didn't they have a 12 month delay in the manufacturing and testing process, this could be one of the reasons?

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:47 am

viking272 wrote:Didn't they have a 12 month delay in the manufacturing and testing process, this could be one of the reasons?

More like a root cause :)

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby PeterS » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:58 am

mpattonm wrote:
calimero wrote:Implement all Falcon signals on VGA connector and no problem - if someone need old DB19 it can make VGA <> DB19 adapter.

E. g. I am using SM124 sometimes with my Falcon (I have original Atari DB19 <> DIN13 adapter for this).

Unfortunatelly, there are no NC pins on VGA pinout. They are all either signals or ground. That would mean some of the Falcon signals would have to be mapped onto a pin that VGA standard defines as mandatory ground. Meaning you could not just connect just any VGA display, since they can have (and they mostly do) all gnd connected to the common gnd point. In that case, your Falc would go smoke.
If I go a VGA path, it will only be pure standard VGA.


Could one of the other standard interfaces be used like DVI ? I don't know much about the newer monitor interfaces.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby calimero » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:23 pm

I just look at VGA 15 pin connector pinout and there are pin 4, 11, 12 and 15 that are N/C (not connected). - is this information right?

Falcon have pins:
4 Monochrome / Overlay
9 Audio Out
12 Composite Sync
15 External Clock Input
16 External Sync Enable
17 +12V for Scart

and pin 18 and 19 for selecting video mode (you will connect these pins to small switches, right?).
So even there is 4 N/C pins on VGA connector, there is not enought for all additional Falcon signals... (although Composite Sync can be made from H and V sync... and "+12V for Scart" is never used?)
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:45 pm

As far as I know, VGA pins 4,11,12 and 15 are monitor DDC and/or DDC2 data lines. At least this is what most sources say. The fact Falcon can not evaluate these signals and these lines would thus remain unconnected internally, does not mean you can "pump" signal of your will to it.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby PeterS » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:37 pm


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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby CodeKiller » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:18 pm

Please don't forget, the available gerbers are not complete, most likely missing major VCC and GND planes (don't end up like the new Blizzard PPC cards ;) )
I see your bottom plane also missing these fills around the power connector.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:38 pm

Oh I am aware of it. Probably not a single component has VCC nor GND connected. Power is still on my todo list only.
Last edited by mpattonm on Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Right now I am busy cleaning and rerouting area between/below Videl and DMA with a goal to make room for:
- onboard 72 pin SIMM socket to replace Atari proprietary memory module interface
- dual socket ROM interface, pin compatible with minipro flash extender, to replace PLCC44 socket
- shielded trace for DMA clock signal

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby CodeKiller » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:17 am

SIMM socket is very good idea indeed.
The 44pin EPROM is fine with minipro (tl866), just needs a bit tweaking on 2 pins of a 44plcc to 40dip adapter. (been there done that).
I used a ' 78c/89c/51/52/58 PLCC44 to DIP40 ' adapter by betemcu and modified to work with 27C4096 by connecting pin DIP11 to PLCC12 and PLCC33 to PLCC34 as the original has different NC pins on the sides. After this i can program 27C4096 as a DIP40 (but don't forget to swap bytes before burning a TOS)
As for the SDMA clock -- maybe only a pulldown resistor as close to the chip as possible? (like patch v4 https://mikrosk.github.io/clockpatch/ )
Or have pads for the various fixes so can be populated if needed?

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mpattonm » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:47 am

CodeKiller wrote:SIMM socket is very good idea indeed.
The 44pin EPROM is fine with minipro (tl866), just needs a bit tweaking on 2 pins of a 44plcc to 40dip adapter. (been there done that).

You are right. I am using my own made PLCC44 to DIP40 adapter as well. But the idea is not to somehow complicate simple programming of 27C4096, but allow use of alternative memories as well. There will be few different modules released, such as one with unmodified 27c4097 for full compatibility, or one with 1MB flash ROM able to host dual TOS and allow switching between them (remember EmuTOS is evolving fast). I really hope that with somebodys' help I will be able to interface _WE signal somehow to CPU and thus allow in-system ROM updates from a user space. The switching between the two TOSes would also be possible if A18 adress line is handled by TTL flip switch interfaced from CPU.
Maybe Mikro can help? :)
CodeKiller wrote:As for the SDMA clock -- maybe only a pulldown resistor as close to the chip as possible? (like patch v4 https://mikrosk.github.io/clockpatch/ )
Or have pads for the various fixes so can be populated if needed?

Its on my todo list, but I really want to route that signal properly first.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby czietz » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:16 am

CodeKiller wrote:Please don't forget, the available gerbers are not complete, most likely missing major VCC and GND planes


Iirc, the GND and VCC planes are there, it's just that no components are connected to them as mpattonm already wrote. One would expect to see something like thermal traps on those planes around the pins that are supposed to be connected, but I didn't see any connection.
Whether this is an issue with the export to Gerber or with the original CADSTAR file, I cannot say, though.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby CodeKiller » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:43 am

czietz wrote:
CodeKiller wrote:Please don't forget, the available gerbers are not complete, most likely missing major VCC and GND planes


Iirc, the GND and VCC planes are there, it's just that no components are connected to them as mpattonm already wrote. One would expect to see something like thermal traps on those planes around the pins that are supposed to be connected, but I didn't see any connection.
Whether this is an issue with the export to Gerber or with the original CADSTAR file, I cannot say, though.


It would be really great to have those CADSTAR files, could you point to them?

I meant the layer is there, but not poured/filled in.
Just looking at layer2 you can easily see, there are unrouted (unfilled) "flywires" b/c it wasn't poured before exporting. As far as i know, there is no flywire support in gerbers so it just take the "picture" of the unfinished PCB with those lines.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby Foxxy74 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:09 pm

Marvellous project!! Basically i wonder, are you targeting to make an improved falcon? Complete with nowadays compatible hardware connections? Or will it develop itself into a kind of Firebee machine. Stunning work so far!!
Atari 260 ST (rainbow TOS) Atari Falcon 030 14 MB 32GB HDD ,Plextor 716A CD/DVD ,Atari 1040 STE (4MB) C-Lab Mk-X CT 060 Atari Mega STe Soundpool Adat... too much :D

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mikro » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:43 pm

mpattonm wrote:I really hope that with somebodys' help I will be able to interface _WE signal somehow to CPU and thus allow in-system ROM updates from a user space. The switching between the two TOSes would also be possible if A18 adress line is handled by TTL flip switch interfaced from CPU.
Maybe Mikro can help? :)

Since you're fulfilling one of Mikro's dreams I will agree to drop anything I'm working on in favour of anything you will ask for. ;-)

However bear in mind that I know very little about digital circuits so you would need to explain me what do you need software-wise like to a total idiot. Just drop me a message on FB when/if you need anything, really.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby czietz » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:35 pm

OK. So I was at my old computer today. There is one further set of Gerber files claiming to be from the Falcon. However, I was never able to display them properly, so I assumed they were corrupted. Until now!

Turns out, with the proper tools and settings you can very well display those files. I used GC-Prevue and some manual adjustments to the Gerber import. The board claims to be a "Rev. 4", whatever that is. (I'm not familiar with Falcon board revisions.)
falcon-rev4-board.png


More importantly, the ground plane is connected to components this time. You can see that vias are connected to the ground plane with thermal traps, as you would expect:
falcon-gnd-plane.png


Full preview at https://www.chzsoft.de/storage/falcon-rev4-board.pdf. PM me if you want the files (Gerber and GC-Prevue project).
@mpattonm: Sorry for not having found this out earlier.
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby calimero » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:20 am

mpattonm wrote:As you all are well aware I guess, Falcon video connectivity is based on D-sub 19F/M connectors and these are nowhere to find already. So I am thinking to replace it with something more viable.


It seems you are right! I bought few last connectors years back in local Serbian store.

I just try to find DB19 on AliExpress and there is NONE !!!

There are SOME on ebay but price start at $12 per piece link

BUT
- "first DB-19 connector to be made in the 21st century" link :)

He is producer of "BMOW Floppy Emu" link (Floppy emulator for Apple II and Macintosh)

"I’ve scrounged what seems like every warehouse and basement on the planet, and bought up nearly the entire world’s remaining supply of new-old-stock DB-19 connectors. My last few product batches included DB-19s from some very obscure international sources. It was clear I’d reached the end of the road."
...
"The NeXT and Atari communities were also suffering from a DB-19 shortage, as well as others in the vintage Apple community, and at least one electronics parts supplier too. After more than a year of struggling to make manufacturing work economically, I was able to arrange a “group buy” in less than a week. Now let’s do this thing!"

So does anyone know who from Atari community take a part in "group buy"??
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby calimero » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:25 am

I just found that exxos have it for £5 ! exxos store
using Atari since 1986.http://wet.atari.orghttp://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ ・ Atari Falcon030/CT63/SV ・ Atari STe ・ Atari Mega4/MegaFile30/SM124 ・ Amiga 1200/PPC ・ Amiga 500 ・ C64 ・ ZX Spectrum ・ RPi ・ MagiC! ・ MiNT 1.18 ・ OS X

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby CodeKiller » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:08 am

Those gerbers are in the Atari_HQ_1 iso Drawings/5_25_disks/Sparrow with the accompanied aperture-list, but you have to hunt down an older version of GC-Prevue (older than 2018) as the new ones require 50$/year to work....
Then still, you can view, but not export to other more useful/editable format.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby dhedberg » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:25 am

calimero wrote:I just found that exxos have it for £5 ! exxos store

Those are solder-cup versions and not RA, so not suitable for PCB mount. The RA version of the DSUB-19M is nowhere to be found. Not even Best carries them.
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mikro » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:12 am

mpattonm wrote:c) D-sub HD 15F, the ordinary VGA connector Pluses: Available, cheap, consistent look, woud allow you connect VGA displays directly. As VGA conn is much narrower then DB19, there could aso be some smaller connector, such as mini-DIN, placed right next to it. Such a conn could provide signalling missing on VGA conn. If I calculate correctly, there could also be enough space for 2 miniDIP switches to allow use to toggle video output between VGA, RGB and mono.

As others, I'm inclined to agree on this one. However this has reminded me one hack I have done for my XEGS -- I removed RF out completely. That cleared up space for another cinch, in my case composite out. Same could be done for the Falcon here.

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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby calimero » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:30 am

dhedberg wrote:
calimero wrote:I just found that exxos have it for £5 ! exxos store

Those are solder-cup versions and not RA, so not suitable for PCB mount. The RA version of the DSUB-19M is nowhere to be found. Not even Best carries them.

Ah, I see... Even Steve (man who organize production of 10.000 DB19 connectors) use them like this (see image, he solder connector from both side to PCB in middle...).

So you Daniel do not made anymore those DB19 to VGA adapters for Falcon? I am lucky to buy one in time...
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby dhedberg » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:07 pm

The female connector is still available as RA (that's the one I used for the monitor adapter), but the male connector that goes on the Falcon030 PCB is not. For a monitor adapter one could just as well do with a solder cup version and solder it to the adapter's PCB as shown in the picture, but this would not be possible on the Falcon PCB (it would be a mess). So getting rid of the DSUB19 connector on a new revision of the motherboard is a no-brainer. However, personally I'd prefer a connector that can provide all signals of the original connector, but I guess a DB15 would serve most people just fine.
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Re: Beginning of very long journey

Postby mikro » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:47 am

Slightly off-topic but if the end result would be something like this: http://www.amigapcb.org how awesome that would be?


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