Fiddling with Phoebe

Arc/RPCs, peripherals, RISCOS operating system & ARM kit eg GP2x, BeagleBoard
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flibble
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Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:57 pm

The Centre for Computing History has kindly (or foolishly) lent to ROUGOL a working Phoebe for displaying at the Silicon Dreams festival next month.

As such I thought I'd share with them, and you, things that I discover about it.

To start with, here's a hires picture of the motherboard.
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AndyMc1280
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby AndyMc1280 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:44 pm

I hope to god they've changed the battery if there is one [-o<

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby paulv » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:34 pm

AndyMc1280 wrote:I hope to god they've changed the battery if there is one [-o<


It's bottom left behind that nest of wires and no, it doesn't look like it's been changed :shock:

Paul

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby AndyMc1280 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:48 pm

paulv wrote:
AndyMc1280 wrote:I hope to god they've changed the battery if there is one [-o<


It's bottom left behind that nest of wires and no, it doesn't look like it's been changed :shock:

Paul



In that case flibble dude, in the course of your fiddling I ..... umm yeah, I'm not going to even say it..... If you can't / don't have the authority to do it strongly suggest... or even beg that they sort this.

This is a working machine of how many ? (exactly) If they want it to continue working then FFS!!

Not having a go btw, but I would hate to see a machine like this die and be lost due to a leaking battery. Hell even if they don't switch it on, at least take the old battery off.

I have visions now "Ladies and gentlemen, this was a working Pheopbe proptotype machine, which now doesn't work because the battery leaked and damaged some tracks."

"We are sorry to say that we can't repair it because it is so rare that no circuit diagrams exist" (I don't know if they do or not, I'm guessing, I suspect not)

Visitor "Why did the battery leak?"

"Um because it was old.... and we um... forgot/ didn't think to change it" :oops:

That being said I have a working Macrodigital omega which I am starting to wonder about, so I guess I should practice what I preach :lol: If only I could wield a soldering iron.....

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:55 pm

AndyMc1280 wrote:In that case flibble dude, in the course of your fiddling I ..... umm yeah, I'm not going to even say it..... If you can't / don't have the authority to do it strongly suggest... or even beg that they sort this.

This is a working machine of how many ? (exactly) If they want it to continue working then FFS!!


It's the working 1 of 2 machines, the National Museum of Computing have the other, and I believe Mark of Retroclinic mentioned it had leaked and broke the machine. However ...

The battery is in very good (as new) nick and the CCH are keeping an eye on it.

It's not going to do board damaging levels of leakage without me preventing it in the month or so I have it.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby AndyMc1280 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:00 pm

:-#

Good to hear :) Shame about the other machine (wow they have 2!)

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:40 pm

1 machine at National Museum of Computing (Bletchley)
1 machine at Centre for Computing History (Cambridge)

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby helpful » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:04 pm

flibble wrote:1 machine at National Museum of Computing (Bletchley)
1 machine at Centre for Computing History (Cambridge)

...flibble's living room :D
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:47 pm

This is a list of the primary logic type chips on the board and I've grabbed most of datasheets and put copies here (right at the bottom), of course there's no IOMD2 documents :(;

http://home.marutan.net/arcemdocs/

Some of the quote come from this entry on the Acorn developer mailing list.

http://marutan.net/wikiref/Acorn%20Registered%20Developer%20Docs/DSNEWS/ART/1998_06.08

Intel SA-110 Rev T

Acorn IOMD2-1A 1309 301
Acorn Computers Ltd©
2AOT30148.5 9837

"IOMD2 is a register-level superset of IOMD"

VLSI ARM
9824 N20063N1
VP27289-
VIDC20Rr0
ARMLtd

"Phoebe's VIDC20R is identical at register level to Risc PC's VIDC20 / 20A",

SMSC®
FDC37C672
B9744-B6492
8H607-1
AMERICAN MEGATRENDS © 1994

"with the exception of the hard disc PIO modes available, the SMC PIO should be backwardly compatible with the SMC 37665 (functions it implements are identical at the SWI layer). Control of the keyboard and mouse has been moved into the SMC chip for Phoebe; in Risc PC, it was handled by IOMD.". Note: on A7000 keyboard/mouse was on the IOMD on the ARM7500.

PLX
PCI9080 rec.3©
09-1998 T2B BF7353.1

PCI Bridge?

ALTERA
MAX®
EPM7064STC100-10
BEA099813

EEPROM based Programmable Logic Device (PLD). Function will be determined entirely by onboard programming.

Lattice
ispLSI 2064V
100LJ44
A809A12

Programmable Logic Device (PLD). Function will be determined entirely by onboard programming.

Lattice
ispLSI 2032
110LJ
H749B04

Programmable Logic Device (PLD). Function will be determined entirely by onboard programming.

Analog Devices
AD1816AJS
SOUNDPORT™
9702
BRB3916-01

Codec Chip, MIDI, Gameport.

Philips
8583T

IIC realtime clock and 240byte CMOS chip, used on all machines since Archimedes onwards.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby nOmArch » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:20 pm

flibble wrote:
It's the working 1 of 2 machines, the National Museum of Computing have the other, and I believe Mark of Retroclinic mentioned it had leaked and broke the machine.


I've seen that machine, no wonder they refused point blank to turn it on for me, funnily enough they also refused to go into what was wrong with it...
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:05 pm

I thought I'd add this funny picture of a bug in the version of RISC OS on it. Much of the help text on the commandline is a bit broken. I think it's an issue with performing various substitutions on the Messages files.
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:01 pm

Getting files onto and off it is proving difficult.

1) Floppy discs not working (for not of the ted)
2) Networking, would require me to write a PCI driver for a network card :D
3) Iomega Zip drive, software is on the HD (but maybe from another HD image) but I can't find a suitable power supply around the house (I've had the zip drives for years before needing to use it)
4) Null modem serial cable, there's software on the HD, but I've not managed to get any response on a RPC connected to the other end.
5) CDROMs work, but only for getting files on

As for getting files off, we've imaged the harddisc as part of a backup for CCH (and wrote it to another drive to prove the backup worked), but that's not a method for getting things back on ...

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby paulv » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:33 pm

If it's IDE then why not stick a CF card in it as a secondary drive temporarily. If you pre-load the CF card with everything you need from a RISC PC then it should work for you.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby RobC » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:02 pm

I can loan you a ZIP power supply and/or a compact flash adapter if required.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:16 pm

paulv wrote:If it's IDE then why not stick a CF card in it as a secondary drive temporarily. If you pre-load the CF card with everything you need from a RISC PC then it should work for you.


That is an excellent idea, I even have a RO formatted CF card already :)

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:48 pm

CF HD worked very well :)

I did get a PSU for the Zip drive, but unfortuanately, whilst it works fine on the RPC, no luck on the Phoebe.

So here's a little something I found on the HD, a collection of digital photos and screenshots of Phoebe and RO4 that had been setup as a slideshow.

http://www.home.marutan.net/~peter/subs ... hoebepics/

Pic 26 is interesting as it shows an earlier version of the motherboard than is in this machine.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby paulv » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:55 pm

Very cool. Glad the CF card idea worked for you :D

Paul

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:04 pm

paulv wrote:Very cool. Glad the CF card idea worked for you :D

It got even easier when I found a second CF->IDE adapter. I still have to shut machines down between transfers but I no longer have to unplug ide and power cables each time :)

Here's some info about the physical memory map from a program I found on the machine called PhysPages. I've included the output from the RPC afterwards, it looks like the extra 256MB of RAM was mapped in directly after the existing 256MB RAM in the RPC

Phoebe Map

Code: Select all

tsize%=18000
psize%=4096
         0 ROM  U
    400000 ---- U
   2000000 VRAM U
   2400000 ---- U
   3000000 I/O  U
   3800000 ---- U
   8000000 I/O  U
  10000000 DRAM U
  1008C000 DRAM
  10800000 ---- U
  14000000 DRAM
  14800000 ---- U
  18000000 DRAM
  18800000 ---- U
  1C000000 DRAM
  1C800000 ---- U
  20000000 DRAM
  22000000 ---- U
  28400000 DRAM
  2A000000 ---- U
  30000000 END


RPC Map

Code: Select all

tsize%=10000
psize%=4096
         0 ROM  U
    400000 ---- U
   2000000 VRAM U
   2200000 ---- U
   3000000 I/O  U
   3800000 ---- U
   8000000 I/O  U
  10000000 DRAM U
  10008000 DRAM
  10010000 DRAM U
  10068000 DRAM
  11000000 ---- U
  14000000 DRAM
  15000000 ---- U
  18000000 DRAM
  19000000 ---- U
  1C000000 DRAM
  1D000000 ---- U
  20000000 END

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:21 pm

Output of benchmark riscosmark. Interesting things.

a) My Risc PC seems to have a very fast processor without me knowing why
b) The big speed up on the Phoebe is the memory access, this is due to SDRAM (rather than FPM) and bus speed up from 16->64MHz
c) HD performance is up on the phoebe/

Phoebe

Code: Select all

RISCOSmark 1.01 (14 May 2003)
Comparison with RiscPC SA 202MHz running RISC OS 4.02 800x600,256
(HD benchmarks are in kilobytes/sec)

OS/Machine/Processor: ??
Graphics Resoloution: 800x600, 256 colours

Test                                                   Benchmark
Processor - Looped instructions (cache)                   208037     116%
Memory - Multiple register transfer                          371     229%
Rectangle Copy - Graphics acceleration test                  341     140%
Icon Plotting - 16 colour sprite with mask                  2752     137%
Draw Path - Stroke narrow line                              1872     120%
Draw Fill - Plot filled shape                               2090     143%
HD Read - Block load 1MB file                               4096     137%
HD Write - Block save 1MB file                              4266     140%
FS Read - Byte stream file in                               1209     584%
FS Write - Byte stream file out                              918     478%

Risc PC

Code: Select all

RISCOSmark 1.01 (14 May 2003)
Comparison with RiscPC SA 202MHz running RISC OS 4.02 800x600,256
(HD benchmarks are in kilobytes/sec)

OS/Machine/Processor: ??
Graphics Resoloution: 800x600, 256 colours

Test                                                   Benchmark
Processor - Looped instructions (cache)                   231901     130%
Memory - Multiple register transfer                          194     119%
Rectangle Copy - Graphics acceleration test                  169      69%
Icon Plotting - 16 colour sprite with mask                  1599      79%
Draw Path - Stroke narrow line                              1644     105%
Draw Fill - Plot filled shape                                976      66%
HD Read - Block load 1MB file                               2210      74%
HD Write - Block save 1MB file                              1932      63%
FS Read - Byte stream file in                                905     437%
FS Write - Byte stream file out                              836     435%

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby helpful » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:03 am

As I've often thought that the Omega was basically what Phoebe would have been, here are the benchmarks for the Omega:

Code: Select all

RISCOSmark 1.01 (14 May 2003)
Comparison with RiscPC SA 202MHz running RISC OS 4.02 800x600,256
(HD benchmarks are in kilobytes/sec)

OS/Machine/Processor: ??
Graphics Resoloution: 800x600, 256 colours

Test                                                   Benchmark
Processor - Looped instructions (cache)                   273445     153%
Memory - Multiple register transfer                          513     316%
Rectangle Copy - Graphics acceleration test                  517     213%
Icon Plotting - 16 colour sprite with mask                  3140     157%
Draw Path - Stroke narrow line                              2397     153%
Draw Fill - Plot filled shape                               2653     181%
HD Read - Block load 1MB file                               6343     212%
HD Write - Block save 1MB file                              5535     182%
FS Read - Byte stream file in                                178      85%
FS Write - Byte stream file out                              172      89%

Similar but mostly better, due to the fater cpu (300MHz) and memory bus (133MHz x 8 bytes).

And for all those who said the Omega would be crippled in high res modes due to its lack of VRAM, here's the results in full HD, 16M colours, 60Hz, which I make 480MB/s to the screen:

Code: Select all

RISCOSmark 1.01 (14 May 2003)
Comparison with RiscPC SA 202MHz running RISC OS 4.02 800x600,256
(HD benchmarks are in kilobytes/sec)

OS/Machine/Processor: ??
Graphics Resoloution: 1920x1080, 16M colours

Test                                                   Benchmark
Processor - Looped instructions (cache)                   273315     153%
Memory - Multiple register transfer                          488     301%
Rectangle Copy - Graphics acceleration test                  156      64%
Icon Plotting - 16 colour sprite with mask                  6515     325%
Draw Path - Stroke narrow line                              1932     123%
Draw Fill - Plot filled shape                               1231      84%
HD Read - Block load 1MB file                               6343     212%
HD Write - Block save 1MB file                              5535     182%
FS Read - Byte stream file in                                168      81%
FS Write - Byte stream file out                              163      84%

The only significant differences are where it physically has to move more data around, e.g. the rectangle copy.
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:02 am

helpful wrote:As I've often thought that the Omega was basically what Phoebe would have been, here are the benchmarks for the Omega:


Given the half finished state of the Omega, I'd say it's a very good comparison! :wink:

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby helpful » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:58 am

Come on, be fair. More like three quarters finished :D
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby leenew » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:26 am

Hi,
I don't know much about Phoebe, but is this anything to do with it?
Is it LOLRARE?? :D


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acorn-Risc-PC ... 4661938%26


Should this be in the 'Worth taking a look at' thread??

Ta.
Lee.

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby flibble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:44 am

leenew wrote:Hi,
I don't know much about Phoebe, but is this anything to do with it?
Is it LOLRARE?? :D


Hehe, yep Acorn ordered in quite a lot cases for the new machines (in preparation for them going into production), after the project got canned an Acorn dealer called CTA Direct bought up the stock and sold the empty cases on to people. I'm not really sure how many there were though, so maybe semi-partly-maybe-lol-rare :)

I used to own one of these cases myself and inside fitted a Mini-itx PC running RPCEmu which visited a couple of shows.

http://home.marutan.net/~peter/subsite/ ... g_6100.jpg
http://home.marutan.net/~peter/subsite/ ... g_6392.jpg

The insides, where I was being careful to alter any of the original parts

http://legless.jellybaby.net/rougol/sho ... c00193.jpg

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby leenew » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:47 am

Hey Flibble,
You can't do lolrare, or even a semi-partly-maybe-lolrare unless it is in capitals.

FOR SALE: ACORN PHOEBE CASE: SEMI-PARTLY-MAYBE-LOLRARE!!!!

Aaaah, that's better. It's almost the LAW! :D

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby trevj » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:07 pm

Flibble, did you know you've had a Brazilian blog linking to this?

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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby helpful » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:49 pm

Don't forget you can see this machine in action, amongst lots of other kit, on the ROUGOL stand at the Silicon Dreams festival next weekend, 5-7th July.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=6363&p=67489#p67489

You also get the chance to talk to me and flibble :-)
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Re: Fiddling with Phoebe

Postby helpful » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:40 pm

Another reminder that we have pinched borrowed the Centre for Computing History's Phoebe again so you can see it in action at this weekend's RISC OS London Show along with lots of other fun stuff:

http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... =25&t=7229
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