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Old 08 September 2017, 13:05   #1
mntmn
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VA2000 Support Thread

Hi everyone,

I'm the developer of the VA2000 Open Source Amiga FPGA Graphics Card. Since December 2016 I've shipped almost 250 of the cards and a bunch of VA2000CX expansions for playing classic games through the card's HDMI out. It's been a rough trip but also very rewarding experience and I want to thank everybody for their continuing support.

I've since had a lot of email support threads solving a range of problems that can happen (after all this is Amiga. To make common problems and solutions accessible to more english speaking users, I'm asking you to write any remaining bugs that you encounter here, along with what Amiga model, CPU/SCSI/IDE card, OS and P96 version you use, and if you use VA2000CX or something else like Indivision. If there are visual problems, it's also important to state the used resolution and color depth.

You can always get the latest updates and drivers at http://mntmn.com/va2000/
The current firmware version is 1.7.1.
If you speak german, there is a long support thread at http://www.a1k.org/forum/showthread.php?t=57853

I will start by listing a number of known bugs and workarounds:

- 68030, slow gfx, SD performance: Cache/MMU issue.
Workaround: If you can, put "CPU NODATACACHE >NIL:" in your S:User-Startup, or use MuTools to ensure that your MMU is on. I noticed some programs switch off the 030 MMU later, so this is tricky. Disabling data cache always works.

- SCSI issues with GVP combo cards: Be sure to be on FW 1.7+. Install Guru ROM in GVP card.

- Some apps (Example: DirOpus 4) open a screen and fill it with (harmless) pixel junk: Known bug with unknown P96 related cause. Still researching a solution.

- Yellow screen with BigRam. Unknown cause. Will buy a BigRam and try to reproduce.

- Accelerated copy (move windows) in 16 and 32 bit modes sometimes miss the last pixel. Firmware bug, to be fixed in next version.

- If not using VA2000CX and playing a classic game for a while, then going back to RTG workbench will show colorful noise. Workaround: "Workbench -> Redraw all". Solution: will be fixed in next driver/FW update.

- VA2000CX flickering artifacts. Caused by timing differences of amiga models on the video slot. Try different values using va2000cx tool, then put in User-Startup: "RUN <NIL: >NIL: va2000cx 220" with the value that worked for you. You can also use negative values.

- VA2000CX image cropped/overscan missing: Use different va2000cx presets from http://mntmn.com/va2000/va2000cx-presets.txt

- VA2000CX image not centered. Caused by monitors' different interpretation of 640x480 mode. Use 800x600 preset from list above.

- Some people reported they can't use a FW newer than 1.4 (rare). This might be unknown bus timing issues. Not reproducible yet. Research ongoing.

- A1200 Zorro boards: These are not officially compatible, although I try my best. Boards are hard to obtain. Elbox/Winner Z4 seems incompatible. I have an RBM ONBoard 1200, which kinda works.

- Slowness with Wheel Mouse driver: Not tried to reproduce yet. Ongoing.

- NetBSD driver doesn't work with current FW. Will update.

Cheers,
Lukas
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Old 08 September 2017, 18:24   #2
Cylon
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Thank you and welcome!
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Old 13 September 2017, 15:53   #3
Phantom
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A new hardware for our Amigas, is always great news. Although I was planning to pre-order one such card to test it under my A4000 system, the yellow screen bug regarding BigRamPlus, forced me not to proceed till this is fixed (I guess that you're referring to that card, and not the ones from WAW Elektronik).

Another side-back is the update of the firmware. I don't find it ergonomical correct to unplug and plug the card every time in order to make a firmware update, following all the procedure of opening the case, unscrew the screws, unplug the card, do the flash and reverse the steps again. It would be more convenient to do the flash straight from the Amiga somehow (as you can do it with PicassoIV for example), it that's feasible of course.
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Old 14 September 2017, 23:57   #4
Bunta714
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Strange artifacts

I received my VA2000 and VA2000CX combo and got it installed in my A4000D without much trouble. I even have a BigRam installed and it boots up fine after pulling the cards a bit out of the Zorro slots.

However, I am having a strange problem with the LCD monitor output.
I've attached an image to show the problem.

I can see everything moving around the screen and I can change resolution without any problems, but with the distortion or artifacts or whatever it is, it's unusable.

I've tried reseating the cards, reconnecting the cables, and different driver versions.

Any suggestions?
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Old 15 September 2017, 04:32   #5
klx300r
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Thumbs up

@ Bunta714

Hi, can you please tell me how the VA2000CX with your A4000 is working for you as I was going to get it for my system but got deterred when i found out it won't handle any AGA stuff? I'm wondering if I do order one now will I have to remove my IndiAGA card?

@ mntmn

thanks for creating a support thread

@ Phantom

+1, it's a massive pain in the arse to take my A4000 apart to do an update when space is so tight in my mancave ;-)

Last edited by klx300r; 15 September 2017 at 04:42.
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Old 16 September 2017, 07:19   #6
amiga1260
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I have VA2000CX and VA2000 in my Amiga 4000. Most Games and and demos will show 256 colours, but some games and Demos which use more than 256 colours you will get a dithered screens.
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Old 16 September 2017, 14:38   #7
amigoun
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Looking forward to when VA2000CX will support 50Hz for smooth scroll in games/demos.
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Old 18 September 2017, 00:06   #8
klx300r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga1260 View Post
I have VA2000CX and VA2000 in my Amiga 4000. Most Games and and demos will show 256 colours, but some games and Demos which use more than 256 colours you will get a dithered screens.
hmm so sounds like I can get rid of my IndiAGA?? though the CX isn't a flicker fixer so how do games look...flicker wise??
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Old 18 September 2017, 01:33   #9
mntmn
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To re-flash your card without taking apart the Amiga, you can leave a USB cable connected to the card and lead it out through the back (maybe leave one slot bracket open). You can re-flash the card while the Amiga is turned on (for example when you are in early boot). Just remember to _NOT_ set the PWR jumper when the card is inside of the Amiga.
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Old 18 September 2017, 01:40   #10
mntmn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunta714 View Post
I can see everything moving around the screen and I can change resolution without any problems, but with the distortion or artifacts or whatever it is, it's unusable.
Hi Bunta714, I haven't seen this kind of distortion yet. Do you have another monitor to cross-check? Does it look like this in all resolutions you tried? Please get in touch via email (lukas [at] mntmn.com), it might be necessary to inspect/replace the card if the problem persists.
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Old 18 September 2017, 04:22   #11
IvanEBC
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Hey Everyone. Not going to take Credit but i bugged Lukas a few times for forums and suggested here, so yay! Good going Lukas. Lukas has had to put up with me for awhile now and i think this forums will help him alot.

I've had the following issues, yeah BigRamPlus gives me a yellow screen (although originally, it DID work), i got ram on my Apollo 060 so i'm not short of memory, though i did find that filling up ALL the memory, will cause alot of lockups. IE Apollo can have 128mb and onboard the MB takes 16mb, but if i unpack a large files (anything from 1mb and upwards) to ram: it'll lock up, if i remove all one ONE fast ram stick from MB and remove a SINGLE 32 stick from the Apollo, she's stable (giving me 96mb + 4mb). It isn't the memory as i can remove the VA2000 and put all memory back in AND the bigramplus (yeah 400mb+ memory, and i can unpack 100mb of files with no lock up.

My second issue is getting old native games/demos to run in a full screen, it'll take the top right corner of the screen and not fill the screen. I believe the solution was the CX2000 tool and configuring it correctly ... BUT the CX2000 tool only works on a newer firmware but my card has been stuck on 1.5.0 as i've tested every firmware since (about 4 versions) and each attempt to update results in a locked up boot sequence, the few times i can reach workbench, it is usually "uaegfx" crashing.

I haven't seen the screen for awhile so i can't recall the exact error. I know i'm not foing the formware wrong as i have to downgrade it back to the 1.5.0 and it works again, so i know it isn't me.

I also upgraded Picasso from the aminet 2.0 to 2.1e when the problem first appeared but no go.

Right now, it works, i can live with reduced memory as i had more than enough, and games/demos still work, so i can live with it, but would love to see the product do what it was designed to do.

Great work though Lukas, my Workbench looks AMAZING!
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Old 18 September 2017, 10:05   #12
hooverphonique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanEBC View Post
I've had the following issues, yeah BigRamPlus gives me a yellow screen (although originally, it DID work), i got ram on my Apollo 060 so i'm not short of memory, though i did find that filling up ALL the memory, will cause alot of lockups. IE Apollo can have 128mb and onboard the MB takes 16mb, but if i unpack a large files (anything from 1mb and upwards) to ram: it'll lock up, if i remove all one ONE fast ram stick from MB and remove a SINGLE 32 stick from the Apollo, she's stable (giving me 96mb + 4mb). It isn't the memory as i can remove the VA2000 and put all memory back in AND the bigramplus (yeah 400mb+ memory, and i can unpack 100mb of files with no lock up.
This smells like a power issue with your machine.
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Old 20 September 2017, 19:04   #13
kelihlodversson
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Hello everyone

I'm interested in the firmware side of the VA2000 card and have been playing around with the Github source. There is however a problem with opening the project in Xilinx ISE. It seems that all generated cores are missing from the project.

Does anyone know where to get the missing files or what parameters were used to generate them?
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Old 21 September 2017, 00:29   #14
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@mntmn

Is it possible to configure the card video memory size on Zorro II mode?
It would be really cool to be able to switch it from 1, 2, 4 and 8 MB video memory configurations to suit each user system requirements.
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Old 21 September 2017, 05:00   #15
IvanEBC
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Funny that, i have the ATX adapter here and only today starting to replace, i hadn't suspected it but wanted to replace it cause the fan is damn noisy (my only reason seriously), i wonder if i'll inadvertently solve this issue as well. Will report back as i know i'm not the only one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hooverphonique View Post
This smells like a power issue with your machine.
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Old 21 September 2017, 08:12   #16
IvanEBC
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I have lots to report.

Firstly, i only just got an ethernet card this week and been having issues with that as well, usually machine just locks up. Well i tested an Antec 350watt and the system no longer locks up.
I replaced ALL my memory back into the system (Not BigRamPlus) and i started unpacking files like there's no tomorrow, actually filled up my entire memory (140mb) with unpacked files, this hasn't happened before, so i starting to think, i crushed it, it looks like my PSU was the issue, played for another hour, unpacks and download files from ibrowse and FTP, not a single crash.

Hopeful, i grabbed the VA2000 and flashed her from 1.5beta (the last one i could safely use) and went directly to 1.7.1.

System did boot to a basic screen, enough for me to transfer the drivers via Amiga explorer. Backed up and replaced
mntgfx.card
mntsd.device
picasso96Settings
va2000cx (Nothing yet in Startup-Sequence so its dormant)
rebooted and the system locked up at Workbench entry with corrupted GFX.

I did early boot menu, and renamed the env:sys/screenmode.prefs and the system again booted in basic screenmode. I then went to prefs/screenmode, selected the 800x600 i've previously been using under 1.5 and as soon as i click "test" the screen returns with this.

http://users.on.net/~ivanw/va2000-1.JPG
I tried the only other free Zorro slot and same issue.

This is pretty close to what i've had each firmware attempt since 1.5beta. I don't think my process is off because i have to pretty much reverse it all to go back to 1.5beta and i've always got back to where i started.

The only odd thing i may have done is during the earlier 1.6 attempts is i removed the Picasso96 v2.0 that i got from Aminet and install the v2.1e i found here - http://lilliput.amiga-projects.net/Picasso96.htm
It says Alpha but it didn't fix the issue and it remained the same so i never downgraded it back again as my thoughts were, its not Picasso96 ... thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanEBC View Post
Funny that, i have the ATX adapter here and only today starting to replace, i hadn't suspected it but wanted to replace it cause the fan is damn noisy (my only reason seriously), i wonder if i'll inadvertently solve this issue as well. Will report back as i know i'm not the only one.
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Old 21 September 2017, 20:30   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanEBC View Post
I have lots to report.

The only odd thing i may have done is during the earlier 1.6 attempts is i removed the Picasso96 v2.0 that i got from Aminet and install the v2.1e i found here - http://lilliput.amiga-projects.net/Picasso96.htm
It says Alpha but it didn't fix the issue and it remained the same so i never downgraded it back again as my thoughts were, its not Picasso96 ... thoughts?
I've read in another thread that only the Aminet Picasso96 2.0 version works. Another user had problems with v2.1e from Lilliput Amiga and solved going back to 2.0.

// LuKe

Last edited by LuKeJerry; 21 September 2017 at 20:31. Reason: --Fixed typo
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Old 22 September 2017, 04:14   #18
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Yeah as part of this test, i left 1.7.1 on and downgraded back to picasso 2.0 and i get the exact same result, then last night went back to Firmware 1.5BETA as it is the highest version i can run, and it went back on easily, but yeah, Picasso 2.1e vs 2, gives me the exact same result, and was only put on after running into this issue as a test to see if it would solve and just got left on as VA2000 1.5 continued to run fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuKeJerry View Post
I've read in another thread that only the Aminet Picasso96 2.0 version works. Another user had problems with v2.1e from Lilliput Amiga and solved going back to 2.0.

// LuKe
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Old 22 September 2017, 14:50   #19
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It sounds to me like you need to send the card back to the board designer for inspection.
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Old 23 September 2017, 16:35   #20
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@klx300r: The VA2000CX doesn't flicker fix Interlaced modes.
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