9 April 2022 meetup

Another fun day was had at the man-cave.  Good to catch up with Brett and Gary again.

Brett has been busy with his Falcon doing development with Pure C.  He has updated his code/program which shows the stars in the galaxy rotating around the sun.  The code changes were to use the Falcon DSP to assist with the rotation of the galaxy and there was a big improvement in the performance of the rotation.

Gary persuaded Brett to re-install Mint on his Falcon and this promptly broke the galaxy program updates and so Brett said he would work on the code to make it also work under Mint.  Rob suggested that he also consider installing Freemint as this is a more modern and maintained version of Mint.

Gary and Rob then spent some time creating floppy disk versions of Cubase 3.10 with the dongle emulator included.

13 March 2021 meetup

Brett, Neil, Gary and Rob met up on Saturday. As usual, the meetup started with everyone catching up on all things retro and life.

Brett brought along his STE and the PLCC IDE adapter he was looking to fit into the STE. Unfortunately the STE did not have the 68000 CPU socketed which the IDE adapter needs. Brett had removed the CPU and soldered in a SMT socket before the meetup but when the STE was powered on there was no sign of life. Brett will continue to work on resolving this after the meetup.

Neil brought along a non-working STM1 mouse which we disassembled and tested on Gary’s Mega 4 and the mouse came to life and was working. Neil has confirmed since that the mouse is working fine back on the original ST. Neil also took away a Microsoft Basic USB Optical mouse and one of Rob’s ST2USB PS2 mouse adapters to use on his ST as well as Gary’s UBE VGA adapter to test his LCD screen with.

Gary was working through creating SCP dumps of a batch of floppy disks using his Greaseweazle whilst we chatted.

We fired up my STF remake H4 board and plugged in the RGBtoHDMI adapter and connected it to Gary’s Dell monitor using the HDMI cable. After building the 16 pin ribbon cable and connecting the shifter board to the RGBtoHDMI adapter, we got HDMI output to Gary’s screen but it was VSync was not working and so the image whilst looking crisp, was scrolling constantly. We checked some of the RGBtoHDMI options through the in-built menu but nothing seem to improve the stability of the image. Rob decided that it would be best to take it away and investigate further later. Very happy that we got the output on the screen so this was great.

RGBtoHDMI UPDATE: Rob now has the RGBtoHDMI working well from his STF remake H4. There were 2 things I needed to do to get it working;

  1. Program the CPLD with the correct firmware as he had used the BBC 3-12bit (6-12_BIT_BBC_CPLD_v79) firmware and it needs to be the generic RGB (6-12_BIT_RGB_CPLD_v92) firmware.
  2. Solder the wire for VSync to the Shifter adapter board as it was not soldered in and floating around!

The firmware programmed into the CPLD controls which profiles are available in the menu and this was why we could not see the Atari_ST profile on Saturday. The profile now appears.

Rob will bring the H4 and RGBtoHDMI adapter along at the next meetup to show how it works and the output quality.

After some success with the HDMI output on Saturday, we then tested the ACSI STM32 adapter Rob designed by plugging it into the H4 header but even with a HDDriver boot floppy disk, the hard drive was not appearing. Will see if he can find time later to work on getting this working.

We then moved onto the 1040STFM board Gary and Rob have been working on which does not read floppy disks. The system reports “Drive A not responding…” and cannot access any disk content. This is the same with a real floppy drive and Gotek so we know that the issue is with the board. We have tested and removed various ICs and today the plan was to replace the 10k bus pull-up SIL resistors with 2.2k ones. After replacing the five SIL resistors on the board, we fired it up but the floppy problem was still there so this did not resolve it. We will continue to work on this board and see if we can identify what is causing the problem and bring it back to full functionality.

Gary was looking to sell the Mega 4 he had recently acquired and so Rob is now the proud owner of a Mega 4 and Eiffel PS2 keyboard/mouse adapter. After getting it home, Rob noted that the Exxos IDE/TOS adapter he uses in the H4/H5 boards would fit in nicely if the CPU in the Mega 4 was socketed so on Sunday he removed the 68000 CPU IC and soldered in a 64 pin DIL turned pin socket. The Mega 4 now has dual TOS 1.04/EmuTOS 1.0 and an IDE CF hard drive all working well. 😊

The day went really quickly and was very productive. Thanks to everyone who came along and Gary as usual for hosting the meetup in his man-cave. Look forward to the next one.

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.

20 December 2020 meetup

It was a warm day on Sunday at Gary’s man-cave and it was good to see Brett, Andy (via video link from Canberra) and Jonathan (Brett’s brother) join Gary and I for another meetup. It was Jonathan’s first time joining us and he is into all sorts of retro computers and has a number of computers and we were very interested to hear what he had been up to with them.

Jonathan has done some tweaking to the 3D printed case for the ST2VGA adapters I made.

The new design improves on the original created by Brett and is slightly bigger but now has more robust clips for closing the two pieces together. Jonathan brought along a few of these new cases (in various colours) to share and so anyone interested, they will be available for collection at the next meetup at Gary’s place. I am impressed with the case and would like to pass on my thanks to Jonathan for the new and improved version. Jonathan said that the STL 3D files will be shared with everyone so those with the video adapters can print their own copy.

We all caught up on life and everything retro and Brett has a new program he is working on which shows the stars in the galaxy and runs on an ST as well as being developed on his Falcon. Brett had brought along a working copy of the program but we did not get to see this running and hopefully this can be shown running at the next meetup.

Gary updated his latest Atari STF computer acquisition with new 6 chip 1.04 TOS ROMs to replace the French TOS it came with and we tested that this then booted up which it did first time.

We fired up my H4 computer to test my new game, Athanor 2, but unfortunately my H4 crashed and then would not boot (it is booting now it is home again! so all good). So we fired up Gary’s H4 and loaded the Athanor 2 game using his PARCP-USB adapter and it ran fine under EmuTOS. The new game has some good music and graphics although we struggled to figure out how to interact with people and elements in the game as the interface was not that intuitive. We did eventually make some progress with picking up items and interacting with the wine salesman but we then decided to move onto other things.

Next up we powered up my latest version of my MIDI hat on the MT-32 pi emulator and we connected up Gary’s H4 to it via the MIDI port to review the music in Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island 2 and Indiana Jones Fate of Atlantis as Brett and Jonathan were interested to hear how this sounded on the ST platform to the MT-32. These games brought back memories from playing them on other platforms and much reminiscing was done.

Gary re-assembled his STF with the new TOS and screwed the case back together. We then tested some of my ST2USB PS2 mouse adapters after I finished soldering an SMD capacitor onto each of them.

21 November 2020 meetup

It was good to catch up with Gary, Christoph and Brad on Saturday. Brad bought along a couple of his STFMs, one of which he needed guidance on updating the TOS to 1.4 so he can connect his UltraSatan. Gary did the honors of cracking open the computers so we could see what ROM ICs were inside. Both of Brad’s 2 STFMs had a 2 chip TOS and so we agreed the easiest solution was to upgrade the one needing 1.4 was to switch it to a 6 chip TOS installation. There were 3 solder jumpers to change along with clearing all the IC holes to install the additional 4 chips and installing the IC capacitors. Whilst we had the ROM ICs and sockets, we were missing some 100nf capacitors to install. Brad has some programmable ROM ICs so we programmed these with TOS 1.4 and Brad took these away and has since completed the updated and he can now use his UltraSatan on both STFM machines.

Rob brought along the recently delivery of H5 A3 STF remake boards to show off. These are yet to be built but very bling looking in green and gold.

Christoph updated us all on the various bits of coding he has under way including the cracks for a few Amiga games he has been working on. He also demonstrated his large multi-button joystick controller. Brad also showed us his recently acquired joystick he purchased from the latest competition pro clones being produced which was very solid and robust and also looks great.

We fired Rob’s H4 STF remake and also the MT32-pi emulator with his custom designed midi hat to show off the sound capabilities of Monkey Island 2 (ScummST version) and the MT32-pi emulator via the midi out. Given that a real Roland MT-32 can cost upwards of $600, the MT32-pi emulator is a great alternative and price. Brad and Gary took away one of the pi midi hats so that they can have do some more testing for me.

Gary and Rob then fired up Cubase on Rob’s H4 and connected up his synth. We started with Cubase Audio for Falcon but whilst this ran on the H4, it advised it was only for Falcon030 so we then fired up Cubase 3.01 (cracked) to see how this would work. With my Yamaha DX7s synth connected to the H4 via midi, Cubase could see the synth so we started to play with recording a tune into Cubase (trying to remember what Chris had shown us at a previous meetup). Rob’s DX7s had the internal battery replaced when he first got it but the internal voices/instruments were showing corrupted on the LCD and not usable. That said, the cartridge instruments were working fine so we managed to get some recording into Cubase done and then played back through the synth. Rob can play a few notes from Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and this was what got recorded in Cubase, tweaked and then played back through midi to the synth.

We need to learn more about Cubase to make better use of this but we managed to get the basics working on Saturday so we were very happy. Rob also needs to learn more about using my DX7. He did fix the DX7s internal voices/instruments on Sunday and now both internal and cartridge instruments work correctly.

Rob had a few midi files which we copied onto the H4 hard drive and then loaded these into Cubase to play back through the DX7s and had some success with some of the files. Some of the midi files sent midi control instructions to his synth which due to the internal corrupted instruments confused it.

We then moved on to using Cubase with the MT32-pi emulator and my pi midi hat and this sounded really good when we played the midi files in Cubase and the MT32-pi played them flawlessly including the ones that screwed Rob’s DX7s when connected. Again, the MT32-pi emulator proved that it worked really well, so very happy with this and his pi midi hat he created.

Time flew by really quickly on Saturday and I would like to thank Gary for hosting us again. We do encourage you to pop by at an upcoming meetup if you can find the time and say “hi”, it is very casual and we do enjoy chatting and catching up.

3 October 2020 meetup

Another great event was hosted by Gary at his man-cave. Brett, Rob and Gary were there and Andy joined us through the video call from Canberra.

Always good to catch-up with everyone and hear what has been going on with their retro projects and life in general.

I took along some Atari STM1 mice that had issues and were in pieces ready for fault-finding. I also took along an STFM board which I have fitted an Exxos ForgetmeClock II RTC wired to the cartridge port to show off.

Brett bought along his upgraded 600XL along with a tiny TV to connect the 600XL to for video output. Brett powered up the 600XL which had a cartridge inserted with a Flash card loaded with 8 bit software. Brett has been busy again porting his strip poker game with Kimberly in onto the 600XL. He loaded this up to show it working. Lack of sprites was a constraint on his coding the game but it looks very good and Kimberly was there blinking at us as the cards were dealt.

Brett also mentioned that he has recently acquired an Acorn Archimedes computer in a non-working state. After some working with it, he has managed to get ti to partially boot up and will be continuing the work this weekend to see if he can fully repair it. He has also been playing with the RISC OS on his Raspberry Pi to get accustomed to this operating system and how it works to help with repairing the Archimedes. Will be good to hear how this goes.

Andy then joined us via the video call from Canberra and this was the first meetup he has attended since moving from Queensland so it was great to see him looking well. He had been out and about on his new motorbike before joining us. Andy has been using his Raspberry Pi 4 and Retropie so he powered it up. He had it hooked up to a projector so we could see the screen through the call and it was just like being there. After a bit of playing to get everything plugged into the Pi, he eventually got R-Type II up and running and we watched him playing the initial level. I am now going to have to my Pi out and load up Retropie as this has changed a lot since I last used it and looks really good.

Andy had his Amiga 2000 sat in the behind him playing his music in the background. Good to see he has this up and running as he still has not unpacked his Falcon’s yet. He said he needs to confirm how to wire up the CT60 header again to get his main Falcon up and running.

We then moved onto the Atari STM1 mice Gary and I have that were not working fully. We tested the cable continuity to confirm that all the 8 wires were good from end-to-end to rule out broken wires as the cause of the lack of functionality. After test 2 of my mice cables and confirming they were good, we then moved onto testing them to see what was not working.

Both mice had issues where the mouse pointer would move in 3 directions but not the fourth. Once mouse did not move down and the other did not move right. I have purchased some sender-receiver LEDs and some LM339 IC chips as these are used in the directional logic on the mice boards. As the mice were moving in 3 directions, we worked on the assumption that the LM339 was working and so we replaced the yellow LEDs in the mouse that was not moving down one at a time. There are 2 yellow and 2 red LEDs on each scroll wheel. On these 2 mice, the red LEDs are impossible to remove without totally disassembling the ball plastic housing so we opted to try replacing the yellow LEDs first.

I had brought along my de-soldering gun which sucks the solder away and we used this on the mice to remove the LEDs and ICs. After replacing the first yellow LED there was no improvement so we replaced the second yellow LED and hey-presto the mouse now moved in all 4 directions again. Each set of red-yellow sender-receiver LEDs controls one direction so working on this information we only replaced one yellow LED in the second STM1 mouse and this fixed this mouse. These 2 mice both had the same internal PCB and components. I would like to give a shout-out to Paul and say thank you as the information he provided to buy these sender-receiver LEDs. I purchased them from Core Electronics in Australia so delivery was quicker than from overseas.

One of my fixed STM1 mice had the LM339 chip in a turned pin socket which was handy for the next mouse we worked on. Gary had one that was not moving in any direction at all but the mouse button was working fine so it had power. Brett and Gary tested the cable continuity to make sure that the cable was okay and it tested fine.

We took a guess that no movement indicated that the LM339 chip may not be working. We removed the chip and put it in my now working mouse with the IC socket. Sure enough, the mouse movement then stopped working so the LM339 chip was faulty/dead. We soldered in a new LM339 chip into Gary’s STM1 mouse and movement in all directions was restored. Gary has some sender-receiver LEDs he purchased from Best Electronics which were colour coded black and red but we were unable to get the black ones working when replacing black or yellow LEDs in the mice. These will need testing (if anyone knows how to test them, please let us know).

We then looked at another couple of my STM1 mice but these have sender-receiver LEDs with smaller plastic heads and the new ones I had were not a match so we could not get these working. These have been put aside for a later date. Gary then found another STM1 mouse that he had which had the same internals as the first 2 we had fixed. This also had movement in 3 directions only. After replacing one yellow LED the movement that was not working returned but it lost movement in the opposite direction so we replaced the second yellow LED and this fixed movement in both directions so we had a fourth working STM1 mouse.

After the success with fixing these mice, we then moved onto Greaseweazle’s and I gave an F1 Greaseweazle to Brett to test dumping his floppy disks.

Gary has a Blue Angel 69 game disk which was not booting in a real STE and the program in the auto folder would not run so we decided to re-write the disk with a working image. Before this we took an SCP dump of the disk. Gary had a few downloaded copies of the game and so we used HxC Emulator to convert these to an SCP format which we then used his Greaseweazle to write back to the disk. Whilst the updated disk booted on his STE, it did not fully load. The SCP conversion loads fine in Steem emulator so I need to look more into this as we have found previously, the Greaseweazle was not able to write back another game at a previous meetup and this is a limitation in the Greaseweazle itself. There are some SCP dumps that it cannot write back correctly.

We updated Gary’s F1 Greaseweazle to the latest firmware (v0.21) and also update the laptop software including the GUI and tested this was all working by dumping a floppy disk.

Another fun day catching up and I would like to thank Gary for hosting us.

27 June 2020 meetup

Saturday was another great meetup at Gary’s man cave.

Brett’s brought along his STFM which has the power LED not working. Brett wanted to confirm if this was fixable and likely causes. The power LED was not showing any signs of life but this did not stop the computer from working. Brett may have a dead LED or the resistor feeding it has died.

Brett showed off his latest bit of assembly coding in his strip poker game ported to the Atari ST. Brett has developed this game on a number of different retro platforms and the Atari is the latest one. The game was excellent and worked so well that the girl Kimberly won her clothes back. I guess my poker playing skills are not good enough. On that note, it was very interesting to discuss with Brett the coding logic and the components that make up a card game like this. Kimberly’s image is one also ported over with the game and very applicable to a retro game. Whilst Brett had stripped out the sound so he could demo it, he will be finishing it off and will hopefully make this available for us to play in the future.

Rob also asked Brett to work on a 3D case for the ST2VGA video adapters he make. When the 3D STL file is available, we will make this available to anyone who wants it to print their own case for the adapter.

Rob brought along a 2 chip TOS STFM board and some 32 pin to 28 pin adapter boards he developed recently to allow TOS UV programmable ROMs to be used in the 2 chip STFM boards. The 32 pin ROMs are 27C010, like the ones used in an STE. Rob programmed up a couple of the 27C010 chips with TOS 1.04 (with the IDE patch applied) to show how this is done and then we installed them in the STFM. They booted first time and showed the green desktop. So the computer can now boot IDE hard drives if they are every connected. The PCBs we used have sockets to allow the ROMs to be tested which technically make them too high to fit with the shielding in place so Rob will need to get some low-profile pins and maybe solder the 27C010 directly to the adapter PCBs for them to fit into the original TOS sockets.

Gary and Rob then worked on writing back some disk images with his Greaseweazle and this took a bit of investigating. Gary wanted to write back disk 1 from the 520STE Turbo pack, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. This disk has a very strange disk encoding system and as it turns out one that no flux board is capable of writing back to a disk! We tried a few other disk images but we seemed to be using dirty or bad disks and so Gary’s Mega ST did not boot the disks we created with the Greaseweazle. Rob has done some more testing since with his flux boards as he has the Kryoflux, Supercard Pro and Greaseweazle boards with the Turbo pack disk 1 and was unable to get a working floppy disk. The key to writing back to a real floppy is a good clean floppy disk and a clean drive in the Atari. Rob has also tested a few other disk dumps and successfully created a few game disks.

Thanks to Gary for hosting and Brett for letting me relive my youth again playing strip poker…

11 January 2020 meetup

Well it was another interesting Atari day at the Man Cave.

First off we looked at a rather simple set of commands for GFA Basic. This was thanks to Rob and Brett for their patience.

Gary’s Atari Mega ST that he installed the hard drive in, somehow managed to lock all the drives when we went to install GFA Basic we couldn’t.

After re-running the install program and with help from Rob and Brett we managed to get it all set up. ( This program is in German).

Rob gave a demo of his H4 STF remake board by playing a game. He also showed us the Satandisk running on it. Well done to Rob.

Rob has also taken Gary’s H4 board to build that as well, as Gary didn’t think he really had the confidence or steady enough hands these days to do it himself.

Brett has been doing some programming that he will share with the group later.

After Brett and Rob H left Rob and Gary started looking at Gary’s Mega STE.

The Mega needed New English TOS 2.06 Roms put in, that Rob had programmed for me. Success; that bit up and running.

Next we looked at the floppy drive as it only had a 720 in, to upgrade it to a 1.44 floppy. Unfortunately we have not been successful with this update.(Work in progress). You would not believe the number of Floppy Drives we tried, and how many jumpers Rob changed in the hope of getting this going. I think if I want the 1.44 floppy I am going to have to invest more money that I do not have at the moment. lol

The battery back up clock needed to be changed as it was flat. Jaycar did not have a suitable replacement so will have to try elsewhere.

By this stage it was quite late, so we called it a night.

Again thanks to everyone who came.

Thanks for all your help.

9 February 2020 meetup

I am pleased to advise that Gary’s Atari STF Remake H4 board was finished today and booted up 1st time. Paul checked my SMT soldering and finalized the patches before we booted the board and we were pleasantly surprised that it booted 1st time. That means we now have 3 of our 5 H4 boards booted and working. Gary is now the proud owner of a brand new Atari STF system and has taken it to install into a case.

When we finished working on the H4 board we then moved onto a couple of Greaseweazel (STM32F1) boards and adapters. And after downloading the code, we managed to get these both working and successfully dumped one of Paul’s Atari floppy disks. For those interested, more information on the Greaseweazel and flux dumps can be found here: https://github.com/keirf/Greaseweazle

Gary also brought along his Atari TT for us to have a look at as it was going faulty once it had warmed up. The TT did have issues but it was not fixable today so we will do some more testing on it to try and identify where the problem is.

I would like to thank Paul for his usual excellent hospitality today. Look forward to the next time.

29 September 2019 meetup

The meeting was fun and productive and here is a wrap up of the day’s events:

Neil powered up his 800XL and showed off his new sdrive max. Pretty impressive the way it worked. We loaded a few games and I played Galaxians which I played back in the day.

Brett attend and it was great to meet a fellow retro fan. Brett has a wealth of knowledge across many systems which he owns. We fired up my STE with MicroCosmosEx and loaded up Mark Williams C. We successfully loaded up and compiled a couple of C Manship examples and they compiled successfully and ran. Brett also has experience with coding in C so he was interested to see this working. Maybe Brett can help out if anyone needs help with creating C based programs. Maybe Brett and Miro can develop something new and interesting together for our Atari’s??

Brett has taken away a new OLED Gotek drive to install in his Atari and play with.

Rob H joined Gary and I just as Brett and Neil had to leave and had brought along his new lightning card to show us. I have been reading about this new IDE and USB card on the forums so it was nice to see a real one. We will need to help Robert remove his 68000 CPU from one of his STFMs and fit the socket so he can install this new gadget. I am looking forward to seeing this card running in the future.

Rob H’s new 1040STFM was purchased with a dead floppy drive and so we did a quick test and then installed his Gotek drive and tested things before closing the case.

We chatted about the new STF Remake H4 board and the mods coming with it. We were also chatting about the YM2149 and stereo output. Rob H has sent the following video link showing someone who has done the modification to an Atari: https://youtu.be/0yY4BlPfLf4 Might think about this modification on the STF Remake Alpha board if I find time.

Again, Gary was a great host and it was good to meet catch up with everyone.

8 September 2019 meetup

It was another fun Sunday meetup at Gary’s.

It was good to see Christoph, Brad, and Rob H during the day as well as our host Gary and me.

We worked through Christoph’s Amiga disk and images. We created a preservation image of Dragon Breed Amiga game disk which we then dumped back to another blank floppy to test if this will work. Christoph is also going to look at the dumped image and re-cracking the games protections. He did this many year’s ago and so needs to remember how he did this. Christoph will need to let us know how he goes and give us a demo next time.

Gary updated one of his Atari STF with TOS 1.04 ROMs from a German TOS ROMs. All tested fine afterwards. We also installed some TOS ROMs into his 2 new STE motherboards. Gary will test these at some point to confirm TOS boots.

Gary was busy formatting his new Atari hard disk acquisition. It was running all day and still running when I left. Gary will need to let us know if it does finally finish formatting the disk?

Brad brought along his Atari ST and hi-res Atari monitor. We need to get Paul to check the settings to see if the screen area can be extended by adjustments? There were no external things to adjust this. Brad’s kids seem to enjoy playing games on the Atari Jaguar and were not keen when they had to leave.

Rob H brought along a couple of Gotek drives for us to test but it looks like these are dead and beyond repair. If anyone wants Goteks updating with FlashFloppy firmware, please let me know as I am more than happy to flash these for the group and can do this at the meetups. Rob H has also ordered a set of capacitors to recap his Atari STF PSU. As I said, Gary and I have done a few of these so if anyone needs help, Gary and I are happy to recap PSUs with new capacitors. Rob H took away a spare Gotek I had brought along so he had a working Gotek drive.

I had fun catching up with everyone.

25 August 2019 meetup

We had another great meetup at Gary’s today and it was good to see Christoph, Gary, Neil, Paul as well as newcomer Robert (and wife) there during the day. As there are now 2 Rob’s in the group, I will refer to Robert as Rob H in the meeting notes.

It has been a while since we have met up so it was good to catch up with everyone.

Christoph said he has been working on Falcon ports of some Atari games. I am looking forward to seeing these.

Rob H has an Atari STF he has received all the way from Italy. He also had a Marpet 4mb RAM upgrade with him so we got that fitted and so now his Atari has 4mb of memory ready for him to play with. Rob H has a number of Amiga’s and this is his first Atari and it was good to see him and his wife there today. Rob H is going to update one of his Gotek drives with FlashFloppy firmware for use in his new Atari. Rob H’s wife also took a few photos, which hopefully he will share with us.

We chatted a bit about Atari hardware and modifications. Thanks to Gary and family for the food and drinks. As always a great host.

Paul and Gary worked on my dead STE board and made some progress in the diagnosing the faulty board. The CPU is in Halt state and some testing was done on the connectivity to the TOS ROMs from CPU. More work still needed to get this solved and I would like to thank Paul for his time spent investigating.

Rob was given an old Oscilloscope which is not working and so I brought this along with me today and Paul quickly opened it up to look inside. Paul has kindly said that he will look see if it will work again and then this can be used by the group for diagnosing hardware issues.

Gary and Rob H have requested 6 chip TOS 1.04 for their new Atari STF computers so I will get these created and ready to replace that old TOS 1.0 that they currently have.

Neil has promised to bring along his Atari XL once he has the new drive system and looking forward to seeing this all working.

Gary finally powered up his new Atari SH-205 hard drive which we opened up as it was not working. Paul found that the power supply was not connected internally and re-connected it so the drive now powered up. Paul had to leave but Gary and I carried on only to find that the drive had no partitions on it and HD Driver would not create new partitions. Not sure if the internal drive is faulty or not so I left Gary to do some more testing on it.

We had fun today and look forward to the next meetup.

30 June 2019 meetup

Had a great time at Paul’s place on Sunday. Thank you Paul.

First off Paul had sorted out one colour monitor for me, now up and working. The photo’s of this was sent to everyone.

Me being me, I arrived at Paul’s place with 3 more monitors for Paul to look at fixing.

We went to work on another colour monitor. (Well Paul did Gary observed)

When Gary picked it up originally from a seller it was working, got home tried it not working. The joys of old equipment.

First of when we turned it on, it just had a line across the middle. Paul did some manual adjustments with the tunning controls and hey presto it was working-well sort of, when we moved the monitor there was yellow flashes on the screen. This was reminiscent of the first monitor but the main colour was red. From what Paul had said about the first monitor it was a gun issue, or alignment of the colours.

After much monitor tapping and time by Paul checking the circuitry the main fault was found and corrected. Paul also proceeded to re-solder all the board joints, to be on the safe side. Two monitors up and running now.

The third monitor is a high res one. Unfortunately by the time Gary had to leave, Paul had worked out the power switch was faulty, but there is still an issue with it. Work in progress

Thanks again Paul.

Hope to see more people at the next one.