STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

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

Post by exxos » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:56 pm

I had to make the PCB a fraction larger so I could increase the isolation size on the copper... keeping it more away from everything.. also blocking it in the center as much as possible...

This gives a idea what I mean.. going to look into larger vias any anywhere I can improve strength of tracks...


new.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

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by Forgottenmyname » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:20 pm

Just looking at some of the solder pads for the caps and resistors on the right side of the board, is it possible that it could have bridged the component underneath, the pads do look close together at the sides, even zoomed in.

Also, when you bake the boards I take it the header pins are in already? Do you hold them in the correct place? It could be that when they cool you get a dry joint if allowed to flex?

Just thinking allowed and know you probably already tried it all.

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:53 pm

Forgottenmyname wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:20 pm
Just looking at some of the solder pads for the caps and resistors on the right side of the board, is it possible that it could have bridged the component underneath, the pads do look close together at the sides, even zoomed in.
They mostly for the CPU clock.. The clock is running fine on all the boards. I may see if I can space things out a little more...

Forgottenmyname wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:20 pm
Also, when you bake the boards I take it the header pins are in already? Do you hold them in the correct place? It could be that when they cool you get a dry joint if allowed to flex?

Just thinking allowed and know you probably already tried it all.

I soldered the pins by hand, because the plastics was melting in the oven.. but when I reflowed them yesterday the pins were in place, I use 2 or 3 blank pcbs to hold them in place.. oddly the plastic didn't melt that time..

I've wrote loads about these issues if you look back though this thread.. one board worked for like 20 hour then died for no reason.. heated up in oven again.. then fine again for a couple hours.. then dead again..

While soldering has been a issue, it can't be on every board... my soldering isn't *that* bad... plus I got these pins soldered by someone else to rule out "me" issues...

There was some PCBs from some german company which didn't work at all.. I got these new pcbs from my regular PCB guy and these work "better".. and there are 3 ( I think ) of these boosters on test and have been for some months.. so it seems more like a PCB issue somehow..

I can only think the board is flexing during heating and cooling and some bad connection on a via is the result.. I never found any bad connections with meter, but this doesn't mean there are no bad connections.. running power in MHz speeds will fail on a bad connection, but on a meter on beep test, works fine...

I have wondered if the pins themselves are looking soldered, but actually not... pressing on them with a meter could make or break them I guess... so I may run some pins in the US cleaner before soldering..

I will keep beafing up the PCB meanwhile.. get 10 made and see how building those up goes...
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

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:11 am

Tracks,gaps & vias all doubled up in sizes...

I have blocked a lot of copper fill around the CPU as well (also same on bottom layer ( not shown ))

I have also started to think the PLCC footprint is very close on the edges of the CPU... So will see if I can do something about that also...

ste2.JPG
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EDIT..

Seems to be a lot of variation on pads for PLCC... new one I found has slightly smaller pads...

co.JPG
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cn.JPG
cn.JPG (68.13 KiB) Viewed 164 times
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

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by Forgottenmyname » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:59 pm

It is so difficult to check with those small pins whether they are soldered enough, even with a usb microscope and you might be on to something with the whole pressure on the pin thing as I've had that problem many times as am sure you have.

I don't suppose you could bend the pins on the cpu so there's more surface area to solder? I would ask about smt cpus but know you have a lot of the ones you've been using.

P.s. have been following this thread with interest from the start, who is it you use for the pcbs and who were the Germans we should avoid? I know you use Oshpark a lot.

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:50 pm

I've got about 6 boards working now.. Tarnishing on the CPU pins and header pins has been a problem as well. A bit of IPA and works fine. So will probably include a IPA swab so people can clean the pins before plugging the thing into the socket.

Each of the 6 boards only runs as far as loading GB6 then freezes, so I think its safe to assume none of these CPU's are going to run at 40mhz. This is a new batch I got so assume they all going to be 38MHz or 36Mhz.. the CPU;s I had before were a different source/batch which did run at 40MHz.. I've ordered some more CPU's from another place.. so will try a few of those when they come.

Currently I don't think there is a PCB problem now... I will probably run the boards though my US cleaner before trying others out.. I may even put the CPU's in the US cleaner before soldering them as well... I have wiped IPA on them a lot before soldering.. but a proper soak and clean might work better... I will probably do the same with the pins before soldering..


BTW - someone asked what german company I used it was https://aisler.net/ took me awhile to remember sorry!

Boards I had from them before I seemed to have a lot of trouble with them over the original ones I got from OSH... The current boards I got from my regular PCB guy, and granted while there are some issues, I have actually managed to fix them all so far.. So really questioning the quality of those boards in Germany , but I have not looked into it much...

I stopped using them when they messed up a order and they started taking a long time to reply (like 1 week+ for each reply!) , They had enough chances to correct this problem and I am still waiting for a reply to my last email to them. I had no offer of a refund or replacement boards, so to me they are not interested, so that is good enough for me never to use aisler again.
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
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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by Forgottenmyname » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:56 pm

I didn't realise the batch of CPU's that myself and RJ had were different than the current lot, so that makes sense.

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:19 pm

Forgottenmyname wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:56 pm
I didn't realise the batch of CPU's that myself and RJ had were different than the current lot, so that makes sense.
Yep, "old stock" were all the test boards CPU's... I ran out of those CPUs so brought a reel from USA I think (cost a fortune!) but obviously these can't run at 40MHz :(
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
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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by Forgottenmyname » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:23 pm

Still, Mhz wise 38Mhz is 18% faster than 32 and 12.5% faster for 36Mhz, so for a computer of this age, its still an impressive boost if the application has the ability to use the extra Mhz.

Were the CPU's in the STF kit the new batch too out of interest?

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:12 pm

Forgottenmyname wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Still, Mhz wise 38Mhz is 18% faster than 32 and 12.5% faster for 36Mhz, so for a computer of this age, its still an impressive boost if the application has the ability to use the extra Mhz.
Yeah, I wanted to push more than 32MHz over the original design.. Even so, I think effectively even if this booster ran out 32MHz, it would actually still be faster than the original booster. So 38MHz new booster is probably like be 40MHz with old booster... The new booster firmware has had a total rewrite so it is more efficient than the previous design..

Forgottenmyname wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Were the CPU's in the STF kit the new batch too out of interest?
Most probably yes.

I can only test them at 32MHz the original V1 booster... So I don't know how good they are until one of the new boards is totally built up and tested.
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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