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Old 16 June 2017, 17:04   #641
th4t1guy
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Originally Posted by E-Penguin View Post
I thought people were joking about the self destructive nature of the Amiga community... In this context it's quite miraculous that anyone is still making anything.
FWIW, I've had nothing but awesome experiences whenever I've asked for help in building/troubleshooting anything here.
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Old 16 June 2017, 17:04   #642
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I am curious then, how the CIA issues are solved. I got the impression earlier (... from Jens?) that any expansion for CD32 (beyond very basic RAM expansion), would need CIAs implemented on the board. If so, it would make sense to put the CIAs on the CD32 "bridge board", I guess.
Yes if I understand what they are saying correctly, CIA, video headers and other stuff, available at the MCA-182 edge, will be put on the "riser/adapter" card and the PCI slot will only cater for the accelerator.
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Old 16 June 2017, 18:28   #643
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Or you can emulate the CIAs in the CPLD firmware. I must admit to not knowing/understanding why you need CIAs if you don't have a floppy drive beyond a null response. Guess I'll learn though


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Old 16 June 2017, 20:02   #644
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The MCA-182 adapter is not rare or crazy expensive. Why not make an adapter for 1200 accelerator connector to MCA-182 inside the 1200 which is compatible to the CD32? Why create a new standard (PCI accelerator slot) when we have an existing standard (MCA-182 accelerator slot)? Is there less physical room with the MCA-182 than PCI or are we just trying to save a few pennies in the price difference between the PCI and a MCA-182 connector?
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Old 16 June 2017, 20:04   #645
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Expansion board for the CD32

Because MCA-182 does not fit inside an A1200 accelerator slot. Even if it did. MCA is available today... that could change. PCI will be around for a while


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Old 16 June 2017, 21:59   #646
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Because MCA-182 does not fit inside an A1200 accelerator slot. Even if it did. MCA is available today... that could change. PCI will be around for a while
PCI is also a dying species.
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Old 16 June 2017, 22:06   #647
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PCI is also a dying species.


You can still buy Modern PC motherboards with PCI slots. And the lifetime of that connector will exceed MCA182

Like i always say. My stuff is open source and for my amusement. If anyone feels the need to criticise my design decisions do not be surprised if I ignore you.


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Old 16 June 2017, 22:19   #648
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Like i always say. My stuff is open source and for my amusement. If anyone feels the need to criticise my design decisions do not be surprised if I ignore you.
Design as you like. I just expressed my opinion about PCI, not about you.
MCA182 and PCI is retro.
Finish.
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Old 16 June 2017, 22:20   #649
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Design as you like. I just expressed my opinion about PCI, not about you.
MCA182 and PCI is retro.
Finish.
Disagree on PCI. Its in server grade kit and the lifetime of it will be very long. Its the equiv of DB25. Unlikely to ever be hard to get.
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Old 16 June 2017, 22:40   #650
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For any doubters...




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Old 16 June 2017, 22:47   #651
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We are looking for solutions and standards the majority can agree on. The argument that the MCA-182 connector availability could "change" is weak but the argument that the MCA-182 won't fit in the 1200 is very strong. Does anyone have any good ideas for getting around the physical limitation of the MCA-182 in the 1200? Does everyone agree that having a standard accelerator slot for the 1200 and CD32 is desirable?
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Old 16 June 2017, 22:53   #652
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We are looking for solutions and standards the majority can agree on. The argument that the MCA-182 connector availability could "change" is weak but the argument that the MCA-182 won't fit in the 1200 is very strong. Does anyone have any good ideas for getting around the physical limitation of the MCA-182 in the 1200? Does everyone agree that having a standard accelerator slot for the 1200 and CD32 is desirable?


You say the availability argument is weak but as an EE our ultimate nightmare is to develop a board and the parts suddenly become unavailable.. this happens a lot. Dave Jones of EEVBlog has talked a lot about this.

Heck when I started the TF530 the ram chips were dead easy to find and cost £1.50 each. Now they're down to a limited number of suppliers and £5 each. I've had to redesign for a different pinout as a result.

Trying to standardise on the most common 100+ pin connector in history seems like a good plan from where I'm sitting.




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Old 16 June 2017, 23:29   #653
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Trying to standardise on the most common 100+ pin connector in history seems like a good plan from where I'm sitting.
If creating a new standard for new hardware, then the popular PCI connector is an excellent choice. If the MCA-182 connector had fit in the 1200, then it would have been better to keep the old standard rather than create a new one.
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Old 16 June 2017, 23:32   #654
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By having this adapter nothing is lost. You don't lose backwards compatibility. The idea was to ensure that people could make cheap A1200 boards without having to destroy existing cards or be at the mercy of those who control supply. The CD32 idea is a side benefit.


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Old 16 June 2017, 23:38   #655
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Does everyone agree that having a standard accelerator slot for the 1200 and CD32 is desirable?
If this makes more people interested in developing stuff, then yes. The A1200 user base is MUCH larger than the CD32 one and if teh CD32 can benefit from developments from it, it is only welcomed.
The only "issue" I could see is that accelerators developed with the 1200 in mind might just not be ideal on a CD32 always. So even if they fit and worked, maybe they are not just right.

Also, and I think this won't be known until someone tries, but the hardware is slightly different, is it 100% sure that one accelerator can work on both machines? That would be great, but this being Amiga, I wonder if some before-unknown incompatibility surfaces when trying to pop in an A1200 expansion on the CD32.

Can't help but think of John Twiddy's AGA games not working on CD32s, for example.
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Old 16 June 2017, 23:52   #656
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I personally cannot make guarantees but I would at least be able to test and refine. The TF530 now runs at 50Mhz on the Atari ST. And the A500 and ST are very different beasts.


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Old 16 June 2017, 23:59   #657
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Can't wait to hear what you find out.
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Old 17 June 2017, 07:24   #658
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So I don't get in trouble or anyone take offense by this, I'll state up front that I am only asking for information. I am very far from knowing enough to have an informed opinion.

If you have a "something" to PCI adapter and an accelerator plugged into that, is there space for all of that inside stock cases? I would think that it would be less of an issue in a CD32 since they have _relatively_ lots of space for it.

How well would it work in an A1200 in a stock desktop case? The adapter by itself would be 1" to 1.5" or so right? Does that leave enough length for an accelerator? There's certainly no height available in a 1200 compared to a CD32 to stack components. Some current double sided boards currently available don't fit unless you leave the trapdoor off.

Has the technology (size of components) shrunk enough to make accelerators 1.5" shorter than the size of current boards? Sure, something the size of an ACA1221 wouldn't be a problem but every other (I think, I could be forgetting some) accelerator fills the trapdoor space completely lengthwise even Jens' recently released boards. Do they take up so much space because that much space is required or is it just a case of "I've got so much space that I don't have to worry about optimizing for space" or cooling concerns require the space or even just "accelerators have always been this size so why mess with something that already works"? Are there other components that require less space or less cooling needs? Like a later rev of an 060 runs cooler than early revs.

Like I said in the beginning, I don't know enough. I'm hoping for some education. Beyond slotting an existing card or even some simple component (capacitors or resistors), my knowledge of this stuff can be measured with a big fat zero

Thanks for the schooling
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Old 17 June 2017, 09:34   #659
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The space is slightly constrained but we always try to keep board smaller for cost reasons anyway


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Old 17 June 2017, 10:45   #660
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At least the A1200 has a dedicated internal space for accelerators. With the 500 and 600 it means taking the shielding off and maybe bending over caps on the 500 and working around clashes with other internal expansion/modification boards and drives if possible.

Whilst some packages have got smaller with denser pin spacing and the capacities for RAM, programmable logic, and flash memory have increased there are other issues like logic levels to handle, that means components for generating extra voltages and level shifting may be needed.

Last edited by IanP; 17 June 2017 at 10:55.
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