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Thread: Amiga 1000 Microbotics Starboard2 Ram Expansion Question

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    Default Amiga 1000 Microbotics Starboard2 Ram Expansion Question

    Hi Group,
    I am the guy that posted a question about my Amiga 1000 and the fact the floppy drive was not working. I posted it not long ago. I am still working on it's problem. But to my surprise, another Amiga 1000 showed up on my local Craigslist. The machine I have was given to me by a friend of mine and I thought well, I could use the floppy from this new machine. So, $30 later I have another Amiga 1000, a Microbotics Starboard2 Ram Expansion, a Supra 4x4 (I think it is a SCSI adapter), and a Supradrive 40mb Hard Disk for the Amiga 1000. It connects to the Supradrive 4x4.
    So, after I took the new computer apart, cleaned out the dust, cleaned and re-greased the floppy, cleaned the heads, the computer works fine running kickstart 1.3 and workbench 1.3. Great so far.
    So now I want that Microbotics Starboard2 to run. I took it apart to replace the AAA battery and there was a small amount of corrosion on the battery connection on the negative side which I cleaned up. I used a multimeter on the circiutboard to verify that I was getting 1.5v on the board, which it is.
    I connected it to the side expansion port and booted up the machine.
    First couple of tries it just hung up at the load workbench screen. The third try, and the computer gave a loud tone with lots of screen distortion. So, I removed it and after a few tries, I got back to running the machine normally. It takes a few tries like there is a ram issue but after a couple of tries, it is fine.
    So, I decided to use the Supra 4x4 connected to the Amiga first, and then the Starboard2 connected to the outside of the Supra 4x4. This is how the original owner had it set up. Supra first (to the hard drive), and then outside of it, the Starboard2. I booted and could not even get to the kickstart screen.
    My question is, does anyone have any thoughts on how to proceed with connecting the Starboard2? It is supposed to be plug-and-play.
    Oh, The only way to get the Amiga to boot up again (after a problem) is to remove that stupid 256k ram expansion on the front of the machine, reboot with no ram, shut it down, re-insert the front 256k ram, reboot to a good state. Weird. Is there some kind of interrupt thing going on?
    Regards,
    Rob
    Grants Pass, Oregon

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    i was facing similar problems with an side-expansion (multi-IO-card from Troeps).
    the reason was: by connecting the expansion the mainboard gets slightly bended/moved up resulting in the CPU having no connection (or bad connection) to its socket.

    can you make sure, that the starboard is connected right _and_ the cpu still sits correctly in its socket?

    there is no such thing like "remembering a bad situation" in the A1000 mainboard - so removing the front-expansion causes some movement of the mainboard which will then results in better contact or something like that for the cpu or your piggypack-board.

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    Thanks Fook42. Say I was thinking, I may want to re-seat that CPU chip, in fact all the socketed chips on the motherboard. Also, I was thinking I should remove the circuitboard from the Microbotics Starboard2 Ram Expansion and insert it without the case into the computer's expansion slot. That way, I know it is seated properly.
    I forgot to mention, one of my tries in getting that expansion to work, on boot-up there was a yellow screen instead of white. But, I disconnected the board and did my process of removing the front ram expansion and things started properly. I think yellow on boot-up is cpu related?
    Regards,
    Rob

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    Hi Group,
    Well, I took Fook42's advice. I re-seated the CPU chip and all the chips that are socketed. Then to check I hooked everything up and powered up the Amiga. Everything worked, so I shut it down and connected the Microbotics Starboard2 in the side expansion slot. This time everything works! Great advice Fook42!
    Well, what I mean is that the machine did not crash. But, the title bar still shows 372, 856 kb of available ram. I was expecting around 2mb. I tried to load something that requires 1mb or more by dragging the program into the Ram Disk window, but I got a Ram disk full error. So, I am not sure the memory from the Starboard2 is available. Is that right or am I missing something? At least it doesn't crash anymore. Oh, according to a manual I downloaded, the Starboard2 is self configuring at kick 1.2 and 1.3 I am using kickstart 1.3 and workbench 1.3.
    Regards and thanks,
    Rob
    Grants Pass, Oregon

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    hi Rob..
    good news that your Amiga boots up finally
    but for your expansion - you are right, it seems that the starboard is not being configured ... can you use SysInfo or some similar programm to find out whether it shows up in the Expansion-list or not?
    did you set the jumpers right on the starboard-mainpcb ?
    and do you have the "upper" and "lower"-pcb or only one of them? i'm refering to this page : https://amiga.resource.cx/expde/starboard2

    regards.

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    Hi Fook42,
    I have both the upper and lower ram cards, so that means it is 2mb ram. There are three jumpers and all are set right.
    Where is the SysInfo program? Is it on the extras disk?
    Regards,
    Rob

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    no.. neither on extras nor on the workbench there is any tool to show expansions (boards).

    sysinfo can be found here (it gives you a lot of information on your system .. like CPU, speed, memory, loaded libraries, attached boards.. etc)
    https://sysinfo.d0.se/

    -> download of lha and ADF-Diskimage.
    hope you have a way to use this?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Fook42; 8th October 2019 at 19:43. Reason: added sysinfo picture

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    Hi Fook42,
    I have an update. So, I put the starboard back in it's case, and hooked everything up, and now it appears that it is autoconfiguring. When I boot up, the title bar shows 2,469,776 kb of memory. Yea! So that means that the expansion is working. I guess by moving the pin headers on the ram card, something connected. This machine sat in a storage locker for years, so I guess things need to be re-seated.
    I have found that the machine crashes now with the red screen "Software Error" "Guru Meditation". when accessing the floppy drive. Not every time just now and then. Is there an interrupt between the floppy drive and the ram expansion?
    Regards,
    Rob

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fook42,
    I remember that SysInfo is on my Amiga 2000 hard drive. I can connect it up and try and copy to floppy.
    Regards,
    Rob

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