A little update

A little update, Last 2 months I was busy adding pages to the data sheet part of the site.
And changed the way I wanted to control my commodore SX64 (and later on my compucase and Amiga).
My first Idea was to control the Kernal selections and drives id by a little FPGA, but it the FPGA I have didn’t like to have that much flipflops (memory for storing configuration).
So I had to go for a bigger FPGA or move to another way.

The other way presented it self to me 3 months ago, when I learned about the ESP8266 ESP8266devices.
A ESP8266 Device is a cheap (2-3 Euro) module that contains a CPU, WIFI controller and webserver.
With some simple code, I turned it into an Access Point that has a website that is controlling the kernal selection and drive id.
The communication between the ESP8266 and the I/O chip (PCF8574) is done by I2C.
The circuit also contains a I2C EEPROM to store settings.

Last night I built the circuit on a circuit boards and hope to do some test real soon.
I still need to build the I/O part that selects the drive ID and drive ROMs.
Also I need to program the ROMs with the various Kernals and drive firmwares.

Battery damage part 2

Yesterday I finished the cleaning of my Amiga 500+.

Cut out chips (and still some corrosion)
Cut out chips (and still some corrosion)
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Chip pins removed
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Gary socket removed

Last week I removed the battery and neutralize the acid from the battery with lemon juice.
This time I Removed the 7400 series chips that are in the affected area so I can also clean the circuit board below the chips.
After removing the chips I still see some corrosion, so I cleaned it with a toothbrush.
When I finished cleaning, I placed some sockets and placed some new chips back.
When done with the chips, I pull the Gary from her socket and start removing the old corroded socket.
When removed, I again clean the circuit board with a toothbrush and place a new socket.
I Didn’t had a 44pin socket¬†so I used a 40 pin socket and cut a part of another socket for the remaining pins.
After reseating the Gary I reassembled the Amiga and powered her up.
The 2.o Kickstart welcome screen is shown on my TV ( in color ūüôā )

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Gary back in her “new” socket

While doing some more testing, I found out that I couldn’t type “dir”.
the R key did not respond. after a quick test I found that the keyboard was not responding on two columns, the column with the R and the column with the T key.
So next mission for this Amiga is to check the keyboard and repair/replace it.

To be continued

Starting to clean battery damage on my Amiga 500+

corrosion on the battery
corrosion on the battery

A big problem that old computer systems have is leaking batteries.
The acid that gets free causes the copper conductors to corrode and when nothing is done the computer will stop working.

So yesterday I started to clean the damage caused by the leaking battery on my Amiga 500+.

First I opened my Amiga and completely disassembled it.
While doing this, I noted how the floppy drive power is connected.
Connecting it the wrong way will damage the drive beyond repair.

20160419_215557When the mainboard was out, I cut out the battery and then I cleaned all green corroded parts with concentraded lemon juice to neutralize the acid from the battery.
I then used a tooth brush to clean the affected parts and afterwards I dried the board and use pure alcohol to clean the part that I cleaned.

20160419_215431I still havened tested if she still works as I wanted to be sure that the mainboard is dried up.

Next step will be replacing the 7400 series chips that are corroded as I want to be sure that all corrosion is gone.

The Dutch Commodore club

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This Saturday I went to the Dutch Commodore club in Maarsen.
It was about 6 years ago that I visited the club for a very short visit.
I met a lot of people with the same interest as me, and had several good conversations.
On the club I noticed that Gideon (the creator of the 1541 Ultimate) was there with the prototype of the new 1541 Ultimate II+.
and a very interesting kernal selector based on a Atmel cpld chip.
The Commodore club is a place where other 8-bit computers like Atari and TRS-80.
If you are in the Netherlands on the third Saturday in the neighborhood of Maarsen (near Utrecht), it will be worth visiting their meeting.
See their website for pictures of the meeting and meeting dates at:
https://www.facebook.com/commodoreclubnederland or

XUM1541

This weekend, I created a XUM1541 interface base on an Arduino ProMicro board.
The interface allows me to talk to a commodore drive on my (32-bit windows) PC.

CBMXfer screenshot
CBMXfer screenshot

Now I’m able to quickly copy files over from my pc to floppy without having to use my 1541 Ultimate-II.

See the page on my site on how to build the Interface.

 

A little update

A little update on what I’m doing last weeks.
Last weekend I bought 2 pair of new drawers for in my IKEA EXPEDIT cupboard.
(Actually the drawers are part of the IKEA KALLAX series but can also be used in the former EXPEDIT series.)
I’m decorating my attic into a hobby space and needed some storage¬†for my 5,25″ discs and couldn’t find any disc boxes that were in good condition and similar to each other.
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Beside decorating my attic I also created two kernal switches.
One of the two are for my Commodore 128 and the other is for someone of the Dutch Commodore forum.
I still need to add the part for the integral¬†disc and I have to find out why some changes I created on the kernal ¬†won’t work.
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The changes I made worked in the vice emulator, but won’t in the real thing.
I changed the way the C= key worked while starting up (hold the C= to go into C128 mode instead the other way around).

Wrong LCD

I was building a list of LCD monitors that were able display the 15 kHz images by searching on the internet.
I wanted to place the list on my website, but last week I bought a LCD monitor that should support the 15 kHz.
After testing it at home, I got the message that it did not support the frequency.
The monitor I bought was a Samsung Syncmaster 710N.

So I decided that I won’t publish the list.

syncmaster-710n-21

 

New parts arrive

Yesterday some new parts arrived.
The mail man brought me a package with an internal 1571 drive and big power/drive activity led from a Commodore 128 D.
With this drive I can restore one of my Commodore 128 D computers that is missing the metal shields from the drive interface and the drive led.

Internal drive Commodore 128 and big leds
Internal drive Commodore 128 and big leds

Happy new year.

I wish everyone a happy 2016.
may you all enjoy another year in good health and lots of (computer) fun.

Last couple of weeks I was busy celebrating Christmas and did some researching, mainly autoconfig/autoboot rom of the Amiga Zorro II expansion port.
I also almost bought a A590 Hard disk controller, but the day I was going to get it, the guy sold it to someone else.
So if you have one for sale, please let me know.
I was already thinking of upgrading it (GURU rom, DMAC version 2).

I was also busy with my kernal switch project for my Compucase D64 and SX64, it will contain a xc9572xl that can be controlled by writing values to a certain memory location.
And maybe you already seen it, but I also added some info on mainboards.

Jeroen.