Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3 way

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ian_finder
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Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3 way

Unread postby ian_finder » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:35 pm

Onyx RE2 has really faint pinstripes, in the PROM they disappear 2/3 the way down the display. It's not the RMs, swapped them around. Happened after power cycling the other day. I assume it's the DG? Now I regret getting rid of my spare DG a few years ago.

Wonder if there are any easy fixes. Bah...
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby vishnu » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:32 pm

If you're using a CRT it could be the picture tube...
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby jan-jaap » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:22 am

Believe me, it's the RM(s).

You say you swapped them? An Onyx1 will work with a single RM so you can isolate the faulty one. If you have multiple RMs they are interleaved and I'm sure you would not notice if the pinstripe moves 1 pixel row to the left/right ...
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby pentium » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:23 am

Remember you told me that one of the chips on your RM4 was missing a heatsink? ;)
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby ian_finder » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:46 pm

Except it's not the RM-- I can switch them around (run with one at a time-- questionable RM and known good) and the exact problem persists. Also when I go up to 1600x1200_60 I've noticed some timing issues. The whole video signal seems unstable.

It's probably the DG :(

BAH. Chicago needs to be closer so I can have some parts to test with.
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby pentium » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:10 am

I already promised you a visit. Do you want me to bring down my DG and RM's when I come?
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:31 pm

Do you have a spare frontplane/edge connector board? Or at least a decent way to really clean out and spruce up the old one? Worth considering in case you swap the DG and problem persists :(
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby jan-jaap » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:49 am

guardian452 wrote:Do you have a spare frontplane/edge connector board? Or at least a decent way to really clean out and spruce up the old one? Worth considering in case you swap the DG and problem persists :(

This happened to me once. It's definitely worth trying. You can clean it with a can of IPA (alcohol).

The RM's are vertically oriented. I don't mean the PCB in the card cage, but the organization of pixels in frame buffer memory. So a single bad RAM chip will take out a vertical 'line' of pixels on the screen. A bad soldering joint in one of the address/data lines one of the image engines or RAM chips will result in a dotted vertical line on the screen. This phenomenon is better known as the Pinstripe of Death. And it's pretty common in 'big iron' graphics, especially RM4/RM5 and first generation IR, unfortunately. It seems to be the result of thermal and/or physical stress.

A bit of context: the older generation (VGX) was all through-hole technology and it Just Works, even today. Reality Engine is SMD and those RMs can flex pretty badly so after a while the connections go bad. Just like Indigo2 IMPACT TRAM's, now that I think about it. InfiniteReality2 RMs are a much more rigid construction and more reliable in my experience.

The DG creates the analogue signal which is by definition horizontally oriented. That's how CRTs work. I've got several DG's here that are busted in one way or another but it's usually an unstable picture (sides are not vertical, but 'wavy') or 'no picture at all'. There's some DMA memory on it and the diagnostics tell me this sometimes goes bad. But nothing ever resulted in vertical pixel stripes.
Now this is a deep dark secret, so everybody keep it quiet :)
It turns out that when reset, the WD33C93 defaults to a SCSI ID of 0, and it was simpler to leave it that way... -- Dave Olson, in comp.sys.sgi

Currently in commercial service: Image :Onyx2:(2x) :O3x02L:
In the museum: almost every MIPS/IRIX system.
Wanted: GM1 board for Professional Series GT graphics (030-0076-003, 030-0076-004)

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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby guardian452 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:26 pm

Around these parts (US of A), IPA has become known to designate a type of beer (also alcohol). OP is obviously smart enough to not douse his edge connectors into india pale ale but you never know, the next guy who has this problem might mistake your abbreviated isopropyl alcohol :)

It could conceivably be the DG, all of those pixels generated by the RM/TMs need to go somewhere, through the edge connector and to the DG... but I doubt it, unless it's right at the inputs from the RMs.
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pentium
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Re: Onyx 1 has faint vertical pinstripes that disappear 2/3

Unread postby pentium » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:55 pm

I'm sitting not three feet from Ian and I can confirm that his DG2 is dead but both his RM4's are healthy. His DG2 also has a LOT of reworks and deadbug components so there's obviously something screwy with his board even after it was built.

The flip however is that at least one of my RM4's are also bad. :(
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