VOGONS


Reply 141 of 148, by Tali

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Well, what do you know, the board for Crusader has arrived. I assembled the whole thing, and it wouldn't boot.

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After a bit of fiddling, it turned out the RAM was bad. With that replaced, everything went as smooth as expected.

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Now there are two outstanding issues:
- I need to disable boot agent on the NIC (seems to require some software to do so, 3COM NIC Doctor or something. Trouble is, can't seem to find it).
- GUS will happily work in DOS, but I can't seem to be able to set the same IRQ/DMA settings in Windows.

Currently it is set to have ESS on 220/5/1 and GUS on 240/7/5 , but that's in DOS. But Windows just refuses to let me make any changes in the device manager (it ends up with nothing selected and stops working, even if I return to original values). Removing the device and adding it through Add New Hardware helps, but, again, assigns some random resources.

And for now I'm busy with Crusader, so "mp3 on Bard" project will have to wait a bit. Speaking of which, I do have a video of installing and using Word 95 and VB5 on it with Winamp, but I didn't record sound (I was listening to it, but that's it), so if my word wasn't enough then a video with no sound probably won't be enough now. Anyway, for purity of experiment I'd have to pull the extra RAM out and set the multiplier lower, I guess. Not to mention Bard needs a reinstall now that Photoshop 3.o installer has screwed up windows registry somehow.

Reply 142 of 148, by Joseph_Joestar

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Tali wrote on 2021-01-28, 09:37:

Currently it is set to have ESS on 220/5/1 and GUS on 240/7/5 , but that's in DOS. But Windows just refuses to let me make any changes in the device manager (it ends up with nothing selected and stops working, even if I return to original values). Removing the device and adding it through Add New Hardware helps, but, again, assigns some random resources.

Curious. Does the GUS work properly in Windows if you physically remove the ESS card from the system? The only other thing that comes to mind is playing around with the "PnP OS Installed" setting in the BIOS (assuming that's available) to see if that makes any difference.

The rig is looking great BTW!

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 143 of 148, by Tali

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-01-28, 12:58:
Tali wrote on 2021-01-28, 09:37:

Currently it is set to have ESS on 220/5/1 and GUS on 240/7/5 , but that's in DOS. But Windows just refuses to let me make any changes in the device manager (it ends up with nothing selected and stops working, even if I return to original values). Removing the device and adding it through Add New Hardware helps, but, again, assigns some random resources.

Curious. Does the GUS work properly in Windows if you physically remove the ESS card from the system? The only other thing that comes to mind is playing around with the "PnP OS Installed" setting in the BIOS (assuming that's available) to see if that makes any difference.

The rig is looking great BTW!

I don't think you can physically remove ESS from Gus Extreme... and even if you could, I doubt I would want to mod such a rare card. In any case, the problem lies elsewhere.

And thanks, I like the rig myself. It's still missing a couple touches, like Voodoo 1... but that can wait.

Reply 144 of 148, by Joseph_Joestar

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Tali wrote on 2021-01-28, 13:03:

I don't think you can physically remove ESS from Gus Extreme... and even if you could, I doubt I would want to mod such a rare card. In any case, the problem lies elsewhere.

Ahh, my bad. I thought it was a separate card.

Interesting piece of hardware indeed.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 145 of 148, by Tali

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-01-28, 13:16:
Tali wrote on 2021-01-28, 13:03:

I don't think you can physically remove ESS from Gus Extreme... and even if you could, I doubt I would want to mod such a rare card. In any case, the problem lies elsewhere.

Ahh, my bad. I thought it was a separate card.

Interesting piece of hardware indeed.

Found 3com EtherDisk... now I can configure NICs in most of my retro fleet. Boot agent already disabled in Crusader, that's one problem solved. Now, just to get that GUS to work in Windows... And by 'work' I don't mean just playing sounds, it does that perfectly. I mean doing that while "living" at a specific address.

Reply 146 of 148, by Tali

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Update. 3COM card has just one weakness: just like Sauron, it doesn't share power (or an IRQ, for that matter). The one in question is IRQ 10 - NIC wants it, GUS wouldn't mind it, and onboard USB definitely doesn't want to lose it either. Trouble is, GUS could use any other, like 9 or 11. But both the NIC and the USB are adamant, and, while neither can win this game of tug of war, Windows just happily assigns it to the GUS.

Even if I set it elsewhere, after a soft restart NIC will stop working. But the saviour came in the shape of RTL8139. While not the first choice as far as NICs go, this one is happy to share with the USB, so they both seem to live just fine at IRQ 10. And GUS then happily takes 9. Now, if I only could get it to also use DMA 1 instead of 3...

Reply 147 of 148, by Tali

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For now I'm pretty happy with Crusader. All it needs is a new case and a bit more fiddling with software. That can wait till February, though I think I won't delay for long.

In the mean time, about to start my most difficult project yet: repairing the Korg 01W/FD. Like I said before, the FD part is kind of poof, gone up in magic smoke. Then there's the broken key, some rattle in the keyboard, not working switches and a burnt out electroluminescent display. Got all the parts now, so the time has come.

Step 1: remove the back lid. There was also a mainboard there, but those connectors are humanely impossible to mix up, so I'm not even posting a pic with the board still in. EDIT: Oh, what the hell, maybe someone needs a pic with the board, so here goes.
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Have to put it on the sofa because it's the softest surface that big I have free. Also, since this is a Korg, it has the joystick assembly protruding to the left of the keys, and I have to keep the whole thing diagonal. Anyway, here's the keyboard mechanism with all the keys removed.
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Got to say, I just LOVE the way it's made. Simple, sturdy, and easy to service. Actually, no screws used, which is an added bonus, and the springs for black and white keys are the same. Cleaned up the backplate as well as could be done without scrubbing it with something abrasive, so, as long as nothing it has on it is bound to fall off, I'm happy.

Here are the keys, waiting to be disassembled and washed. Disassembled is a big word, just pull the springs out and be done with it. But yeah, since they're all out, might as well wash them. Also note the Gotek in the floppy assembly next to the soldering station (speaking of which, FINALLY!!!11111 got one - no more pain desoldering chips with a handheld pump, or whatever that thing is called. This one comes with a compressor and a desoldering pistol).
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Need to put that felt in place of the old one. This thing was hot in the 90's, and now's 2021. Oh, and it's still one heck of a synth.

And here's the broken key. There's a new one in it's place already. There are two retaining elements at the bottom left. Normally... this one had one torn off. The new one is just the same colour, so it's even impossible to tell which was which. Kudos for plastic that doesn't yellow! Keys are now squeaky clean, which is the idea... except they shouldn't squeak. So a light dose of Lithium grease... perhaps a bit more than a light dose... and presto!
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And here's the main body sans the keyboard. The hardest is yet to come: replacing all those switches and putting in a new EL backscreen.
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But that's the story for tomorrow!

Reply 148 of 148, by Tali

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Picking it up where I left, quite literally - on the sofa, my first step was to get the shielding out. It is a piece of rather curious material, almost as if it's some laminated foil, and it is held in place by a multitude of screws, some of which also serve the purpose of holding the wires in place (via black spiraly thingies). Well, off it goes.
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Underneath it hides a switchboard, the main culprit today. While it is generally nice to install newer switches in a 30 year old synth, in this case it wasn't even an option, more like a necessity: some of the most commonly used switches have failed by now, and pressing them would produce no result. Here's the switchboard removed (and to get to it one has to also remove the central rail, which also means loosening the power block and disconnecting the floppy/joystick assembly).
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And what you see underneath is another item on today's agenda: the LCD screen this little board houses. Strangely, for a high end device, KORG went with a electroluminescent tape here rather than LED backlight. Whatever the case, those are not immortal, and the time has come for this one to be replaced (or, rather, a new one to be stuck on top of the factory-provided one, then soldered in its stead to the board).
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Now, I'm not showing the process of dealing with either task. Suffice to say, there were issues, especially when learning the new tools, such as a vacuum desoldering pistol. But in the end all the switches were replaced with the new ones, and the backlight was also successfully installed, while freshly washed buttons were happily drying out on the towel. Well then, time to put it all back together!
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Having replaced the screen and the switchboard, the next step was to place the keyboard mechanism. That was a bit of a pain, because the thing is somewhat large and heavy, and also because using the sofa as a work surface isn't ideal.
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Well then, let's put the floppy (or, rather Gotek) inside, and now the mainboard. All those connectors are just awesome, they are made such that you can't mix them up, different pin count on each. Not that I didn't take pictures to be safe...
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Finally, the dreaded smoke test time. And... it worked! (actually, I didn't risk it on the sofa, the first time I switched it on in the kitchen on the table, next to an AC outlet I could pull the cord out of quickly if something went wrong... but it didn't)
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Nice, clean, working example of 1991's technology. Put it in a music shop today, I'm sure some people would mistake it for a much, much newer device!

P.S. while assembling the back lid, I've noticed that it took a very unhealthy bend at one of the corners, and the plastic there is also damaged. Now I don't know if it's my doing, or if it was already like that (and it bugs me to no end), but I know just how I'm going to fix it. So not much of a problem, and tomorrow's just the perfect day for it. In other words, I'm done for today. Well... maybe I should play that thing some more? Maybe...

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