ECONET WOES

for bbc micro/electron hardware, peripherals & programming issues (NOT emulators!)
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lcww1
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Fri May 04, 2018 10:21 pm

torrind wrote:So I now finally have two BEEBS running Econet!!
Huzzah! =D> =D> =D>
Several million points out of 10 for perseverance! :D

re Level 3 FS, I'm ashamed to say that I've never got around to trying that myself, I've been lazy, and always used L4FS on 32bit machines :oops:

Glancing through the BeebMaster Level 3 FS stuff here https://www.beebmaster.co.uk/Econet/Level3.html, I see that there's a requirement for a real time clock on the user port with the original L3FS, but that this requirement has been removed in some later versions of L3FS - I wonder whether this could be the problem? Do you know whether you're running a version of L3FS with the clock requirement hacked?

Your progress has motivated me to have a go at running Level 3 FS, so I think I'll investigate further this weekend.

Anyhow, congratulations on getting your network running!

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Fri May 04, 2018 11:07 pm

Thanks Mate!

Going through BEEBMASTERS step by step guides, I've assumed I'm using his hacked version to get around the RTC issue! as he doesn't mention this requirement.

Additionally, if I run the version of FS with the date fix applied (*FS3-092) that just hangs :(

I'd certainly be interested how you get on with yours...

The problem is, I know next to nothing about the ECONET environment or its basic commands so I may be making schoolboy errors and just not realising.

I'll keep persevering - and I'LL BE BACK!

Darren

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Wed May 16, 2018 2:09 pm

I think I've sussed out why STARTFS stops when I run it.....

There is an END command at line 130 - which I think has been pout there so that changes can be made to the number of drives / workstations (line 160) before running FS3-092 to launch the Level3FS.

If I remove 130 and launch STARTFS instead of ending at the command line, it just hangs...

I will prevail.

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Wed May 16, 2018 5:36 pm

I’ve still not got around to trying L3FS on real hardware - I think I’ll start by trying it out on a model B with ADFS and a couple of FF Goteks - I just need to burn an ADFS EPROM.

In the meantime, I came across this rather nice guide to running Econet file server software in BeebEm - http://recondite-computers.co.uk/emulat ... er-set-up/ - I wonder if following this guide to setting up L3FS on BeebEm would be a help with real hardware? One could just use the disc images mentioned in the guide as is on the Goteks.

To be continued....

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Sun May 20, 2018 4:36 pm

OK, well, after a few false starts, I've got the L3FS running on my BBC Master 128 (with Pi co-pro), and communicating with my BBC Model B.

I used the L3FS disc images provided with BeebEm. I downloaded BeebEm from here http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/, though I think that there has been further BeebEm development elsewhere - it won't matter, as all we need are the disc images that are located in BeebEm\UserData\DiscIms.

I followed the instructions for the "Emulated BBC Model B Econet Level 3 Server Set-Up" on the Recondite Computers website linked to above - the only difference being that I put the relevant disc images (L3server.adl, and L3FS-ISW.adl from BeebEm, and the blank ADFS disc image provided on the Recondite website) onto my Gotek attached to the BBC Master. I initialised the blank ADFS floppy image using the WFSInit program, as per the instructions.

Then, with both the 6502 co-pro, and the econet clock/hub running, I started the L3 filersever on the Master by using the *L3FS-107 command, and the fileserver came to life! Note the station number of the fileserver (displayed at the top of the screen once it's running) - it probably won't be 254, unless you've deliberately set it to that, and you'll therefore need to log into the fileserver from a workstation by using the "*I AM <station number> <username>" command.

I hope that's of some help, and sufficient to get you up and running? Let us know how you get on.......

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by BeebMaster » Sun May 20, 2018 8:23 pm

Does BeebEm also emulate the real-time clock module? I thought version 1.07 was an official Acorn version which is undoctored. Any undoctored version which needs, and doesn't find, a user port RTC module will exit with a "Clock failure".

This can also happen if the module has died over the years. However I have a couple myself and they both work to the extent of allowing the file server to start. I think one even remembers the time reasonably well, possibly due to being plugged in all the time to a Beeb which is powered on regularly over a period of years.

0.92 has the clock detect code removed.

I wonder if the problem with the file server not starting might be that the file has lost its load/exec addresses? These should be &0400 for both, in all versions of the Level 3 file server.

The file is too big to be loaded and saved while BASIC is running, but you can invoke the supervisor prompt whilst the 6502 tube is active with *GO F800 then
*LOAD FS3-092 400
*SAVE FS3-092 400+<length> 400 400

or *GO 400 to check the file isn't corrupt after loading it.
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by AndyF » Mon May 21, 2018 6:25 am

BeebMaster wrote:Does BeebEm also emulate the real-time clock module? I thought version 1.07 was an official Acorn version which is undoctored. Any undoctored version which needs, and doesn't find, a user port RTC module will exit with a "Clock failure".

This can also happen if the module has died over the years. However I have a couple myself and they both work to the extent of allowing the file server to start. I think one even remembers the time reasonably well, possibly due to being plugged in all the time to a Beeb which is powered on regularly over a period of years.

0.92 has the clock detect code removed.
It needs a 'doctored' version as it does not emulate the 'clock' dongle. :) As you say 0.92 although to be honest I prefer the later version now, 1.0.7 if I remember correctly (I do not have it setup currently) . 1.24 is also good if you don't mind the date/time stamp being locked, I think this also fixed a few other things to do with the CSD and / or moving up a directory.

Regarding modules I had one although it was very much deceased. :cry: I remember my attempts at cutting it open a few years back with slightly limited results, can be found here > viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5164 , unfortunately my camera skills never did improve! :lol: :oops:
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Mon May 21, 2018 6:49 am

Thanks for confirming re BeebEm/L3FS/RTC - I had assumed BeebEm didn’t emulate the user-port RTC, and the version of L3FS-107 from BeebEm certainly runs fine on my Master without a user-port RTC, so it all makes sense.

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by AndyF » Mon May 21, 2018 7:53 am

lcww1 wrote:Thanks for confirming re BeebEm/L3FS/RTC - I had assumed BeebEm didn’t emulate the user-port RTC, and the version of L3FS-107 from BeebEm certainly runs fine on my Master without a user-port RTC, so it all makes sense.
Looking again (sorry!) it might do as it lists "User Port RTC Module" in the hardware options although if that is the Econet one or a different type I'm not sure. I've always just used an erm 'fixed' version. It was more of an anti piracy thing than anything else though as I understand it.
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by AndyF » Mon May 21, 2018 10:36 am

Further to the above, the option in BeebEm does support this, in that you do not get the "Clock Failure" error if you enable the RTC module:
beeb_em_opts.png
beeb_em_opts.png (25.72 KiB) Viewed 874 times
That brings me to a slightly different point, looking at the versions I have 1.03 , 1.04 and 1.06 (no 1.05) do not ask for the date either, hardcoded at a fixed value it seems (21st May '82) ...

... it goes straight to the question asking how many drives. These versions are *not* patched and want the RTC dongle present. 1.07 I have does not request/check for the dongle but it retains the date/time questions. :)

Quick combi pic of without / with said module option in BeebEm:
with_without_clock_module_beebem.png
Andy

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Mon May 21, 2018 5:02 pm

In response to the RTC comments - I've ordered a RaMagic unit (from Martin) for those of you who remember these - I'm hoping it will work once I get the L3FS working. Apparently RAMagic faithfully implements OSWORD 14 Type 1 which returns 7 BCD time bytes as per the Master.

I'll see what happens...


Darren

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Mon May 21, 2018 11:27 pm

@AndyF - many thanks for the clarification regarding BeebEm and the user port RTC - I'd never noticed that option lurking at the bottom of the hardware menu! So, I just got lucky by running BeebEm's FS3-107 on real hardware without a user port RTC!

I've now tested all the versions of the L3FS supplied with BeebEm on my Master 128: FS3-090, FS3-092jg, and FS3-107 all work without error, even in the absence of a user port RTC. FS3-092jg has had the Y2K patch applied! However, the other versions, that is: FS3-103, FS3-104, and FS3-106 do start up, but then quit with a "Clock Failure" error.

I've also just tried testing the versions of L3FS from JGH's MDFS.net - http://mdfs.net/Apps/Networking/FServers/, but I can't get either FS3v092 or FS3v125 to start on my Master. I'm not clear whether the versions of L3FS from MDFS.net require a user port RTC, or not.

I'm puzzled that FS3-092jg from BeebEm works, whereas FS3v092 from MDFS.net apparently does not. No doubt I'm making some silly mistake..... :?:

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by MartinB » Mon May 21, 2018 11:52 pm

In response to the RTC comments - I've ordered a RaMagic unit (from Martin) for those of you who remember these - I'm hoping it will work once I get the L3FS working. Apparently RAMagic faithfully implements OSWORD 14 Type 1 which returns 7 BCD time bytes as per the Master.
I know nothing about Econet and the L3FS etc. nor anything about ‘User-Port RTC’ devices - does anyone know if RAMagic’s Type 1 OSWORD 14 implementation will satisfy the clock requirement that Darren is chasing?

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by Ottly » Tue May 22, 2018 12:04 am

Check out this thread also. Lots of level 3 server discussions.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10543

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Tue May 22, 2018 8:20 pm

Thanks Ottly! An informative thread that my searches hadn’t found. This L3FS rabbit hole is fun :D

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by AndyF » Wed May 23, 2018 12:53 pm

lcww1 wrote:@AndyF - many thanks for the clarification regarding BeebEm and the user port RTC - I'd never noticed that option lurking at the bottom of the hardware menu! So, I just got lucky by running BeebEm's FS3-107 on real hardware without a user port RTC!

I've now tested all the versions of the L3FS supplied with BeebEm on my Master 128: FS3-090, FS3-092jg, and FS3-107 all work without error, even in the absence of a user port RTC. FS3-092jg has had the Y2K patch applied! However, the other versions, that is: FS3-103, FS3-104, and FS3-106 do start up, but then quit with a "Clock Failure" error.

I've also just tried testing the versions of L3FS from JGH's MDFS.net - http://mdfs.net/Apps/Networking/FServers/, but I can't get either FS3v092 or FS3v125 to start on my Master. I'm not clear whether the versions of L3FS from MDFS.net require a user port RTC, or not.

I'm puzzled that FS3-092jg from BeebEm works, whereas FS3v092 from MDFS.net apparently does not. No doubt I'm making some silly mistake..... :?:
The FS3-092jg has the clock check bypassed, otherwise it is the same as FS3-092. The patch program for that version may be on that disk too. The other versions you indicate usually require the clock hence the message. 1.24 (not on that disk but linked elsewhere) is probably not a bad choice if you are not fussed about time/date stamps though.
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Fri May 25, 2018 10:38 pm

At long last I have a level 3 fileserver running - It even inserts the correct time and date via Martins RAMagic unit!! Happy Days!! :lol: =D> =D> =D> =D> :lol:

Thank you to Liam and everyone else for their patience and valued support in helping me get this completed!
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Sat May 26, 2018 8:12 am

Fabulous! :D =D> =D>
Nice work Darren, great to see L3FS up and running!

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by Ottly » Sat May 26, 2018 2:06 pm

I’d recommend version 1.24. Supports you walking up directories (*DIR ^), a huge advantage over earlier versions and has better support for Risc OS and crashes less.

Down side is it’s not Y2K. Can’t specify the correct date and time.

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Sat May 26, 2018 8:21 pm

Thanks Ottly,

I'll give it a try :)

Darren

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by BeebMaster » Sun May 27, 2018 10:45 am

JGH has patched version 1.24 to 1.25 to include the date-fix:

http://mdfs.net/Apps/Networking/FServers/Y2KLv3FS.zip
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Sun May 27, 2018 9:45 pm

Works like a charm - Thanks BeebMaster!
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by BeebMaster » Tue May 29, 2018 10:29 pm

AndyF wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:36 am
Further to the above, the option in BeebEm does support this, in that you do not get the "Clock Failure" error if you enable the RTC module:

beeb_em_opts.png

That brings me to a slightly different point, looking at the versions I have 1.03 , 1.04 and 1.06 (no 1.05) do not ask for the date either, hardcoded at a fixed value it seems (21st May '82) ...

... it goes straight to the question asking how many drives. These versions are *not* patched and want the RTC dongle present. 1.07 I have does not request/check for the dongle but it retains the date/time questions. :)

Quick combi pic of without / with said module option in BeebEm:

with_without_clock_module_beebem.png
If there's an option to emulate the RTC module in Beeb-Em, does that mean we now know how to read from/write to the dongle using a Beeb? Can anyone post sample code, or methodology?
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Wed May 30, 2018 10:20 am

BeebMaster wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 10:29 pm
does that mean we now know how to read from/write to the dongle using a Beeb? Can anyone post sample code, or methodology?
torrind wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:02 pm
In response to the RTC comments - I've ordered a RaMagic unit (from Martin) for those of you who remember these - I'm hoping it will work once I get the L3FS working. Apparently RAMagic faithfully implements OSWORD 14 Type 1 which returns 7 BCD time bytes as per the Master.

I'll see what happens...


Darren
It looks like Darren has cracked this with his cunning use of MartinB’s RAMagic!

Presumably something similar is going on in BeebEm - I’ll have a look at the source code for the Mac version later.

However, as I can’t get JGH’s Y2KLv3FS 1.25 to run on the Mac version of BeebEm, with or without RTC emulation, there may be a problem with this Mac version of BeebEm. I can’t get this 1.25 L3FS to run on real hardware either (without RTC dongle). I’d had a hope that the L3FS version 1.25 would work with the Master built-in clock, but no such luck!

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:26 pm

BeebMaster wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:23 pm
I wonder if the problem with the file server not starting might be that the file has lost its load/exec addresses? These should be &0400 for both, in all versions of the Level 3 file server.
Ah ha, that has been a part of my difficulty with L3FS 1.25 - fixing the load and execution addresses gets me further on BeebEm! Running JGH’s Y2KLv3FS program produces a patched L3FS that reads the Master’s internal RTC using OSWORD 14, and no longer looks for a userport RTC - this version works on BeebEm running as a Master (though Econet emulation seems to be broken on Mac BeebEm running as a Master), and I assume that’s what’s working for Darren on his model B with RAMagic. However, whilst I’m very glad to have finally got my head around how to run L3FS 1.25, this doesn’t address the question of how the userport RTC is read, which I now understand to be through a process other than OSWORD 14 - the relevant BeebEm code appears to reside in the uservia.cc source file.

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Wed May 30, 2018 2:00 pm

Yes Liam Correct - RAMagic's RTC uses OSWORD 14

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by BeebMaster » Wed May 30, 2018 10:27 pm

I've started making a survey of L3 file server versions from 0.90 to 1.25.

Pass 1 is complete - M128 with no dongle.
Pass 2 will be M128 with dongle; 3 will be BBC B with no dongle, 4 BBC B with dongle.

The unmodified 1.24 needs the Clock dongle. The patched version doesn't need the dongle, fixes the date at start up and fixes the time which never increments. However it is possible to set the date and time using SetTime from a user station with the file server running.

It doesn't check for a valid file server structure on the disc, it just reports "PW file not found" and starts the server anyway. I wonder if that's to get round the problem of not being able to select certain combinations of drives due to the way ADFS addresses drive numbers. I need to investigate that further.

Version 1.25 doesn't need the clock dongle, and reads the date and time from the internal RTC (on a Master). It doesn't seem possible to change the time whilst the file server is running, I just get an FS Error &90 (Bad date & time).
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by BeebMaster » Wed May 30, 2018 11:02 pm

BeebMaster wrote: It doesn't check for a valid file server structure on the disc, it just reports "PW file not found" and starts the server anyway. I wonder if that's to get round the problem of not being able to select certain combinations of drives due to the way ADFS addresses drive numbers. I need to investigate that further.
Mmmm yes, it seems Acorn partly fixed this problem in version 1.24.
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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by lcww1 » Thu May 31, 2018 12:25 am

BeebMaster wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:27 pm
I've started making a survey of L3 file server versions from 0.90 to 1.25.
That is a noble deed, and a great service to present and future Econet users =D>

The numerous versions of the L3FS with their various features, and differing requirements, are more than a little confusing, at least to me.

Regarding the user port RTC - AndyF’s RTC teardown viewtopic.php?t=5164 led IanB to suggesting that the RTC might be based on a Philips PCF8573 I2C clock - that certainly looks possible from the user port RTC code in BeebEm.

One can glean something of the workings of the RTC from BeebEm by watching the console log whilst running an unmodified version of L3FS, eg 1.03. There is periodic writing and reading of data through the user port whilst the server is running, and it appears that the user port RTC really is used for time keeping by the L3FS.

I’m afraid that my skills are insufficient to allow me to determine whether the C code in BeebEm uservia.cc is compatible with the information in the PCF8573 datasheet. Perhaps another more knowledgeable forum member will be able to shed some light on this? Someone has presumably already figured all this out tho’, given that BeebEm’s user port RTC emulation exists and works!

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Re: ECONET WOES

Post by torrind » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:16 pm

Chaps,

Econet related question:

As you may know, I have a RAMagic board installed on the BEEB I've designated as a Level 3 FS (v1.25) I'd like to be able to access the time via its built in RTC from my other BEEB.

Can this be done? If I issue a *TIME command on my other BEEB, I get a "No Reply from station 254" message (I'm guessing its looking for the old Acorn dongle RTC) As the RTC in RAMagic uses OSWORD 14, can I some how make a call to it via some whizzy programming or something?

TIA,

Darren

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