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Old 02 October 2009, 08:28   #1
ceaser
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Merlin graphics card

>> ProBenchMonitor <<
Program failed (error #80000004).
Wait for disk activity to finish.

Okie I delved deeply into the archives a couple months maybe only actually. I see everyone has problems with Merlin. Why is this ProBench Monitor program not loading? The disks I'm using are the ones from the site everyone knows about and the other site everyone knows about.

I see some people say install Picasso drivers for this card, but I only started messing with that. Really I had it working before with just the stuff on http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/search....merlin&company= as you know pretty much the site everyone goes to to look at Amiga hardware currently. Those disks got me up and running but then I did something stupid when getting my X-Surf installed and redid my whole workbench. And lost my delicate mix of however I got this working. Let me know if you got a link or "steps" how to install these crappy disks that don't really do the job without a little luck. I'm not having the luck I did the day I got the card in the mail a few weeks back :/

Thanks and peace and <3 shouts out to my dead homies in advance :P
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Old 02 October 2009, 09:48   #2
rkauer
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Stolen from Amiga Hardware Database:
Quote:
the design of Merlin was not finished when the card went into production, leading to many problems:

* compatibility problems with other Zorro cards
* incompatibility with 060 processors
* incompatibility with all GVP processor cards
* reset problems
* the small registers of the ET4000 chip led to problems with 24 bit screens larger than 680×576 (8 and bit screens have no problems)
Stolen from Merlin's FAQ:
Quote:
6. The 060-update (-fix) ?
For Zorro II computers with 060-cpu or GVP 040/030 Turboboards.
If you have made the hardwareupdate from prodev - not that fake from
xpert - you realy only need the new IC25 for 25 DM + postage + bankcosts.
This IC works only together with the hardwareupdate. It is included in the
hardwareupdate since april 1996 (when 060 were sold), and solves all problems
of the merlin with that kind of CPU.

7. Can I do the update?
You can do the hardwareupdate by your own. There are three IC in sockets
to be changed, and two wires to be soldered. A discription is included. It is
realy not difficult, if you can solder these wires. Nearly 80% of the updates
were done that way. But if you want, you can send the merlin to me (for
the same price), and I do the update for you, but then you have double of
postage to be payed.

8. How can I see if the update is already done?
There should be two short wires on the solderside:
IC24 pin 21 to ic22 pin 7
IC21 pin 10 to IC23 pin 19
And three ICs (IC24,21,25) are replaced with new ones, which mostly have
the numbers written on it by hand.

9. How can I see if the 060 update is done?
On IC25 should be written: "25-2"
If there is only "25" or nothing then the 060-fix isn't done
The 060-Fix is included in the normal update since april 1996.

10. 060-fix without normal hardwareupdate?
No. the normal update must have been done before.
The 060-Fix is included in the normal update since april 1996.

11. Is a fan neccessary?
Mostly not. But you should test by your own. May be you can run higher
frequencies then.

Last edited by rkauer; 02 October 2009 at 09:57.
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Old 02 October 2009, 14:38   #3
ceaser
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thanks for the link!

I e-mailed the guy. I'll have him do any soldering that needs doing. Not going to mess up my nice board. But too bad about the problems with it. I did fresh WB install then put only the disk labelled Merlin-144 install and ran the script. It works pretty good now but the problems listed on the FAQ with especially the memory exist. I guess it's above 8 bit it won't use the full 4 MB of graphics RAM on the board. It's there in showconfig so too bad. But I guess ProBench just screws it up for me unless I had these fixes done by the creator. Got it working decent again now though, just not so hot on all resolutions. It looks pretty funny right now at a VGA 31 kHz 680x510. The actual usable screen is in the upper right even though the display fills the monitor. But the mouse will move anywhere on the screen. So yes some problems with certain resolutions look.
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Old 02 October 2009, 17:30   #4
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I had a few merlins and bought the updated GALs and did all the mods the designer of the HW outlined.. I'd say the card is not worth your time, but perhaps if you're satisfied with around 800x600, then stick with the Merlin..

Larger resolutions work, but it runs out of bandwidth quite fast when connected to modern monitors. Additionally it seems to be quite finicky in relation to what other cards are on your bus.

My suggestion: forget probench and try picasso96..
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Old 15 May 2011, 15:42   #5
ceaser
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Yes the card works fine with Picasso96. I've been using it for some time now. The mods have been done to this card. Which card itself do you think is better? I heard some of the other ones aren't so great either. Yes, 800x600 is all you can do and get really decent graphics :| This looks fine on a little Commodore 1960 monitor like I am using with it though! It's such a small viewable area on those things.

Do you by any chance have JEDEC file for the GAL 4 chips on Merlin?

Last edited by ceaser; 15 May 2011 at 16:37.
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Old 18 May 2011, 00:45   #6
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Anyone got that JEDEC file for GAL 4? The person who made the card doesn't have them anymore.
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Old 18 May 2011, 05:57   #7
DarrenHD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceaser View Post
Anyone got that JEDEC file for GAL 4? The person who made the card doesn't have them anymore.
I don't, sorry. But I just updated my card - the designer sent me the chips and instructions. So it works now but I get some garbage on the screen at 1024x768.

800x600 is fine, though...i was hoping I could get 1024x768 working perfectly..but I guess these cards just can't reliably do that resolution

Otherwise I really like the card. It's pretty fast.
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Old 18 May 2011, 19:50   #8
joeksterz
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Yeah, similar expierence here. Merlins are strange beasts... One of these days, I'll find some "tinkerer" who will trade me a different rtg card...
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Old 18 May 2011, 21:16   #9
Jope
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I've had three, now I have 0. I'm rather happy of my current Merlin-free situation..

And yes, I ordered updated GALs and did all the PCB fixes for all of them.
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Old 20 May 2011, 08:04   #10
DarrenHD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
I've had three, now I have 0. I'm rather happy of my current Merlin-free situation..

And yes, I ordered updated GALs and did all the PCB fixes for all of them.
Hi Jope, just curious if you had your Merlins (any of them) working reliably without garbage or corruption at 1024x768?

Mine is fine at 800x600 (after upgraded chips and solder fix/mod), but at higher resolutions I get corruption and/or garbage. It's a 4MB card.

thanks
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Old 20 May 2011, 09:50   #11
Jope
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IIRC they all had gfx glitches and stability issues in my 060 amigas. Perhaps if you run them in an otherwise stock A3000 and use the included probench software, it will run stably.
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