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Help! Falcon030 not booting


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Greetings,

 

I have a Falcon030 that is not booting, or likely powering on properly. When I turn on the computer, the internal hard drive spins up (as well as what sounds like a fan), but the power LED for the computer is not lit, and I'm not seeing any video output (currently using RF to a TV, but I have a VGA cable on order and should have it soon).

 

Looking for suggestions on ways to troubleshoot this so I can discern what's wrong and hopefully fix it. I know that the ST had issues with chips coming loose in sockets. I haven't opened this machine up yet to see if that's a potential issue.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

..Al

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No, not getting any video from RF and the machine doesn't seem to be booting. The power LED is not lighting up, but the Floppy LED is lighting up. Disconnected both the HD and the floppy drive, but that didn't make any difference. The fan starts making a grinding noise not long after powering it up, like it's hitting something, so that's not the hard drive as I initially thought. However, the hard drive may still be bad, it seems to be making typical clicking noises you hear with bad hard drives.

 

I completely disassembled the machine earlier, then put it back together. First thing I would probably troubleshoot is the power supply to make sure the output voltages are correct. I don't have time to play around with the machine right now, so may try to find someone here in the US that can diagnose any problems and repair it. The machine does have a CENTram 14 module as well.

 

..Al

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Definitely start with the power supply.

No power light is odd, Vcc goes right to the KB connector (is the KB connector hooked correctly?)

I've seen a couple 1040's with bad reset buttons that keep the machine in reset, might want to check that

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Definitely start with the power supply.

No power light is odd, Vcc goes right to the KB connector (is the KB connector hooked correctly?)

I've seen a couple 1040's with bad reset buttons that keep the machine in reset, might want to check that

Yes, I did unplug the keyboard (had to when disassembling the machine), and then plugged it back in to test again..

 

Interesting if the LED goes right to Vcc. Need to pull out my multimeter and check the outputs. Won't be able to do that for a few days, though.

 

interesting also about the reset switch, I'll look at that also, thanks for the tip.

 

..Al

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Other than PSU - It is.. NV RAM issue? Poorly seated memory upgrade? Upgrade on the expansion slots being removed without replacing jumpers, or coming loose? With the power light have you tried swapping the keyboard for an ST one, it might just be a broken LED?

 

I haven't tried swapping keyboards, are they the same, other than being a different color? can do that, as I have several STs. The NVRAM I will definitely try replacing once I get my hands on a new NVRAM chip. The memory upgrade seemed to be seated fine. What's the upgrade on the expansion slots you're talking about?

 

Thanks,

 

..Al

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Yep they are the same so you can swap the keyboards.

 

The expansion slots are on the motherboard on the front left hand side (if you are looking with keyboard to front), and are two sets of pins, generally with nothing on them (it there is another circuit board on it then you have something else in there to investigate). If they have been used, say for CT60 or other expansion, there is a jumper that needs to be put back on, which is removed to fit the expansion.

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The NVRAM chip is U64, and it's located on the bottom portion of the board. You'll have to remove the entire RF shield to get at it.

 

Here's a page showing how someone replaced the chip. I am a bit aghast that he used a rotary tool to remove the chip from the board! I plan on desoldering it normally, no idea why he resorted to this method--he mentions he's not able to heat all the pins at once and that not being a viable option. Not sure why he didn't remove the solder one pin at a time??

 

http://blog.atari-home.de/2009/02/changing-the-nvram-chip/

 

Here's another page that has some useful information, including a low-profile socket that you can use when replacing the NVRAM, so that it still fits under the RF shielding. I'd definitely put a socket in when replacing it, and I can't be terribly surprised that Atari did not use one for a part that has a finite shelf life.

 

http://atarimusic.exxoshost.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=108:atari-falcon-nvram-house-of-horrors-how-to-replace-your-real-time-clock-without-the-gore&catid=75:falcon-hardware&Itemid=342

 

The link for the low-profile socket doesn't work in the above article, but this appears to be it:

 

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mill-max-manufacturing-corp/115-93-624-41-003000/ED5624-ND/81896

 

I'm going to get a few of those sockets and a replacement NVRAM chip and see if that fixes my problem. Also will check the power supply outputs.

 

..Al

 

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  • 1 year later...

If there is no power light (assuming the power light is NOT software driven) then that particular rail from the PSU is down.

 

  • blown fuse in the PSU on that rail (do they have a fuse on that rail)
  • a short circuit on the board is pulling the voltage down - possibly a poorly installed hardware mod (memory expansion)
  • other general fault on the PSU (blown regulator)

 

If there's any hardware mods installed I'd see if you can remove them and start with a bare-bones board, then check.

 

Also, check the power supply output with a multi-meter with the PSU disconnected from the board. Is the voltage there? If not, the PSU is bad. If yes, connect it back to the board and check again. If the voltage has gone, or has dropped significantly, it's a short somewhere on the board.

 

Good luck with it!

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