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 Post subject: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:02 am
Posts: 109
I can't wait to try this out! Has anyone else had a chance yet?

Rich

Reposted from [cone_cores]
Jens Schoenfeld wrote:
By popular request, we have simplified the modifications that need to be done to the C-One in order to activate the primary IDE port for use with the Minimig core.

In three short steps:

1. Connect PCI pins B6 and B8
2. Connect PCI pins B40, B41 and B42
3. Cut off pin 28 from the IDE port.

To understand what this actually does and how it looks like in the real-world, please go to the C-One website http://www.c64upgra.de/c-one and click on the "technical" section. I have prepared a PDF document with explanations and photos that should make the job fairly easy for someone who is familiar with a soldering iron. However, it should be mentioned that it's not a beginner's job and that if you don't feel comfortable doing hardware modifications, you should get help from an experienced friend or a professional.

On another note, Tobias is working on a way of creating soft-IRQs, thus making these modifications obsolete. These soft-IRQs are part of the software that handles hardfiles on the CF card. Since we're not sure if this will work as planned, and there's quite a few people out there who would like to use a harddisk on their Minimig, we have published V1.26 of the core with IDE support.

V1.26 also contains a bugfix in the SD-Ram controller. In all previous cores, the SD-Ram was overclocked, which caused startup problems and crashes where you would not expect them. The overclocking was extremely moderate: Timing was only off by 400 picoseconds with PAL cores, and it was off by 540 picoseconds in NTSC cores. To give you an idea of how short this time is: Light would travel a distance of about 15cm (about 6 inches) during this time. This is also the reason why the bug did not show at all temperatures and not on all boards.

Tobias has made the SD-Ram timing a lot less critical, which made it a little slower. With the reduced speed, the fixed timing slots for the three components of Minimig (Chipset and the two processors) could not be maintained, so Tobias implemented a dynamic arbitrary system for the available SD-Ram slots. The chipset always has top priority, then comes the main CPU and after that, the IO-CPU gets memory cycles.

You will notice two effects:

1. the Minimig is slightly slower than before (still faster than the original board)
2. Minimig starts reliably at any temperature

Some of you may have noticed that I did not deliver FPGA extenders and C-One boards since mid-december - I will now continue shipping, now that a solution to the startup/stability problem is found. Sorry to everyone who has been waiting.

Have fun testing!

Jens

Attachment:
C1_IDE_mods.pdf [465.22 KiB]
Downloaded 331 times


Check http://c64upgra.de/c-one for latest core.


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lake Charles, USA / Rio, Brazil
Well I was hoping that this was the breakthrough I was waiting for, but alas it still doesn't work. I get one extra line of text on the screen before it locks up ("SysCluster found").

After selecting either core on Newboot I get this:

*****

Minimig by Dennis van Weeren
Bug fixes, mods and extensions by Jakub Bednardski
68000 IP Core and C-One Port by Tobias Gubener

Bootloader C-One 090201

Extender core v1.26

Agnus ID: $20 (PAL) Denise ID: $FF (or $30 (NTSC))

SysCluster found

*****

Bugger! :(


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lake Charles, USA / Rio, Brazil
Tried with a differend CF card.... same result. :(


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lake Charles, USA / Rio, Brazil
OK, mystery solved:

Jens emailed me and apparently the IDE mod has to be done for the new core to work regardless of whether you actually want to use an IDE drive or not. :-)

I'm at the airport in Houston right now waiting for my plane to Brazil so the mod will have to wait until I get back again in March.

At least I got the ARM board working on my Minimig v1.1 and had that booting into OS3.1. I need to add the extra RAM though as a couple of programs wouldn't install to the hard drive with only 1.5MB available and Workbench gobbling up some of that. Shouldn't be a problem on the C-One with the extra RAM.


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:02 am
Posts: 109
Yes, its true, the modifications are required in order for this core to work. Good news is that they look easy-peasy to do..

Hey wait!.. how long have you had your ARM board? Color me jealous! (hurry Jakub, hurry. make more!) ;-)

Very interested to hear how (if) your C-One works following the mods necessary to get it going with this new firmware.


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:17 pm
Posts: 12
Whoa, that is cool. I know what I will be doing this weekend :D


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lake Charles, USA / Rio, Brazil
RchGrav wrote:
Yes, its true, the modifications are required in order for this core to work. Good news is that they look easy-peasy to do..

Hey wait!.. how long have you had your ARM board? Color me jealous! (hurry Jakub, hurry. make more!) ;-)

Very interested to hear how (if) your C-One works following the mods necessary to get it going with this new firmware.


I'm half tempted to have a go myself, bUt I need to source a pro to do the RAM upgrade to the Minimig v1.1 so I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

The ARM board is a prototype for software testing. It works great, but I need some extra RAM as some games require more than the 1.5MB in install or load from Workbench (Alien Breed Tower Assault for example).


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:02 am
Posts: 109
My C-One still hasn't returned from its visit to Germany.. but Jens shipped it last week.. You KNOW I will be checking the post office today!


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:17 pm
Posts: 12
Darrin wrote:
I'm half tempted to have a go myself, bUt I need to source a pro to do the RAM upgrade to the Minimig v1.1 so I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone.


Have you asked the dealer you bought it from? Have you asked Jens himself :?:


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 Post subject: Re: New Minimig core with IDE support now public!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Lake Charles, USA / Rio, Brazil
Quote:
Have you asked the dealer you bought it from? Have you asked Jens himself :?:


I got it straight from Jens and I'd rather avoid sending it back to Europe and then waiting (like you) for it to be returned. There's a guy I know who owns a VCR repair shop and he did some amazing work patching together some broken tracks on a VCR board that got crushed. The C-One job looks easy, but adding the RAM to the Minimig v1.1 looks a real bugger.


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