Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Northstar wierdness

Expand Messages
  • Richard A. Cini
    All -- I¹ve been going back and forth with my Northstar Horizon for a while where it works, then it doesn¹t. Anywho, it sort of works now so I¹d like to
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 3, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Northstar wierdness All --

          I’ve been going back and forth with my Northstar Horizon for a while where it works, then it doesn’t. Anywho, it sort of works now so I’d like to throw out a few things to the group to see if I can actually fix this beast.

          First, I’ve noticed that my unit seems to be sensitive to the cards giggling around, even with the card guides. It won’t reset and then if I give the CPU card a tap and a wiggle, it works. I’ve tried the CPU in two connectors and it’s the same thing. Maybe I’ll clean the fingers on the board, although I would think re-inserting the card would create a good contact.

          Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100 drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette as the problem.

          One thing I haven’t changed is the memory board (a trio of 16k boards). I would think that the directory data would be in the same place in memory regardless of which drive, but I’m not conversant enough with the DOS code to know if that’s true or not.

          Where else should I look for problems?
          
      Rich

      --
      Rich Cini
      Collector of Classic Computers
      Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator
      http://www.altair32.com
      http://www.classiccmp.org/cini
    • Richard A. Cini
      I¹ve made some progress. Cleaning the contact edges with ³Atari cartridge cleaner² as Ray suggested worked like a charm. I haven¹t had a failed reset
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 3, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness I’ve made some progress. Cleaning the contact edges with “Atari cartridge cleaner” as Ray suggested worked like a charm. I haven’t had a failed reset since.

        Next, I did a memory test and discovered that the upper-most memory board is flaky. I yanked that one and now I’m testing the rest of the memory.

        I tried some disk-to-disk copying a bit ago and even though the copy appeared to work, the destination disk appears to be empty. It’s not write-protected and I initialized it as SSSD to match the original.

        Rich


        On 10/3/09 7:51 PM, "Richard Cini" <rcini@...> wrote:
         

        All --

            I’ve been going back and forth with my Northstar Horizon for a while where it works, then it doesn’t. Anywho, it sort of works now so I’d like to throw out a few things to the group to see if I can actually fix this beast.

            First, I’ve noticed that my unit seems to be sensitive to the cards giggling around, even with the card guides. It won’t reset and then if I give the CPU card a tap and a wiggle, it works. I’ve tried the CPU in two connectors and it’s the same thing. Maybe I’ll clean the fingers on the board, although I would think re-inserting the card would create a good contact.

            Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100 drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette as the problem.

            One thing I haven’t changed is the memory board (a trio of 16k boards). I would think that the directory data would be in the same place in memory regardless of which drive, but I’m not conversant enough with the DOS code to know if that’s true or not.

            Where else should I look for problems?
            
        Rich

        --
        Rich Cini
        Collector of Classic Computers
        Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator
        http://www.altair32.com
        http://www.classiccmp.org/cini
         
      • B Degnan
        Ideas The voltage regulators. Verify they re OK Gibberish could be baud issue, if the disks are from different sources, try them at 1200 and 9600. I assume
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 3, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Northstar wierdnessIdeas
          The voltage regulators. Verify they're OK

          Gibberish could be baud issue, if the disks are from different sources, try them at 1200 and 9600. I assume you've done that.

          Have fun
          bill



          From: Richard A. Cini <rcini@...>
          Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 7:51 PM
          To: MARCH-Post <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness



          All --

              I’ve been going back and forth with my Northstar Horizon for a while where it works, then it doesn’t. Anywho, it sort of works now so I’d like to throw out a few things to the group to see if I can actually fix this beast.

              First, I’ve noticed that my unit seems to be sensitive to the cards giggling around, even with the card guides. It won’t reset and then if I give the CPU card a tap and a wiggle, it works. I’ve tried the CPU in two connectors and it’s the same thing. Maybe I’ll clean the fingers on the board, although I would think re-inserting the card would create a good contact.

              Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100 drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette as the problem.

              One thing I haven’t changed is the memory board (a trio of 16k boards). I would think that the directory data would be in the same place in memory regardless of which drive, but I’m not conversant enough with the DOS code to know if that’s true or not.

              Where else should I look for problems?
              
          Rich

          --
          Rich Cini
          Collector of Classic Computers
          Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator
          http://www.altair32.com
          http://www.classiccmp.org/cini


        • Richard A. Cini
          Bill -- Voltages check out OK and when it works, it works fine with the characters readable and the monitor accepting input. I¹ve been able to fix most of the
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness Bill --

                Voltages check out OK and when it works, it works fine with the characters readable and the monitor accepting input. I’ve been able to fix most of the anomalies by cleaning the board contacts. It is still sometimes sensitive and will require a board giggle though.

                The last issue I’m dealing with is the disk copying. Even though I’m following the procedure in the manual for copying a disk, the copy appears to be blank.

            Rich


            On 10/3/09 11:29 PM, "B Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:


            Ideas
            The voltage regulators. Verify they're OK

            Gibberish could be baud issue, if the disks are from different sources, try them at 1200 and 9600. I assume you've done that.

            Have fun
            bill


            From: Richard A. Cini <rcini@...>
            Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 7:51 PM
            To: MARCH-Post <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness



            All --
             
                 I’ve been going back and forth with my Northstar Horizon for a while where it works, then it doesn’t. Anywho, it sort of works now so I’d like to throw out a few things to the group to see if I can actually fix this beast.
             
                 First, I’ve noticed that my unit seems to be sensitive to the cards giggling around, even with the card guides. It won’t reset and then if I give the CPU card a tap and a wiggle, it works. I’ve tried the CPU in two connectors and it’s the same thing. Maybe I’ll clean the fingers on the board, although I would think re-inserting the card would create a good contact.
             
                 Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100 drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette as the problem.
             
                 One thing I haven’t changed is the memory board (a trio of 16k boards). I would think that the directory data would be in the same place in memory regardless of which drive, but I’m not conversant enough with the DOS code to know if that’s true or not.
             
                 Where else should I look for problems?
                 
             Rich
             
             --
             Rich Cini
             Collector of Classic Computers
             Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator
             http://www.altair32.com
             http://www.classiccmp.org/cini
              
          • Bill Sudbrink
            ... One thing I have seen, although it doesn t seem to be your problem, is that the hard sectored system can be very sensitive to dust on the index sensors in
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Richard A. Cini wrote:
              > Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100
              > drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive
              > 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a
              > directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the
              > diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it
              > looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is
              > now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same
              > gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette
              > as the problem.

              One thing I have seen, although it doesn't seem to be your
              problem, is that the hard sectored system can be very sensitive
              to dust on the index sensors in the drives. The drive can work
              just fine on a soft sectored controller but fail with the
              Northstar controller. I discovered this with a drive that had
              a tiny dust bunny floating around one of the sensors. The drive
              worked fine when it was on its side, the dust bunny shifted to
              one side, but it failed when the drive was flat. After I
              discovered that, I went back to two drives in my fix pile that
              worked on a PC controller but not on the N*. I carefully
              cleaned the sensors and they worked perfectly on the N* again.

              Bill S.
            • Richard A. Cini
              Bill: Did you use a long Q-tip to get at the sensors or air? Rich ... Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness Bill: Did you use a long Q-tip to get at the
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness Bill:

                    Did you use a long Q-tip to get at the sensors or air?

                Rich


                On 10/4/09 9:28 AM, "Bill Sudbrink" <wh.sudbrink@...> wrote:

                Richard A. Cini wrote:
                > Next, the floppy drives. I have two IBM/Tandon TM100
                > drives installed in this machine. I can boot from drive
                > 1 and perform the internal commands but if I do a
                > directory listing (“LI”) I get gibberish. So, I put the
                > diskette into drive 2 and did the same thing and it
                > looked fine. So, I swapped the physical drives (so 2 is
                > now 1) and performed the same test and I get the same
                > gibberish. I think this eliminates the drive and diskette
                > as the problem.

                One thing I have seen, although it doesn't seem to be your
                problem, is that the hard sectored system can be very sensitive
                to dust on the index sensors in the drives.  The drive can work
                just fine on a soft sectored controller but fail with the
                Northstar controller.  I discovered this with a drive that had
                a tiny dust bunny floating around one of the sensors.  The drive
                worked fine when it was on its side, the dust bunny shifted to
                one side, but it failed when the drive was flat.  After I
                discovered that, I went back to two drives in my fix pile that
                worked on a PC controller but not on the N*.  I carefully
                cleaned the sensors and they worked perfectly on the N* again.

                Bill S.

                  
                   
              • Bill Sudbrink
                ... Air was enough in all cases but one. The TM100-2A has the sensors almost flush with the chassis and air works fine. Shugart and MPI drives have the
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Richard A. Cini wrote:
                  > Did you use a long Q-tip to get at the sensors or air?

                  Air was enough in all cases but one. The TM100-2A has the
                  sensors almost flush with the chassis and air works fine.
                  Shugart and MPI drives have the sensors at the bottom of
                  holes. I had to take one Shugart apart to get it clean.

                  Bill
                • Christian Liendo
                  http://cnj.craigslist.org/sys/1404999975.html
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    http://cnj.craigslist.org/sys/1404999975.html

                  • Timothy J Fagan
                    These things can t possibly be going for $300!!! I have like 3 or 4 of them. I paid that much for an Atari Falcon030 a few years back. If he can pull down that
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment

                      These things can’t possibly be going for $300!!! I have like 3 or 4 of them. I paid that much for an Atari Falcon030 a few years back. If he can pull down that much for a 1040ST, I need to sell mine. LOL

                       

                       

                       

                      From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christian Liendo
                      Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 9:24 PM
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [midatlanticretro] Atari 1040ST computer - $300 (bedminster )

                       

                       

                      http://cnj.craigslist.org/sys/1404999975.html

                       

                    • joprysko1
                      Is 300 good for a 1040ST?? Because I was talking to one guy who has a 1040ST I believe and he is offering it to me for $100...
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 4, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Is 300 good for a 1040ST?? Because I was talking to one guy who has a 1040ST I believe and he is offering it to me for $100...

                        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > http://cnj.craigslist.org/sys/1404999975.html
                        >
                      • Christian Liendo
                        No.. You can get them on EBAY cheaper.. Some people will neg the price down, I neither have the time nor patience right now ... From: joprysko1
                        Message 11 of 13 , Oct 5, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          No.. You can get them on EBAY cheaper..
                          Some people will neg the price down, I neither have the time nor patience right now

                          --- On Sun, 10/4/09, joprysko1 <joprysko1@...> wrote:

                          From: joprysko1 <joprysko1@...>
                          Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Atari 1040ST computer - $300 (bedminster )
                          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Sunday, October 4, 2009, 9:58 PM

                           

                          Is 300 good for a 1040ST?? Because I was talking to one guy who has a 1040ST I believe and he is offering it to me for $100...

                          --- In midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com, Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@ ...> wrote:
                          >
                          > http://cnj.craigsli st.org/sys/ 1404999975. html
                          >


                        • Andrew Molloy
                          I agree, $300 is way too much. Some of them can have severe yellowing of the case or keyboard so if possible get a picture before you buy. Andy On Mon, Oct 5,
                          Message 12 of 13 , Oct 5, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I agree, $300 is way too much. Some of them can have severe yellowing
                            of the case or keyboard so if possible get a picture before you buy.

                            Andy

                            On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 6:05 AM, Christian Liendo
                            <christian_liendo@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > No.. You can get them on EBAY cheaper..
                            > Some people will neg the price down, I neither have the time nor patience right now
                            >
                            > --- On Sun, 10/4/09, joprysko1 <joprysko1@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > From: joprysko1 <joprysko1@...>
                            > Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Atari 1040ST computer - $300 (bedminster )
                            > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                            > Date: Sunday, October 4, 2009, 9:58 PM
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Is 300 good for a 1040ST?? Because I was talking to one guy who has a 1040ST I believe and he is offering it to me for $100...
                            >
                            > --- In midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com, Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@ ...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > http://cnj.craigsli st.org/sys/ 1404999975. html
                            > >
                            >
                          • Dan Roganti
                            Richard A. Cini wrote: Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness Ive been able to fix most of the anomalies by cleaning the board contacts. It is still
                            Message 13 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Richard A. Cini wrote:
                              Re: [midatlanticretro] Northstar wierdness I’ve been able to fix most of the anomalies by cleaning the board contacts. It is still sometimes sensitive and will require a board giggle though.

                              One thing I've noticed with my old systems is that the contacts in the edge connectors can lose their tension. Besides cleaning those contacts, you might want to tighten them so the card sits in their snug and tight. After so many years the pins can get compressed and loose tension. It would be a little harder to remove the card afterwards but you shouldn't be without a card extender for troubleshooting. I use a dental pick to tighten the connector pins - I put a little hook on the end of my tool to reach under the pin to stretch the pin out further.

                              =Dan

                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.