SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

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danielj
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SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

This is going to be a bit of a "please feel free to pitch in with thoughts/ideas" thread!

Background:
The Victor 9000/Sirius 1 has weird CLV floppy drives which using GCR are able to store 1.2mb on a double sided double density disk. Only a Victor can write victor disks. 5.25" disks won't last forever - and neither will Tandon Full Height 80 track floppy drives, so it would be rather neat to have a more modern storage option.

Some Victors shipped with an internal 10 or 20mb HDD, and it was also available as an optional external extra. This was something like a Tandon TM502, connected to a XEBEC S1410 controller, and then into a DMA card in the Victor which spoke SASI at it.

I was lucky enough to get a working HDD Victor with DMA card, and given that it speaks SASI, I figured it was ripe for sticking a SCSI2SD on to (it'd sound less like a jet engine than the current drive).

I've had a look at JonB's thread about the Philips machine, which also spoke SASI to the same XEBEC controller, and configured my SCSI2SD in the same fashion. Suffice to say it doesn't work. The "autoset" program which writes the partition information to track 0 and the "hdsetup" program which does the same both fail with "Unable to Reset Hard Drive", at the same time the SCSI2SD locks up with its LED on, and stops logging (hanging the utility program in the process). I've dropped Michael, the SCSI2SD creator, a message about this and have provided him with the following screenshot of the log as it dies:
DSC_2719.JPG
But obviously additional thoughts about what might be going on are very welcome - does anyone know how to read SCSI2SD logs? I don't really know what I'm looking at here :D!

Usual toolkit available of scopes/logic widgets etc available :)

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by jonb »

Ok boss

This is the pertinent post: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=10374&p=127269

I'll check what firmware version I have, see if yours is the same. Your symptoms are not like mine, though. I never suffered lockups like that, so it seems likely your problem is not related to SEL timing. However... one cannot know for sure by guessing.

The problem is your HDD innit program. The error message is non specific and could mean anything. Further diagnostics may need you to write a short assembly program to read a sector off the HDD. Then you could trace it and see which part of the operation is failing.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Thanks Jon - Do you know what the numbers in the log mean? I think that should give me an indication of where it's bumming out or what it might be doing when it does...

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by jonb »

No, I cannot decipher the log file, sorry, but I do know it will give a good indication of the problem as you have suggested. I think those numbers show the state of the interface or the command registers.

Meanwhile.. I sent you a link to a couple of experimental firmware updates.
  • Version a fixes the SEL timing problem (latches SEL in software). Added because the P2000C doesn't maintain the signal for long enough.
  • Version b includes the SEL fix and fixes the LUN addressing problem with the P2000C - you may not need this one. It exists because the P2000C driver uses LUNs to address Drives 0 and 1 using the same SASI ID. You can still access drive 0 without this patch, though.
You'll have to read the SCSI2SD documentation to find out how to perform a firmware update as I can't remember the procedure.

By the way.. is there a configuration option to enable the mapping of LUNs to IDs in your version of the SCSI2SD setup program? If there is, you may already have up to date firmware.

A few points from my conversations with Michael..
  • Connecting via USB affects timing - the microcontroller is quite slow and having to process USB packets means it responds slower to SCSI commands.
  • There have been timing issues in the past with devices that skip arbitration, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is the problem. Try setting "SCSI Section Delay" parameter to 0 and see if the problem goes away. (The default is 1 for old SASI/SCSI hosts). If that doesn't work, try 10.
  • Make sure you're running only scsi2sd-util, and not scsi2sd-monitor, as they conflict and will cause issues. scsi2sd-monitor should never be run while the SCSI2SD board is connected to a SCSI host.
  • Turn parity off, at least until the SCSI2SD is detected by the host computer. The host hardware may not be generating the parity signal at all.
  • The SASI standards document (with some timing diagrams) is available at http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/ ... _Apr82.pdf
  • Something that will make the SCSI2SD respond MUCH faster to the SEL signal - check the "Disable glitch filter" check box in scsi2sd-util, save the settings, and see what happens.
  • Experimental firmware (version b in the zip file): It turns the LUN field into an ID. eg. so LUN 1 == SCSI ID 1. LUN 0 is not affected.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by hoglet »

Hi Daniel,
danielj wrote:Thanks Jon - Do you know what the numbers in the log mean? I think that should give me an indication of where it's bumming out or what it might be doing when it does...
As a guess, they are the last commands sent to the drive before the failure.

0xE0 is a vendor specific SCSI command.

Looking at the manual, it seems the Xebec has a command 0xE0 which is a RAM Diagnostic.
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/ ... _Aug83.pdf

0x55, 0xAA might well be a RAM test pattern.

This is all guess work really, but its there RAM on the controller card you could easily change?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Yes, I can map LUNs to SCSI-IDs, there's also the "Respond to short SEL pulses" option, so I'm thinking that all of that got rolled into the latest firmware (4.7)

Dave - I have a feeling the E0 isn't a scsi command, as it shoots those out even when it's not connected to the Victor. I think (but have no evidence) the part where it starts attempting to talk to the drive is where the 2F 03 changes to 30 03. I'm probably completely wrong.

I've sent the screenshot to Michael to see what he makes of it. Hopefully it will contain some clues :?

- The controller card itself is entirely built from 74 logic, there are 50 ICs on it. No memory at all. It's built to talk to the XEBEC card, so as long as SCSI2SD can behave like a XEBEC S1410 we should be all good!

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Another datapoint - trying to use the "factoryf"ormat utility, it says "Controller timeout waiting for busy signal". I'm just trying to get my sigrok logic analyser set up, hopefully it'll shed a bit of light on what's going on...

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by 1024MAK »

In essence, from a hardware point of view, SASI is just a parallel interface with control signals. So the first thing is to to ignore any system software, and fire test values at the relevant I/O port (or memory location if memory mapped) while monitoring the SASI data output pins. Then once you can see that all the data pins change state correctly, monitor the control/status lines.

You can sometimes get an idea of what a 74 logic series card is doing by the type numbers of the logic chips used. Also note that the 74 logic series included low capacity memory chips.

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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

So, I know the SASI port is working correctly as I can boot off the real hard disk (connected to the XEBEC controller) - I'm not too concerned about that. It seems that there's some level at which the SCSI2SD doesn't behave exactly as the old xebec controller did? Or that's my reading of things?

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by 1024MAK »

Good that you know the hardware is working :D. But my post was also aimed at you using your logic analyser to see how the hardware handshaking actually operates in practice.

As Jon found out, SASI systems are not very standard.

It would also be helpful to compare the SASI signal log of your working HDD and the SCSI2SD :wink:

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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Gotcha. The latter is going to be tricky just because of physical constraints... :?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by jonb »

1024MAK wrote:As Jon found out, SASI systems are not very standard.
Too true! What led me to the answer was comparing actual timing with a scope against the timing signals (I think.. it was quite a while ago), as well as the usual discourse with the experts.. :)

You'll get there.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

So, Michael thinks it's chatting, it just doesn't know what to do with an E0 command (10/10 hoglet!) fortunately the xebec documentation does describe all of these! Fingers x'd..

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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by 1024MAK »

You mean this:-
IMG_4931.JPG
I would have thought that it would be relatively straightforward for the SCSI2SD firmware to be amended to respond to these diagnostic and self test commands.

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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Indeed - I think it just needs to reply with a 0 to all of them...

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

OK, a bit further along here. Changing the SCSI select delay to 10ms, I no longer get things crashing and can get a full log...

Here's what's happening...

Code: Select all

13:36:05: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ff 00 01 00 01 b5 00 00 00 53 07 00 00 1d 55 00 
13:36:05: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ff 00 01 00 01 f4 00 00 00 92 07 00 00 1d 55 00 
13:36:05: e0 00 aa 55 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05 07 01 00 00 00 fb 01 00 01 9d 07 20 00 00 20 00 
13:36:05: e0 00 aa 55 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05 ff 00 00 00 00 fb 01 00 01 0f 07 20 00 00 20 00 
13:38:45: e0 00 aa 55 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05 ff 00 00 00 00 fc 01 00 01 a5 07 20 00 00 55 00 
13:38:45: 01 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05 07 01 00 00 00 fc 02 00 02 0c 07 24 00 00 20 00 
13:38:45: 01 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05 ff 00 00 00 00 fc 02 00 02 29 07 24 00 02 20 00 
The E0 is issued by the boot rom - if that fails, I think there's no way it'll ever actually boot from the hard disk, the 01 (seek to track 0?) is thrown out when trying to partition the drive once booted into DOS.

I've got the code from the boot rom (attached), so it's possible to get a bit of a handle on how the Victor is dealing with HDD access (although the BIOS takes over once the OS is booted - the Victor's BIOS is loaded from disk along with DOS). What I'm not clear on (my 8086 assembler's pretty awful), is if the attempt to initialise the XEBEC controller fails (i.e. the E0 doesn't yield a response) does a register get flicked in the DMA controller that's going to cause things not to behave further down the line?

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by SteveH »

Just though I'd give this thread a nudge. Did you get the Victor booting from (or even working with) the SCSI2SD?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

Hello!
No - I managed to get it to format, and set the label, but there were things that it wasn't quite doing properly, and it wouldn't partition (it was failing on some responses to some checks by the looks of things). The real problem (despite the guy who does scsi2sd being really helpful) was the closed source nature of it all - I was just suggesting piecemeal bits of behaviour and sending logs, and the guy was in australia, and the entire process became very slow and cumbersome :( Plus I needed to get the scsi2sd back into my MDFS for something so never got around to taking it out again...

In the meantime, I've decided to deconstruct the DMA card with a view to implementing it with cpld/uC - it's about 50 or so 74LS ICs and tracing through by hand reversing it s really time consuming (if anyone has any ideas about quicker ways, I have an aligned scan of the front/back of the board!) - but that's sort of where I'm up to.

Are you another victor owner?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by 1024MAK »

There is no quick way of reverse engineering a complex PCB. However, educated guesses and a multimeter on the resistance range can help when dealing with certain chips. Especially if the design of that part of the circuit is the same as, or similar to the chip manufacturers example or typical circuit as shown in data sheets/data books.

But custom designs made up of glue logic, or resistor/diode/transistor logic networks can be hard to work out until you get near to 80 to 85% of the schematic completed.

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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by vanpeebles »

I had no luck in getting the SCSI2SD work on my SASI equipped X68000 Pro II, but it ran straight away on the SCSI equipped X68000 XVI. It also needed powering separately.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by FreddyV »

vanpeebles wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:22 am
I had no luck in getting the SCSI2SD work on my SASI equipped X68000 Pro II, but it ran straight away on the SCSI equipped X68000 XVI. It also needed powering separately.
Hi,

Are you still active on the subject ?

We are some ppls in france and switzerland working on the subject and recently somebody proposed to buils a SASI to SD converter.
He already build a SASI board in the 80's and he know the subject well.
But he has a Victor without HDD board.
Can you share the reverse engineering you did on the Controller board ?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by vanpeebles »

FreddyV wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:44 am
vanpeebles wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:22 am
I had no luck in getting the SCSI2SD work on my SASI equipped X68000 Pro II, but it ran straight away on the SCSI equipped X68000 XVI. It also needed powering separately.
Hi,

Are you still active on the subject ?

We are some ppls in france and switzerland working on the subject and recently somebody proposed to buils a SASI to SD converter.
He already build a SASI board in the 80's and he know the subject well.
But he has a Victor without HDD board.
Can you share the reverse engineering you did on the Controller board ?
The SCSI2SD was just bought off ebay or an amiga store I think. I never used it on the SASI machine as you need to install/run a driver from 5" 1/4 floppy. At the time it was tricky to do that, but people sell the discs now with the driver on for X68000 machines. I did nothing other than writing the sd card, and connecting it up :)
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

FreddyV wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:44 am
Are you still active on the subject ?

We are some ppls in france and switzerland working on the subject and recently somebody proposed to buils a SASI to SD converter.
He already build a SASI board in the 80's and he know the subject well.
But he has a Victor without HDD board.
Can you share the reverse engineering you did on the Controller board ?
Hi Freddy,
I can share all the info I have on the controller DMA board - it's scans of the bare PCB and lists of the ICs - I'm happy to share this on the condition that all of the reverse engineering is kept public and free for anyone to use?

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by FreddyV »

Hi,

Yes of course, I think there is no way to make money on a so rare thing :)

do we need this card to use a HDD on the Victor, I mean there is no controller on the mainboard ?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by FreddyV »

danielj wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:18 am

Hi Freddy,
I can share all the info I have on the controller DMA board - it's scans of the bare PCB and lists of the ICs - I'm happy to share this on the condition that all of the reverse engineering is kept public and free for anyone to use?

d.
Hi,

Yes of course, I think there is no way to make money on a so rare thing :)

do we need this card to use a HDD on the Victor, I mean there is no controller on the mainboard ?
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

FreddyV wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:42 am
Yes of course, I think there is no way to make money on a so rare thing :)

do we need this card to use a HDD on the Victor, I mean there is no controller on the mainboard ?
No, I'm very much of the opinion that old stuff should be kept as open as possible! The DMA card allows the Victor to talk to the SASI card (i.e. the xebec controller for the HDD). Some hints to how it works are definitely there in the boot ROM disassembly.

IC List here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... zQyFc_CqY/

Various files including scans of the PCB here: (in GIMP format)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... JfKwY34-Do

If you need anything buzzed out to clarify please let me know. Also there were a couple of fixes applied to the board, I'll have to try and find the photos! If you let me know where you're discussing this, I'd really like to follow, or else please feel free to discuss here, or I can set up a discord?

d.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by FreddyV »

Hi,

Thanks.

We discuss on a Discord server, but it is in french.
I would like to start to coordinate things, as multiple person with various competencies are interrested.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by danielj »

FreddyV wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:52 am
We discuss on a Discord server, but it is in french.
I would like to start to coordinate things, as multiple person with various competencies are interrested.
I can deal with a bit of French! At least reading it, if people are happy to deal with a bit of English. Entirely up to you - I can start a new one if appropriate, and it's fine also if we start threads on here to discuss.
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Re: SCSI2SD on the Victor 9000

Post by FreddyV »

danielj wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:59 am
I can deal with a bit of French! At least reading it, if people are happy to deal with a bit of English. Entirely up to you - I can start a new one if appropriate, and it's fine also if we start threads on here to discuss.
Discord invitation link:
https://discord.gg/Uttmuk7G
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