|Can I use the new Poseidon V4.x?|
| Yes. Simply install the most current V4.x on your system. These versions were released as
OEM version for E3B products; a registration or additional fees are not required.
|Zorro III - DMA - PIO. I'm lost. Help me!|
| As it is sometimes confusing for normal users I try to discuss what is behind these buzz words.
In general: DENEB will work always as Zorro III card when inserted into Zorro III systems. Exception to the rule is setting the ZII jumper. In case of Zorro III operation the modus operandi is chosen by the hardware driver in Poseidon.
Last fallback method on Zorro III systems is setting the ZII jumper to force DENEB into Zorro II mode. Compared with Zorro III mode you must expect loss of performance then.
|What serial number does my DENEB have?|
| The serial number of DENEB can be found out in two different ways. The old fashioned way is
to look on front of your DENEB, a hand written serial number can be found on the upper edge in the
middle of the card.
The other way requires the DENEB to be set to rescue mode with FlashROM enabled: set the RESCUE jumper and be sure that ROMOFF is not set.
After booting your system will show a drive "DenebInstall:" on the workbench. On this drive a file "SerialNumber.txt" can be found; your serial number is stored there in human readable format.
If the drive "DenebInstall:" does not appear, of if there are problems with booting, please contact our support.
|<What firmware revision is installed on my DENEB?|
| The DENEB uses three different firmware images in total:
With tools like Scout or SysInfo it is easy to check the firmware revision of the currently active firmware. We recommend Scout (available for free in Aminet), as it is up-to-date and offers quite some other nice features beside.
After launching Scout choose the button "Expansions" in the main window. The new window lists all expansion boards configured by Autoconfig process. DENEB has a manufacturer ID of "#3643" and a product ID of either "#16" or "#17", depending on the bus mode.
Double clicking the DENEB entry in the list opens a window with detailed information on the card. The serial number shown there is the information we are looking for.
Example: SerialNumber = 3820161546. In hexadecimal this gives 0xe3b30a0a.
The three most significant nibbles label the manufacturer (0xe3b), the next nibble states the Zorro bus used (0x3 = Zorro III). The next two nibbles are the revision of the FlashROM card (0x0a = V10), while the two least significant nibbles give the revision of the currently used Zorro firmware image (0x0a = V10).
|CyberVision64/3D / Mediator 4000 and DMA problems|
| If operating the DENEB in Zorro III DMA mode you may encounter problems if
a CyberVision 64/3D or a Mediator 4000Di is present in the system. The reason for that is
a bug in the Zorro III bus interface of both cards, not complying to the strict requirements
of Zorro III timing specifications.
Updating the DENEB firmware to V9 (or higher) will solve this problem by including a workaround for that badly designed Zorro III cards.
|DENEB works only without CPU caches|
| Some rare hardware configurations show a mixture of problems while operating DENEB: Poseidon
can't start the card driver, USB devices are not recognized (or only after restarting Poseidon in Trident),
USB operation is unstable.
Most configurations with these problems have a Cyberstorm Mk1 or Mk2 involved, sometimes also A3640 are affected. Problems change or vanish after resorting Zorro cards in the Zorro backplane or by adding/removing the CPU card SCSI module.
Root of this problem is that the CPU cache is activated too early by some card ROM, in most cases CPU ROM. This can trigger a bug in the expansion.library. You can workaroung this problem by activating the "nocache" module inside the DENEB FlashROM. More information on this module can be found inside the Poseidon and Luciferin guides.
|DENEB is shown as "defective"|
| In case a Mediator is used in the setup it is possible that the Mediator takes over more or less the
whole Zorro III memory space. Especially with some Zorro III ram card being present the "last" Zorro III
card in the autoconfiguration chain is forced beyond the Zorro III space by Kickstart.
If you end up with any Zorro III card assigned a base address higher than 0x80000000, your system may behave in unexpected ways.
Please contact our support in this case. In most cases the Mediator can be forced by jumpers to cooperate with the other Zorro III cards by minimizing the I/O space occupied by Mediator.
|Buster 9/11 - what is to be done?|
|Most important issue: Buster 11 allows only one active busmaster (details can be found
here). Take care especially in the A4000T: the internal SCSI controller is
basically a A4091 and counts as busmaster!
If your system has Buster 9 mounted, you can operate the Fastlane Z3 as additional busmaster besides DENEB in DMA mode. Moreover, the Buster9 mode must be activated in Poseidon, or if started from FlashROM, the Buster9IdTag must be included into FlashROM. Details on this issue can be found in the Poseidon manual.
|My DENEB does not work!|
|First of all: don't panic. Each DENEB is being tested during manufacturing for technical
reasons (programming of CPLD and FlashROM).
It is recommended to identify the problem step by step:
|I want to operate clockport card XYZ on DENEB!|
| In general we recommend to upgrade the DENEB firmware to the latest revision (V10 or higher) in
This firmware emulates the clockport of a Xsurf (from individual computers) in hardware. No driver adaptions are needed by this emulation, as long as there is a driver for the Xsurf clockport. Depending on your system configuration it may be needed to adjust your TCP/IP settings, as the "virtual" Xsurf may occupy unit number 0, while the "real" Xsurf (I you have one) gets unit number 1. In this case please change the unit number in your TCP/IP stack accordingly.
|My external HDD does not work!|
| Many external USB2.0 HDD cases (especially those for 2.5" HDDs) do not have an own power supply due to
cost reasons. Usually they have a special "Y-cable" for power supply: one USB connector is used for data transfer
and power connection, another one short circuits the +5V line to the first port to double the possible power consumption
to 1.0A maximum.
We can only recommend not to use such Y-cables!
By shortcircuiting two USB power outlets the overcurrent protection circuits of DENEB will not be able to work
reliable any more - damages can occur.
|External hubs - what should be considered?|
| Nowadays external USB2.0 hubs are available for a few EUR. Many even have an external power brick included.
You should take care when selecting an external hub: the low price usually has its price.
Missing protection diodes: in most cases the protection diode (which inhibits current from external power brick to feed into the computer USB port) is missing. Cheap power bricks can have an open circuit voltage of up to 6.5V, so current will flow into the DENEB USB port and can damage the overcurrent protection or the host controller.
No overcurrent protection: in many cases, simply missing. The hub relys on the over current protection of its uplink port.
Ganged power supply: all hub ports are supplied in parallel, so with the missing overcurrent protection in mind the hub can only supply a limit of 500mA integral over all ports, as the limit is given now by the 500mA protection of the DENEB port.
no output capacitors: in many cases missing (or far too small) output capacitors can lead to voltage break down when high current devices are operating on the hub ports. This can make your USB bus unstable.
|Picasso IV and DMA problems|
| Picasso IV boards were shipped with different firmware revisions, depending on the date of
manufacturing. Some older versions in general have problems with fast accesses on Zorro III.
We strongly recommend to upgrade your Picasso IV to the latest firmware revision. An upgrade CPLD chip for the integrated flicker fixer of Picasso IV may also be adviseable.
Updating the DENEB firmware to V9 (or higher) is also recommended.
Please contact our support for details.
|Finding out the Picasso IV Firmware version|
| In case of problems arising when operating a Picasso IV together with the DENEB it is
necessary to find out the firmware revision(s) used on the Picasso IV. Please proceed as follows:
|Where does that Xsurf card come from after firmware upgrading?|
| New firmware releases for DENEB (V11 or higher) implement a "virtual" Xsurf card
during autoconfiguration. This virtual card emulates the clockport found on the "real" Xsurf
card developped and sold by Jens Schönfeld.
By this trick all clockport cards working with the Xsurf can be used on DENEB without any modification needed inside the driver software.
If you already have a Xsurf in your system you may have to swap both cards (DENEB and Xsurf)
to make the "real" Xsurf appear first in the autoconfiguration chain, or you have to adjust the
unit numbers for the Xsurf device in your TCP/IP software accordingly.
|Freezings / hangups with Zorro III RAM|
| If using Zorro III memory boards (ZorRAM, DKB3128) as system memory expansion you may encounter
such behaviour. It is not a bug (or feature) of the Zorro III cards involved, but a (up to know unknown)
bug in the custom chip Buster.
Both Rev9 and Rev11 of Buster are affected to our knowledge so far.
If DENEB is used as Zorro III DMA card you can significantly reduce the problems by updating the firmware. It is unknown up to now if the firmware workaround can completely compensate this Buster bug.
A workaround is using the DENEB in PIO mode.
If other Zorro III DMA cards are involved, you may run into troubles, as most likely no firmware upgrades are available for those cards.
|My install volume is missing!|
| Under certain cirumcstances this can happen. First: don't panic! You may have a DENEB
with outdated firmware, and your system doesn't like the watchdog included in the first versions
of DENEB firmware. This watchdog does, in your case, disable the FlashROM without need.
Simply install the publically available versions of Poseidon and Luciferin instead those included in the install volume in the FlashROM.
Nevertheless a firmware upgrade is recommended. Please contact out support.
|Which Zorro III cards use DMA?|
| The list of Zorro III DMA cards is small, but possibly not complete:
Despite other rumours the Mediator line does not use Zorro III DMA.
|Luciferin doesn't work in OS4 Classic|
| Please deactive the JIT for Luciferin. The necessary timing seems not to be reproduced by JIT,
which may result in write errors.
|DENEB and DMA - does it work in my system?|
| The DENEB offers - next to a Zorro III and Zorro II PIO mode - the operation as a fast
Zorro III busmaster. This takes the burden of data transfers from the CPU, giving more free CPU time
to the system. Unfortunately some bug inside Amiga chipset (Buster) and some turbo cards set limits on this
kind of operation.
First of all, the CPU card used must allow DMA access to her local memory (no exceptions known up to now). As a matter of fact DMA is only possible with Buster Rev 9 and 11. Moreover, using Buster Rev 9 makes it mandatory to have all Zorro III busmasters using a workaround to keep the system stable (known cards: Fastlane Z3, DENEB). Using a Buster Rev 11 reduces the number of allowed Zorro III busmasters to one (yes, one).
In case of doubt you can always operate the DENEB in PIO mode.
Please note: configurations with Buster 11 and more than one busmaster are (especially in the A4000T) instable. The CPU card used will also play an important role there: the lockup can occur at once or after fiveteen minutes. Even if it "looks good"... problems are lurking around in this case. You have been warned.
I can't boot - permanent resets, blinking LEDs,...
Help! My FlashROM is gone! What happened?
Luciferin notifies me about the ROMOFF jumper - but it is not set in real!
| For obvious reasons we decided against CDROM or floppy disk as installation medium. The DENEB carries its
own installation software with it, safely enclosed on a special part of the FlashROM. This allows easy installation
also on diskless systems (floppy drives tend to fail with the years).
Unfortunately some CPU cards have real problems with ROM tags provided by expansion cards. One of the famous examples is the Cyberstorm MK2 of phase5. Problems originating from this behaviour are visible with many Zorro cards carrying their own (Flash) ROM which is used to include own software at boot time. After all we learned about this bug up to now we can exclude a bug in the DENEB bootloader.
We have implement some bugfixes for that in the current versions of firmware and bootloader.
Should your system nevertheless behave erratically with the FlashROM of DENEB activated, please set the ROMOFF jumper (while your system is powered off), boot as usual and contact us. We will send you the installation files by email.
Please note: it doesn't work to change the ROMOFF jumper while power is on.
If your system is malfunctioning in this way it is very likely that normal operation of FlashROM of DENEB is not possible, so in case keep the ROMOFF jumper seated.
Can I just deactivate the FlashROM?
Watchdog - what is that?
ONLY APPLIES TO OLDER FIRMWARE REVISIONS!
Afterwards your FlashROM is deactivated and will be activated by either a power cycle or written new contents to the FlashROM by Luciferin.
This watchdog will never permanently deactivate the FlashROM. Please use the ROMOFF jumper for this purpose.
|What exactly does the ROMOFF jumper do?|
|The DENEB implements the FlashROM by including a virtual Zorro II card at autoconfig time (in detail: by
issuing a "chained config request"). This card reacts now on the ROMOFF jumper: if it is not set, then a ROM
vector is presented to the Kickstart during Autoconfig. In this case, the bootloader sitting inside the FlashROM
will be executed, even if there is no further module stored in the FlashROM.
If ROMOFF is set the virtual Zorro II card will behave like any other Zorro II card without ROM. There will be no ROM vector, and the bootloader is not being executed at all.
If problems with FlashROM appear it is strongly recommended to set the ROMOFF jumper as first mean of diagnostic. If symptoms do not change afterwards, then you should look for other problems in your setup (like Picasso IV firmware, or the cache bug inside expansion.library)
|How can I completely clear the FlashROM?|
|We recommend using the latest available version of Luciferin for handling the FlashROM.
To completely clear the FlashROM please proceed as follows (ROMOFF can be set, the warning issued by Luciferin on starting can be safely ignored, as full access to FlashROM is given anyhow):
If problems with FlashROM occur it is recommended to set ROMOFF for debugging!
|Fast-Zorro II Support|
| The DENEB transparently supports the Fast-Zorro II mode on Winner/ZIV busboards. You just have to make sure
that the DENEB is located in one of the two topmost Zorro slots and that the jumper "Fast-Z2 mode" is set on the
busboard. That's all, the rest is taken into acount by the hardware driver. It recognizes this constellation and automagically
switches the DENEB into Fast-Zorro II mode.
Typical data rates are about 3MB/s.
|Does USB2 make sense on Zorro II at all?|
|Yes. You cannot expect real bandwidth on Zorro II busses, but the bigger MaxPacketSize for USB2 packets reduces
the CPU overhead for sending and receiving data. This helps of course in term of bandwidth. Depending on the CPU used
you can expect data rates of about 2MB/s. This rate is more as twice the rate known from the ALGOR and can
in some systems (A1200) compete with effective data rates reached on a PCI USB2 card.
|DENEB and OS4 Classic - does this work?|
| With the (long awaited) release of Amiga OS4 Classic this question comes up quite often.
A short answer: the DENEB works very well together with Poseidon V4.0 in the JIT, but only
in PIO mode.
The memory management used in OS4 Classic is in some points not compatible with the one in OS 3.x. This means in detail, that allocated memory is not necessarily linearly addressable in hardware. Therefore a scatter/gather mechanism would be needed in the DENEB's DMA engine. As this is not necessary for OS 3.x systems, and as adding these features would have delayed both development and availability of the DENEB we decided to skip OS4 Classic DMA support with the release.
|Where does the name DENEB come from?|
| It originates - as with the ALGOR - from astronomy. The star "Deneb" is the most luminous star in the
configuration "swan", which can be observed quite clearly in the summer. Moreover, the "swan" marks the location
of the milky way in the sky.
The "Deneb" is one of the most luminous stars in the sky - making it the perfect candidate for our best USB controler.
|ALGOR PRO - where is the difference?|
| The ALGOR PRO offers all advantages already known from her predecessor ALGOR. The fast USB controller
couldn't be optimized any more, but the capacity of the card internal FlashROM has been doubled from 512kB (ALGOR)
to 1MB (ALGOR PRO).
Users won't have to worry about this difference: the FlashROM utility Luciferin will take care (together with the FlashROM resident bootloader code) of all the technical details. You will just notify that you have more space for ROM modules.
|ALGOR - where does the name come from?|
| The name ALGOR is based on a famous star on the northern sky. Together with Mizar it forms a binary system
in the "Big Dipper", also known as the "Big Bear" or the "Ursa Major". Mizar itself is a system of two binary stars,
which makes the system a quintuple one.
The system Algor - Mizar is a very common target for amateur astronomers, as one can easily check the telescopes qualities regarding optics (colors, resolution) with these stars.
|ALGOR (PRO) or HIGHWAY? What is better?|
| The ALGOR (PRO) got a noticable performance gain when compared to the HIGHWAY. This is achieved
by using an USB controller chip with extended features. This gain is mainly interesting in systems with smaller
CPUs. The difference is not dramatic in fast systems.
We recommend using the ALGOR (PRO) especially if
You can add at least the BootROM functionality by simply expanding your HIGHWAY with a ROMulus module. This will give you the same BootROM possibilities like the ALGOR (PRO) offers.
|How do I mount the SUBWAY?|
| You will find a lot of hints on mounthing the SUBWAY in the enclosed
documentation (German or English). Moreover, we have prepared a
tutorial with some pictures which clarify
the mounting procedure.
Please note: you can easily destroy your SUBWAY by mounting it the wrong way !
|How does the SUBWAY fit onto a Zorro card?|
| The SUBWAY can be used on
many Zorro cards which are equipped with a clockport.
We spent quite some time and effort in making the SUBWAY compatible with these clockports,
which often quite differ from the original Amiga 1200 one. Anyhow we cannot guarantee operation
on any case, as often there are different revisions of the Zorro card out on the market.
Hints on the clockport orientation should be contained in the Zorro card manual or can be given by the manufacturer of the Zorro card.
For most popular cards we at E3B can also give some information (without warranty).
|Why does the ALGOR/HIGHWAY not work in my computer?|
| There are several possible reason for failure:
|Need I to register Poseidon? How can I do this?|
| Owners of ALGOR/HIGHWAY/SUBWAY don't need to register for
Chris Hodges) Poseidon USB stack. E3B is delivering its
USB solutions with a full-featured, fully functional OEM version without any restrictions.
Registration is only needed for customers of other USB solutions. All information needed for registration can be found in the Poseidon AmigaGuide file.
|I just installed the card, so what to do next?|
| Software installation should be done now. Poseidon is best installed by the enclosed installer script.
Installation can be done manually (possible, but not recommended for novice users); instructions
can be found in the Poseidon AmigaGuide file.
|Installation doesn't work!|
| Please be sure to use the newest version of Installer. Older versions contain some bugs
which can lead to malfunction during installation process.
Installer can be found in Aminet and the OS 3.9 CD.
|Hardware and software installed, but USB not working ?|
Usually you are nearly finished with just some small steps missing. Poseidon has look-and-feel like the wellknown GUIs for TCP/IP stacks. Moreover, Poseidon is intended as platform and system independent solution, which offers uniform functionality - but needs to know which low level driver is to be used.
Therefore you have to perfom the following steps to tell Poseidon which low level driver to use:
|My middle mouse button does not work, neither does the wheel !|
| Poseidon offers two class drivers for mice: the bootmouse.class can be used during Early
Startup Menu (if made resident), but this class only supports two buttons. The hid.class offers
many more features and supports almost any input device conforming with the HID specification.
Please check which class is bound to your mouse (see the "Devices" card). In case you find the bootmouse.class there you can easily force a new binding by choosing the mouse in the device list, "Release Binding" and "Class Scan".
|Good hint. But it still doesn't work !|
| The hid.class of Poseidon is one of the most comprehensive class drivers available up to now.
Despite the fact that Poseidon has been programmed with easy user operation in mind you are
kindly asked to read the Poseidon Guide file regarding the hid.class carefully.
This is mandatory for understanding.
Really. I promise. Believe me.
|How can I get pictures out of my DigiCam ?|
| There are two possibilities:
|My flash card is not recognized !|
| Poseidon tries to automout each attached mass storage device automatically; a dedicated
mount list is not needed in the most cases.
If you encounter problems, please check:
|My flash card reader does not work !|
| USB offers a specification for mass storage devices (like hard drives, ZIPs, CF reader). This allows
one driver to work with a wide range of devices. In most cases these devices internally operate
with SCSI protocol. Poseidon supports such devices directly.
Unfortunately some manufacturer still use proprietary protocols or sell devices with broken firmware. With some popular operating systems this is not a problem as dedicated drivers are enclosed - with your Amiga it is.
Please check first if your flash card reader is bound to the massstorage.class (see the "Devices" card, "Information" -> "Interfaces"). Poseidon will not support proprietary protocols; if your flash card reader has successfully been bound but still refuses to work, then please drop us a short note.
|How can I partion a flash card ?|
| Poseidon dynamically generates a device when an USB mass storage is attached. Therefore you
can use the standard HDToolBox from your Workbench for this task; just choose the
"usbscsi.device" and the corresponding unit.
|TurboPrint complains when starting the Workbench !|
| Like with mass storage devices Poseidon uses a dynamically generated "usbparallel.device"
for connected USB printers.
If TurboPrint is starting before Poseidon or if the corresponding printer is switched off or disconnected while TurboPrint is launched, then the requested "usbparallel.device" does not exist yet - you will get an error message.
When used with USB printers TurboPrint should be started after the USB printer to be used has been configured by Poseidon.
|This board is really from E3B?|
| ZorRAM has been developed and manufactured in a cooperation of individual computers and E3B on
behalf of amigakit.com. Sale and support is handled by amigakit.com
As some potential pitfalls exist when operating Zorro III RAM cards together with DENEB we decided to include some entries here in this FAQ.
Please note: normal support of ZorRAM is handled only by amigakit.com!
|ZorRAM fails with Buster9!|
| In some combinations of Buster Rev 9 and turbo cards a whole bunch of problems can arise when
oparting the ZorRAM. Only the first batch of ZorRAM is affected, later batches include already
some fix for this specific Buster 9 problem.
Indications of errors include: wrong sized memory of ZorRAM; Early Startup shows "defective"; unexpected freeze or reboot when ZorRAM memory is used to full degree.
Unfortunately the timing of Buster 9 is not compatible with the timings of Bridgette, which is optimized for Buster 11. Buster 9 is "too fast", which leads to a time delay between control signals from Buster and address/data lines from Bridgette.
This is not an error of ZorRAM. Buster 9 is not timing compatible with Zorro III.
A possible workaround is upgrading your system with Buster 11. If not possible exchanging your ZorRAM with a board from later batches is recommended. Please contact amigakit.com for details.
Michael Böhmer, 24.07.2010, webmaster