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Atari 850 diagnostics?


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So I got an 850 off ebay. I can't seem to get it to work.

 

I've been trying to get it to work with my wimodem232 wifi modem.

 

I had built a cable, but couldn't get it working so I purchased both the Atari Modem cable and the Atari Terminal cable.

 

I have my wimodem plugged into the Atari Terminal cable which is plugged into Serial port 1. When I go into terminal mode in bobterm at try a ATI command, nothing ever appears. I also tried the Modem cable and go no results. I do notice the screen makes a high pitched noise which changes tone when I change the baud rate. I switched all different baud rates and terminal modes and I get nothing.

 

When I use the chameloen terminal I try the 850 with generic modem and it detects something and goes to terminal mode but no response back there either.

 

Is there any software to determine if the 850 is working correctly?

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Modems generally use "AT" for baud detection. (use Ascii translation, not Atari for this) Try that first instead of ATI from bobterm. I'd also try connecting to a real external modem to test so you can see the status lights (TR, SD, RD etc)

 

Also with your 'terminal' cable that sounds like it's for 'null modem' communication so you can test connecting to a port serial on a PC without a separate null modem adapter.

 

If DTR/MR lines arent detecting properly, you could try the 2nd R: interface, also selectable under bobterms config screen.

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does the driver load from the 850? to test this, power everything off. turn on 850, then turn on computer. driver should auto load with 1 or 2 short beeps and a long beep. if not, time to start digging. 2 reload the driver into bobterm, make sure you power cycle the 850. you may need to set bobterm to use 850 interface. once done, bobterm will load the driver.

 

James

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Another thing I plugged the 850 into the computer and then the floppy into the 850 and then the Atari wouldnt boot from disk.

 

When I have the floppy connected to the Atari and the 850 connected to the floppy the computer boots from floppy.

 

I even swapped cables out. Is that normal?

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Another thing I plugged the 850 into the computer and then the floppy into the 850 and then the Atari wouldnt boot from disk.

 

When I have the floppy connected to the Atari and the 850 connected to the floppy the computer boots from floppy.

 

I even swapped cables out. Is that normal?

 

 

That doesn't sound normal. The SIO lines should pass through and the 1050 after the 850 should work just fine.

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Yeah, sounds like somethings not connected internally there. It should pass through SIO to a drive after it in the chain even without the 850 powered up.

 

Time to test continuity on each of the pins on the 850. Pin 1 to pin 1 on both of its ports, and each additional same to same. I would also open it up for visual inspection of broken traces at the sio ports.

Edited by Nezgar
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Another quick test. Boot Atari with no disk drive attached, only the 850. Try this test once with each sio port on the 850, listening for the 3 short tone, 1 long tone of the R: handler loading. This might give a hint if it's one or both of the SIO ports that are not functioning.

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Boot up SpartaDOS-X, turn the 850 off, wait 5 sec. turn the 850 on again. Type RS232. You should get BEEEEEEEEEP and the R:Handler should load and return you to the SDX prompt.

 

If that doesn't work, try the Altirra R:Handler which I use for my BBS because it re-loads every time without requring a power cycle of the 850.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I've still not gotten anywhere.

I ordered a New Old Stock 850 that was sealed in the box. I opened 'er up and plugged it in, but Bobterm tells me there's no modem handler, and Chamleon says there's no device when I try option 1 or 2 (using an 850 with generic or Hayes modem).

 

Ugh.... I'm stumped. But with this 850 I can plug the disk drive into it and the drive will boot unlike the old 850. Cable swapping didn't help. Tried both the Terminal and the modem cables in serial port 1 and nada.

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So, I've still not gotten anywhere.

I ordered a New Old Stock 850 that was sealed in the box. I opened 'er up and plugged it in, but Bobterm tells me there's no modem handler, and Chamleon says there's no device when I try option 1 or 2 (using an 850 with generic or Hayes modem).

 

Ugh.... I'm stumped. But with this 850 I can plug the disk drive into it and the drive will boot unlike the old 850. Cable swapping didn't help. Tried both the Terminal and the modem cables in serial port 1 and nada.

The 850 serial port driver only loads automatically without a disk drive present. When used with a drive the serial port driver must be loaded by DOS or the terminal program.

 

Bobterm disks often come with several drivers for different modems/serial port devices.(1030/XM301, MPP/Supra 300, SX212/R-Verter)

To use Bobterm with an 850 there should NOT be an RS232.COM file on the disk as this would probably be one of the alternate drivers.

BobTerm should automatically load the 850 driver without an RS232.COM file present.

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The 850 serial port driver only loads automatically without a disk drive present. When used with a drive the serial port driver must be loaded by DOS or the terminal program.

 

Bobterm disks often come with several drivers for different modems/serial port devices.(1030/XM301, MPP/Supra 300, SX212/R-Verter)

To use Bobterm with an 850 there should NOT be an RS232.COM file on the disk as this would probably be one of the alternate drivers.

BobTerm should automatically load the 850 driver without an RS232.COM file present.

 

What's strange is with the old 850, bobterm does not report any error, I just can't seem to get a terminal response back from the wimodem232. With the "new" (new in box) 850 bobterm says there's no modem handler at all. This is with the same bobterm disk.

 

Does it matter if I'm using a 1050 drive? Can only an 810 be used? I should be able to use a "happy 1050" drive with the 850, right? Installing a happy mod is the only difference since getting the new 850. I should hook the old 850 up again and see what happens.

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I have the 850 ==> CX-87 modem cable ==> wimodem232

Using the latest version of Ice-T, I have to load the ATARI850.HND handler first, then load Ice-T.

It works perfectly.

NOTE: On first set-up you have to set the baud rate to the wimodem default rate of 300. After the wimodem232 is set-up and can be detected by the terminal program, then you can go up to 9600 baud.

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I think you first have to make sure an R: device is installed. That's the first step to get such a device to work.

 

You can check it with http://atari.fox-1.nl/atari-400-800-xl-xe/400-800-xl-xe-tools/simple-system-check-0-1/

 

Run everything like you did before. When the terminal program is loaded (working or not), exit/quit it and go to BASIC. Run the above basic program and check the characters after "Device handler". Besides an E: C: P: D: there should also be an R: listed. If not, an RS232 handler is not loaded.

 

 

 

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I have the 850 ==> CX-87 modem cable ==> wimodem232

 

Using the latest version of Ice-T, I have to load the ATARI850.HND handler first, then load Ice-T.

 

It works perfectly.

 

NOTE: On first set-up you have to set the baud rate to the wimodem default rate of 300. After the wimodem232 is set-up and can be detected by the terminal program, then you can go up to 9600 baud.

 

I should mention that I've used my wimodem232 on my Compaq LTE 5000 and configured it months ago. I can't remember what I put the baud rate at but I'm sure I didn't go above 9600. I had previously cycled through all the baud rates in BobTerm and none worked.

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Another quick test. Boot Atari with no disk drive attached, only the 850. Try this test once with each sio port on the 850, listening for the 3 short tone, 1 long tone of the R: handler loading. This might give a hint if it's one or both of the SIO ports that are not functioning.

I think I got somewhere with this tip

 

The old 850:

I can not get it to do the special beep in the left SIO port when booting.

I only hear the beep when I boot with the SIO cable in the right port.

 

The new 850:

I cannot get the beep in either SIO port. Once in a while I will hear a short fuzz noise when booting. That’s not normal and I don’t know what that means. Otherwise I get the generic beeping from the computer as if nothing was plugged in.

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The old 850:

I can not get it to do the special beep in the left SIO port when booting.

I only hear the beep when I boot with the SIO cable in the right port.

 

Good stuff! So now connect things in this order: [Atari]---[Disk Drive]---[Old 850 good SIO port]

Maybe if you boot a term program in this configuration you'll get something.

 

The new 850:

I cannot get the beep in either SIO port. Once in a while I will hear a short fuzz noise when booting. That’s not normal and I don’t know what that means. Otherwise I get the generic beeping from the computer as if nothing was plugged in.

 

If you have a multimeter that can do continuity checking, test pin1 on port 1 to pin 1 on port2, pin 2 to pin 2, across them all. They should all be connected through. If not, it may hint at broken traces or solder points on the PCB inside.

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Good stuff! So now connect things in this order: [Atari]---[Disk Drive]---[Old 850 good SIO port]

Maybe if you boot a term program in this configuration you'll get something.

 

 

I tried this after and still cannot access the wimodem232. I hooked the Atari up to the 1050 then the 1050 to the right SIO port on the old 850. Nothing in terminal.

 

I can now understand when Chameleon terminal program loads the driver for the 850, I can hear it after you select option 2. BOBterm also makes that high pitched noise and changes pitch when you change baud rate. Still unable to access the wimodem232 via terminal.

 

When I'm in full duplex mode, the terminal doesn't seem to input the characters I type. When I do into half-duplex I can enter characters, but never get any feedback from the wimodem.

 

Not sure why I'm having such a hard time with this. It probably doesn't help that I'm a complete n00b with Atari 8bit and have faulty ports.

 

I tried ICE-T, but can't figure out what to put when it asks me to set device.

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Chameleon loads the R: driver from 850 ROM: Seems to work

Bobterm loads the R: driver from 850 ROM: Seems to work too.

ICE-T does not load the R: driver from 850 ROM: Normal behavior. It needs a software driver.

 

Full duplex only returns characters when a modem device has "echo" enabled. If no device, or not working, no characters will be returned.

Half duplex always shows characters you typed. If a device "echoes" them you'll see every character dduupplliiccaatteedd.

 

Looks like at least the 850 is functional now but unable to communicate with the modem. Double check the custom cabling from 850 to modem.

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