Indivision AGA MK3 - PCMCIA CF Card Conflicts

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • All,

    I recently obtained this AGA MK3 which at first gave me some (heat related) issues which were quicly resolved by a firmware update. Who would've thought. 8)

    Anyway, so far the AGA MK3 works great and it's an awesome device EXCEPT for this conflict with the PCMCIA CF Card adapter.


    When a CF Card gets accessed (especially when files are being transferred) the HDMI image flickers like crazy including intermittent blackscreens. Several TVs have been tested and the 1084S CRT on the original RGB port doesn't care,so it has to be the HDMI signal.


    Anybody else having had that issue? Please tell me this can be easily fixed with some setting in some (sub)menu, the CF Card(s) are my main means of file transfer/access ;(


    v/r

    Arnold

  • I tried several PSUs, original Commodore PSUs and this modified ATX-PSU with more Ompha. They all run stable but swapping PSUs does not have any effect.


    It's a Philippine made / UK sold stock Commodore A1200 with a 8GB Hyperdrive DOM as Harddisk and an Amigakit 8MB FastRam expansion (currently set to 4MB due to PCMCIA compatibility).


    Please see attached specs.

  • *UPDATE*


    It seems to get worse.


    I opened up the case and blew in cold air just to rule out any possible heat issue, you never know. To rule out cable issues I also tried several HDMI cables as well.


    Now getting directory information from any CF card or transferring files from/to CF card result in really ugly flickering and the black screen episodes get worse, lasting 3-5 seconds so even the OSD from the TV comes back on. It looks like the HDMI signal completely drops off.


    But this doesn't happen only during intentional CF Card access, even during boot up and also intermittently the HDMI screen flickers, so presumebly every time the CF Card gets accessed in the background for whatever reason. This is sad and annoying at the same time.


    Am I the only one with this problem? :/

    Now either this is something really simple....or maybe not.


    Attached is another pic from the mainboard specs/numbers

  • Do you have any means to measure the 5V rail inside the computer? These "lots of power"-selfmade-power supplies are no better than the old original ones if they haven't been re-capped. None of these power supplies are aware of the voltage drop on the cable and in the input filter, so they may work for unexpanded computers, but as soon as you put an expansion in and draw more power, it doesn't matter how "strong" the power supply is: The drop on the cable rises, usable voltage drops and you get problems.


    Further, you have to know that the PCMCIA adapter is purely passive, and the CF card itself is responsible for proper bus timing. It may be a problem with the Transcend card, so if you have a spare one to try, please do.


    Further, I Have no idea who designed the 8M RAM expansion, but certainly nobody within AmigaKit, as they don't have any employees who could design a memory expansion. I have to question that bus timing as well, unless I have a unit to test with here.


    I don't want to push too many things away here - just mentioning that we need to take a look at the complete system, not just the unit that was last put into the computer. We may have the means to deal with the timing differences that your expansions cause, but will of course need to repeat the problem here before we can attempt to fix it. I've put that on this week's todo-list.

  • I think I fixed it...


    The selfmade-PSU was most likely not to blame, since switching to an original Commodore PSU did not change anything. It really seems to be the CF-Cards. I already tried out several CFs but I tried some more, apparently all Transcend Industrial or UDMA CF Cards don't sync up properly.


    I found some older and slower SanDisk and CISCO CF-Cards and the problem is gone. For now.

    Let's wait and see...I hope that was it.


    So I think we don't have to worry about the Memory Expansion at this point.


    Thanx

    Arnold

  • Thanks for the extensive testing. We've of course also tried a few networking cards and CF cards, but could not find anything that causes a flicker.


    However, config tool V1.5 with a new firmware embedded has been released today, and it does fix a problem in register sniffing of Indivision AGA MK3. This might change the behaviour of Indivision AGA MK3 in edge cases, including the flicker you've observed with Transcend cards.

  • I have been experiencing flickering as well whenever I use the PCMCIA slot. I have an original Commodore PSU, and I am using Transcend 4GB CF cards (from Amigakit) with a PCMCIA adapter. I don't have any other brand to test unfortunately. The 1.5 update helped to a small extent (somewhat less flickering with CF cards, but still present), but it did not help the flickering I experience with my Belkin WiFi adapter (it's a 11Mbps adapter using the Prism v2 driver from Aminet). My Amiga 1200 is unmodified, I only use a Blizzard 1200/4 memory upgrade with FPU. I'd be thankful for any advice you may have.


    Thanks,

    Roland

  • That original Commodore PSU may just be too weak for all expansions at the same time. You might want to try a different (unbranded) CF card as your first step. Checking if the CA-PSU helps the issue is also a way. We keep getting positive report, and as the history of this support forum shows, many seemingly-unrelated things are caused by flakey power supplies.

  • Thanks for the quick advice. I'll get a new PSU first, which I planned to do anyway at some point as I want to upgrade my Amiga further. I'll post the results here.


    Thanks,

    Roland

  • Please don't just look for "power" - look for low ripple and cable drop compensation. The strongest PSU is worthless if it does not know about the voltage drop in the input filter.

  • I've bought a PSU replacement from https://www.c64psu.com/ and not much has changed regarding flickering. It is less pronounced with a PCMCIA flash card, and more so with the Belkin WiFi adapter. I have seen some improvement, in the sense that with the previous power supply, the screen would go intermittently blank, with this one there is "only" constant flickering.


    Here is the thing, in Jens' previous post, I did not realize that CA-PSU was referring to a recent Individual Computers product. After I bought the new PSU from what I thought was a reliable vendor, I saw Jens' reply about ripple and cable drop compensation. After some research, I did not find any Amiga aftermarket PSU that had this features except for the CA-PSU. I don't mind buying another PSU for my Amiga, but will it solve the flickering issue I am experiencing?

  • I also had this PSU from that Polish company, I can hereby confirm that this is certainly not a good PSU.

    It can work for an Amiga without extensions, but this PSU cannot handle it with extensions.

    When I installed the Indivision MK3 I kept getting freezing screens and Guru Meditations. It really was no longer workable. In the end, this PSU was blown up.

    Then I bought the CA-PSU from Jens, it has been running here for 3 months now without a single problem.

    I don't know if it will solve your flickering problems, but it's worth a try.

    A1200 Rev2B // SanDisk CF64GB HDD // Blizzard 1230 IV 64MB FPU 68882 50 Mhz // Indivision AGA MK3 // CA-PSU // BenQ BL702a // Bose Companion 2 series III

    A500 Rev6a // ACAPlus500+ // SanDisk CF16GB HDD // ACA1221lc // Indivision ECS V2 // CA-PSU

  • I've bought a PSU replacement from https://www.c64psu.com/ and not much has changed regarding flickering.

    I'm sorry, but that is a known-bad PSU. Before you buy anything, please read up on the topic. For this one, I strongly recommend to send it back for a refund. The unit is sold with false advertising, as there's a number of technical reasons why it is not suitable for an Amiga with any extra expansion. Further, the amount of heat generated within the PSU indicates not only low efficiency, but also shorter lifetime of the components.


    Further, the V1.6 firmware improves a lot for others in terms of timing glitches (PCMCIA interference came up in the German part of this support forum, and it's been reported to be fully resolved after the V1.6 update). I continue to test with an original Commodore PSU, which of course has worse regulation than the CA-PSU, but also lets us reproduce errors more easily. I therefore expect it to get a lot better for you after you did the firmware update.


    Regardless of the outcome of the V1.6 update, I urge you to not use the known-bad Meanwell-based PSU. I have a version of it here that even violates basic safety rules, so if there would be a fire at any time in the future, an insurance is likely not to pay and point to the vendor of the PSU - who in turn can't possibly have liability insurance for this, as the safety review would have revealed shortcomings in the product design.

  • I did :) 1.7 solved all the issues. No more flickering, the Belkin card is working like a charm (turns out the flickering was only half of it, there was also some kind of interference with the WiFi connection that I did not know about, which is also gone now.)


    Thanks Jens, this puts me one step closer to the dream. Any chance the aca1260 rtg will be available soon? :)