This previous year has been extremely busy — the birth of my son, William — has kept my days filled with fun and zero sleep.
I guess like most parents, I have this fantasy that being at home with him means I get some more time somehow for personal projects. Sleep deprivation seems to really mess with my concept of reality.
I woke up a year later blowing out his 1st birthday candle and realized it’s 2019 🙂
So, I suddenly have some time and I am getting back to projects… no really… I am
Yuri’s Goldfinger card was having some really strange issues — the PAS AUDIO 16 ISA card that was handling audio for the PC side of the computer was also throwing up in certain DOS configurations. The PC on a card PEAK650VLB2 ended up having BIOS corruption after finding a surface mounted resistor had popped off the card. I gave the card a hard look to see where the resistor was from, but it was next to impossible (the card has hundreds of them). If I had a card to compare against maybe, but its easier to pick up a new one. I managed to locate a replacement far far away for super cheap, which was a surprise when it actually powered up.
The card itself is a newer revision, PEAK650D4 type. The heatsink for the chipset required some ‘Mazzolla’ to let the processor heatsink slide into its spot. Whoever manufactured the card put the chipset heatsink on the wrong way. Oh well, I got it in (the processor) — with a little roughhousing.
I found a local source for a Soundblaster AWE64 ISA card. All my starting computers that were PC’s had a variety of soundcards, but never a real Soundblaster. I have a collection of the best soundcards of that era (PAS16, GavisUltraSoundPro, TurtleBeachOriginal) as I did audio work at that time. Soundblaster, though is the best card for video game support — which is why this machine is set up. Other than some funny hardware warnings from Creatives’ plug and Play loader — the card works perfectly. Doom2, Dune2 and CNC all love the config now. The PAS16 would get one or crash another.
Getting the right memory configs in DOS6.22 is such a pain. I conveniently forget the massive pain it was in that era to actually get different games to work… let alone mixing in mouse and a LAN stack for multiplayer action. Memories of NE2000 and IPX smells like burning toast.
Well, it might be the other way around. Recently I picked up a really thin/small USB 4 port hub, which would get in the way (the way it was wired). But I found a use for him. The PC side of Amiga Yuri needed USB ports and other interface options.
So we begin with the left side front panel, which is two toggle switches (with LED’s :)), one momentary switch and a USB hub. The first toggle is a red LED, which is tied to the PSU for the system. When the system is powered down, the red LED lights up. The second toggle is for the Amiga’s 030 Accelerator, which can now be disabled (off) or active (on), the blue LED in this toggle is for the PC side’s HD light. The small momentary switch is to reset the PC Card, as this doesn’t have a power off/on so it would be handy to reboot it without having shutdown both sides. The USB is wired into the PC side, to allow me to mount CD-ROM, flash drives etc for the Goldfinger card.
In the rear of the machine, I mounted all the ports that would be needed (but not all, there is not enough backplane for it :)). From left to right:
1. Amiga SCSI2SD card drive (swap out cards for different setups DH0:)
2. Amiga Rapidroad/Xsurf combo (USB and Ethernet)
3. Ventilator Fan (strong, lots of hot stuff in there)
4. PC Audiotrix Pro sound card
5. PC IDE2CFCARD interface (different PC configs Drive C:)
6. PC Serial Ports
7. PC Goldfinger Card (PS2, 2xEthernet and VGA)
I left the machine running doing some speed tests to generate heat and everything worked out great. I was monitoring the BIOS for the PC side, thermal sensors didn’t rise as much as I expected. I put a thermal sensor on the Amiga MB and Accelerator and it’s temperatures only went a few degrees higher than normal readings. Amazing!
The case needed some cutting and with a Dremel, which turned out pretty clean. I’ve always wanted to use that space for something, it always seems like a waste of front panel. Just have front panel power is great, as when I was done I put it in my rack, along with a cheap VGA KVM switcher. So both machines use the same monitor 🙂
* Update *
It’s not a matter of compatible cards by the looks of things. My TC seems to have some timing issues. I’ve had this problem before with a firmware update — but fixed in a later update.
Speaking with Alastair about what the issues could be it ended up that the latest version of the Minimig core wasn’t working — but older versions did. He mentioned a new build sometime in the future to test out the timings.
* Old News * 🙂
Well as of today, I still can’t seem to find an SD card that will run the Minimig core correctly. A while back I had one, but it got crushed. I threw the card out and started fresh (had backups), but nothing I do seems to work. So these are the cards I have tried, formatted FAT32, FAT16, exFAT, with various clsuter sizes and with smaller partitions (for the 8GB cards) or using the complete size of the SD card.
The same cards will work with MSX core, or load files for the TC64’s C64 file browser. A few other people have mentioned issues with particular cards. I’m looking around for other cards to try…