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Offline dingebreTopic starter

New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« on: April 30, 2023, 07:17:18 AM »
Hi all,

I am a fortunate owner of two of the new A4091 SCSI controllers and have a couple of questions regarding configuration, behavior, and some misc.

I have 2 A3000s into which these will be installed in order to bypass the on board SCSI so that a BFG9060 may be installed as well (I tried the BFG9060 already and it is having issues with the Zulu SCSI 1.1 I installed that is connected to the on board SCSI). I am using one A3000 as a test bed because it is already a 25 MHz CPU/FPU. Trying to avoid doing too much at one time. I'll replace the XTAL, CPU, and FPU on the other 16 MHz unit after I've confirmed things on the 25 MHz system.

First step was to repair the battery acid damage, then generally clean things, install new electrolytic capacitors, and some general maintenance. Then, I began the upgrade process.

1. Installed a Zulu SCSI 1.1 with Amiga OS 3.2.2 with 3.2.2 Roms - works great.
2. Installed a Mtn ZZ9000 RTG card - works great.
3. Installed a GottaGoFazt3r memory card - works great.
4. Installed a Super Buster 11 chip in anticipation of the A4091 - works great.
5. Installed the A4091 - I think it's working, but I have concerns.

1. The boot sequence is slow. If there is anything substantial in WBStartup, like DOpus, it takes a looooong time to boot. When booted and running, using SysInfo, the data transfer to the A4091 seems to be on par with the on board A3000 SCSI. Any thoughts as to why the boot is so long?

2. HDToolBox does not see any SCSI drives on the Zulu SCSI 1.1. However, the OS see everything just fine. As a side note, all partitions are 4 Gb or less, just because I wanted to avoid any issues. This isn't a deal breaker as I can do any configuring with WinUAE, but isn't it odd they don't register in HDToolBox?

3. Any suggestions as to how to move the LED connector to the A4091 so I can see HD access? There is a three pin connector similar to that on the motherboard, but as this was targeted for the A4000, I'm not sure the best way to adapt it to the A3000. I can make an adapter, extender, etc. but I'd like to avoid "redesigning the wheel" if someone has already done this.

4. IBrowse crashes every time I try to use it. It was a little unstable before, but now it's simply unusable. Version 2.5.8, registered. Other software seems to be fine although I haven't installed very much. I was saving the software as my last step.

5. The dip switch settings seem straight forward enough, but setting switch #4 needs knowledge of whether or not the Zulu is using active or passive termination. I have been unable to determine if the termination is active or passive. Anyone know? The A4091 seems to work in either position.

6. Last (a bit vague, sorry), at first, I was getting some weird software failures, often a startup program called RAWB... something (I know, I should have written it down), but this doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. I guess what I'm asking is are there known instabilities or incompatibilities with the A4091 and anything?

I appreciate your patience. For what it's worth, I'm not new to the Amiga, software, hardware, programming, etc., but it has been several decades since I was actively using my Amigas on a daily basis. I'm playing a lot of catch up here. A lot of cobwebs to sweep away.

David
« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 07:17:52 AM by dingebre »
David
 

Offline RobertB

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Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2023, 11:58:22 PM »
Have you contacted the developers of the new A4091?

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
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Offline dingebreTopic starter

Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2023, 03:53:48 AM »
Thank you Robert. I am waiting for approval on the "English Amiga Board" so I can post my question to the developers. In the interim, I have corresponded with the gentleman who built my boards, I've "Read the ___ Manual" a few times, scoured every resource I can think of including watching numerous YouTube videos, but there has been no answers and no help thus far. I've looked at the Discord channel, but I'm not a big fan of Discord as I find there is far too much noise. Whereas asking on a forum such as this, at least in my experience, allows for a much more thoughtful response and provides more actual help since it reaches far more people who actually see the subject and are interested in the topic. Questions on Discord all too often vanish into the Ethernet aether.

I find the community on forums such as this one, to be very kind, patient, friendly, and knowledgeable.

In short, as soon as I'm approved on the other forum, I will certainly ask there. However, others beyond the developers may have insight into the questions I asked, too.

David
David
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2023, 11:39:02 PM »
You've got a lot of variables to isolate with all those different expansion cards. I'd start by stripping the system down to just the 4091 and hard drive. The core issue you're trying to identify is whether this is an issue with the 4091 in general, or whether it's an issue with these particular builds of the re-implemented 4091, correct?

To your specific points:

1. Not certain what could be going on here, but check your filesystem version. If it's FFS, is it the latest FFS from 3.2? Also check the 4091 jumpers. I think you want switches 4-8 off for maximum performance. Also, I'm not familiar with ZuluSCSI, but if it's derived from SCSI2SD v5.x, that's probably the explanation. SCSI2SD v5 is quite slow, limited to about 1-2MB/s.

2. You probably need to change the tooltype SCSI_DEVICE_NAME in HDToolbox from scsi.device to 2nd.scsi.device. If there are multiple instances of scsi.device, subsequent ones get a "2nd." or "3rd." etc. prefix. Since you have the 3000's onboard SCSI and the 4091 SCSI, I suspect this is what's happening. By default it's looking for devices on the internal bus (scsi.device), which is empty.

3. No idea for this one, sorry.

4. What version of MUI are you using? The only stable version for 68K is good ol' 3.8.

5. Not sure, but active termination is usually a good bet. Anything in the ZuluSCSI docs?

6. RAWBInfo is a standard program that ships with the OS. It's responsible for the enhanced icon information window. It should not be crashing. If it is, it indicates something else wrong with the system - possibly a termination/bus issue. A good test would be to see if the same thing happens with the hard drive connected to the internal SCSI bus. Your IBrowse crashes could be related to the same phenomenon.

I hope some of this is helpful!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 04:13:48 PM by Matt_H »
 
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Offline dingebreTopic starter

Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2023, 05:14:48 AM »
You've got a lot of variables to isolate with all those different expansion cards. I'd start by stripping the system down to just the 4091 and hard drive. The core issue you're trying to identify is whether this is an issue with the 4091 in general, or whether it's an issue with these particular builds of the re-implemented 4091, correct?

To your specific points:

1. Not certain what could be going on here, but check your filesystem version. If it's FFS, is it the latest FFS from 3.2? Also check the 4091 jumpers. I think you want switches 4-8 off for maximum performance. Also, I'm not familiar with ZuluSCSI, but if it's derived from SCSI2SD v5.x, that's probably the explanation. SCSI2SD v5 is quite slow, limited to about 1-2MB/s.

2. You probably need to change the tooltype SCSI_DEVICE_NAME in HDToolbox from scsi.device to 2nd.scsi.device. If there are multiple instances of scsi.device, subsequent ones get a "2nd." or "3rd." etc. prefix. Since you have the 3000's onboard SCSI and the 4091 SCSI, I suspect this is what's happening. By default it's looking for devices on the internal bus (scsi.device), which is empty.

3. No idea for this one, sorry.

4. What version of MUI are you using? The only stable version for 68K is good ol' 3.8.

5. Not sure, but active termination is usually a good bet. Anything in the ZuluSCSI docs?

6. RAWInfo is a standard program that ships with the OS. It's responsible for the enhanced icon information window. It should not be crashing. If it is, it indicates something else wrong with the system - possibly a termination/bus issue. A good test would be to see if the same thing happens with the hard drive connected to the internal SCSI bus. Your IBrowse crashes could be related to the same phenomenon.

I hope some of this is helpful!

This is wonderful information. Thank you very much!

1. I'm not sure where the Zulu SCSI came from. When it's connected to the internal SCSI, SysInfo reports about 6 Mb/s. When it's on the A4091 and the system is booted, it gives about the same performance so it seems to be associated with the boot sequence only. I'll keep digging. I've seen others reporting similar slow booting but no solutions.

2. Thank you for this idea about the ToolTypes. I am just getting back to my Amigas after a few decades and I don't think Amiga OS like I used to. I'll read up on the ToolTypes for HDToolBox.

3. I'll look at the schematics better. It should be clear what each pin is doing.

4. I'm using 3.8. I'll do some re-installing and see if it helps.

5. There is nothing specific as to what type of termination is implemented in the Zulu SCSI, only that it can be selected with a DIP switch. The A4091 comes with an active termination block. I will source a cable with an additional connector and will give it a try and turn off the Zulu SCSI.

6. Good advice and direction, thanks.

Seriously, thank you for your time and for sharing your ideas.

David
David
 

Offline mechy

Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2023, 03:42:43 PM »
A friend of mine has built a few of these cards and he is having problems with them also. He has been reporting problems to the author and he has been working on the firmware for the re4091 and i believe he said the luns are working for scsi card readers and stuff now. Initially he couldn't even get a real scsi hd working on the cards but i think that has also improved. I gather they just tested it with the scsi2sd 6x?

Note the BFG has documented problems with scsi as far as i know there is no solution yet.
 
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Offline dingebreTopic starter

Re: New A4091 SCSI Controller Questions/Trouble Shooting
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2023, 04:00:09 AM »
A friend of mine has built a few of these cards and he is having problems with them also. He has been reporting problems to the author and he has been working on the firmware for the re4091 and i believe he said the luns are working for scsi card readers and stuff now. Initially he couldn't even get a real scsi hd working on the cards but i think that has also improved. I gather they just tested it with the scsi2sd 6x?

Note the BFG has documented problems with scsi as far as i know there is no solution yet.

Thanks!

David
David