Two strange issues with Indi AGA MK3

Caution: Non registered users only see threads and messages in the currently selected language, which is determined by their browser Please create an account and log in to see all content by default. This is a limitation of the forum software.
Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Hi Guys,


    I found two strange issues with my new and shiny Indivision AGA MK3. First of all Scandoubler doesn't start on Amiga's first power on. Sometimes I have to switch on/switch off Amiga several times before Scandoubler starts to work (and present something on the screen). I use Samsung SyncMaster 741MP. Indi is connected to monitor via VGA port. When Scandoubler starts to work it says that the signal is DVI (shouldn't be VGA?). Here's the video that present this issue. [Video]


    Second thing is crash during top bar moving between two different screens. [Video]


    What can be done with these two issues ?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  • Both issues look like they are power supply-induced. Please list the complete system, so we can get an idea of how much power is needed, and if the unit you have there is up to the task.

  • The Cisco PSU seems to be a solid power supply, and I don't have any issues with it so far.

    This self-made solution appears to be popular, which is why I have included it in my tests back in April of this year. The results were mixed (with the Cisco having not-too-bad ripple values), but my recommendation is still to not continue to use it. Not only because it bears the danger of destroying modern hardware with it's "hickup mode" on overload, but mainly because it's too weak with only 3 amps for the 5V rail.


    (I use original Amiga PSU cable)

    ...making it even worse. The cable on hte Cisco PSU is a bit thicker than the original Amiga PSU cable, so the voltage drop on that cable is lower. My tests were therefore conducted with the original Cisco cable, but the PSU still would not hold up to the demands that your system has.


    Please read our PSU FAQ, and also take a look at the measurements I have taken from the Cisco PSU. You may already solve your problem by using an original Commodore 4.5A PSU (if you have one), but if you want to be sure, the CA-PSU is by far the best choice - it is the single unit on the market that fulfills the original Commodore specifications.

  • It's really sad that "modern hardware" needs a special PSU made by you :(. I appreciate your hard work, but I think it looks more like a bug, that your product works properly only on your CA-PSU or some unreachable Commodore 4.5A PSU. Sorry, I'm a bit disappointed.

  • Sad to read that you're not willing to look at the technical details. Every product in a computer needs power, and that needs to be within certain specifications. I am taking the original Commodore specifications as a benchmark, and most non-Commodore PSUs fail this test.


    There is nothing "special" about it. It's just that the quality of available PSUs out there is so bad that it's been draining on our support time for years - until I finally decided to tackle the problem. Please take the time and dive into the technical details. You'll find out that it's like driving your Mercedes with 2-cycle mix all the time.


    I even go as war as accusing all the other suppliers with "false advertising", because their violation of the Commodore spec is showing clearly that their PSUs are not suitable for an Amiga, yet they advertise it like that. Not a single one of them has complained, although I am presenting a wide-open door for legal trouble. That should be enough proof that they know that they don't have an engineered solution, but a bad piece of tinkering in a shiny box.


    Try an original Commodore PSU - I'm using the original 3A white brick from an A600 for all my developments, not even the CA-PSU. Just avoid that tinkering. You'll find that all you need to be disappointed with is the engineering skills of those who recommended you to use a Cisco PSU in the first place.

  • I checked the original Commodore PSU 3A from my A600 and the second issue has gone (crash with the top bar). But still, Indivision doesn't start on the first switch on of the Amiga.

  • So you have a living proof that the original PSU is better than the selfmade-thing - thanks for providing that. I hope you're now open to a more engineering-like approach rather than ranting that "it's a bug".


    You have a mechanical harddrive in the computer, and those take a lot of power when spinning up for the first time - in addition to generating a lot of heat and being noisy. I'd guess that the "second startup" works better because the drive is already spinning, and the overloaded PSU can deliver the minimum of 4.85V that Indivision AGA MK3 needs to launch it's FPGA. Note that the original Commodore spec says that the voltage may not be deviating more than 1% at rated load, so 4.95V is what *should* be available inside the computer.


    A simple way of finding out if that's the cause would be to remove the harddisk and see if the picture comes up right from the start, or to remove the accelerator, as that's also a pretty power-hungry device with 64M memory and extremely-overclocked 68060. I am pretty sure that you will find that the picture comes up right on every cold start.


    While I'd love to see that you have a proper power supply for your setup, my personal recommendation would be to replace the mechanical harddrive with a CF card or DOM. This will lower the amount of heat inside your computer, it will most likely solve the startup-problem and you'll have less noise in your room when the Amiga is on.

  • Ok, I found the "lightweight" PSU from my old A500. It's 4.5A for 5V version. And indeed, Indivision starts from the first switch on! So yes, my config needs more power, even more than usual 3.0A on A600 PSU. Thanks for pointing that. Regarding to replace of mechanical harddrive to CF, I think it's good solution if you use Amiga for gaming, and you don't care if the card just stops working. But mechanical HD is much safer.

  • Good to see that you've found a solution. If you're concerned about data safety, you should probably look into networking your A1200 and making regular/scripted backups to a NAS - that way, you don't have that single-point-of-failure. Your words sound like you also do programming on that machine, and there's really nothing more valuable than source code!


    On another note, your WhichAmiga screenshot shows CyberGraphX as RTG system. Is there an RTG card in the computer?

  • Yes, NAS backups it's a good idea, and yes it's my development machine :). I was also a bit surprised about this RTG system on WhichAmiga. Maybe it's because I had Picasso graphics card (ages ago) and it left some modification on my system? Anyway, the problem was solved, thanks for helping hand!

  • I'm also surprised to hear you say a mechanical HDD would be better than solid state storage.


    In my experience, as long as they're not subjected to too much power and/or heat or mechanical stress, low power integrated circuits (chips) very rarely fail, and certainly not just because of age. While magnetic storage has a ton of things that can and will fail over time: motors, bearings, heads and platters moving past each other very close by at high speeds, the magnetism of the media itself...


    Now flash memory is a little different because it can wear out and maybe also deteriorate over time, but in practice with a modern large CF card and the Amiga 1200's IDE speeds there is no way that's going to be a significant problem in practice.


    But in any event, it's still important to make backups. One good way to do this is get an IDE-to-CF adapter that holds two CF cards. That way, you can have a bootable backup of your main drive available at all times. Another option is to use an internal CF card connected to the IDE port and boot from that one, and backup to an external CF card in a CF-to-PCMCIA adapter. But then you'll have some work to do if/when the internal card fails because the backup won't be bootable.


    If you already have a fileserver such as a NAS, then network backups are a no-brainer. (Although those are slow, even by Amiga standards, in my experience.)


    If I were to do more than a tiny bit of programming on an Amiga, I'd look into CVS to keep my source safe.

  • I'm also surprised to hear you say a mechanical HDD would be better than solid state storage.

    I guess that's mostly a matter of taste. Marx is right that CF cards do not have the same reliability data as harddrives, and I myself have had more harddrives fail on me than CF cards. So if you really want to compare reliability, you also have to question the source of that data. Further, the goal you want to achieve is not to be forgotten.


    I would not trust the reliability numbers published by the vendors of mechanical drives, as they of course want their production equipment to be put to good use - if they would admit that mechanical drives are outdated, they would essentially say that what they're selling is crap and it's not a good idea to buy it - kinda like the big auto makers announcing e-cars, but keep postponing them so they can continue to sell ICE cars.


    Also, you have to compare the amount of data you want to store - for the Amiga, it's hard to find any more than maybe 100G of programs (Aminet is about 60G, and popular game collections are under 20G, plus a few CDs that you might not find in any of the two). Given that 64G flash media is close to the sweet spot of "price per GB" at the time of this posting, it's probably a good idea to buy a bunch of these cards and start backing up all Amiga data on that.


    If you want to store several terabytes of data, then magnetic media is still the way to go - until the next disruptive technology comes along. Do I hear memristor? Going back to the BEV vs. ICE car analogy, my guess is that such a memristor-based storage product is not going to come from one of the big harddrive vendors, but more likely from a small startup - the "Tesla" or "Nio" of storage. In terms of connectivity, the Amiga is well-suited with a network interface, as a "most recent" incarnation of the SATA interface is probably what we'll see - and that will be compatible with NAS solutions.

    If you already have a fileserver such as a NAS, then network backups are a no-brainer. (Although those are slow, even by Amiga standards, in my experience.)

    Two comments on this one:


    1) if you do NOT have a NAS solution in your home yet, it's time to get one. Everyone has data that is worth storing for a long time, and some data is truly irreplaceable. Not having a backup solution with integrated error recovery (RAID system) is an act of negligence.


    2) speed-wise, you need to think about how fast you can *generate* data with an Amiga. It's not that you're rendering movies or produce streams of 4k video. It's more creative work like coding, making MODs and creating graphics. In turn, I'd guess that even floppy speeds would be adequate for a full backup, as long as it runs unattended: A full 1G boot partition would be backed up in about 16 hours at 18k/second floppy speed. If you launch that in the evening before you go to bed, it'll be done when you return from work on the next day. Any old 10MBit networking card will be at least 15 times faster than that, resulting in backup volume of roughly 24G/day. This may look slow, but given the limited amount of data that the Amiga needs to back up, it's more than adequate.

  • I use a Synology NAS with smbfs. I get about 200 kB/sec transferring data between my Amigas and the NAS, while with wget to an FTP server 50 km away I get 500 kB/sec with my 68060 A1200 with a PCMCIA Ethernet card and 375 kB/sec with my A3000 and the X-Surf.


    However... the sync operation where FolderSync2 checks which files are different takes forever. And I haven't been able to fully automate everything, so that's pretty annoying. I guess I should see if rsync works better.


    I guess I'm spoiled by Apple's Time Machine which makes incremental backups every hour. (Although measured as MB/sec, that's also pretty slow compared to the raw throughput the system is capable of.)


    Back to HDD vs SSD: one issue I have is that SCSI and IDE HDDs that work with Amigas are no longer mainstream products. So if an old one dies, what then? Replace it with another old one, or find a different solution at that point? That's why I got the Buddha for my A3000, so I no longer depend on SCSI drives or SCSI-based converters.


    On the other hand, I found a really cheap IDE-to-SATA adapter so I could use a 160 GB laptop drive in my A1200... The A1200 is a pretty sweet machine in this regard because it can boot from IDE (=CF) and PCMCIA got big in the 2000s so there's still a lot of that stuff around.


    The A3000 and earlier Amigas have a hard enough time working with anything even somewhat modern and an even harder time booting off of it. Good thing there's the Gotek floppy emulator.

    • :)
    • :(
    • ;)
    • :P
    • ^^
    • :D
    • ;(
    • X(
    • :*
    • :|
    • 8o
    • =O
    • <X
    • ||
    • :/
    • :S
    • X/
    • 8)
    • ?(
    • :huh:
    • :rolleyes:
    • :love:
    • 8|
    • :cursing:
    • :thumbdown:
    • :thumbup:
    • :sleeping:
    • :whistling:
    • :evil:
    • :saint:
    • <3
    Marks thread as resolved after post creation.