RiscPC 700

Arc/RPCs, peripherals, RISCOS operating system & ARM kit eg GP2x, BeagleBoard
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derek
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RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:07 pm

Hi,

I have just bought a Risc PC 700 (Case, Motherboard, PSU and CD ROM only)

The details are:

1208,000 (Mk 3)
RISCOS 3.70 ROMS included.

See photo of motherboard.

The machine was not supplied with RAM or CPU cards. I tried a 8Mb Fast Page ram SIMM and connected it to a LCD SVGA monitor, which gave blank screen and no signal.

Do I need a CPU module card or is the ram I used not compatiable, I need EDO ram.

The bottom case on one side looks to exposed to heat and has buckled the middle of the plastic. I doubt it can be straightened, is any old PC700 cases available or would a PC600 case fit.
Attachments
RiscPC700.jpg
Risc PC700 Motherboard
Regards,

Derek

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jms2
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by jms2 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:23 pm

Any RiscPC case will do, they are all identical.

To get any kind of a signal out of it, you will definitely need a CPU card. There is no CPU on the main board. Again, any ARM CPU would do - ARM610's tend to be the cheapest.

John

z80
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by z80 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:57 pm

derek wrote:I tried a 8Mb Fast Page ram SIMM
FPM is what RPCs were officially designed for, but in practice many folks (including me) get by fine on EDO (although apparently some Mk1 motherboards were twitchy on them?). Shameless plug: if you'd like a 128M EDO module I could sell you one for £20 (they're roughly £30 on eBay from the states, or £79 from CJE).

RobC
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by RobC » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:54 pm

I should have a CPU card (either ARM610 or ARM710) that you can have for postage. Although, as you've got RISC OS 3.7 ROMS, you could try to get hold of a StrongARM card for much better performance.

I could also include a suitable SIMM to get you going (unless you are looking to build a high-spec machine, in which case z80's offer would be a better option).

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:18 am

RobC wrote:I should have a CPU card (either ARM610 or ARM710) that you can have for postage. Although, as you've got RISC OS 3.7 ROMS, you could try to get hold of a StrongARM card for much better performance.

I could also include a suitable SIMM to get you going (unless you are looking to build a high-spec machine, in which case z80's offer would be a better option).
Hi,

I have accepted z80s offer of ram.

I have sent you a PM with interest in both CPU cards.

Do you where I can get a service manual for the PC700
Regards,

Derek

Paul
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by Paul » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:06 pm

derek wrote: Do you where I can get a service manual for the PC700
Hi Derek.

Try Chris's Acorns... Technical Drawings http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... awings.zip

On a side note, when you get the cpu card through, only use 1 ss it doesn't use 2 ARM CPUS. generally the ARM CPU is placed in the slot nearest the cdrom drive and an optional pc processor, e.g. 486 card sits in the slot nearest the back.

Also, as there isn't a battery fitted, the cmos is probably corrupt so hold the delete key down when you power on for 5 seconds or so if it doesn't boot when you first try.

If you do fit a battery, I'd suggest soldering it to a fly lead and run it to the slot along the front where the speaker sits.. that way if it leaks, its less likely to destroy the motherboard.

Hope that helps ! :)

Cheers,
Paul.

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:28 am

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the information, what is difference between v1 and v2 boards.

Do you know the range of CPU cards, I have seen ARM, 486 is there a Z80 card.

I am assumingbthat there must be design guidelines on the making of CPU Cards?
Regards,

Derek

Paul
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by Paul » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:17 pm

Hi Derek,
derek wrote:what is difference between v1 and v2 boards.
The earlier boards had older sound technology, but you could upgrade them with a 16bit upgrade card, I believe. That also let you plug in your CDROM audio. Also, the earlier boards had better output quality on their graphics...

The newer ones (so I recently found out) were modified by Acorn so that they complied with updated rules on emissions. Sadly, this meant adding a degree of fuzzyness to the bigger modes. But, a search on this forum shows how to remove and modify the offending components to give you a clearer picture. But maybe at the expense of some nice EMC interference...
...Edit, actually I have found a link to the APDL site which covers the mod off here: http://www.apdl.org.uk/riscworld/volume ... /index.htm

Finally, I have a couple of RPCs with the older RISCOS 3.5 which shipped with a circuit board on the IDE bus which allowed a CDROM drive to be fitted. Again, my memory fails me as to why this was required (anyone?) but I know it was absent from later models.
derek wrote:Do you know the range of CPU cards, I have seen ARM, 486 is there a Z80 card.
There was a 486, and a 586 DX 2 Blue Lightening Card. I'm fairly certain there wasn't a 386 or Z80 card, or indeed any other architecture, but I haven't googled it, so can't be sure. Anyone else know what there was? Perhaps another trip to Chris's Acorns would help...
derek wrote:I am assuming that there must be design guidelines on the making of CPU Cards?
Again, I'd check the service manual for information on the CPU bus. Are you thinking of making one? Considering the spec of the Z80, it may well be better to find a suitable emulator, or indeed revert to a BBC Micro / Master, which I'm fairly sure had a Z80 CoPro?

With regard to the base of your RPC, CJE probably sell them, or if you're going to the RISC OS London Show next weekend http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk - you might be able to pick one up there. Alternatively, http://www.riscosbits.co.uk/ seems to stock them. I'd try a hot air gun and some very gentle persuasion, with all the bits removed and maybe a stick to tease the plastic back... Don't melt or burn it though!

Good luck!

hubersn
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by hubersn » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:41 pm

Paul wrote: Finally, I have a couple of RPCs with the older RISCOS 3.5 which shipped with a circuit board on the IDE bus which allowed a CDROM drive to be fitted. Again, my memory fails me as to why this was required (anyone?) but I know it was absent from later models.
Might be this: http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... cCDIF.html

When CD-ROMs became available first, there were the expensive SCSI ones and those that were nearly, but not really IDE (ATAPI was not invented yet) and somewhat proprietary. They usually connected to the sound card on a PC. Mitsumi and Panasonic were the usual manufacturers (and a third one which escapes my mind at the moment - Sony maybe?).

Have fun
hubersn

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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by Paul » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:07 pm

hubersn wrote: Might be this: http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... cCDIF.html

When CD-ROMs became available first, there were the expensive SCSI ones and those that were nearly, but not really IDE (ATAPI was not invented yet) and somewhat proprietary. They usually connected to the sound card on a PC. Mitsumi and Panasonic were the usual manufacturers (and a third one which escapes my mind at the moment - Sony maybe?).
Yes, thats exactly the one Hubersn, I'd fotgotton the reason, but now you mention it, the memories all came flooding back! Hard to believe that was an issue back then. I remember paying a ton for a second-hand quad speed and trying to get it to work on my A310... obviously that didn't work with my Beebug IDE card... but it worked nicely in my Dads RiscPC 600.

Paul.

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:16 pm

Hi,

I am wondering if 2 ARM cards can be plugged into the RiscPC.

Would this allow multi processing...
Regards,

Derek

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danielj
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by danielj » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:18 pm

Nope -there was a hydra card produced at one point to allow multiple ARM cards to be inserted, but I don't think anything really took advantage of it - certainly RiscOS doesn't deal with more than one core. See here:http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/AUHYDRA/files/api.txt

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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by poink » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:33 am

danielj wrote:Nope -there was a hydra card produced at one point to allow multiple ARM cards to be inserted, but I don't think anything really took advantage of it - certainly RiscOS doesn't deal with more than one core. See here:http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/AUHYDRA/files/api.txt
I've got one :D More of a collector's item than anything else. It's essentially a prototype; presumably mine was part of a small run intended for the hands of developers. You can't use StrongARMs in the slave ARM slots, and you can't have the PC card active at the same time as you have the slave ARMs active.

Under RISC OS, AFAIK, the only things that use it were the examples that came with it. NetBSD (aka RiscBSD) had support (I suspect Linux similarly). However, there are far better options for running NetBSD or Linux. StrongARM was faster than one full of ARM710s, and whilst a StrongARM master and ARM710 slaves works, the limitations of the RiscPC bus mean that you shouldn't expect more speed[1].

Acorn also made a slave ARM processor prototype - but I think there's only one and it's in a museum.

[1] I guess a Kinetic StrongARM master and ARM710 slaves might work, but the Hydra project was long dead by then!
derek wrote:Do you know the range of CPU cards, I have seen ARM, 486 is there a Z80 card.
You must have an ARM processor as a host. In practice, secondary processors are all x86 PC for a DOS/Windows (up to about 98, maybe ME) guest. Options vary from a 33MHz 486SX to a 133MHz 5x86 with 512KB cache. Personally, I wouldn't bother either. Made sense at the time, but you'd be better off with an old PC.

There's rumours of other options like DSPs, but they'd be for a particular program at best. I suspect those rumours are because Acorn said it could be done.

Personally, I'd just get a ARM610, ARM710 or StrongARM.

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:44 pm

Hi,

I now have a Arm710 CPU card, 128mb EDO ram, 1mb VRAM.

All inserted into the RiscPC, I connected the the machine to LCD VGA monitor, there was an out of range message on the monitor. I noticed that the CMOS battery has been removed.

Would the lack of battery cause startup problems, or do I need an older monitor?
Regards,

Derek

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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by RobC » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:44 pm

derek wrote:Would the lack of battery cause startup problems, or do I need an older monitor?
It could do - if you are using RISC OS 3.7 or below, try holding down '4' on the numeric keypad as you power the machine on. This should set the monitor type to the right one.

You may also need to press 'T' to switch the sync mode.

See this for more details: http://www.riscos.com/support/developer ... types.html

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:28 pm

Hi,

I tried all the suggested key presses. The monitor reports Out of Range.

I tried a GBS8220 video converter between the RiscPCand monitor. Setup the GBS8220 to 640x480, gave grabble display with green and red. But no steady picture.

Maybe resetting the monitor ID pins 4 & 11 or even disconnecting the wirs from these pins may allow the Risc PC to think the LCD monitor is a SVGA monitor

I have to fit a CMOS battery, and examine the battery area for amy damage.
Regards,

Derek

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danielj
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by danielj » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:44 pm

Did you try a delete-power on? That usually defaults to something my SVGA monitor can display :?

d.

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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by JonC » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:18 pm

I would really recommend getting a battery in there. Takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
Jon
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by Paul » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:22 pm

derek wrote:I have to fit a CMOS battery, and examine the battery area for amy damage.
I'd recommend fitting a fly lead from the battery location to the space at the front next to the speaker. You can easily fit one AAA battery into a holder there, so in the case of any future corrosion, it will happen away from the board.

As mentioned, I've found many RiscPCs come alive with or without battery by holding delete or the R key during power on for around 8 seconds (I cant remember off the top of my head what the actual time is, but that seems to work). But as there is no battery there, the CMOS configuration memory gets corrupt and the system can simply not start because of that.

Another way of checking life - is there a 'beep' at power on?


Paul.

derek
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Re: RiscPC 700

Post by derek » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:08 pm

Hi,

I had a little problem with the RiscPC board, there was only one screw holding the board to the case and the screw head had been rounded out, so that no screwdriver could remove it.

So drastic measures time, I drilled the top of the screw till it came off leaving the PCB untouched and the screw part still in the case support. The drilling action lossened the screw section in the case support. Clearly who ever had this machine before me was a fool.

I have to clean up the Battery area and fit a rechargabale battery as stated above, RS Electronics looks the best price for the holder at £2.00 with free delivery.
Regards,

Derek

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