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-   -   ACA500 plus? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=79303)

appiah4 25 January 2017 20:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by michaelz (Post 1137128)
Just curious; why "bother" with amiga's at all? I love them, with workbench and all. I use Linux and Windows on my x86's, but see no added value on an Amiga for Linux.

Because Linux is not about x86 just as Amiga is not about Workbench? This is like asking someone who wants a Windows 7 dual boot on his Mac why he even bothers..

michaelz 25 January 2017 20:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1137135)
Because Linux is not about x86 just as Amiga is not about Workbench? This is like asking someone who wants a Windows 7 dual boot on his Mac why he even bothers..



Hm, if you want it hard-core; RetroBSD on a PIC-chip :-)

beanz 26 January 2017 15:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by StingerHU (Post 1136500)
Guys, are you using any case for ACA500 Plus? Without any protection it's a bit risky to use. I didn't found any compatible case on the market, yet. Can we expect a case for this great hw?

I just bought 2 of these optix acrylic sheets, going to cut them this weekend and use standoffs to make an "open" case.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/OPTIX-0-08-...-Sheet/3143395

Schoenfeld 27 January 2017 16:02

Those who have been waiting for the HRTmon update - here it is!

http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/ACA500plus_Firmware

This update will ONLY work from the flash updater in the menu system. Although the file has the ".adf" suffix, it can NOT be written to a floppy and used as a recovery disk. The update is required only once. HRTmon will never be overwritten by a menu system update.

Jens

mattsoft 27 January 2017 18:36

I am running the ACA500plus on a totally unsupported configuration: an Amiga 1000 with Rejuvenator board with the 1MB chip RAM and KS 2.04 ROM onboard and... it works! Mostly. For the price, it is a fantastic way to get HD support (via CF) onto my ancient A1000. :)

When it runs, it runs really well. I am using WHDLoad just fine. But when I start the Amiga, the boot screen comes up 50/50. A soft reboot usually brings up the boot screen.

Then I press F1 to boot with KS 3.1 and it ALWAYS goes to a green screen with some hexadecimal looking error code. A soft reboot always works to launch WB from the CF card.

I also get what appear to be error codes on the 2-digit display on the card.

Is there a list of codes somewhere? Are there any chances that this board may someday be more compatible with the A1000? Thanks!

appiah4 27 January 2017 18:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1137429)
Those who have been waiting for the HRTmon update - here it is!

http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/ACA500plus_Firmware

This update will ONLY work from the flash updater in the menu system. Although the file has the ".adf" suffix, it can NOT be written to a floppy and used as a recovery disk. The update is required only once. HRTmon will never be overwritten by a menu system update.

Jens

Not sure what this does but I assume upgradimg the menu and hrtmon whenever possible is a good idea?

Schoenfeld 28 January 2017 13:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1137455)
Not sure what this does but I assume upgradimg the menu and hrtmon whenever possible is a good idea?

After you've updated the menu, HRTmon does not work any more. If you then update HRTmon as well, it will work again, and it will continue to work with future menu updates.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattsoft (Post 1137450)
I am running the ACA500plus on a totally unsupported configuration: an Amiga 1000 with Rejuvenator board with the 1MB chip RAM and KS 2.04 ROM onboard and... it works! Mostly.

That's expected behaviour. While the Rejuvenator is a nice idea, it's not executed very well, because it does not do the clocking correctly. Inside the A1000, all clocks are generated with discrete circuits, and these clocks are routed to the 86-pin port.

However, Rejuvenator uses a new "Fat" Agnus, which also generates it's own clocks. These are not known to the ACA500plus, as this will only "listen to" the on-board clocks that are still generated by the discrete circuit on the A1000 main board.

As a result, the ACA500plus will only work if "by accident" the phase shift of the CCK clock on the main board and on the Rejuvenator are the same. This is really "by chance", and it's not healthy to try the non-working phases. It should be 25% working and 75% not working, as there are eight possible phase shifts, but two that are close enough to work (otherwise it would only be 12.5% working).

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattsoft (Post 1137450)
Then I press F1 to boot with KS 3.1 and it ALWAYS goes to a green screen with some hexadecimal looking error code.

That's the exception handler - possibly a transfer error between the main board and the ACA500plus, due to a phase shift in the CCK clocks.

The only way to get around this would be to design a PLL circuit that brings the CCK output of the Agnus in phase with the CCK signal of the A1000 main board. This is exactly what I'm planning for the ACA1000, which shall do what you intended to do with your unsupported config: Have all the functions of the ACA500plus and more chip ram on top of that.

Jens

mattsoft 28 January 2017 17:02

Thanks for the detailed explanation Jens! Well, you have my business for an A1000 version for sure. The ACA500 is a great piece of kit. Thanks!

remowilliams 05 February 2017 18:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by remowilliams (Post 1136962)
Attaching the ACA1233 is causing some weird intermittent shenanigans though like odd crashes, memory going suddenly missing (like 128M of it), slow CF disk speeds and needing hard power resets.

Also noticed this weirdness too - WHDLoad doesn't seem to 'run' the first time it's started... ?

There definitely seems to be something not right with the ACA1233 support. Replacing it with an ACA1221ec, these issues go away.

Poorcomputerman 06 February 2017 03:02

Aca500 Rev. 5 and Fat Agnus 8372A
 
If I switch the Agnus chip in my Rev 5 NTSC to a Fat Agnus 8372A, do I need to make the motherboard modifications or are they not needed with the aca 500 plus? I just want to increase the chip ram for whdload.

appiah4 06 February 2017 09:02

Got mine this weekend and works absolutely fine. Haven't had time to update the firmware however, will do it tonight. Question: Does updating delete my profiles in 1-6?

Small question: There is an option to boot with DF1:Bootloader but AFAIU this does not doe a df0/df1 switch - this is not possible with the ACA500? It just boots from df1?

Oh, and mine works fine at 42MHz as well. Incredible.

matjam 06 February 2017 09:08

I've been running the ACA500Plus in my 6A NTSC machine for less than a week now. Lots of head scratching, mostly around trying to get 16GB cards working, and some random crashing.

Firstly, I didn't know the ROMs had been patched with updated scsi.device etc. I'll have to reboot and look again. I ended up dumping the Cloanto rom for 3.X which has the updated scsi.device, and loading that as a custom rom in the ACA because I kept seeing the second partition as garbage. Obviously had to copy workbench.library into my os but that's fine.

The ACA500Plus with WB3.1+BetterWB works really really nicely and was easy to set up. Right now I'm copying a ton of files onto the 16GB flash, which I partition with a 1GB OS partition and the rest for Data. Both formatted using PFS3AIO. Cannot use the direct scsi, I don't think? Well anyway it works fine. So far. Will let you know when the Data partition has > 3GB in it if it's killed anything in the OS partition.

Running at the maximum overclock is mostly stable with some random crashing. It seems to upset something, I get multicolored error screens, Green, Yellow, then it refuses to boot until I turn it off for a while.

Running at 21Mhz and doing this large data transfer seems to be stable, where 42Mhz was making it crash regularly.

I suspect Fat Agnus is overheating as it's quite hot to the touch and thats causing it to crash. But I have no idea :P

I have an Indivision ECS installed. The only issue I'm finding is that some games will run fine but the Indivision can't handle whatever gfx mode they're using. I tried forcing to PAL but that doesn't seem to work. Sometimes it will display but the screen will be off the bottom. So something needs work. Maybe my monitor just needs to autoadjust.

All in all it's making my 500 useful as a WHDLoad games machine. Lemmings and Deuteros work, so thats all I need :P

Thanks Jens. Your kit gets my thumbs up for sure :-)

Schoenfeld 06 February 2017 12:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139177)
I ended up dumping the Cloanto rom for 3.X which has the updated scsi.device, and loading that as a custom rom in the ACA because I kept seeing the second partition as garbage. Obviously had to copy workbench.library into my os but that's fine.

Not recommended from my side. The ACA500plus shall provide everything you need from it's flash, otherwise there's a gap in my concept.

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139177)
Cannot use the direct scsi, I don't think? Well anyway it works fine.

Sure the ACA500plus scsi.device supports all available 64-bit addressing modes: TD64, NSD64 and direct SCSI commands. Whatever 64-bit addressing mode your preferred filesystem uses, the ACA500plus will support it. I have to give Toni credit for this one, as I only had TD64 and NSD64 on my radar.

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139177)
Running at 21Mhz and doing this large data transfer seems to be stable, where 42Mhz was making it crash regularly.

If it launches at 42MHz and works, you may get it a lot more stable with a different power supply. The higher you clock the ACA500plus, the more "clean" the power supply has to be (low ripple, precisely 5V, maybe 5.2V to give it some extra headroom for regulation bounces).

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139177)
I suspect Fat Agnus is overheating as it's quite hot to the touch and thats causing it to crash. But I have no idea :P

Agnus and all other chips don't see the higher frequency. Only the CPU does, and that's completely decoupled from the A500 main board clock.

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139177)
I have an Indivision ECS installed. The only issue I'm finding is that some games will run fine but the Indivision can't handle whatever gfx mode they're using. I tried forcing to PAL but that doesn't seem to work. Sometimes it will display but the screen will be off the bottom. So something needs work. Maybe my monitor just needs to autoadjust.

Try the Indivision ECS config tool. It lets you set screen offset.

@appiah4: Profiles are not touched when updating the firmware. Booting from df1: is possible with the ACA500plus - it has the exact same functionality built-in that the physical "boot selectors" of the time gave you. No need for that physical thing, and no need for any special df1: drive.

@poorcomputerman: Just drop in the chip. The rest is done by the ACA500plus and it's software.

@remowilliams: This sounds like a power supply failure. The ACA1233 takes much more power than the ACA1221 (and ec version). From a software/firmware point of view, the card is fully supported.

Jens

Toni Wilen 06 February 2017 12:52

scsi.device replacement should always override the one in ROM, if enabled in menu. (It is not ROM patch but separate "external" module)

Direct SCSI is practically mandatory part of scsi.device, without it HDToolBox would not work. All device HD device drivers that work with HDToolBox have direct scsi support.

matjam 06 February 2017 18:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1139202)
Sure the ACA500plus scsi.device supports all available 64-bit addressing modes: TD64, NSD64 and direct SCSI commands. Whatever 64-bit addressing mode your preferred filesystem uses, the ACA500plus will support it. I have to give Toni credit for this one, as I only had TD64 and NSD64 on my radar.

I didn't have the driver loaded before. Now I do, it works as you say. :-) I've switched back to the ACA500plus 3.1 ROM.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1139202)
If it launches at 42MHz and works, you may get it a lot more stable with a different power supply. The higher you clock the ACA500plus, the more "clean" the power supply has to be (low ripple, precisely 5V, maybe 5.2V to give it some extra headroom for regulation bounces).

It's usable at 42Mhz, most of the time. I've used it for hours at that speed. But it occasionally dies. 21Mhz is rock solid.

I don't have another power supply, maybe when my A4000 gets here I'll open it up and look for bad caps.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1139202)
Try the Indivision ECS config tool. It lets you set screen offset.

Will have another try.

Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toni Wilen (Post 1139209)
scsi.device replacement should always override the one in ROM, if enabled in menu. (It is not ROM patch but separate "external" module)

Direct SCSI is practically mandatory part of scsi.device, without it HDToolBox would not work. All device HD device drivers that work with HDToolBox have direct scsi support.

Whats the version that should be reported in the cli? Thanks for your work!

Toni Wilen 06 February 2017 19:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by matjam (Post 1139288)
Whats the version that should be reported in the cli?

52.510 (non-plus ACA500 = 52.500)

remowilliams 06 February 2017 19:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1139202)
@remowilliams: This sounds like a power supply failure. The ACA1233 takes much more power than the ACA1221 (and ec version). From a software/firmware point of view, the card is fully supported

Thanks Jens, but I'd have to say offhand that's probably not a possibility in this case. I've got a Carlsen custom built heavy duty power supply, and moreover this same supply powers my A1200 with the same accelerator and even greater power load with no issues.

The behavior with the ACA1233 is also very consistent. First boot, almost every time it comes up properly.

- Every time you first try to run a WHDload slave after booting - WHDload never actually launches (and you can see activity in snoopdos). Then the second time you run it always launches but the disk speed drops massively. Note that after one slave runs (on the second launch attempt) - WHDload will always launch afterwards on the first try, but the disk speed is still massively slow. It will stay this way until you warmboot, and occurs independently of what particular slave is chosen. I've not seen an update on the user who posted this exact same issue on the a1k forum.

- after the game runs on the second launch if you warmboot the Amiga - the 128MB is gone. Cold boot is now needed.

It's very repeatable.

pgovotsos 06 February 2017 21:08

Since the ACA500+ has the Kickstart in ROM do you even need to have a Kickstart chip on the motherboard? If you have an ACA12xx connected is there any benefit to overclocking the ACA500+? Is there some time during boot up where only the ACA500+ is doing all the work and the ACA12xx starts running things later?

appiah4 06 February 2017 22:30

I get the error "Exception "Illegal Instruction" ($E010) at $C024AB occured." when running State of the Art demo WHDLoad.. $C0 sounds like it's related to the chipram emulation. Could this be because I have both the Slow Mem and 1M Chipram enabled in profile? Or 42MHz overclock not working?

EDIT: Disabled Trapdoor but left 1M Chipram on, and State of the Art caused a reboot.. Ran at 14Mhz and again the same error, so it's not OC related.

Poorcomputerman 06 February 2017 23:51

Is there something that I need to install to get the files on the aux compact flash from the pc to become visible? When I open up the window the files are taking up space but are not visible? I am a bit rusty when it comes to the Amiga OS.


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