Re: Falcons Device 6 and 7 problem

Phantom wrote:
"Mark Bedingfield" <atari030@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:4382eb8c$0$25854$afc38c87@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Phantom wrote:

"Mark Bedingfield" <atari030@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:4381a280$0$9866$afc38c87@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Phantom wrote:

"Mark Bedingfield" <atari030@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:43802058$0$13102$afc38c87@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Phantom wrote:


From my understanding of the Falcon, there was a problem with the

modem port that would not allow it to achive higher Baud rates.

For this reason, the infamous software patchs were created to
fix this problem.  Most Falcon owners probably know what I'm
talking about.

Any way,  Is there a Hardware fix that one can do that would
eliminate the need for the software patchs?

If such a fix is known,  is it somewhere online?

I for one would like to fix the hardware and not have to use
the patches if possible.

And if one can add another modem port to the Falcon, thats
a upgrade I'd like more info on as well.

The most common problem is that older software would not run at greater than 19,200 baud. The cure is to use more recent comms software and it pays to use HSmodem as well. Hsmodem replaces the routines used by tos, in much the same was NVDI etc works. Just more efficient code.
Some early Falcon's had a bug where the serial port would not work until the machine had been reset. FWIR it was only a handful of Falcon's effected.


Hi Mark,

Yes, I know that HSModem is the most common software fix for this
problem. But it is rather old, but still works fairly well.

I was just wondering if there was a hardware fix, so one did not have
to use HS Modem to get higher Baud rate speeds?

No, because it is a software problem, not hardware. The only thing you could do is patch TOS itself.

I believe that the part of the problem had to do with software that
accessed a modem port that was not really there. And HSmodem
fixes this problem thru software. Maybe I'm not totally correct on the
above, but seems I recall it being something like that.

There were a few redirectors in the early days that allowed programs like Freeze dried terminal to work on a Falcon. The Falcon's serial ports aren't the same as an ST's so you had to fool it into using another port. Serial 1 instead of Modem 1, IIRC. But you could not go past 19,200 baud, in that scenario. The Falcons serial ports are designed to go a lot faster than an ST's, upto around 115k baud, in theory IIRC.

I was wondering if one could put a modem port in the correct place
so software would be able to access it with out a software patch.

It is in the correct place. ST's support 4 serial ports, Serial 1 & 2 and Modem 1 & 2. The ST only had serial 1 whilst the Falcon had Modem 1. The Falcon used the SCC chip and the ST the MFP. The Mega STE has 3 serial ports (the lan could be used as a forth, as also you could in the Falcon). The TT has 4.

And or sometype of hardware path/upgrade to eliminate the use
of HSmodem if one wants.

You don't necessarily need to use HSmodem. Hsmodem replaces stuff like flow control routines in TOS, it is a just a OS bug fixer. Use Mint and you don't need it. Not sure about Magic.

I have often wondered if HSmodem is compatible with some of
the newer hardware upgrades and some software as well.

Most likely just not necessary as the custom TOS may have had the bugs fixed, if it hasn't then you will most likely need it also.

Not trying to put HSmodem down. As it is about the only known
software fix for the problem that I know of.

I would like to see a newer software patch at the least.

IIRC, mint now has the modern equivalent of HSmodem built in.

Anyway it is like this,

MegaST     MFP
MegaSTE    MFP    SCC
TT030      MFPTT  SCC
Falcon030         SCC

Atari just dropded the MFP port, because it was slow. The MFP could only go to 19,200 baud unless you overclocked it to 38,400. In the overclocked state you need HSmodem to drive it as TOS is not capable by itself. The SCC was a high speed uart, not designed to be compatible with the MFP at all.
Programs like Connect can talk to the SCC quite happily without HSmodem.

Has some interesting info on the serial ports, worth a read.


Thanks for that info, it will come in handy.

I really need to get a Falcon Field Service Manual so that I can
learn more about the chips in there.  Some I know well, others
I don't.

I know that Stalker also has custom code to work the Falcons Modem port to
very high Speeds. Never used Connect that much, I prefer STalker. The
Back Talk Script is interesting as you can write your own stuff with it.

I used to use Stalker as well great program. Remember though it isn't custom code, it is done as per the standard Atari spec for talking to the SCC chip. It was also capable of talking to the MFP chip and the RS-422 port. With HSmodem and the overclock mod you could talk quite happily at 38,400 baud.

IIRC, there was a article somewhere on adding another Modem or Serial Port
to the Falcon. It's been so long, that I forget where I saw that at. Maybe on a
Atari CD that I have here.

I could probably find that for you. I have it archived somewhere. Only useful if you want to run more than 2 modems. You can use the LAN port as a serial port, which means in effect you have 2 ports. But I don't think they could be driven at the same time.


If it isn't alot of trouble, i'd like to have the info on how to do it correctly.

Will dig it out, it was on Vess's page.

Also anything on using the Falcon's LAN as a modem port.

Standard RS-422 port.

I have MAC LAN modem Cables, and some other MAC LAN cables. Not sure if these will work as is or if they need modified.

A maclan type (RS-422 to RS-232) modem cable is all that is required.

And if you know, Is the MegaSTE LAN port exactly as the Falcons?

Yes it is, same as the TT's as well.

I have a MegaSTE and would like to use the LAN port for something, even as a Modem port, just to see how it works.

You can run a null modem connection on them.

Do both use the same chips?

Yes the SCC chip.