Problems with a Transwarp Card

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theart02's picture
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Problems with a Transwarp Card

I am doing the "field testing" for a Transwarp-Card-like Accelerator.
The cards works fine in my Platinum, but not in my favorite IIe.

There, although the machine is accelerated, I get random characters on the screen. This depends on where the card is inserted. #5 and #4 give the worst results, #1 the "best" - but the machine is not really functional. If turn of the accelerator with a poke, the problems remain. If I remove the card, everything works just fine.

The IIe in question is a bit of bastard: It has a Rev. A motherboard (no double-hires, alas), the case and keyboard from an Enhanced IIe and an enhanced chipset, that is: 65C02 plus new ROMS.

The machine is in great condition. Power supply has been refurbished, all the usual tests work just fine.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

transwarp II guy's picture
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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

That's weird that it works fine in your platinum //e but not in your regular //e. There may be something wrong with the //e in question.

The easiest thing to try first would be to re-seat the socket-ed chips on both the Transwarp & the //e.

One question: have you removed all other cards from the //e when testing the Transwarp?

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Yes, I am sure that there is something wrong with the //e.

In the platinum, the card works regardless of the number of cards in the system.
The ICs are all well socketed. In fact, the accelerator is new and the //e motherboard in mint condition (at least visually).
And I have used the same PSU in both //es, so we can rule out problems with the power supply.

I am more a software than a hardware guy, but I think I can make two educated guesses:

a) The irregular characters depend on the position of the Transwarp. Doesn't that point to a RAM problem?
b) The problem has something to do with the differences between a Platinum and a standard IIe. That is, possibly: CPU, Ext. 80 Col Card, ROMS

What next?

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Just to clarify, is it actually a Transwarp Card you are using? I ask only because you said in your first post "Transwarp-Card-like Accelerator"

If you enhanced the IIe then the non-platinum IIe is no longer "standard."

While I have not had one, I thought I read somewhere about issues with the original ACTUAL Rev. A IIe's. Have to check one of my enhancement kits paperwork but I thought enhancing an early revision A was problematic. Perhaps that/those problems only arose for you with the accelerator.

Then again, I was probably just thinking of the double hi-res not existing and not being able to use a jumpered extended 80-col. card on a Rev. A IIe.
Zan

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Rather more simple question:
Under normal conditions the CPU at the accelerator has to be same kind as the Mainboard....
so if using the card in enhanced system at the one side and at the other hand also using the same card
in a non-enhanced system may cause problems because if the card bears a 6502 and is used in a
enhanced system it may mismatch with some part of the ROM code designed for 65C02....

Another point is possible mismatch in timing... due to the fact that at the IIe there are NTSC and PAL versions
of the mainboard in the market, that both versions have different timing of the HAL chip.
Being aware that also in some systems over the years the mainboard might have been replaced,
it might be useful to check that possible issue too....

and sometimes issues raise from tolerance of the MMU and the IOU chips ( rather more rare issue )

and finally mentioning a last fact:
several accelerators have DIP-switch setting of configuration....
did you check that setup when moving over to the alternate system if some switch must be altered ?

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Yes, I think that this is going into the right direction.
The //e is definetely non-Standard. Rev A Board, PAL, new ROMs and 65CO2.
The accelerator runs a 65c02 at 10 MHz.
As for the other things: I'll have to look into that.

I'll post something new soon.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

which version of the U Transwarp-like Card are you using? Mine has 1.91 and i haven't had serious problems ... the initial problems with the RamFast could be solved. Have you tried to run the //e without the onboard CPU while the Accelerator is installed (should work)? Have you had any additional cards installed that need DMA? Was the Floppy drive controller installed? Does the Accelerator have a ROM? How much AUX-Memory does it accelerate? Have you tried to use a slower crystal with the accelerator (like 3-5mhz)?

As the accelerator 'takes over' the system, the Apple //e Ram is only used for video/character display if the accelerator mirrors the memory. If the accelerator caches the A2e memory access, strange things may happen if a memory block or even several chips are defective. Why don't you run a memory checker without the accelerator and later with the accelerator?

-Jonas

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card


The accelerator runs a 65c02 at 10 MHz.

Sounds doubtfully fast to me. Would you post a photo of your accelerator?

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

@stynx: I did most of the tests you suggested - except removing the CPU. Let's talk about that issue when we meet in person on November 29th.
I am not sure whether I am allowed to post a picture of the card, as it is a prototype which has been given to me by the developer. But it does run on 10 MHZ.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Great. You want us to give advices on fixing a crude newly developed accelerator Wink Let the author fix it Wink

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Great. You want us to give advices on fixing a crude newly developed accelerator Wink Let the author fix it ;)

Hello Georgel,
again just repeated:
YOUR AGGRESIVE BEHAVIOUR IS NOT WELCOME IN THIS COMMUNITY !
Change behaviour !
This time it´s at the point i spotted it to the admin !
Change your behaviour barking at each wall like a uneducated puppy !
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

I am not sure whether I am allowed to post a picture of the card, as it is a prototype which has been given to me by the developer.

Have you bought the card? ... if the answer is YES and you did not have so sign a confidentiality agreement, i don't understand your thoughts about this. I thing the developer will be pleased if people talk about the card. His trademark is only worth something if people know the product even exists. (georgel is doubting the existence for example)

I have bought my Card and did not have to keep silent about it. I have posted a Picture and had to modify the card a little to get a bug out (discovered when using the RamFast).

@georgel:
I have a (most likely early) version of the card. My card can reach easily 15Mhz and 18mhz under certain conditions. I think that 10Mhz is a very safe starting point and there is a lot more room for higher speed ( that is, if the developer did not heavily modify the inner workings of the card).

-Jonas

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Georgel,

theart02 said at the beginning:

I am doing the "field testing" for a Transwarp-Card-like Accelerator.

I would like to see some pictures of it myself, but
if he needs permission from the developer I am willing to wait.

There is no need to bite his, or anyone's, head off.

Steven Smile

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Exactly, just give me a couple of weeks. I'll definitely keep you updated.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

It must be the seldom seen UltraWarp.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

I normally stay away from troubleshooting via email or forums, since at best, it's a guessing game, but I'll take a shot at this, as it sounds suspiciously like a problem seen with the Brain Board on a few Apple IIe systems.

Apple II peripheral boards require extra conservative power and ground plane design. The ground plane, in particular, needs lots of copper and short runs. Try increasing decoupling and run some extra ground wires from high power chips like bus drivers to someplace near the ground pin on the edge connector and see if that makes a difference.

regards,
Mike W.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Just a short update: Yes, it is an Ultrawarp card. The problem has been fixed. One or the TTL chips on the card was a bit too fast during DMA; I will do a few more tests as soon as possible and keep you updated.

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Can you share the version number? Blum 3

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Re: Problems with a Transwarp Card

Of course. It's an Ultrawarp V. 1.92

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