Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

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BradBrad
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Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:48 am

Hi All,

Just finished my A3000 restoration project. It was an Ebay rescue that was in a sorry state. Anyway, the battery acid is no more, traces repaired, chips cleaned up and socketed and now all appears to work fine. I put the whole restoration on Youtube but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link here. :?:

Made a mouse for it (ECheetah optical USB mouse hack) and a scart cable. I replaced the battery with a lithium button and a diode so, hopefully, no more acid woes.

Everything seems fine. It has a 2MB ram expansion which shows OK and it boots to desktop. The only (major) thing left is the IDE hard drive it came with. It is a Conner drive on an IDE podule. At first, it just used to spin up a few times on startup and then give up. A bit of poking around later and now I have got:

"Armstrong Walker IDEFS" before desktop. It then says "FIlecode Error" but allows me to close that and use the desktop as normal.

The podule is blue (pic attached). I have cleaned up and re-seated the rom, reflowed any suspect looking solder joins and cleaned up the header pin connectors. I also tried the following commands:

*Con. IDEFSDiscs 1
*Con. IDEFSDrive 4
*Con. IDEFSTimer 4
*Con. IDEFSDelay 8
*Con. IDEFSDircache 32K

I just found those commands online. Just guessing really. :shock:

Does anybody know if it needs a special driver/config file? It has what looks like the letters "HCO" or "HCD" in a circle logo stamped on the backplate. Pic attached hopefully.

Apart from that, the DEL key doesn't seem to work. I think that is just the ribbon cable connection. Found that out the hard way when trying to reset the CMOS :? Now I just use 'r' lol.
20170903_021744.jpg
Podule


Sorry for the long post. Bit if a waffle :D

Good luck all

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Multiwizard
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby Multiwizard » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:45 am

Hi Brad,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


Greetings from my little Dutch Acorn Attic, Wim... :-)

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daveejhitchins
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby daveejhitchins » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:20 am

Welcome to the Forum, Brad . . . Enjoy . . .

Re your A3000 - We'll need more photos of the inside and outside, please.

You can post links - Use the URL tab above as follows: place your URL, select and click the URL tab. You can leave it as-is or modify it like this (if you hover over the URL tab it shows what to do):

Code: Select all

[url=http://stardot.org.uk/forums/posting.php?mode=reply&f=13&t=13665#pr178998]like this[/url]
    ^                                                                         ^
which will leave you: this

The only thing you wont be able to do is Post PMs (private messages), until you have 25 posts under you belt, however, you will be able to receive them.

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby RobC » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:28 am

Welcome and good job on the A3000 restoration. It's always good to see another one saved from the scrap heap :D

That "HCO/HCD" logo on the IDE podule isn't actually "HCCS" by any chance is it? If so, the may be some useful information here:
http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org.uk/32bit_UpgradesH2Z/HCCS_IDE_A3000.html

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1024MAK
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:42 am

Welcome on board Brad!

:D :D :D

You can put yourself on the map by sticking a pin in it at this link :P
List your Acorn machine vitals (including Acorn expansions) here :D
Please go now and make your confession here

BradBrad wrote:I put the whole restoration on Youtube but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link here. :?:
It's perfectly alright to embed or link to your own YouTube videos about Acorn computers :D

‪‪Embedding YouTube videos‬
‬Use the [Flash] button above the edit box.

Code: Select all

[flash=][/flash]

Then edit it so that it includes image size and link in this format:

Code: Select all

[flash=425,344]http://www.youtube.com/v/NUk2d1XHYLE&hl=en&fs=1[/flash]

That then gives you this embedded YouTube window:


Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby davidb » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:43 am

Welcome! :D

It's probably better just to link to YouTube videos than embedding them as Flash objects. Some of us have disabled Flash in our browsers and it's a format that's going away, anyway.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby flaxcottage » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:01 am

Welcome. :D

Try to find another sub-500mb had and see if it works. Your drive may be toast.
- John

Currently running Level 4 Econet with BBC B, BBC B+ 128K, Master 128K, 4Mb A3000, 4Mb A3020, 4Mb A4000, 4Mb A5000 dual FDD; UK101; HP41CX setup; Psion 3a, 3mx and 5mx; Z88; TI-58c, TI-59 and printer, HP-16C programmer's calculator

BradBrad
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:27 pm

Thanks guys. Will drop a pin and fill out some specs. Lots of people from all over the place here =D>
Last edited by BradBrad on Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:35 pm

Hello Brad

Your IDE card looks exactly the same as the one I have - it is an HCCS podule.

You have done everything right in terms of commands. Presumably on the desktop you see a hard disc icon at the bottom left of the screen? What happens if you click on that?

If its not there, you'll possibly need to also type:

*Configure harddiscs 1

..I just can't remember whether you needs to do that as well as the IDEFSdiscs command that you've already used.

*Status will list out all of the configuration settings so that you can review them.

At boot time, the machine is trying to boot off the hard drive. This is normal (although, for an Arc, not actually essential - which is why the machine still works OK). The error you get is probably "Filecore error" rather than "Filecode error", although I've still got no idea what it actually means! Probably, as John says, your drive is broken.

You need a floppy disc called "IDEFS Utils" to partition a new disc. It can actually be up to 2GB in size, because you can partition into 4x 512MB drives. I can post up an image if you need one, but I think if you search for HCCS IDE Podule the disc can be found online.

Just out of interest - on mine, the short ribbon cable to the drive had one of the traces (44?) deliberately cut. I don't know why, but it seemed to undermine reliability when using anything other than the original HD that the machine came with. I got a new undamaged cable and everything seems OK now. Does yours have this cut?

BradBrad
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:02 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys. Good to know you are all out there :D

Here are a few links to the repair videos I made. Apologies in advance for some of the audio. The phone I used had a shocking mic :shock:

Corrosion, trace repair, chip cleanup and socketing:
https://youtu.be/J8WYqlOxFkM

PSU, Case, Scart and Battery mod:
https://youtu.be/j1QO5wVu3tI

Figuring out the final CMOS trace:
https://youtu.be/8MpP7UWRnNQ

Cheap USB quadrature mouse hack:
https://youtu.be/r73GwTQbnXI

Thanks for the guidance on the podule. It looks like it is HCCS and I have downloaded the HCCS_idemgr.arc

Was thinking of maybe trying out Omniflop to see if I can get it onto the Archy. Never used it before but have an old box with non-usb floppy running linux mint.

Any advice on suitable compact flash card or sd interface for the HCCS podule? It is an HCCS IDE A3 V4 according to the Chris acorn site. I gather those drive are notorious for failing.

Thanks again.

BradBrad
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:15 pm

jms2 wrote:Just out of interest - on mine, the short ribbon cable to the drive had one of the traces (44?) deliberately cut. I don't know why, but it seemed to undermine reliability when using anything other than the original HD that the machine came with. I got a new undamaged cable and everything seems OK now. Does yours have this cut?


Thanks JMS2. I will try getting that onto a floppy somehow. Just saw you reply after posting :lol:

Have attached a pic of the ribbon cable. All ribbons seem intact. Can't see whether any traces are cut on pcb though. I can take out the podule and double check if you like?
Attachments
20170903_140944.jpg

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jms2
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:32 pm

No need, mine just has a short section missing from the cable. I reckon your setup is proof that this gap is not needed - must have been a bridge to suit the original 80Mb drive.

I tried an SD adapter with mine, because people say they work well. However, maybe it was due to the ribbon cable, but it did not work well at all for me. I found an IDE to CF adaptor worked quite well, but it was unreliable. I've now reverted to a real HD. In your case I would be tempted to try an SD card though.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:49 pm

Sorry for the idiot question, but what is the fastest way to get a file called HCCS.idemgr.arc onto a floppy format that the Archimedes will understand? I have a box of 2HD blank floppies and a tower with a 'proper' FDD Drive (not USB) with Linux Mint installed. I dont have any Windows machines with non USB floppy drives so I dont think Omniflop will work.

I remember messing around like this with an Atari ST ages ago. Taping over the right hole of the floppy disc etc. Does anybody know linux commands? Is it possible. I have some old Amiga discs laying around if that helps.

Is .arc a compressed format and so not going to be much good to me anyway? Sorry for the sudden rush of questions :lol:

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby MartinB » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:37 pm

David wrote:It's probably better just to link to YouTube videos than embedding them as Flash objects. Some of us have disabled Flash in our browsers and it's a format that's going away, anyway.

YouTube links are so dull though compared to an embed - the latter look interesting and invite playing but links just look so boring and missable by comparison. Just my two-penneth.... :wink:

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby davidb » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:45 pm

MartinB wrote:YouTube links are so dull though compared to an embed - the latter look interesting and invite playing but links just look so boring and missable by comparison. Just my two-penneth.... :wink:

I just get to see a link either way so it's all the same to me. :)

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby davidb » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:50 pm

BradBrad wrote:Sorry for the idiot question, but what is the fastest way to get a file called HCCS.idemgr.arc onto a floppy format that the Archimedes will understand? I have a box of 2HD blank floppies and a tower with a 'proper' FDD Drive (not USB) with Linux Mint installed. I dont have any Windows machines with non USB floppy drives so I dont think Omniflop will work.

Maybe this document is useful, at least as a starting point: Reading DFS and ADFS floppy disks under Linux

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jgharston » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:54 pm

jms2 wrote:If its not there, you'll possibly need to also type:
*Configure harddiscs 1

HardDiscs changes the number of ST506 disks you have
IDEDiscs changes the number of IDE disks you have
IDEFSDiscs changes the number of external IDE interface disks you have.

If you run Apps->Configure it will display the different disc types interactively, something like this:
Image

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:45 pm

BradBrad wrote:Sorry for the idiot question, but what is the fastest way to get a file called HCCS.idemgr.arc onto a floppy format that the Archimedes will understand?


It's actually not too hard, this is what you'll need to do:

1) Ideally use an Amiga type double density disc rather than an HD disc.
2) Use Linux to format this as if it were a DOS disc. I can't help you with this step as I don't use Linux, but I assume its possible.
3) Copy the idemgr.arc file onto the disc.
4) Have a look at this site and copy the self-extracting archive unpacker Sparkplug onto the disc as well.
5) On the Arc, just click on the floppy icon as normal. The OS can read DOS discs. You should get a filer window showing the two files.

In theory you could run !Sparkplug straight away to unpack itself. But DOS discs don't support Risc OS filetypes, so you really need to shift everything onto an ADFS disc, like this:

6) Click on the Acorn symbol and go to the line which says RAM disc. Drag out a nice big chunk of memory to act as a RAM disc (eg 640k).
7) Click on the RAM icon that appears. This will bring up a new filer window, but in ADFS format rather than DOS.
8 ) Copy the files to the RAM disc by dragging and dropping.
9) Run the Sparkplug file to create a !Sparkplug application on the RAM disc.
10) Format the floppy disc (or another floppy if can spare one) to ADFS.
11) Copy the !Sparkplug application and the idemgr file onto the new floppy.
12) Load !Sparkplug, it will appear on the icon bar.
13) Drag the idemgr file onto !Sparkplug. A window will appear showing the unpacked application.
14) Drag the !IdeMgr application from Sparkplug onto the floppy.

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jms2
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 pm

jgharston wrote:HardDiscs changes the number of ST506 disks you have
IDEDiscs changes the number of IDE disks you have
IDEFSDiscs changes the number of external IDE interface disks you have.


Thanks... I was never quite clear on the distinction between the different types, ie whether there was some degree of overlap between the commands.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:59 pm

jms2 wrote:
It's actually not too hard, this is what you'll need to do:

1) Ideally use an Amiga type double density disc rather than an HD disc.
2) Use Linux to format this as if it were a DOS disc. I can't help you with this step as I don't use Linux, but I assume its possible.
3) Copy the idemgr.arc file onto the disc.
4) Have a look at this site and copy the self-extracting archive unpacker Sparkplug onto the disc as well.
5) On the Arc, just click on the floppy icon as normal. The OS can read DOS discs. You should get a filer window showing the two files.
P.


Wow, thanks. Going to try that .... when I get back from the pub :lol: :lol: :lol:

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jms2
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:07 pm

:lol:

Assuming that it works, and also assuming I'm asleep by that point, I have one further tip for you:

The !IDEMgr application is fairly straightforward on the whole, but it has one facility which is a bit tricky to use. The partitioning screen uses a kind of multi-coloured bar thing to indicate how the drive is partitioned, and you can drag the boundaries between the colours to make each partition bigger or smaller. This metaphor kind of falls down though when the drive only has one partition, because then there are no boundaries visible to try to drag. You have to go to the far right hand end and drag a non-visible boundary in order to create a new partition.

Hope that makes sense.

The application can also format hard discs, I think.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:11 am

jms2 wrote::lol:

Assuming that it works, and also assuming I'm asleep by that point, I have one further tip for you:

The !IDEMgr application is fairly straightforward on the whole, but it has one facility which is a bit tricky to use. The partitioning screen uses a kind of multi-coloured bar thing to indicate how the drive is partitioned, and you can drag the boundaries between the colours to make each partition bigger or smaller. This metaphor kind of falls down though when the drive only has one partition, because then there are no boundaries visible to try to drag. You have to go to the far right hand end and drag a non-visible boundary in order to create a new partition.

Hope that makes sense.

The application can also format hard discs, I think.



Oh... dear... :lol:

Beer and old tech.... :shock:

Linux box wouldnt recognise the Amiga disc so I formated a clean, unused 1.44 floppy to DOS, copied the files to it but the A3000 says 'no'.... Disk error 10 at 0/00000000. #-o

Not even sure the FDD works as no Archy discs to test it with. I modded a couple of PC drives for Amigas a while ago and have one spare. Would they be a good swap?

Tempted to chop out the floppy for a Gotek anyway. I have already orderd a IDE to SD adapter to replace the hard disk. I figure it is most probably cooked anyway.

Fun and games. ... A tomorrow problem now :lol:

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby danielj » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:18 am

Use the archimedes to format the amiga disc to DOS 720k. It can't read high density. This will also let you test the drive. Middle click on the floppy disk icon (:0) and you should get a menu with format as one of the options?

d.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby jms2 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:33 am

#-o I should have remembered to suggest formatting the disc on the Arc. In my experience it always does a better job of formatting DOS discs than a PC does.

The A3000 can't cope with 1.44Mb floppies, only later Arcs can do this.

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:26 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys but I have given up with it for the time being. The good news is the floppy drive on the Arc works and formatted an Amiga disk. The bad news is that that disk is useless in any linux machine I have ( hangs or cannot read superblock). The other way around doesn't work either. I can format it to 720 dos in linux but the Arc drive won't read it #-o . Going round in circles. Back into storage till the sd card adapter arrives. :roll: I ordered a second Gotek too.... :twisted:

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:26 pm

Bar humbug, a PC can format a "720k" disk, it's just that with the semi-modern Windows OS you have to use a command line terminal window and type a specific command... (not tried on a Windows 7 or newer system mind, as these don't have proper floppy drives).

See here for details :wink:

Mark
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:30 pm

BradBrad wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions guys but I have given up with it for the time being. The good news is the floppy drive on the Arc works and formatted an Amiga disk. The bad news is that that disk is useless in any linux machine I have ( hangs or cannot read superblock). The other way around doesn't work either. I can format it to 720 dos in linux but the Arc drive won't read it #-o .

You have to use a double sided, double density disk, and some systems won't like it if the disk was preformatted.

Mark
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks but going to wait fot the SD to IDE to arrive from China. :cry: Going round in circles and don't want to sacrifice any more Amiga discs (or my sanity lol).

Going to turn my attention back to this now. Got it from the Centre for Computing HIstory if you can believe that. What a state! :lol:

Had bad caps in PSU (all fixed up). Board re-capped and cleaned up. It looks a wreck from the outside but all good inside.

Does anybody know where I can source the missing key? I am going to take the keyboard apart as some keys are really stubbon / unresponsive. Any tips?

The sound doesn't work either and the RF out connector has seen better days.

Does anybody know the name of the connector it uses for composite video out?

Still plays Chuckie Egg fine 8)

Apologies for the upside-down pics. No matter which way I rotate and save them on my phone, they always seem to end-up upside-down in the post. :lol:
Attachments
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20170904_190923.jpg

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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:31 pm

BradBrad wrote:Does anybody know where I can source the missing key? I am going to take the keyboard apart as some keys are really stubbon / unresponsive. Any tips?
RetroClinic may have spare key caps and key switches.
For non-working switches, first try operating (yes, pushing them) lots of times (say 60 to 100 times). If that does not work, then you can partly disassemble them. Search the forum.
BradBrad wrote:The sound doesn't work either and the RF out connector has seen better days.

Is the speaker connected? Is the -5V supply present and correct?
BradBrad wrote:Does anybody know the name of the connector it uses for composite video out?

That's a chassis mounting BNC connector.
BradBrad wrote:Apologies for the upside-down pics. No matter which way I rotate and save them on my phone, they always seem to end-up upside-down in the post. :lol:

That's a metadata disagreement between Apple and everyone else... It sometimes helps if you take the pictures with the phone/pad the correct way up...

Mark
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Re: Archie Noob. Completed Restoration and could use some help

Postby BradBrad » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:56 pm

Thanks Mark.

Yup the speaker is connected and -5v present. I even swapped out and socketed IC17 (LM324) as I read it can cause issues. Turning the little yellow pot near the audio circuitry definitely does something. I can hear all the whirring noises on the circuit itself and turn the volume of that up and down lol. I also had a little go at the little yellow pot near the psu to no avail. Not even sure what that one does so set it back half way.

Had a cheeky go on Chuckie Egg sans audio lol.

Staring to wonder if maybe this computer had it's sound chip removed at some point :? . Can anybody please point me in the direction of where it should be? Thanks.
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