Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

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Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-14 @ 14:10

I just installed a Tseng 4000AX video card into a computer running DR Dos 5.0. It is showing weird characters though. The picture below shows what appears instead of C:\>. Anyone know what is going on with it?

I have this card by the way. http://retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_grap ... gwv22.html

IMG_1790.JPG
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby root42 » 2018-6-14 @ 16:10

Can you show a full character set?
Does your BIOS have a diag tool that could help with this?
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-14 @ 16:39

Yes here is the character set and BIOS info:
IMG_1791.JPG

IMG_1792.JPG
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby Tiido » 2018-6-14 @ 21:59

This makes me think of a localized charset for some specific purpose. Are you sure there's no charsets being loaded in config.sys or autoexec.bat ?
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby quicknick » 2018-6-14 @ 22:40

I have a slightly different revision of that card - it has socketed RAM chips (DIP) instead of SOJ packages. It is very fast for a ISA card, but unfortunately exhibits some artifacts under benchmarks (some pixels have wrong colors). Tried it with another set of RAM chips, still same artifacts. How is JP3 set up on your board? On mine it is open, and if I set it to 2-3 the problems are almost gone (but not completely!) and the performance is halved...

Anyway, no problems with the character set, so if you want I can send you a BIOS dump.

Tseng ET4000AX.jpg
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-15 @ 04:32

Tiido wrote:This makes me think of a localized charset for some specific purpose. Are you sure there's no charsets being loaded in config.sys or autoexec.bat ?

There is not anything loaded. I thought the same thing so I did double check that earlier.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-15 @ 04:34

quicknick wrote:Anyway, no problems with the character set, so if you want I can send you a BIOS dump.



Yes please. That would be great!

And my jumper is set at 1-2. Seems to run just fine other than the odd character set. I think that just sets it to either 8 or 16 bit mode.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby quicknick » 2018-6-15 @ 12:04

Here it goes. On my card the "Sync BIOS" is a black chip without any clear indication of its size, so I've read this one both as 256 and 512 kbit. Most certainly it's 256kbit or it could be even smaller - if you look at the file in a hex editor it's quite repetitive. If you can find out more about the size of this ROM on your card, please let me know and I'll re-read the chip.

ET4000AX.rar
(16.16 KiB) Downloaded 47 times
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-6-15 @ 15:36

I think that bios has ISO 8859 (type 2?) / Latin 2 character set. Your funky character in c:\ is a "D" with stroke in it. very strange it modified characters below 128! usually all codepage changes were 128-255.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-16 @ 18:00

Yes BloodyCactus, it’s an odd one for sure. And thanks for the file quicknick. I’ll try that out soon and see how it works!
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby xjas » 2018-6-16 @ 22:49

That's the Icelandic letter "eth", I think it's also used in some Slavic languages but I don't know what it's called there. I see some other extra slavic characters in there too. Pretty stupid they replaced the \ though; you'd think somebody must have tried DOS on that card and gone "hey..."

It's also the currency symbol for Dogecoin. :P
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-19 @ 02:01

quicknick, what sort of eprom programmer did you use to extract the bios files? I am new to the whole eprom flashing process and thought I would be able to use my XTIde to program the chips from the Tseng card but it does not seem to work.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby quicknick » 2018-6-19 @ 12:33

I have a TL866CS which has helped me a lot in my retro endeavours, both for reading/programming (e)eproms/flash and for testing various logic ICs and SRAMs (yes it can do that!).
I don't think the chips on your card can be programmed with means other than a dedicated programmer, if at all. On my card, the main BIOS is on a EPROM, and erasing that requires exposure to UV light after removing the opaque label; the SYNC BIOS on the other hand is a mask ROM or a windowless EPROM and cannot be erased/reprogrammed at all.

Please post a picture of your actual card, and maybe peel back a little the label on your SYNC BIOS to see the markings on the chip.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-19 @ 13:26

quicknick wrote:
Please post a picture of your actual card, and maybe peel back a little the label on your SYNC BIOS to see the markings on the chip.


Yes here you go. I do have one of the TL866 programmers on the way. Figured I could use it for some other projects to if it wont work for this. So will I be able to put the new bios on the card at all then or am I basically stuck with the character set it currently has on it you think?

IMG_1796.JPG


IMG_1797.JPG
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby Tiido » 2018-6-19 @ 13:51

You definitely cannot program an EPROM directly on the GFX card and none I have seen even has !WE signal so a flash chip wouldn't be upgradeable either (that came along well into the PCI era). 200ns might be too slow too, if you experience weird things with the new chip you'll want to get 150 or 120ns part.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby quicknick » 2018-6-19 @ 14:49

Same as on my card. The M27256 can be programmed on the TL866, but only after erasing under UV light. Not worth the hassle. The other chip (VGA4000 BIOS) cannot be erased or re-programmed. You need two chips such as these.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-19 @ 15:51

quicknick wrote:You need two chips such as these.


So that same chip will work as a repleacement for both slots then?
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby quicknick » 2018-6-19 @ 21:34

It should. As I mentioned earlier, there's no indication about its size on the "sync bios" chip, so I've read it two times, first assuming it is a 27c256 and then as a 27c512. However, the 512kb image, if split in two, produces two identical files so that should mean the chip is also 256kbit in size.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby kixs » 2018-6-19 @ 22:52

This is weird... usually it's some TSR program to map different char map. On some cards I saw a switch to select the map.

As some already said, this is a slavic char map. Used in adriatic area - ex Yugoslavia. Most specifically Croats and Serbs use most of the special characters ŠČĆŽĐ. Here we use only ŠČŽ but on my keyboard there are also ĐĆ present.
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Re: Tseng 4000AX Weird Characters

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-6-20 @ 03:29

Ok great! I have everything ordered so will find out in a couple days. Also, one other question, I had some spare EEProms laying around for my XT-Ide and burned your files to them and those did not work. Is there a difference in the way an EEprom and Eprom function other than the re-programmability of the EEprom?
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