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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Vampire 600V2 Won't Boot Up

Adam Novakov

Posts 3
15 Nov 2023 08:09


Hi everyone.
Recently I bought A600 and second hand Vampire V2 which was in storage for long time.
On first attempt to boot up a lot of funny things was going on the screen. It would flash few different solid colours- purple, light blue and teal (or light green), and black and green lines would be showing over whole screen, similar to when you are loading game on C64 from tape. Green PWR light would be on, while red ACT light would flash just for split second when power up and resto of time would be off.
I took card off and inspect ICs closely. I noticed that on C1 and C4 ICs there was solder join in between pins 7 and 8. I don't know if it should be like that, but I resolder it and removed joints.
After that when I power up I had different screen. ACT red light would be going on and off every few seconds and every time it goes on, screen would be different solid colour. When light is off screen would go black.
When I remove Vampire card, A600 would boot up to 3.1 no problem.
I have no idea what to do next and I could not find any instruction or manual online.
Could someone help me and point me into direction what could be the problem and what to look for please.
Many thanks, Adam.




Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 6195
15 Nov 2023 12:19


The changing colors show that it runs the build-in selftest.
The card will on power on test itself, test its memory, and test the connection on the bus to the mainboard.
 
The "green and black" stripes are a "fail" result of the selftest.
 
Please read this:
CLICK HERE 
Green/blacks stripes indicates contact problem to the Amiga mainboard. Please make sure the accelerator is plugged in correctly
 


Adam Novakov

Posts 3
15 Nov 2023 20:02


Thank you Gunnar. That chart help, tho is confuses me even more now.
After re setting card few times, just to make sure contact is good, I would have different colour messages every time. Once it would be constant solid red with ACT light on, sometimes just solid teal flashing, not sure if it is light blue or green, once I had red and black line and once I had just red dashed lines?
As it has red in few different shapes, it indicates core was not flashed properly and should be re flashed. I assume using USB blaster?
Should I do it? What do you think?


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 6195
16 Nov 2023 08:23


Please ensure good contact of the card with the mainboard.
Please use a mounting kit / screws to fix the card.


Igor Majstorovic
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 406
16 Nov 2023 17:34


Hi there, I will try to help in this situation. I have seen few pictures you posted on Discord. This is the card made by Kipper2K and it is card from early days. Just to mention this is not Kipper2K mistake. He made very good work with this card.
 
  Before we start further there is list of card revisions and fixes on my website:
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  So based on your pictures we can conclude that voltage on that card is unstable for newer cores. This card was working nicely on Silver cores but with Gold cores we needed more power so please read the article and add two more ceramic capacitors. After that we will for sure know that power problem is solved. Soldering those capacitors is very easy but please after adding them check for shorts measuring resistance on them.
  Later on if problem still persist we will run several test cores I have build for testings various parts of the card.
  BTW, GREEN led is basically tied over resistor to 3.3V rail so should be always ON. ACT led or RED one should blink only once like you are describing. This telling us that several tests are passed before core starts so this could be good sign. If RED LED is always ON that tells us that something is not right, mostly with FastMem access. Also this is shown by seeing color stripes on RGB (like C64 loading). Please let's fix this capacitors problem first then we will see what to do next. Don't give up we will fix this problem.


Adam Novakov

Posts 3
19 Nov 2023 05:45


igor majstorovic wrote:

Hi there, I will try to help in this situation. I have seen few pictures you posted on Discord. This is the card made by Kipper2K and it is card from early days. Just to mention this is not Kipper2K mistake. He made very good work with this card.
   
  Before we start further there is list of card revisions and fixes on my website:
  EXTERNAL LINK   
  So based on your pictures we can conclude that voltage on that card is unstable for newer cores. This card was working nicely on Silver cores but with Gold cores we needed more power so please read the article and add two more ceramic capacitors. After that we will for sure know that power problem is solved. Soldering those capacitors is very easy but please after adding them check for shorts measuring resistance on them.
  Later on if problem still persist we will run several test cores I have build for testings various parts of the card.
  BTW, GREEN led is basically tied over resistor to 3.3V rail so should be always ON. ACT led or RED one should blink only once like you are describing. This telling us that several tests are passed before core starts so this could be good sign. If RED LED is always ON that tells us that something is not right, mostly with FastMem access. Also this is shown by seeing color stripes on RGB (like C64 loading). Please let's fix this capacitors problem first then we will see what to do next. Don't give up we will fix this problem.

Thank you Igor. That if plenty of info and great help. I sent you message on Discord.

posts 6