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Old 20 August 2019, 15:32   #1
GadgetUK
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ZRAM 8MB Zorro II Board

Has anyone else purchased one of these new 8MB ZII RAM boards here? I am finding mine doesn't like my rev 6.2 motherboard (which has all the fixes applied to it - same with or without any fixes).


It is detected via autoconfig and I am greeted with a red screen and it says the card is defective. Yet in an early rev 4.x motherboard it works OK.


Any ideas? I've contacted the manufacturer, I am hoping they can replicate on some of their hardware but I suspect not. I think is a timing issue with the CLPD code on the ZRAM card tbh. It does seem like a brand new product.


https://amigastore.eu/707-zram-8.html
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Old 23 August 2019, 18:54   #2
GadgetUK
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I will cover it in a review video - The card works on the 4.x without the TF534, but it doesn't work on a rev 6.2 board (once modded up to a 6.6 or whatever the last version was) even with a stock 68000. So a word of warning to anyone considering buying the ZRAM 8MB board - it's a bit hit and miss as to whether it will work in all 2000 motherboards. I might keep it for the rev 4.x, but it will not work with my rev 6.2 at all.
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Old 28 October 2019, 16:14   #3
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Zram 8

Hi,
I have a rev 6 motherboard and have just received my ZRAM 8 card (I did not read this before ordering...
I also have an A2091 SCSI card with 2MB fast ram, in case that makes any difference, but here is what I have found so far:
  • with jumper set to 8MB I get yellow boot screen and flashing power LED
  • with jumper set to 0MB, 2MB or 4MB I boot up and WB and SysInfo report the correct RAM amount, however WHDLoad games all throw a 'software failure' and Amiga reboots
  • I thought I would try setting the A2091 to 0MB but on this the Amiga would not boot
  • with the A2091 on 512k or 1mb the system boots but I cannot access any folders or files on WB
This problem seems a little different to you guys so I am wondering if there is anything else I can try to get this running properly? Is there a way I can disable the ram on the 2091 in case it is conflicting? Is there a way I can test the ram without WHDLoad? (in case the ram is not the issue) - whdload used to work with some games but it was just too slow.
Thanks for any help!
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Old 28 October 2019, 16:38   #4
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Look up AmigaTestKit - it's an ADF image that you can boot and will test your RAM. The A2091 has a jumper on the board for setting the RAM size - if you set it to 0 it will disable all the RAM on the board.
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Old 28 October 2019, 17:18   #5
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Thanks,
Is there something I need to do other than set the jumper to 0 on the A2091? It doesnt boot at all without this set to at least 512k and when at 512 or 1mb I cannot access files after booting into WB.
Am currently running the AmigaTestKit - thanks for that. It shows 7mb total and is up to round 13.1... not sure how many 'rounds' it needs but it has taken a while so far....
I guess if it passes, perhaps I have to set something in WHDLoad? I am running a stock hdd install of ClassicWB 68K, with TinyLauncher to start games.
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Old 28 October 2019, 17:36   #6
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That's usually enough - every byte of that memory has been written and read nearly 100 times at that rate without a failure, but the longer you leave it running, the more confidence you can have that the memory is working fine.

As for the A2091 - it shouldn't need anything other than setting the jumper. Is that how your drive is attached?
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Old 28 October 2019, 17:47   #7
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Apologies for going slightly off-topic, but is the revision 6.2 board quite particular?
What are the mods to change it to a 6.6?

I only ask as I am having issues with my A1500 rev 6.2 board - with an Oktagon 2008 rev 7 card, it works on 1.3 ROM's but refuses to boot on 2.04 (tried several ROM chips to no avail), so the mods may help resolve my issue potentially?
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Old 29 October 2019, 01:29   #8
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Sorry not sure Amiga-fan.

Daedalus, thank you. The A2091 is connected to a SCSI2SD adapter and yes that is how I boot my machine. with the jumper on the 0mb pins it does not boot at all? I hear it needs to have some ram for DMA? And that there might be some config in workbench?

Looks like the only problem is that whdload games are causing this software failure. could that be some config in whdload? sorry, a bit new to this ...
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Old 29 October 2019, 07:18   #9
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It will fall to CPU transfers if no RAM is on board. Try shuffling the order of the cards, have the RAM board closer to the CPU than the A2091.
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Old 29 October 2019, 14:59   #10
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Thanks Jope, tried that, and same thing...
Tonight I have also completely rebuilt WB3.1 and installed a fresh WHDLoad but the same issue - just crashes after loading. Everything seems to work perfectly in WinUAE with the same hardware and RAM settings, so the issue is with the Amiga... no idea what to try next. I've contacted the ZRAM manufacturer to see what they have to say..
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Old 30 October 2019, 01:43   #11
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I ended up selling mine on - described exactly as it was behaving. It certainly hasn't been tested with some combinations / setups. I have since had a few other RAM boards and those were OK (not with the TF534).
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Old 31 October 2019, 05:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetUK View Post
described exactly as it was behaving
Hi GadgetUK,
Wow, then this is interesting. So I think I have tried everything.
Latest is I have cleaned all slots and all contacts. I was able to disable the RAM on the A2091 (reported 0MB extra ram) so that was a start. I have the A2091 in slot 3. With the ZRAM in slot 1 or 2 (ie closest to the CPU) it does not work with any RAM config except 0MB.... in slots 4 or 5 it works but still crashes when anything tries to write to that part of memory (of the ZRAM8 card).
Is it incompatible with the motherboard (rev 6) or the A2091 (even with ram disabled)? it does seem to work with no A2091 card so I wonder if I changed the SCSI solution to something else would I have more luck??
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Old 01 November 2019, 13:27   #13
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An update.... Today I tested (with the help of an Amiga friend) another A2091, a different SCSI card and all with issues. The ZRAM also at some point was not even working on its own. We brushed the ram chips on the card and it started working better (coincidence?). We then tried with the auto jumper OFF and 0MB on the A2091 with the full 8MB on the ZRAM and it booted!? (at least to the insert disk screen).
I have the rev 7 roms on the A2091. Could they be an issue? Will try with the my old rev 6 roms tomorrow and see what happens. Failing that I wonder how I can utilise my SCSI2SD with the Auto Jumper disabled? I understand I can boot off floppy which mounts the scsi card (ie bypassing the auto boot)? If anyone has info/steps on how to do this please let me know. I dont mind the extra boot time to get my 8mb and WHDLoad games to work!
Thanks!
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Old 01 November 2019, 14:06   #14
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My guess is you won't get it working! It hasn't been very well tested at all! I was annoyed at the response I got from AmigaKit and the developer of it tbh. They were insistant that it works perfectly, when clearly it doesn't. You are finding all the same things I found. If you remove all your expansions, put a stock 68000 in there and test with the ZRAM on its own, it might work (depending on the mods done to your A2000 motherboard).
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Old 01 November 2019, 19:17   #15
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Sounds like it fails to support DMA. Do you have any non-DMA HD controllers? (Almost everything else except Commodore and GVP Series II)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
It will fall to CPU transfers if no RAM is on board. Try shuffling the order of the cards, have the RAM board closer to the CPU than the A2091.
AFAIK Commodore A590/A2091 driver never uses PIO transfers (even if RAM is outside of Z2 address range..). Guru ROM probably uses PIO in this situation.
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Old 01 November 2019, 21:24   #16
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Quote:
I was annoyed at the response I got from AmigaKit and the developer of it tbh.
I suspect you have made a mistake in your statement. We have not been talking to you about this subject because do not sell this board so you may want to disassociate us from this. The product seems to be cheap copy of our ZORRAM board and even using a name similar to ours. It is nothing to do with us though.
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