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IDE Plus 2.0 - new IDE host adapter


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#51 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:43 PM

I don't understand what's so hard about using the correct layout to begin with..

I did say that it wasn't ideal, but it does allow use of header/ribbon cable without removing the ability to use a card-edge connector instead. It's either one or the other since it isn't possible to have both connectors installed at the same time.

I agree that having it standing on end plugged into the XL PBI port is a poor design, especially since as shown the entire weight of the device is on the PBI connector/XL circuit board.

I don't see using the same orientation as with the XE as much of a handicap other than for the extra few inches of cable needed, it looks like it will take a bit up less depth on the desktop like that, and I don't believe it will interfere much with the 800XL monitor port.

I also don't see that positioning this device HDD/component side down would cause a problem either, several laptop manufacturers install the drives like this and I have a compact Micro-ATX case in which 2 - 2.5" drives can be installed, 1 right side up and the other upside down. It is not recommended for 3.5" HDD to be operated upside down, but I don't believe this is the case with 2.5" HDD.

#52 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:47 PM

That was my main concern when I first brought it up, if you are using a IDE-CF adaptor it's not going to put much strain on the PBI connector, but as soon as you add a hard drive that adds way to much weight, I would never feel safe with it oriented that way... It needs to be a separate header and cable OR able to lay flat like the XE orientation.

#53 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:11 PM

Billc, That would make the connector have the wrong orientation, left-to-right.


Not going into the hardware/standards discussion, I'd however like to say that it seems to me that BillC is right. You're complaining that connecting the device via a cable from the PBI connector in the interface to the PBI connector in the XL will make the interface lay turned upside down on the desk. That's right, it would. I just took a ribbon cable and checked that out: folding the cable like that (to the left or to the right, it doesn't matter) makes the interface to be turned side up.


Nope.. It will not work AT ALL.. When you fold the cable like that, yes you reverse rowA with ROW B, but you also make pin 1 end up where pin 49 should be and pin 2 end up where pin 50 should be, on the connector that plugs into the XL!!!

This will DEFINTELY not work, and if you plug it in this way and power it up, you may even damage/fry something.

#54 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:23 PM

That was my main concern when I first brought it up, if you are using a IDE-CF adaptor it's not going to put much strain on the PBI connector, but as soon as you add a hard drive that adds way to much weight, I would never feel safe with it oriented that way... It needs to be a separate header and cable OR able to lay flat like the XE orientation.

The center row of pads shown between the ones used for the card-edge connector are likely a provision for installing a header, due to the different row spacing. Installing it on the bottom would result in crossed odd/even pins, but installing it on the HDD/component side would result in a PBI compliant header.

Simius stated in post #42 that there was enough clearance, only an issue if using a 2.5" HDD, to install a right-angle header on the HDD/component side, and my idea in post #47 was to allow the device to sit HDD/component side up if this is desired.

#55 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:31 PM

ANSWER THIS FOR ME:

WHO is going to use the XL card-edge connector you have on there? Seriously.. Is there a single person who would use this thing sticking up in the air, off the back of their XL, with the cart connector facing the monitor?

Even if you use a right-angle card-edge connector, in order to get the correct orientation this MOST CERTAINLY has to be populated on the solder side of the board. This would put the interface comoponet-side down, with the cart connector underneath it. Would ANYONE be happy with this orientation?

Since the answer to both questions above is UNDENIABLY "NO"... Why even have the card edge connector at all? It doesnt make sense.. The 50 pin header makes much more sense.

Explain to me what the major technical problem would be, doing the board similar to this:

MVC-002F.JPG

And dont give me any crap about testing for capacitance or inductive cross-talk because you KNOW THAT IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE.

Edited by MEtalGuy66, Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:11 PM.


#56 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:39 PM

and my idea in post #47 was to allow the device to sit HDD/component side up if this is desired.


Unfortunately, that Idea does not work.. at all.. and will most likely fry something.

#57 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:43 PM

You know, I really like the design of this interface. It uses all discrete logic instead of programmable devices, and it has alot of features for the size of the layout.

I really do want one..

But I want it to be right. And I know for sure that it can be made in a way that works well with all machines.

Devices which have used the 50 pin STANDARD that I am suggesting:
1090XL: Made by ATARI in about 1983 to be used with the XL.
SUPRA SCSI: Made by Supra in about 1985.
MIO: Made by ICD in 1986.
CSS BLACK BOX: Made by CSS in 1989..

Devices which use the rediculous configuration present on this board:
IDEA: Made by some polish guys a few years ago, and everyone has complained about the connection standard.

What is the thinking here?

#58 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:14 AM

Nope.. It will not work AT ALL.. When you fold the cable like that, yes you reverse rowA with ROW B, but you also make pin 1 end up where pin 49 should be and pin 2 end up where pin 50 should be, on the connector that plugs into the XL!!!


No. I simply tried this with my IDEa, which I connect to my XE with a ribbon cable. You plug it normally, and then, in order to turn the device upside down, you fold the cable. I can't see how folding a ribbon cable, which is already properly plugged on both ends, may reverse its pins.

#59 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:19 AM

I get the feeling the XL isn't so popular in Poland. :) I for one would likely be stripping the edge connector off this thing in favour of a header for connection to the XL. I can't believe cross-talk and capacitance was mentioned earlier in relation to ribbon cables. My IDEa works perfectly with a 2ft 50-way ribbon cable. Cross-talk was an issue with the ATA standard when they were pushing megabytes per second, hence the 80-way cable.

However, the presence of the integral XE ECI connector on this unit (going back to the early, cased-up version of the IDEa) suggests that direct-plugging is the order of the day.

#60 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:35 AM

Hi drac030-

Connector issues aside (for a moment), are there any changes on this V2 to improve the WRITE speed with 256-byte sectors? Or will it use (essentially) the same manipulation as the earlier model(s)?

Are any of the 5 prototypes mentioned in the possession of folks with XL's? If so, do they have any feedback?

@Jon - could you post a picture of your custom cable that you have for your IDEa (or link it if it posted somewhere else)?

-Larry

I get the feeling the XL isn't so popular in Poland. :) I for one would likely be stripping the edge connector off this thing in favour of a header for connection to the XL. I can't believe cross-talk and capacitance was mentioned earlier in relation to ribbon cables. My IDEa works perfectly with a 2ft 50-way ribbon cable. Cross-talk was an issue with the ATA standard when they were pushing megabytes per second, hence the 80-way cable.

However, the presence of the integral XE ECI connector on this unit (going back to the early, cased-up version of the IDEa) suggests that direct-plugging is the order of the day.



#61 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:50 AM

DSCF1837.JPG

DSCF1838.JPG

This is designed to plug straight into the female header at the end of the ribbon cable which normally connects to the XE adapter board. Of course, if you just want to hard wire the unit to the XL connector, just make a longer cable without the double-way header pins.

#62 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:39 AM

Nope.. It will not work AT ALL.. When you fold the cable like that, yes you reverse rowA with ROW B, but you also make pin 1 end up where pin 49 should be and pin 2 end up where pin 50 should be, on the connector that plugs into the XL!!!


No. I simply tried this with my IDEa, which I connect to my XE with a ribbon cable. You plug it normally, and then, in order to turn the device upside down, you fold the cable. I can't see how folding a ribbon cable, which is already properly plugged on both ends, may reverse its pins.


Because plugging into the TOP side of the board does not work with a standard cable, period. Thats what the whole issue is here. The pin rows are reversed.. If you move the header to the solder-side of the board, you can do what BillC suggested, and it will work. And that is obvious. I already stated that it works, plugged into the solder side of the board, with the interface laying face-down. So yeah, if you use a long enough cable, and just rotate the whole thing to the left, it does work. But WHY??

Why cant the board just incorporate the standard pin configuration???

WHo will use the direct-PBI-plug-in configuration??? NO ONE! Its totally rediculous...

Edited by MEtalGuy66, Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:41 AM.


#63 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:44 AM

DSCF1837.JPG

DSCF1838.JPG

This is designed to plug straight into the female header at the end of the ribbon cable which normally connects to the XE adapter board. Of course, if you just want to hard wire the unit to the XL connector, just make a longer cable without the double-way header pins.


Which is easier:

a) EVERYONE going through the trouble of making custom cables like this.

b) The designer using the correct standard to begine with.

#64 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:08 AM

The easiest thing to do would be to make an adapter card. One that plugs into the board and reverses the pins, thereby eliminating the conflict between the designer and users of a ribbon cable.

Common sense FTW!

#65 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:18 AM

Why cant the board just incorporate the standard pin configuration???

WHo will use the direct-PBI-plug-in configuration??? NO ONE! Its totally rediculous...

Agreed, and I really don't see why this is so hard to understand. As a semi-casual 800XL user, I would not buy this interface if it meant that I'd have to have it sticking up in the air out of the back of the computer. Functionality is more important than cosmetics to me, but that would just be ugly, and for no good reason. Similar interfaces on other machines (such as the CF7 for the 99/4a) have had much the same issue, and it's the kind of poor design that will steer people away, even those who might want what these interfaces have to offer. I'd just as soon stick with my internal MyIDE board.

#66 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:29 AM

Agreed, and I really don't see why this is so hard to understand. As a semi-casual 800XL user, I would not buy this interface if it meant that I'd have to have it sticking up in the air out of the back of the computer. Similar interfaces on other machines (such as the CF7 for the 99/4a) have had much the same issue, and it's the kind of poor design that will steer people away, even those who might want what these interfaces have to offer. I'd just as soon stick with my internal MyIDE board.


It's not rocket science. MEtalGuy66 is totally right, but the designer doesn't seem to be open minded. The fact that this argument is drawing out like this means:

a)Designer is missing some piece of info that will make the design change take place.
b)Designer likes to argue.
c)MEtalGuy66's bloodpressure is rising.
d)Designer has unforseen insight incorporated into the design that needs explanation.

It seems like a nice product, but if it isn't going to be changed then adapter it is. Maybe the designer could make a video of the device attached while tilting his 800XL backwards?

#67 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:37 AM

WHo will use the direct-PBI-plug-in configuration??? NO ONE! Its totally rediculous...


Well, you won't for sure. I wouldn't be so sure if everyone else dislikes it so strongly. You gave an example of the BlackBox, which causes connection problems when plugged into directly. Right, probably. But BlackBox is a big and weighty thing (30x7,5 cm as I read). Here the device's size is approx. 1,5 cartridge (10,5x7,5 cm), so it is much smaller and less prone to vibrations. If it seems too weighty, you can use a CF card, as suggested above, or connect it via a cable (folded).

Just don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the PCB cannot be redesigned so that it would lay flat behind 800XL, not being turned upside down or with the cable folded. It probably could, it is up to the designer (he has an 800XL, by the way). I am just saying that even facing the current design, an easy solution can be found (like folding the cable without doing any mod to the PCB, as BillC suggested). So it is not a big problem, at least it seems so to me. But if the connector gets turned around etc. to accomodate to your suggestion (lay flat behind 800XL + straight cable), I certainly wouldn't oppose.

@Larry: yes. Since hard drives are not so small that it would matter anymore (my first one was 2,5-inch 30 MB), I am planning to map the sectors 1:1. This should improve performance.

@flashjazzcat: yes, most Ataris here are XE models.

Edited by drac030, Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:41 AM.


#68 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:38 AM

WHo will use the direct-PBI-plug-in configuration??? NO ONE! Its totally rediculous...


Well, you won't for sure. I wouldn't be so sure if everyone else dislikes it so strongly. You gave an example of the BlackBox, which causes connection problems when plugged into directly. Right, probably. But BlackBox is a big and weighty thing (30x7,5 cm as I read). Here the device's size is approx. 1,5 cartridge (10,5x7,5 cm), so it is much smaller and less prone to vibrations. If it seems too weighty, you can use a CF card, as suggested above, or connect it via a cable (folded).


Go read the data sheet for the card-edge connectors..

Just don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the PCB cannot be redesigned so that it would lay flat behind 800XL, not being turned upside down or with the cable folded. It probably could, it is up to the designer (he has an 800XL, by the way). I am just saying that even facing the current design, an easy solution can be found (like folding the cable without doing any mod to the PCB, as BillC suggested). So it is not a big problem, at least it seems so to me. But if the connector gets turned around etc. to accomodate to your suggestion (lay flat behind 800XL + straight cable), I certainly wouldn't oppose.


The PCB doesnt need to be REDESIGNED.. He has the layout in a cad file on his computer.. Its a very simple process of clicking and dragging a few pads into a different orientation.

What I am suggesting is UNDENIABLY the RIGHT way to do it.

The Current configuration is not PREFERABLE to ANYONE.

The necessary changes would not cost ANYTHING and represent a very trivial amount of effort/alterations to the PCB design.


You guys have done nothing but suggest a bunch of COMPROMISED SOLUTIONS that are completely unneccesary if the design adheres to the STANDARD that was established by ATARI, and has been used on ALL devices of this exact nature, for almost 30 YEARS!!!

If the designer is unwilling to do this, then he quite obviosuly does not care about the useabliltiy of his device, or the preferences of those who would potentially buy/use it..

Edited by MEtalGuy66, Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:16 AM.


#69 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:48 AM

WHo will use the direct-PBI-plug-in configuration??? NO ONE! Its totally rediculous...


Well, you won't for sure. I wouldn't be so sure if everyone else dislikes it so strongly.

NOONE PREFERS IT over the configuration that I am suggestiong. To do so would be insane.

You gave an example of the BlackBox, which causes connection problems when plugged into directly. Right, probably. But BlackBox is a big and weighty thing (30x7,5 cm as I read).


Its not simply the WEIGHT of the device that is to be considered. You thing noone has ever made a suitable platform/case to hold the weight of the black box? The biggest consideration is merely the fact that you have two separate devices which are not hard-fixed to the same rigid surface, therefor, the connection is very succeptable to wear over time, due to vibration. If you cant understand this, then you never took highschool physics.

Here the device's size is approx. 1,5 cartridge (10,5x7,5 cm), so it is much smaller and less prone to vibrations. If it seems too weighty, you can use a CF card, as suggested above, or connect it via a cable (folded).


Go read the data sheet for the card-edge connectors.. They are not reccomended as a load-supporting member of the design, PERIOD. Nor are they reccomended for use without additional means of retention..

Obviously, if you make a small rom cartridge (or similar device) this is not an issue, but on a board that size, with a DRIVE hanging off it, it is a very real issue.

I am not advocating REMOVING the XE ECI card edge.. This is obviously very convenient when it comes to quickly swapping the device between machines, or quick setup when taking the device (and ataris) places and frequently setting up/tearing down your hardware setup. But there needs to be a provision for RELIABLE LONG TERM use as in a fixed setup as well.

If the DESIGNER does not consider these issues valid, that shows his inexperience when it comes to any sort of consumer/professional grade hardware designs.

Edited by MEtalGuy66, Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:06 AM.


#70 drac030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:16 AM

The PCB doesnt need to be REDESIGNED.. He has the layout in a cad file on his computer.. Its a very simple process of clicking and dragging a few pads into a different orientation.


That's what I meant.

#71 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:40 AM

OMG... you are a very patient fellow. How many tries did it take?

Bob

DSCF1837.JPG

DSCF1838.JPG

This is designed to plug straight into the female header at the end of the ribbon cable which normally connects to the XE adapter board. Of course, if you just want to hard wire the unit to the XL connector, just make a longer cable without the double-way header pins.



#72 Simius OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:47 AM

Some explanations seem to be necessary here.

The card edge connector is weighted down by any attached PCB, regardless if the PCB stands up or lays flat. In both cases a support is required, and without a support the connector is weighted even more, when the PCB lays flat, than when it stands up vertically. The PBI connector has intentionally and on purpose been mounted like that on the interface. The reasons which led to such decision are these:
1) reduction of the place occupied by the interface. It seems important for many people.
2) straight card edge connectors are much easier to buy, than right-angle connectors (not to mention straddle-mount connectors)
3) in any case the problem of some support must be taken into consideration. The PBI connector mounted this way serves as a support for the PCB, when the interface is inserted into an XE computer, so this way it per se solves a half of the support problem.
It should be taken into account, that it is not possible to make an universal support for the same PCB to be positioned flat behind an XE and XL model, because the neccesary distance between interface and the desk surface with XE is different than with XL. The interface is designed so that one can attach it to an XE, and, after a while, to an 800XL without much trouble. The interface, as it is, when connected to an 800XL, rests with the PCB's surface on the computer's chassis. What remains to be done, it is to add suitable support so that the PCB is tightened and the connection safe. For example as on the photo below (it is only a provisional solution, please don't pay attention to the fact that it doesn't look very aesthetic at the moment).
As to the ribbon cable connection, as I wrote before, it is possible to use one, if the disk sat upside down, and a right-angle header installed on the component side of the PCB. But I wrote that it was not recommended and there are some reasons to say so. Ironically, I spent few past evenings investigating, why single words are regularly lost in I/O with certain computer (while not with any other one), and finally I found out, that the reason is a too long cable, which was interfering with the internal operation of the machine, and that, in turn, influenced the interface's operation. It is possible that Slor used a long cable to connect an IDEa to PBI without problems, but in this case it is not a good idea. The hard disk's FIFO is very sensitive to any glitches leading to data loss, especially if there are power lines nearby, where fast and significant current changes occur, e.g. when the disk is moving the heads (esp. if the current goes through several tiny wires from a power supply which is common to the entire setup). It will not necessarily cause instant problems, but you have been warned.
The basic concept of powering the interface, for ergonomic reasons, provides no separate power supply. In 800XL, where there is no 5V on the PBI, it should be added using short, thick wires from the motherboard connected to the same pins, where the 5V is in the 600XL. For those, who cannot do this, or do not want to modify the computer, the final version
of the PCB will be equipped with a separate power connector. Anyone who insists to connect the computer using a ribbon cable also should use the separate power supply.


Posted Image

#73 spookt OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:55 AM

Guess I'll be using this on my XEs then. I have my monitors on a shelf above the machines and I don't think things will fit well with the interface sticking up. Carts are OK because they're further forward.

Actually my 800XL is hooked up to the MIO so no need for it there anyway :D

#74 falcon_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:02 PM

... cursory read of messages ....


.02

* If the designer leaves XL owners having to make awkward and/or difficult 'conversion adapters', there will be few XL owners using it.

* If the designer has 'special plans' of their own devious making for the connector wiring, they need to be fully explained, and preferably desirable to buyers.

* The XL connector in question CAN be made compatible without needing weird wiring or devious adapters --- However, I don't know anything about any 'special plans' on the connector....

* Putting the weight of a (even 2.5 inch) HDD on the expansion connectors of 25+ year old PCB's ***is a very bad idea*** (!!) Longterm vibration = EXPECT TROUBLE. (I for one would never use it)

I hope the project can still be completed, seems many people would like it, just not so much with presenting problems for XL users...

:)
falcon_
(I don't even have any XE's)

#75 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:21 PM

OMG... you are a very patient fellow. How many tries did it take?

Bob

DSCF1837.JPG

DSCF1838.JPG

This is designed to plug straight into the female header at the end of the ribbon cable which normally connects to the XE adapter board. Of course, if you just want to hard wire the unit to the XL connector, just make a longer cable without the double-way header pins.

I had only one edge connector, and only one small length of 50-way ribbon to cut up. It gradually got even shorter... There were maybe two attempts aborted after a dozen or so pins. If you mess up one wire, the whole lot has to come off and be trimmed back. Third time around, I bunched together four pairs of twisted wires at a time and bound them together at the correct pitch with sellotape, before putting the top on the connector and tightening it up in the vice. I did this six times, bunching five pairs together on the last one.

Not a lot of fun, but it's done now, so if I get one of these new fangled gadgets, I'll just use the same adapter. For that reason, I suppose it would be best if the current (reversed) pin arrangement is kept (since I have no spare edge connector).

Edited by flashjazzcat, Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:22 PM.





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