VOGONS


First post, by andrewreader

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Hello All,

I've got my retro machine set up (not as retro as some).

It's a Celeron 1.4 Ghz on a Gigabyte GA-6VEM with 512 MB RAM running MS-DOS 7.1.

I've got the Aztech SG Nova 16E II ISA sound card. I've got the Dreamblaster S1 plugged in to the wavetable header. All is good. It's been tested with lots of games and I'm happy.

But when I plug the Joypad into the Aztech Gameport, the Midi sound disappears there and then. Unplug it and it comes back.

How do I solve this? Is it a Port conflict? Is it expecting a MIDI device at the end of the gameport?

The motherboard has a gameport, but I wouldn't know how to get that working in DOS. I can't find the drivers, they seem to be WIndows only.

On a side note, I went through literally 30 installs of various Aztech drivers, wondering why the Midi would sometimes work and then disappear and this was why. So I hope this helps someone else out.

Please help.

Andrew.

Reply 1 of 14, by jesolo

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Some of the older Sound Galaxy sound cards (like older ones from other manufacturers) are "speed sensitive" and exhibit strange behaviour on faster systems.
I've also come across scenarios where some of my Sound Galaxy sound cards don't "play nice" in one system (lock ups, etc.), but plays fine in another motherboard with the same CPU.
I also recall that some models had a separate IRQ for MIDI playback. Make sure there aren't other devices on your system utilising that IRQ. You can also sometimes reserve that IRQ in your BIOS as "legacy" (which you should probably do, since your card is most likely not one of the Plug 'n Play cards).

What is the model number (FCC ID) of your sound card?
I can perhaps then sent you the correct drivers.

Reply 2 of 14, by andrewreader

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Thanks Jesolo.

I had been through the BIOS and given the IRQs for the sound card ISA/Legacy status.

The card is this one:-
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272548261599?_trksi … K%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

AZT 2316-S

It works, plays sound etc, but shows as 'Sound Card not detected' for HWSET.exe and VOLSET.exe.

I assumed that was a PNP thing.

My Jumper is set to EEPROM settings.

Reply 3 of 14, by konc

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andrewreader wrote:

It works, plays sound etc, but shows as 'Sound Card not detected' for HWSET.exe and VOLSET.exe.

I can't help you specifically with your issue, but the above indicates wrong drivers as Jesolo pointed out. Both utilities should fully work and yes, these cards are picky about what appears to be similar drivers.
So I'd suggest that you start from the correct drivers, being able to configure the card via the utility and see if your problem still applies.

Reply 5 of 14, by Jepael

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No I think this is very simple.

The MIDI transmit wire from the sound chip goes to both wavetable header and joystick connector.

Your joypad is not expecting MIDI OUT at pin #12 but a ground like in the good old days before MIDI and it shorts this to other ground pins, #4 or #5.

Just measure the joypad with a multimeter, from pin #12 to pin #4 or #5, if you see near zero ohms then you know it's the joypad's fault.

A fix would be to disconnect pin #12 from joypad cable, but it's possible the joypad uses different ground pins for different stuff so it won't work if disconnected. Maybe a better option is to build a DB15-DB15 adapter between PC and joypad that disconnects the MIDI wires and rewire them to GND and 5V for the joypad side like in the good old days.

Reply 7 of 14, by jesolo

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See if these drivers will do the trick. If not, then we can see if a different set will work.
You will require two floppy disks (or a floppy emulator) to install these drivers from a DOS environment.
The sound card is not Plug 'n Play (only Aztech cards with the AZT-2320 chipset or later were Plug 'n Play).

Filename
m16abo-1 (v1.20).zip
File size
780.11 KiB
Downloads
33 downloads
File comment
MM Pro 16ABO - Disk 1
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Filename
m16abo-2( v1.20).zip
File size
682.92 KiB
Downloads
33 downloads
File comment
MM Pro 16ABO - Disk 2
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

PS: I also bought a Sound Galaxy from this seller (the link you sent on eBay), only to end up with a card where the FM synthesis didn't produce any sound output. In the end, I requested for a refund and eBay reimbursed me.

Reply 8 of 14, by andrewreader

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Thanks for the disks.

I do have a floppy drive in my Retro PC.

The FM synthesis works fine on this board.

I'm away this weekend, so will hopefully try again on Tuesday.

Thanks for you help all.

Andrew.

Reply 9 of 14, by andrewreader

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The drivers were the right ones thank you very much. 😀

This gave me the media stack in Windows 3.11 for MIDI and CD Playing.

Config, diagnose and HWSET all worked well.

I'll try the joypad again tonight or tomorrow.

Reply 10 of 14, by badmojo

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Yep I'd bet on the joypad messing with you - I've had a similar issue with a SB16, and changing joysticks sorted the problem from memory.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 11 of 14, by andrewreader

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I picked up a Gravis Joystick off Ebay and get similar issues.

The gamepad and joystick work fine on the Vortex 1 on my 'retro' XP machine.

I've found a MIDI joystick splitter on Ebay, so I will test using that when it arrives.

Reply 12 of 14, by andrewreader

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I purchased a cool little breakout box from a private seller on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Joystick-amp-Midi-I … cvip=true&rt=nc

This fixed the problem.

Thank you for the drivers and 'sound' ( 🤣 ) advice.

I'll get some pictures up in the relevant thread soon.

Reply 13 of 14, by AirIntake

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This solves my problem. I have an Aztech AT6800W modem soundcard combo which uses an AZT2320 and experienced the same issue. My CH Flightstick, Flightstick Pro, and SideWinder 3D Pro would all disable MIDI from my Dreamblaster S2 when connected. Use a Gravis Gamepad or Blackhawk though and MIDI now works fine.

That's kind of crap though because the Flighstick Pro and SideWinder 3D Pro are my favourite joysticks. I'm going to have to look into making a DB15-DB15 adapter between PC and joypad that disconnects the MIDI wires and rewire them to GND and 5V as Jepael suggested.

Casio BE-300 Advancement Society alumni

Reply 14 of 14, by AirIntake

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AirIntake wrote on 2022-01-14, 17:47:

This solves my problem.

I was incorrect, I tested the joystick pins and the MIDI pins weren't shorted to GND/5V. Upon further testing the offending joysticks work now... so I have an unrelated intermittent issue.

Casio BE-300 Advancement Society alumni