The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

All about the TF536 port to the ST.
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PhilC
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The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by PhilC » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:49 pm

This topic is primarily aimed at providing a brief summary of what hardware is compatible with the ST version of the TF536 and links to useful information aimed at getting you started with installing a TF536 into an ST, H4, etc.
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derkom
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by derkom » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:28 am

Although I am still an undetermined but long distance from closing the whole thing up again, I can confirm the TF536 appears to work fine in the Stacy, with some work. Making it actually fit in there is an exercise left up to the reader, and requires at the very least socketing of the CPU and removal or relocation of the internal power supply, which normally sits immediately above the 68000.

Pullups need to be changed to 2.2k (stock are 4.7k and 10k) for it to run stable, and also external power for the TF536 is recommended, as I still got occasional crashes when using only bus power.

Also some kind of TOS replacement solution is required, as the Stacy has (68030-incompatible) TOS 1.04 by default, and supports only 192k ROMs. I have successfully used exxos's IDE board decoder, Cloudy with Lightning decoder, and Cloudy with Storm decoder, with both TOS 2.06 and EmuTOS. Any of these combinations seem to work fine. Again, actually fitting the hardware is the real challenge here.

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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by PhilC » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:13 pm

As @derkom has said, it looks like you're on a winner if you furst change the bus pullups for 2.2k. I've now tried this in 3 Mega STs, a short case ST and a few STFMs.

The primary thing to think of is how can I make it fit and I don't mean just in the CPU socket. The problem on a lot of board is that before you can install a TF536, you need to consider some kind of CPU relocator in the case of many STFMs then the decoder board for 256k eprom and finally on top of that you put the TF536. Of course you could always remove the old STFM motherboard and find an H5, using the original as a parts donor.

Those lucky enough yo own a "working" Mega ST (let's face it, they are fickle unreliable creatures) will have no problem with the above. Once the CPU has been removed you can use something like one of the exxos decoding boards and then place the TF536 on top with room to spare.

I'm particularly interested in the TF536 relocator being constructed by @stephen_usher as this tries to combine the decoder, rom and relocator all into one board, whilst still providing a switched option between the original 68000 and the TF536, something that @derkom has working already in the Stacy as mentioned above


Hopefully as more of us get a TF536 then we will hear of more stories of sucess and creativity.
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Darklord
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by Darklord » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:41 pm

derkom wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:28 am
Although I am still an undetermined but long distance from closing the whole thing up again, I can confirm the TF536 appears to work fine in the Stacy, with some work. Making it actually fit in there is an exercise left up to the reader, and requires at the very least socketing of the CPU and removal or relocation of the internal power supply, which normally sits immediately above the 68000.

Pullups need to be changed to 2.2k (stock are 4.7k and 10k) for it to run stable, and also external power for the TF536 is recommended, as I still got occasional crashes when using only bus power.

Also some kind of TOS replacement solution is required, as the Stacy has (68030-incompatible) TOS 1.04 by default, and supports only 192k ROMs. I have successfully used exxos's IDE board decoder, Cloudy with Lightning decoder, and Cloudy with Storm decoder, with both TOS 2.06 and EmuTOS. Any of these combinations seem to work fine. Again, actually fitting the hardware is the real challenge here.
You ain't wrong. :)

Even with the Pak board I had to remove a plastic support post, socket the CPU, cut various metal shields, and as you mentioned, relocate the power supply to the battery compartment. Even then, I felt like I was using a shoehorn to get everything back in place. It does help if you get rid of the original hard drive - too big, too bulky, draws way too much power. Switch to an internal US or something like it.

Definitely not a job for the faint of heart, but well worth it in the end. :)
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by Darklord » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:44 pm

PhilC wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:13 pm
Those lucky enough yo own a "working" Mega ST (let's face it, they are fickle unreliable creatures) will have no problem with the above.
Oddly enough, every Mega ST I've ever owned have been solid machines and super reliable.

The Mega ST4 that I use to run my BBS is dated 1987, although I did replace the power
supply twice.
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PhilC
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by PhilC » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:46 pm

@Darklord for me they have suffered from a lot of corrosion on the bottom of the board but once that's sorted its my favourite ST to use. I've got three, two good ones and one that the floppy refuses to work on.
If it ain't broke, test it to Destruction.

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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by Darklord » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:46 pm

PhilC wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:46 pm
@Darklord for me they have suffered from a lot of corrosion on the bottom of the board but once that's sorted its my favourite ST to use. I've got three, two good ones and one that the floppy refuses to work on.
Wonder why was there so much corrosion? Less than desirable environment?
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by PhilC » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:57 am

@Darklord possibly, its a shame as its the format I like the most but as said, after I've repaired them they are absolutely fine.
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Re: The ST TF536 hardware compatibility list

Post by Darklord » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:45 pm

PhilC wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:57 am
@Darklord possibly, its a shame as its the format I like the most but as said, after I've repaired them they are absolutely fine.
Good to go then. :)

When I got this particular Mega ST that runs DarkForce (my BBS), it was a 2 megger. Upgraded it to 4 megs and added an
AdSpeed accelerator. Since it runs 24/7, I did take Best Electronics advice and remove the fins from the fan exhaust at the
back. They were right, those are so close together it actually impedes air flow. It's run like a champ ever since.
Welcome To DarkForce! www.darkforce.org "The Fuji Lives.!"
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