Game Over !

A place to discuss general QL issues.
polka
Brittle Membrane
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:43 am

Game Over !

Postby polka » Wed May 29, 2019 8:05 am

:cry: Hi all ! Help ! :cry:

I believe that my Tetroid card for CF chips is dead ; it was sometimes momentarily "sick" over the last month, but now, it absolutely refuses to boot ; typical boot message :

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QUBIDE/QubATA Driver – V3.10BT(AH)
Timing calibration >.......?<Done>
Detection >>.<Done>
QubATA driver started
Linking WIN1_ failed!
Miracle Systems       V1.37 @ 1984
  Trump Card              896K RAM
CARE/QJUMP  TK2.26   @ 1985

but sometimes it also said :

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QubIDE Not Found or GALs Error - Halted


or :

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Master failed


or :

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Unknown Faulty Device <ATA>


To be noted : anyway, the line

Code: Select all

Detection>>.<Done>
should instead say :

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Detection>>1<Done>

meaning that actually, no CF chip is seen by the card.

I have two QLs, both working perfectly (also with a Sandy SuperQboard). The malfunction of the Tetroid card first erratic is now permanent with both machines and with any of the four CF chips that I partitionned and used successfully (one 8Gb, one 1Gb and two 512Mb).

With the Habi disc image editor, I checked that all four CF chips are OK and their contents were not altered.

So, I suspect that the problem "might eventually" be a faulty soldering of the plug for the CF chips on the Tetroid circuit board ?

Do you think this could be repaired, or should I buy a new card ?

Thanks beforehand for your answers !

POLKa (I just noticed that I was a "Bent Pin Expansion Port" ???) :mrgreen:


Derek_Stewart
QL Wafer Drive
Posts: 1328
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Location: Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

Re: Game Over !

Postby Derek_Stewart » Wed May 29, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi,

If the fault is on the expansion board, I would talk to Tetroid to see if the card can be repaired.

Did you fix the bent pin on the expansion port, as this could contribute to tge fault.


Regards,

Derek
polka
Brittle Membrane
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Game Over !

Postby polka » Wed May 29, 2019 6:02 pm

Hi Derek !

Yes, thank you for your advice to talk with Tetroid.

However, the issue of my Tetroid is not a bent pin on the expansion port ; it was a joke : I noticed that (due to the number of my posts) I no longer was a "shuggy midrodrive" but now a "bent pin etc." . So I signed POLKa (bent etc.)

There are no bent pins neither on the connection from Tetroid to QL, nor from CF to Tetroid. I suspect that the surface soldering of the socket for the CF has (or has got because of my cf swappings) one or several faulty connections, that sometimes were OK sometimes NOT, but now always NOT. I must be something like that, because the card works OK apart that it behaves as if there were no cf card plugged in.

POLKa


RWAP
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Re: Game Over !

Postby RWAP » Wed May 29, 2019 10:01 pm

Tetroid (Vitaliy) will no doubt help you here and probably send a replacement.

From my experience with the DivIDE Plus interface for the ZX Spectrum, I have experienced issues where one of the pins in the CF slot gets pushed back due to a badly positioned hole in the CF card, and also problems with fake Sandisk CF cards (probably 80% of the ones you find nowadays on ebay) where they would either work for a short time and then stop working, or just not be recognised at all.

Even worse is that the PC format routines are not very good at clearing the boot sector fully


polka
Brittle Membrane
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Game Over !

Postby polka » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:45 pm

Hi Rich (and all) !

Following your advice, I contacted Vitalyi and will send him my card, and he will see if it could be repaired.

In the mean time I want to show to you all what I did with this hardware before it went down :

1/ My SETUPs

I tried different ways to partition the 8Gb CF chip, but with too big blocks and/or too large fats (ram resident !). Which tended to block the QL with (or without) "not enough memory" messages.

Finally, I did some tests with three smaller CF chips (one of 1Gb and two of 512Mb), and found my final choice of partition structure :
all to be of 40Mb with 2Kb blocksize which gave :
24 partitions on the 1Gb CF chip
12 partitions on the 512Mb CF chips

On the 8Gb CF chip, I decided to make 24 partitions like on the 1Gb chip and 7 900Mb - 32Kb blocks partitions, that I will try to use through direct/alien access (with the intent of swapping quickly stored images from and to the 32Kb screen ram).

Here are the automatic SETUP procedures that I wrote (for the 8Gb CF but easy to adapt to others CF sizes) :

Code: Select all

TK2_EXT : MODE 4

REM to make a partition Npart with given Size,SPB,Name$

 10 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_PART( Npart,Size,SPB,Name$ )
 20  WIN_FORMAT 11,SPB
 30  WIN_DISK "CREATE",1,Npart,Size
 40  WIN_DRIVE 1,1,Npart
 50  FORMAT "WIN1_" & Name$
 60  WIN_FORMAT 0 : DIR WIN1_
 70  WIN_CTRL 1,6 : WIN_DRIVE -1
 80 END DEFine MAKE_PART

REM First 1Gb is split into 24 40Mb/2Kb partitions

REM to make the first partition called GIRL

 90 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_GIRL
100  MAKE_PART 1,40,4,"GIRL"
110 END DEFine MAKE_GIRL

REM to make 5 partitions called BOY1 to BOY5

120 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_BOYS
130  FOR I = 1 TO 5
140   MAKE_PART 1+I,40,4,"BOY" & CHR$(48+I)
150  END FOR I
160 END DEFine MAKE_BOYS

REM to make 9 partitions called CAT1 to CAT9

170 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_CATS
180  FOR I = 1 TO 9
190   MAKE_PART 6+I,40,4,"CAT" & CHR$(48+I)
200  END FOR I
210 END DEFine MAKE_CATS

REM to make 9 partitions called DOG1 to DOG9

220 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_DOGS
230  FOR I = 1 TO 9
240   MAKE_PART 15+I,40,4,"DOG" & CHR$(48+I)
250  END FOR I
260 END DEFine MAKE_DOGS

REM Next 7Gb are split into 7 900Mb/32Kb partitions
REM called COW1 to COW9 (because much bigger)
REM The last tracks may define a 9Mb/2Kb "MILK" ;-)

270 DEFine PROCedure MAKE_COWS
280  FOR I = 1 TO 7
290   MAKE_PART 24+I,900,8,"COW" & CHR$(48+I)
300  END FOR I
310  MAKE_PART 32,9,4,"MILK"
320 END DEFine MAKE_COWS

REM to declare any (0 to 31) partition as WIN1_

330 DEFine PROCedure GAL(N)
340  WIN_DRIVE -1 : WIN_DRIVE 1,1,N+1
350 END DEFine GAL

REM to declare any (1 to 31) partition as WIN2_

360 DEFine PROCedure PET(N)
370  WIN_DRIVE 2 : WIN_DRIVE 2,1,N+1
380 END DEFine PET

REM to make all partitions and unzip into "MILK"
REM the content of Haoui's StarterKit floppy

390 DEFine PROCedure SETUP
400  WIN_DRIVE -1 : WIN_FORMAT 1 : REM to allow INIT etc.
410  WIN_DISK "SHOW"
420  WIN_DISK "INIT",1
430  WIN_DISK "DETAILS",1
440  MAKE_GIRL
450  MAKE_BOYS
460  MAKE_CATS
470  MAKE_DOGS
480  MAKE_COWS
490  WIN_DISK "SUMMARY",1
500  GAL 0 : PET 31 : REM change 31 if NO partition "MILK" !
510  COPY flp1_UNZIP_EXE to WIN2_ETC_UNZIP_EXE
520  COPY flp1_starter1_zip to WIN2_QubATA_STARTER1_ZIP
530  EW WIN2_ETC_UNZIP_EXE;"-d WIN2_ WIN2_QubATA_STARTER1_ZIP"
540 END DEFine SETUP

FIRST a short MAKE_PART procedure to factorize all the steps creating a partition : with a given number, a given size, a given blocksize code and a given name.

THEN several instanciation procedures :
MAKE_GIRL to create the #1 (boot) partition
MAKE_BOYS to create 5 BOYn partitions
MAKE_CATS to create 9 CATn partitions
MAKE_DOGS to create 9 DOGn partitions
All these partitions are 40Mb with 2Kb blocks (thus 80Kb fat)

FOR THE 8Gb CF I added :
MAKE_COWS to create 7 much bigger COWn partitions of 900Mb with 32Kb blocks, and a little MILK partition to use the remaining tracks.

FINALLY, there is a SETUP procedure that initialise the CF chip, calls all the instanciation procedures and unzips the Haoui Starter flp_ into the MILK partition : because I wanted to be able to decide where I want to put what.

BY THE WAY, I added also two little procedures :
PET n to change the partition linked to WIN2_
GAL n to change eventually the partition linked to WIN1_ (and unlink any partition linked to WIN2_ ; so after calling GAL, you have to call PET).
To be noted : I prefered to number GIRL as partition 0 !

May the FORTH (and SuperBasic) be with you !

POLKa


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1024MAK
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Posts: 538
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Re: Game Over !

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:17 pm

I see that you have got over your bent pin and have now gone brittle :mrgreen:

Mark


QL, Falcon, Atari 520STFM, Atari 1040STE, more PC's than I care to count and an assortment of 8 bit micros (Sinclair and Acorn)(nearly forgot the Psion's)

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