Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

TF534 - 68030 + More RAM Board (More compatible with amiga hardware)

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terriblefire
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Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by terriblefire » Sun May 19, 2019 11:07 pm

Late in 2018 i realised that my approach thus far to accelerators was taking me to a dead end of low RAM sizes and difficult to support clock speed options. It seems crazy to waste time supporting a 40Mhz clock when an 030 can be purchased for $10 that will do 50Mhz. So just fix things at 50Mhz. Options are not something I want to support.

So i decided to do an experimental card which would eliminate all these problems and set me up on a "Generation 2" of TF cards. The TF330.

It worked pretty much out of the box and with a few glitches (that were CD32 specific) we had a working Gen 2 card.

But what to do with the TF534??? People wanted it but it was Generation 1. I very reluctantly did a large batch of boards for this card and sold them... people built them... but I knew I would have to do a Gen 2 Amiga 500 card soon and so I have created the TF536.

There isnt anywhere to take the TF534... and i'll release the sources for it when i have time to get them in a good state to do that. At that point i'll be hands off completely on the board and focussing on Gen 2 completely.

Also in Gen 2 is the TF360... which has had a lot of bugs fixed lately but still not working 100%. So too many boards for one guy... the TF534 was a short lived board but it was the stepping stone between Gen 1 and Gen 2.
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redhawk668
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by redhawk668 » Mon May 20, 2019 11:40 am

Well, I agree with that. Time to move on. The TF530/TF534 were nice, but it's time to bring the Amiga500 to a next level...
My collection: 1040 STE, TOS 2.06, 4 mb, CosmosEx - 520 STFM, TOS 1.04, 4 mb, Blitter, CosmosEx - 520 STFM, TOS 1.04, 4 mb - 1040 STF, TOS 1.04, 1 mb, Gotek - Amiga 1200 with Blizzard 1220/4 - Amiga 500 + ACA500 - Amiga 500 + TF530, 1 mb chipram hack.

Atari 8 bit: 800XLF, stock - 600XL, Ultimate 1 mb, Sophia RGB - 130XE, 320 kb, Sophia RGB

Sinclair stuff: 3x Spectrum 48KB, Clones: Harlequin, JS128, Nuvo128 and Issue3B replica.

Ultimate64, a few C64 breadbins and Pi1541 for storage.

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chue
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by chue » Thu May 23, 2019 3:45 pm

Seems like perfectly good reasoning for dropping the older TF534/530 cards.

My question is in regards to the feature differences that the end user sees. From what I can tell, the TF536
- has much more RAM
- drops the FPU
- is fixed at 50 mhz

Is this correct?

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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by terriblefire » Thu May 23, 2019 4:52 pm

Yup pretty much
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by Steve » Thu May 23, 2019 5:09 pm

From what I gather an FPU on Amigas is an extremely rare thing to be used, so it does make sense to not have one. Even the last aca1233n for a1200 didn't include FPU because it slowed the 030 down due to burst mode having to be disabled.
Falcon ct60e 060 - 256mb ram - phantom bus and dsp accel // Atari TT - Thunder and Storm IDE 64mb ram - Lightning VME - USB LAN - Ati Mach64 2mb // Atari STM 4160 - 4MB ram - 16Mhz exxos 1.5 booster - Ultrasatan

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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by terriblefire » Thu May 23, 2019 5:29 pm

I’m not sure this last point is correct.. the Tf534 has burst mode and an FPU.

But the gain isn’t worth the extra board space IMHO
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madk71
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by madk71 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Hi, please don't forget about all the people that love to experiment special add on for the AmigaOS like AFA OS that need an FPU or for DEMOS lovers that can't afford a 060.

Thanks

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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by terriblefire » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:04 am

I’m not stopping experimentation. The source is there for all time. I’m just not doing updates personally. I’ll take firmware pull requests etc.
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by terriblefire » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 pm

I've deleted the TF534 issues topic. I wont be fixing any TF534 issues... ever. I already devoted an entire year of my life to this card and when I read some of the posts on there that make out i've made a quick buck and couldnt be bothered to fix the issues it makes me angry. I'm ~700 quid down on the TF534 series. I wanted to bin it but some people persuaded me to do a batch of 50.

I'm also very unimpressed that a beta test card made it to an end user who then came asking for support for it.

DO NOT BUY A TF534. If you have a blank one and want your money back I will do so if you post me it.

Its also highly unlikely i'll look at the TF536 again now. I did that to bring the TF330 to the A500 but people want me to drop Gayle emulation, magically fix badly written drivers to work with 32bit fastram...

Just buy someone else's card please. I have enough to do.
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Re: Why I'm no longer developing the TF534/TF530 cards

Post by GadgetUK164 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:10 pm

Stephen, I hope you've not taken anything I said in that light! I totally appreciate what you've done with all these cards. I stand by what I said the other night - you're the best thing to happen to the Amiga community in the last 30 years. Nobody has put in the time and effort that you have, and you've open sourced everything too which is quite frankly just incredible. Don't for a minute think that I have anything less than the upmost respect for you and everything you've created. If anything me thoughts tonight have been - I wonder if I could look at the different versions of the source code and work out myself what the issue is with the zorro II stuff, and I don't doubt it would be difficult, but that opportunity and the very possibility of it is thanks to you open sourcing everything and giving us the keys to the kingdom.

And likewise, I don't want Viktor to be offended either. I am super grateful for the donation - it will be used and cherrished and shared on my channel. What I didn't want to do was go "here's the 534 - it doesn't work for me" - that's the reason why I started asking questions and trying to understand various things about it. I've got to that point now where I can say "actually, with the latest firmware it does work - super super well". Yes I've got a problem with my Z-RAM card, but you know what - that's a brand new product, for all I know the developer of that has some slightly off timing on signals or some screwey autoconfig code. And at the same time, I can see why Stephen doesnt want to support this particular card anymore - it was a stepping stone. It helped pave the way to better cards, but it still is a good card. I will likely install this in one of my 500's.
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