SUGGESTIONS

Open source STF clone project.
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exxos
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SUGGESTIONS

Post by exxos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm

Post here suggestions to include in the new STF.

Here are some common ones..

HDMI output
Well , there is no way to do this without a scan doubler which can already be purchased cheap. They are not great but its the only solution. If someone wants to design a new SHIFTER using FPGA to do the frame buffers, upscaling and HDMI output then sure I will consider adding it on a future design.

DRIVE AB SWAP
Yes this will be added in a future revision.

YM STEREO
Well, 3 channels. I have included (for now) 3 resistors on the current design which can be used to isolate and bypass the audio section. If someone wants to design some addon, then I will add a proper expansion header for the YM outputs.

IDE
For some reason everyone is obsessed with IDE. If someone wants to design a IDE addon card then it can go in one of the expansion sockets. Though IDE is somewhat outdated and slower than DMA. Myself and P.Putnik have been working on a super fast DMA drive. It was mentioned some time ago. Though we had write issues. Though with a new motherboard, I think a lot of unstable issues will be gone. So we will try again to implement this super fast drive.
I have also briefly been talking to Jookie about us working on a simple internal version of ultrasatan. Again, this is DMA stuff. Overall there are plans for internal storage, but unlikely to be IDE.

PC FLOPPY HEADER
Yes, the floppy cable uses a PC style connector which is already implemented.

STE JAG PORTS
I think these could be added in the future, but for now I have no plans to add these.

STE DMA AUDIO
Likely not. This is part of the STE's MMU logic and may not be so easy on the STF. Of course if someone wants to convert it all to work on the STF, then it could be added in future revisions.

STE SIMMS
No! The current revision makes use of old ST-RAM cards from the Falcon. either 1MB or 4MB cards.

LAN
If someone wants to design a LAN addon card, then it could be added to future revisions.

FASTER RS232
There is a mod already to speed up the ports, This may be added in future revisions.

FAST-RAM
Yes in time there will be 32Mhz Fast-Ram. Though its not high up on my to do list. If someone wants to design one as a addon card then people can use that solution until its added to the main board.

FLASH TOS
Yes, eventually will be added when I have time to work on that solution.

32MHz BOOSTER
Yes, on future revision the booster logic will be integrated and switchable back to stock 8MHz mode.

020/30 CPU
This will have to be done as a addon card. I do not plan on breaking compatibility with this motherboard. But if someone wants to design a 030 card then it will be a simply plug in option.

040/060 CPU
People need to understand that firstly, each CPU upgrade may run faster, but also breaks compatibility. More to the point, the 040 & 060 do not support dynamic bus resizing. So you can't easily "drop in" these CPU's without a huge amount of support logic. To date not many have done this and its not been open source. So if someone wants these as addons, they will have to put in likely years of work to figure it all out.

USB
I have no plans to design or add this. Partly because likely nobody will write drivers for anything. If someone develops a addon card with USB and writes the drivers, then it could be added by default in future revisions. Though likely this will remain a addon card. Assuming someone wants to develop it.

HIGHER RESOLUTIONS
Without adding in a new GFX card this isn't going to be easy. While a gfx chip could easily be added to the 68000 bus, it will of course need fast-ram and 32MHz CPU to keep up. Main problem is someone would have to be willing to write drivers. Second problem is finding a graphics IC which is usable and still in production.. which is likely none. The only possible solution would be a custom FPGA graphics chip. Nothing I can do or have time. Would still need software which I don't have time or know much about either. So this is unlikely to happen.

ATX PSU HEADER
To power the ST with a ATX PSU. This could be added. Though only really useful for people wanting to fit into a PC case.

ATX FORM FACTOR
Well no. Simply because I am designing a replacement board for the original STFM case. It may be possible to design a ATX board when all other work & mods are done. Though this could easily be years away from competition.

1.44 FLOPPY BUILT IN
Yes, this will be added likely on revision 2. It only involves a simple GAL so easy to do since I already have a solution for that.

RTC
Yes the Falcon style RTC circuit will be added in future revisions.


PROJECT GOAL

VERSION 1
The current project is to replicate the STFM (well STF) into a smaller PCB area while doing some basic upgrades. See this topic. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=23 . First version is copying the STFM schmatic, making some basic changes, then producing a prototype. NOTHING else will be added to this board. I need to make sure I copied the schmatic correctly and test the changes I made before looking into adding other things.

VERSION 2
Assuming version 1 works, Version 2 will see some more basic changes, but mostly see the addition of expansion ports. All upgrades will be developed as a addon card. Note that I am only 1 person, I can only do so many projects at once. So if people want upgrades, then people will have to design upgrades for it!

VERSION 3
Likely 5+ years down the line. Once all addon cards are verified to be stable and working correctly. I may consider a more integrated board which will include such upgrades on the main motherboard. This will free up expansion slots for future use.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

spiny
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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by spiny » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:52 pm

Integrated rtc would be a nice add-on too.

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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by exxos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:00 pm

spiny wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:52 pm
Integrated rtc would be a nice add-on too.
Yeah forgot about that.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by francouai » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:29 pm

Just curious, but your Atari is stF, means it will not support all games and Demos for stE ?

Why not a HXC built in with small LCD screen?
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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by exxos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:35 pm

francouai wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:29 pm
Just curious, but your Atari is stF, means it will not support all games and Demos for stE ?
Not sure I understand your question.. STF's don't work with STE only games, my STF will be no different than a real STF compatibility wise.

Of course blitter will be added on my STF, so it may play games which use the blitter on the STE.
francouai wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:29 pm
Why not a HXC built in with small LCD screen?
Not everyone wants that though. I doubt those could be built in without licensing anyway.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by Maeke » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:49 pm

Exact, even for a gotek you need to pay a licence to install the HxC firmware.
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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by exxos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:13 pm

Maeke wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:49 pm
Exact, even for a gotek you need to pay a licence to install the HxC firmware.
Yeah. I'm happy with floppy drive for most things. Though same with any Atari, it is basically a addon if people want it. If they want it, they buy it, plug it in and away you go. If I added it as standard, its pushing the cost up and people who don't want that, or can't afford all in one go, then it would limit interest.

My goal is an open platform which anyone can develop addons and people can easily fit them.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by arf » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 am

exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
IDE
For some reason everyone is obsessed with IDE. If someone wants to design a IDE addon card then it can go in one of the expansion sockets. Though IDE is somewhat outdated and slower than DMA. Myself and P.Putnik have been working on a super fast DMA drive. It was mentioned some time ago. Though we had write issues. Though with a new motherboard, I think a lot of unstable issues will be gone. So we will try again to implement this super fast drive.
I have also briefly been talking to Jookie about us working on a simple internal version of ultrasatan. Again, this is DMA stuff. Overall there are plans for internal storage, but unlikely to be IDE.
I would not necessarily opt for IDE, but for storage options you can buy today. SCSI drives and SCSI-ACSI adapter’s aren’t. That’s why CF or SD would be really desired by me.
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
PC FLOPPY HEADER
Yes, the floppy cable uses a PC style connector which is already implemented.
Excellent! Makes building / getting parts a lot easier.
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
LAN
If someone wants to design a LAN addon card, then it could be added to future revisions.
There are solutions that are based on a 68000 bus -> ISA adapter, then plugging in a Realtek 8039 ISA NIC. Drivers exist.
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
FASTER RS232
There is a mod already to speed up the ports, This may be added in future revisions.
Excellent! The mods from Harun Scheutzow for up to 115k2?
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
USB
I have no plans to design or add this. Partly because likely nobody will write drivers for anything. If someone develops a addon card with USB and writes the drivers, then it could be added by default in future revisions. Though likely this will remain a addon card. Assuming someone wants to develop it.
There are solutions and drivers. Gaga e.g. with Czietz and others created a TT bus based USB adapter card - alongside with working USB mass storage drivers. CD rom drives and USB thumb drives already work. Even with SingleTOS.
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
HIGHER RESOLUTIONS
Without adding in a new GFX card this isn't going to be easy. While a gfx chip could easily be added to the 68000 bus, it will of course need fast-ram and 32MHz CPU to keep up. Main problem is someone would have to be willing to write drivers. Second problem is finding a graphics IC which is usable and still in production.. which is likely none. The only possible solution would be a custom FPGA graphics chip. Nothing I can do or have time. Would still need software which I don't have time or know much about either. So this is unlikely to happen.
I’d go for “overclocking” like with the old 10/12 MHz board boost hack, or with Overscan, or the newer 16 MHz board boost hack. New GFX card would introduce driver problems and so on; but boosting the existing hardware would, software wise, be a lot easier, as the existing Overscan software (and also Warp9 + NVDI) can handle that.
exxos wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm
RTC
Yes the Falcon style RTC circuit will be added in future revisions.
… with an external CR3032 battery? Please no integrated battery in the chip …
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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by exxos » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am

arf wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 am
I would not necessarily opt for IDE, but for storage options you can buy today. SCSI drives and SCSI-ACSI adapter’s aren’t. That’s why CF or SD would be really desired by me.
I have designed a IDE interface, but simply no time to build and debug it.

CF cards are extremely prone to noise, and just think they are really bad solution. I'm not saying I am against IDE, but DMA is a lot faster, and does not eat up CPU cycles like IDE would.

With solutions like ultra-Satan, there is no real need to reinvent yet another hard drive solution.

Ultimately if I did opt for a internal solution, I would make something like the ultra-Satan on a internal mountable PCB for my new motherboard. It is basically makes IDE and CF obsolete. And of course it is a tested and proven design, whereas a lot of their IDE interfaces floating around always seem to have issues in one respect or another. And I do not really want to spend even more time reinventing and de-bugging this stuff, when there is something more reliable and better out there anyway.

arf wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 am
....There are solutions and drivers. Gaga e.g. with Czietz and others created a TT bus based USB adapter card - alongside with working USB mass storage drivers. CD rom drives and USB thumb drives already work. Even with SingleTOS.
There are a lot of hardware solutions, as you state for various things, they all need redesigning to be used better on a new motherboard. Obviously if you mount up the amount of work for doing every single modification and reinventing if the new motherboard as a standard feature, it quickly mounts up to years of work.

If it like I say before if people want to develop a add-on card the various features and people have to do it themselves. If it proves to be working and reliable solution, it will be implemented as standard on future motherboard revisions.

arf wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 am
I’d go for “overclocking” like with the old 10/12 MHz board boost hack, or with Overscan, or the newer 16 MHz board boost hack. New GFX card would introduce driver problems and so on; but boosting the existing hardware would, software wise, be a lot easier, as the existing Overscan software (and also Warp9 + NVDI) can handle that.
Overclocking the original hardware is of course going to remain the most compatible method. That old 12 MHz hack it is basically useless. We are already running the bus at 16 MHz, and we can double the bandwidth of the video by doing this. This opens a door up for new video chips and resolutions as already discussed elsewhere on the forum.

Of course ultimately we need a compatible faster MMU. Then we can have 32 MHz access to ram, which will then effectively quadruple the video bandwidth.

arf wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 am
… with an external CR3032 battery? Please no integrated battery in the chip …
Of course, I already developed this solution for the Falcon, and would use it on the new motherboard design as well as a optional plug-in extra..

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0089
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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Re: SUGGESTIONS

Post by arf » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:59 am

exxos wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am
With solutions like ultra-Satan, there is no real need to reinvent yet another hard drive solution.

Ultimately if I did opt for a internal solution, I would make something like the ultra-Satan on a internal mountable PCB for my new motherboard. It is basically makes IDE and CF obsolete. And of course it is a tested and proven design, whereas a lot of their IDE interfaces floating around always seem to have issues in one respect or another. And I do not really want to spend even more time reinventing and de-bugging this stuff, when there is something more reliable and better out there anyway.
There’s no point in re-inventing the wheel for sure, and as I wrote, I wouldn’t necessarily go for IDE, but for modern storage options that you can buy new. Like the SD cards you mentioned.
exxos wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am
There are a lot of hardware solutions, as you state for various things, they all need redesigning to be used better on a new motherboard. Obviously if you mount up the amount of work for doing every single modification and reinventing if the new motherboard as a standard feature, it quickly mounts up to years of work.

If it like I say before if people want to develop a add-on card the various features and people have to do it themselves. If it proves to be working and reliable solution, it will be implemented as standard on future motherboard revisions.
Just wanted to point to that existing solution, as for the drivers it means that these exist (= no reinventing …). Of course the hardware has to be done, still.
exxos wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:50 am
Of course, I already developed this solution for the Falcon, and would use it on the new motherboard design as well as a optional plug-in extra..
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0089
Excellent!
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