Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

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steve3000
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Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:22 pm

Having found a few minutes this morning I've tried to get my SCSI2SD adaptor working with my Acorn SCSI podule (AKA31)...but no luck.

I've actually tried one Oak SCSI card, which worked fine, and two AKA31 cards which didn't - so I'm beginning to suspect the Acorn cards are faulty, but as I've never really used SCSI before, maybe someone with more experience can offer advice :)

Here's what I've done.

First I tried the SCSI2SD card on my Oak SCSI podule on a RISC OS 3.1 Archimedes. After a bit of fiddling (setting up SCSI2SD to simulate a 256Mb drive as device 0) and configuring the Oak card using Oak's !SCSIForm (downloaded from Chris' Acorns) to look for a drive on ID 0, then formatting and setting the drive map up... This worked nicely and I had access to my SCSI2SD drive on the RISC OS 3.1 desktop. :)

However, I would prefer to use my Acorn AKA31 card, with the idea the eventually I can set up a working RISC iX partition on the SCSI2SD set up - which needs an Acorn SCSI podule. So I removed the Oak card and popped in the first of my two AKA31 podules. With no devices attached (and just the terminator block present on the back), *Devices lists the Acorn SCSI expansion host version 1.05 as device 7. But with the SCSI2SD device plugged in *Devices hangs and doesn't list any devices. The SCSI2SD card light stays on at this point. I also tried SCSIDM utility (v1.10) and using 'probe' to scan devices, but this does the same as *Devices, hanging without listing any devices. :(

So I swapped for my second AKA31 card. This again reports Acorn SCSI expansion version 1.05 as device 7 when no other devices are attached. However with the SCSI2SD card attached, the second AKA31 card does report a device on ID 0. *Devices and SCSIDM 'probe' both now report a device on ID 0, type 'Direct-access', capacity '0 bytes' but no vendor of product information (note Oak SCSI podule reported these values as SCSI2SD and codesrc). So I tried to select the device 0 in SCSIDM by typing 'device 0', however this reports an error "rdshape: cannot find page 3 of Mode Sense data", "bad device name 0", "No device selected". :(

So I'm guessing my first AKA31 card is faulty, but is the second card faulty too? Am I missing something obvious? Any thoughts on what to try next?

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by Wookie » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:57 pm

Do you have any other SCSI devices e.g. hard disc, cdrom etc to plug into the cards to try ?

I've never used solidstate devices on Acorn kit but I never had any trouble BITD with proper hardware such as hard discs, cdroms, scanners etc being detected, at one point I had 1 internal hard disc, 4 external hard drives, an external Plextor PD drive and a cdrw all on a Castle SCSI II interface in my A310. I also used to share SCSI kit with a friend who used to use Macs.

I'd try some proper SCSI hardware before condeming the Acorn podules, and if you do condem them throw them my way :lol:
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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:04 pm

Yeah just dug out an ancient full height 40mb quantum scsi drive. It works perfectly on the Oak scsi card but gives the same 'page 3 of mode sense data not found' on the Acorn card :(

Are the Acorn scsi cards known to be particularly fussy about specific size/shape of drives? If they are, what is needed? I wonder could the Scsi2sd configuration be changed to get this to work...

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:10 pm

Wookie wrote:at one point I had 1 internal hard disc, 4 external hard drives, an external Plextor PD drive and a cdrw all on a Castle SCSI II interface in my A310. I also used to share SCSI kit with a friend who used to use Macs.
Yes, that's what I thought - I've only used scsi on the archimedes briefly in the early 90's, think it was a cumana scsi card, but I don't recall it being at all fussy or difficult to set up...

This Acorn card is proving much more challenging!

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by Wookie » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:36 pm

I've found this Acorn SCSI util "scsidm_arm 61530 SCSIDM version 1.10 - Acorn SCSI Utilities" on Arcade ftp://arcade.demon.co.uk/data/042500/044850/044885 might be worth trying.
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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:24 pm

I'd ordered a SCSI2SD to use on my R260 before this thread appeared :(

It arrived today and I'm seeing similar problems with a known good AKA31. I've configured the SD card as four SCSI drives but *DEVICES doesn't list anything but the AKA31 host adapter. However, it does seem to work with a Cumana SCSI card as this lists all four drives with the correct capacities and vendor ids etc. Of course, this is no good for the R260 as it needs the Acorn SCSI podule to drive RISCiX...

My next step is to play with some of the general settings to see if that makes a difference...

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:49 pm

Quick update on this...

Good news is that it does appear to be compatible with the AKA31 but I'm not sure which setting has fixed the problem!

On the general settings, I enabled Unit Attention, SCSI2 mode and SCSI disconnect. I also saved the configuration as an XML file and opened it in a text editor. I noticed that the drive geometry had only been set for the first device so, as all my devices were the same size, I replicated this for the other 3. I then loaded the modified XML into scsi2sd-util and saved the new config to the flash.

*DEVICES now reports all four devices correctly on the Acorn card :D

I'll have a play with various settings to see which ones are critical.

Also, in case it's of use to anyone, I found an Acorn SCSIFS partition utility (!Partition) on APDL. It's on disk B151 and apparently allows the creation of multiple RiscOS partitions alongside RISCiX partitions. I've not used it yet but my intention is to try it out soon...

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:12 pm

Had a bit more of a play and it does seem to be working with the Acorn podule.

Although *DEVICES recognises the 2GB drives, SCSIDM won't format them correctly (even though it's truncating the RISC OS partition to 512MB). The drive is called "(unnamed)" and the format isn't understood.

However, it does seem to work if the device size is set to less than 2GB in scsi2sd-util. SCSIDM them creates a 512MB RISC OS partition which opens correctly.

I've only tried device sizes of 0.5GB, 1.0GB, 1.5GB and 2GB so far but everything up to and including 1.5GB appears to work.

Next step is to create RISCiX partitions...

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by AndyMc1280 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:35 pm

Rob

Just a thought, does your AK31 have the AK35 rom upgrade ? This apparently eases compatibility issues and may allow access to larger drives.
http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/indiv ... e=HW-AKA35

CJE sell them, but I have no Idea what else it does.

cheers

EDIT:- According to this http://www.codesrc.com/mediawiki/index.php
some versions of SCSI2SD have buggy firmware... the fixes are on the firmware section.

Andrew :D

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by paulv » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:52 pm

AndyMc1280 wrote:Just a thought, does your AK31 have the AK35 rom upgrade ? This apparently eases compatibility issues and may allow access to larger drives.
How do you know if you've got that already or not? I've got an AKA32 which is incredibly unstable in the machines I've tested it in until I disable the SCSI modules in the ROM which make it a bit pointless. I suspect it's a RISC OS 3 incompatibility but I've yet to try the card in a RISC OS 2 machine.

I'm planning on sticking an ARM3, and 4MB of RAM in my 1MB A310 that I fixed up earlier this year which is running RISC OS 2. At which point, the AKA32 and a SCSI2SD board will also be going in with the ultimate plan of turning it into a RISCiX machine that can finally play with. It'll essentially be an A310 upgraded to an A440/1 spec and then configured as an R140 :D

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:17 pm

AndyMc1280 wrote:Just a thought, does your AK31 have the AK35 rom upgrade ? This apparently eases compatibility issues and may allow access to larger drives.
It used to but I downgraded when I was trying to get RISCiX working. I still have the AK35 ROM image though so could try it but to be honest, the <2GB limit on the device size is no big deal. RISC OS 3.1 is limited to 512MB partitions anyway and 1.5GB for RISCiX is likely to be plenty (given SCSI2SD allows 4 devices).
paulv wrote:How do you know if you've got that already or not? I've got an AKA32 which is incredibly unstable in the machines I've tested it in until I disable the SCSI modules in the ROM which make it a bit pointless. I suspect it's a RISC OS 3 incompatibility but I've yet to try the card in a RISC OS 2 machine.
From memory, I think the AK35 has CDFS but the earlier version doesn't.
AndyMc1280 wrote:EDIT:- According to this http://www.codesrc.com/mediawiki/index.php
some versions of SCSI2SD have buggy firmware... the fixes are on the firmware section.
I had to upgrade to the latest firmware before I could get scsi2sd-util to save changes to the flash. It all seems to be working fine now.

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:03 pm

RobC wrote:Good news is that it does appear to be compatible with the AKA31 but I'm not sure which setting has fixed the problem!

On the general settings, I enabled Unit Attention, SCSI2 mode and SCSI disconnect. I also saved the configuration as an XML file and opened it in a text editor. I noticed that the drive geometry had only been set for the first device so, as all my devices were the same size, I replicated this for the other 3. I then loaded the modified XML into scsi2sd-util and saved the new config to the flash.

*DEVICES now reports all four devices correctly on the Acorn card :D
Brilliant work, thanks for sharing Rob!

Once you're happy the SCSI2SD card is working perfectly with the AKA31, any chance you could make a copy of the .xml file by using the scsi2sd-util to 'Load from device' and upload the final working xml here?

I'll have another go at getting this running next weekend, as right now I'm packing up my computers and moving them out of the spare room to make space our little 6-month-old to move in...

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:13 pm

paulv wrote:
AndyMc1280 wrote:I'm planning on sticking an ARM3, and 4MB of RAM in my 1MB A310 that I fixed up earlier this year which is running RISC OS 2. At which point, the AKA32 and a SCSI2SD board will also be going in with the ultimate plan of turning it into a RISCiX machine that can finally play with. It'll essentially be an A310 upgraded to an A440/1 spec and then configured as an R140 :D
Actually, apart from the memory speed, that's pretty much a 4mb R260 spec so should work well with iX :).

As I recall, the R140 was just an A440/1 - it didn't have a SCSI card, it just ran RISC iX from the built-in ST506, and it didn't have ARM 3 - but both of these will make iX a lot more usable on the A310 :)

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:48 pm

steve3000 wrote: as right now I'm packing up my computers and moving them out of the spare room to make space our little 6-month-old to move in...
:shock: But Steve . . . What on earth is your 6 month old going to play with :shock: You're just mean [-X :lol:

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by AndyMc1280 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:01 pm

steve3000 wrote:
paulv wrote:
AndyMc1280 wrote:I'm planning on sticking an ARM3, and 4MB of RAM in my 1MB A310 that I fixed up earlier this year which is running RISC OS 2. At which point, the AKA32 and a SCSI2SD board will also be going in with the ultimate plan of turning it into a RISCiX machine that can finally play with. It'll essentially be an A310 upgraded to an A440/1 spec and then configured as an R140 :D
Actually, apart from the memory speed, that's pretty much a 4mb R260 spec so should work well with iX :).

As I recall, the R140 was just an A440/1 - it didn't have a SCSI card, it just ran RISC iX from the built-in ST506, and it didn't have ARM 3 - but both of these will make iX a lot more usable on the A310 :)

I don't have a A310 1MB or otherwise quotes have been mis-attributed to me :shock: #-o :D

However I do have a 16MB R260 in the back room and I seriously fancy getting a SCS2SD for it :D RISC iX may follow lol. :twisted:

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by Wookie » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:25 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
steve3000 wrote: as right now I'm packing up my computers and moving them out of the spare room to make space our little 6-month-old to move in...
:shock: But Steve . . . What on earth is your 6 month old going to play with :shock: You're just mean [-X :lol:
Give it a toy computer like a Specy to chew on and throw up on at first, then when it's older and can be trusted you can let it use your Acorn kit :lol:
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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:36 pm

steve3000 wrote:Brilliant work, thanks for sharing Rob!

Once you're happy the SCSI2SD card is working perfectly with the AKA31, any chance you could make a copy of the .xml file by using the scsi2sd-util to 'Load from device' and upload the final working xml here?

I'll have another go at getting this running next weekend, as right now I'm packing up my computers and moving them out of the spare room to make space our little 6-month-old to move in...
Here's the XML for four ~1.9GB drives - I've tested this today with my AKA31 and SCSIDM and was able to create a 499MB RISC OS partition on each drive. I also copied a few files to each drive but will do more extensive testing tonight. I'll try setting up RISCiX at some point in the next couple of days.
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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by paulv » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:15 pm

steve3000 wrote:Actually, apart from the memory speed, that's pretty much a 4mb R260 spec so should work well with iX :).

As I recall, the R140 was just an A440/1 - it didn't have a SCSI card, it just ran RISC iX from the built-in ST506, and it didn't have ARM 3 - but both of these will make iX a lot more usable on the A310 :)
Almost a 4MB R260 but without a native Acorn VIDC Enhancer circuit, I'm not sure what screen modes will be available to RISCiX. From what I've seen, RISCiX uses 15kHz modes but if it uses VGA then a RISCiX VIDC Enhancer driver is called for if the machine doesn't have native hardware.

I did once postulate (EDIT: Added a post about it here) how I could tap into the signals on the motherboard, add a couple of address decoder chips and build a small circuit that would turn an Ultra VIDC Enhancer into a faux native Acorn VIDC clock provider. I've never tried it out but it should be doable. However, pricing it up showed it to be large/complex/expensive for a run of PCB's plus there's a lot of soldering to existing IC's to pick up the right signals so not as practical as using the Arc's aux lines with a driver for users that aren't confident about soldering.

Paul

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:44 am

RobC wrote:Here's the XML for four ~1.9GB drives - I've tested this today with my AKA31 and SCSIDM and was able to create a 499MB RISC OS partition on each drive.
Thanks very much Rob!

I'll be testing at the weekend. If you get any further with the iX installation on SCSI2SD, do let us know :)

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by steve3000 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:47 am

AndyMc1280 wrote:I don't have a A310 1MB or otherwise quotes have been mis-attributed to me :shock: #-o :D
Opps, I'll use the excuse that I was using a tiny mobile phone to try and write replies with quotes, while on a train, with signal cutting in/out... :oops:

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by AndyMc1280 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:18 pm

steve3000 wrote:
AndyMc1280 wrote:I don't have a A310 1MB or otherwise quotes have been mis-attributed to me :shock: #-o :D
Opps, I'll use the excuse that I was using a tiny mobile phone to try and write replies with quotes, while on a train, with signal cutting in/out... :oops:

:roll: :lol: :lol: Ok I'll let you off.... this time :twisted: :lol:

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:14 pm

Finally got round to putting RISCiX on the SCSI2SD today.

I couldn't get it to work with the XML that I posted previously as RISCiX didn't like the drive geometry but it worked with the attached file.

The new drive geometry is 17 heads, 3720 cylinders and 63 sectors per track to give a total of 3984120 sectors.

I used SCSIDM to create a RISC OS partition of 1028160 sectors, a RISCiX Root partition of 2097152 sectors and a RISCiX Swap partition of 858808 sectors.

I then changed the drive ids so that they were 1 to 4 rather than 0 to 3 so that I could connect the SCSI2SD drives alongside my existing SCSI drive.

I followed the instructions at http://www.jfc.org.uk/documents/riscix_clone.html to clone the RISCiX filesystem to the first SCSI2SD drive. After doing this, I changed the SCSI2SD ids back to 0 to 3.

I removed the existing drive and ran RISCiX directly from the SCSI2SD drive. All seems to be well apart from RISCiX reporting that it had truncated the swap space - I suspect that I should have made the root partition larger and the swap partition smaller.
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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by TimoHartong » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:17 am

Thank you RobC I used your config file and at least I can see the drive now, format it and open it. I had been busy with it untill 02:00 in the morning without success. If I come near you I buy you a beer ;-).

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by RobC » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:04 am

TimoHartong wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:17 am
Thank you RobC I used your config file and at least I can see the drive now, format it and open it. I had been busy with it untill 02:00 in the morning without success. If I come near you I buy you a beer ;-).
Glad it was useful to you :D

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by TimoHartong » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:21 pm

I'm happy to report that the SCSI2SD card also works with a castle SCSI card . ( Sorry original post was in Dutch what was I using ?)
Last edited by TimoHartong on Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by TimoHartong » Tue May 21, 2019 2:48 pm

Just in case someone has the EPROM with the old software and needs the new EPROM :
https://www.timohartong.riscos.fr/
Please find it on my Acorn website

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Re: Acorn SCSI podule AKA31 help...

Post by caluser2000 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:53 pm

Found this page about RISCiX https://www.4corn.co.uk/articles/riscix121c/ It might be useful to some one. I'm fairly new to things *nix.

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