Posts by Jens

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    I was thinking just to put the indivision in the other amiga and flash it there. whouldn't this work?

    That would be a temporary solution, of course. However, if flashing the unit does not work in an A600, we *MUST* do something about it. I cannot expect everyone to have two Amigas and move hardware back and forth between them.

    It may be a good idea to wait those 8 more days. Since the command line tool that's executed on the rescue disk also supports output on the serial port, we may be able to debug this "remote". Her's hope that you have a nullmodem cable and the possibility to operate two Amigas at the same time!

    The address is divided into company name (can be left empty) and your personal name - I guess that's not a big deal.


    Street and number are separated into two fields, because too many (mainly German) customers forgot to enter the house number. If your address does not use a house number, just enter "-" there.


    PayPal does check the "state" field of the address in order to verify if a credit card payment is legit. I understand that it is unusual for many countries to write the state into the address, but the shop system cannot make a difference in terms of "fields to be completed" between countrie, so just enter whatever feels correct if it's not the use to add a state to the address in your country.


    Last not least, please verify if your credit card is good for international use. Sometimes PayPal rejects a payment because a safety feature has been activated for a certain credit card. You'll have to call your bank in such a case.

    I guess it's best to start at the beginning: How we came up with the idea, and what the original goal was:


    Some time in january or february 2006, I visited Peter in Eindhoven and - as you'd expect when two nerds meet - we had a really great time. Since I had about 90-minute drive home. I planned to leave just late enough to miss the afternoon rush hour, but be home soon enough not to mess up my sleep schedule.


    While leaving, we talked about how a C64 could be connected to a VGA monitor, because companies were starting to give them away (it was the dawn of flat screens!). The idea of "VGA64" was literally born on Peter's doorstep - out in the cold. The talk was: Can we read enough information from the C64's expansion bus to re-create the picture that the VIC chip generates? Since all data that the VIC chip reads passes by on the expansion bus, the general answer would be "yes".


    Years later, when I demonstrated the first prototype, I described it as: If you walk after someone in the super market and take note of what he/she is putting into the cart, you get a pretty good idea what kind of dinner the person will cook. Transferred to the C64: If you see what data is being fetched at what time by the VIC chip, you have enough information to make the same picture of that data as the the original chip does. Put this information into a frame buffer and output it at higher speed - done!


    Back to Peter's doorstep, we discussed the only big problem: If register-writes to the VIC chip happen ($d000 and up), we don't know if they are meant for the VIC chip, because the contents of processor register $01 are not known externally. So we agreed that it's necessary to not just re-implement the VIC chip, but also the CPU on such an external cartridge, because we agreed that it could only be a "product" if it can work without opening the computer. Both chips would run in parallel to the internal chips, and they'd re-sync themselves whenever they detect (from the data passing by on the expansion port) that they run out of sync.


    Once you start working with FPGAs, feature-creep steps in: If you are implementing a CPU, why not clock it faster? If you occupy the expansion port (and know how instable expansion port extenders are), you need to put everything into that new cartridge that will be pushed aside by the new cartridge: A Freezer, fast loader, maybe flash-card reader (MMC64 was on the market for about a year already, and the pass-through expansion port was only working with selected cartridges, so the idea of a pass-through was dropped very early).


    This is the really short version of what we talked about on that evening. We really kept talking for several hours - me stepping from one foot to the other in the snow, and Peter probably freezing because he had no jacket on. I did meet the goal of missing the evening rush hour, but I really messed up my sleep schedule :-)

    The ACA500plus is a very successful product - no matter what review I am forwarded, people say that the feature set is great as-is, and my initial strategy to unify the "accelerator port" using the A1200 connector is als taken very positive.


    In other words: No matter what accelerator I develop next, it'll be compatible with the ACA500plus and the A1200 at the same time. No need to change the ACA500plus itself - it's a great (re-)entry basis for the "hobby Amiga".

    So I am thinking about ordering one more Turbo Chameleon 64 V2 because I think it's so awesome.

    That's great to hear - thanks.


    So this time I am guaranteed that the buttons will work properly and not need modification, based on post #5 by Jens?

    Yes, you will most likely see the difference on the added clearance between buttons and case. Then again - I need my reading glasses to really see that gap :-)

    The IR eye does see 36kHz and 38kHz signals, but that's not the point - the "instant" reaction that you experience with the CDTV remote is a result of the whole process NOT being worked on by a CPU, but by pure hardware. It's not as simple as "exchanging a code table", but compiling a new core with new features.


    The CDTV remote control does have some very nice properties, such as four distinct bits for the four directions of the arrow-cross, which makes it ideal for gaming. Many other remotes have a severe limitation, and that's "only a single button at a time". Also, the protocol allows for (fairly) easy translation into make (press) and break (release) events, which is yet another requirement for gaming. Many remotes just transfer "key is pressed", but the information "key is released" remains a secret.


    So please accept that the CDTV remote is a *very* lucky coincidence for the Chameleon. It will be *very* hard to make that any better :-)

    Is this plastic less prone to cracking ?

    PC is really hard to break - take an old CD and bend it over - you'll need lots of force to really break it (caution: wear glasses and gloves!). Then again, nothing is really indestructable. On the other hand, ABS is only good while there's enough flexibilizer in it. Such flexibilizers evaporate over the years, which is the prime cause of ABS to age and get brittle. PC does not need that, as flexibility and precision of dimensions over a wide temperature range are a property of the base material, and not a material compound of plastic+softener.


    Also, these flexibilizers are said to be confused with hormons by the human body, leading to hard-to-diagnose medical conditions (which is the reason why I prefer drinking water from glass containers).

    Yep. I found it easier to handle after I had loosened the threads a little as well. Maybe it's just the plastic that is a big harder on this case so that the screw really digs into it.

    The plastic of the Chameleon case is PC (polycarbonate). That's the same plastic as used for making CDs and car headlights. It is made from Makrolon granulate, which is confirmed to be made without Chlorine. PC is even food safe.


    PC is much more sturdy than ABS, which is the cheapest plastic kind out there. The huge drawback of ABS is that there's lots of chlorine waste involved in producing the granulate (source: a customer who works for Greenpeace told me about 15 years ago). I'd rather pay a slightly higher price and have two advantages - and I gladly take the screw sitting a bit tight over a case that gets brittle after a few years of use.

    I've only bought two SD->CF adapters, one with a single slot and another with two slots. Both work. I just chose a cheap brand off ebay.


    Please make sure not to insert too-large SD cards, as they will require SDXC commands to be used, which the adapter may not support (compared to SDHC, the new SDXC commands are fairly new).


    Further, if you want to use the card to transfer data from a PC, a very large card will make a Windows machine format the card with ExFAT insteat of FAT32, which the Amiga does not support. You can still format a card with FAT and a larger block size, so the Amiga supports it - there are GUI-based tools and commandline recommendataions (look for "FAT32 formatter").


    So it may not be the adapter, but the card size you're attempting to use.

    The Chameleon does have an independent frame buffer, but no independent pixel clock for the output. So while adding the reolutions looks very doable, the resulting H/V frequencies may be so non-standard that only old multisync CRTs may be able to make use of these "new" screenmodes. This may cause a lot of confusion with non-technical users, resulting in lots of support work for us here in the forum...

    AGA does require more FPGA space, and I'm not sure if that fits the Chameleon. So for the moment, I don't want to promise more than what we have for the V1 hardware, and that's ECS with a turbo-CPU option and a lot of memory.

    Thanks for the hint - it's always a manual thing to change the price and allow stock to be sold through the shop system, and I missed this one. Available now.