Conflict with Pitch Dark & FastChip //e

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Conflict with Pitch Dark & FastChip //e

Hi Apple II fans!

   I often boot my Apple IIe Enhanced in Smartport mode with a micro SD in the Floppy EMU & the Yellowstone Universal disk controller (BigMessOWires) with 4 32mb images using Bitsy Bye - Total Replay, Total Replay II (Instant Replay), etc and Pitch Dark (a collection of all Infocom text adventures) - I love these collections put together by 4am and they all work great EXCEPT for Pitch Dark when my FastChip //e accelerator card by a2heaven is installed.  When I tab over to Pitch Dark the opening menu screen is there for a split second and then it launches randomly into a game or random screens. Anyone have insight as to why all other software seems to work with the FastChip in except Pitch Dark? It's very odd. Thanks!

 

 

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FastChip //e problems continued

  I have everything working great on my Apple IIe Enhanced now (thanks to many of you here on the forums), except my FastChip //e. Current configuration: 

Aux slot - 80 column card

Slot 3 - Uthernet II

Slot 5 - FastChip //e

Slot 6- Yellowstone Universal Disk card

Slot 7 - AllVGAS VGA scaler

 

Everything works perfectly when I don't have the FastChip accelerator in. When I do have it in (and I have tried different slots 4&5) I have strange behavior with some software like PitchDark hdv image of Infocom games in Smartport mode on FloppyEMU. If I leave the FastChip in but disable it in its menu - when I boot I get weird graphics and color distortion on my Bitsy Bye hdv boot image - see above images. I've been assured there should be no conflict between the software and the FastChip because others are using both. So either there's something wrong with my FastChip or my configuration I suppose. Any have ideas - Im not sure where to go from here. Thanks!

 

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Basically I'm getting weird

Basically I'm getting weird glitchy behavior with the FastChip in or in and disabled - which is weird - why would it just being in a slot but disabled cause strange behavior.

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m0ebiu5 wrote:Basically I'm
m0ebiu5 wrote:

Basically I'm getting weird glitchy behavior with the FastChip in or in and disabled - which is weird - why would it just being in a slot but disabled cause strange behavior.

What do you mean by "disabled"?

 

If all you are doing is dropping it back to 1 MHz then you're not really disabling it, just making it run at 1MHz.  Have you set it to "OFF" in the hardware control panel on bootup?

 

Also, I should note that the FastChip IIe doesn't improve access times on the MicroDrive/Turbo and it will really interfere with most games you play.  Many games rely heavily on CPU timing and cycle counting to maintain their flow and the Fastchip disrupts a lot of that.

The other issue is that the Fastchip is really a WDC65C02S which is not exactly 100% the same as a garden variety 65C02, especially if the software is using weird undocumented opcodes in its software.

 

What I'm trying to say is that for gaming, the FastChip IIe is  generally not a useful modification.

 

 

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I set it to disabled in the

I set it to disabled in the speed settings of its menu - from what I read that turns it off and the regular cpu should be running. Currently I don't have the external cpu control connected because I've been troubleshooting. Mainly I want the FastChip for use with the Uthernet II but I don't love how all these other programs are glitching - why having it turned off still affects my software aka the hdv imaged pictured above makes no sense - also I've been told by others that they have no problem with their FastChip affecting these particular programs - I'm at a loss 

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I thought I could have the

I thought I could have the best of both worlds by just disabling it when not in use (for the Uthernet II) so that it doesn't affect the other software that is conflicting but even with it disabled and installed it still seems to cause problems.

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Complete shot in the dark,

Complete shot in the dark, but if the issues are all graphical in nature, perhaps there is a conflict with the VGA scaler somehow? In your description of the issue, it's not clear if you tried with it out. If not, try removing it and see if the issue persists. 

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I believe I had the problems

I believe I had the problems before I added the VGA scaler - they are both from the same place a2heaven so there shouldn't be a conflict but Im not 100% sure on that. The VGA scaler is a little tricky to remove/add because it has wired jumpers you have to connect to certain pins on ICs.

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The VGA Scaler can cause

The VGA Scaler can cause other sorts of conflicts because it can disrupt the clock signal.

 

I had a Garret's Workshop 8MB RAM card in the AUX slot that didn't play well well with the VGA Scaler.

The solution was to modify the RAM card to have a buffered clock signal pin to which you can attach to the VGA scaler's clock wire probe.  (GW sent me a replacement no charge - they're a class act)

Perhaps you are experiencing similar effects.

Just disconnect the clock wire - that will disable the VGA scaler - not completely, but this is an experiment.

Then connect the composite port to a monitor and see if you are still glitching - you can connect and disconnect the clock wire without fear of damaging either the computer or the VGA scaler (unless you fat-thumb it onto something stupid like +12V)

 

 

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I have 2 monitors connected

I have 2 monitors connected and working simultaneously - 1 composite LCD from ReactiveMicro and the other is connected to an ASUS monitor through VGA with the AllVGAS scaler. I can try without the scaler and see what happens. Or just forego the FastChip all together. Everything works great without it. Just a bit disappointing that it's not working as well as others seem to not have issues.

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FWIW - I found issues with

FWIW - I found issues with the FastChip and Uthernet II. Especially when using A2Stream. I would get "WAITING" messages from A2Stream when the FastChip was running. Disabling FastChip would actually cause the program to crash. And removing the FastChip of course made it work just fine. Mentioned all this to Oliver Schmidt to get some insight but he got insulted and of course blamed the problem on the FastChip.

 

Bottom line: even with the FAstChip disabled, it can cause issues with other cards.

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Very interesting and good to

Very interesting and good to know - thank you

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I'm having issues with Total

I'm having issues with Total Replay now that I've installed a FastChip //e. 

I am going to give Pitch Dark a try and see if I run into the same issues as you did.  

Update: Same issues as you described when FastChip was installed (whether enabled or disabled). Issues disappeared when FastChip hardware removed. 

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Update: I updated the

Update: I updated the Yellowstone card firmware (ysupdate-221024.dsk) and now Total Recall works great with the FastChip installed.

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Hey Ty Scooby - I will try

Hey Ty Scooby - I will try that. I figured it was a lost cause at this point - interesting that it might be the Yellowstone. Thank you for the update!

 

m0ebiu5

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Did Pitch Dark work ok as

Did Pitch Dark work ok as well after you updated the Yellowstone firmware?

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I had no problems with Total

I think I have updated to that firmware now that I look at the date Oct 2022 - I never had problems with Total Replay - only Pitch Dark

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I had no problems with Total

Double checking when I get home 

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Unfortunately I still get the

Unfortunately I still get the involuntary character I put issue with Pitch Dark even after updating the Yellowstone drivers. 

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Pitch Dark issues with FastChip //e

I checked the Yellowstone firmware - it's all current. My PitchDark works fine with Yellowstone but if I have the FastChip //e installed PitchDark still goes bonkers with involuntary inputs.

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m0ebiu5 wrote:I checked the
m0ebiu5 wrote:

I checked the Yellowstone firmware - it's all current. My PitchDark works fine with Yellowstone but if I have the FastChip //e installed PitchDark still goes bonkers with involuntary inputs.

Do you try to run PitchDark without Yellowstone ?

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PlamenVaysilov wrote:m0ebiu5
PlamenVaysilov wrote:
m0ebiu5 wrote:

I checked the Yellowstone firmware - it's all current. My PitchDark works fine with Yellowstone but if I have the FastChip //e installed PitchDark still goes bonkers with involuntary inputs.

Do you try to run PitchDark without Yellowstone ?

 

He may not have another card that can do SmartPort to run the PitchDark ProDOS hard drive image from.

 

I have a FastChip //e and a Yellowstone.  Maybe if it would be helpful I could try running PitchDark from a FloppyEmu connected to a Yellowstone with the FastChip //e installed and see if I can replicate the issues?  I could also try running it using a different card that can run SmartPort like an Apple 5.25 Interface Card with a Grappler+ and the SoftSP EPROM in it or maybe one of the new SmartDiskII cards I'm building.  If it works with FastChip running from another controller then that would point the finger at the Yellowstone.

 

I don't normally run PitchDark that way, I usually run it from a Booti card, but I could try it with Yellowstone.

 

 

 

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It works fine on my test

It works fine on my test setup .

 

 

If i remember correctly Yellowstone use DMA acces or some other technics , FAstChip IIe is not compatible with card that use DMA acces , I not have Yellowstone to test this .

 

 

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Sorry I haven't looked at

Sorry I haven't looked at this for awhile - Software Janitor is correct - I don't have another option to use for Smartport with my FloppEMU - Smartport ability is the reason I bought the Yellowstone. So I have no way to test this unfortunately.

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