STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Help & information about the STE V1 booster.
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exxos
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STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:23 pm

stev1.jpg
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In light of a lot of people not being able to solder well enough to fit the V1 STE BOOSTER ,I Designed this prototype which will plug into the CPU socket with a simple adapter I designed.

I myself hate plugin stuff as at some point, it will develop bad connections and it takes an age to work out whats gone wrong. Though in light of people not being able to fit this booster, then a plug-in option is the only way to go.

So the plugin kit was "born". This isn't a production board "yet" only a prototype. Though if it does go into production, then people stand a better chance of getting some extra MHz into their machines.

This prototype has a small area on the bottom left for an adjustable MHz generator. I managed to clock to about 38MHz before, but the speed gain wasn't worth it. Really it needs to get to 40MHz before any speed jump is seen. Though I doubt the HC series of CPU can take this, but I am going to try again anyway :)

Due to lacking in time (as always!) This project is on hold. I do not see this project resuming anytime soon either. Meanwhile, if people can't fit or assemble the V1 booster, then I offer a fitting charge to assemble and fit for £75 (excluding postage costs).

Current V1 STE Booster page.
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/V1STE/index.htm

STE V1 BOOSTER Store page
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0059
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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:48 pm

STE BOOSTER DESIGN PROGRESS
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I have been having a lot of thoughts lately about various design issues with the STE booster. For the first part, a few months back I designed a GAL to Atmel adapter board. It never got built (just not had time). Though while the Atmel is just a huge GAL anyway (basically loads more IO ports) I was designing the next gen STE booster to have fast-ram. Though the best SRAM to use for this project was 3.3V. So I was adding in IO translators to adapt 3.3V <> 5V. Nothing really wrong there. Though it does add more cost in PCB space, IC's, soldering, testing etc, and I just didn't want to do that.

I know Xilinx is popular and a lot of people use it. It has inbuilt translators which make it ideal. So I installed the free webpack (all 20GB of it!!) and fiddled with the diagram editor. It was pretty straight forward. Actually looked like the Altera software I am using. Though I couldn't for the life of me work out how to assign pinouts to the diagram to actual IC.

After watching god knows how many videos, looking at various webpages I basically gave up. Turns it it was hidden in a bunch of places and when I finally got the pin editor up, I couldn't work out how to assign pins. Where later it turned out they are drag and drop. It actually seems like nobody has even used the diagram part of the IDE so finding help to use it seems impossible. That is pretty much the problem with coding on the Atmel chip, just impossible to figure out easily how to do anything. In the end, I basically gave up with Xlinx IDE. I just find it very annoying and frustrating to use :(

I also remember when I was programming my CT60 a while ago, I couldn't get the Xlinx software to work on my main PC. I ended up installing the software on my old laptop which barely decides to boot up these days. It seemed to work ok on that, really old hardware I guess. Though my main PC isn't that new either, but still a quadcore based machine. I can't remember what the issues were. I think the software couldn't find the programmer.

So I decided to go with the Altera MAX7000 series for the moment. I already designed the IDE prototype with it. Though I would also like to try to get the STE booster powered by a Altera PLD. This means my Atmel code on all my previous boosters becomes useless as I will be working with logic chips in the Altera software. So I am having to basically re-invent my own stuff again.

Why would I do that ? Well, as said in blog post somewhere, I am tired of trying to code stuff where I don't know if what I am doing is right, or my "design" simply doesn't work. I mean don't get me wrong, I really like WinCupl and the Atmel PLD's. Though anything past basic IO stuff becomes a nightmare to figure out. Atmel have been helpful in answering my questions. Though often its waiting a day or 2 for a reply. Then the "conversation" can go on for months.. Its just not practical to continue like that. I also have the same feeling with the xlinx stuff.

Though the Altera software, I just started using and got along with it just fine. I mean, I wanted to assign my pins, so I select pin assignments from then menu, what could be easier ?! Saved me 2+ hours of looking on various sites for answers on how to do basic things.

People may think I am mad, though I just prefer to draw circuits than code stuff. I mean its like trying to write a book in ancient Egyptian when you don't have any sort of reference book on it all. Its just madness to try.

Of course, I never used Altera before, but I could just start designing easily and generally just get on with it. Also the circuits I can design in my logic simulator software which I have been using for years. Design and debug, then just copy the circuit over to Altera and program the chip. I mean its a lot easier than fighting with code and syntax of it all. I just feel the Altera is the right move for me to make. So this new PCB is the first step in that direction.

I should be able to translate my previous booster code back over to a schematic in the Altera software. Then see how it behaves in the STE booster board. Once I am happy, then I will continue work on the fast-ram side of things as I can route everything though the Altera chip :)

..wrap..
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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:32 pm

Image

I've not forgotten about this plug-in STE booster revision. In fact I am going to try and find some time next week to start building up one of them.

I was actually waiting to do a order to mouser, as I couldn't find the SMT resistor packs in farnell.. but I don't need them for testing..
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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:01 pm

Started doing some soldering on the plug-in booster tonight. I have got to solder the pins and programme and solder the GAL yet.. Will probably be tomorrow if I can find some time...

b1.jpg
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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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:25 pm

IMG_1988.JPG
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Just testing the board works before soldering in the GAL....

Need to tweak the firmware next...
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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:13 pm

IMG_1989.JPG
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Testing and working :)

Now onto the next PCB revision...
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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by Maeke » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:48 pm

exxos wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:13 pm
IMG_1989.JPG


Testing and working :)

Now onto the next PCB revision...
:bravo: :goodpost: :coolpics: :cheers:
If i take too long to reply, sorry my cat is sleeping on my laps.

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:05 pm

Next PCB version. SMT resistor packs gone, gone back to SIP package, easier to get and solder. Moved to DIP GAL, same reasons.

Paid for super fast services from OSH.. So hope they will come soon so I can try this (hopefully) final revision.

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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: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by IngoQ » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:14 am

Guess I should have waited a little ;)
Ingo :geek:

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by francouai » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:07 am

nice work.
Still no IDE port ? :D
--
Francouai

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