New board: MonSTer

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alanh
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

Oh, in the MegaSTE you've limited flash space too.

So you might want to disable ALTRAM while flashing, and choose 0x800000 as the FLASH address.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

I have similar problems on my MSTE with MonSTEr when booting a flash ROM TOS and the blitter is enabled. I have to disable the blitter from the autofolder (setting in XBoot) in this case. If I enable the blitter the screen is corrupted when TOS restores menu/dialog backgrounds. Blitter works fine when using motherboard ROMs. I have not had time to investigate this further.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

If the cables are good, there shouldn't be an issue. Presumably the onboard ROMs have been disabled ? maybe try removing them if they have been disabled to check they are not interfering ?
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by mikro »

Yup, I don't have that issue Joska mentions either. But the ALT-RAM hint is a good one, every time I try to flash an image I forget about it. :D But a dumb-proof solution is to always boot with CONTROL pressed, flash, remove jumper, reboot.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

Here's a picture of how the flash jumpers work to help people understand the configuration.
monsterflash.png
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

I did have some problems with this when I installed the MonSTEr in my STE, but thought I had found the problem when I discovered a cold solder in one of the blitterfix wires. After resoldering that wire it did work correctly - for a while. The problems started again about six months ago, but I did not have time to look more into this so I "fixed" it by disabling the blitter in software. However, EmuTOS would still very often crash at powerup, requiring power cycling (often several times) before it would boot. Did some more testing during my lunchbreak today.

1. When removing the "blitter" jumper I have no problems with EmuTOS or 2.06 running from flash.
2. When booting 2.06 it's still possible to enable the blitter from the desktop. Appears to work correctly as long as altRAM is not enabled. With altRAM enabled it will restore menu/dialog backgrounds with black rectangles with the occasional white pixels. CPU speed and cache mode does not seem to affect the results. But I notice some noise while the blitter does it work. Not noise as in incorrect blits, but noise similar to what you see while accessing the floppy on an ST. A slight dimming of the screen while the blitter is running. No such effect when the blitter is disabled.
3. With 2.06 + NVDI I can still enable the blitter on the desktop and in general.cpx. However, NVDI's System Info CPX has the blitter option greyed out. Enabling the blitter from the desktop/general.cpx works fine - but GEMBench reports no increase in speed so I assume that NVDI simply does not use the blitter in this case.

All if this is with the blitterfix-wires in place but with blitter jumper removed. Now, I reinstall the blitter jumper but do no other changes. All tests with blitter enabled. No issues with blitter disabled except for the EmuTOS poweron issue.

1. With 2.06 and no altRAM - same as above.
2. With 2.06 and altRAM it seems to work correctly.
3. With 2.06, NVDI and no altRAM - works correctly.
4. With 2.06, NVDI and altRAM - lots of screen corruption.
5. EmuTOS, NVDI and altRAM - works correctly, except for the poweron-issue mentioned above.

I now reinsert my 2.06 ROMs on the motherboard and disable MonSTEr flash, and repeat the tests above. Contrary to my previous findings there are no difference compared to using flash.

For now I will just remove the blitter jumper, as it appears to fix the EmuTOS issue. As I use this machine for "work" and not games/demos the blitter is of little use anyway. Will revisit this later when time and inspiration allows.

Btw the flashing/dimming of the screen while the blitter is running is interesting. Does umodified MSTE's behave like this as well?
Last edited by joska on Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

Bikerbob wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:41 am BUT I am running into issues. I think I understand that I cannot FLASH roms in EMUTOS.. correct? or only an issue with a VIDEO card also installed?
Correct, EmuTOS will automatically detect and enable all available MonSTEr alt-RAM. In the MSTE the address range from 10-14Mb is occupied by the VME slot, so when the 4-10Mb range is occupied by alt-RAM there is no address range available for the flash logic. So on the MSTE you can't flash from EmuTOS.
Bikerbob wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:41 am If I get into 2.06 and try and run MONSTERFLASH - then it locks up.. in fact if I try and run any number of programs it is currently locking up.
That sounds like a generic problem and not a problem with m_flash. Not sure if I'm able to help you with this one.
Bikerbob wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:41 am IF I jumper FLASHON - put the US roms I have back in. have both TOSSEL FLASHSW open .. I then run the flash again.. and it will flash the ROMS in the sockets to that slot?? IF I have FLASHON jumpered - can I flash BOTH 256k areas.. one at a time using the program and the rom files I want??
Yes, if you boot from the motherboard TOS ROMs you can flash both 256Kb banks (and 192Kb banks for that matter) by setting/removing the TOSSEL and FLASHSW jumpers as illustrated in Alan's image.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by czietz »

joska wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:13 am Btw the flashing/dimming of the screen while the blitter is running is interesting. Does umodified MSTE's behave like this as well?
Mine doesn't, no. The reason you see the screen dimming during floppy drive accesses is the increased current consumption (because of the floppy drive) on the 5V rail, which causes the voltage to slightly drop, which results in a slightly dimmer video signal. But the Blitter current consumption should be negligible compared to the floppy. I wonder if there's some kind of bus contention, i.e., two devices driving (parts of) the bus at the same time. That would indeed cause an increased current flow and also erroneous behavior - since the stronger driver "wins".
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

joska wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:13 am For now I will just remove the blitter jumper, as it appears to fix the EmuTOS issue. As I use this machine for "work" and not games/demos the blitter is of little use anyway. Will revisit this later when time and inspiration allows.
All of that sounds like the wires are the problem.

The Blitter will work fine with STRAM, regardless of the wires because it's accessing that on the bus, and MonSTer isn't involved.

When the blitter is accessing ALTRAM it has to go via the wires. With black regions appearing, I'd suspect BDTK is incorrect.

There are two options for DTACK.....

U006/U6 -> MonSTer (PAL22V10)

9 -> BDTK

U011/U11 -> MonSTer (PAL22V10)

21 -> BDTK

Might want to try the other which ever you are currently using.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by Bikerbob »

Great discussions guys.. thanks :) I will try clearing everything right now.. and starting with my CHIP rom images.

I also am putting a RGB2HDMI solution in this machine and I am having issues with that.. so want to make sure I have my monSTer sorted before I move on to the the other.

For the sake of another machine I might try the tests you did joska. See if any of those results are repeated for me.. also to speak to Alans point I am using. pin 21 on U11 (not socketed on my board - easy to solder to)

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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by Bikerbob »

HMMM.. I have never had issues with this machine.. even after I installed the monSTer with the roms that Alan had flashed on it.

Now since I have tried to flash.. and it seems successfully.. I can no longer run the flash program.. either from the FLASH rom (206) or from the original chip 206 us roms with FLSHON jumped.

I am a bit worried. NOT sure what to do now. I think I am going to have to remove the monSTer completely and see if that fixes things..

edit - I mean - run anything.. I get a a program to start.. but then just a flashing cursor in the top corner and a lock up.. cant run dungeonmaster.

I did remove the monSTer it boots and runs games - dungeonmaster - just fine.. so its something I did.

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Last edited by Bikerbob on Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

You have probably flashed broken images. Or something went wrong while flashing. However, m_flash will read back flash contents and compare it with the image loaded to RAM, so I doubt that's the issue here. You would have been notified during flashing if any differences was detected. Try downloading a fresh EmuTOS (https://sourceforge.net/projects/emutos ... p/download), copy it to your MSTE and flash while running from motherboard TOS ROMs.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by Bikerbob »

joska wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:24 pm You have probably flashed broken images. Or something went wrong while flashing. However, m_flash will read back flash contents and compare it with the image loaded to RAM, so I doubt that's the issue here. You would have been notified during flashing if any differences was detected. Try downloading a fresh EmuTOS (https://sourceforge.net/projects/emutos ... p/download), copy it to your MSTE and flash while running from motherboard TOS ROMs.
I Cant joska.. when running on motherboard TOS roms I am getting the same issue. I removed the monSTer and the machine works fine.. loading games etc.. I must have messed something up.

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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

alanh wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:46 pm All of that sounds like the wires are the problem.
I have now triple-checked the wires and they are correct according to http://www.fairlite.co.uk/AtariKit/mons ... olders.txt. I have BDTK connected to U6, but tried it on U11 too. No difference, but that was to be expected since I had already measured 0 ohm resistance between the DTACK pins on these two chips.

My MSTE does not have an FPU. There is no GAL in UB1, no FPU in UB2 and W3 is jumpered. Should this make any difference? I tried removing the W3 jumper, and that may have made a difference. I now experience no blitter-related problems... However, it's more likely that it's caused by me disturbing the wiring when checking it, indicating a problem with the wires even though I can't measure it.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by Bikerbob »

joska wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:11 pm
alanh wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:46 pm All of that sounds like the wires are the problem.
I have now triple-checked the wires and they are correct according to http://www.fairlite.co.uk/AtariKit/mons ... olders.txt. I have BDTK connected to U6, but tried it on U11 too. No difference, but that was to be expected since I had already measured 0 ohm resistance between the DTACK pins on these two chips.

My MSTE does not have an FPU. There is no GAL in UB1, no FPU in UB2 and W3 is jumpered. Should this make any difference? I tried removing the W3 jumper, and that may have made a difference. I now experience no blitter-related problems... However, it's more likely that it's caused by me disturbing the wiring when checking it, indicating a problem with the wires even though I can't measure it.
Hmmm.. thats an interesting point.. I do have a FPU etc...

Can anyone point me to the connection I am looking for to "disable" the on board rom.. rather than remove them? I figure I could put a DPDT switch on the FLASHON and CE (correct?) so that when FLASHON is closed the CE or whatever is either open or closed whatever it needs to be at the same time.. So I can do all this with 3 switches.. 2 x SPST and 1 x DPDT :)

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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

I installed a 68882 and FPU GAL in my MSTE during my lunchbreak, and the first thing I noticed was that the flashing/dimming of the screen when using the blitter is gone. I could not reproduce my blitter issues either, but I only had a few minutes so I could not test this much. Will do more testing tonight.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by mikro »

Interesting, Jo. As a matter of fact, I do have a FPU installed as well (and no problems whatsoever).
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Re: New board: MonSTer

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Bikerbob wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:56 pm
joska wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:11 pm
alanh wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:46 pm All of that sounds like the wires are the problem.
I have now triple-checked the wires and they are correct according to http://www.fairlite.co.uk/AtariKit/mons ... olders.txt. I have BDTK connected to U6, but tried it on U11 too. No difference, but that was to be expected since I had already measured 0 ohm resistance between the DTACK pins on these two chips.

My MSTE does not have an FPU. There is no GAL in UB1, no FPU in UB2 and W3 is jumpered. Should this make any difference? I tried removing the W3 jumper, and that may have made a difference. I now experience no blitter-related problems... However, it's more likely that it's caused by me disturbing the wiring when checking it, indicating a problem with the wires even though I can't measure it.
Hmmm.. thats an interesting point.. I do have a FPU etc...

Can anyone point me to the connection I am looking for to "disable" the on board rom.. rather than remove them? I figure I could put a DPDT switch on the FLASHON and CE (correct?) so that when FLASHON is closed the CE or whatever is either open or closed whatever it needs to be at the same time.. So I can do all this with 3 switches.. 2 x SPST and 1 x DPDT :)

James
To disable the onboard ROMs, you need tot connect the middle pin of Jumper W201 to +5V, this disables the outputs of the ROMs. This works on my machine.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

Bikerbob wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:56 pm Can anyone point me to the connection I am looking for to "disable" the on board rom.. rather than remove them? I figure I could put a DPDT switch on the FLASHON and CE (correct?) so that when FLASHON is closed the CE or whatever is either open or closed whatever it needs to be at the same time.. So I can do all this with 3 switches.. 2 x SPST and 1 x DPDT
You need a DPDT-switch, yes. I used the existing ROM jumpers to implement this, then I did not have to cut any traces like you would have to if you were to manipulate CE. I'm using 27010 EEPROMs, this may or may not work if you're using something else.

W201 has GND on pin 1, pin 2 is connected to /OE on the ROMs. When /OE is tied to ground the ROMs will output data when /CE is selected. When /OE is tied to 5V (via a resistor, can't remember what I used but I guess 4k7) the ROMs will never output any data. So when using 27010 ROMs you must put a jumper across pins 1 and 2 on W201. If you instead use a DT switch here you connect pin 2 to the centre, GND to one pole and +5V (via resistor) to the other pole. You can find +5V on pin 1 of W202, which is also right next to the ROM sockets. My MSTE had 0Ohm resistors here, I replaced those with pin-headers and jumpers.

Then connect the other half of the DPDT switch to FLASHON, so that FLASHON is jumpered when /OE is connected to 5V.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

joska wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 11:51 amI could not reproduce my blitter issues either, but I only had a few minutes so I could not test this much. Will do more testing tonight.
I spoke too soon :( I still have issues with the blitter when altRAM is enabled and NVDI is running from altRAM.
TOS 206 - NVDI - altRAM.jpg
Edit: And EmuTOS still crashes at power-on occasionally:
2022-01-27 17.58.54.jpg
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Last edited by joska on Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

And without NVDI ?

And those corruption positions look strikingly in stripes.

Seems intermittent for you.

Is there an easy way to reproduce with TOS 2.06 and without NVDI ?
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by joska »

There are three problems, all related to the blitter:

- Blitter access to alt-RAM, e.g. NVDI loaded to alt-RAM and blitter enabled.
- Booting EmuTOS, which crashes immediately after displaying the welcome-screen.
- Running XBoot from the auto-folder, which crashes about half the time if the blitter is enabled in XBoot settings.

So NVDI works fine - with blitter enabled too - when running from ST-RAM.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by alanh »

What about without NVDI and ALT-RAM enabled with blitter enabled.

That's enough for the blitter to blit from TOS to the screen for glyphs.
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Re: New board: MonSTer

Post by Bikerbob »

Thanks guys.. W201 .. cool.. That I can do.. Just need to figure out what is happening with FLASH / monster.

I am reinstalled now.. it boots fine to the MB 2.06 - with IDE (8GB CF HDDRIVER 11.09) BUT any program I try and run crashes.
edit - not crashes.. but locks up anything up the return key it seems.. maybe an IDE issue?

I then decided to remove the IDE device - SO there is nothing attached to the 44 pin buss. - WHen I boot HDDRIVER still finds an IDE device, when booting from an HDDriver 11.09 Floppy. WITH the CF connected.. I get xboot, and drop to desktop NP.. but if I try and run ANYTHING.. including HDUTIL.. it crashes with a flashing cursor in the top corner. (cursor did not make the picture) See attached pics.
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Last edited by Bikerbob on Thu Jan 27, 2022 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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