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RAM 320XL


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Poll: RAM 320XL (170 member(s) have cast votes)

I'm interested in:

  1. RAM 320XL naked version (24 votes [10.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.21%

  2. RAM 320XL full version (108 votes [45.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.96%

  3. RAM 320XE (54 votes [22.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.98%

  4. RAM 576+ (49 votes [20.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.85%

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#1 ctirad OFFLINE  

ctirad

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Posted Sat May 1, 2010 11:02 AM

RAM 320XL is a external plug and play 320kB memory expansion card for 600XL and 800XL machines.
Additionally there is a possibility to disable internal memory and remap it onto card (switchable via jumper), thus one can "fix" many failing XLs without even looking inside.
Also, an unexpanded 16kB 600XLs can be upgraded to 320XL without any additional work.

RAM 320XL uses banking via bits 2,3,5,6 and 4 of PORTB. As you can see this is compatible with "Atari magazine" expansion rather than a most common RAMBO or Compy shop setup, however I have to say the comaptibility with both old and new software is excellent. There can be only problem with some programs, which does use the separate Antic/CPU banking. If you want to test any particular program, let me know.

Installation is easy. 600XL users will just plug it into PBI port. For 800XL is a bit more complicated, because Atari decided to remove 5V power from the PBI connector from it. Thus 800XL users will have either to use additional power cable which will fit into joystick port or solder one wire inside atari to make the PBI port powered like on 600XL.

The estimated price is between 20-30€ + postage. There will be probably two versions. A cheaper "naked" one and the more expensive with enclosure and power cable.

The availability is unknown, but I believe I can prepare a first batch in a month or so.

The future:

RAM 320XE - external plug and play 320kB RAM upgrade for all XE machines with EXP port. The basic parametres will be the same as the RAM 320XL plus possibility to switch into 100% compatible 130XE mode with separate ANTIC/CPU banks.

RAM 576+ - Internal RAM 576kB and beyond which will require very little and simple soldering. Universal PCB for XL/XE/XEGS. Compatible with 130XE/RAMBO/COMPY/Atari magazine modes (switchable).

Gallery:

Development:
devel1.JPG
devel2.JPG

First prototype:
proto1.JPG

Here you can see one of the protopytes in 600XL on the krupkaj's pages:
RAM 320XL in 600XL 1
RAM 320XL in 600XL 2

#2 griz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 1, 2010 12:46 PM

Great! Thanks for doing this. I've got 600XLs that I upgrade, and some that I leave stock. An external upgrade like this is a great way to upgrade a stock 600XL and then revert it later if desired. I am interested in a couple of these for sure.

Is it possible to make it fit mostly inside the PBI slot area? I see the prototype is already quite small.

Edited by griz, Sat May 1, 2010 12:48 PM.


#3 Havok69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 1, 2010 9:31 PM

Definitely interested in the 320XL - depending on price most likely would prefer the full version and am willing to solder to get the 5 volts on my 800XL...

#4 ctirad OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 2, 2010 3:15 PM

Is it possible to make it fit mostly inside the PBI slot area? I see the prototype is already quite small.


Yes, the production version will be smaller. I want to fit it under the line of the top part of atari case.

BTW, I'm just ordered a few samples of various plastic enclosures which should be suitable.

#5 papa_november OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 6, 2010 4:19 AM

Does the Numen Demo work? Does stuff like Crownland, Bomb Jake, and the Space Harrier preview work?

#6 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 6, 2010 4:48 AM

I'm in for one, probably the cased/ps unit. Now I'd like to find a 600XL!

#7 walter_J64bit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 6, 2010 5:05 AM

WOW, having a 600XL with 320K of RAM that would free up so much room on my computerdesk!

#8 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 6, 2010 12:41 PM

Pretty sweet... I would be interested in one even though I have many upgraded Ataris.

#9 Guitarman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 7, 2010 8:53 AM

This would be great for diagnosing failing ram. Plug it in a failing computer. If the computer works, replace ram.

#10 ctirad OFFLINE  

ctirad

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Posted Fri May 7, 2010 10:52 AM

Does the Numen Demo work? Does stuff like Crownland, Bomb Jake, and the Space Harrier preview work?


Yes, they all do.

#11 Havok69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 7, 2010 12:20 PM

Does the Numen Demo work? Does stuff like Crownland, Bomb Jake, and the Space Harrier preview work?


Yes, they all do.


You just have to worry about NTSC vs. PAL though...




#12 Syfo-Dyas OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 7, 2010 6:23 PM

I got to pay for my Video Cards first, but I'd be interested in getting my hands on at least 1 of these if not 2.

#13 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 8, 2010 5:29 PM

Hello ctirad

Have you considered a pass-through port for the parallelbus? And on the XE, would one have to take your device/card out, to plug in a cartridge?

sincerely

Mathy

#14 ctirad OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 9, 2010 3:59 AM

Have you considered a pass-through port for the parallelbus?


Yes I did, however I decided to not do so for several reasons. Firstly, I would have to redesign the whole PCB and the mechanics and use differet connector, which is almost impossible to find here. This would result in higher price and affect the whole compactness (currently 80x40x15mm, BTW). Secondly, I don't have access to any true PBI device to make at least basic tests a confirm it can really work together. And lastly, as far as I know, the most common PBI devices have the pass-trough port, so you can stack the RAM 320XL with them anyway.


And on the XE, would one have to take your device/card out, to plug in a cartridge?


The XE version will have its own cartridge connector, so there will be no reason to unplug the expansion.

#15 MoAco OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 12, 2010 3:27 PM

Nice solution ... especially for absolutely non-technicans like me :-) IŽd like to have one (with enclosure) for my 600XL.

#16 Kjmann OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 23, 2010 2:24 PM

Any More News on This? =)

#17 ctirad OFFLINE  

ctirad

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Posted Sun May 23, 2010 3:25 PM

Any More News on This? =)


Yes, I have designed the production version of the PCB and bought almost all components for the first batch of 50 devices. I shrinked the PCB to fit into Hammond box of 80x40mm size, so it will be almost invisible on the back side of XL. I also added a nice multifunctional LED ;) In next few days I'm going to send the materials to a PCB manufacturer. In meantime I'd like to create a prototype of the RAM 320XE.

#18 walter_J64bit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 23, 2010 6:09 PM

Does RAM 320XL work 600XL that has a 64k mod installed?

#19 ctirad OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 24, 2010 2:40 AM

Does RAM 320XL work 600XL that has a 64k mod installed?


Yes, of course.

#20 atariksi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 25, 2010 1:02 PM

Does RAM 320XL work 600XL that has a 64k mod installed?


Yes, of course.


Just an idea-- how about having a flash ROM along with normal RAM and being able to toggle them (without soldering).

#21 ctirad OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 26, 2010 11:38 AM

Just an idea-- how about having a flash ROM along with normal RAM and being able to toggle them (without soldering).


I don't understand that. You cannot simply replace RAM with a ROM, flashable or not. It cannot work.

#22 Fres OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 26, 2010 1:38 PM

Looks really good!

#23 atariksi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 28, 2010 8:37 AM

Just an idea-- how about having a flash ROM along with normal RAM and being able to toggle them (without soldering).


I don't understand that. You cannot simply replace RAM with a ROM, flashable or not. It cannot work.


I meant having both there like you have ROM at $C000...$FFFF currently on XL/XEs and there's also RAM there as well. That way, you can put some applications permanently in ROM and have them bank-switched at $4000...$BFFF (like 32K Atari 5200 carts).

#24 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 28, 2010 5:25 PM

If there's a list for these, put me on it. Would like to play AR on my 600XL.

#25 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 1, 2010 7:53 PM

I want one for my 800XL too :)




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