STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

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

Post by rubber_jonnie » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:46 am

So booster is all good, and I've now re-flashed my TL866CS to TL866A firmware and will add the headers it needs to add in ICSP programming too.

Damn thing still doesn't seem to support Atmel 22V10C GALs though :(

But the booster is good!!
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ultimate 1MB, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k +APE Warp) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg), 1040STF long button floppy, 2x 1040 STFMs + Gotek, 2x 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher, Mega ST1, Mega ST4, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:04 pm

In case people missed it.. The STE booster project is basically abandoned now and been removed from my store.

The plug in boards have been a nightmare from day 1 and it's just time to move on from it all. Not only are the failures of building these boards really high ( I don't know why) but since finding out different socket brands have different dimensions than the booster header pins, I am not about to start doing multiple versions of the same thing.

The 40MHz operation turned out to need much more complex PLD logic which means we are basically back to the 32MHz V1 design. I also found multiple issues with various GAL chips, where only certain ones would work at all. This also created huge issues. As people know I started using the Atmel ones, where I had to change the booster design to work with these chips. But I am really not happy with what seems to be, really bad hardware tolerances on the chips. So I cannot simply make these things up and have them work. It is a fight for each chip fitted to get it working.

If anything, the V1 design (the solder in version) would be the only version I would consider making again.. But with all the troubles of the PLCC sockets, I would need to revise the PCB to use a SMT one, as those generally tend to be better fitting.. But again, I'm not about to spend the time starting this project all over again, designing the circuit boards, building them up, testing them, debugging them.. But even so, I really would not want to use the 22V10's again on these boosters. I would really opt to move to a Altera or ATF15xx series.. But then it's starting the whole project again from scratch for a third time.

I think I have spent enough time on it all already to know that the STE is a lot more problematical to work on than I originally thought. I really don't have the time or patience to keep debugging endless design faults on these machines, That's even before getting to debugging the booster hardware itself. But as I am fighting tolerances on chips as well, it is not a good project to invest time into.

The same issue with the STFM motherboards with multiple motherboard revisions, all with their own quirks. You cant fix multiple issues by a simple hardware add-on. Each motherboard has to be debugged and fixes applied even before getting to the point of adding hardware. All this has become a total nightmare over the past few years and it is not work I am prepared to do any more. I'm hardly even spending time on debugging my own designed hardware, I am debugging hardware which someone else designed 30+ years ago! Its not a good use of time.

As per what I said in my action plan of this year...

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1182

I'm actually abandoning Falcon and STE hardware development as I simply do not have the time to work on every machine. But it is not simply that, all the hardware faults have just become too great to warrant spending the time to keep debugging them. IMHO it is just better to move over to the STF remake project where I can build a motherboard which works properly right from the start. This way hardware development will happen a order of magnitude faster as I will not have to to debug endless faults which appear on the original Atari motherboards.

IMHO Keeping the original machines working in their original working condition is likely going to be a challenge enough in coming years. Trying to build add-ons for these machines it is not really good idea anymore.

If people want upgraded machines, they should come on over to the remake project forum and help out with that as building a new machine with hardware add-ons built in is a lot better direction to move in.
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 21, 2019 1:04 pm

I keep getting asked about STE boosters.. I think a lot of people have not read the above post..

In short, the plug-in boosters have been abandoned will not be produced again.

I am considering another batch of the "solder in" V1 boosters. Though the problem is the GAL's are such poor tolerances that I have to test like 20 of them to get one which works right. So it is not simply a case of building them again. I need to do a lot of work into that issue first.. And I just have so many projects ongoing its not high up on my to do list at the moment.

Aside from that, a lot of the people who fited this booster ended up knackering their motherboard up and wanting help to fix it, and I really don't have the time or patience to go through all that again at the moment.

So there will be another batch of V1, but It will sometime in the new year when I have caught up with other projects a bit more.
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 rubber_jonnie » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:43 pm

exxos wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:04 pm

Aside from that, a lot of the people who fited this booster ended up knackering their motherboard up and wanting help to fix it, and I really don't have the time or patience to go through all that again at the moment.
I would add to this statement, and suggest that a difficulty level of 13 out of 10 is appropriate for this upgrade, you have to be super committed, patient and have good soldering skills.

Not for the faint hearted.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ultimate 1MB, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k +APE Warp) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg), 1040STF long button floppy, 2x 1040 STFMs + Gotek, 2x 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher, Mega ST1, Mega ST4, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

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exxos
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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:05 pm

rubber_jonnie wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:43 pm
Not for the faint hearted.
Indeed. I will put a note in my store.

I have listed the V1 in my store again, but its not going to be available to buy for some weeks / months. I also don't have a current price until they are built up, tested and also failures taken into account etc.
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 ari.tao » Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:35 am

Thanx for info. What a pitty - but I agree to Your reasoning.
As I´m a softy - doing soldering only if inevitably necessary - under this circumstances I´d better obstain from the idea of getting my STe boostered. If there is another V1, perhaps somebody can do it for me one day. In near future, there is enough tinkering anyway to get my CTe working...
Falcon, TT & some more

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Re: STE V1.5 32MHz BOOSTER - STATUS

Post by exxos » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:58 am

Steve on here offers repairs and upgrades. Of course fitting is going to be cheaper than diagnostics. Though in terms of STE's value, it would be cheaper just to buy a new STE than try and fix it.
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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