VOGONS


Sound Blaster 16 Clones

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Reply 220 of 239, by Thomas_GER

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I own a MA5ASOUND now and I am pretty pleased with that card.
It's ALS100 (Non+) based, has high dma support, wb header and a working IDE interface. But something is quite weird: after post it get's the usual i5 d1 and h5 by the pnp bios and sometimes also I9 for the mpu device. Mostly wenn an IDE drive is connected but only after a cold boot. The IDE drive works flawlessly. CD drive for example is recognised by the BIOS allthough it is a pnp card. Does anyone know something about this strange behaviour?
P.s.: the Soundblaster resources are always assigned by bios

Reply 222 of 239, by Thomas_GER

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That's indeed funny. I did not know that by now.
But here is a pic of mine:

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What I forgot: I don't think the card is damaged, more that it's chip or BIOS specific because I have a second one by another manufacturer wich has the same behaviour.

Reply 223 of 239, by Joseph_Joestar

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I recently got my hands on two SB clone cards: an Opti 82c930 and an Avance Logic ALS100. They work great, except when a game loads a full motion video sequence (FMV) from a CD. While the movies play, I get sound stutter on both cards, regardless of IRQ/DMA configuration and other driver settings.

For reference, I'm running pure DOS 6.22 on an Abit KT7A (KT133 chipset) with an Athlon XP 1500+. The only way to to get rid of this stutter seems to be to downclock my CPU to 500 MHz (5x100). The weird thing is, this stutter only appears on my ISA cards. My SB128 PCI and Yamaha YMF724 cards don't exhibit this behavior.

Anyone know what's going on here?

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Reply 224 of 239, by appiah4

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I too have some MA5ASOUND cards. As far as I know the cards are not all just straight up MA5ASOUND..

For example, this ALS007 card is actually an MA5ASOUND 007:

ASound-MA5-ASOUND-007.jpg

This ALS100+ card however is MA5ASOUND GOLD

ASound-MA5-ASOUND-Gold.jpg

I've also previously owned and MA5ASOUND OPL3 that had a YMF71x chipset (I forgot which) that I traded away, possibly to keropi.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 225 of 239, by Oetker

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I got my hands on an ALS100 card (doesn't have any markings other than Made in Taiwan, unfortunately). However I run into very strange behavior:

-In DOS after I run alsinit.exe, the card will be detected by Duke3D setup but no sound will come out. If I run alconfig.exe sound is restored, so maybe it's a volume/mixer issue. Sometimes alsinit.exe does work, but I don't know why it does/doesn't. It isn't influenced by slowing down my CPU.
-For Windows 98 I've tried the Windows 95 drivers and Win98 WDM drivers I found. Both have the issue that only the first second of the Windows startup sound plays and after that there's no wave audio anymore. I hear the line in and OPL3 just fine. However it's not just a mixer issue - when you press the play button in Sound Recorder it doesn't actually play sound and the progress bar doesn't advance. Media Player does think it's playing sound and advances its progress bar.

I also tried if configuring the card using Intel ICU would help but it didn't, ICU would detect and configure the card but wouldn't help with anything audio wise. Any tips? Maybe it's just a dodgy card or incompatibility with my specific Pentium 3 machine.

Reply 226 of 239, by Joseph_Joestar

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It might be due to a resource conflict. Under Win98 go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Information > Hardware Resources and check the IRQ, DMA and Address sections to see if anything shares those resources with the ALS100.

Under DOS, disable the game port and the MPU-401 via alconfîg.exe if you aren't using them.

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Reply 227 of 239, by Oetker

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-02-13, 20:40:

It might be due to a resource conflict. Under Win98 go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Information > Hardware Resources and check the IRQ, DMA and Address sections to see if anything shares those resources with the ALS100.

Under DOS, disable the game port and the MPU-401 via alconfîg.exe if you aren't using them.

No conflicts. Strangely although alconfig.exe does fix my DOS issues, it also sometimes hangs my PC. I think that audio briefly works in Windows is especially mysterious - does the card manage one DMA transfer before it fails?

In what kind of machines are you using your ALS100 card(s)? Mine is a P3-550, 440BX.

Reply 228 of 239, by appiah4

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-02-13, 20:40:

It might be due to a resource conflict. Under Win98 go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Information > Hardware Resources and check the IRQ, DMA and Address sections to see if anything shares those resources with the ALS100.

Under DOS, disable the game port and the MPU-401 via alconfîg.exe if you aren't using them.

What DMA channel is the card set to use?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 229 of 239, by Oetker

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-14, 07:43:

What DMA channel is the card set to use?

8-bit DMA 1, 16 bit I've tried 5,6,7. I'll add trying another 8-bit DMA to the list of things to try, although I've been using DMA 1 with other cards with no problems.

Also, has anyone tried using the SB16 Windows drivers and/or the Creative SB16 DOS mixer with an ALS100 card? Looking at the Linux driver source the card really should be 100% compatible - I'll see if ICU + SB16 mixerset.exe works.

Reply 230 of 239, by appiah4

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Oetker wrote on 2020-02-14, 07:48:
appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-14, 07:43:

What DMA channel is the card set to use?

8-bit DMA 1, 16 bit I've tried 5,6,7. I'll add trying another 8-bit DMA to the list of things to try, although I've been using DMA 1 with other cards with no problems.

Also, has anyone tried using the SB16 Windows drivers and/or the Creative SB16 DOS mixer with an ALS100 card? Looking at the Linux driver source the card really should be 100% compatible - I'll see if ICU + SB16 mixerset.exe works.

ALS100 (maybe) does not support high DMA? Try DMA 3 for 16-bit transfers?

Also, have you tried running alconfig.exe to see what the card reports being set at vs Windows resources?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 231 of 239, by Joseph_Joestar

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Oetker wrote on 2020-02-14, 07:27:

In what kind of machines are you using your ALS100 card(s)? Mine is a P3-550, 440BX.

I'm using mine on an Athlon XP 1500+ (downclocked to 500 MHz) and an Abit KT7A motherboard (KT133A chipset). The downclock is because I get garbled sound in FMVs on all ISA cards (not just this one) at any clock speeds higher than that.

If you haven't already, try these drivers in both pure DOS and Win98. Also, when installing the DOS drivers, run dosinst.exe so that it doesn't mess around with your Windows directory and see if that makes a difference. This last bit is assuming that you run DOS 6.22 on a different hard disk separate from your Win98 install, like I do. If you don't, disregard the dosinst.exe suggestion.

appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-14, 07:51:

ALS100 (maybe) does not support high DMA?

It should, according to the user manual. On my card, I'm using High DMA in all games which support it (including Duke3D) and I never had any issues. You might be thinking of the ALS100+ instead.

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Reply 232 of 239, by derSammler

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-02-14, 08:53:

The downclock is because I get garbled sound in FMVs on all ISA cards (not just this one) at any clock speeds higher than that.

This is a very important hint, as it implies that your ISA bus is probably running too fast, which would explain your sound card issues. Make sure the ISA bus is not running faster than 8.33 MHz.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 233 of 239, by Joseph_Joestar

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derSammler wrote on 2020-02-14, 09:16:

This is a very important hint, as it implies that your ISA bus is probably running too fast, which would explain your sound card issues. Make sure the ISA bus is not running faster than 8.33 MHz.

The other guy is having problems with his ALS100, my card works fine other than the aforementioned FMV issue, and that's only at higher clock speeds.

I'm still interested in how to lower the ISA bus speed though. What BIOS settings would be used for that?

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Reply 234 of 239, by derSammler

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I see. Maybe his ISA bus is clocked too high. Or the card relies on the 14 MHz clock from the mainboard, which might not be present on his mainboard.

As for the ISA bus speed in the BIOS: depends on the BIOS. It's normally in the advanced section or chipset features and should be called "AT-BUS Clock". It's set using the formula CLK/x, whereas CLK is the FSB and x whatever value needed to get ~8 MHz.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 235 of 239, by Joseph_Joestar

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derSammler wrote on 2020-02-14, 09:31:

As for the ISA bus speed in the BIOS: depends on the BIOS. It's normally in the advanced section or chipset features and should be called "AT-BUS Clock". It's set using the formula CLK/x, whereas CLK is the FSB and x whatever value needed to get ~8 MHz.

Doesn't look like my BIOS has that setting. I can adjust the PCI clock speed, but nothing seems to affect the ISA bus. Here's the PDF manual of my motherboard, in case I missed something. BIOS settings are listed starting at page 33.

To be honest, this doesn't bother me that much anymore, since very few DOS games benefit from raising the clock speed above 500 MHz (maybe Quake and Tomb Raider) and I can play those at max CPU clock under Windows 98 using my Audigy 2 ZS which has no speed sensitivity issues.

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Reply 236 of 239, by Oetker

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I put some more effort into DOS. Apparently the sound volume is just extremely low (I can hear the Duke3D sound test if I turn up my speakers). Alsinit.exe should apply volume settings but doesn't always, apparently. Running alconfig.exe and exiting it fixes things, though sometimes alconfig.exe hangs. The sb16 mixerset.exe does detect a voice volume of 0, however if I increase the volume in that application and restart it, it will still see the higher volume level, but I don't hear anything.

Update: Also, sometimes one channel has proper volume and the other is muted; in SB16 mode stereo is swapped as well, in SB Pro mode it isn't.

Reply 237 of 239, by Oetker

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I've given up on this card for now, it's either broken or hates my PC. I thought that maybe the issue was with my Voodoo 3 but removing that made the card somehow behave even worse, hanging its init tool and even the whole PC if I tried to go into BIOS setup.

Reply 238 of 239, by th1r5bvn23

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I got this card several days ago... but I can't test it now. It does have a better position of gameport though. I'll solder jumpers for enabling/disabling amplifier.
Would you recommend this card over OPL3-SAx?

AMD K6-2+ 500, FIC PA-2013 2.0 1MB, 128MB SDRAM PC100, Voodoo3 3000 AGP, Labway Yamaha YMF719B-S with NEC XR385

Reply 239 of 239, by gdjacobs

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th1r5bvn23 wrote on 2020-03-02, 09:29:

IMG_20200222_154156.jpg
I got this card several days ago... but I can't test it now. It does have a better position of gameport though. I'll solder jumpers for enabling/disabling amplifier.
Would you recommend this card over OPL3-SAx?

Probably not. Compatibility on these is known to be worse than the Yamaha cards. However, it does have SPDIF I/O which is really interesting.

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