What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. PsychoticOrc

    PsychoticOrc Member

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    Rescued another 486 from work, seagate 638 mb hdd, s3 trident pci, am486dx-100 cpu and 16 mb of ram. Boots up into dos so pretty happy :) might replace my other 486 with this one.
     
  2. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    So you the guy that brought down the ATO website? Take that back mate! I want to roll over my super :D
     
  3. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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  4. pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Finally got my hands on some LS120 disks to ascertain whether two LS120 drives I've had for ages actually work at 120MB (they're fine with 1.44MB disks)

    Alas they don't :upset:

    I have one Mitsubishi drive and one Matsushita

    With XP, neither drive recognises what seems like an unused LS120 disk, and also a used disk judging by its handwritten label

    I decided low-level format was a good idea, but the only utility available seemed to be DOS applicable

    So I set up a MSDOS 6.22 machine where LS120.SYS recognizes each drive and assigns it D:

    Using the Mitsubishi drive, FMTLS120 D: brings up a warning Might take 40 minutes - letting it proceed whirrs away for unknown time (didn't stay to watch) finally saying Format Failed

    With the Matsushita drive, FMTLS120 D: doesn't even get off the launching pad, just displays Help text (as does the the Mitsubishi drive if there's no disk in it)

    So both drives may be dud for 120MB - Bugger! :mad:

    Mulling over whether to pull Mitsubishi apart for a clean with Isopropyl alcohol, or try Linux :eek:

    Might swap in a slower board/processor first, maybe Northwood 3.0 is too much for them :confused:
     
  5. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Damn! Always wanted a LS-120 to try, especially for the quicker standard floppy read speed.

    Could just be the disk though? I'd imagine they're more fragile than the drives (if ZIP disks are anything to go by).
     
  6. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I've never taken much interest in the demo scene for any syste, but I've been spending some time checking out C64 demos lately - there's some amazing stuff out there! My setup is a '85 model breadbin / JiffyDOS / 1541 Ultimate II+ / 14" Sony Trinitron and the experience couldn't be easier - I downloaded a 'top 100' collection from the interwebs, slapped them onto a USB key, and am running through them at my leisure :)
     
  7. okclock123

    okclock123 Member

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    Gave my collection some inventory and storage love.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1. Pizza boxes (eBay)
    2. Stackable plastic boxes (IKEA)
    3. Mobo and addon card anti static bags (eBay)
    4. Standard size printable sticker labels - 28 per A4 (Officeworks)
    5. 90s love

    Pizza boxes and IKEA stack nicely because they are of the same length - fit snugly in a wardrobe top shelf corner, contents are visible immediately since I slapped stickers on the front side of the boxes. IKAE stack on top of each other whatever size you use - from gargantuan to tiny. 4/5 of my mobos fit in pizza boxes and I didn't find a cheap storage solution for bigger boards yet, so my only big board lays loose for now and I don't intend to buy more at the moment.
     
  8. callan

    callan Member

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    Very nice: puts my "organisation" to shame :p

    Callan
     
  9. okclock123

    okclock123 Member

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    In my case constantly searching for parts easily adds up to hours if not days because I'm forgetful :upset:.

    I also have some parts which died because of inappropriate storage. Lost a Pico PSU recently because it was stored with other PCBs in a box and one of SMD caps fell off. Another example - I recently destroyed an Arctic Cooling fan because I tossed it in a box with other random parts. The cooler was in a padded bag, but the damage was of as if I slammed it with a hammer.
     
  10. Krumm

    Krumm Member

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    Looking at pickup up an old server dual xeon with a S5000VSA board just to play around with, but I haven't had any experience with these. Besides needing fully buffered DDR2 which I'd need to get some of are there any other pitfalls or required hardware to watch out for to get these up and running?
     
  11. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    I had some of the 5000 chipset dual xeon boards years ago. Pita to setup if you don't have existing server hardware due to them requiring specific socket 771 server formfactor coolers (Dynatron or ones from OEM's). Not worth playing around unless you have coolers for the boards as mentioned.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    adz

    adz Member

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    I have RAM and CPU coolers should you need them, I also have a few different matched 771 CPU's if you're interested.
     
  13. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Posted off an old phone collection I had...


    Click to view full size!


    Back when new models weren't just incremental updates!
     
  14. callan

    callan Member

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    As alluded to earlier I started a new slow-burn experiment/project today: Just for shits'n'giggles converting a 1541 to use a track zero sensor. Apart from the reliability aspect it's just an interesting intellectual exercise. Don't ask why: just two dogs.
    It will take quite some time due to some necessary "staged holds" so I'll just lob things in this thread as they happen.

    The 1541C (which is actually designated 1541B) firmware supports the sensor, which can be enabled with a jumper. Both the "B" controller board and firmware have design flaws which made it a pretty crap drive. There were bit density zone bugs, T0 switch detection bugs and other nasties, and the cost-reduced controller used a monolithic to reduce component counts that was inferior and unreliable.

    The drive I've chosen is a "1541C" which is actually a straight 1541 in a white case, Newtronics drive and a slightly updated native 1541 controller board. Not to be confused with the 1541-II. Confused? Yeah - so am I.

    There is an IMPROVED 1541 C(I mean B) version of the firmware which fixes most of the bugs (And the infamous "Save@replace bug" that trashed directories), but poses problems as there are changes in the LOWER and UPPER 8K ROM address ranges. Not a problem with the 1541C as it uses a single 16K ROM, but the native 1541 uses 2 8K ROMS. So I need to split the ROM images, have 2 burned and handle them both. Handling ROM checksums, ROM switching and hacking the JiffyDOS ROM (in 6502 assembly) to handle the altered setup, whilst maintaining compatibility (which means jumping to patch tables in a VERY CROWDED ROM). At least the source code was recently discovered:thumbup:

    The native 1541 board is also lacking the necessary logic. I need a pair of inverters and there's only a single inverter spare: a 74LS04 is the most convenient.
    I HATE using "dead-bug" hacks: they look awful and unprofessional, and they are every bit as reliable as they look.

    THERE though I've been lucky, as unlike the classic 1540 shortboard the later rev. 1541 board I'm using has a couple of unpopulated 14 pin solder pads with most pins unconnected. After a bit of track-tracing I determined that I could drop a 74LS04 Hex (6way) inverter in, and have 4 inverters available.
    [​IMG]

    So I removed pins 1-4 from a milled-pin socket, fitted it, and installed the 75LS04. With Ground/VCC on pins 7 & 14 that leaves 4 input/output pairs active: more than I need:thumbup::thumbup:
    If you look closely at the image below you can see that the bottom left 4 pins don't have any metal contacts, remaining unconnected. The board actually routes them to the clock circuitry so I don't want them interfering. (full res image HERE - sorry it's a bit flakey - took it with my phone)

    [​IMG]

    That's as far as I got today: if I get some time tomorrow I'll work on the analogue side: powering the LED and hooking up the optical sensor. There's a small debounce circuit which I'll probably mount on the sensor board, but I haven't quite worked out the best way to do that. It's only an R/C circuit, so it can go pretty much anywhere.

    Then gettings the ROM images done. That'll be fun, but least I can (mostly) test them out in VICE - a software emulator.

    All a total and utter waste of productive time:lol:

    Callan

    edit: just noticed I should fit a decoupling cap in the provided pass-through solder pads:p
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  15. callan

    callan Member

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    No photos today, just an update: One step forwards, two steps back.
    I'd co-opted some of the PCB connectors for the drive switches and finished all the soldering. Just thought I'd meter it all out to make sure I made no mistakes......

    Just as well I did: turns out there are some tracks concealed UNDERNEATH the pin header that strap most of the pins I was using to +12V:mad: Morover a trace I added for functionality would have shorted +12V to ground:Paranoid:

    Since these traces were otherwise unused they're not documented on any of the schematics. I'd have to do a bucket-ton of cutting and rerouting of traces to make it work, and since that would defeat the purpose of making it tidy, I'll just have to bite the bullet and put in another pin header dedicated to the track zero sensor. Bugger: another trip to Jaycar. IF they have the header I want.

    So I undid all the board reworking, and fired it up to test.

    It was at that precise moment that the mains power switch decided to join the the fuse carrier in crumbling and falling apart. :upset::upset:
    Nothing for it - I plundered one from a 1541 donor carcass, cut out the old one and soldered/(double)sleeved the donor switch into the wiring.

    Finally fired it back up. All working, but all I have to show for it is a swapped out power switch and a couple of logic connections.

    In the retro world it doesn't take much for your day to turn to shit:sick: Ah well, at least I didn't BREAK anything!!

    Callan
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  16. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Bought a pair of G4 Cubes and I have no idea why, i'll never use them.

    Ho hum. At least they were cheap.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    My wife's HTC 10 is doing stupid things yet again, so it's back off to the Optus Shop for them to faff about with some more and not actually do anything useful (side rant: fuck phone network providers and locked phones).

    Meanwhile, she's on her Nokia 1110 for a few weeks while Optus faff about (oh, yeah, she doesn't get a temp phone either - thanks for nothing, Optus). All the same, it's retro city for her. No Google Hangouts, no Facebook, SMS with no images and a dozen new emojis that don't work. Quite the throwback. :lol:

    She also mentioned 2G is phased out August? Anyone here going to have a crack at setting up their own private GSM network any time soon? :)
     
  18. clonex

    clonex Member

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    I wonder if any wap services still exist. Lol
    Edit: seems that phone doesnt support wap
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Well, looks like Joel Dauber has blocked me from all of his Facebook events. Unsurprising. He's a marketing guy by trade, and very careful to make sure his "brand" is kept squeaky clean.

    Someone tagged me in one of his hype events a few weeks back. I asked them not to, as the guy has been really annoying a lot of the oldschool retro game collectors around town, and I didn't want anything to do with him. It seems he's taken that as quite the personal attack, and shut down not only my access to his social media pages, but also a running discussion on Aussie Arcade where feedback about him wasn't particularly positive from several members either.

    Sad, really. The whole market here in Brisbane has been totally stripped bare by him, with nothing left any more to buy at reasonable prices (he stashes his stuff in his house, it seems, and brings it all out once every 6 months at prices that even rival eBay).

    I guess I'm sticking to flash carts then. I'd advise others to do the same, and avoid his ludicrous prices. Word has it retro gaming prices in the UK are beginning to topple, as the bubble has burst. Hopefully the same happens here as the fad dies down back to regular standards.
     
  20. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Control the market, monopolize & set high pricing upon release :confused:

    Intel marketing man .......
     

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