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Old 02 February 2019, 13:25   #1
MickGyver
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MiSTer: FPGA Amiga + loads more

Since there is no specific thread about the wonderful MiSTer project on here, I decided to create one.

[ Show youtube player ]

What is MiSTer?
In short it is an FPGA project based on the well known MiST project that lets you run implementations of many 8 and 16 bit computers, consoles and arcade machines. Some examples of splendid cores at the moment: Amiga AGA, C64, MSX, NES, SNES, MegaDrive, PC Engine/TurboGrafx16, ZX Spectrum, Arcades like Donkey Kong, Defender etc. The list is looong.

It's based on the Terasic DE10-nano development board, but don't worry, it's actually very easy to setup. Video and audio is output mainly through HDMI but the IO expansion board gives you RGB and component video output (and analogue audio output) so you can use your old CRT TV or monitor.

MiSTer is an open project without focus on sales. All the cores (console, computer and arcade implementations) are open source and the info for the expansion boards are available so you can build them yourself. There are also people selling expansion boards if you don't want to build them yourself.

Read more about it on the MiSTer Wiki or in the "official" forum over at atari-forum.com.

What you will need to get started
To be able to run the Amiga core and most other cores you will need:

Terasic DE10-Nano Board
You can get this from Mouser.com or Digikey.com for about 130€ shipped.

SDRAM Board
I recommend that you get the extra slim board. You can build this yourself or get one ready made. Some sellers are listed in this forum thread. Ready made it should cost about 20€ plus shipping.

Heatsink and FAN (or fully populated IO Board expansion)
The ARM+FPGA chip needs cooling. The cheapest and most convenient option is that you get a bare PCB for the IO board expansion and a 40mm FAN that works on 5V, like the Noctua NF-A4X10 5V or a cheaper louder one on eBay. The heatsink should be 22x22mm and max 10mm high, it should have an adhesive strip on the back. These are readily available on eBay. You can buy the IO board PCB from PCBWay or probably from one of these sellers. I also have some extra IO board PCBs that I can sell for 7€/pcs including shipping to Europe.

MicroUSB OTG hub (or USB daughter board)
You will need the USB hub to connect peripherals like keyboard, mouse and gamepads. A powered hub is recommended.

Other things you will need
USB keyboard and mouse, USB gamepad(s) and a HDMI cable. The Terasic DE10-Nano comes with a 8GB MicroSD card, but you probably want one with a larger capacity. I think up to 256GB is supported, I have a 128GB one.

Setting up
I will not go through this here since there is a setup guide on the Wiki.

Connecting the MiSTer to the network (optional)
You can do this with a network cable or a USB WiFi dongle. This will allow you to transfer files via sFTP etc. The Amiga and au486 cores also support this network connection.

Using an Amiga keyboard and joysticks (optional)
This is possible with an Arduino Pro Micro (or clone) and this code. Some soldering is required but it is a very inexpensive solution (a few euros). I'm not sure if the Keyrah will work with the MiSTer... EDIT: Keyrah also works!

Connecting to a CRT TV or monitor (optional)
For this you will need the IO board expansion and the same VGA->SCART cable used for the MiST.

Below is my MiSTer Amiga project, if you are interested, you can read more about it here.

Last edited by MickGyver; 02 February 2019 at 14:07.
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Old 02 February 2019, 13:33   #2
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Yes, Keyrah works, as does that other amiga-kbd-USB HID adapter that I can't recall the name of, allthough I have it... heh
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Old 11 April 2019, 14:46   #3
MartinW
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Has it been calculated anywhere what the power requirement is of the DE-10 Nano + Fully Populated I/O board + the USB board? Obviously assuming you are not drawing 500mA on every port of the USB board (if it can even handle that)!

I want to get a UK adapter, preferably with a switch ready for when I can start putting my system together.
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Old 11 April 2019, 15:33   #4
MickGyver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Has it been calculated anywhere what the power requirement is of the DE-10 Nano + Fully Populated I/O board + the USB board? Obviously assuming you are not drawing 500mA on every port of the USB board (if it can even handle that)!

I want to get a UK adapter, preferably with a switch ready for when I can start putting my system together.
The power supply that comes with the DE10-Nano is 2A, it is universal so it also works in the UK. You only need to get a suitable travel adapter. The supplied 2A supply seems to be sufficient for most people but 3A should be more than enough.
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Old 11 April 2019, 16:11   #5
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Thanks for confirming. I do have a US Step-down that I could use with the original adapter, rated at 500VA (enough for a couple of arcade machines!) but that is total overkill. I don't have a "US Visitor to UK" adapter as they seem to be called and frankly by the time I've bought one of those I may just as well spend a few extra £ and get a new power supply, 2A - 3A with inline switch.
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Old 08 May 2019, 01:13   #6
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So, I now have my MiSTer in front of me and I have the Minimig core up and running. The video scaling isn't as perfect as I would like (even set to integer scaling) but I'm not fretting too much yet since my intention is to use a genuine Microvitec CRT via the I/O board once everything is set up.

I just wanted to ask though, what is the easiest way to get files and on off of it at Amiga OS level? The Wiki gets a bit vague at this point. As far as I can see all I can use if HDF images for hard disks and ADF images for floppies which is almost a deal-breaker because I won't always have a PC nearby to open said image via Samba, edit and remount.

I'm hoping there is a more file-level based solution, BUT, I'm trying to keep it to a relatively clean 3.1.4 install for gaming so not desperately sure about wanting to go the AmiTCP route. Also wondering if Minimig uses the secondary SDCard slot on the I/O board for anything.

As far as I can see the docs on the core refer to an old version (1.2.x?) and yet the MiSTer GitHub repo has a core from less than a week ago that I'm using so it's all a little confusing.
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Old 08 May 2019, 01:26   #7
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MiSTer does not use the secondary SD slot.



You can install the linux core and download and manipulate ADFs and HDFs directly on MiSTer running that core.



There is no current documentation as far as I know. But I guess, you'll get most of your questions answered here.
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Old 08 May 2019, 01:44   #8
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OK, will have to read up on that. I've SSH'd in (and used Samba) to manipulate files on the SD. It might not be too bad actually as I can manipulate ADFs while it's running and PC / Mac / Amiga 3.9 must all have ADF manipulation tools. I just need to get my head round it as I've got so used to passing floppies backwards and forwards between the Amigas.

At the moment I'm transferring the contents of my real A1200 via Win UAE
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Old 08 May 2019, 02:04   #9
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I also use ssh and sshfs (instead of samba). The Linux core is mainly useful if you don't have a second computer in the network to use ssh.

Would be ideal to be able to mount linux filesystems like in WinUAE. That would definitely be a feature worth looking into.
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Old 08 May 2019, 02:14   #10
MartinW
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Indeed, that would be perfect. I would probably still use HDF files for the main disk(s) but on WinUAE I always have "PCDATA" which, sure, just fills up with junk but it's very convenient for getting things on and off.

This thing is actually pretty flexible! Of course I just realised that instead of messing about setting everything up new I can just grab the CF card out of my real A1200, connect it to a USB port on the MiSTer and 'dd' it to an image on the SD Card. If only I had a reliable CF card reader
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Old 09 May 2019, 09:41   #11
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Moving files to MiSTer Minimig.

You can move files (without physically removing the SD card) in several ways:

Mounting HDFs on the loopback fileSys and just FTP files directly in. Here are some example scripts I use to do this from the main menu:

I use this for large files such as 100MB+ HAM videos.

The important thing to remember is to umount before mounting (on Minimig) or resetting otherwise you will likely corrupt your HDF. I recommend using a dedicated transfer drive (maybe 1GB or so) and not something like "Work:"

[Amiga_Mount_Trans.sh]
Code:
#!/bin/sh
TRANS_DIR="/mnt/trans"
TRANS_ADF="/media/fat/AMIGA/TRANS.HDF"
if [ -d "$TRANS_DIR" ]; then
  echo "Found TRANS directory"
else
  echo "Creating TRANS directory"
  mkdir $TRANS_DIR
fi
echo "Please Wait..."
mount -o loop -t affs $TRANS_ADF $TRANS_DIR
echo "TRANS MOUNTED:"
echo $TRANS_DIR
echo "Done..."
[Amiga_Umount_Trans.sh]
Code:
#!/bin/sh
TRANS_DIR="/mnt/trans"
echo "Please Wait..."
echo "DO NOT cancel or reboot!"
umount $TRANS_DIR
echo "TRANS UNMOUNTED:"
echo $TRANS_DIR
echo "Done..."
For smaller (one-shot) files I frequently use Zmodem and NCOMM (or whatever terminal) to transfer stuff
(@115200 baud) to/from the Linux fileSys.

OSD --> UART - Connection:MIDI, MidiLink:Remote, Type:TCP

Code:
ATRZ     - Receive a file using Zmodem
ATSZ     - Send a file via Zmodem
(This is a project I created that comes standard with the SD installer) For more info --> https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/MidiLink_MiSTer

Finally, (also for smaller files) you can use TCP/IP stack (Amitcp/Miami/Roadshow) to FTP files from/to the Linux fileSys or even download files directly from Aminet with Aweb or Ibrowse.

Also, this package works well for exposing your Linux FTP as an pseudo Amiga drive:
--> http://aminet.net/package/comm/tcp/FTPMount-1.0

Last edited by bbond007; 09 May 2019 at 10:17.
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Old 09 May 2019, 18:54   #12
MartinW
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Thanks for the info above. I hadn't looked at the Midi port. I just looked and figured I didn't need MIDI so didn't look any more into it.

Since I originally posted I spent the day yesterday setting things up (off work this week) and actually spent a lot of the day pursuing a decent monitor setup. Damn these Amiga's and their screen resolutions!! Anyway, I did notice the PPP option for UART and enabled it so I could get the time sync working. It works once in a while. Usually by the time the WiFi has come up the core has already come up and missed the IP allocation even though I added rtc.sh in the post-up section of the wireless config.

I've got wired network where the computers are so I'll probably do that and then the PPP link should come up in time for the core.

Meanwhile, pretty sure my DE-10 has developed a fault already. When connected via HDMI I am often getting just a screen full of vertical stripes of various colours with the core invisible but running. The OSD still works but there's something up with the scaling circuitry at a guess. Works fine through the analog out of the I/O board.

Bit of a pain if I need to get the DE10 swapped out but more to the point I'm not really sure how I will know if I need to or not
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Old 10 May 2019, 03:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Meanwhile, pretty sure my DE-10 has developed a fault already. When connected via HDMI I am often getting just a screen full of vertical stripes of various colours with the core invisible but running. The OSD still works but there's something up with the scaling circuitry at a guess. Works fine through the analog out of the I/O board.
Have you tried more than one monitor? Is the monitor you are using a true HDMI or DVI monitor with converter? I get the wrong colors on one of my DVI monitors.

Have you tried the original SD card Linux that came with the DE10-nano? Does it happen with that too?

If it is defective, I would definitely recommend getting the DE-10 replaced. The RGB is really for developers and testing and HDMI is the officially supported video method. Sorgelig has mentioned that several times...

Last edited by bbond007; 10 May 2019 at 03:06.
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Old 10 May 2019, 03:21   #14
MartinW
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The monitor that it was hooked up to earlier was a Dell S2719DGF which is incredibly nice for emulation and stuff like this (simulation?) because of it's variable refresh rate and free sync meaning it happily shunts down to 50Hz.

All I know at this point is that it was fine yesterday and Monday (which was the first day I used it). I think I tried it with the SD Card that was in it - but I only recall that having an example that flashed the LEDs on the board? I may not have paid too much attention, I was pretty tired at the time.

This evening I made up a 15pin to 23pin adapter and I now have it hooked up to my Microvitec M1438S. Have to say it's a better picture than the A1200!!

If the Analog RGB output really is only intended for developers then I may need to pay careful attention to release notes whenever I update anything because I never had any intention of using HDMI. I've not seen a scaling mode that I am 100% happy with yet and unless I'm imagining it, things seem more stable when coming out of the RGB rather than going through the scaler but that could just be my imagination.
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Old 10 May 2019, 04:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
If the Analog RGB output really is only intended for developers then I may need to pay careful attention to release notes whenever I update anything because I never had any intention of using HDMI. I've not seen a scaling mode that I am 100% happy with yet and unless I'm imagining it, things seem more stable when coming out of the RGB rather than going through the scaler but that could just be my imagination.
Previously the cores used the VIP scaler which not only doubled compile times but required a expensive licensed version of Quartus. Now that the scaler has been switched ta Ascale (which is open source) and does not significantly impact compile times, don't be surprised if RGB support is dropped at some point. (http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic...eb530b#p363281)

That being said, I also hope that never happens. I use the RGB with a Dell ST2320L which is a great monitor as it supports even 15kHz signal.

Using this monitor I have even been able to run been able Furrtek's WIP Neogeo core which currently only outputs 15kHz. The only thing that could make this monitor better if it was 4:3...
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Old 10 May 2019, 14:40   #16
MartinW
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I guess at the end of the day it's a case of getting more familiar with the source. Not necessarily to the point of contributing (I'd love to but I've tried to get my head round VHDL / Verilog a few times and failed) but at least to the point that if the main project decided to remove the Analog RGB in favour of other features then fork it and continue as much as possible to merge future stuff into the fork. It is open source after all. I think? - haven't explicitly checked the license as I haven't needed to.

As an aside, is there a utility somewhere that can work out the required FP/BP (etc.) figures to create the custom mode line? I had a brief look last night but it was getting late. I either found info that didn't have all the figures the mode line requires, or they weren't in the same format and I didn't know how to work it out.
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Old 10 May 2019, 23:35   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
As an aside, is there a utility somewhere that can work out the required FP/BP (etc.) figures to create the custom mode line? I had a brief look last night but it was getting late. I either found info that didn't have all the figures the mode line requires, or they weren't in the same format and I didn't know how to work it out.
Did you read this?

-->http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic...deline#p365316
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Old 11 May 2019, 00:12   #18
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I hadn't, no. Thank you. I've signed up on Atari Forum but it was late yesterday and I haven't really browsed much yet.

Having had a better play about with the HDMI output I'm not really so concerned about things. I can get a pretty superb picture using the scaler. Not as nice as on my CRT, nothing seems to be as vibrant as that but it will be fine if the day comes that I HAVE to go to LCD. The most annoying thing is having the black borders. Let's hope 4:3 (or 5:4) LCDs don't vanish completely! I have a Benq 1702 on my A1000 and I've just ordered a second as a spare or to use with the MiSTer / A1200 should the CRT go pop.

Also, having been using an HDMI LCD for quite a few hours today (a Dell 2414H) I've not seen a repeat of the issues I was seeing with the stripy screen. I'll investigate more at some point but I guess it was something that the DE10 doesn't like with my 1440p screen.
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Old 24 May 2019, 06:05   #19
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This is my A1200 MiSTer:

The keyboard is the PAL UK KB from my actual A1200 which I replaced with a new old stock USA keyboard from AmigaKit when I got my 'Magic Pack' A1200 (also NOS from AmigaKit). The case one of the new reproduction ones from https://www.a1200.net/, so NO, I did not destroy any commodore equipment to make this thing before you ask

I could not find the wide LEDs Commodore used back in the day so I super-glued 3 rectangular ones together...
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Last edited by bbond007; 24 May 2019 at 06:46.
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Old 24 May 2019, 07:43   #20
sean_sk
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Very nice......I like!!

Would you have been able to modify one of these for you LED’s:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LEDS-Ami...0AAOSwh0NcuEKE

Also, will you be able to get the joystick ports working?
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