Updating the Firmware on a ACA500+

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Hi Timm,

    Yep tried all that previousely. Did it again to make sure.

    Unfortunately still the same issue.


    Quote

    e've verified that the hardware is not at fault, and you can do flash updates. The final step is to reset the NVRAM settings as Timm described. After that, I'd like to continue remote debugging if you have the required tools: A Nullmodem cable. Since what we're looking at is a software error (software deciding to not unpack the install files), we may get to the bottom of it with the debug output. This will require a second computer near the A500 - do you have that?

    Hi Jens,

    I do not have a Nullmodem cable.


    I do have a laptop. It is a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon


    No ports on this except usb ports.

    My understanding is that a serial port is required.


    Regards


    John

  • I'm very convinced that the hardware is not at fault, so the expense of shipping it back to Germany from downunder is something we can spare. Since you've reported that it did work before you updated, I'll prepare an archive for you that will take the unit to the exact same state that it was shipped with.


    In terms of nullmodem - do you have a second Amiga, or any other computer than the Laptop? You can surely get a cable that will let you use a USB port for the nullmodem connection, but that will be more expensive than a normal serial nullmodem. I could also look up if there are other customers near your place who would be willing to help - I will of course wait for the OK of all sides to share any personal information.

  • Hi,

    So with the archive you are talking about do I need the nullmodem cable to put it back to the same state that it was shipped with ?


    Don't have a 2nd Amiga.

    How long does the Amiga have to be hooked up to the via the nullmodem connection ?


    I am 200kms from Melbourne and 100kms from a Major City of Bendigo or Ballarat. I think the chances are slim if there is anyone in Echuca,

    but I could be wrong.


    So can I ask who is reponsible for ensuring that the the firmware updates are without issues in regard to warranting those updates

  • So with the archive you are talking about do I need the nullmodem cable to put it back to the same state that it was shipped with ?

    No - that's just a zip archive that will re-flash the menu and other parts of the flash.


    The Nullmodem connection will be interesting when you're starting the automatic installer. When enabled in the settings, the debug output will (hopefully) show in real-time what the software is doing, even if cryptic.


    So can I ask who is reponsible for ensuring that the the firmware updates are without issues in regard to warranting those updates

    We do test things before uploading them to the Wiki. Also, our products are designed in a way that the user always has the possibility to pull himself out of the swamp by his own hair, that means: We always have a de-brick mode that will give a de-brick software access to the flash. Since the standard downgrade methods didn't show any improvement, my next step is to re-flash the whole chip, just in case something went wrong.


    May I ask what power supply you are using, and what other components are connected to that A500?

  • Quote
    • May I ask what power supply you are using, and what other components are connected to that A500?

    Hi

    Most certainly.

    Its the original power supply that came with the unit.

    The additions and I think I did mention these earlier are :

    Quote

    Is there anything else that could interfer with the installer not loading the WB3.1.

    The only thing I have is a DFO/DF1 boot switcher. This is activated by hold down the 3 Amiga keys for 6 sec I think.

    Of course that is not being activated by me when installing it any way because its only for the DF0 and DF1 drives.

    Quote

    I remove the automatic DFO/DF1 switch from the board and put the chip back in its original place instead of on the switcher.

    Unfortunately it did not make any difference.


    I removed the ACA500+ and clean the contacts on the A500 with APA.

    Unfortunately it did not make any difference.


    RGBTOHDMI so outputs to LED screen

    An Auto DF0 to DF1 switch. Where you hold the 3 keys down to boot DF1 to DFO.

    Standard Floppy 3.5 drive

    External Gotek Drive sits on the DF1 side.

    I took out the Auto DF0 to DF1 switch set all the defaults and no change.


    Can I just try the zipp archive please and if that does not work.

    We can go from there.


    Thanks


    John

  • The "original" PSU, is that with a 2.5A rating? If so, it might be a little weak for all of the expansions. Would be interesting to see the specs of that PSU. If you have a multimeter, it would be interesting to see the voltage that arrives in the computer. This might be a simple under-voltage problem.


    Still have a bunch of things on the list, but will make that zip archive before the end of the day.

  • Quote

    The "original" PSU, is that with a 2.5A rating? If so, it might be a little weak for all of the expansions. Would be interesting to see the specs of that PSU. If you have a multimeter, it would be interesting to see the voltage that arrives in the computer. This might be a simple under-voltage problem.

    Rated 5 volts 4.3A.

    Multimeter reads 5.25 volts.

    That would be great


    Thanks

  • Hi,

    Thank you


    Just need to clarify my comments in Bold writing


    Most important to look after the family.


    Regards


    John

    Hi,

    here's the successfully-tested archive that will take you back to the

    factory state that you got the card in


    Q1 Do I run this from AUX port F8 F (Flash) ? Or like the OS Installation files AUX (Nothing in Boot and F1 from main menu)


    Note that all settings will be erased from the DisMo, and menu system

    V0.129 along with the "old" installer will be flashed.


    Yes I understand that

    The Kickstart and WB disk files will not be touched, as you have them in

    the other zip archive.


    Q2 Do I need to load these again after the zip archive that you sent me ? (Photo for reference)


    However, it turned out that the archive in the

    Wiki lacks the "Unlock500p" command that is required before executing

    the "flash" command.


    Q3 Do you mean put "Unlock500p" command in the OS Installation zip that holds the KIckstart and WB disks ? (Photo for reference)

    IF that is so Yes I can do that okay

  • Q1 Do I run this from AUX port F8 F (Flash) ? Or like the OS Installation files AUX (Nothing in Boot and F1 from main menu)

    You unpack the archive to a FAT-formatted card and insert that as your only card into the AUX slot. Then you launch the computer using F1.


    Q2 Do I need to load these again after the zip archive that you sent me ? (Photo for reference)

    Maybe - it may be better to run that re-flash as well, just to be sure that all parts of the flash are good.

    Q3 Do you mean put "Unlock500p" command in the OS Installation zip that holds the KIckstart and WB disks ? (Photo for reference)

    Yes - I'm about to update that archive, so it will really work when launched with F1. It was created for a customer who obviously never needed it: It couldn't have possibly written to the flash, and the customer reported success back when we've published it. I'll add the Unlock500p command to the archive and update the startup-sequence accordingly.

  • The OS install files archive is also updated now. Same procedure as with the archive that I've sent to you via eMail yesterday: Unpack to a FAT-formatted card, insert in AUX, boot slot empty, launch with F1.


    This will bring back your card to the exact state that it was shipped in.


    I have tried to update one of our ACA500plus cards yesterday with the new menu and installer with the exact files that are available in the Wiki (in fact, I downloaded them from the Wiki to be sure that I got the exact same files that you got). First I updated the menu, then I ran the Installer update (which, admittedly, is a bit tedious, as you need to change CF cards twice and replace the UPD500p file). This worked without problems, so nothing has changed between our last test and upload to the Wiki.


    Your PSU is a good one, but it may need re-capping after all these years. Please remove any unnecessary components while flashing - the Gotek is something we've often had trouble with, as it appears to add ripple to the 5V rail. Combined with ageing caps in the PSU, this may already be the cause for the malfunction during/after flashing.

  • Hi

    Jens

    Success - Success


    Installed the the archive successfully. It did say something about disk drive busy and reboot which I did. Got a diagonal green striped screen

    and then the red software failure. I though Oh No.

    Click left mouse button and away it went.


    For good measure I installed the Kickstart and Os install files. (After putting "Unlock500p" in the startup sequence, what I did not do was put the files Unlock500P so it said unknown. Fixed that and updated successfully.


    I did 2 4gb cards just to be sure it was not a fluck.


    I am a bit reluctant to update the Menu and Installer, but as you stated you had those working from the WIki.

    I suppose now that I have the zip archive that you sent me.

    I could try to do the update and see what the result is

    Just a note I did update the Kickstart and OS previousely and it did say successful, but did no fix the issue.


    I can now work on WHDLoad.


    Thanks again to yourself and Timm


    Cheers from


    Australia


    John

  • Just a note I did update the Kickstart and OS previousely and it did say successful, but did no fix the issue.

    The "flash" Tool used in those archives was never meant to be used outside our premises - it's an engineering tool. And the message "successful" was probably just something that was echo'd in the startup sequence - it doesn't actually do a check on the result code of the flash tool, and even inhibits it's output with the >NIL: argument. So yes, it did take me some time to find out that neither the OS install files archive, nor the one that I've prepared for you actually changed anything in the flash, so I quickly wrote the "unlocker tool", and also had a go at the "DeBricker" tool that prepares the DisMo - that one only worked with an A1200 accelerator, but I did the required changes so it would also work with your 68000-only system (note that our QC process is 2-step, one with, and another without A1200 accelerator, so every single bit of the card is fully tested).


    The "DeBricker" tool just completely wipes the EEPROM of the DisMo, and I wanted to run this on your computer because I wasn't sure if there was "something" left that confuses the menu. After all, the goal was to take you back to the point where you've had success before.


    Even better to hear that you've had success with this. And yes, I'm confident that this will always take you back to the point where you are right now, so I can only encourage you to make the menu update.

  • Hi,

    I have updated the Firmware for the Menu and the Installer to .146 and 1.5

    Updated no issues as did my very 1st Firmware update.


    Did the F1 Auto installer on a 16gb CF card.

    Absolutely no issue at all.

    Now my son and myself can enjoy the ACA


    Regards


    John