Brett's STE - Repair thread

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Badwolf
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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by Badwolf » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:48 pm

rubber_jonnie wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:45 pm
Sounds like an interesting prospect, do you have any links or other details?
When I was doing my accelerator development I needed a way to boot alternative ROMs without ripping out the Falcon's memory card all the time (tedious at best, likely to break something at worst).

Before I had my onboard flash, I built a cartridge port breakout PCB with a DIP48 footprint on it plus some optional logic to do the chip enable/A16 line.

Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.30.23.png
Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.30.23.png (155.04 KiB) Viewed 187 times

The idea was to allow me to mount a TSSOP flash chip in an adapter I already had and easily rewrite a cartridge.

Despite a small bug in the design (I inverted ROM3 and ROM4 IIRC), it did work after a minor modification, but it wasn't a looker:


Image


However where it really came into its own was when built up another board, leaving off the ROM select logic chip, and instead fed A16,17,18 via fly wires from the motherboard and generated my own chip enable. I could boot the full 512k OS.

Now, there's no reason why you'd have to generate your own chip enable line. There is already one (technically two, but I'd be surprised if they weren't always asserted in pairs for the full 16 bits) going to the sockets you've removed. If you have an exxos diagnostic cart (or similar) where you can replace the ROM, take all the jumpers off and wire up your chip enable, and higher address lines, there's no reason you can't boot from an external ROM too.

In fact, by keeping the ROM under 128k [like EmuTOS cart version with the base address changed to E00000 -- see config.h], you'd probably only need to jumper one higher address line + the CE.

I'll send you one of my boards (if I have any left) if you like, but I don't think the pinout is particularly useful unless you have a DIP48-TSSOP48 adapter and a flash chip to hand.

Here's the pinout:-

Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.43.49.png
Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.43.49.png (94.98 KiB) Viewed 187 times

BW
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Falcdate Use the internet to work around dead Falcon NVRAM battery
Smalliermouse ST-optimised USB mouse adapter based on SmallyMouse2
DFB External 030 and AltRAM for the Falcon (under development)

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by rubber_jonnie » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:52 pm

Badwolf wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:48 pm
rubber_jonnie wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:45 pm
Sounds like an interesting prospect, do you have any links or other details?
When I was doing my accelerator development I needed a way to boot alternative ROMs without ripping out the Falcon's memory card all the time (tedious at best, likely to break something at worst).

Before I had my onboard flash, I built a cartridge port breakout PCB with a DIP48 footprint on it plus some optional logic to do the chip enable/A16 line.


Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.30.23.png


The idea was to allow me to mount a TSSOP flash chip in an adapter I already had and easily rewrite a cartridge.

Despite a small bug in the design (I inverted ROM3 and ROM4 IIRC), it did work after a minor modification, but it wasn't a looker:


Image


However where it really came into its own was when built up another board, leaving off the ROM select logic chip, and instead fed A16,17,18 via fly wires from the motherboard and generated my own chip enable. I could boot the full 512k OS.

Now, there's no reason why you'd have to generate your own chip enable line. There is already one (technically two, but I'd be surprised if they weren't always asserted in pairs for the full 16 bits) going to the sockets you've removed. If you have an exxos diagnostic cart (or similar) where you can replace the ROM, take all the jumpers off and wire up your chip enable, and higher address lines, there's no reason you can't boot from an external ROM too.

In fact, by keeping the ROM under 128k [like EmuTOS cart version with the base address changed to E00000 -- see config.h], you'd probably only need to jumper one higher address line + the CE.

I'll send you one of my boards (if I have any left) if you like, but I don't think the pinout is particularly useful unless you have a DIP48-TSSOP48 adapter and a flash chip to hand.

Here's the pinout:-


Screenshot 2022-01-14 at 14.43.49.png


BW
Thanks for all this info, I have a couple of diag carts, one with socketed ROMs so it could in theory work with that. I won't get onto any repairs now until the weekend, so I can think on it and decide what I'll do.
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800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by exxos » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:03 pm

Isn't this based on the assumption that the lines to the cartridge port are unbroken though ?

If the CPU lines go from the CPU to ROM THEN to the cart port, then multiple lines to the ROM port may actually be broken as well as other parts of the system.

It is probably where @sporniket STE PCB layout could come in handy to check.
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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by rubber_jonnie » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:08 pm

exxos wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:03 pm
Isn't this based on the assumption that the lines to the cartridge port are unbroken though ?

If the CPU lines go from the CPU to ROM THEN to the cart port, then multiple lines to the ROM port may actually be broken as well as other parts of the system.

It is probably where @sporniket STE PCB layout could come in handy to check.
I think I already downloaded his schematics, need to go through and look what goes where, the Atari STE schematics aren't great.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by sporniket » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:29 pm

rubber_jonnie wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:08 pm
exxos wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:03 pm
It is probably where @sporniket STE PCB layout could come in handy to check.
I think I already downloaded his schematics, need to go through and look what goes where, the Atari STE schematics aren't great.
If you can, use the kicad project too, the pcb is not accurrate, but the path of the traces follows the same waypoints, and the highlight net function should be helpful.

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by Badwolf » Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:53 pm

exxos wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:03 pm
Isn't this based on the assumption that the lines to the cartridge port are unbroken though ?
Good point.
sporniket wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:29 pm
If you can, use the kicad project too, the pcb is not accurrate, but the path of the traces follows the same waypoints, and the highlight net function should be helpful.
Looks like the data lines go via the ROM to the DMA chip and to U632 (which has a function related to the half moons, but I'm not familiar with it).

The ROMs look to mostly be the final stop of the address lines.

BW
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Falcdate Use the internet to work around dead Falcon NVRAM battery
Smalliermouse ST-optimised USB mouse adapter based on SmallyMouse2
DFB External 030 and AltRAM for the Falcon (under development)

BrettRogersUK
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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by BrettRogersUK » Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:05 pm

sporniket wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:29 pm
rubber_jonnie wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:08 pm


I think I already downloaded his schematics, need to go through and look what goes where, the Atari STE schematics aren't great.
If you can, use the kicad project too, the pcb is not accurrate, but the path of the traces follows the same waypoints, and the highlight net function should be helpful.
I used this when I was looking at my board. Was very useful indeed to see where the tracks went.

A brilliant source of information.

Regards,

Brett

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by sporniket » Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:09 pm

Badwolf wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:53 pm
Looks like the data lines go via the ROM to the DMA chip and to U632 (which has a function related to the half moons, but I'm not familiar with it).
IIRC, U632 is the buffer to the solder jumpers that have been replaced by a DIP-switch in the Mega STE

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by Badwolf » Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:37 pm

BrettRogersUK wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:05 pm
A brilliant source of information.
I completely concur with this!

BW
@thetechnoshed
Falcdate Use the internet to work around dead Falcon NVRAM battery
Smalliermouse ST-optimised USB mouse adapter based on SmallyMouse2
DFB External 030 and AltRAM for the Falcon (under development)

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Re: Brett's STE - Repair thread

Post by rubber_jonnie » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:20 am

Ok, whilst I think about just how I'm going to do this, I think it worthwhile to verify that the original ROM set is working, and the TOS switcher that was also sent over works.

I already tested the SIMMs in my own machine, but I think that I need to be sure the ROMs are also good, otherwise I'm going to be fighting with non working components, and it'll be a really quick test to do.
Collector of many retro things!
800XL and 65XE both with Ultimate1MB,VBXL/XE & PokeyMax, SIDE3, SDrive Max, 2x 1010 cassette, 2x 1050 one with Happy mod, 3x 2600 Jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Approx 20 STs, including a 520 STM, 520 STFMs, 3x Mega ST, MSTE & 2x 32 Mhz boosted STEs
Plus the rest, totalling around 50 machines including a QL, 3x BBC Model B, Electron, Spectrums, ZX81 etc...

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