Problems with Bigram A2630

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  • My package arrived today thanks! ACE2 and Bhudda both work like charm, but I'm having some difficulty with the bigram expansion for the A2630.


    When I plug the memory in the computer won't power on. The power light flashes a number of times then the screen shows a software error (guru style). I tried closing the jumper and then computer boots fine, but no extra memory. After reading this thread: http://tinyurl.com/y364yjqu at EAB, I tried removing the FPU and then booted fine with the memory (yay).


    So this looks positive but still has some issues (eg no FPU of course). I tried adding my A2091 to the mix (leftmost Zorro slot) and it booted but the screen is periodically going black then flicking back on. Also the A2091 has dropped in speed from 1.5MB/s to about 90k/s


    After working a couple of times I'm now back to it erroring straight away, even without the FPU. The error shown is "Software failure. Error: 8000 0003 Task: 0020220C"


    My Specs:

    - Amiga 2000 rev6 with ACE2 and kickstart rom 3.1.4

    - A2630 rev9 with v7 roms 030 & 882 @25Mhz


    Also available but not yet installed:

    - A2091 v6 roms

    - Bhudda Flash 20yr ann edition

    - Picasso II

    - X-Surf

    - X-Surf 100 with rapidroad

    - Aeon Megamix


    Any ideas for what I should try next?


    Thanks

  • The A2091 is a DMA-controller, so you need to keep all 24-bit memory free of the 32-bit expansion, namely, you need to switch off $c0 memory. I'd then install the Guru ROM, which will handle non-DMA memory a lot faster.


    Long-term, I'd remove the 2091 for good, as the Buddha controller will let you use more modern mass-storage devices.


    Removing the FPU and not getting Gurus any more points to your 2630 being equipped with 4M. If 2MB of that memory is in sockets, please also remove those, as that will reduce pin capacity even more.


    Power is also a serious source of problems for the BigRam2630, as it uses an analogue PLL. Remove anything from the system that draws power, but isn't required for operating the system. I see two networking cards, where the 10MBit version of the X-Surf can surely go. This may already reduce ripple on the 5V rail enough to make your system stable.

  • Thanks Jens. Yes the A2630 has 4MB of ram. Does turning this off with the jumper reduce power use, or do I need to physically remove the chips? And will doing this allow me to connect up the FPU again? If I have to choose between the two I will go with the BigRam, but a pity to lose the FPU. Does this point to an issue on my MB that power is an issue or is it just a limit with the BigRam?


    I suspected you were going to suggest ditching the A2091. You're right it's not really needed, but I like to play with SCSI too. No problem though. I've hooked up the Buddha and have it working nicely with a CF card adapter, and this performs well. I am having a little difficulty with connecting a CDROM which I can post to the Buddha forum but thought I would start here in case it's related. When I plug in the CDROM set as master on the other IDE port the machine doesn't see the CF card and goes to the insert disk screen instead. I've tried swapping them around and get the same result. The only success I've had is using the CDROM as slave on the same IDE port as the CF card, but it seems silly not to have them on separate ports when there are two available. Is there a trick to this and is there a recommendation about which port is used for which device?


    The other cards are yet to be plugged in, and yes if I can get the X-surf 100 working then I'll not use the original X-surf.


    No questions about the ACE2... it just works :)


    Thanks

    Steve

  • Yes the A2630 has 4MB of ram. Does turning this off with the jumper reduce power use, or do I need to physically remove the chips?

    Just switching that RAM off does not help - the pin capacity is still there and slows down the whole data bus. I'd start by removing 2MB of those 4MB.


    And will doing this allow me to connect up the FPU again?

    It's worth a try, as the FPU adds less pin capacity than the RAMs.


    Does this point to an issue on my MB that power is an issue or is it just a limit with the BigRam?

    I doubt that you have a "not enough power"-issue, but a power quality issue: Power supply ripple *may* be causing the PLL to drift a bit too far. Since we have a number of customers that have solved their problems with the BigRam2630 by using a different power supply, this may also be the cause for you.


    The only success I've had is using the CDROM as slave on the same IDE port as the CF card, but it seems silly not to have them on separate ports when there are two available. Is there a trick to this and is there a recommendation about which port is used for which device?

    This sounds like a typical case of "drive vendor only tested typical configuration" - I have a number of CD drives that only work properly as slave, because that was the typical configuration in PCs back in the days. Large PC vendors only wanted to buy a single cable, so they configured their machines with a harddrive and a CD drive only. And they bought from the best bidder - these are typically the ones who only test a minimum feature set.


    I'm aftraid that you just have no other chance than using a single port. There is no performance drawback - the two IDE ports use the same Zorro bus anyway.

  • Thanks for the response again. I really appreciate your help. I'll have a look at removing the ram over the weekend, and see if that allows me to plug the FPU back in. In the meantime it seems to be fairly stable with the ram and no FPU.


    Odd about the drive, as it was previously working as Master with the IDE controller on the original X-Surf. Good to know that there's no performance penalty though.


    Is there any order I should be using the IDE ports? eg is one a higher priority than the other?