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Testing a PEB?


Boschloo

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I'm looking inside my PEB and it looks pristine. The only card I have on there is the Flex Cable interface, though.

Is there something I can do to test and see if the PEB still works? Like, connect the Flex to the TI-99/4A and type in some command?

I would like to start buying cards, but not if the PEB is busted. They're hard to find cheap.

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11 minutes ago, Boschloo said:

I'm looking inside my PEB and it looks pristine. The only card I have on there is the Flex Cable interface, though.

Is there something I can do to test and see if the PEB still works? Like, connect the Flex to the TI-99/4A and type in some command?

I would like to start buying cards, but not if the PEB is busted. They're hard to find cheap.

The flexcable just interfaces the TI-99/4A with the PEB to access what is inside the PEB as well as add buffers between the TI and PEB.  To test, you need at least one card in there like a 32k card, then you could go into Extended Basic and type Size and see if it reports back the correct memory (16k for the TI and 32k for the PEB).  It would show:

 

11840 Bytes of stack free

24488 bytes of program

 

 

Edited by Shift838
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13 minutes ago, Boschloo said:

I'm looking inside my PEB and it looks pristine. The only card I have on there is the Flex Cable interface, though.

Is there something I can do to test and see if the PEB still works? Like, connect the Flex to the TI-99/4A and type in some command?

I would like to start buying cards, but not if the PEB is busted. They're hard to find cheap.

Go here https://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/pebox.htm and read about the PEB box, then use a multimeter and see if the voltages are in range, examine the pins in the connectors. If voltages are okay and the pins look good, you can reasonably assume you have a good PEB Box. Insert the Flex card interface and buy a 32K  card  for it, hook it to the ti and using an extended basic cartridge (xb for short), go into xb and type size. If you see what's in this picture your 32k card is working, then you can go to the next step, which is probably getting a disk controller. Hope this helps

xb size.jpg

Edited by RickyDean
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I just "converted" a PEB from 115V to 230V so checked various voltages before connecting anything.  You could likewise power it up and confirm the power supply is still good, fan runs, etc.  You should see DC +5 and +12 on the disk power cable and I think from memory +8V, +16V, -16V on the power wires to the card connectors.

IMG_3807.jpg

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8 hours ago, Shift838 said:

The flexcable just interfaces the TI-99/4A with the PEB to access what is inside the PEB as well as add buffers between the TI and PEB.  To test, you need at least one card in there like a 32k card, then you could go into Extended Basic and type Size and see if it reports back the correct memory (16k for the TI and 32k for the PEB).  It would show:

 

11840 Bytes of stack free

24488 bytes of program

 

 

Thanks, guys. I ordered a 32K card from @arcadeshopper, we'll see what happens when it arrives.

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14 hours ago, Boschloo said:

I'm looking inside my PEB and it looks pristine. The only card I have on there is the Flex Cable interface, though.

Is there something I can do to test and see if the PEB still works? Like, connect the Flex to the TI-99/4A and type in some command?

I would like to start buying cards, but not if the PEB is busted. They're hard to find cheap.

 

(I am open to combine it in 1x shipment for the items you are interested in, but it might still cost):

 

... shipment price I cannot change from Thailand, but today I listed some PEB cards and Disk Drives:

https://www.ebay.com/usr/ronvankl_0

* RS232 Card + Cables

* Disk Controller + Cable

 

* 1x TEAC 5.25 drive (black)

* 2x Matsushita (white) 5.25 drives

* 2x  3.5 Drive 80 tracks and 3.5 normal drive

 

* Flex Cable (but you have this one already)

 

* and more modules listed as well.

 

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One note.

 

There is a general test you can perform to verify that the PEB isn't defective. First, power it on. You should hear a loud fan sound. This verifies that your line voltage is making it into the PEB (mains fuse is good). Turn it off, wait a couple of minutes and insert the Flex Cable card. Plug the Flex Cable into the side of the TI, turn the PEB on and then turn on the computer. If the indicator light in the slot with the Flex Cable card lights up, the PEB voltages supplied to the bus are making it through the transformer (no blown transformer internal fuse). If this works, your PEB is generally good. You may still have some corrosion on card connectors or a random bent connector pin, but the PEB is definitely functional. No other cards are necessary for these tests.

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27 minutes ago, Ksarul said:

One note.

 

There is a general test you can perform to verify that the PEB isn't defective. First, power it on. You should hear a loud fan sound. This verifies that your line voltage is making it into the PEB (mains fuse is good). Turn it off, wait a couple of minutes and insert the Flex Cable card. Plug the Flex Cable into the side of the TI, turn the PEB on and then turn on the computer. If the indicator light in the slot with the Flex Cable card lights up, the PEB voltages supplied to the bus are making it through the transformer (no blown transformer internal fuse). If this works, your PEB is generally good. You may still have some corrosion on card connectors or a random bent connector pin, but the PEB is definitely functional. No other cards are necessary for these tests.

Hi, I did this as soon as I read your post. The fan turned on and the light on slot 2, which is the one with the flex cable card, turned on. The inside looks so clean that it's as if the PEB has never been used! The Flex cable has dust all over the rubber and there are spots of discoloration on the piece that connects to the TI, but the connectors themselves are looking good. I turned off the PEB and connected to the TI. This time the light came on when I turned on the TI. So this worked well so far! Thanks!

Edited by Boschloo
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On 10/28/2023 at 11:33 PM, RickyDean said:

Go here https://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/pebox.htm and read about the PEB box, then use a multimeter and see if the voltages are in range, examine the pins in the connectors. If voltages are okay and the pins look good, you can reasonably assume you have a good PEB Box. Insert the Flex card interface and buy a 32K  card  for it, hook it to the ti and using an extended basic cartridge (xb for short), go into xb and type size. If you see what's in this picture your 32k card is working, then you can go to the next step, which is probably getting a disk controller. Hope this helps

xb size.jpg

Hi, I'm getting only the top line. 11840 BYTES OF STACK FREE

The light on the 32K card module doesn't light up. I've tried it in different slots. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Now it's like this:

I turn on the PEB, no lights come on.

I turn on the TI, the flex cable card light turns on. 

I start up TI Extended Basic, the Disk controller light comes on and the Disk Drive light turns on.

No light on 32Kb card. I type SIZE and get only the first line.

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Can you type in OLD DSK1.LOAD ( your just trying to get the drive light to turn on in the programming environment), if the light comes on, on the disk controller then the interface is probably working right. Do you have a disk manager cartridge? If so you can attempt to read a disk and see if it catalogs, this will make a presumption that your FDC controller is good. If this works, then I believe you have a bum 32k and will have to seek out another. The 32k can be fixed, but it has a bunch of IC's and they are all soldered to the board without sockets, it's a task daunting for a seasoned solderer to unsolder, check the IC's, and replace them with sockets and new IC's, if the IC is bad. You can pull the clamshell off the 32k and examine it for obvious faults, such as blown capacitors or test the regulator to see if its functioning. But I don't know your skill level on electronic repair. The roms in these cartridge can go bad too, they all contain DSR(device service routine code) that tells the computer what's in the system and how to use it. If they get bit rot or have been over stressed in a system that has experienced electrical issues, they can go bad. @arcadeshopper, probably has working, tested 32k cards in his shop.

I just reread your statement, and from it it appears the Interface and the FDC are working correctly. I think the 32k card is not. You have several options, buy another, fix that one, purchase an upgraded SAMS unit, use a side car version, or place the 32k inside your console, where it will stay permanently. Research what is best for you.

Edited by RickyDean
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13 minutes ago, RickyDean said:

Can you type in OLD DSK1.LOAD ( your just trying to get the drive light to turn on in the programming environment), if the light comes on, on the disk controller then the interface is probably working right. Do you have a disk manager cartridge? If so you can attempt to read a disk and see if it catalogs, this will make a presumption that your FDC controller is good. If this works, then I believe you have a bum 32k and will have to seek out another. The 32k can be fixed, but it has a bunch of IC's and they are all soldered to the board without sockets, it's a task daunting for a seasoned solderer to unsolder, check the IC's, and replace them with sockets and new IC's, if the IC is bad. You can pull the clamshell off the 32k and examine it for obvious faults, such as blown capacitors or test the regulator to see if its functioning. But I don't know your skill level on electronic repair. The roms in these cartridge can go bad too, they all contain DSR(device service routine code) that tells the computer what's in the system and how to use it. If they get bit rot or have been over stressed in a system that has experienced electrical issues, they can go bad. @arcadeshopper, probably has working, tested 32k cards in his shop.

I just reread your statement, and from it it appears the Interface and the FDC are working correctly. I think the 32k card is not. You have several options, buy another, fix that one, purchase an upgraded SAMS unit, use a side car version, or place the 32k inside your console, where it will stay permanently. Research what is best for you.

OLD DSK1.LOAD gives me * I/O ERROR 50 with the XB cart in. I don't have Disk Manager yet.

When I start up XB the light on slot 5, which is where I have the 32k card, lights up briefly then shuts off.

I did order a 32kb card from @arcadeshopper some time ago, but I don't know when he ships out orders. It's been a while.

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5 minutes ago, Boschloo said:

OLD DSK1.LOAD gives me * I/O ERROR 50 with the XB cart in. I don't have Disk Manager yet.

When I start up XB the light on slot 5, which is where I have the 32k card, lights up briefly then shuts off.

I did order a 32kb card from @arcadeshopper some time ago, but I don't know when he ships out orders. It's been a while.

Understood, I still believe it's a 32k card issue, put a bug in @arcadeshopper's ear to see if he can speed up the process. The 32k should shine briefly as you power up the Peb when you go into extended basic you should see two lines when you type in SIZE, if you see it saying 13928, it is not seeing the 32k. It has to say 13928, 24488, with no FDC connected or 11840,24488, if the FDC is connected. your should be showing the latter, so your memory is not being read. If it flashs briefly, then the DSR is being polled and at least it shows the interface is trying to see it.

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24 minutes ago, RickyDean said:

Understood, I still believe it's a 32k card issue, put a bug in @arcadeshopper's ear to see if he can speed up the process. The 32k should shine briefly as you power up the Peb when you go into extended basic you should see two lines when you type in SIZE, if you see it saying 13928, it is not seeing the 32k. It has to say 13928, 24488, with no FDC connected or 11840,24488, if the FDC is connected. your should be showing the latter, so your memory is not being read. If it flashs briefly, then the DSR is being polled and at least it shows the interface is trying to see it.

For a couple of tries, booting into XB was actually causing the screen to freak out!! The I put a blank diskette in the drive and it wouldn't boot into XB. It displayed 8 on the top left of the screen and # on the right.

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This BASIC program can catalog a disk:

100 CALL CLEAR
110 COUNT=0
120 DIM TYPE$(6)
130 TYPE$(1)="DIS/FIX"
140 TYPE$(2)="DIS/VAR"
150 TYPE$(3)="INT/FIX"
160 TYPE$(4)="INT/VAR"
170 TYPE$(5)="PROGRAM"
175 TYPE$(6)=" <DIR> "
180 INPUT "DEVICE:":DEV$
190 IF SEG$(DEV$,LEN(DEV$),1)="." THEN 210
200 DEV$=DEV$&"."
210 REM  THIS OPENS AS IF/0 - WHICH BECOMES IF/38 
220 OPEN #1:DEV$,INPUT ,RELATIVE,INTERNAL
230 REM  'ZERO' IS ALWAYS 0 
240 INPUT #1:DISKNAME$,ZERO,DISKSECTORS,FREESECTORS
250 DISPLAY "DSK0 -  DISKNAME= ";DISKNAME$:"AVAILABLE= ";FREESECTORS;" USED= ";DISKSECTORS-FREESECTORS
260 DISPLAY :"FILENAME   SIZE    TYPE    P":"---------- ---- ---------- -";
270 REM  A FILETYPE OF 0 ALSO MEANS END OF DIRECTORY 
280 REM  FILETYPE IS NEGATIVE FOR A PROTECTED FILE 
290 INPUT #1:FILENAME$,FILETYPE,FILESECTORS,RECORDLENGTH
300 IF LEN(FILENAME$)=0 THEN 400
310 COUNT=COUNT+1
320 DISPLAY :COUNT;FILENAME$;TAB(12);FILESECTORS;TAB(17);TYPE$(ABS(FILETYPE));
330 REM  PROGRAM FILES DON'T HAVE A RECORD LENGTH 
340 IF ABS(FILETYPE)>=5 THEN 370
350 B$=" "&STR$(RECORDLENGTH)
360 DISPLAY SEG$(B$,LEN(B$)-2,3);
370 IF FILETYPE>0 THEN 290
380 DISPLAY TAB(28);"Y";
390 GOTO 290
400 CLOSE #1

CREDIT: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/ti-99-4a-faq-disk-drives/

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5 hours ago, Boschloo said:

For a couple of tries, booting into XB was actually causing the screen to freak out!! The I put a blank diskette in the drive and it wouldn't boot into XB. It displayed 8 on the top left of the screen and # on the right.

Does it go crazy if you pull out the 32k and just boot into the EXBasic with the PEB on and drive still in place. I think the above program is independent of a 32k in the system, so you should be able to type it in and catalog your drive when running it. Now if your disk is not formatted, you will need some kind of Disk Manager cartridge to do that, before you even think of investing time to type it in, which means that you'll already need something else. Do you have a FinalGrom device? If so you, either have or, can get a rom/grom combo that will be the same as a Disk Manager Cartridge. If your disk is already TI formatted you can type it in and save it to disk then catalog it to see if it saved correctly.

Edited by RickyDean
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29 minutes ago, RickyDean said:

Does it go crazy if you pull out the 32k and just boot into the EXBasic with the PEB on and drive still in place. I think the above program is independent of a 32k in the system, so you should be able to type it in and catalog your drive when running it. Now if your disk is not formatted, you will need some kind of Disk Manager cartridge to do that, before you even think of investing time to type it in, which means that you'll already need something else. Do you have a FinalGrom device? If so you, either have or, can get a rom/grom combo that will be the same as a Disk Manager Cartridge. If your disk is already TI formatted you can type it in and save it to disk then catalog it to see if it saved correctly.

I will need to do some more testing. But I did order disk manager 2...from @arcadeshopper as well. So hopefully he will find time to ship me my orders at some point.

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On 10/29/2023 at 9:17 PM, Boschloo said:

The fan turned on and the light on slot 2, which is the one with the flex cable card, turned on.

The flex interface card is designed to sit in slot 1 (far to the left, when looking from the front). It has some attachment to fasten the cable holder that works only in that position.

If SIZE in Extended BASIC doesn't show two lines, but just one memory area, it couldn't detect the expansion. As an alternative when you have Extended BASIC plugged in you can try the command CALL INIT. It requires the 32 K RAM to be available to work.

Edited by apersson850
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On 11/8/2023 at 11:05 AM, arcadeshopper said:

yes it needs to be in slot one.. it's the only card that has a slot restriction

I have moved the card accordingly. It's a very finicky connection. I tested with your 32k card I've just received and after six tries, the PEB stopped freaking out. Success!20231112_105718.thumb.jpg.e1a1a48612a68cb6194a7bba61b7c1f1.jpg

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1 hour ago, Boschloo said:

I have moved the card accordingly. It's a very finicky connection. I tested with your 32k card I've just received and after six tries, the PEB stopped freaking out. Success!20231112_105718.thumb.jpg.e1a1a48612a68cb6194a7bba61b7c1f1.jpg

Cool, and I like it that you have a TI color monitor to boot. I used to have both types, back in the day.

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2 hours ago, RickyDean said:

Cool, and I like it that you have a TI color monitor to boot. I used to have both types, back in the day.

I'll stop using it when I find out how to output RGB from the TI-99/4A via component. I have an amazing Toshiba 14" TV that takes component.

I think it's so weird, that sometimes the PEB works and sometimes it doesn't/ I wonder if it could be a problem with the XB cartridge?

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