VOGONS


Reply 2560 of 2614, by elfoam

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Ok , I'll leave it up to you as to when you decide to get more boards printed etc. I only recently decided to get back into old PCs and already have a shed full of them I need to sort out, it'll take me some time, got a bit carried away.

Reply 2561 of 2614, by dpl

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shock__ wrote on 2021-02-26, 16:31:

Please read the first post 😀

I did read the first post, I know you're currently not taking on any new orders or even backers.. just enthusiastically expressing my support for all of your efforts. 😀

Also read your other recent post about hating the logistics and such. I don't mind those things at all so if I can support you in other ways, let me know.

I already own a few different GUS cards, some I got a very long time ago before they got offered for these crazy prices. So I'm not at all in a hurry, but I just think it's a great project.
If you'll at any point want to release the design of the PCB when you think it is ready, I'd even happily pay you for that, I don't mind sourcing the components myself to build my own unit.
I actually received a couple of InterWave chips today that I had ordered as soon as I found out about this thread.

Anyway... Just a thumbs up. 😀

Reply 2562 of 2614, by MJay99

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Could someone maybe do me a favor and test their ARGUS with a 16 MB SIMM in Interwave mode against Cubic Player 2.00a (https://archive.org/details/cp2appe_zip)?
With the 16MB SIMMs I have on my card (single or double sided, but all with 8 ICs), which is not an ARGUS though, the samples do sound totally broken in Interwave mode, while it does work in (the memory limited) Ultrasound mode. Trying Impulse Tracker, Interwave mode seems to work fine (though I didn't have any module to fill 8MB or more). At first I was suspecting Cubic Player, but swapping the modules for 8MB ones, it started working nicely in both players. Sadly, the official PNP only came with two 30pin banks, otherwise I would have tested it on there.

I'm still trying to understand the organisation of the SIMM modules, since so far, with seeing there are MA0 to MA10 available on the Interwave and A11 not connected on the SIMM socket, I'm arriving at 2^11=2048 addresses with 4 banks used (BKSEL[0-3]), which would make an 8MB limit seem plausible to me (as is also mentioned for the official PNP). Where am I going wrong there? Also, checking the 16 MB module on the card, with the included setup program, they do test fine - so, my amateur theory right now is, it's just testing 8MB of it twice?

Reply 2563 of 2614, by 640K!enough

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MJay99 wrote on 2021-03-18, 12:40:

With the 16MB SIMMs I have on my card (single or double sided, but all with 8 ICs), which is not an ARGUS though, the samples do sound totally broken in Interwave mode, while it does work in (the memory limited) Ultrasound mode. Trying Impulse Tracker, Interwave mode seems to work fine (though I didn't have any module to fill 8MB or more). At first I was suspecting Cubic Player, but swapping the modules for 8MB ones, it started working nicely in both players.

I'm not familiar with whatever hardware you are using, but ARGUS has been verified to successfully use 16 MiB SIMMs. I'm unable to test on real hardware at the moment, but a few relevant points:

  • ARGUS does not support dual-rank (a.k.a "double-sided") SIMMs. At best, you will get half of the usable capacity without other ill-effects. There do seem to have been a few modules that didn't work, however.
  • Your SIMMs must have access times of 70 ns or less, and must be 5V tolerant.
MJay99 wrote on 2021-03-18, 12:40:

I'm still trying to understand the organisation of the SIMM modules, since so far, with seeing there are MA0 to MA10 available on the Interwave and A11 not connected on the SIMM socket, I'm arriving at 2^11=2048 addresses with 4 banks used (BKSEL[0-3]), which would make an 8MB limit seem plausible to me (as is also mentioned for the official PNP). Where am I going wrong there? Also, checking the 16 MB module on the card, with the included setup program, they do test fine - so, my amateur theory right now is, it's just testing 8MB of it twice?

DRAM and (parallel) ROMs/SRAMs are accessed differently. While SRAMs and ROMs accept a complete address on the pins at the same time, DRAMs accept their addresses in two "pieces"; first the row address is strobed, followed by the column address. Combined, this gives the complete cell address. This has the effect of taking slightly longer to deliver an address, but allowing the chip to offer higher capacity with fewer pins. In the case of the InterWave, the organisation is up to four banks, with each bank capable of addressing 4 MiB.

I have mentioned this before, but the "memory test" in the Gravis SETUP utility is largely useless. If it identifies a problem, then something is likely really wrong; if it doesn't, it isn't an indication that no memory problems exist.

Reply 2564 of 2614, by shock__

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Cubic Player is also picky with the ARGUS ... never pinpointed it to the RAM tho ... and I _think_ I could reproduce the issues I had on a GUS PnP with 8MB RAM.
I prefer to use XTC-Player for mod playback.

I currently don't have my setup ready, but I could do some brief verification this weekend.

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 2565 of 2614, by Rawit

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Is it perhaps related to this:

The Interwave driver contains handlers for two different memory modes  on the Interwave - the more memory efficient mode is where the amount of ram is directly compatible with the interwave, the second is where the DRAM configuration is NOT directly compatible with the interwave and the driver has to handle the RAM slightly more explicitly, which causes the loss of memory-usage efficiency.

From the Impulse Tracker driver documentation:
https://github.com/herrnst/impulsetracker/blo … ion/DRIVERS.TXT

YouTube

Reply 2566 of 2614, by digistorm

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Cubic player isn’t the most stable player, I use 2.5.0 or the last beta version. I notice that the first module I load in Interwave mode has corrupted sample data / parameters. Every subsequent module loads just fine. This is with 8 MB of memory.
But cubic player is unstable anyways, it may crash for a lot of reasons.

Reply 2567 of 2614, by MJay99

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digistorm wrote on 2021-03-19, 11:19:

I notice that the first module I load in Interwave mode has corrupted sample data / parameters. Every subsequent module loads just fine. This is with 8 MB of memory.
But cubic player is unstable anyways, it may crash for a lot of reasons.

Oh, wow, you're right! Thanks for testing this! In the 10 or 15 times I tried it this week, it never occured to me to load another module after the first one sounded that bad - and indeed, the second one does work!
Guess, after working on the hardware so much over the last weeks, I was a little too biased in that direction 😀 Interestingly though, with the 8MB module I tested, it does work on the first attempt every time.

As for crashing, at least on my machines and with the old cubic, I can't remember seeing significant issues over the years otherwise.

I'm now guessing that Rawit maybe really found one of the reasons behind this different behavior in the link he posted:

Rawit wrote on 2021-03-19, 08:22:

The important part being that the IT driver seems to handle 8 and 16MB memory configurations differently than the others (even going as far as to saying the 8 & 16MB are "not directly compatible with the Interwave"):

The Interwave driver contains handlers for two different memory modes on the Interwave - the more memory efficient mode […]
Show full quote

The Interwave driver contains handlers for two different memory modes
on the Interwave - the more memory efficient mode is where the amount
of ram is directly compatible with the interwave, the second is where
the DRAM configuration is NOT directly compatible with the interwave
and the driver has to handle the RAM slightly more explicitly, which
causes the loss of memory-usage efficiency.
[...]

* 4MB 4MB 0 0 8MB
* 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 16MB

* These modes cannot be handled by the first driver, so are actually
handled in the second mode.

Reply 2568 of 2614, by keropi

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yes I also have had bad experiences with Cubic Player... I like it but it's too unstable for my taste 🙁

🎵 PCMIDI mpu
🎧 Orpheus soundcard
Action Rewind
MegaCard
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 2569 of 2614, by bnz99

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Kinda weird for me. I've exclusively used Cubic player for multi-format mod playback in the 90s with GUS Classic and GUS Max and I remember it to be very solid back then (with versions lower than 2.0x though).
I just went over the release log (https://www.cubic.org/player/geocities/mixer.html) though and it says this for 1.7g:

Little bad things :-( : -does only support up to 4MB InterWave RAM (or even less iff you got a strange SIMM configuration) […]
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Little bad things 🙁 :
-does only support up to 4MB InterWave RAM (or even less iff you
got a strange SIMM configuration)
-does not use the GUS timer IRQ, so it actually won't run in the Win95
background
-Reverb/Chorus not included - will be fixed as soon AMD is a little more
generous with information

After that 1.7g release, there was only one more interwave related update in OpenCP 2.5.0 according to the log, but it doesn't state anything about a fix with something higher than 4mb. If you read the comments like "GUS PnP users can now: stop asking for support", it kind of sounds like Interwave GUS was indeed not supported in an ideal manner.

Reply 2570 of 2614, by MJay99

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640K!enough wrote on 2021-03-18, 18:56:

DRAM and (parallel) ROMs/SRAMs are accessed differently. While SRAMs and ROMs accept a complete address on the pins at the same time, DRAMs accept their addresses in two "pieces"; first the row address is strobed, followed by the column address. Combined, this gives the complete cell address.

Awesome, thank you, that's the information I was missing!
I actually tried both, single (with 8 ICs) and double-sided (with 2x4 ICs) 16MB modules - but as I now found, sides are not necessarily synonymous to ranks. Even with the latest information from Rawit about the different handling of 8 and 16M modules by Impulse tracker and and bnz99's hint about the possible 4MB limit of CP, I'll still probably take a closer look at them, next time I'm sitting at the bench.

This issue was actually driving me a little insane, since I had a defective interwave with broken sound (it wasn't providing the IREF) and after swapping the amp as well as the AMD, it still kept sounding broken (just in different ways). Took quite a while to figure out it was the CP I happened to be starting each time, together with this 16MB memory module and as we know now, only on every first startup I quit after, each time 😀

Reply 2571 of 2614, by shock__

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shock__ wrote on 2017-02-19, 15:43:

Speaking of this ... did anyone of you ever manage to get "Absolute Pinball" running on an InterWave based GUS?

I'd like to expand on this ... did anyone of you ever get "Absolute Pinball" running on any GUS?
Works fine in DOSBox, but has crashed on every system I've thrown at it when setting up a GUS. Also dug out a GUS Max now which has the same problem.

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 2572 of 2614, by pan069

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shock__ wrote on 2021-03-20, 15:15:
shock__ wrote on 2017-02-19, 15:43:

Speaking of this ... did anyone of you ever manage to get "Absolute Pinball" running on an InterWave based GUS?

I'd like to expand on this ... did anyone of you ever get "Absolute Pinball" running on any GUS?
Works fine in DOSBox, but has crashed on every system I've thrown at it when setting up a GUS. Also dug out a GUS Max now which has the same problem.

Just trying this game on a GUS Classic and I can't get it to work either. The set up detects the card at the right port/irq etc, I can start the game but when I go into the first level (F1 on the main screen) my machine just resets.

Up until that point I haven't heard any sound. I think before an actual level start the game only plays CD audio tracks. I don't have my CD audio connected atm but I can see the CD drive light flash up so it seems to be playing audio.

When I choose Sound Blaster for audio as a sanity check I don't hear anything either but at least the game doesn't seem to crash.

It was also pretty hard getting this game to run in the first place with its demand of 560Kb base memory AND the requirement to have the CDROM driver loaded. It doesn't seem to like any form of EMM386.EXE being loaded...

Edit: For clarity, I have both a GUS Classic and a Sound Blaster 16 installed in my system.

Reply 2573 of 2614, by shock__

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Game/setup also crashes with various configs in PCem (testing in setup hangs the machine, starting a table crashes the whole emulator) and dosbox-staging (pretty much on spot with the errors I get on my machines). I guess the code is slightly(?) broken and somehow manages to work "just enough" to be interpreted by dosbox-0.74.3 als something that's close enough.

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 2574 of 2614, by pan069

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shock__ wrote on 2021-03-20, 23:56:

Game/setup also crashes with various configs in PCem (testing in setup hangs the machine, starting a table crashes the whole emulator) and dosbox-staging (pretty much on spot with the errors I get on my machines). I guess the code is slightly(?) broken and somehow manages to work "just enough" to be interpreted by dosbox-0.74.3 als something that's close enough.

For me the game only wants to be started from CD so drivers have to be loaded, then the memory requirements the game has also requires fiddling with config.sys. I guess DOSBox doesn't go through the process of loading all sorts of drivers to get the memory requirements etc. I.e. it could be a driver issue...

But yeah, this game probably shouldn't have passed QA back in the day. Also, never heard of this game before. It seems there are better (more interesting?) pinball games than this one. But your reasons for getting this thing to run might be other than willing to play it... 😀

Reply 2575 of 2614, by shock__

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Friend of mine figured it out with the help of DOSBox-X and I just confirmed it with a GUS Max (ARGUS will follow).
The game/setup crashes whenever it's used with a GUS with >512k RAM. If you use a card with 512k the soundtest and game work.

This kinda sucks for the ARGUS - while it supports a compatible configuration, it involves using 256k*16 DRAMs (alternatively 1M*16 are also supported) and setting some solder jumpers. Doubt people would find reworking their card every time a pleasant experience.
I wonder if it's possible to "force" a memory limit on the card using a small program.

EDIT: Also works with 512k InterWave cards.

Last edited by shock__ on 2021-03-21, 11:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 2577 of 2614, by shock__

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So coders ... if anyone knows a way to force a GUS to use 512k at max. (maybe a TSR, maybe a modified IWINIT?) and could code that ... I wouldn't have to adapt the layout of the ARGUS which is final anyways and could fix the issue for all other cards without having to fiddle with (solder)-jumpers, SIMMs, DRAM ICs or the like.

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 2578 of 2614, by Rawit

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There is a tool to use GUS memory as a drive... I assume on game launch the memory is cleared, but otherwise it could be used to fill up the memory, similar to some of the tricks when too much RAM is detected.

YouTube

Reply 2579 of 2614, by shock__

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Rawit wrote on 2021-03-21, 14:14:

There is a tool to use GUS memory as a drive... I assume on game launch the memory is cleared, but otherwise it could be used to fill up the memory, similar to some of the tricks when too much RAM is detected.

That would be gusdrive which is limited to 1MB and doesn't "lock" anything or allow setting sizes for the ramdrive 😒

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]