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TI99 with Flashrom99 and 32k memory weirdness


eightbit
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Hi all,

 

I recently ordered a 32k ram expansion and power supply from Arcadeshopper and they arrived today. The reason for the power adapter is because I did not feel like modifying my speech module and I plan on using it in there. I also have a F18A enhanced TI99 as well as a flashrom99 with some cart bin packs extracted to it that I got from here.

 

Well, I installed it and ran the power to it and at first everything appeared to be fine. BUT, I noticed some sentences were missing from Alpiner. Like when he is supposed to say "onward and upward" it does not say it...it just sounds like a scrambled audio tape for a second. Other words work like "beware of falling rocks" but some others that I know should be there are not. Is this normal when playing the game on the flashrom99? Unfortunately I do not have the actual cart to test (or any carts for that matter yet)

 

Also, Parsec. The voices seem fine here but sometimes it seems the hit detection is not working. Like sometimes the shots go through the ships. Also, when the game ends (lost all lives) it says press redo or back but nothing happens. I have to physically reset the computer and run Parsec again to play another game. Is that normal with the flashrom99?

 

Finally, I realized I did not change the jumper on the memory from TI to EXT for the power, so I changed it. Made no difference and I thought that it was really strange that it was working with the jumper not switched as everything I read is that you need to supply power to the board for it to work. So, just as a test I removed power completely and turned on the machine. It STILL worked! Huh?? But my speech synthesizer is NOT modded to allow it to pass power to the memory module. What the heck?

 

 

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When I was playing Alpiner for the HSC, discovered the version on the Multicart was a bad dump. Maybe the same for Parsec? If these dumps were the ones used for the FR99 conversion, going to experience the same things. When playing the original cartridge versions with 32k, everything is fine.

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There is voltage leakage from the address bus that is appearing to be sufficient to power the 32k card. Being powered off of leakage does not qualify as working. The chips probably don't actually get the amount of current they need. Unfortunately the board isn't designed to absolutely fail without proper power.

 

save2600 says use the original cartridge of parsec or alpiner and everything is fine... well of course, because then the game isn't using the 32k ram at all. The parsec image in the FlashRom99 binary thread should work fine, running out of the 32k memory card. Parsec is a good test of the card. I can't speak for the Alpiner dump.

 

bad / truncated speech seems to be a good indicator that there are memory or data transfer errors. But, I would start by removing the speech synthesizer, and testing the 32k board strictly powered from the 4A, with the jumper on the correct setting. There is a link to a memory test program in the thread as well.

 

Then if that passes, put the speech synth back in and switch the jumper back to external power... and give it external power.. rerun the test. For all of the 32k boards I built, I've run the memory test for more than >2F passes.

 

-M@

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Welp, ran the test (10 passes) by:

 

1. Connecting directly to the TI99 with jumper set to TI power - Passed all tests

2. Connected to the synthesizer with NO power - Passed all tests

3. Connected to the synthesizer with jumper set to ext power - Passed all tests

 

For the sake of stability I will leave the power connected at all times with the jumper set to ext power. Interesting that it appears to work fine without it tho. I wonder if the fact that I am using a beige model has anything to do with it? Doubtful but I just don't know ;)

 

And parsec does work fine. I was stupid and not pushing the function key at the same time as redo...doh. It was a long night last night ;)

Edited by eightbit
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