Author Topic: symbiface  (Read 5721 times)

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Offline buzby

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symbiface
« 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

Offline TFM

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #1 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 links section).
 
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Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #2 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 :)

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

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



Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #3 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 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



Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #4 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 :)

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

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 ?


Offline TFM

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #5 on: 00:54, 15 January 13 »
Hi Buzby, sorry, got you. Yes symbos should be installed.
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Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #6 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 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

« Last Edit: 01:30, 15 January 13 by beaker »

Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #7 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


Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #8 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

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #9 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:
« Last Edit: 01:41, 15 January 13 by beaker »

Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #10 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





Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #11 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):


* P1020130.jpg
(168.19 kB, 1024x768 - viewed 69 times)


* P1020131.jpg
(259.56 kB, 1024x768 - viewed 86 times)


All off but the jumper not bridged


* P1020132.jpg
(146.46 kB, 1024x768 - viewed 67 times)

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

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 :)

Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #12 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




Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #13 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

Offline buzby

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #14 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
« Last Edit: 03:10, 15 January 13 by buzby »

Offline Joss

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #15 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.
« Last Edit: 09:16, 15 January 13 by Joss »

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #16 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) 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.  :)

Online Bryce

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #17 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.

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #18 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....  :)
« Last Edit: 14:42, 15 January 13 by beaker »

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #19 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.

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #20 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?
« Last Edit: 15:19, 15 January 13 by beaker »

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #21 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. 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 :)
« Last Edit: 15:48, 15 January 13 by beaker »

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #22 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.

Offline beaker

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Re: symbiface
« Reply #23 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.


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Re: symbiface
« Reply #24 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 ....)