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tempest
March 24th, 2017, 11:15 AM
I just got my hands on an ATI Small wonder Graphics Solution v1 that I plan to use with my 5150 to produce CGA graphics on my 5151 monochrome monitor. I checked out the manual on minus zero degrees (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manuals/ATI%20Graphics%20Solution%20-%20user%20manual.pdf) but I want to make sure I understand the settings correctly so I don't damage anything.

From what I can tell on the card itself I want everything set to OFF as this selects CGA graphics on a Monochrome monitor. On the 5150 I want to set switches 5 and 6 of SW1 to ON OFF to select CGA graphics. Does this sound correct?

My second question is, can I use the program mentioned in the manual to switch the display mode to Hercules without changing the dip switches (a soft change) from a DOS prompt? That would be nice to have, but not 100% necessary.

Scali
March 24th, 2017, 11:28 AM
From what I can tell on the card itself I want everything set to OFF as this selects CGA graphics on a Monochrome monitor. On the 5150 I want to set switches 5 and 6 of SW1 to ON OFF to select CGA graphics. Does this sound correct?

Yes, that seems correct.


My second question is, can I use the program mentioned in the manual to switch the display mode to Hercules without changing the dip switches (a soft change) from a DOS prompt? That would be nice to have, but not 100% necessary.

Yes, you can switch the mode between CGA and Hercules at runtime.

Trixter
March 24th, 2017, 02:00 PM
I recently acquired one of these boards and would love to try some Plantronics and 132x?? text modes (which I have no idea how they can be readable on a 5153, but I'll find out). Thanks for making the software/driver disk available!

tempest
March 24th, 2017, 04:03 PM
I just tried this and I got a long beep and two short beeps which means a video error. Any idea as to what could be wrong?

I set the motherboard to off off for mda and I got a picture but it was a weird rolling/multiple image.


EDIT: Ok I may have had the dip switches mixed (on/off). It's hard to tell on the card since it doesn't label on and off. Now I'm not getting those beeps but I'm also not getting anything on the screen. Throughly confused here. Could the card be bad? It said it was tested.

This is the card I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/322448269426

Xacalite
March 25th, 2017, 12:29 AM
How long does it take to damage an IBM 5151 by feeding it with CGA signal?

tempest
March 25th, 2017, 05:24 AM
I don't know but this card is made to do this (CGA on a 5151). Plus I plugged in my old herc card and everything still works just fine so the monitor is still good.

Xacalite
March 25th, 2017, 09:39 AM
I don't know but this card is made to do this (CGA on a 5151). Plus I plugged in my old herc card and everything still works just fine so the monitor is still good.
If you were running SWGS with all switches set to ON, it was generating 15kHz CGA signal, ie. very bad for 5151.
It's good it was too short for the monitor to take any damage.

Anyway, you can try to verify the SWGS using the most simple setup:
- set the mobo switches to monochrome
- set the SWGS to monochrome at the host side, and TTL monochrome at the monitor side (ON OFF OFF -)
- if this works, try setting it to CGA mode with software, ie. MS.COM

tempest
March 25th, 2017, 11:01 AM
I tried that and I got no beeps but no picture either. That must mean it's bad or something I'd assume.

BTW I assume that ON is down if I'm looking at the back of the card with the component side facing up right? The top of the dip switch says * OFF which I assume means that 'up' is off since the switch would then be at the top of the dip switch.

EDIT: I just tried monochrome composite on a different monitor and that worked (80 columns in composite is kind of blurry, but it worked). Not sure what this means then. My monitor is fine, but I can't get this card to do HGA or CGA on it.

modem7
March 25th, 2017, 06:31 PM
BTW I assume that ON is down if I'm looking at the back of the card with the component side facing up right? The top of the dip switch says * OFF which I assume means that 'up' is off since the switch would then be at the top of the dip switch.
Sounds right. Examples at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5150_5160/misc/5150_5160_on_versus_off.htm)].

tempest
March 26th, 2017, 06:16 AM
Since the composite mode works but the MDA and CGA don't, could the oscillator be bad?

tempest
March 29th, 2017, 01:27 PM
Ok I did some more testing and here's what I found out:

1. The card works in CGA mode on my Amiga 1080 monitor so that rules out a bad oscillator
2. The card does not work on my 5151 in either MDA or CGA mode
3. The card works on my 1080 is composite mode

So it appears that the card does not like my 5151 monitor for some reason. The monitor is fine because it works with my Hercules card. Any idea as to why this might be? Maybe the firmware needs to be updated since it's a v1 card? The chip says (C) 1994 Odetics Inc. and has the number 8200770 FF102 U1 on it if that helps

Trixter
March 29th, 2017, 01:47 PM
Maybe the firmware needs to be updated since it's a v1 card? The chip says (C) 1994 Odetics Inc. and has the number 8200770 FF102 U1 on it if that helps

Huh, I bought one of those too and I didn't notice that. The card was made in ~1986, so the 1994 chip is custom firmware, probably for some custom Odetics hardware installation. If anything, the firmware likely needs to be downgraded back to the original. So much for using this card with my 5151, I guess... in fact, I'm now worried that it doesn't support all of the things I bought it for, such as Plantronics emulation.

tempest
March 29th, 2017, 04:48 PM
The card was made in ~1986, so the 1994 chip is custom firmware, probably for some custom Odetics hardware installation. If anything, the firmware likely needs to be downgraded back to the original. .

Ah ok then. Can anyone help me with that? I have no way of burning a new EPROM but I'll gladly pay someone to do it for me.

Trixter
March 29th, 2017, 04:59 PM
Same here, but I think the first hurdle is finding the ROM that should be paired with an R0 board.

per
March 29th, 2017, 05:40 PM
I got it right here, from the "rev 2" version. It's just the font bitmaps, nothing fancy at all. Don't remember if it uses the 2764 or the less common 2364 variety of ROM, but should be easy to figure out by counting the number of pins.

50Hz got it's own font in there, like in the regular IBM CGA/MDA font ROM. This font is also used in CGA to 5151 emulation for pure text modes if I remember correctly.

tempest
March 29th, 2017, 05:48 PM
But I don't have any way to burn an EPROM. :(

Trixter
March 29th, 2017, 07:40 PM
If the EEPROM only contains fonts and nothing else, then that's not the source of your problem and you don't need it.

Xacalite
March 30th, 2017, 03:22 AM
1. The card works in CGA mode on my Amiga 1080 monitor so that rules out a bad oscillator
2. The card does not work on my 5151 in either MDA or CGA mode
3. The card works on my 1080 is composite mode
But that doesn't rule out a bad oscillator, quite contrary!
Driving a 15kHz RGBI/composite monitor uses 14.31818 MHz dot clock, taken from the mobo via ISA bus.
Driving an 18KHz monochrome monitor uses 16 (or 16.257) MHz dot clock, unavailable on the bus, so it's taken from the card's XTAL.
The XTAL on SWGS is 16(.257) MHz, isn't it?

tempest
March 30th, 2017, 05:13 AM
The XTAL on SWGS is 16(.257) MHz, isn't it?

Yes it is. Is there a way to test the oscillator using a multimeter that doesn't have a frequency setting? My cheap one does not.

I'm not sure if this means much or not, but when I set the card to MDA or CGA I can hear the monitor 'activate' even though it doesn't display a picture (it also shows that brief line when it turns off). So that means the card is attempting to send a signal to the monitor I guess. Maybe the oscillator IS bad? I was looking at ebay for a replacement but all I can find is 16.00 MHz oscillators, not 16.257. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not.

EDIT: Here's one http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-16-257-MHZ-Quartz-Crystal-Resonator-XTAL-/152028468317

tempest
March 30th, 2017, 08:34 AM
If the EEPROM only contains fonts and nothing else, then that's not the source of your problem and you don't need it.

But if the 50 Hz font has been stripped out for some reason then that might be an issue.

Xacalite
March 30th, 2017, 09:53 AM
I was looking at ebay for a replacement but all I can find is 16.00 MHz oscillators, not 16.257. I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not.

Probably not, original HGC and most clones use 16.000:
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?52284-MDA-Hercules-and-other-clones-what-s-the-frequency-Kenneth

Xacalite
March 30th, 2017, 09:55 AM
But if the 50 Hz font has been stripped out for some reason then that might be an issue.
You can easily verify this by blindly running some program which uses graphics mode.

tempest
March 30th, 2017, 10:11 AM
I found a multimeter at work that I can use to test the oscillator (my personal cheapo one doesn't have this function), so I'll see what it says tonight.


You can easily verify this by blindly running some program which uses graphics mode.

If the oscillator testing doesn't turn anything up, I can try that. So any program that uses graphics would be fine?

tempest
March 30th, 2017, 03:17 PM
I just tested the oscillator and got absolutely nothing. I'm guessing that it is indeed bad.

tempest
May 22nd, 2017, 11:52 AM
I just got around to testing my ATI Small Wonder with the new oscillator and it still won't work in MDA or CGA mode on my 5151 monochrome monitor. It will work in CGA mode on a CGA monitor though. At this point I'm guessing that either the MDA/Monochrome CGA part of the card is dead or that it just doesn't like the 5150. Any more ideas?