Posts by ljmarent

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.

    I programmed the firmware of the C64 reloaded MK2 (that menu thingy that appears on usb port serial so you can change settings) ... For Amiga I mostly did things "in the background", but had my contribution to many of the icomp "flickerfixers/scandoublers" or how you want to call those things ... The 1240/60 was the first time working on 680xx accelerators and now that got rudely interrupted.


    I'll be back.

    Ah... So it's your sticky finger prints on my C64 Reloaded MK2 ? :D

    I also have a 'bunch' of the Indivision ECS V2
    And will certainly buy an ACA1240 when they come on the market...
    I think the ACA1260 will be too "hard-core" for me...I just like my Amiga, I don't feel like selling a kidney for it... :D


    Anyways, good to learn of you and the products you've touched.
    Hope you're on the mend and will make a speedy recovery.


    Les,

    There is only one rule: You can always fit one more panel. You'll save a lot of money and do something for the planet that (not only) my kids want to live on. In the long run, you'll have even more money to spend for retro hardware

    Works the other way here in Canada.
    We get our money from extracting waste oil from the tar sands and sending it by pipe or rail to be refined and ultimately buried in the earths atmosphere. Or digging up uranium ore to keep the home fires burning. Send your kids, we'll take em seal hunting in the winter. :D


    I'm not pressuring you... I'm talking to you...
    I'm telling you the things that 'pain me', the things that I'd be totally into putting my money into, and I'm asking others who have given you money before, the surest sign they might do so again, to voice if they'd be into those same things?
    It is grass roots early adoption.

    Most LEAN businesses, even ones run like a hobby, would give their teeth for active early adopters.


    It's not like I'm running a "go fund me" to hire a tire repair guy in Brussels to pay you a visit if the conversation doesn't go my way' :D

    Have a great day Jens,

    I won't promise anything, but I'm getting closer. With the ACA2000 being planned as "much simpler" than the ACA500plus, the development time will be much shorter than the almost-two-years that I have spent on the ACA500plus.

    Great... since volumes will likely be much lower than ACA500+, can we have a Developers Edition, where we pay double or triple the release versions projected cost, but do so to help offset the development cost, de-risking the project for the developer ?

    Buddha and X-Surf-100 will benefit big time, and I have more tricks I want to try.

    Developer edition would also mean the developer has access to a pool of external use cases for testing ideas before pushing updates to a larger base of users.


    It's not a kickstarter or pre-selling, but it does help cover costs, frees up some capital, provides a base for testing ideas, enables incremental product improvement based on sales, instead of having to rely on the old "If you build it, hopefully they will come"


    I'm sorta curious, how many others would be interested in helping to support development costs on the things they would like to see in your store ?

    If I don't infer too much, who will ?

    And besides, it gives iComp a time and place to set the record straight :)

    Also, I had no idea that there was a Peter, or that he was on sick leave.

    Hope he makes a strong recovery.


    As for ACA2000:

    Compatibility with A500 floppy games is not even a thought for me.
    I'm using WHDLoad on the A500 for the odd game, that's getting the job done.

    But I guess I'm not a video game player, so my priorities may be different from the majority.


    On the A2000 what I really want to use is AMOS, SAS/C, MATLAB, Final Writer, etc..
    Essentially a machine to play with the Amiga productivity software.
    Your 'plan' sounds great for my intended use case.

    If you build it, I absolutely will buy one.

    So... now that we have some '030 accelerator cards again and the '040 and '060 cards are...I assume in the pipe, with their component shortages mostly sorted... ? and the Indivision products are back on the shelf.... (ooh.. I should order an ECS v3 next week)


    Is there time and space now for the ACA2000 ?


    Or... Do I have to buy that silly ribbon cable disaster adapter from some third-world country, that 'sorta' fits in the floppy drive bay and adapts an ACA500+ to 'maybe', 'kinda', 'work' but not really, especially with Zorro II cards ? :)


    I don't want to commit Amigacide, but without an ACA2000 the only path forward is a case full of janky adapters :D

    That's so unfortunate...


    I was just picturing your 'interposer' board for the ACA500 and older ACA accelerator boards, the one which is to get 'soft switching'
    Maybe a nice NERF brand foam rubber 'soft switch' and an oversized cartoonish timing adjustment dial... and thinking to myself ... this would be sweet :) No one else has been brave enough to do this...

    Purple solder mask has gotten easier to get, and a bright orange rubber switch and hot pink dial would be about perfect ... maybe add some white poka-dots on the silk-screen to make that purple board really POP.


    Or you know...green with black chips and drab bleh ... like everyone else.. :D


    I'll have to decorate my ACA1234 when it gets here...

    Is there a big dial that goes to eleven, so when the card gets here and we don't have a Gayle, we can Crank it all the way up ?

    Or are well all suffering latency for that one guy, in a far away land, with a rare A1200 and a rare PCMCIA card collection ? :D

    I don't have a PCMCIA port, so I have to admit, my eyes skimmed right over that part.
    I have been following along in both the English and the German portion of the site.
    I know there was a delay for a specific A1200 board.

    YAY! After saving up like... 6 times... I finally got to buy one :)

    I was starting to burn out on ordering Checkmate cases and Zorro expander boards....
    Heck, I even broke down and started an A2000 to get rid of all the unwanted cash.

    Hopefully in a month or two, we'll have ACA1240 boards to buy :D
    Anyway... YAY! I'm finally broke again...

    Well...if you guys need another month, I suppose I can save up again...
    Assuming you think it'll be a while longer ?

    Working on an A2000 that's pretty needy :)


    Media blasted and black semi-gloss powder coated metal
    Black satin dye for the plastic parts (at the shop now)


    Custom 3D printed PSU:


    Set aside a nice chipset:


    And most of the harder to find bits:


    I'm going to need an ACA2000 pretty soon :)
    Oh and another Micromys V5 and Lyra V3

    Accelerator money burning holes in my pockets again...
    Running out of month....

    Pre-Orders must be well hidden... :D

    Totally agree on the China thing, it's fun explaining you want to pay more, not less, but you have quality requirements.
    Some factories love that, others still don't get it. :)


    Testing is automatic, but I've been in the meetings in North American semiconductor manufacturing. where we eliminate tests to save money...it happens every day... and on a $0.10 chip, I'd just assume there is an inrush current, steady state current and some sort of heart-beat verification and then on to the next chip, as fast a test as possible. And I strongly doubt the presence of AECQ101 lot testing, or any corner lot testing. This is not TSMC its mainland China fab'd.

    I started with a good old probing of the solder joints back to the PS/2 connector, looking for shorts or breaks in the cheap wire.


    For sure this mouse is made in China, like 80%+ of all electronic goods.
    China is the worlds 'preferred' factory and they have the greatest collective manufacturing experience of any nation.
    But we can all pretend, I guess, that only badly made things come from there, if that smoothes over our egos. :)


    It uses the dirt cheap KA2B optical sensor, which complies with the following spec:


    Absolute Max is also 5.5V

    It has a built-in regulator with 3.6V I/O output, so it may not like being voltage starved, like some of iComp's own devices.


    POR is not specific to micro controllers...

    Your FPGA NOR configurator, NAND flash and DRAM all have POR circuitry, as will this optical mouse chip.


    I'll keep digging until I have a believable failure mechanism.
    I'm not confident this mouse is innocent, heck, that optical chip sells for $0.10 in low volumes, so we know how much testing it got and the mouse assembly is about $20, so we know how much testing the whole system got. But that does not mean it's defective, just not vetted, and it can be tested in the field.

    I would, at the very least, like to save others from buying a widely available PS/2 mouse on Amazon,

    if it's going to cause them the very same grief.


    I assume you'd like to save your customers the same.
    So, I'll stay on it for a bit, see if I can root cause it.

    Yeah, sure, wear-out is a thing, but it's three months old, the problem's been there since it was bought new.

    So statistically, lower probability of a wear-out, though still fully possible, bath-tub curve and all that.


    As it still could be a bad wire or contact, I'm testing it on a Windows machine, to see if it is the mouse or the interaction with the Micromys V5 that is the issue.


    I can build a PS/2 connector test jig to test the idea of a wire being disconnected or high resistance at power-up,

    and we should see a similar 'odd' behaviour, though I can't imagine such a mechanism.
    That doesn't mean that all of reality is within the scope of my imagination. Testing is better.


    Right now...I'm thinking:
    Either this mouse is very sensitive to the PS/2 supply voltage requirement of +4.5V <> +5.5V
    It's cord is extra thin, so it may suffer meaningful voltage loss over 30AWG wires and the Amiga's 4.7R internal resistance.
    So maybe it's not POR'ing correctly ?
    Or...

    It 'needs something' at power-on \ initialization that it's not getting from Micromys V5.

    and as a result it's sending back data that makes no sense, or is not synchronizing with the Micromys V5.


    Found someone online talking about the trouble they have had with ensuring that their PS/2 mouse driver is synchronized with their mouse:
    "The trick i found to fix this is to use the fact that byte 0 is supposed to have bit 3 always set. So when i receive a byte that is supposed to be #0 with bit 3 cleared, i simply discard it and assume byte 0 will come next. As long as you're on synch, this is completely transparent, and when the mouse comes out of synch, only a few events are sufficient to restore synchronization (especially fast with steady clicks)"


    Not aware of what Micromys V5 does to detect and correct out of sync condition, or if it uses PS/2 mouse streaming or a different mode of operation.

    Good news,


    I ordered a couple alternative PS/2 mice from Amazon.


    For the last couple days, I've been using a:
    Make: Perixx
    PERIMICE-209
    Part: M-868


    So far, I've not seen the 'odd' mouse behaviour...which is great as that was getting frustrating :(
    I'm going to try the Adesso PS/2 mouse on an older Windows machine over a week, and see if I can get it to behave 'odd' at start-up. I feel obliged to help narrow down if this is simply a defective mouse or possibly a Micromys V5 compatibility issue with that mouse at startup.

    and while you're at disassembling anyway, why don't you launch the system without the case, just with a normal A500 PSU

    "I've completed a full tear-down and reassembly"

    Umm...it's all back together again...and funny...did the 'odd' mouse thing described above on first boot :)


    I'm away house shopping today, but "I'll be back"


    How about this?
    I have the first A500 board, the one where I first saw the issue...
    I can stuff it back in it's ugly old plastic coffin, with a second Indivision ECS V2 and a second ACE2b.
    Alas...I don't have a second ACA500+ ... so I'll move this ACA500+ and this Micromys over and whip out my decrepit Amiga power brick.


    Having already seen this behaviour with the Micromys on that board, using the described setup, I'm reasonably confident "the walk" won't be for nothing, as the odd behaviour is sure to show up...


    For a couple of months, this system ran on my desk like this; while I waited for the CM1500 case to show up...


    Powered by the stock power supply...
    And I never said a word about the mouse, because, who's gonna show a picture of a system running like that and say "Help me Obi-Wan"


    I'd point out that the ACA500+, ACE2b and Indivision ECS V2 have been 'otherwise happy' to live in the case and consume the power that I've provided them...old A500 plastic box, logic board screwed into an A500 bottom shield, new CM1500 case, old Commodore PSU, new PSU made by me, they all worked the same. Having looked at the support history of all the iComp designed contraptions involved here, the Micromys does not seem like it should be anywhere near the 'weakest link'. There are so many other iComp contraptions in this setup that are sensitive to power, shielding, grounding, that they would likely be going haywire, if there was such a problem.

    "Fault Isolation" is indeed a good diagnostic practice, but it can also lead to reduction to the absurd if you let it.


    I'm going to get a couple other PS/2 mice and start there, because I think that really would be the simplest thing first.
    If it turns out it's the mouse, my best guess is it's protocol related, I'll send it to you, so you can see what it does differently, and maybe increase Micromys compatibility with what's available on the market...which isn't a whole lot these days.

    If the problem continues with other mice, then I'll proceed with the second A500 in a plastic box as outlined above.

    Chat you in a couple days :)

    I'd like to see the grounding/shielding efforts before I do any more support work here.

    Okay, totally willing to help on my end.
    I've completed a full tear-down and reassembly taking a hundred or so photos of areas of interest.


    Your request is 'open ended', there is no way for me to definitively answer, but I'll do my best by showing some of the grounding and shielding and if there is a more specific aspect you'd like to see, I will change focus to that.


    Edited, factory lower shield


    Factory insulator


    Board-in connector shield screws


    Star-Topology grounds wires connecting A500 Logic Board and Indivision ECS V2 to the ground at system power entry.


    forum.icomp.de/core/index.php?attachment/2384/

    Mouse being used is Adesso HC-3003PS, just in case "that's a thing"
    I mean ... I suppose the mouse itself could wake up on the wrong side of the PS\2 bed and something goes wrong there..

    Unfortunately, I only have one PS\2 mouse....
    {adds second PS\2 mouse to shopping list}