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New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/11/29 22:20
Posts: 122
After my AmigaOne XE was hit by a lightning and apparently died (investigations are ongoing but it does not look good) I was desperate to get my Amiga "fix" and also looking way to salvage the data from A1-XE hard drives. So I bought a secondhand MicroA1. Yes, I could have bought a SAM motherboard but ended up buying a full system with less money. Plus, I got it quickly (before the withdrawal symptoms managed to fully kick in)

So, now I have this "new" machine and some questions - some might be stupid but please bear with me. I did some searching but could not find answers to following items:

1) What can be connected to the PCI slot (and supported by OS4, of course)? Better graphics card would be nice, but I am also thinking other possibilities like SII0680, Catweasel, TV cards etc.

2) Are there any HW features/restrictions limiting the usage? I assume the ArticiaS/USB/DMA issues are no longer present in uA1, is this correct?

3) Does the onboard IDE support PATA/SATA drives?

4) Are there any limitations posed by the uA1 hardware I should be aware of?

5) Should I be able to connect the old A1 hard drives (assuming they still work) to the Micro and use (even boot) from those?

6) What is the latest UBoot MicroA1 can use?

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2010/8/11 9:42
Posts: 42
@GrumpyOldMan

forget a GFX-Card in a MicroA1, not working
best idea for pci is wait for USB2.0 and buy a USB card

You can Connect your old Drive, but booting direct i dont know.


Offtopic : anyone seen this? http://www.relec.ch/frch/

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/5/19 14:23
From England
Posts: 3555
@GrumpyOldMan
I understand that there is some kind of hardware "fix" (I think for USB) for the MicroA1. You might like to find out if this fix has been done to it or not. IIRC involves changing an SMT capacitor or resistor.

EDIT: Ok, ignore this post, I was probably getting confused?


Edited by ChrisH on 2010/8/23 10:46:05
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/11/30 11:30
From Finland
Posts: 1804
@ChrisH

What are you talking about?

USB (with both front and back ports) is working perfectly fine on my ?A1-C and I've never done any USB h/w fix on it.

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
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2006/11/29 7:57
Posts: 182
@GrumpyOldMan

I have read somewhere on amigaworld that the uA1 can work with a better gfx card but to get it working you have to disable USB & IDE dma so i don't think it's worth it. USB is not so hard to live without but the IDE dma thing is worse imho

One good thing about the uA1 is that it doesn't seem to suffer from the battery problem A1 has and it doesn't require any fixes to use IDE dma & ethernet at the same time.

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/11/29 21:59
From Croatia
Posts: 326
@salass00

The same here...Is working great..front and back ports...no any hw hacks here ..

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/11/28 18:19
Posts: 221
@GrumpyOldMan

Quote:
1) What can be connected to the PCI slot (and supported by OS4, of course)? Better graphics card would be nice, but I am also thinking other possibilities like SII0680, Catweasel, TV cards etc.


Graphics card is not a possibility. The somewhat correct description of sacrifice of USB/DMA in order TO use one requires a version of uboot not available to the general public anyway.

TV cards, going from the public threads, are also not a possibility.

sii/scsi - I know people have tried these, but best wait for someone who's actually done this for a response.

Quote:
2) Are there any HW features/restrictions limiting the usage? I assume the ArticiaS/USB/DMA issues are no longer present in uA1, is this correct?


Anything regarding ArticiaS and VIA686B will be little different in a Micro, since it contains both.
But you don't need the so-called hardware fixes of the XE.
You can use DMA. You can use USB within the limits of how USB software is progressing.
The talk about USB issues from h/w standpoint probably refers to peoples' memories of a recent issue with booting and has nothing to do with day to day usage.

Quote:
3) Does the onboard IDE support PATA/SATA drives?


The only text I can find about SATA is from January.
"Uhm, well... in fact, not any. I have an Adaptec SATA with SII3112a chip on it, it doesnt work with my MicroA1. I asked about this already in another thread, but got no answer from devs or users having this one.
Btw., AFAIK only the 3112 is able to boot, but not the 3114."
Later, a beta tester mentioned a different uboot offering support, so...I can't say yes or no.

[quote4) Are there any limitations posed by the uA1 hardware I should be aware of?[/quote]

For the most part you deal with the same limitations as the XE. But my opinion would be that you will have to disable certain things because the Radeon7000 card that you can not change, is an extremely weak graphics card. It was weak even when released. People here can help you with those tweaks. One is "disabling compositing" for example.

Quote:
5) Should I be able to connect the old A1 hard drives (assuming they still work) to the Micro and use (even boot) from those?


They should work. Booting? Basically check any changes you made to improve your XE (startup-sequence) and be sure they apply to the Micro as well. Someone else who has made the switch from XE to Micro will have a better answer.

Quote:
6) What is the latest UBoot MicroA1 can use?


March, 2005. The version number is duplicative to an earlier one, so go by the date.

If anyone here says otherwise, be aware that a lot of experimental uboots exist, and some people continually post surprise that "their" version is not the latest public version.

Added advice: Get up and running and then ask additional questions. All Micros are not equal. FX/GX cpu is one example. Variants of the Radeon 7000 is another. Actually, you can even have busted USB/serial as well, due to the errors in the documentation.

Required reading: http://www.ncscaug.us/ua1page1.htm

#6


Edited by number6 on 2010/8/19 14:47:30
Edited by number6 on 2010/8/19 15:08:16
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2008/1/6 17:56
From Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1343
@GrumpyOldMan
As others have pointed out, there is a hardware conflict if you add a graphics card and you probably may need to disable USB and DMA disk access. I have one big WARNING for you: be extremely careful when plugging a ribbon cable into the second IDE port (the 2.5" IDE connector). It isn't slotted to prevent misalignment or a reverse connection. I ruined my second port twice by improper connector alignment. The first time was right after I bought my ?A1 but Software hut was kind enough to replace the board. Years later I did it again and my ?A1 now only has one working IDE connector. Other than that it still works and I keep it as a backup for my SAM Flex.

If you experience "system freezing" problems, I can tell you that I eliminated that problem on my system by switching back to PS2 connection for mouse/keyboard and disabling petunia. Other users claim that their systems are stable without those modifications so it could just be my system.

As far as booting from an A1 hard-disk, I think that some of the drivers (IDE, audio, graphics card, USB etc.) are different, which means booting on a ?A1 may not work completely; if at all.

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2008/3/15 2:00
From Alberta, Canada
Posts: 379
@GrumpyOldMan

My system:
AmigaOS 4.1 Update 2
MicroA1 with IBM PPC 750 GX CPU and 256 MB RAM.
PS2 keyboard
USB Optical mouse connected to PS2 port using a USB/PS2 adaptor
hard drive is connected to the 2.5" IDE connector
DVD combo drive is connected to the 3.5" IDE connector
Front USB ports enabled
Rear USB ports disabled (explained below)
Not using PCI slot

I usually run with compositing disabled to conserve video RAM. Other than that, I use the OS4.0 theme with square corners, but my AmiDock has a transparent backgroud with no boarders. I run Final Writer 97 with JIT (petunia) disabled. So far I have not disabled petunia fully, so I run with JIT enabled for most of my other 68K programs.

USB ports ...

Like some other MicroA1 users, I had no USB port issues with AmigaOS 4.0 July 2007 Update or the commercial AmigaOS 4.1 CD. However, I had a very difficult time installing AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1 from CD. My system was very unstable until I disabled the rear USB ports. I have not re-enabled those ports since. My front USB ports are easier to access and I want to be able to recover my system using my AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1 CD if I replace my hard drive.

Hard Drives ...

When I first purchased my MicroA1, I had my hard drive and DVD combo drive hooked up as master and slave on the 3.5" IDE connector on the MicroA1 motherboard. Then I got an adaptor and hooked up my DVD combo drive to the 2.5" IDE connector. This is how I used my system for several years.

I ran my old Maxtor 40 GB hard drive on dma 69 (UDMA 5, 100 MB/s) for the last three versions of AmigaOS 4.0. It died of old age just before I installed AmigaOS 4.1 (it lived for many years in a x86 pc before my MicroA1).

I replaced my old Maxtor hard drive with a Western Digital hard drive.

My Western Digital 250 GB hard drive has been a bit flakey right from the start and seems to be slow to spin up on power up. It has got worse with time. It is about 3 years old. I was using dma 69 (UDMA 5, 100 MB/s) for a few months, but it has spent most of its life running with best PIO. Now I am using auto-discovery to detect the drives, to give a bit more time for the WD hard drive to spin up on power up. Once the system boots up fully, it seems to run just fine.

I am convinced that this is a hard drive issue and not a OS4 issue or MicroA1 issue. I just haven't purchased another hard drive. I think I will go with a 40 GB drive or an 80 GB drive if I can find one.

---
redfox

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2008/3/15 2:00
From Alberta, Canada
Posts: 379
@GrumpyOldMan

Beware of UBoot Prefs.

I used it without any problems with AmigaOS 4.0 July 2007 Update.

However, the UBoot Prefs that came with the commercial release of AmigaOS 4.1 CD drove my system wild and I had to default to factory settings. I have not tried UBoot Prefs since, so I don't know if it has been changed.

Most people have not experienced any problems with UBoot Prefs, so it may have been a coicidence.

---
redfox

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/11/27 8:32
From California - S.F. Bay area
Posts: 381
@GrumpyOldMan

1) What can be connected to the PCI slot (and supported by OS4, of course)? Better graphics card would be nice, but I am also thinking other possibilities like SII0680, Catweasel, TV cards etc.

answer: I had a sii0680ide card in my micro until it quit working (the card) & it would boot off the attached drives. No s/w for TV cards.

2) Are there any HW features/restrictions limiting the usage? I assume the ArticiaS/USB/DMA issues are no longer present in uA1, is this correct?

answer: I have UDMA set to max, the USB port reads my Canon camera & loads the thumbs when plugged in, my 4GB usb flash stick works without problems. There were no h/w fixes on the micro.

3) Does the onboard IDE support PATA/SATA drives?

answer: I have a 400GB pata drive as master, a 160GB pata drive as slave & a pata DVD burner as master on the second on-board buss. SATA drives should work with the right card.

4) Are there any limitations posed by the uA1 hardware I
should be aware of?

answer: Only the 32MB gfx memory issue, I run a 16 bit WB with compositing off so I don't run out.

5) Should I be able to connect the old A1 hard drives (assuming they still work) to the Micro and use (even boot) from those?

answer: Your old drive should boot just fine in the micro, everything is the same filesystem wise.

6) What is the latest UBoot MicroA1 can use?

answer: U-Boot 1.1.1 (Mar 3 2005; last public release

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2007/12/5 3:00
Posts: 75
@salass00

The front USB ports on my microA1 never worked until I removed the sii card drivers (I have no card and it is loaded in Kickstart). Now they work fine. This also seemed to fix an issue I was having with it refusing to reboot properly on <ctrl><amiga><amiga> (well, the PC-keyboard equivalent anyway).

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/11/29 22:20
Posts: 122
@all

Many thanks for all the kind answers. The machine is up and running. I managed to connect the old A1 hard disks into MicroA1 and most of the partitions on them where ok. Couple partitions were marked "unreadable", I am not completely sure why (MediaToolBox seems to recognize them ok). Is it possible to repair them without losing data they currently contain?

So graphics card upgrade is not a option - I used to have R7000 in my AmigaOne XE when I bought it so I should be able to cope with its limitations.

How do you connect the sound in MicroA1? There seems to be three connectors for sound in the backplate and header for front audio connector (which the tower housing uA1 does not have). What kind of cables do I need? Does OS4.1 support 5.1 sound?

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/11/28 18:19
Posts: 221
@GrumpyOldMan

Quote:
How do you connect the sound in MicroA1? There seems to be three connectors for sound in the backplate and header for front audio connector (which the tower housing uA1 does not have). What kind of cables do I need?


http://www.intuitionbase.com/static.php?section=handbook

^Also required reading.

Sundown quote:

Quote:
Grab the micro pdf handbook. Page 12 shows the sound port location & page 14, the pin-out.


This entire (albeit old) thread may help you:
audio output issues

Quote:
Does OS4.1 support 5.1 sound?


No. Most audio capabilities were different than expected due to what Eyetech claimed were the non-needs of their industrial customers.

You will also want the most recently posted audio settings for the Micro:

post #5

And you might enjoy the best written piece on PlayCD:
post #125


#6


Edited by number6 on 2010/8/20 16:33:18
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/11/29 22:20
Posts: 122
@number6
Ok, sound is working now. Many thanks for your assistance

@all
Thanks to you guys I am starting to run out of questions but here's a few more:

Any ideas how to salvage data from those unreadable partitions of the A1-XE boot disk?

Which version of EUAE do people use with uA1 and OS4.1? I copied the one I used under A1-XE but it crashed (ISI) all the time.

USBCtrl appears to be malfunctioning in my setup as I get this error:

--
4.OS4:> usbctrl start
Error: USBCtrl only works with USB Stack v52.11
--

Version seems to be right

--
4.OS4:> version usb
USB 52.11
--

Any ideas what's wrong?

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/11/27 8:32
From California - S.F. Bay area
Posts: 381
@GrumpyOldMan

E-uae SDL version on Depot.

You are running the very first OS4.1 release, update to OS4.1.2 & see if your usb problem goes away. Make sure you have a bootable backup first, I can't remember what update caused the usb boot problem, but you might need to turn off the front or rear usb ports to boot after the update, or turn them off before the update.

If PartitionWizard doesn't work on your drive, you might be out of luck.


Edited by sundown on 2010/8/20 23:30:37
Edited by sundown on 2010/8/20 23:47:40
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Quite a regular
Joined:
2006/11/27 17:23
Posts: 535
Actually there is software for the Bt848/Bt878/Cx2388x chipset-based TV cards but there's no tuner support (not much point now everything's DVB), and there are problems: You can have Bt8x8-based cards running without interrupts, which hogs the CPU, or you can have interrupts and risk a hard lock of the system. Cx2388x cards I could never get an interrupt from at all, but it works better in other ways.

Essentially, if all you want to do is watch a composite signal, the drivers will work (for instance, if you want to use your monitor to display an A500 or C64 or something). If you want to watch TV you need DVB support, which we don't have primarily because I couldn't find any datasheets on the chipsets.

For the record, I my Sam440ep has a Win/TV Cx23882-based card in it, and the A1 occasionally has a Bt848,Bt878 or Cx23881-based card in, at least when I feel like seeing if I can improve the driver. Main problem these days is the drivers work as well as they probably can given hardware limitations (can't get interrupts on Cx chipsets, can't use interrupts safely on Bt).

I might one day package it all up properly and stick the latest versions onto OS4Depot though.

Oh, the Catweasel MkIV will almost certainly work (as I'm writing those drivers too :) ), and now support many different formats. Again, though, the current version isn't public yet, but there's a version in the other recent thread which is quite recent

If you're thinking of using either TV or Catweasel feel free to drop me a line if you have questions.

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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/5/19 14:23
From England
Posts: 3555
@GrumpyOldMan Quote:
Which version of EUAE do people use with uA1 and OS4.1? I copied the one I used under A1-XE but it crashed (ISI) all the time.

I personally recommend the one which comes with RunInUAE (*), and as a bonus RunInUAE's installer will set it all up for you (especially if you have an AmigaForever CD). Works on my Sam440, so should work on other OS4 machines, like yours.

(* = I can't remember the exact name, EUAE-amigfx or something, but it's the *only* version which is fast (no SDL!) and also pretty stable.)


Edited by ChrisH on 2010/8/21 19:13:41
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2008/3/15 2:00
From Alberta, Canada
Posts: 379
@GrumpyOldMan

E-UAE 0.8.29-WIP3 SDL works for me.

I am emulating an A2000HD with 68000 CPU with AmigaOS 3.1.
Nothing fancy, just a few old NTSC Classic friendly programs.

cpu_type=68000
cpu_speed=max

---
redfox


Edited by redfox on 2010/8/21 17:46:22
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Re: New MicroA1 owner asking questions
Amigans Defender
Joined:
2006/11/19 17:45
From Cambridgeshire, UK.
Posts: 2108
@salass00

Quote:

salass00 wrote:
@ChrisH

What are you talking about?

USB (with both front and back ports) is working perfectly fine on my ?A1-C and I've never done any USB h/w fix on it.


I'd love to know how you have both the front and rear USB ports working. Because you must be unique.

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No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it.
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