Monthly Archives: May 2010

The CTPCI has landed

Today is an extraordinary day for me as an Atari Fan. The CTPCI from Rodolphe arrived. As I ordered with the regular 4-port PCI daughtercard and a single-port PCI daughtercard.

First you have to flash the CT60/CT63 with the newest ABR and SDE JEDEC Files from Rodolphe’s site: http://www.powerphenix.com/CT60/english/update.htm . I’Ve done this with a built JTAG cable and the Xilinx Software for Windows XP. A great explanation from nokturnal on this topic can be found at: http://nokturnal.pl/home/atari_16_32_bit/ct60_firmware_upgrade

Finally flash the Bios with the current Version 1.04a from Didier Méquignon which supports the CTPCI (note that the nice Diagnostic Cartridge from Pierre Mandin introduced in 1.03c is replaced by the RADEON driver and is no longer available :-( . http://pagesperso-orange.fr/didierm/ct60/ctpci-e.htm

I have to apologize for the bad pictures this time. My DSLR is at home and the iPhone Cam is the only one with me. Hm, remembers me a good citation: “the best camera is the one that is with you.”. Damn right.

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Do you see the little orange clamp on the PCI daughterboards? This is the 3,3V power connector, the PCI cards need. If you have a full ATX power supply unit, you may just take a 3,3V cable, cut it off and put it into the clamp. Mostly this cables are orange color by definition.

If you use a picoPSU like I do, there is a little problem. Only one lane with 5V and 12V power is provided by the picoPSU.

Time for some soldering. I soldered an orange cable on the 3,3V pin of the picoPSU (instead of soldering it directly to the CT63). Thanks to Stefan aka Beetle who pointed that out at: http://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?topic=6984.60

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Looking good!

Next you have to modify your Falcon board a little bit, to get the CTPCI extension working. Otherwise the IDE cables (which connects the CTPCI and the PCI Daugtherboard) will be blocked.

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You have to bend the first three pins of the old Mainboard Power connector to the right and cut the plastic shielding of up to the 4th pin.

Now pull off the CT60/CT63. Install both IDE cables to the CTPCI (remember their order, one is PCI1, the other PCI2). and plug the CTPCI onto the CT60/CT63. A good explanation of this process can be found at Patrice Mandins Blog: http://pmandin.atari.org/dotclear/index.php?2010/04/02/244-ctpci-installation

Replug your PSU and the CT60 to your board. Be carefull with the new IDE cables as they are reaaaaally close to the Falcon Mainboard. I had even to modify the cables (modern IDE cables have a grip to easily release the cables from their connectors. Remove them by simply braking them away with a flat screw driver).

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Looks Good! Please take a look at the CTPCI Expansion Port (for skyscraper stacking a EtherNAT or something similar): Do not put the original Falcon Keyboard ontop this expansion pins without proper isolation. Otherwise there are the possibilities of a short ciruit!

Double check everything and keep a fire  extinguisher ready (just kidding… or er.. not?!)!

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Boot up the Falcon and take a brief look at your display….. if you see THIS, the CTPCI is working!

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Next task on the list: Insert a RADEON card (mine is a 9200) and power the Falcon up (without Magic, NVDI or other video related stuff in your AUTO Folder).

The Videl output shows some debug messages about the CTPCI and then you can switch your monitor to die RADEON VGA or DVI connector. Hey, now you can change your screen settings and run the desktop at 1920 x 1200. Reeally nice 😉

Thats all for the moment. In the next blog entry I will go a bit deeper into configuring the Falcon with Easymint, fVDI, XaAES and Jinnee. I will use Beetles little wiki entry at atariforge.org: http://atariforge.org/gf/project/ctpci/wiki/?pagename=HowToRunFvdiOnCtpciAndRadeon