2 January 2021 meetup

Brett, Gary and Rob caught up on Saturday on what we had been doing since the previous meetup in December. Brett has been testing using his greaseweazle flux board but the floppy drive sounds like it needs a clean due to the retries in dumping a disk shows. Brett also advised that the MSX computer he purchased had arrived and that he was pleasantly surprised that it worked. Gary has purchased another STF computer with a mysterious switch on the back and also has another Mega ST on the way which also has a switch modification. Rob has been building up one of the H5 A3 STF remake boards but it does not yet boot and the reset switch circuit seems to be faulty at the moment so needs more diagnosing to get it booting.

Gary’s latest STF computer was already disassembled so we could see the board with a switch modification – we powered on and STF worked with switch in one position but the video output is messed up with the switch in the other position. The switch is connecting the DE line from the MMU to the Shifter chip after that track had been cut and the switch’s other position was connecting from a resistor in the modulator location to the Shifter.

We then looked to fixing Brett’s Falcon language setting by setting it in NVRAM. Gary had provided a tool which only performed a NVRAM reset and Brett needed another tool to then set the settings including the language and keyboard. Gary already had these on a floppy disk so we inserted the disk and after updating the setting, the input then matched the UK keyboard keys.

Brett then showed off his stars simulation program he had written running on his Falcon. It uses star data and shows stars in a 3D rotating environment and it ran really well on a stock Falcon and also then with the Eagle 32mhz booster running which did improve the overall performance of the program.

We then copied over Day of the Tentacle to see how it would run on a Falcon. We copied if using a USB stick and Gary’s NetUSBee. Copying took a while due to the size of the SOU file but eventually it finished copying and we set to running the game. Unfortunately, the game bombed on Brett’s Falcon and it may have been due to the Eagle 32mhz booster inside but we did not get it to run so we then fired up my Falcon and copied the game files onto this. Again, we did not have much luck with getting it running although it did not bomb, it just froze after changing the colour palette.

After Brett had left, we had another look at Tentacle on my Falcon to see why it was not loading. We renamed the large sound SOU file so that the extension was SOX to stop the game using it and then ran the PRG. The game then loaded and ran, albeit without any sounds or music. Pressing F5 brought up the ScummST options and the Sound was set to Atari DMA and the music was set to Atari YM. We then existed the game and renamed the sound file back to SOU and re-ran the PRG. The game loaded and we now had music and speech. We played it but it eventually froze so Rob needs to do some more investigating.

We then loaded Cubase Audio onto my Falcon to start setting this up but the program bombed and did not seem to work with my Cubase Audio cartridge dongle. We were using installation disks from Gary’s Cubase Audio for CBX-D5. As it was not working on my Falcon, we fired up Gary’s Falcon and copied his Cubase Audio onto the hard drive and plugged in his dongle. The program ran fine so we connected up a synth keyboard via MIDI but had no luck with getting it to play from Cubase to the keyboard. Input from the keyboard was working and we could record in Cubase. We concluded the day with the fact that Gary and Rob need to learn both Cubase and how to use their Synth keyboards better.