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Amiga News and Community Announcements => Amiga News and Community Announcements => Amiga Hardware News => Topic started by: Dennis on September 04, 2008, 02:26:41 AM

Title: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Dennis on September 04, 2008, 02:26:41 AM
Thanks to the hard work of Jakub Bednarski, updated cores are now available for download

at my Minimig site (http://home.hetnet.nl/~weeren001/). Jakub's version fixes many long-standing bugs and finally adds floppy write support. Please note that Jakub's cores behave somewhat differently than the previous cores so please read the provided readme carefully. Again, many thanks to Jakub for this new update!

Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Pyromania on September 04, 2008, 02:57:22 AM
Awesome news, we will d/led them and test on our Minimig.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 06:46:15 AM
Excellent!

Well done Jacub!

Well done Dennis!

From reading the readme.txt it looks like this core is what we needed.

Keep up the great work.

Don't forget to email me amigarulez@hotmail.com
if you need some clothes for your Minimig.

Brilliant news! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: tonyyeb on September 04, 2008, 08:25:52 AM
Great development news! Making the minimig more and more a worthwhile purchase.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mahen on September 04, 2008, 09:17:32 AM
This sounds *really* good, it seems to address most complaints :) I'm glad I purchased one... Yesterday !

(Hmm, if you lack ideas, joystick emulation on the keyboard could be useful :)

Congrats !
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: BraindeaD on September 04, 2008, 10:26:42 AM
Awesome...
Thanks for all, Jakub & Dennis.
Regards
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: pVC on September 04, 2008, 10:55:05 AM
Is there a possibility to have more floppy drive units? df1: df2: etc to insert those virtual floppies from sd-card :)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 10:56:13 AM
Here's the text from the included "readme" file explaining some of the changes:

Minimig firmware release 2008-08-04 by Jakub Bednarski.

    FPGA core version      : FYQ080729
    68K bootloader version : BYQ080717
    PIC firmware version   : PYQ080725

Minimig copyright 2006-2008 by Dennis van Weeren.


How to install:

  - Remove any jumpers from SPARE I/O header.
  - Put "minimig1.bin" on your SD/MMC card.
  - Using Tiny Bootloader application program PIC's flash memory with "firmware.hex" file.
    If you are experiencing problems:
    1. Make sure you have bootloader programmed into your PIC.
    2. Take care about pressing the PGM/RESET button in appropriate moment.


Features:


    Scan doubler:

    - added vertical and horizontal interpolation (selectable independently for hires and lores)
    - semi-transparent osd window with active line highlight


    OSD menu:

    - added alternative control by joystick (up and down signals activated simultaneously invoke menu)
    - configuration of: (configuration is stored in non-volatile memory inside the PIC)
      * memory options (512KB chip, 1MB chip, 512KB chip/512KB slow, 1MB chip/512KB slow)
      * video interpolation filters (vertical and horizontal interpolation for hires and lowres)
      * kickstart
        - both 256 and 512 KB non-encrypted kickstart files are supported (256KB kickstart takes 512KB of RAM)
        - stored filename is limited to 8 characters of letters A-Z and numbers 0-9
        - if stored kickstat file is missing default "kick.rom" file is loaded
        - kickstart file can be uploaded at run time without its name beeing stored in non-volatile memory (test purposes)
    - system reset from the OSD menu (no need for keyboard)


    New 68K bootloader (with video text mode).

    - displays information about firmware version and chipset configuration
    - allows to monitor the booting process
   

    Chipset changes:

    - ECS blitter (Agnus is identified as ECS)
    - PAL/NTSC selection support (different FPGA core for initial settings)
    - modified blanking timing (better compatibility)
    - modified display dma engine (better compatibility)
    - modified sprite dma engine (better compatibility)
    - modified copper timing (better compatibility)
    - modified floppy interface (better read and write support)
    - modified keyboard and mouse interface (better compatibility)
   

    Write support to ADF images:

      Since standard ADF images don't contain the MFM track data only write of sectors which conform to standard sector
    format is supported. It means that any attempt of non-standard sector write (i.e. long tracks) will be rejected
    and appropriate error message will be reported.
      Write protection status is read from the Read-Only file attribute. There is no option to change it on the Minimig.
   

    Action Replay III module:

      It was mandatory developing tool for finding bugs in current and future firmware implementations.
    Maybe someone will find it useful for other applications.
    It requires 256KB "AR3.ROM" file to be present on the SD/MMC card. The latest 3.17 rom version is only compatible
    with kickcstart 1.3 (34.5) and 2.04 (37.175). If the ROM file is missing the module is disabled.
    It can be disabled even though the ROM file is present on the flash card. To do so you need to press and hold
    the "MENU" button on the Minimig while loading kickstart. It can only be done during initial booting after power-up.
    When enabled it takes one 512KB RAM bank so max. 1MB is available for chip and slow RAM.
    The "FREEZE" button is Ctrl+Break.


Thanks to:
 
     Dennis for his great Minimig
     Loriano for impressive enclosure
     Darrin and Oscar for their involvement, ideas, support and help
     Toni for his indispensable help and logic analyzer (and WinUAE :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 10:58:02 AM
And, just to get you even more excited, here's the results of my testing with the beta cores which should behave like the final ones released here:

All tests done with PIC latest update and beta PAL core set for 512KB Chip/1MB Fast and 60Hz mod unless stated otherwise with ADF write support.

Menace:  The bug which allowed you to see the mothership being "drawn" has now been fixed with the intro now showing a smooth scrolling ship launching the fighter.  However, the bug where the fighter's shield are run down with what is probably bad collision detection with the background graphics remain (I think I remember this problem with early versions of WinUAE which has since been fixed).
 
Rodland:  Now working perfectly.  Before, the score area on the right hand side of the screen was missing.
 
Pacmania:  Now working perfectly.  Before, the maze graphics were completely corrupted.
 
Settlers:  Now working perfectly.  Before, the menu buttons for issuing commands was corrupted and unreadable.
 
Desert Strike:  Now working perfectly.  Used to give a disk error while trying to load.
 
Detroit ECS:  Seems to work perfectly (1MB/0.5MB).  Before, used to hang when displaying the intro graphics at the modern silver car.  I created several blank ADFs using WinUAE and copied them to the SD card.  I used one to save the game and then rebooted and successfully reloaded the saved game.  Lots of disk swapping though - needs a hard drive install or 2 floppy drives.  It also seems to keep the list of saved games on the 1st game disk so it needs to write to that too,

Elite:  Game worked before, tested ability to make a non-DOS save game.  Inserted a pre prepared "blank ADF", formatted it from the game menu, saved game, checked catalogue - OK, rebooted Minimig, loaded game, loaded save position - works perfectly.
 
Alien Breed:  Before the main player sprite was invisible.  Game now seems to work perfectly except with some small random graphics corruption that appears for a split second between "scene changes", such as between the intro text and the start of level 1.  I thought that the doors could be "shot" open using a lot of ammo, but they don't now - however this may have been a feature of the later Alien Breed games where there were 2 types of doors (ones that could be shot open and those that couldn't).
 
Troddlers:  Works perfectly.  Before the main player sprite was invisible.
 
Lemmings 2 - The Tribes:  Used to lock up and guru after the crack screen.  Now works perfectly.
 
Cannon Fodder 1 - Still works and it is confirmed that the reason for the dark flashing "lockup" is that people with only 1 drive  have to insert disk #1 and then reinsert the previous disk each time.
 
Alien Breed 92 SE:  Used to lock up after Super Frog advertisement.  Seems to work perfectly.  Doors can be shot open so this may have been introduced in the Special Edition and Alien Breed is working fine.
 
X-Out:  Used to lock up after the crack display.  Works perfectly.
 
Walker:  Used to lock up after crack intro.  Works perfectly.
 
Hostages:  Still has the same problem where the SWAT team are immediately shot and killed as soon as they break cover.
 
Cannon Fodder 2:  Works perfectly.  Yes!!!

Wing Commander:  Game works fine and it saves to Disk 2.  I quit the game and reloaded the save position, flew a mission - got killed - works great.

Lotus3:  Completed a race fine.  Music and graphics are flawless.

Addams Family:  Used to lock up during theme music, but now works OK.
 
Bards Tale:  Game works perfectly.  Character disk allows deletion/creation of party members.
 
Federation of Free Traders:  Seems to run, but I'm buggered if I can remember the controls.  Attempting to make a save game disk from a blank ADF results in a WriteTrack error #22.  This is due to non-standard code for floppy disk control.
 
Carrier Command:  When attempting to write to a safe game disk is reports WriteTrack error #23.  It doesn't ask for a formatted disk, just states that it wants to write to 1 of 4 areas on the disk.  Same problem as FOFT, non-standard floppy controller code.
 
Bards Tale 3:  Works perfectly.  Disk 2 is the save game disk.
 
Frontier - Elite 2:  Works perfectly.  Can save and reload from main game disk.
 
Chaos Engine:  works.

Cannon Fodder:  Started formatting a blank ADF then screen went blank.  Disk activity continued (light flashing) and finally stopped.  Screen remained blank and I had to reset the Minimig.  I reloaded Cannon Fodder and then tried to save to the ADF I previously tried to format and the game appeared to save.  I played a level and then reloaded the saved game position and it found my data and reloaded it perfectly.  I tried to format another ADF file to see if that made a difference and got the same crash midway through the format.
 
Speedball 2:   didn't work at first, locked up....   until I tried toggling between PAL and NTSC mode on the crack intro screen by right clicking the right mouse button and then it worked fine.  :-)
 
Populous:  Works fine.   NOTE: I tried one ADF that wouldn’t work.
 
Syndicate.  Works perfectly, however here’s some of my testing notes:  My Syndicate disk 2 already has a DARRIN game saved in slot 7 from playing it using WinUAE.  I had been trying to overwrite this saved game and then getting the "Insert Disk 2" error.  Anyway, I loaded the backup ADF image from the PC as you requested, attempted to save over the position and got the same error again.  I then rebooted the Minimig and saved to empty slot 8 and it worked.  I loaded from slot 8 and then resaved over the existing file in slot 8 with no problems.  I guess my slot 7 has been corrupted somehow when saving from WinUAE.  I've attached the ADF with my slot 8 save.  SO BEWARE OF AN ADF THAT HAS BEEN “WRITTEN TO” BY WinUAE.

UFO Enemy Unknown ECS version (or X-Com depending on where you bought it):  Works and saves fine (apart from the disk swapping).  It wouldn't work before as it needs to save to disk 3 as the game plays.

DUNE 2 (6 disks plus 1 save game disk):  Works perfectly.  Formats a save game disk from a blank ADF and games save fine.  Needs Hard Drive support as it's a real pain to play off floppies.
 
Colonization:  When I went to save the game I discovered that I needed a disk named "COLONIZATIONSAVES".  This needs to be created before the program runs and is simply an Amiga formatted disk with that name.

Alien Breed Tower Assault:  Works perfectly.  I used disk #2 to format and create a Hard Drive Install disk and is appeared to complete the task (unfortunately I can't test it).
 
Barbarian (Psynosis):  Locks up and doesn't work.  Needs a modified ADF which is in limited circulation.
 
Barbarian 2 (Psynosis):  Works perfectly.
 
Railroad Tycoon:  Works perfectly.

Sensible World of Soccer:  Works perfectly.  Formatted a save game disk, saved career, reloaded.
 
Populous 2:  Works perfect.  Saves games to Disk #2.  Saved and reloaded game.
 
Pirates:  Works perfect.  Games save to a standard Amiga formatted disk.

Sim Ant:  Works perfectly.  Saves and loads to/from game disks.  Hi Res version won't run, but I think that is because it needs at least 2MB of RAM.
 
Microprose Golf:  Works perfectly and saves to game data disks.
 
Nuclear War:  Works perfectly.
 
Millennium 2.2:  Works perfect.  Formats and saves to a game disk.
 
R-Type:  Works Perfectly.
 
Shadow Dancer:  Minor graphics corruption  - 8 lines drawn down each screen in intro, but vanishes during game play.
 
Twintris:  Works perfectly.
 
It Came From The Desert:  Works fine, needs a save game disk called "DSAVE".


Now, go and buy a Minimig!  :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mihcael on September 04, 2008, 11:40:01 AM
Quote
Now, go and buy a Minimig! :D


Excellent Information there!!!!

I just might do that!!!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: alexh on September 04, 2008, 11:56:31 AM
Jakub Bednarski = Yaqube?

Hats off.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 12:11:22 PM
Quote
Re: New Minimig cores available  
Poster: alexh  Posted: 2008/9/4 5:56:31

Jakub Bednarski = Yaqube?

Hats off.


That is correct.  He really busted a gut debugging this core for release and wanted it to be as good as possible before the public got hold of it - all for no financial gain.

The guy deserves a medal.  :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 12:34:07 PM
@Darrin,

Awesome work, I'll update the list on my site when I can.

Thank you! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: tonyyeb on September 04, 2008, 12:49:50 PM
I hope now most of the issues are resolved he can start to look at adding features like hard file support?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: jrfjunior on September 04, 2008, 01:29:14 PM
Hi, I am curious. How work floppy write since there is no floppy drive?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mihcael on September 04, 2008, 01:37:37 PM
Games are loaded from ADF files, disk images, so in turn writing is done to these ADF image files!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 01:41:42 PM
Quote
Poster: jrfjunior  Posted: 2008/9/4 7:29:14

Hi, I am curious. How work floppy write since there is no floppy drive?


All the "floppy disks" are stored as ADF files on the SD card.  Originally the Minimig could only read these files (imagine them as floppies with the write protect tab set), but with this new core it can modify the ADF file as if it was a real Amiga writing to a normal floppy disk.  Likewise, you can format these ADF images from within a program in order to create a save game disk.

You can get ADFs of your games by either downloading them from the internet or by making your own from your actually floppy disks using utilities available on Aminet.  The only problem most people will have making their own ADFs on a real Amiga will be how to transfer them to the SD card, but there are various ways to do this.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: A1260 on September 04, 2008, 01:52:28 PM
i would like to see this minimig inside an a500 case connected to the keyboard and extended cables for the joystick ports so they will be mounted where they originally goes, same for the power switch etc etc...

that would be a fun project to see....
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: asymetrix on September 04, 2008, 02:29:31 PM
>cough> does Superfrog work ?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 02:50:29 PM
>>cough> does Superfrog work ?

I think it does already, just the main sprite (Superfrog) was corrupted, I think this new core addresses that.

I'll let you know, I will update my site soon with all the games working with this new core. :-)

www.loriano.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

Everything is there :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 03:04:25 PM
I haven't tested Superfrog, but I've seen the advert for it in Alien Breed SE ;-)

I've updated the Minimig games Wikki, so here's a more complete list of what works:

http://www.opencircuits.com/Minimig_Software_compatibility

Some games are listed several times because they have been tested with different cores.  The ones marked 080408 have been tested or retested using the new core/PIC update.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 04, 2008, 03:11:07 PM
Very very good work, thank you Jakub!! :-)

But I do have a problem in compiling the source code. ISE 10.1 stops with an error: "Place:1018 - A clock IOB / clock component pair have been found that are not placed at an optimal clock IOB /"

What could it be? I only used the shipped source files.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 04, 2008, 04:09:39 PM
@asymetrix

Superfrog works perfectly, it was the game I most frequently tested. I think you know why  :-D

And it was a pain in the a** to get it working correctly, usage of sprites in this game is really weird (and very similar to other Team17 games) and doesn't conform to description in the AHRM.

There was also an issue with horizontal overscan: when right display window border was set very close to its limit the normally invisible part of the horizontal display window wasn't hidden at all. Project X also had similar problem.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 04, 2008, 04:15:49 PM
@boing4000

I used Xilinx ISE 9.2i and haven't upgraded yet not to risk compatibility problems. In a few weeks I will upgrade and check why it doesn't compile.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 04:24:10 PM
[quote}Poster: yaqube  Posted: 2008/9/4 10:09:39

@asymetrix

Superfrog works perfectly, it was the game I most frequently tested. I think you know why [/quote]

Sound like one that I'll have to try myself.  :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 04:35:29 PM
@yaqube

Awesome work!

Superfrog is, in my opinion, the best 2D platformer.

Well Done! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: DFergATL on September 04, 2008, 05:00:55 PM
Pardon me if I am asking a "dumb" question.  I have looked around but can't find an answer.  Does the minimig run WB 3.9 ??

Dave
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 05:05:41 PM
Quote
Poster: DFergATL  Posted: 2008/9/4 11:00:55

Pardon me if I am asking a "dumb" question. I have looked around but can't find an answer. Does the minimig run WB 3.9 ??

Dave


It can use a Kickstart 3.1 ROM and boot to Workbench 3.1, but it cannot run OS3.9 because it is below the minimum specs for OS3.9 and (at the moment) has no hard drive emulation.

Remember that this is a reimplementation of the A500/A500+.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 04, 2008, 05:09:25 PM
@yaqube

OK where can I download ISE 9.2i? On xilinx.com is nothing to find. But right now I dont need to compile an own core. Its just about 2 things:
- Power-LED should not dim. 'NET "pwrled"  LOC = "P94" | IOSTANDARD = LVCMOS33  | DRIVE = 12  | SLEW = SLOW  | PULLDOWN ;' in Minimig1.ucf
- Switch 7/14MHz CPU Clock (not necessary but funny :-) )
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 05:11:31 PM
Just for the record, here's the bare minimum requirements for OS3.9:

CD-ROM drive
Hard drive
68020 or higher processor
Amiga 3.1 ROMs (version 40.xx)
6 MB Fast RAM
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: DFergATL on September 04, 2008, 05:23:16 PM
Thanks for the reply.  I am hoping that either Minimig will soom be able to do this or natami dev boards will be avalialbe.  Which ever comes first, I want one!!

Dave
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 04, 2008, 05:54:09 PM
In first way Minimig wants to be an Amiga500 reimplemantation. This is and was the goal of Dennis to build the Minimig PCB.
If OS3.9 is much important, you can still use a real Amiga or the Natami if its released.

Right now I am really impressed how good the new firmware works :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 05:57:37 PM
Quote
Poster: DFergATL  Posted: 2008/9/4 11:23:16

Thanks for the reply. I am hoping that either Minimig will soom be able to do this or natami dev boards will be avalialbe. Which ever comes first, I want one!!

Dave


I regard the Minimig as the (almost) perfect games machine while I have my expanded A4000 for more serious stuff.

I love the abiity to run my software off ADF files instead of my deteriorating floppy disk collection and the machine actuall "feels" like a real Amiga.  With a PS2 port for the mouse, I can leave 2 joysticks plugged in at all times and the standard VGA output connects to any monitor or TV with a VGA jack.

It's also ultra portable with my Minimig board actually installed into a standard PC keyboard.  I'm looking forward to seeing better v2 and v3 machines released and I'll probably give this one to the kids when that happens, but for now it is excennt entertainment and worth the money.

Jacob's latest core really does make it a true classic Amiga substitute without resorting to software emulation.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 04, 2008, 06:34:14 PM
@Darrin: 100% agreed :-)

just tested: Pinball Dreams can write its highscore on "disk"!! *happy* ;-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 06:42:17 PM
Quote
Poster: boing4000  Posted: 2008/9/4 12:34:14

@Darrin: 100% agreed

just tested: Pinball Dreams can write its highscore on "disk"!! *happy*


Remember to strike the right balance between "testing" and "playing".  My kids saw me testing a few games and then kicked me off for hours so they could play (Alien Breed, Cannon Fodder 2, Lemmings 2).

Classics never die!  :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 06:43:29 PM
@boing4000

>>just tested: Pinball Dreams can write its highscore on "disk"!! *happy*

That is music to my ears! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: straycat on September 04, 2008, 08:24:59 PM
Fantastic news! Congratulations Jakub for releasing such a major update to the Minimig!

Just need to get my firmware updated and I'll disappear into Minimig land!!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 08:32:44 PM
@straycat

>>Fantastic news! Congratulations Jakub for releasing such a major update to the Minimig!

It is brilliant isn't it?

:-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 08:41:13 PM
I got a PM asking how to update the PIC with the new hex file.  Yaqube posted a guide in in a thread on Amiga.org many months ago so I’ve dug it up and copied it below.

What you need:

Minimig
Null Modem serial cable – a normal serial cable will not work unless it has a null modem adapter.
PC with a serial port
Tiny Bootloader – free software downloadable from the Internet

#1:  Connect the Minimig to an appropriate serial port on a PC using your NULL MODEM serial cable.

#2:  Set jumper on Minimig to from “FPGA” to the “MCU” position.

#3:  Switch the Minimig on.

#4:  Download and run the Tiny Bootloader program on the PC.

#5:  Select the correct COM port and rate (115200)

#6:  Press the "CheckPIC" button on the Tiny Boodloader display.

#7.  Quickly press “PGM RESET” on the Minimig motherboard within FOUR SECONDS to establish communications between the Minimig and Tiny Bootloader on the PC.

If you succeed you should see something like the following message in a log window:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
Searching for PIC ...
Found:18F 252o/452o

If you don't you will see:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
Searching for PIC ...Not found,
ERROR!

If you get the error repeat steps #6 and #7.

#8:  On Tiny Bootloader select the hex update file that needs to be written to the PIC.

#9:  Select "Write Flash" on Tiny Bootloader and immediately press the reset button on the  Minimig motherboard.

If you succeed you will see something like the following message:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
HEX: 6 days old, INHX8M,18Fcode, total=14552 bytes.
Searching for PIC ...
Found:18F 252o/452o
WRITE OK at 20:55, time:7.173 sec

MAKE SURE YOU LET TINY BOOTLOADER FINISH WRITING TO THE PIC BEFORE YOU UNPLUG THE MINIMIG!!!

#10:  With the Minimig switched off, move the “MCU” jumper on the Minimig back to the old position “FPGA”
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 08:51:35 PM
Another excellent piece of work from Darrin :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 08:58:28 PM
Quote
Poster: TheDaddy  Posted: 2008/9/4 14:51:35

Another excellent piece of work from Darrin


Thank Jacob, not me.  That's the guide I found on the net when I needed to do my update.  I've just tweeked it a bit to remove some of the technical stuff and break the steps up a bit more.   :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 04, 2008, 09:11:23 PM
Oh, if you can't get the guide to work then it will be for 1 of 5 reasons:

#1:  You're not not pressing the right buttons.
#2:  You're too slow hitting the buttons.
#3:  You have the wrong ports/jumpers selected.
#4:  Your PIC does not have the update code installed - you'll need a replacement PIC chip.
#5:  You're not using a Null Modem Cable - get the right cable or buy an adapter.

Note:

All the new Minimigs sold by AmigaKit have PICs with the update code.  The first models didn't, but replacement PICs that did were sent to all those who needed them.  If your PIC doesn't have the update code then contact whoever sold you the Minimig.

I believe that AmigaKit are currently updating their stock of Minimigs now so that all new Minimigs sold by them will already have this update done.  Now that's what I call service!

Note:  I had to make my cable out of two 25 pin to 9 pin serial cables, a gender changer and a 9 pin null modem adapter!   :-o
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mikej on September 04, 2008, 09:30:05 PM
"I used Xilinx ISE 9.2i and haven't upgraded yet not to risk compatibility problems. In a few weeks I will upgrade and check why it doesn't compile."

I still use 9.2i - I stay away from new Xilinx software until it has at least 3 service packs :)
/Mike
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 04, 2008, 09:46:59 PM
>>Thank Jacob, not me. That's the guide I found on the net when I needed to do my update. I've just tweeked it a bit to remove some of the technical stuff and break the steps up a bit more.

Well, it has made my upgrading a bit easier, let's say that :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: straycat on September 04, 2008, 11:12:34 PM
Thanks for reposting that Darrin. Once I've had my PIC updated it'll save me digging out the instructions.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: straycat on September 04, 2008, 11:13:28 PM
@TheDaddy

Fantastic, we've hung in there and it's been worth it!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 04, 2008, 11:43:57 PM
Quote

Remember to strike the right balance between "testing" and "playing". My kids saw me testing a few games and then kicked me off for hours so they could play (Alien Breed, Cannon Fodder 2, Lemmings 2).

Classics never die!


Hihi thats great :lol:
Amiga is still fascinating to all generations!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 12:14:40 AM
Well, by my count there are 214 games tested as working on the wikki list:

1943
Addams Family, Advantage Tennis, Airport, Alien Breed, Alien Breed Special Edition, Alien Breed Tower Assault, Alien Syndrome, Amegas, Amiga Karate, Amiganoid, Another World, Arkanoid, Arkanoid-Revenge of Doh, ArmourGeddon, A-train
B.A.T, Balance of Power, Barbarian (Palace), Barbarian (Psynosis), Barbarian 2 (Palace), Barbarian 2 (Psynosis), Bard's Tale, Bard's Tale 3, Basejumpers, Battlechess, Battleships, Battlesquadron, B.C. Kid, Better Dead Than Alien, Blood Money, Bombjack, Bubble bobble
California Games 1, Cannon Fodder, Cannon Fodder 2, Carrier Command, Chaos Engine, Civilization, Colonization, Crazy Cars III, Creatures, Cyberpunks
Defender Of The Crown, Deliverance, Deliverance, Deluxe Galaga, Deluxe Pacman, Desert Strike, Detroit ECS, Disposable Hero, Dragons Breath, Driller, Druid, Dune, Dune II - Battle For Arrakis, Dungeon Master, Dynablaster
Eliminator, Elite, Elite 2 - Frontier, Emerald Mine, E-Motion, Exile
F16, Faery Tale Adventure, Final Fight, Firepower, Flashback, Flashback (delphine software), Football Manager
Garrison, Garrison 2, Gauntlet 2, Gauntlet 3, Great Giana Sisters, GridStart III
Holy Grail, Hotrubber, Hybris
IK+, Ikari Warriors, Impossible Mission II, International Karate+, Into the Eagles Nest, It Came From The Desert, It Came From The Desert 2
James Pond 1&2, Jimmy Whites whirlwind snooker, Jumpmachine, Jumpman, Jumpman junior
Karatekid II, Katakis, Karting Grandprix, Kick Off 1&2, Kikugi, Kill the little dudes, Knights of the Sky, Knightwoode
Lemmings, Lemmings 2, Little Computer People, Lords of the Rising Sun, Lotus Espirit Turbo Challenge, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, Lotus 3
Major Motion, Marble Madness, Megaball, Micromachines, Microprose Golf, Millenium 2.2, Moonstone, Monkey Island, Mr.Dig, Mr.Do Run Run!, Mysterious worlds, Myth
Navy Seals, Nebulus, Netherworld, New Year Lemmings, Nitro, North and South, Nuclear War
Oh no! More Lemmings, Omegarace, Outrun, Outrun Europe
Pacboy, PacLand, Pacmania, Pacman 87, Pang!, Paperboy 2, Persian Gulf Inferno, Phantasie 3, Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Pipeline, Pirates, popey, populous, populous 2, Ports of Call v1.1, P.O.W, Powerstyx, P.P.Hammer
R-Type, Rainbow Islands, Red Storm Rising, Rick Dangerous, Rocket Ranger, Rodland
SDI, Seahaven 200, Sensible Soccer v1.0, Sensible World of Soccer 95/96, Settlers, Shadow Dancer, Shufflepuck Cafe', Sidewinder II, Siege of the Beast, Silent Service, Silent Service II, Silkworm
SWIV, Sinbad & The Throne of the Falcon, Sim Ant, Sim City, Smash TV, Space Harrier 2, Speedball, Speedball 2, Spellbound, Spy vs Spy, Star Fleet 1 - The War Begins, Star Wars, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, Stormlord, Strider, Stunt Car Racer, Superfrog, Supremacy, Switchblade, Syndicate
T2 - The Archade Game (Terminator 2), Team Yankee, Test Drive, Tetris Pro, Thundercats, Toki, Top of the League, Treasure Island Dizzy, Troddlers, Turrican, Twintris
UFO - Enemy Unknown ECS, Uridium 2
Volfied
Walker, Wing Commander, Wings, Wizball
X-Out, Xennon 2 - Megablast, Xennon
Zaxxon, Zeewolf 2, Zombie, Zoom
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 05, 2008, 07:56:32 AM
>>Fantastic, we've hung in there and it's been worth it!

I know it's brilliant!

I am going to enjoy playing all my favourite games it. :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 05, 2008, 07:58:39 AM
@Darrin

Great list, thanks again.

Can you tell me how many Amiga floppy disks a 1GB SD-Card can hold and roughly how many games (considering that an Amiga game on average is 2-3 floppies)?

Thank you,

Loriano :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mahen on September 05, 2008, 09:29:19 AM
About 465 games with an average of 2.5 floppies per game :) However, you won't want to put as many as this for the moment, because you cannot browse subdirectories for the time being, and because you only see 8+3 chars per filename :) I guess you have to scroll through games one by one, also :)

(also, dunno about FAT16 limitation)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 05, 2008, 09:36:37 AM
Easy calculation: 1000MB / 0.88MB = 1136 Floppys
Making 1120 for roundup and subtraction of minimig1.bin & kick.rom.
Also you have to create an sub folder "adf" or something to store that amount of files. A FAT16 root directory can not store that much. Also long file names take more space. One subfolder takes also at least 1 entry in the root dir.

My suggestion was and is to handel .adf files in a seperate subfolder. Inside it the FAT16 can store many many more files.
If the PIC firmware could search in \adf\ for disk images, it would be helpful to make more games/demos directly available in minimig.

(Sorry for mistype, today I dont want to ask dict.leo.org all the time ;-))
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 05, 2008, 09:43:38 AM
@Loriano

Take a look at http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37983

At best you can have 512 files in the root directory (all must have 8.3 compliant names, no subdirs, no volume name). You need two files for the FPGA core and the Kickstart. So 510 is left for ADF's.

Cheers,
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 05, 2008, 09:47:23 AM
Hi Yaqube,

>>So 510 is left for ADF's

So we are looking at around 500 games per 1GB SD-Card?
 :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: mahen on September 05, 2008, 09:49:15 AM
Assuming you can put about 200 games, assuming each game takes about one month to complete, (though some can last forever), one SD would last about 17 years, which is quite acceptable.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 05, 2008, 09:55:25 AM
@mahen

>>Assuming you can put about 200 games, assuming each game takes about one month to complete, (though some can last forever), one SD would last about 17 years, which is quite acceptable.


That is both funny and awesome! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: downix on September 05, 2008, 11:54:23 AM
you HAD to do this just as I talked myself out of finishing my MiniMigPDA.....
ARGH!  Now it becons me again....
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: chiark on September 05, 2008, 04:34:05 PM
I've just taken a look at the source to minimig for the first time.

I am in absolute awe of both Dennis and Jakub for their work here.  The amount of effort that has gone into this is gobsmacking.

I've just ordered the spartan3 needed, and I will build this.  And enjoy it :) .

Sincerely, thanks: the time and effort you've put in is amazing, and you've both made something amazing.

(But gushing, but damn am I impressed!)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Insert Disk Two on September 05, 2008, 06:01:17 PM
I am thining of buying a minimig... and I have some questions:

1. My LCD monitor has a native resolution of 1024 x 768 - at what resolution does the minimig output?

2. Is the scrolling in games smooth on minimig?

3. If I buy a minimig now, will I have to update the pic myself (with the serial cable and or that) or it will come pre-installed?

Thanks!

E'Blue
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 05, 2008, 07:33:12 PM
@everblue

1. Minimig outputs scandoubled video signal at 50Hz/31kHz in PAL and 60Hz/31kHz in NTSC. Most monitors detect this signal as 800x600 SVGA mode for PAL and 800x600 VGA mode for NTSC.

To be able to display scandoubled PAL video mode the monitor must be able to sync to 50Hz vertical frequency (most monitors cannot). I use EIZO monitors and they can sync.

There is also one important thing: to be able to see the Minimig display without horizontal scaling distortions (blured vertical bars or different width of the same letter displayed in different parts of the screen) the monitor must be able to set its sampling clock to 910 pixels per line. Only my old Eizo L568 can do this but the newer one (S1931) can't (956 is the low limit for the SVGA mode).

2. Scrolling is always smooth.

3. When you buy a new Minimig its PIC is preinstalled but I wouldn't expect it to have the current firmware release. You can always upgrade with null modem serial cable.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 07:46:21 PM
Poster: Everblue  Posted: 2008/9/5 12:01:17

I am thining of buying a minimig... and I have some questions:

3. If I buy a minimig now, will I have to update the pic myself (with the serial cable and or that) or it will come pre-installed.[/quote]

Contact AmigaKit - I believe they are reflashing the PIC with the new hex file before shipping.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 05, 2008, 07:58:35 PM
>>3. If I buy a minimig now...

Don't forget the enclosure for it! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 08:11:37 PM
@ Yacube,

Any chance of a 60Hz hacked PAL core option?  I know there we're problems with 1 or 2 programs, but it was stable on the whole.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Insert Disk Two on September 05, 2008, 08:47:15 PM
So in other words, there is no guarantee that my LCD monitor will work with the minimig.... No good :( I dont want any nasty surprises!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 08:48:20 PM
NTSC core will work.

When it doubt, go to the manufacturer's website and check the specs.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 09:10:47 PM
Just had a request for a location to download Tiny Bootloader.  Here's a link

http://www.etc.ugal.ro/cchiculita/software/picbootloader.htm
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Insert Disk Two on September 05, 2008, 09:11:27 PM
But if I ply PAL games in NTSC mode, wont that mean that the games will run faster than they should?

As for my monitor, its a Samsung Syncmaster 151s.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 05, 2008, 09:33:56 PM
@Everblue

According to Samsung Syncmaster 151s specs this monitor can sync from 50 to 75 Hz so you will be able to display scan doubled PAL mode on it. The scrolling will be smooth and games will run with normal speed.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 05, 2008, 10:15:19 PM
Quote
Poster: Everblue  Posted: 2008/9/5 15:11:27

But if I ply PAL games in NTSC mode, wont that mean that the games will run faster than they should?


True, there is a slight speedup.  I'm from the UK (PAL) and I moved to the USA (NTSC), but most of my own software was bought in Europe (PAL).  What is surprising, is how much of that PAL software is actually NTSC screen size because it was written for both markets.  Some games even have a PAL/NTSC screen size toggle built in.

I tested a lot of these games using a PAL core, NTSC core and a "hybrid".  Off the top of my head, the only game I actually recall that needed to be run in PAL to avoid clipping was Rodland.

Personally, I keep my real big box Amigas in PAL mode as I like to have the "larger" PAL native workbench displays.  It's not such a concern with the Minimig.

Anyway, it seems that you'll be fine using your monitor with the PAL core.  People need to make note of your monitor, it's a good one!  :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: warpdesign on September 05, 2008, 11:17:45 PM
What about using FAT32 instead of the old (1988) FAT16 ?

This way you could have 65536 files in root, and you wouldn't be limited to 4Gb SD cards...
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Hattig on September 06, 2008, 02:51:01 PM
Ah, the minimig is looking tempting now! When I have some spare cash anyway. I presume it will work on my TV (it has VGA in).

Excellent work by the people that deserve the praise! What's on the list of existing problems to solve now? Hard file support? 14MHz 68k option (Gunship 2000 and other 3D games would run smoother)? Remaining bugs, if any?

Any images of the "interpolation" feature? Won't this blur sharp parts of the image, or is it done in a non-trivial manner, or like some of the more advanced smoothing functions in software emulators?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 06, 2008, 04:04:51 PM
Quote
Poster: Hattig  Posted: 2008/9/6 8:51:01

I presume it will work on my TV (it has VGA in).


Yes, but whether it will work with the PAL & NTSC cores or just the NTSC core is down to your TV.

Quote
What's on the list of existing problems to solve now? Hard file support? 14MHz 68k option (Gunship 2000 and other 3D games would run smoother)? Remaining bugs, if any?


A few games still have some bugs.  Menace is one where the ship's shield constantly run down which might be due to bad collision detection with teh background graphics.  The vast majority now seem to be running perfectly (as per my list).  Remember, some of the games on that list are still showing as "broken" simply because they haven't been retested using the new core/PIC update.

Quote
Any images of the "interpolation" feature? Won't this blur sharp parts of the image, or is it done in a non-trivial manner, or like some of the more advanced smoothing functions in software emulators?


Personally, I've never noticed anothing because I'm too busy trying to stay alive to examine the screen in any great detail.  :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Norway on September 06, 2008, 06:55:49 PM
is there another way to update the pic, then via o modem? i only have usb on my pc laptop
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 06, 2008, 07:03:30 PM
@yaqube

I just tried to compile the FPGA Core in ISE 9.2i (found it for download).
The core was compiled 100% without error (only a few warnings) but Minimig only show a black screen after loading the core.
Do you have any idea what it could be?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 06, 2008, 07:21:52 PM
Quote
Poster: Norway  Posted: 2008/9/6 12:55:49

is there another way to update the pic, then via o modem? i only have usb on my pc laptop


FOUR ways:

#1:  Buy a replacement PIC with the update flashed on it.

#2:  Send your PIC to some kind soul who will flash it for you (the chip pops off easily).

#3:  Put Tiny Bootloader and the hex file onto a memory stick, take your Minimig, cable and stick to your friends house and ask him if you can use his PC for 5 minutes.

#4:  Buy a cheap USB to Serial port adapter (link below).

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1104139&CatId=447

I hope that helps.  :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 06, 2008, 07:24:12 PM
Quote
Poster: boing4000
I just tried to compile the FPGA Core in ISE 9.2i (found it for download).
The core was compiled 100% without error (only a few warnings) but Minimig only show a black screen after loading the core.
Do you have any idea what it could be?


Using a 50Hz core on a monitor that will only display 60Hz+?  ;-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 06, 2008, 08:30:40 PM
hmmmmm.... ;-)
No my PAL 15KHz Monitor can sync 50Hz and the original PAL core is working. Only when recompiling the source (in ISE 9.2i) it show a black screen and no further action.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 06, 2008, 09:27:10 PM
@Sascha

All timing constraints were met? If not try to set synthesis optimization for maximum speed and higher fitter effort.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 06, 2008, 09:54:53 PM
Thanks Jakub, I will check that.

EDIT:
Just did a few recompilings and now the core is working. No changes but suddenly it works... strange.

Also found out that ISE 9.2i take much more compiling time as 10.1 did. I think it would be better to use 10.1 as default compiler.
Right now I am satisfied that it works at all :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: asymetrix on September 07, 2008, 02:46:37 PM
Thanx all

The games I like to play are Superfrog, Alienbreed, projext X.

Now I can finally go buy a Minimig.

Well done yaqube for all your hard work.
Its really appreciated what you have done.

There should be a Minimig fund where we can donate to for development expences !

thanx Dennis, Yaqube, and all for bringing Minimig to the people !
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: asymetrix on September 07, 2008, 03:10:42 PM
how hard would it be to update the core/pic via menu and load the binary from sd card ?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 07, 2008, 03:24:59 PM
The FPGA core is only a single file and already stored on SD card called "Minimig1.bin". You can swap, rename, copy or move this file as any other file to and from your PC/Mac.

The PIC firmware is flashed inside the PIC chip and can be updated by the PIC itself via RS232 (serial com port) and the PC software TinyBootloader.
I dont think it would be possible to let PIC update himself via "floppy simulation" is working in the same time. AFAIK the only way to let PIC reflash itself is via RS232.

I think this is already a very clean and simple way. Only thing you need ia a cardreader and null-modem cable + serial port on PC.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 07, 2008, 03:45:31 PM
Guys,

Think about it.

The Minimig is now your new Amiga 500/600 with more modern features:

PS/2 ports
Programmable FPGA
VGA Output
Scandoubler
SD-Card as storage
Small, really small even compared to an A600
Speaker/headphones connector
Small footprint
Great compatibility
ADF writing support (in the future: hard file support)
Nice, elegant case

I can't think of anything else :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: whiteb on September 07, 2008, 04:00:24 PM
Quote
how hard would it be to update the core/pic via menu and load the binary from sd card ?


Not possible.

The *ONLY* time that the PIC allows updates to be done, is *BEFORE* the chip executes the stored code, and the only way to update the stored code, is via the chip's "Program window", which is approximately 1 second after power on/reset.

You cannot program the chip, whilst it is executing a program.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Belial6 on September 07, 2008, 10:59:59 PM
It seems that if a redesign were to be done by any of those looking at that, a second pic might be the ticket.  If a second pic were put on the board so that when the jumper is set, it would read the SD card, look for a firmware.hex, and load that into the primary pic, the update process could be done with no cable.  I assume that this could be done, and as well as it is not going to be done in the near future.  Just an idea for when the inevitable Minimig V2 comes out.

I know, "How are we going to update the programer pic?"  Well, we either program it with the primary pic, OR we leave the serial option, but realize that a simple, zero UI, single purpose program is just not nearly as likely to need updates as a complicated, UI enabled, multipurpose program.

Actually, the ideal thing would be to see a small carrier board that could plug into the existing pick socket to accomplish this.

Also, and more importantly...

The new Boot Sequence looks Awesome!!!  Very professional!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 08, 2008, 01:39:04 PM
There are also USB>RS232 converter available to do the job even on modern PC without a generic COM port. Should work fine but never tested.

@Jakub
Did you remove the 14MHz cpu clock (by Dennis) to make AR work? I just tried to let 68k run at 14MHz again and the AR is not operation well ;)
PS: at 14MHz cpu the floppy speeds up to 40kb/s !great!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 08, 2008, 02:55:48 PM
@Sascha

As I can remember in Dennis's original code the 14 MHz clock was only used to generate 7 MHz clock. Nothing more. As I used another DCM to directly generate 7 MHz clock in phase with 28 MHz clock there was no need to have 14 MHz clock any longer.

Running the CPU with 14MHz clock without proper bus timing is a hack which is not guaranteed to work reliably.

In the future I will rewrite CPU bus interface and make it working with 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz clock selectable from the OSD menu. Many programs have software delay loops and will have troubles running on faster CPU.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 08, 2008, 03:18:58 PM
@Belial6

I have simpler solution than two PIC's: one ARM MCU. Cheaper, faster, better.  :-D

(http://www.yaqube.neostrada.pl/S1010613.jpg)

The design is in hardware verification stage. The first program which blinks the disk led has been run successfully. As I don't have almost any time now the project is advancing very slowly.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 04:49:23 PM
@ Yaqube:

Ohhh!  Is that what I think it is?  :-D

The Daddy will be pleased as he has 2.5cm of clearance above the top of his PIC socket in his custom case and that "looks" like it should just squeeze in!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Norway on September 08, 2008, 04:54:39 PM
can it be used as a hd? :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 08, 2008, 05:36:47 PM
@Darrin

It is what you think it is. :-D  It should fit into Loriano's enclosure without any problem. I don't know if an additional hole for the USB socket will be necessary as firmware upgrades can be done from the SD card.

@Norway

When the firmware is finished this adapter will function as a hard disk emulator and will support up to 4 floppy drives. Maybe some additional disk image formats to the ADF type will also be supported.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 08, 2008, 05:50:57 PM
@Jakub

I asked Dennis some time ago about clocking the 68000 at 28MHz, he told me it could work if the 68k-bridge module is adapted to it.
But 14MHz was definitely working in Dennis 2nd released firmware. You can find out in Minimig1.v by searching for "turbo cpu".
Dennis made it like that (out of memory):
Code: [Select]

reg cpuclk;
alwasy @(posedge vgaclk)
 cpuclk<=~cpuclk

Since vgaclk is taken out of the module I made my own version like this:
Code: [Select]

reg genclk;
always @(negedge clk28m)
 genclk=~genclk;
assign cpuclk=genclk;

It is also working 100% in Minimig without loaded ar3.rom. SysinfoV3.24 is showing factor 1.77 to A600 and factor 1.34 to B2000 :-D

I am really looking forward to your "Turbo CPU Menu", sounds very interesting!! :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 06:15:58 PM
@ Yaqube:

Excellent.  It looks great.  Removing chips and jamming whole boards in their place makes the Minimig look even more like a real Amiga!  :-D

Can you clarify the purpose of the USB port before someone posts a rumour that you've developed a USB2.0 card for the Minimig for use with Workbench 1.3 and running off a single floppy image!  ;-)  I assume it's just for upgrading the firmware, or can it be used to treat a memory stick like the SD card?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 06:19:14 PM
Quote
Poster: boing4000  Posted: 2008/9/8 11:50:57

I asked Dennis some time ago about clocking the 68000 at 28MHz, he told me it could work if the 68k-bridge module is adapted to it.
But 14MHz was definitely working in Dennis 2nd released firmware. You can find out in Minimig1.v by searching for "turbo cpu".
Dennis made it like that (out of memory)


Does that mean we could have a core where we could set one of the custom jumpers to select either a 7MHz or 14MHz 68000?  Handy for Wing Commander which limps along at the moment.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 08, 2008, 06:19:29 PM
@Darrin

I think the USB port is only to update or reprogram the ARM Chip. But USB in Minimig would also be a very nice feature... if possible at all.

The last older core from me (also NTSC version) had 7/14MHz and Slowmem selectable via jumper on Spare-i/o. Most of this is now in Jakub's new core (selectable ram). I made only 14mhz available to my one now in current version.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 08, 2008, 06:45:57 PM
@Yacube and Darrin,

It depends on how tall (thick) the board is, from that image I don't think it's very high.

I would have to have another hole drilled for the USB, but this maybe possible in the second revision of the enclosure, I would need that board by the way for dimensions :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 08, 2008, 06:46:09 PM
Initially the USB port will be used for firmware upgrades. Maybe later it will be used for accessing the SD card from a PC (will act as a flash card reader - solution similar to the PSP's one).

This is only USB full speed (1.1) device port so you can only connect it to a PC.

More info will be available when it is done.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: TheDaddy on September 08, 2008, 07:06:08 PM
@yaq

Email me when ready, so I can change the CAD for the enclosure (and send me the board, or one of them). :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 07:07:36 PM
Quote
Poster: boing4000  Posted: 2008/9/8 12:19:29

@Darrin

The last older core from me (also NTSC version) had 7/14MHz and Slowmem selectable via jumper on Spare-i/o. Most of this is now in Jakub's new core (selectable ram). I made only 14mhz available to my one now in current version.


That great.  Where have you been posting your cores, or are these just pre-release projects?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 07:13:28 PM
Quote
Poster: yaqube  Posted: 2008/9/8 12:46:09

Initially the USB port will be used for firmware upgrades. Maybe later it will be used for accessing the SD card from a PC (will act as a flash card reader - solution similar to the PSP's one).

This is only USB full speed (1.1) device port so you can only connect it to a PC.


Thanks for the info.  Good luck with the project.

Quote
More info will be available when it is done.


Why does that phrase always send a shiver down my spine!   :lol:
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 08, 2008, 09:38:34 PM
@Darrin

It was a normal release and posted somewhere in this forum ;-) But that was all out of the old core version and is no longer working together with current PIC firmware.

I can post the new 14MHz version, if Jakub can tell me where the default settings for PAL and NTSC is located?
Right now I only have PAL by default with 14MHz.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 09:45:28 PM
@Boing4000

I must have missed that.

I'll keep an eye out for any other releases you make.  A switchable "turbo" mode would be very welcome for games like "X-COM:  UFO Enemy Unknown"
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 08, 2008, 10:24:49 PM
Quote
Poster: TheDaddy  Posted: 2008/9/8 13:06:08

@yaq

Email me when ready, so I can change the CAD for the enclosure (and send me the board, or one of them).


Perhaps you could trade him an enclosure for a board.   :lol:
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 08, 2008, 10:32:50 PM
@Sascha

In Minimig1.v file at line 168 there is an NTSC parameter definition. Change it to "1" and your builts will default to the NTSC screen mode.

Also read comments in BootRom.v file and change FPGA version id to identify your releases.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 08, 2008, 11:56:28 PM
Thanks Jakub, now I can build seperate PAL and NTSC core with 7/14MHz selectable via Jumper.
When you release the OSD version, my one will be obsolete and I am looking forward to that time :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 09, 2008, 12:15:53 AM
@ Boing4000:

Drool!!!  When you do, remember to post a link to it on here in bloody big letters so I can't miss it.   :-D
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Belial6 on September 09, 2008, 03:51:18 AM
Ok, as you already know that is damn cool!

So, since you have taken car of my first request, how about another.  What are the chances of getting you to put pin headers on that board for the drive and power leds so that we can run them to the outside of our cases.  I know that we would COULD hack the existing boards by desoldering the leds and and running them from there, but I dread the idea of taking a soldering iron to an already functioning Minimig.

Also, is there a difference between hitting the reset button, cutting the power, and hitting Ctr-Alt-Alt?  If the reset button has a unique function, getting that on a pin header would be awesome too.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: whiteb on September 09, 2008, 09:03:09 AM
Hey Jakob/Yaqube.

I like the look of the daughter board for the Minimig, I am interested.  I only have around 1CM clearance from Pic socket to the housing, what is the minimum clearance needed for the board ?

So what are the benefits of the ARP MCU ?, faster, 32bit ? so will that be able to get us away from the 8.3 file names ?, maybe Fat32 ?

I am just hanging out for say two ADF support right now :)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 09, 2008, 09:54:12 AM
@whiteb

The height of the adapter board is 5.75 mm without pin header. I have used low profile pin header which is 1.85 mm high but can't find a supplier of them.
If the clearance is a constraint it would be possible to remove plastic base of the pin header and have the adapter board sticking out only 6 mm above PIC socket.

The support for two floppy drives should be possible using current PIC MCU.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: whiteb on September 09, 2008, 10:18:30 AM
Quote
The height of the adapter board is 5.75 mm without pin header. I have used low profile pin header which is 1.85 mm high but can't find a supplier of them.


Well, it seems then that with Pin Header at normal profile, it should fit the 1CM (10mm) that i have available.  Even with a standard 2.5mm pitch (I think thats the standard).  7.5mm for PCB and components, should fit.

Then again, it is not difficult to find longer spacer's to increase the gap.

Here in Australia, 2.5mm Headers are only 50 cents for 36 snap off SIL at Dick Smith Electronics.

But any way, Interesting stuff.  I am keenly watching this.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 09, 2008, 12:10:19 PM
A generic question should be done:

Will this daughter board be necessary in the future for new pic firmware?
If this is planed, I just want to "protest" a bit ;-)
In my point of view Minimig is this little board in itself. Everything is done IN software and the existing hardware parts.
In real Amiga we like maybe even love to hack the hardware with many extensions and additional PCB parts. Minimig is different.
Right now we are able to "extend" the hardware by very good coding and checking out.
If the daughter board is "only" for testing and provide a faster/more easy firmware upgrade via USB, I am pacified :-)

If the PIC18LF252-I/SP is not big enough to store future firmware, the PIC18LF2620-I/SP (64kb flash inside and pincompatible afa I can see) would be able to.

I also dont want to solder out SMD LED (even when I could) to strip wires arround the board for replacements. This Minimig V1.1 board should stay in its current form, at least for me and I belief many other Minimig owner will agree.

Please dont(!) take this personal! I just did freely speak out my opinion and feelings in Minimig :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: whiteb on September 09, 2008, 12:31:20 PM
Quote
If the PIC18LF252-I/SP is not big enough to store future firmware, the PIC18LF2620-I/SP (64kb flash inside and pincompatible afa I can see) would be able to.


From what i understand, there is still around 10KB remaining on the PIC free to use.

I believe this board he is working on is for several things, USB connectivity to upgrade firmware's, instead of RS232, more storage (more code) and faster RISC CPU inside the PIC to execute the code.  

I would not mind CAPS/SPS image support, if they got off of their behind and supported the minimig with some fort of Library that can be incorporated into PIC.  But I suspect this would be too big for the current PIC, and where the new chip/board could come in to play.

He has already said that Multiple ADF support should fit in the existing PIC

Quote
Will this daughter board be necessary in the future for new pic firmware?


There could be TWO releases, Original PIC, and newer PIC.

The ORIGINAL PIC would have bug fixes and minor feature enhancements, and the NEWER PIC for advanced features.

The ORIGINAL Pic code is getting NEAR to perfect now, Add in Multiple ADF support and I think its just about there. (Unless there are more DMA bugs to fix).

If you are talking about HDF support and other stuff, then that is going to *REQUIRE* a pic upgrade
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 09, 2008, 01:27:34 PM
Thanks whiteb, lets see what come out.
HDF support is a nice thing, eminently for Workbench, multi disk games and WHDload friends.
Thanks to the new firmware and features I am really happy with Minimig now :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 09, 2008, 02:46:36 PM
@ Boing4000

I've got to disagree with you here ;-)

If we were to take your stand then nobody should have been able to update/upgrade their A500 and everything should have been developed for ECS and 0.5MB RAM.  :-D

I'm sure cores will still be developed to push the original board to the limits, but we should also look towards enhancing the board to exceed those limits just like we do with our "real" Amigas.

We already have a Minimig that subsitutes for an mostly unexpanded A500+, so the next phase should be to look at "expansion boards" otherwise the only other option is a completely new motherboard.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 09, 2008, 04:57:02 PM
@Darrin

I am not against upgrading at all. First of all I would like to let this PCB (v1.1) untouched. If really necessary an upgrade with PIC replacement could work but will also cost additional money for each Minimig owner. Not that much as buying a new PCB but lot more then just upgrading the existing PIC.

In real Amiga you dont have any other choice but to buy new hardware parts to have more RAM or a faster CPU etc.

I just want to keep the idea of "we have programmable hardware to do the job". Upgrading the real hardware is not the way for me. Not on the existing PCB. Think about it...

But this is just my opinion :-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 09, 2008, 05:11:18 PM
@ Boing4000

The rule of thumb when it comes to the Amiga is that if the chip and be removed from the socket then it is fair game for upgrading.   :rtfm:

If the Minimig PIC was meant to stay as it was then it should have been WELDED in place.   :lol:

Anyway, I'm looking forward to "modifying" my board with your core by running some wires to a "turbo swtich".  Just out of interest, is it safe to clock the 68000 used on the Minimig at higher speeds that 7MHz or do we risk damaging them?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 09, 2008, 05:22:55 PM
Dennis did for one only reason stick the PIC into a socket: external programming if necessary.
We can be lucky after all to have an PIC18LFxxx on Minimig, that can reprogram itself at 3.3v.
But lets end this. I dont want to block any new idea :-)

No risk for the 68000 at 14MHz clock. Most Minimig 68k are designed for 16 or even 20MHz. This new chips are also powered at 3.3v and completely in static design. Even overclocking should easy be possible.
Dennis did this before in his 2nd released firmware (FW 27_04_2008).
The 68SEC000 will only get a bit more warm at 14MHz, no danger even in a 100 years of operating time ;-)

Im on it and will release the FW asap.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 09, 2008, 05:37:05 PM
Great!  I'm looking forward to it.

I don't get off this oil rig until the 17th so there's no rush.  Use the extra days to add DF1: support, hard file support and emulate a complete Cybervision643D in the FPGA.   :-o
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: whiteb on September 09, 2008, 05:58:18 PM
Quote
No risk for the 68000 at 14MHz clock. Most Minimig 68k are designed for 16 or even 20MHz. This new chips are also powered at 3.3v and completely in static design.


I am using a 16 Mhz 68000 in my minimig, Dennis only clocked it to 7Mhz anyway.  Should run at 20 Mhz at least without even blinking.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: yaqube on September 10, 2008, 09:31:36 AM
We must be aware that the 68HC000 used in SupraTurbo28 wasn't manufactured in faster speed grade than 16.67 MHz and was clocked at 28 MHz.
I'm curious what is the limit for 20 MHz 68SEC000.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 10, 2008, 12:10:12 PM
@Jakub
Thats right, I think the new SEC000 can take a lot more MHz (overclocked) as the older HC000.

@whiteb
First release from Dennis was 7MHz, right. 2nd release hat "turbo cpu" clocked at 14MHz. I am working on it but its not that simple as before due to some changes in the module.
Right now I do have permanent 14MHz cpu clock, that is funny but some games/demos dont like it and crash or show unwantet glitches.
So be patient :)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on September 10, 2008, 02:03:52 PM
OK its finished. Download the firmware binary and source here (http://asc.dyndns.org/minimig/download/)[/u].

@Darrin
I hope you will find the link :-) :-D ;-)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Darrin on September 10, 2008, 04:25:14 PM
Yes!  I got it!!!  :-D

Now I just have to wait until Thursday to try it.  :-(

Could any other comments be posted on the:
http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=38008
thread, that way it will bounce to the top of the Amiga.org list when someone posts and it will remind people to fill in the Wiki.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: wizard66 on September 11, 2008, 11:59:50 AM
@yaqube

Controller looks realy nice
Also I think there is enough room for fitting this controller in my Plexiglass houses I have been selling The last year +80 pieces.
When can I order this nice looking controller??
Minimig is realy taking off the last couple of weeks (happy amiga face)

Keep on the good work guy's
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 20, 2008, 04:50:00 PM
Hi Everyone.

I've been lurking here for quite some time and been the proud owner of a MiniMig since ACube released their first shipment. Unfortunately, being an early adopter, I got one directly from ACube themselves (this was before Vesalia and AmigaKit had them in stock) and as some of you know they were shipped with a PIC sans bootloader.

Truth be told, I had no idea this was the case until the recent release by Jakub and Dennis came out (FANtastic job, by the way), and I've been crying salty tears ever since as I have had no way of trying it out for myself. Contacting ACube directly yielded nothing and thinking back on how messy the shipment process was the last time I dealt with them, I'm not sure I would have liked to go trough it again. So, hearing nothing but good from those of you who ordered from AmigaKit, I thought I might give it a shot, and lo and behold: Not only did they not mind updating my PIC even though I hadn't bought my MiniMig from them in the first place - they insisted to do it free of charge! What a great place. So I sent away my PIC to England, and today I received a padded envelope from them with a new one.

But here is where it gets weird: The PIC I received was not the one I sent over. Of course this is of absolutely no importance, had it not been for the fact that this new PIC came shrinkwrapped in a hermetically sealed anti-static bag (the kind that needs to be ripped open). I found this a bit unsettling as I assume this is how AmigaKit themselves receive the PICs and that they take them out of those bags to update them with a bootloader. Trying out the new PIC in my MiniMig and loading up Tiny Bootloader only added to my suspicion, as I am still not able to connect to it. I get the exact same "Searching for PIC ...Not found, ERROR!" as I did with the other one.

So before I contact AmigaKit, I would just like to hear from you guys: Did all of you who got your PICs updated through AmigaKit's warranty receive them in hermetically sealed bags, or has someone at AmigaKit sent me an empty, factory-new PIC?

I really hope someone can shed some light on this.

Kind regards,

Odin / Anders Petersen
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: straycat on September 20, 2008, 05:02:25 PM
@Odin/Anders:

I'm quite behind with updating and only just send off & received my new PIC from Amigakit the other day and it was sealed :)

Plugged straight into the Minimig and it works fine (still need to carry out the latest update to the PIC) - I'd be surprised if it was a blank PIC. I guess it's seated okay?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 20, 2008, 05:35:32 PM
Thanks, Straycat. That makes me less worried.

Yeah, it seems to be seated just fine. I also double checked that I inserted it the right way, and the "groove" matches the outline beneath the socket like it should.

Then I wonder what is wrong? Why can't I update? When I press the "CheckPIC" button, the TinyBootloader application doesn't even give me half a second before declaring the "PIC not found" error. I can barely make it to press the PGM reset button. To make sure it wasn't the cable, I even spent an hour today making a new cable (using this diagram: http://www.loop-back.com/null-mod.html, if anyone is asking) but still nothing.

Is there any way of getting a readout of information on the contents of the PIC using the MiniMig itself - just to make sure that there is something there?
I have tried pressing the PGM/Reset button countless times both with and without an SD card (not that it should make a difference, but I'm getting desperate in my troubleshooting). When I power up the board without an SD card, the drive light starts blinking and there is (naturally) no video output. When I power up with an SD card (containing the newest minimig1.bin) inserted, I get a blue screen with version information (just beneath the names of Jakub and Dennis) that turns red after a few seconds and tells me that my PIC firmware is incompatible.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 20, 2008, 08:48:58 PM
Well, I've now received an email back from AmigaKit who tells me that they indeed ship out the new PICs in those bags as they receive them preprogrammed from Acube. In the meantime I have spent the past many hours trying everything under the sun to get some usable information out of that damned PIC.

All I keep getting now is the same message:

"Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
  Searching for PIC ...
  pic sending unknown data:  "K" <> 6Bh=k
Check baudrate & Start Write while PIC is not sending serial data (e.g. in reset)
  ERROR!"

...with the "6Bh=k" bit of the string ending with a different character depending on the number of milliseconds I wait between pressing CheckPIC and hitting the PGM/reset switch.

I now have an additional 200+ unsuccesful CheckPIC attempts under my belt and I'm on the verge of just breaking the board in half and be done with this thing entirely. Life is just too short.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: straycat on September 21, 2008, 08:21:18 PM
@Odin:

Sounds daft, but have you got the PIC on the board the right way around? On mine if you're reading the writing on the chip the joystick ports will be the nearest facing you.

Are you sure about your null modem cable? I'm always having cable problems! Can you use the cable for other tasks (eg: Amiga Explorer, Hyperterminal)?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 22, 2008, 08:52:11 AM
Hey Straycat.

Yep, as mentioned two posts above this, I checked it twice and made sure that the PIC is seated correctly. There is even an outline on the board beneath the socket that shows which way it goes, and I'm reading the text printed on the PIC relative to the joystick ports as you mention.

I have checked everything else as well; the jumper has been moved from FPGA to MCU, the 31Khz jumper is the only other jumper left on the board, and the spare jumper pins are free. As mentioned I have tried two different cables - the second one hand-built to make sure the wiring was right. So what am I missing? I am so frustrated with this thing.

UPDATE: I have just borrowed two extra null-modem cables from work that I will try on when I get home. If it doesn't work with those either (which I am pretty certain it won't) I am all out of ideas.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 22, 2008, 06:00:23 PM
Got back and tried both cables, and exactly as predicted, it didn't work. I get the exact same results as before. Meanwhile I have been searching other threads, and what I am experiencing is outlined perfectly in the posts made by boing4000 in this thread: http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=36311

This thread also concludes that what I am experiencing is caused by a PIC with no bootloader. So my guess is that either Acube sent AmigaKit an empty PIC or AmigaKit mistook an empty PIC for a pre-programmed one when they sent it to me.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Norway on September 22, 2008, 10:03:25 PM
Hi, i have the same problems as you. have you fixed it? :-?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 22, 2008, 10:12:07 PM
Unfortunately no. Are you having problems with the replacement PIC from ACube/AmigaKit as well, or are you dealing with the one that came on the board when you bought it?
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: Norway on September 22, 2008, 10:27:35 PM
i use the one that came with the board, from amigakit.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: odin22 on September 22, 2008, 11:53:59 PM
If you have a board from one of the early batches that came with an empty PIC, you just send AmigaKit an email and they'll swap it for one preprogrammed with a bootloader within warranty.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on October 01, 2008, 03:55:54 PM
Contact your dealer for a replacement PIC with tinybootloader inside.
My first Minimig from Vesalia (build by ACube) also had no bootloader and I got the same update problem as found here.
Vesalia told ACube about this matter and both agreed to exchange the PIC against a new one for all customers.
In my understanding AmigaKit will do the same service!
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on October 19, 2008, 07:49:58 PM
To any core builders (especially Jakub ;-)): Please do not implement SuperHires denise (ID $FC) in minimig core. This will cause well known problems as in real ECS Amiga 500/600/2000 to some program.
I gave it a try by simply setting the denise id to ECS and found some strange results.
Im aware that real S-Hires mode is unable to work at this way, but due to the chip-id the registers of denise will be used by (some) kickstart/demo/intro/game copperlist. In many cases this will show a weird screen or altering colortable etc.

ECS agnus in minimig is absolute right working and in fact even more compatible then the real ECS chipset itself.
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: boing4000 on October 20, 2008, 06:50:34 PM
@Jakub
I did an adjustment in the FPGA core to shift the picture a bit to the right. I used a real A500, kickstart V1.3 and an initial cli screen with standard preferences (no devs:system-configuration file) to have native screen orientation on both system.

The new setting in Beamcounter.v at line #59 is:
Code: [Select]

parameter hsstrt = 25;  // front porch = (uncalculated)us (25)

Now the horizontal screen start is 100% accurate to an ocs/ecs Amiga.
Also the H-Sync signal now has 15.52KHz as on a real Amiga (before it was 15.62KHz).
Would be nice if you can implement this setting in your next core :)
Title: Re: New Minimig cores available
Post by: peyo64 on November 30, 2010, 02:31:36 PM
Hello, I've a problem with my PIC Firmware
I've a pb during the booting of my miniming, I have made a picture as below. Do I forget something or do I need to update the PIC Firmware and how? :confused:
 
(http://peyoo64.free.fr/Amiga/Mininimg/Photo%20002.jpg)



Pb solved, I used the bad version of "minimig1", I changed the old by the latest and now it's work.(http://amibay.com/images/smilies/smile.gif)
Thanks  (http://amibay.com/images/smilies/great.gif)