Jump to content
IGNORED

Advice please: Ordered U1MB, Which Machine?


DrVenkman
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just like it says on the tin, kids. This morning I ordered the U1MB + SIDE2 combo from Lotharek. Now I need to figure out what box I want to put the Ultimate into, 800XL or 1200XL? I am leaning toward the 1200XL simply because it's got more room inside. Of course I also love that keyboard. On the other hand, I've already done a video mod on one if my 800XL's and have gotten pretty familiar with its innards. All my XL's are socketed so that's not a concern.

 

So with that in mind, I'd love to hear comments or suggestions from your experiences, especially with regard to mounting the PCB inside the XL case.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow - you ordered four? :D

 

My money would be on the 1200XL, simply because it's such a gorgeous machine. In addition, Ultimate+SIDE neatly solves the issue of getting a PBI hard disk into the 1200XL, which has no parallel bus connector. Drawbacks? The fact you'll have to file down the cart tunnel (or file down the cart case) to get the SIDE to fit into the cartridge slot. Also, 1200XL video sucks, although it's more than acceptable once you've done Bob's video fix.

 

Mount the board in the 1200XL roughly where the RF Modulator is (or preferably, was), removing that red inductor coil or whatever it is, which doesn't seem to be missed.

 

Anyway: that's my take on it.

Edited by flashjazzcat
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, FJC. I wish I could order four lol. Alas, Tapatalk doesn't get along well with the iOS 9 beta and gave me errors when I tried to create the new topic, asking me if I wanted to try again. Silly me, I said yes. :)

 

I haven't yet done Bob's video mod to my 1200XL's yet; I need to pick up an assortment of capacitors to do it, which these days means Amazon or eBay, and I just haven't gotten around to it.

 

Could you describe the necessary cart / slot for modifications a bit? Would it be possible to simply pull out the plastic cartridge slot guide from the 1200XL rather than remove any plastic?

 

And does the U1MB need a standoff to mount it in the case it is there another acceptable solution?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by DrVenkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my own 1200XL, and the one pictured, I used a flat file on the inside of the cart tunnel (the most constricted part) to broaden it (width-wise only) by 1-2mm. Unfortunately the dark brown rubberised plastic section attached to the motherboard also required attention, and this was much more difficult. But with patience, it's doable without making a mess. Filed/sanded plastic can be polished smooth and possibly sealed with acetone on a cotton bud as well (which is what I usually do to the edges of reworked parts to seal them off).

 

The alternative is to file down the SIDE cart case itself, which might be preferable, or remove it altogether (the bare PCB is hardly visible in a 1200XL). The reason I went for the cart tunnel itself is that I also have a 5-in-1 OSS cart and a Sic! cart, both of which have exactly the same proportions as my three SIDE2 carts.

 

I'd say denuding the SIDE2 itself would be preferable to leaving the side panel off the 1200XL.

 

As for Ultimate mounting, here's the aforementioned machine, showing the positioning of various parts:

 

post-21964-0-12876500-1436534328_thumb.jpg

 

I think the left standoff is missing in that photo, but two 3mm holes drilled through the shiny ground/shield plate on the top side of the board form perfect mounting points. C. 20mm nylon standoffs and 30-35mm M3 screws and nuts/washers complete the job. If you have a look at my blog there are a bunch of photos of my 1200XL upgrades, but I don't think Ultimate is very well pictorially documented there. Any questions, just shout up.

Edited by flashjazzcat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your 1200XL will also need to have a 28 pin socket installed for the OS, which isn't that hard if you're doing the rest of the upgrade. :-)

 

As for the Side 2 cart, I just took the case off and slide the bare board into the machine. The 1200XL basically consumes the cart, so it doesn't really look that bad and I don't have to modify the case. That being said, the Side 2 did fit for me, but it was really, REALLY tight. I would not recommend it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, FJC. I wish I could order four lol. Alas, Tapatalk doesn't get along well with the iOS 9 beta and gave me errors when I tried to create the new topic, asking me if I wanted to try again. Silly me, I said yes. :)

This is a bug in the Tapatalk client, and it does this on all flavors of iOS. When creating a topic, it will always give you an error, even though the topic successfully posts. I'm still waiting for Tapatalk to investigate this issue.

 

..Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Al! Good to know. Sorry for the quadruple-post this morning! I'd have deleted the dupes if I could have figured out how to do it.

No problem, not your fault. I really wish they'd get on the ball and fix this--I have reported it multiple times, and I currently have an open support ticket with them.

 

..Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your 1200XL will also need to have a 28 pin socket installed for the OS, which isn't that hard if you're doing the rest of the upgrade. :-)

 

Fortunately, both my 1200XL's have 28-pin OS sockets so I'm good there.

 

Honestly, my biggest question us probably how to mount/stabilize the U1MB PCB inside.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two 3mm holes as mentioned above. I can get photos of the exact (suggested) positions if you need them. ;)

 

Precision sockets for the OS/MMU are kind of preferable (I think), but if you want to keep the (de)soldering to a minimum, you should be OK with what's there.

Ah, sorry FJC. Missed your subsequent post. Great info, thanks! Close ups of the mounting points would be ideal but I do have an undergraduate engineering degree. I can probably figure something out if it's too much trouble to take things apart for pics. I need to order a new CF card anyway, so I'll get some mounting hardware while I'm at it.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a bug in the Tapatalk client, and it does this on all flavors of iOS. When creating a topic, it will always give you an error, even though the topic successfully posts. I'm still waiting for Tapatalk to investigate this issue.

 

..Al

 

You disabled tapatalk support a while ago. What made you decide to put it back on? It seems that the problems are still not solved….

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, pardon the plethora of possibly dumb questions, but once the U1MB is successfully installed and operable, how does one go about customizing the SpartaDOS, OS, and XEGS game ROM image slots? Does the board have to be removed and flashed with external hardware, or can the slots be flashed with software running on the Atari?

I saw FJC's blog posts linked from Lotharek's site and it APPEARS I'll be able to customize stuff as needed with software from the SIDE2 cart, but I'd like to be sure.

 

Thanks again for bearing with my questions. I've not been this excited about a new bit of A8 hardware since I bought a disk drive for my 800 around 1984. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, pardon the plethora of possibly dumb questions, but once the U1MB is successfully installed and operable, how does one go about customizing the SpartaDOS, OS, and XEGS game ROM image slots? Does the board have to be removed and flashed with external hardware, or can the slots be flashed with software running on the Atari?

 

I saw FJC's blog posts linked from Lotharek's site and it APPEARS I'll be able to customize stuff as needed with software from the SIDE2 cart, but I'd like to be sure.

 

Thanks again for bearing with my questions. I've not been this excited about a new bit of A8 hardware since I bought a disk drive for my 800 around 1984. :)

 

Nope, although you can if you want to and have the required flashing hardware. Instead the 'uFlash' tool which you can grab from FJC's site allow you to flash the EEPROM in-situ with images from the IO source of your choice.

 

I seem to be the only person who had a problem with it, but if on your older machine you run in to issues with the 'SIDELoader' not recognizing FAT partitions you may want to pull and replace the 'SN74LS08N' IC. I simply could not get that piece of embedded software to work until I did so. A new chip costs all of 75p in Britain from Farnell - so it is probably even cheaper over with you!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Nope, although you can if you want to and have the required flashing hardware. Instead the 'uFlash' tool which you can grab from FJC's site allow you to flash the EEPROM in-situ with images from the IO source of your choice.

 

Okay, break it down for me like a newbie (which I am, to the U1MB! ) - when you say "Nope," do you mean "No, you cannot flash the U1MB from the SIDE2." Or do you mean, "No, you do not need to remove the U1MB to flash it with external hardware."

 

And what exactly do you refer to when you say, ".. with images from the IO source of your choice ..." ? I THOUGHT I read FJC's blog post to mean that I can just put whatever ROM image I need onto the CF card from my PC (or in my case, my Mac with a CF card reader), then use the SIDE2 cart and FJC's uFlash tool, running on the Atari, to flash the U1MB ... does that sound correct?

Edited by DrVenkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Okay, break it down for me like a newbie (which I am, to the U1MB! ) - when you say "Nope," do you mean "No, you cannot flash the U1MB from the SIDE2." Or do you mean, "No, you do not need to remove the U1MB to flash it with external hardware."

 

And what exactly do you refer to when you say, ".. with images from the IO source of your choice ..." ? I THOUGHT I read FJC's blog post to mean that I can just put whatever ROM image I need onto the CF card from my PC (or in my case, my Mac with a CF card reader), then use the SIDE2 cart and FJC's uFlash tool, running on the Atari, to flash the U1MB ... does that sound correct?

 

Fair enough :)

 

Nope - you do not need to remove the board to reflash. You can do so if you own something like a USB flasher - a tool I have only just got hold of myself - and yank out the EEPROM but FJC's 'uFlash' utility will do it directly from SDX. What I mean by choosing your IO method is that once inside 'uFlash' you can select the 'D#:' device and folder where you have stored the ROM image you wish to apply. This might be an APT partition on your 'SIDE2' CF card, an *.ATR image accessed via SIO2PC or it might even be written on to a physical disk in your 1050! So long as you can point 'uFlash' at it the application will burn the code.

 

Moreover, you do not have to re-write the whole ROM code in one go. The SDX, BIOS, PBI, 'SIDELoader', 'BASIC' slot and 'GAME' slots are modular and can all be done separately. But - yet again! - if you want to build the complete ROM on your pc and then flash the entire image in one go you can do it that way also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Nope - you do not need to remove the board to reflash. You can do so if you own something like a USB flasher - a tool I have only just got hold of myself - and yank out the EEPROM but FJC's 'uFlash' utility will do it directly from SDX. What I mean by choosing your IO method is that once inside 'uFlash' you can select the 'D#:' device and folder where you have stored the ROM image you wish to apply. This might be an APT partition on your 'SIDE2' CF card, an *.ATR image accessed via SIO2PC or it might even be written on to a physical disk in your 1050! So long as you can point 'uFlash' at it the application will burn the code.

 

Moreover, you do not have to re-write the whole ROM code in one go. The SDX, BIOS, PBI, 'SIDELoader', 'BASIC' slot and 'GAME' slots are modular and can all be done separately. But - yet again! - if you want to build the complete ROM on your pc and then flash the entire image in one go you can do it that way also.

 

Ah, excellent! That's EXACTLY how I hoped it would work, and I'm stoopid excited (I believe that's the proper term :) ) to get these widgets! Thanks for clearing up the details for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Ah, excellent! That's EXACTLY how I hoped it would work, and I'm stoopid excited (I believe that's the proper term :) ) to get these widgets! Thanks for clearing up the details for me.

 

It is an amazing little mod, offering a good deal of power for an extremely modest asking price as well. Not only that, but it is very straightforward to fit - not that any of Lotharek's boards are all that hard to get set up. FJC has also just released a new edition of his ROM modules for the "Ultimate1MB". They are still marked 'beta' though - which is the reason I just sent off for a USB flasher! - so unless you have a way to restore the old images without 'uFlash' then you might want to wait a few weeks. I haven't got it properly working yet myself, so cannot say a lot about the new features but I do not doubt FJC is grinding the rough edges away as we speak!

 

One feature that you might find especially useful - I know I am greatly looking forward to it - is the new functionality that will be coming 'SIDELoader's way in the medium-term, bringing SIO2SD-like features to the "SIDE2"/"Ultimate1MB" combination. This is something I am really looking forwards to and is why I mentioned my problems with the 'SN74LS08N' chip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Slow weekend around the house here, so I'm thinking ahead to (hopefully) next weekend spent installing the U1MB into a 1200XL. I see an thread from last year that seems pretty on-point:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/224151-ultimate-1mb-in-1200xl/page-2?hl=%20atari%20%20os%20%20roms

 

There are lots of references in there to removing some jumpers at W7, W8 and W9 and installing one at W11. These jumper changes are not referenced on Lotharek's U1MB page, although I note there are no 1200XL-specific instructions either. It looks like the jumpers are only present/necessary on the 1200XL anyway. I just want to confirm I need to change these jumpers as specified with the latest version of the U1MB hardware before I go messing about with things that might not need changing.

 

While I've got the machine apart, I also want to enable the +5V line at the SIO port and do a quick video mod that bob1200xl has written about before: "Replace C115, L15 and R63 with wire. (or, I use 1 ohm resistors because they look more stock...)" Anyone have any comments about these mods before I dig into my machine?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I got into my 1200XL today and got a lot accomplished:

 

1. Enabled +5V at the SIO port the way God and Joe DeCuir intended ( ;) );

2. Did the 1200XL simple video mod as described by bob1200XL (removed and jumper R63; L15 and C115)

3. Removed my OS roms and MMU chip, fitted the cables from Lotharek and determined a good place to mount the U1MB, making sure all the cables would reach and fold appropriately

4. And then Houston, we have a problem!

 

For some reason, I thought Lotharek included a little header connector to wire up the four lines from the U1MB board to the CPU, but apparently not. So now I have to track one down and get it here so I can make the last connections and button things up.

 

Oh well - live and learn.

 

EDIT: It occurs to me I don't know precisely what sort of header connector I need to buy. Do you guys have suggestions? Thanks!

Edited by DrVenkman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a dupont 4 wire connector. I found this out as well..You can't go into this thinking it will be a breeze as it is a project that takes time. Unless you aquire all the materials to install. Someone should sell u1mb install kits with the connector and the mounting hardware and detailed instructions for the type of a8 that it will be mounted in.

Please make sure you have your os and mmu connections right. This got me as well as they are one atari fits all cables( mine needed to be taken apart to get pin 1 in the right location)

I thought that I should solder the wires to the header on the u1mb as I did not know of any connector.

Also removing and reinstalling the ribbon connectors results in a broken pin costing about 20 bucks. Not a design flaw just the way it is.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a dupont 4 wire connector. I found this out as well..You can't go into this thinking it will be a breeze as it is a project that takes time. Unless you aquire all the materials to install. Someone should sell u1mb install kits with the connector and the mounting hardware and detailed instructions for the type of a8 that it will be mounted in.

 

Thanks for that tidbit. I've got an appropriate connector on the way now - actually, 40 individual 1-pin jumpers with a female connector on one end and male on the other - I'll cut off the male connectors, strip the conductors and make the solder connections to the cpu. <$5 on Amazon Prime - be here Tuesday. Sure wish I'd thought of this Friday when the U1MB got here - I'd have had the stuff this morning for today's project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...