VOGONS


First post, by Baoran

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I have couple Diamond Speedstar24 cards that have older bios like "Speedstar VGA DBIOS 5.01" or "Speedstar VGAS DBIOS 4.23" writen on the socketed bios chips. I also have a similar speedstar24 card that does not work that has "Speedstar VGA Dbios 6.01". Does anyone know if I can move the newer bios chips from non-working card to cards that have older bios version?

Also do the bios versions actually matter? Like is there point in putting those newer bios chips in one of the other cards?

Reply 1 of 57, by keropi

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newer vga bios usually means more modes or even vesa support
you can certainly use the 6x chips on the older cards
if you have some means to dump those chips please post them here as well, thanks!

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Reply 2 of 57, by Baoran

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keropi wrote on 2020-10-30, 07:33:

newer vga bios usually means more modes or even vesa support
you can certainly use the 6x chips on the older cards
if you have some means to dump those chips please post them here as well, thanks!

I would like to be able to do dump like that for myself as well. What I would need to be able to do that?

Reply 4 of 57, by keropi

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you will need a programmer to do a proper dump, something like the TL-866 that is affordable and super-useful in general if you mess with old hardware

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 5 of 57, by Baoran

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keropi wrote on 2020-10-30, 09:15:

you will need a programmer to do a proper dump, something like the TL-866 that is affordable and super-useful in general if you mess with old hardware

Are the Chinese ones from ebay like this one ok or should I order one from somewhere else?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Programmer-TL866II-P … 9EAAOSwmgVdRDWS

Reply 6 of 57, by keropi

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Baoran wrote on 2020-10-30, 09:30:

Are the Chinese ones from ebay like this one ok or should I order one from somewhere else?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Programmer-TL866II-P … 9EAAOSwmgVdRDWS

the programmer is Chinese to begin with - and that ebay seller username looks like it's the original manufacturer so I would say go for it!

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 7 of 57, by maxtherabbit

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the EPROMS on the Speedstar 24 are encoded in some kinda way. Dumping them with a programmer and then interleaving the bytes does not produce sane output, nor does it match with you get if you dump C000 with software

Reply 8 of 57, by Predator99

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-10-30, 14:02:

the EPROMS on the Speedstar 24 are encoded in some kinda way. Dumping them with a programmer and then interleaving the bytes does not produce sane output, nor does it match with you get if you dump C000 with software

This card has also a jumper for 8- and 16-bit BIOS access. I assume both ROMs are identical as we figured out for the Diamond Stealth VRAM (S3 P86C911)
Re: BIOS for Diamond Stealth VRAM (S3 P86C911) needed

Therefore you can dump it with NSSI and Program both ROMs with the dumped content.

Reply 12 of 57, by Grzyb

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Warning: there are at least three variants of SpeedSTAR24, with different RAMDAC chips:
- Music TR9C1710, 8-bpp
- Sierra SC11483, 15-bpp
- some 24-bpp chip, can't find exact info, but the manual clearly states True Color support, and there's appropriate option in Windows 3.1 drivers package

And different RAMDACs probably need different BIOSes.

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Reply 14 of 57, by Grzyb

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-10-30, 23:25:

My card came with the music. I swapped to an AT&T DAC and it worked fine with no ROM changes.

Does that AT&T DAC support more than 8-bpp?
If it does, can you use the Hi-/True-Color modes with that BIOS shipped with the 8-bpp DAC?

Reply 15 of 57, by maxtherabbit

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I believe it does, but selecting them in windows 3.1 doesn't give me output. I'd be happy to try burning some different ROMs and giving it another go, if you have them.

Reply 16 of 57, by Grzyb

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So it works as expected.
Standard VGA supports up to 8-bpp, and all RAMDACs are compatible here.
Higher color depths, however, are RAMDAC-specific.

From what I've found, SpeedSTAR24 cards were available with three different RAMDACs: the mentioned earlier 8-bpp Music, 15-bpp Sierra, and 24-bpp Diamond SS2410.
No AT&T - so you probably won't find a BIOS with AT&T support.
But you can try some UniVBE/SDD - it seems to detect many RAMDACs, so it may provide working VBE modes with >8-bpp.

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Reply 17 of 57, by maxtherabbit

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Would you be able to share dumps of the alternate DAC BIOSes? I'd like to try them with the at&t DAC for giggles. I can source a sierra DAC as well

Reply 18 of 57, by Baoran

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Card with Bios 4.23 looks different than cards with 5.01 and 6.01 bios. Components are in different locations and multimedia connector is missing so I am not sure I should try 6.01 bios with that. The cards with 5.01 and 6.01 bios look alike other than the bios chips.

Reply 19 of 57, by Grzyb

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-10-31, 03:45:

Would you be able to share dumps of the alternate DAC BIOSes?

Not me, I don't have those cards.
Hopefully Baoran can do it.
Anyway, whoever posts such dumps: please state which RAMDAC the card was shipped with.