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General Category => Amstrad CPC hardware => Topic started by: buzby on 15:07, 14 January 13

Title: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 15:07, 14 January 13
hi i was just wondering for those of you who have had a symbiface 2 this time around was there any software i.e symbos installed on the board already.


i am just asking as when i received a email of prodatron he enclosed pdf instructions and it said in there that the sf2 comes with symbos installed, the reason i ask is i have had trouble getting mine to work i.e power supply problems and i still just have the amsdos screen when i switch on my 6128


i know i could try installing symbos but the computer room is upside down and i have to keep getting the cpc out of boxes and setting everything up and then dismantling again


so really im been lazy and though i would ask so i know when i get set up again


cheers


buzby
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 22:48, 14 January 13
Without a CPC setup you can't use the SF2 anyway. It's not standalone.
 
From memory: You need a power supply between 7 and 11 Volts, and with added IDE hard-disc it should have 2.5 to 3 Ampere.
 
You can download my ROManager for the SF2 to check if the ROM writing works. (Link under FutureOS - The revolutionary UltraOS for the CPC6128 and CPCPlus (http://www.futureos.de) links section).
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 23:57, 14 January 13
Yes, I had exactly the same problem and I think it turned out to be the ground wasn't properly connected/duff on the power supply in the other thread and it was drawing power from the CPC. I also pushed down on the socketed connections at the same time to make sure they hadn't come lose. If you re using the same power supply I've enclosed a picture of mine to show which ground I used in the end. If not, feel free to ignore me :)

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I take it you also made sure you haven't disabled the ROM with the switches and the jumper?


Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 00:00, 15 January 13
Without a CPC setup you can't use the SF2 anyway. It's not standalone.
 
From memory: You need a power supply between 7 and 11 Volts, and with added IDE hard-disc it should have 2.5 to 3 Ampere.
 
You can download my ROManager for the SF2 to check if the ROM writing works. (Link under FutureOS - The revolutionary UltraOS for the CPC6128 and CPCPlus (http://www.futureos.de) links section).


hi tfm


thanks for the reply, i dont know if i explained myself clearly i know it cant be used as a standalone but what i was wondering has the sf2 got symbos already installed because the manual i had sent to me said they come with a copy of symbos pre installed


so i thought i would ask if anyone who has had one this time has had to install the symbos or was it already installed


i was just quickly trying to see if it worked and when ive connected it up alls i have is the amsdos screen  i have power connected to it


Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 00:09, 15 January 13
Yes, I had exactly the same problem and I think it turned out to be the ground wasn't properly connected/duff on the power supply in the other thread and it was drawing power from the CPC. I also pushed down on the socketed connections at the same time to make sure they hadn't come lose. If you re using the same power supply I've enclosed a picture of mine to show which ground I used in the end. If not, feel free to ignore me :)

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I take it you also made sure you haven't disabled the ROM with the switches and the jumper?


hi beaker


i am using the  power supply that bryce recomended, i have tested the power supply with a meter and by using the ground on the adapter and then i got 5v red wire and 12v yellow, i have also pushed down all the connections


i havent touched know jumpers in fact on the board there are no jumpers on any of the pins if you get what im saying also all the switches where of when i tryed it and so i turned them all on and still nothing but i notice you have 1 and 8 switched on so i will try that


also when the board was connected up i put the meter on top of the connector and i read 3v not 12v ?

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 00:54, 15 January 13
Hi Buzby, sorry, got you. Yes symbos should be installed.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 01:03, 15 January 13
Urgh, now mine's not working either after I plugged it back in. Crappy power supply!!!

Edit: OK mine is now working again after I unplugged everything, unscrewed and re-screwed the leads back in. I think we have the same power supply New USB 2.0 to IDE SATA 2.5 3.5 Hard Drive Converter Cable #894541 UK | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150950642890) and all I can say is I think mine is sh!t temperamental and probably the cause of most of my woes unfortunately... I just shoved a meter on mine and it's reading 9.8-9.9. .

Here's some photos - the power LED should be bright green

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 01:19, 15 January 13
looks like were all having problems then beaker


so if there isnt the correct voltage there am i write in saying that symbos wont show on the amsdos screen ?


also what dip switches need to be turned on please


is there an idiot guide to this piece of hardware


i think ill have to order anothe power supply or look for something more stable any ideas people


i just hope there isnt a problem with the board

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 01:23, 15 January 13
Hi Buzby, sorry, got you. Yes symbos should be installed.


what power supply do you use TFM ?


also is there an idiot guide to this i.e what dip switches should be turned on etc to get symbos up if you get me


i cant seem to get it work unless the power supply is no good but earlier it was reading 5v 12v mmmmmm
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 01:33, 15 January 13
Sorry missed the updates and edited my previous post. Mine's working. Just to confirm, is that the same power supply?

Connector is lasting well too  :laugh:
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 01:42, 15 January 13
yes we have the same power supply maybe mine is well you know broke lol


what switches should be on  when i first kick it up


i wouldnt say its as bright as your led




Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 01:56, 15 January 13
Yeah, it definitely sounds like it's not getting enough juice.

This is it with the DIP switches on except 0 and 7 so it won't interfere with the 6128 (bearing in mind I put a few ROM images on there):

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All off but the jumper not bridged

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In both instances SymbOS is present. I guess just try unwiring and unplugging the thing then rewire - unscientific but it seemed to work for me. Failing that maybe try a different power supply. And if you find a good one - let me know :)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 02:14, 15 January 13
thanks beaker


i have a really bright light now but a black screen but then if i mess about with the ide cable the screen flickers and the led goes dull but still no symbos


have i got to put a jumper on some where on the board



Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 02:31, 15 January 13
No, the jumper on J2(?) just stops all the ROMs being loaded (fortunately after I loaded a corrupt ROM image on so was able to remove it that way).

Yeah, when I first hooked mine up I was getting a black screen when it wasn't getting enough power and would boot normally when I removed the cable.

This is probably getting a bit beyond my limited expertise (if you could call it that  :) ) but assuming the cable is in the right way up (see earlier picture) I guess the only other thing to rule out is dirt on the edge connector? Have you tried cleaning it with cotton buds and rubbing alcohol? I think beyond that it's probably better for someone who understands this stuff better like Bryce to give you better advice  :D
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 03:05, 15 January 13
No, the jumper on J2(?) just stops all the ROMs being loaded (fortunately after I loaded a corrupt ROM image on so was able to remove it that way).

Yeah, when I first hooked mine up I was getting a black screen when it wasn't getting enough power and would boot normally when I removed the cable.

This is probably getting a bit beyond my limited expertise (if you could call it that  :) ) but assuming the cable is in the right way up (see earlier picture) I guess the only other thing to rule out is dirt on the edge connector? Have you tried cleaning it with cotton buds and rubbing alcohol? I think beyond that it's probably better for someone who understands this stuff better like Bryce to give you better advice  :D


thanks for all your advise mate it has helped alot. ref the cable i have it exactly as it is on your board, on the cpc side of things looking from the front does cable with the red lead (is this pin 1) does it have to be to the right or to the left ? ie twisting the cable


but i do think it maybe the supply as i have just put the meter on it again and im getting 1v instead of 5v and 2v instead of 12v earlier i was fine and now its ticking again, i think i may have a bomb lolif


could you just advise on the cable please that would be great and i will let you know when i get it up and running and a good source of supply


cheers
b
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Joss on 09:14, 15 January 13

Hi.


@beaker: My experience with SFII is very short. I received it for a couple of weeks. I was having the same problems as you: it works, it does not work, CPC shows blue screen or nothing, just starting. Only every third or fourth time it worked properly, showing the SymbOS line by start screen. Between every test I switch everything off and check all connections: PSU for SFII, and cable to CPC, no IDE driver was connected at all, just check of the start screen. It happens I have Amstrad and Schneider, which use Centronics connector instead of an edge connector. Same SFII, same PSU, and with the Schneider and Centronics connector it works every time.


I think the connection between the edge connector and PCB on Amstrad CPC is not very good, because I checked for continuity every pin in the edge connector and the cable is o.k. It helps switching everything off and moving it a little. OR it is the ground connection, as you point, but with the CPC which happens to be better with the centronics: it has all around it, and in the edge connector is only one pin .....


@buzby: Perhaps you have the same issue, but you should check your PSU first. It could be not working properly if you didn't use it for a long time.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 12:56, 15 January 13
thanks for all your advise mate it has helped alot. ref the cable i have it exactly as it is on your board, on the cpc side of things looking from the front does cable with the red lead (is this pin 1) does it have to be to the right or to the left ? ie twisting the cable

Hi Buzby, regarding the cable, mine is twisted with pin 1 on the left as you look at the CPC from the front. I based mine on pictures on the image in this link from Prodatrons website (http://www.symbos.de/gfx/sf2/symbiface3.jpg (http://www.symbos.de/gfx/sf2/symbiface3.jpg)) and confirmed with him as well to be sure :)

My power supply doesn't tick but it does gets very hot, I am just waiting for mine to catch fire  :)

@Joss, good to know, I haven't tried mine yet with my 6128+ with the centronics connector, I'll have to dig out the machine and give it a go.  :)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 14:13, 15 January 13
I think the connection between the edge connector and PCB on Amstrad CPC is not very good, because I checked for continuity every pin in the edge connector and the cable is o.k. It helps switching everything off and moving it a little. OR it is the ground connection, as you point, but with the CPC which happens to be better with the centronics: it has all around it, and in the edge connector is only one pin .....

The Centronics connector generally gives a better connection because of how it's designed, but it DOESN'T use the shield as a Ground. Both the Centronics and Edge connector have 2 ground pins (Pins 2 and 49 of the normal 50 pins), nothing else.

Sorry to hear some of you are having problems with the power supply, maybe it's a different version to mine. I've never had any issues with it, even using it on things that needed more power than an SF2 should. What power rating is written on the supply?

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 14:38, 15 January 13
I took another picture  :)
Wow wish I'd looked at that before. So it IS only grounded on pin 3....  :)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 15:02, 15 January 13
Ok, that might explain some of the issues. It maxes at 2A on the 12V rail. so the SF2 is probably only getting 1.5A at most. TFM said the SF2 needs 2.5A. This seems extremely high considering the components on the board, but I have never calculated or measured it, so maybe it does.
For comparison, the MegaFlash uses around 90mA when reading, 120mA when writing and less than 60mA when idle. Which is why it doesn't need any extra power supply. So 2.5A (more than 20 times higher than the MegaFlash) seems like a lot.

My "Cheap and Nasty" power supply is rated at 3A on both 12V and 5V, so it's obviously a different supply.

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 15:09, 15 January 13
Nuts  :( Even with it appearing to work for the moment, would it be pulling the difference from the CPC and damaging it?
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 15:22, 15 January 13
Just looked and I bought it from the British supplier rather than the one in Hong Kong you suggested USB 2.0 auf IDE SATA 2,5 3,5 Festplatte Konverter Kabel | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190684825235). Just wondering if it's worth trying my luck with that one or strip my old Pentium 4 PC with duff motherboard up in the loft for its power supply?

Emailed them to see if it's rated at 3A - see if they get back to me :)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 15:46, 15 January 13
Unless you can definitely see from the auction, that it's a stronger supply I wouldn't take the chance. You might just be better using a supply that can give you all the current you need.

Even if it's pulling current from the CPC, this wouldn't damage it, it would just cause the CPC not to boot (depending on how strong the CPC supply is).

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 15:59, 15 January 13
Phew :) My CPC PSU is rated at 5V 2.5A but is also used to power the HxC. and I have another one rated at 12V 1A for the drive.
I guess I may be pushing it by adding the CF adapter  :D
I've emailed the seller but I've not had much luck receiving items from the Far East even if I do get a reply.

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Joss on 21:30, 15 January 13
The Centronics connector generally gives a better connection because of how it's designed, but it DOESN'T use the shield as a Ground. Both the Centronics and Edge connector have 2 ground pins (Pins 2 and 49 of the normal 50 pins), nothing else.


ok. I was thinking about it today, I was not sure. Thanks for clarify :-)


To test SF2 I was using a PSU for the SFII and another one for the IDE harddisk. The PSU for the SFII did not show any current because it can show 1 A and upper but not lower ....


I think you can try without any IDE device. It should show the SymbOS ROM information at the start screen ( I think .... I may be wrong ?:-/ .... ). And than switch off and on a couple of times to see if you get problems by start (just with a couple of second pause, to avoid unwanted transition states ....)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 21:31, 15 January 13
Taking power from the CPCs power supply is the worst you could do! Even if some producers use that idea, it still stays an stupid idea. The CPCs power supply is made for the CPC and to drive the busses. But not for anything else. In the worst case you force your monitor to activate the circuit breaker.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 22:21, 15 January 13
Well that doesn't sound so bad, although I may be thinking of a different type of circuit breaker  ;)

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 00:23, 16 January 13
Taking power from the CPCs power supply is the worst you could do! Even if some producers use that idea, it still stays an stupid idea. The CPCs power supply is made for the CPC and to drive the busses. But not for anything else. In the worst case you force your monitor to activate the circuit breaker.

The CPCs power supply was made with lots of overhead, otherwse it would be pointless having an expansion port or a 5V pin on it. The CPC PSU has about 700mA to spare, which is intended to power RAM / ROM expansions etc. You only have problems if you attach something that needs more.

The 5V line through the CPC, ie: from the 5V input to the expansion port, is more or less a direct link with nothing inline and it's dimensioned to easily take 3A. So pulling a little bit too much power from the expansion port won't damage the CPC, just the power supply, unless you go way above 3A (short circuit) at which time you'll start burning tracks off the PCB.

The monitor has two levels of protection. The voltage regulator has a temperature cut-off switch which shuts down the 5V supply if it gets too hot. This protects against prolonged currents at the limit. For sudden short circuits there's a fuse which quickly blows before the circuitry has time to get hot.

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 01:30, 16 January 13
The CPCs power supply was made with lots of overhead, otherwse it would be pointless having an expansion port or a 5V pin on it. The CPC PSU has about 700mA to spare, which is intended to power RAM / ROM expansions etc. You only have problems if you attach something that needs more.

The 5V line through the CPC, ie: from the 5V input to the expansion port, is more or less a direct link with nothing inline and it's dimensioned to easily take 3A. So pulling a little bit too much power from the expansion port won't damage the CPC, just the power supply, unless you go way above 3A (short circuit) at which time you'll start burning tracks off the PCB.

The monitor has two levels of protection. The voltage regulator has a temperature cut-off switch which shuts down the 5V supply if it gets too hot. This protects against prolonged currents at the limit. For sudden short circuits there's a fuse which quickly blows before the circuitry has time to get hot.

Bryce.


@bryce looking again at the power supply issue because this is makng my head hurt lol :o  is there anyway for those of us who still own a MP1 or MP2  that there could be a conversion or something like to take ground and 12v of the MP1 or MP2 to power up the SF2 or for that matter any other piece of hardware that needs the same supply.


my power supply said 12v 2.5a 5v 2.5a but it is now in the bin as some times i gave the correct reading and the light on the power pack was bright then other time the light went from bright to dull and was clicking, this also gave a low reading as low as 3v on the 12v and 1v on the 5v  :(


so could have a look at the mp1 or mp2 please


buzby
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 14:23, 16 January 13
The 12V on the MP2 was shit, I doubt it would supply enough current.

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Cholo on 22:11, 16 January 13
I highly recommend getting a real pc psu to do the powering, not that im qualified to talk about correct powering like Bryce, but using the symbiface 2 it became obvious that it was the only practical thing as well. Having to power the board+mouse is one thing .. but youll probably also need to power 2 hdd's (or hdd SD adapters) and while you are there you can power a 3,5" drive as well.

Using a real pc power supply: PSU's is indeed a bit clever and checks if a motherboard is present before turning on. So to use one youll need to fake having a motherboard connected .. aka connect the green "ps on" wire with one of the black "ground" cables (i used a paperclip) to emulate the presence of a motherboard. Using a real psu (i tried both 20 and 24 pin ATX) really gave nice stable performance.

On the ribbon cable: confused me a bit the first time i used it. Might indeed need replugging at the part that goes into your 6128 (edge connector) as it dosnt always align nicely. Nice to know that the cable is basicly like any other cable (aka you can replace it with the ribbon from a Megaflash or similar device using that kinda ribbon).

The previous batch of SF2 (about 2008-2009?) did indeed come with SymbOS roms (and a couple of others roms) pre-installed. So better not try to launch the 1MB ram disc version of SymbOS (as half the ram has been loaded with roms).
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 22:25, 16 January 13
First batch 2005 btw. And... don't mix things up. The ROMs are NOT in RAM, ROM and RAM are separated.


About CPCs psu...
Well, I don't want a flame war here, but I really highly recommend not to use 3A on the expansion port. Except you want problems.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Cholo on 23:07, 16 January 13
.. The ROMs are NOT in RAM, ROM and RAM are separated..

Donno what is what in exact hardware terms, but Symbos comes in a "normal" 512kb ram version and a 1MB ram version where the 512kb "rom" is used as "ram". As the "rom" is rewritable id advice not to run the 1MB version of the software as it could possibly overwrite the "roms".

Quote
  • 512KB Ram extension, which is fully compatible to the CPC 6128 and the dk'tronics ram extension
  • 512KB rewriteable Rom. You can upload up to 32 Roms, which of course are persistant. You can also use the Rom space as an additional Ram extension. Roms can be switched on or off via switches or via software.
http://www.symbos.de/sf2.htm (http://www.symbos.de/sf2.htm)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 23:11, 16 January 13
Sorry, you mix things up here. The 1 MB Symbos verson is made for RAM expansions of 1 MB or more (the SF2 only has 512 KB), examples are the 2 MB expansion of RAM7 and the 4 MB expansion of Jarek.
 
I got Jareks 4 MB expansion and Symbos 1 MB version installed in Flash ROM, but I never managed it to get it running.
 
Don't confuse ROM and RAM here.
 
 
Yes, the Pseudo-ROMs of the SF2 can be used like RAM (because they are RAM!), but no software does use that feature up to now.
 
Symbos in ROM get loaded from ROM into RAM and runs in RAM. The ROM version uses the ROM instead of a disc, as source to be booted from. It does not run INSIDE ROM like for example MAXAM does.
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 23:52, 16 January 13
I highly recommend getting a real pc psu to do the powering, not that im qualified to talk about correct powering like Bryce, but using the symbiface 2 it became obvious that it was the only practical thing as well. Having to power the board+mouse is one thing .. but youll probably also need to power 2 hdd's (or hdd SD adapters) and while you are there you can power a 3,5" drive as well.

Using a real pc power supply: PSU's is indeed a bit clever and checks if a motherboard is present before turning on. So to use one youll need to fake having a motherboard connected .. aka connect the green "ps on" wire with one of the black "ground" cables (i used a paperclip) to emulate the presence of a motherboard. Using a real psu (i tried both 20 and 24 pin ATX) really gave nice stable performance.

On the ribbon cable: confused me a bit the first time i used it. Might indeed need replugging at the part that goes into your 6128 (edge connector) as it dosnt always align nicely. Nice to know that the cable is basicly like any other cable (aka you can replace it with the ribbon from a Megaflash or similar device using that kinda ribbon).

The previous batch of SF2 (about 2008-2009?) did indeed come with SymbOS roms (and a couple of others roms) pre-installed. So better not try to launch the 1MB ram disc version of SymbOS (as half the ram has been loaded with roms).


@cholo so are you using a pc power supply on your symbiface 2 etc
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 23:59, 16 January 13
Just an update, I got a reply back from the ebay seller in the link I re-posted a little earlier for the power supply and it's only "1.5-2A for this item".
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 00:04, 17 January 13
@beaker i think i am going to go with using a pc power supply, i checked with bryce if i would be ok to use a atx power supply and he said that should be fine, i think that is the way to go for us who are having problem


i belive cholo is using a pc power supply as per his above thread

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: beaker on 00:12, 17 January 13
Seems like a good idea  :D
Cholo, do you run everything from the PC PSU or is it possible/feasible to run everything from the PC power supply: the CPC, HxC and Symbiface 2 or Bryce's mouse adapter depending on what I have plugged in at the time? At the moment I have three cables, one for the Symbiface and 2 for the CPC. If it could run everything and I could use it on my 6128 and my 6128+ that would be cool  ;D
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 03:34, 17 January 13
SF2? Go for a 2.5A please :)  (Experiences from some Germans in German forum...)
Oh, and 5V is a bit less btw.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 03:47, 17 January 13
my power pack was 12v 5v 2.5 amp and i still havent got it working, its just frustrating when you have spent £125 GBP and you cant get something to work


Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 03:48, 17 January 13
The 12 V and 2.5 A should get it working IMHO.
Try to disconnect the hard-disc and see if the mouse works / or the ROM management.
(You aren't using a Plus, are you?)
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 03:50, 17 January 13
@tfm would a pc power supply be running at 3amp then ? also going on what people have been saying for example they have a 2amp supply and the board has been getting 1.5amp so if you had 3amp then going on that it would be 2.5amp
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: buzby on 03:52, 17 January 13
The 12 V and 2.5 A should get it working IMHO.
Try to disconnect the hard-disc and see if the mouse works / or the ROM management.
(You aren't using a Plus, are you?)


 i have a standard 6128 and i havent a hard disc connected at the minute, tried to contact prodatron on here and also private email but no answer

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 11:53, 17 January 13
About CPCs psu...
Well, I don't want a flame war here, but I really highly recommend not to use 3A on the expansion port. Except you want problems.

What's the issue with using 3A on the expansion port? Or do you mean "trying to pull 3A out of the CPC expansion port".
A typical 400W ATX power supply can deliver at least 25A on the 12V or 5V rail, so you've more than enought power there.

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Cholo on 20:30, 17 January 13
Its been a couple of years since ive had the SF2 up and running (put into storage). Initially i tested just the SF2 itself by borrowing the HDD-enclosure adapter (at bit like the ones you are using now i guess) that i normally used to power a 3,5" drive. Of cause more wants more .. so ended up dragging a whole spare pc over to the 6128 to make it power the Sf2+Hdd+SD-HDD adapter and the 3.5".

Still kept the 6128 itself powered by a GT65 monitor as i had previously had a bad case of me trying to power one myself .. and learned the hard way how fragile the 6128 power ports is to wrong powering.

Anyways, gave the spare pc to my brother so got a old use office PSU instead. Of cause then had to do that 1 small mod on the main PSU cable to emulate a motherboard is present (or it wont power on) by connecting the green "ps on" wire with one of the black "ground" ones. I used a paperclip for the mod. Worked great and i cant really recall having any more issues with the powering. Fairly weak PSU as well i cant recall the exact stats but i doubt it was over 200W.

So why did i use a PC PSU? Wasnt writting anything anywhere on what to use. But Prodatron himself uses one in the photos on his site. Also everyone who got a SF2 back then was on a "im gonna build it into a mini-pc cabinet"-vibe. So it felt kinda logic thing to do. It is a bit of a mess though with wires all over you really need space around the 6128. Using a PSU you also get the benefit of everthing turning on at the same time.

One small niggle i found was that i couldnt get a cheap CF HDD adapter to work. I recall a lot of other people having the same issue. There might have been a fix where you bend one of the pins on the CF adapter but i couldnt get it to work. Ended up getting a bit more expensive SD HDD adapter instead and that one work flawlessly. Really nice for quick pc<>cpc transfering. Also got a real HDD as a second drive. 80Gb 7200 rpm and there was probably a reason why i got that one (size/FAT limitations).
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 22:05, 17 January 13
Anybody ever tested hard-discs bigger than 128 GB ??? Any success? (The hp tells they can't be used btw).
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 22:07, 21 January 13

what power supply do you use TFM ?


also is there an idiot guide to this i.e what dip switches should be turned on etc to get symbos up if you get me


i cant seem to get it work unless the power supply is no good but earlier it was reading 5v 12v mmmmmm

IIRC my SF2 uses a 12 Volt, 2.5 Ampere PSU (a small black thingy just).
About symbos, it's ROM content like other ROMs too, so you have to enable ROMs.
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: rpalmer on 20:14, 22 January 13
TFM,

For any IDE interface to use storage media above a certain size means that the software needs to be capable of using it. So far as I looked at the S/W for FAT32 means that the storage media is capped at 128 Gb (due to the way FAT32 works).

To use higher capacity media, the S/W need to be changed to account for larger sectors (i.e 512 bytes to 4096 bytes).

rpalmer
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 21:55, 22 January 13
Thanks' Have been thinking too much in LBA instead of FAT32 ;-)
 
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: Bryce on 22:09, 22 January 13
Ah, so you're working on LBA drivers for FutureOS? :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: gerald on 09:21, 23 January 13
The 128GB limit is mainly due to the 28bit LBA adressing, not the FAT. 128GB=2^28*512Bytes.
To use a bigger drive, you need to support 48bit adressing (EXT command) at drive level.

FAT32 also uses 28bit for addressing clusters within partition, so a partition with 512byte clusters is limited to 128GB.
But by using 32KB cluster,  you can have up to 8TB FAT32 partition.

Obviously, 32K cluster is a big waste on a 8bit system.

Dealing with 48bit LBA is a bit overhelming for a Z80, not that it cannot deal with, but who need more than 128GB partition ?

Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 21:26, 23 January 13
Well, I have 48 bit LBA running for FutureOS as far as low level routines go. But I had to stop developpment of that in 2008 when I moved to NOLA. What I want to say is that 48 bit LBA is not a problem at all.
 
Sure, 32 KB blocks are a big waste, but any kind of hard disc is a big waste per se anyway  :laugh:
 
If I got you right we still can have some 128 GB partitions on the same hard disc using FAT32, I'm a bit out of that memories now... :o
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: gerald on 22:06, 23 January 13
Well, I have 48 bit LBA running for FutureOS as far as low level routines go. But I had to stop developpment of that in 2008 when I moved to NOLA. What I want to say is that 48 bit LBA is not a problem at all.
Well, Compact flash are not (yet) that big, so I did not implement 48bit LBA support in my FAT32 and CF access routines  ;D

If I got you right we still can have some 128 GB partitions on the same hard disc using FAT32, I'm a bit out of that memories now... :o
Yes, as long as the MBR can handle the disk (2.2TB limit), or use GPT for bigger drive.  ::)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 22:55, 23 January 13
Well, I guess, I stick with FAT32 since most computers can read it :)
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: rpalmer on 20:45, 24 January 13
There is a way to get more space used while still limiting the code to 2^32 sectors (i.e 2.2 TB with 512 bytes sectors) and that is to fix the 48-bit LBA to have the upper 16-bits set to zero all the time. Therefore the code changes might only be minor to handle the IDE command set to cater for the access of drives having capacities above 2.2TB or indeed 128 GB with 512 byte sectors. But for sectors which are larger (like 4096 byte sectors) the buffers in the CPC may be too large to deal with since there is already a limited space for them to allow much of the S/W to work unhinded by a reduced work space. Certainly AMSDOS can not handle it as it has a buffer space of only 512 bytes and sector data indexing limited to 512 bytes.

Also like to point out the a "cluster" is a group of sectors so no matter what the cluster size the media is always limited to the number of sectors.

When i said that FAT32 was limited to 128GB was due to the driver support associated with the normal IDE command set (i.e limited to 2^28 sectors).  Sorry if I misled anyone  ::)
 
rpalmer
Title: Re: symbiface
Post by: TFM on 23:24, 24 January 13
Well, no offense, but if we talk about a CPC with added hard-disc, then we can assume at least a 128 KB system, so there is space for buffers. I'm using one 16 KB block for buffers, guess BonnyDOS does use 16 KB too.
 
Now, the SF2 users all have 512 KB expansion RAM and other IDE solutions may also be used by people already having a memory expansion.
 
IMHO a hard-disc is much more powerful if the system has enough RAM. Guess nobody uses (today) a hard-disc with only 64 KB RAM (I may be wrong though).