Tips and Tricks around the Milan Hardware

Changing the Clock Rate
Jumper Block
060 Upgrade
RAM
DSP
Power Connector
Updating the Milan Hardware
TV Card

Changing the Clock Rate

The factory setting of the clock rate is 25 MHz. However, it is possible to operate the Milan with different clock rates, too. Here's how to switch to these clock rates:
Between PCI and ISA slots there is the clock rate generator (ICS 9158-01) which can be switched with the jumpers nearby. Those jumpers are labelled with JB in the picture of the Milan motherboard. Which jumpers have to be used for which frequency is shwon in the table Jumper Settings).
However it depends on the board revision if you need to do some work beforehand. There are three cases:
  1. jumper block with jumpers:
    • Simply set jumpers according to the table
  2. jumper block without jumpers:
    • carefully scratch through the conducting ways between the jumper posts of the jumpers 1 and 2.
    • Set the jumpers according to the table
  3. no jumperblock at all:
    • carefully scratch through the conducting ways between the jumper posts of the jumpers 1 and 2.
    • Carefully solder in a jumper block
    • Set the jumpers according to the table
jumper settings
3.7 MHz 8 MHz 20 MHz 25 MHz
1 2 3
+ + +
| | |
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +
  | |
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +
    |
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +
| |   
+ + +
30 MHz 33 MHz 40 MHz 50 MHz
1 2 3
+ + +
|   |
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +
|
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +
|     
+ + +
1 2 3
+ + +

+ + +
Important:
If you make any changes to your Milan motherboard you will loose your guarantee! It is possible that not every Milan runs with the desired clock rate (this depends e.g. on your RAM modules). You should also consider that the Milan has a multilayer motherboard which is very sensitive. If you want to use your Milan at a higher clock rate, be sure to have a fan somewhere near the CPU, it can get very hot and in the worst case damaged (it is only desigend for 25 MHz).
If you want to run you Milan with more than 25 MHz properly, you'll need one very special chip, which is very hard to find. It is the chip 74ACT157 SO16, small version. Quite a few Milans however run quite fine at 30 MHz even without these new chips. Very, very few Milans are known to run safely at 33 MHz. If you use an ISA Creative Soundblaster card, 33 MHz are never possible!

Jumperblock JA

Below the keyboard connector there is a jumperblock. It is labelled with JA in the picture of the Milan motherboard. The most interesting might be jumper j7. If this is set the Milan loads an unfragmented (!!!) TOS from floppy disc. The table below shows the use of all the jumpers:

Jumper Bedeutung
j1 PMMU Cache
j2 PMMU Cache
j3 not used
j4 not used
j5 VGI-Init off
j6 OEM special function
j7 load TOS from floppy disc
j8 ROM monitor

Jumperline JC

Right of the EDO RAM slots there is a line of jumpers, that are labelled with JC in the picture of the Milan motherboard. The pins have these functions:

Jumperline JD

A little bit right below the Lattice ispLSI 1032E there is another line of jumpers, that is labelled with JD in the picture of the Milan motherboard. The pins have these functions:

060 Upgrade

If you really want to boost your Milan you can buy a 68060 upgrade. You decide if it is worth upgrading:
At first you need to find a 68060. That's neither simple nor cheap since you want to get a full 060. That means one with FPU and MMU. The cheaper versions are not really commendable. Secondly you have to get an adapter platine. It is needed because 68040 and 68060 are not pin compatible. Unfortunately this platine is not mass produced but handsoldered and therefore incredibly expensive. If you're unlucky it's more expensive than the CPU itself! To get you and idea how much it can be here's a short list of the costs that can arise:
I had both, luck and bad luck. I paid 200 EUR for the platine and less than 150 EUR for the CPU. If you want to obtain a full 68060 contact me, I might be able to get one or at least name you someone who can ge them! But I cannot promise anything!
The installation itself is very simple. Let's get a quick overview before going into detail:
  1. Check if you use TOS 4.08 or newer
  2. Check if you use a 68060 capable bootblock
  3. Remove the old 68040
  4. Plug the 68060 firmly onto the adapter
  5. Plug in the adapter with CPU into the socket of the motherboard
Ok, and now the whole thing once more in detail:
  1. You have to use at least TOS 4.08. If you have an older version than you should update in any case because any version before TOS 4.08 has PCI routines built in that do not work properly.
  2. I am not 100% sure which version of the bootblock was the first that could be used with a 68060, but if you use V0.99.10 or newer, you're on the safe side. I anyway recommend using the very latest version V1.02, available in the download section.
  3. You need to take the old 68040 out of its socket. If you're skilled you can leave the mainboard in the tower. However, I recommend taking the mainboard out of the tower. Then you have full access from all sides and it makes it all easier.
    Some mainboards have another socket between the CPU and the socket on the board itself. You decide for yourself if you want to leave it in or not. According to Uwe Schneider it doesn't matter.
  4. Now take the adapter and the 68060. Plug the 68060 firmly into the socket on the adapter. To do this put the adapter on a flat and stable surface. Once the 68060 sits in its socket you have to push it firmly down. You might want to use a flat object for this or your flat hand. You might be surprised how much force it needs sometimes to push it fully in. In any case, take every care, that CPU and adapter do not get exposed to shear stress. Also, be careful not to bend any of the adapter's pins!
    It probably won't be possible to full push the CPU down, but try to get it as firmly in as possible! If the upgrade doesn't work, it is not unlikely that it is due to a lack of contact of the pins!
  5. Now plug the adapter with CPU into the socket of the motherboard. Again make sure, it really sits firmly in its place. Most often the reason why it won't work in the end is that not all the ins have proper contact.
Ok, that is basically it. Now assemble everything again, if you have taken apart your Milan. Then simply start your Milan. It automatically detects the new CPU. However, if the Milan doesn't beep or doesn't start up, check again, that everything is really firmly in its place!
I have also seen a defective adapter already and someone reported that the upgrade didn't work for him at all! I have no idea why or what this is! Here it worked with different mainboards, different adapters and lots of different CPUs.
You might wonder if there are any incompatiblities now that you have an 68060. So far I have heard of none! The only thing I have heard of is that NVDI doesn't work properly, but this only seems to happen if you have a CPU without FPU. However I cannot verify this and also, I really very strongly recommend a CPU with FPU.
If you're surprised after the first boot that the Milan doesn't seem a lot faster, you're indeed right! That is because the limiting factor is the graphics card. However, run a few CPU intensive applications and you will most definitely see a huge difference! The 68060 is indeed very powerful!

RAM

The Milan uses normal EDO RAM modules. You have to have at least 16 MB plugged in otherwise your Milan will refuse to boot!

DSP

The Milan hasn't got a DSP onboard, of course. But currently there's a DSP under development and will be available relatively soon. You can find more on this subject at the homepage of Frontier Systems. As soon as the card is availabe I'll have more infos here, of course.

Power Connector

Whoever has ever disassembled his/her Milan and also has unplugged the power connector and, like me, has to been so unwise not to remember which way round they were connected, might find this useful:
The two connectors have to be plugged in such that the black wires are together in the middle!


Ingo Schmidt 2002