MNT ZZ9000 Batch 1-4 1V8/3V3 Short Fix

If you have a ZZ9000 card for your Amiga you need to have this done ASAP! I am happy to offer the fix free of charge for those of you here in the USA. All I ask is you please cover the return shipping back. I will of course accept any tips, but payment for such a simple repair isnt required. I would rather see it gone right and back to you quickly!

I have also reprinted the information from the MNT site with a direct link so those of you wanting to do it yourself have the information available. I will also be doing a video on this fix and post it here publicly as I am doing it on my personal ZZ9000. As always, thanks for the support and have a great day!

For information on this fix directly from the manufacturer please follow this link: https://notes.mnt.re/s/BkBGokgMw?fbclid=IwAR2GZqjfbyEpOkov_p2V4-KtQyvl-tFs_c4kmNJdZBDa3fbhJoyBOzYq8bw

Published by: MNT Research GmbH, Berlin.

What’s the problem?

MNT ZZ9000s revision R-1 and R-2 have a design error that shorts the 1V8 and 3V3 supply voltage rails of the ZYNQ module together by a wrongly connected pin on connector U12 (pin number 93). The pin is documented as XADC power supply in the MYIR documentation, but it is not specified that it is already internally connected to 1V8. This is how the mistake happened.

The problem is that the mistake leads to various supply and I/O voltages connected to the ZYNQ that are specified at maximum ~1.9V are now supplied with 3.3V. This makes the ZYNQ run almost 10 degrees celsius hotter than it should, and will potentially damage the ZYNQ over a longer time.

What about ZZ9000 R-3?

If you have ZZ9000 R-3 from Batch 5 or later (to be shipped in August/September 2020), you don’t need to worry. The problem is already fixed.

Overview of ZZ9000 PCB layers

Copper fills are switched off in this view.

Zooming into connector U12 (top connector):

Close-up of pin 93 connected to 3V3 by mistake:

Fixing Methods

There are at least two known alternatives for disconnecting the 3V3 trace from pin 93 of U12.

The first step is always to unplug the ZYNQ module.

Then, either:

  1. Cut and remove a part of the trace with a box cutter or razor directly in front of the pin 93 of U12. This is indicated by “CUT” in the following graphic. You will need some sort of magnification lens or (cheap) microscope for this.
  2. Drill a hole with a ~1mm bit through the PCB at the location indicated by the X. The easiest way to find the right place without a template is to count the pins of U17 and U9 on the back. This is indicated by “DRILL” in the following graphic.

If you drilled the hole, make sure to remove any coppper debris in it. ZZ9000 is a four-layer board with internal copper fills. You want to make sure that 3V3 is not shorted to GND inside of your brand new hole. (Check the end of this document for hints on this).

Photo of where to Cut Trace (Method 1)

Thanks to Chucky!

Photos of Applied Hole (Method 2)

Technical Drawing of Trace/Hole Location

Top view of card:

How do I know it worked?

To confirm the successful fix, you need a multimeter in continuity mode / beeper and measure if 1V8 and 3V3 are still connected.

First, plug the ZYNQ module back in, or you won’t be able to check for the fix!

If the fix is applied, 1V8 and 3V3 rails should not be connected with the ZYNQ module plugged in (no beep).

An easy location to check are the south pins of C55 (3V3) and C53 (1V8):

Also, you should check that neither 3V3 nor 1V8 are now shorted to GND (for example by copper debris in the hole). You can do that by checking continuity across the pins of capacitors C53 and C55 each.

Overwhelmed With Repairs

I’ve said yes to far to many people in regards to accepting repairs of boards that are just beyond what I can do right now over the last several months. As a result things are way out of hand here. Unfortunately my full time jobs schedule has changed for the worse and hasn’t let me get things done that I wanted too or a lot of them are just in a state that I cant figure out issues for and are just beyond what I feel comfortable attempting to go any further with.

This sadly means I am going to be going through things that I will have to return as is. As many may know (oe if you didnt you do now) I dont like to charge for work that didnt result in a repair if I didnt spend any of my money on things I didnt have sent to me from donations or have on hand to do repair attempts. None of the returned work will cost anything other than return shipping. I sincerely apologize to those that have things I cant get working. Its just the nature of the way this hobby works some times. I will be doing recaps still and am getting through them. The mail system has made it very difficult for me to get parts in, but I have most of them and am working through the weekends to get the recaps done. If I contact you for the address to return please be understanding. I am only here on the weekends through the end of the year it looks like now, and have the potential to be stuck leaving the US again mid October for the rest of the year. I do not want peoples stuff stuch here if I have to leave again for that long.

Again, I am sorry if your board is one I cant get working or have to return as is, but I will be happy to try again or recommend someone that can look it over I truest and is known in our circle of trusted techs.

Live Soldering Classes? Maybe!

I have been thinking over the idea of doing an every other week soldering class live at a dedicated time in order to help build up my Patreon page and have some useful content to share. The idea is to offer Paterons the private view of the stream first and then to publish it on my YouTube channel just before the next one goes live two weeks later. This all depends on me being home and the interest in this.

So tell me, how do you all feel about something like this? Currently I offer a $1, $5 and a $30 support set. I dont expect anyone to feel the need to use the two higher ones, and if they do I offer some nice perks for it as a thank you. These classes will be for ANY level. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated!

Lepow Portable Screen with the ZZ9000

I’ve been having a lot of difficulty fighting with the HDMI input on my beloved Dell U2410 monitors and my A4000 that uses the ZZ9000 graphics card. As many of you may know the Dell U2410 will support native Amiga 15khz through its VGA port using a standard Amiga 23 pin to VGA adapter. It works amazingly well for testing out boards here in the shop.

One thing I have discovered recently though is it doent seem to like the output of the ZZ9000 HDMI when its passing through upscaled native output. This was a real disappointment for me to discover since I use this monitor not only in the shop, but also upstairs on my personal Amiga systems like the A600 with a Vampire, A4000T, A4000D with the ZZ9000 and my X5000 (Yes this monitor also has an impressive number of inputs) on it. The issue is only with the ZZ9000, and while not a huge deal, however it sure is nice having the ability to just have one HDMI output and not have to change monitor inputs ever when using a machine. The Dell just refuses to properly sync with its output while trying to display native RGB 15khz siginals passed through.

In comes this beauty! The Lepow Portable Monitor! It scales and works perfectly in both RTG modes and the upscaled Native modes. Both are Crystal clear and work flawless. The price of the monitor is just unmatched too. For $165 you get a great 15.5″ monitor, a smart cover, cables for HDMI and USB C video inputs, another cable for power (You dont need power if using a USB device for vide like the Galaxy Note 10 Phone I have) and a power brick. I am using the HDMI cable supplied here along with a USB power bank and USB C cable. If you are looking for a fantastic solution for a 2nd monitor that is easy to take on travels with you, this is it!

Pick it up here at Amazon on sale! https://amzn.to/2Ocsy9c