For some time there have been some ongoing works on a new PBI interface allowing to attach an IDE device to an 8-bit Atari. Previous solutions of this type - KMK/JŻ IDE and IDEa - had the disadavantage of being rather large, being limited to XE computers only (this is KMK/JŻ IDE), and having problems to cooperate with certain computers due to the well known problems with the PHI2 signal not being generated the same across various Atari XL and XE motherboard revisions, and across computers with different hardware extensions installed.
These problems have been addressed. The new interface:
1) is not much greater than a 2,5-inch IDE disk
2) does not require an external power-supply
3) contains an XE (CART+ECI) connector, an XL (PBI) connector, a cartridge port, and a connector for a 2,5-inch IDE disk
4) contains 96 KB ISP Flash ROM and 32 KB RAM available to the internal PBI BIOS and flashable from the Atari
5) contains 512 KB or 1024 KB ISP Flash ROM for SpartaDOS X (or any other cartridge of such type), flashable from the Atari. This ROM can be physically disabled using a dedicated switch. The switch is not installed in the device shown on photos below.
6) contains a real time clock circuitry to be used with SpartaDOS X. If someone doesn't want to use it, the module is anyway fully compatible with an external R-Time 8 or internally mounted ARC.
7) last, but not least, it also contains a LED flashing during the I/O
Five prototypes exist, one of them was presented on the Forever party 2011 in Slovakia, few days ago (to those who came to our desk and asked what it was). A larger production batch is being perpared, a subscription topic will be opened as soon as the final price is calculated and (of course), if anyone wants the device.
1) Top view, with the disk dismounted. CART+ECI plug at the left, cartridge port at the right.
2) Bottom view, PBI connector visible on the far end
3) The same stuff at different angle.
4) Top view with the disk mounted.
The PCB has holes for 2,5-inch disks, either "old" or "new" type (e.g. 2 GB Toshiba MK2103 or 30 GB Toshiba MK3018). You can see that one of the holes is misplaced on the prototype PCB It is most visible on the first photo. This obviously will be corrected in the final batch.
Estimated price apiece of the final batch is, according to the hardware designer, "not much more than 200 PLN" (plus shipping). It may get a bit lower or higher depending on the quantity of the batch and the final price asked by the factory guys for the PCBs and assembly (coz it will not be assembled manually, but at a regular electronic factory instead).
A PLN (Polish złoty) exchange rates are approximately these:
1 USD = ~2,8 PLN
1 EUR = ~4 PLN
Edited by drac030, Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:23 PM.