Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by Badwolf »

elliot wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:23 pm Is that secure or a bit iffy? Feels like a hot glue moment to me (much to the annoyance to anyone that knows what they are doing, which is not me).
It's both: extremely iffy, but often stable! :lol:

I think the trick is to cut/grind away the standoffs you normally get on a PLCC socket to assure pin alignment. It lets the socket travel further down over the chip.

Like ojanhk, plenty of Amiga users get away with it! IIRC the original Vampire board was an inverted PLCC socket A600 addon.

Of course since you're leaving the chip in place means you can't just use an adapter for a DIP68 and fit whatever boards are designed to replace a CPU. Bus arbitration would need to happen.

It could be done but it'd be a tiny market: soldered on CPU STEs where the user can't or won't desolder their chip.

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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

An expanded STE shifter offering better resolutions and more colours, even a kind-of-Videl chip for the STE/MegaSTE would be a dream come true. Although the bandwidth to support higher res would be a problem, maybe 640x400x32 (or even 800x600x2 or 16) colours is a res the expanded shifter could cope with provided enough VRAM was assigned.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by sporniket »

the "reversed plcc on top of the soldered plcc package" is not a sure thing. (my life : helping a little for testing such a contraption. The socket is loose, and I have a spare socket that is a little bit tighter -but no continuity-. My next step is to sand said plcc socket, and I may have to go so far as to mill the bottom of the socket so that the cpu leads may finally have continuity with the socket. So to me it's too unreliable)

well, it sums up what everybody wrote just above me.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by joska »

MegaSTEarian wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:06 pm An expanded STE shifter offering better resolutions and more colours, even a kind-of-Videl chip for the STE/MegaSTE would be a dream come true.
The shifter is only one piece of the puzzle, so I doubt that you can add new major features by replacing the shifter alone. You would need a self-contained solution with it's own RAM for the framebuffer, i.e. a graphics card, preferably with it's own blitter/graphics processor.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

joska wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:07 pm
MegaSTEarian wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:06 pm An expanded STE shifter offering better resolutions and more colours, even a kind-of-Videl chip for the STE/MegaSTE would be a dream come true.
The shifter is only one piece of the puzzle, so I doubt that you can add new major features by replacing the shifter alone. You would need a self-contained solution with it's own RAM for the framebuffer, i.e. a graphics card, preferably with it's own blitter/graphics processor.
I sure thought so but I am not sure if it is not doable nowadays the same way, say, MonSTEr was not an option some 30 years ago.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by ojanhk »

sporniket wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:54 pm the "reversed plcc on top of the soldered plcc package" is not a sure thing. (my life : helping a little for testing such a contraption. The socket is loose, and I have a spare socket that is a little bit tighter -but no continuity-. My next step is to sand said plcc socket, and I may have to go so far as to mill the bottom of the socket so that the cpu leads may finally have continuity with the socket. So to me it's too unreliable)

well, it sums up what everybody wrote just above me.
If you want more information on the sanding you can check here: https://github.com/LemaruX/Amiga-A600- ... -Rework.md
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by joska »

MegaSTEarian wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:14 pm I sure thought so but I am not sure if it is not doable nowadays the same way, say, MonSTEr was not an option some 30 years ago.
The shifter can only access RAM at a fixed speed/interval, you will need to redesign major parts of the ST/STE to change that, including the GLUE and MMU chips. And the DMA as well I guess.

You could design a "SuperShifter", the ST-variant of the SuperVidel. I.e. a graphics chip with it's own RAM. It could also replicate the Shifter framebuffer in hardware similar to what the SuperVidel does. It would be a complicated project though. Today it would be much easier to implement this in a combination of software and hardware, similar to how the PiStorm works. You'd have some glue logic to access an SOC from the ST, and implement the GPU in software on the SOC. You could have all sorts of "hardware" acceleration in such a graphics card for a very low cost, e.g. huge sprites, scrolling, layers, accelerated drawing of lines/circles/boxes/fills/blits etc. All implemented in pure software.

Resolution and colour depth would be limited though, not by the graphics card itself but by the amount of RAM required by the AES for background buffers.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by sporniket »

ojanhk wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:49 pm If you want more information on the sanding you can check here: https://github.com/LemaruX/Amiga-A600- ... -Rework.md
Thank you very much :)
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

joska wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:05 pm
MegaSTEarian wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:14 pm I sure thought so but I am not sure if it is not doable nowadays the same way, say, MonSTEr was not an option some 30 years ago.
The shifter can only access RAM at a fixed speed/interval, you will need to redesign major parts of the ST/STE to change that, including the GLUE and MMU chips. And the DMA as well I guess.

You could design a "SuperShifter", the ST-variant of the SuperVidel. I.e. a graphics chip with it's own RAM. It could also replicate the Shifter framebuffer in hardware similar to what the SuperVidel does. It would be a complicated project though. Today it would be much easier to implement this in a combination of software and hardware, similar to how the PiStorm works. You'd have some glue logic to access an SOC from the ST, and implement the GPU in software on the SOC. You could have all sorts of "hardware" acceleration in such a graphics card for a very low cost, e.g. huge sprites, scrolling, layers, accelerated drawing of lines/circles/boxes/fills/blits etc. All implemented in pure software.

Resolution and colour depth would be limited though, not by the graphics card itself but by the amount of RAM required by the AES for background buffers.
Excellent explanation, thanks.
This sounds wonderful and I am guessing that the limitations for resolution and colour depth can be sort of bypassed if the AES functionality is offloaded as well to "Super-Shifter". And I am thinking that this is what the PiStorm is doing since the Amiga has quite some limitations itself.
Am I correct?
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by joska »

PiStorm provides a ~80MHz 68030 with 512Mb RAM as well, so that takes care of the RAM-issue :)
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

joska wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:58 pm PiStorm provides a ~80MHz 68030 with 512Mb RAM as well, so that takes care of the RAM-issue :)
Now we need to integrate a PiStorm in the STE :mrgreen:
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

MegaSTEarian wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:30 pm
joska wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:58 pm PiStorm provides a ~80MHz 68030 with 512Mb RAM as well, so that takes care of the RAM-issue :)
Now we need to integrate a PiStorm in the STE :mrgreen:
Or this:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=109121
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by Cyprian »

MegaSTEarian wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:33 pm
MegaSTEarian wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:30 pm
joska wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:58 pm PiStorm provides a ~80MHz 68030 with 512Mb RAM as well, so that takes care of the RAM-issue :)
Now we need to integrate a PiStorm in the STE :mrgreen:
Or this:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=109121
would be cool, unfortunately, there is no Vampire for Atari.
But there is EmuTOS for the Vampire V4 standalone. That's a cool piece of hardware, unfortunately, hardware in incompatible with the Atari.
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SmartBoard STE

Post by Arne »

First PCB of the production batch is running in my 1040STE for some weeks now and I hope to find some spare time to populate PCBs for a small batch this month.
More info in the "News" section of my homepage.
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Re: SmartBoard STE

Post by MegaSTEarian »

Arne wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:30 pm First PCB of the production batch is running in my 1040STE for some weeks now and I hope to find some spare time to populate PCBs for a small batch this month.
More info in the "News" section of my homepage.
Couldn't find any post, could you elaborate?
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

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Re: SmartBoard STE

Post by ojanhk »

Arne wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:30 pm First PCB of the production batch is running in my 1040STE for some weeks now and I hope to find some spare time to populate PCBs for a small batch this month.
More info in the "News" section of my homepage.
Hi, looks great! How do you install it apart from using the ROM sockets ? I guess you have to get many other signals from the motherboard.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by arf »

coriolis1986 wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:40 am - CPU: 030 booster + Fast Rom upgrade
[…]
- Scandoubler: I found a video output card with mode switch. But it still needed to have a 15 khz compatible monitor. Is there any scandoubler for STE for using TV-modes on CRT VGA monitor?
If you would want to aim for having both good game compatibility and at the same time a 68030 accelerator card, some (original) games won’t run (properly). You’d lose some compatibility or would need to check whether your favourite colour software is available as a patched version.

(But as currently not much 030 cards are available for STs, that’s rather hypothecical, I admit)
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by DarkLord »

I see STe being mentioned...is this for the ST as well? Thanks.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

Cheers. Looks like a MonSTEr competitor in a way. Cool.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by Arne »

DarkLord wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:15 pm I see STe being mentioned...is this for the ST as well? Thanks.
No, not this one. I have working prototypes for 1040STFM and MegaST (with DualIDE, and up to 8 TOS slots) with AltRAM (up to 11MB) but I want to improve them.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by stormy »

In the news post I don't see any mention of AltRAM? I'm confused :)
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by lastic »

Also interested in more info on the Smartboard and how it is connected, I would use it either in a 1040STe and/or an 1040STFM.
Last edited by lastic on Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

stormy wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:11 pm In the news post I don't see any mention of AltRAM? I'm confused :)

AltRAM is missing, yeah. Noticed it too.
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Re: Modern upgrades for Atari STE?

Post by Arne »

lastic wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:23 pm Also interested in more info on the Smartboard
all is mentioned in the news post.
lastic wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:23 pm and how it is connected
via cables on the photo
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