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#1 ZZTOP SOFT OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 5:30 PM

Well, as the title says I put a full PC inside an Atari 800XL. Do not be sad if you think "this guy destroy an Atari to do that," I have enough Ataris, many out of service, so in fact in some ways came back to life one that no longer worked.

So, I would like to share the process with all AA users.

Starting, first ideas.
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First problem: the processor dissipating fins are too long and make contact in the keyboard pcb.

To solve that, I cut a small piece of the cover

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To solve this I cut a piece of the cover because the beveled edge caused the motherboard is nearly 1cm high (0.25 ")


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Also bent the fins

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As seen in the picture the fins no longer touch the circuit.

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Holes for the I/O
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The keyboard. I choice this HP
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I followed carefully all the tracks and got the schematic
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And what followed was a bit more complicated: I cut the Atari keyboard tracks and rewire everything to match to the HP that is PS2
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Then I got a pc power supply and 2.5 SATA hard drive, and a DVD!
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Everything is fine, although a little tight.

I forgot, to fit the power supply was a bit tricky, as did several custom modifications:
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Cut and re-solder all the cables was a nightmare (hours of hours), but not enough to give the precise form to the shield. But the order been worth every tear. ;-)


Fixing keyboard wirenigthmare. :D
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I/O plate, not new but works
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Power SW, power led and HDD led.
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And finally, works.
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Running Visual Pinmame:
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Running APE, to transfeer games to an 800XL.
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Windows XP, SP3
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Im very happy with it. Specs: Intel Mini ITX mother board, Athom CPU dual core 1.8x 1.8 mhz, 4GB RAM, 1TB 2.5"HDD, notebook DVD rom+ide-sata adaptor.

I have not enought time to install the joystick connector, but I will soon.

Now I can still remember every day the atari times, with the performance of a modern PC. And of course with the atari emulator loaded! ;)

I hope you like what I did. :D

Edited by ZZTOP SOFT, Sun May 6, 2012 5:51 PM.


#2 Fox-1 / mnx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 5:42 PM

Apart from the LED's and switch in the front... looks great.

The keyboard must be a hell to make. I'm wiring a custom ST keyboard to fit an XE so I know how much work that is.

#3 Tinman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 6:59 PM

Very nice. Although from the photos it appears that the keyboard was a Packard Bell, not an HP.

#4 BioForceApe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 7:47 PM

This masterpiece shakes me.

#5 w1k OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 1:16 AM

run altirra and you have 99% atari :)

#6 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 1:52 AM

Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.

Edited by Stormtrooper of Death, Mon May 7, 2012 1:52 AM.


#7 Fox-1 / mnx OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 10:06 AM

Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.


Already done too many times. Have at least 2 laying around that came with 2 different batches of 8-bit stuff.

#8 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:25 AM

Very nice. Although from the photos it appears that the keyboard was a Packard Bell, not an HP.


Those are really nice keyboards to type on (like Amiga 2000 actually but hard to find now.

I don't understand exactly how you got the keyboard working, did you wire each Atari XL key to PC packard bell points one by one?

#9 ZZTOP SOFT OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 1:03 PM


Very nice. Although from the photos it appears that the keyboard was a Packard Bell, not an HP.


Those are really nice keyboards to type on (like Amiga 2000 actually but hard to find now.

I don't understand exactly how you got the keyboard working, did you wire each Atari XL key to PC packard bell points one by one?

Not precisely, the Atari keyboard matrix match in a 35% with the Packard Bell. The rest was rewire one by one, sad but true. My goal at this point was left the atari keyboard remains is normal order as much as posible. In fact when runs the AtariWin emulator the keys match in 99%. Not bad. The only exceptions:
R-Shift now is ALT
Reverse video are Function key

And If you are thinking ¿what happen with the specials keys?
RESET = F1
OPTION = F2
SELECT = F3
START = F4
HELP = F5
I don't use F6 to F12 so this fact don't bug me that all. However, I already have the solution: using a couple of CD4066 (quad bilarteral switch) wired to the Function Key, I can change F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 by F6 F7 F8 F9 F10. A real easy trick.

PD: Im sorry, the keyboard is actualy a Pacard Bell, my mistake. :D

#10 ZZTOP SOFT OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 1:16 PM

Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.


Already done too many times. Have at least 2 laying around that came with 2 different batches of 8-bit stuff.

Yeap, very nice mod, but I already did it a couple of years before, In fact I put the Atari and the PC together in a old Epson, plastic case. If I remember well, an Equity I or II. The mod was not a good idea, because you have to have two screens. One PC monitor and a TV set for the Atari. :D

#11 BillC OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 2:11 PM

It would have been easier to use a PICO power supply, with the 12VDC adapter in place of the 800XL external power supply.

http://www.mini-itx.com/store/psu

#12 Defender II OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 7:29 PM

As long as you enjoy it and use it, it's an OK project, but to me it doesn't look very nice and I'd rather have kept the case to replace a damaged one or at least put a 1450 board in it.

#13 onlysublime OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 7:35 PM

awesome job!

if I had the parts and skills, I would've used a 1200XL. I like its looks better and it would have more room to do things inside. Plus, I'd use one of the new AMD parts that have much better CPU/GPU power while still being very low power.

Also for simplicity's sake, I would've used an HTPC wireless keyboard like this one and integrated it into the 1200XL case. and get the optical drive on the right side of the system, out of view.

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Edited by onlysublime, Mon May 7, 2012 7:40 PM.


#14 john-m OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 10:35 PM

One change I would have done is to get a smaller CPU heatsink with a fan. Cutting up the case is not my idea of fun.
I had thought once with an Atari 800 with a bad keyboard, old mylar type, to try wiring up a PC keyboard for it or trying to use one from an 800XL with attention to the wiring.
I have an 800 with 48K of ram that powers up fine. But most of the keys on the keyboard just do not work at all.

#15 Ataritard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:08 PM

A lot of work I'm sure, but totally worth it. Very nicely done.

#16 ZZTOP SOFT OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 8, 2012 12:00 AM

As long as you enjoy it and use it, it's an OK project, but to me it doesn't look very nice and I'd rather have kept the case to replace a damaged one or at least put a 1450 board in it.

As I say before, I have many Ataris, more than ten 800XL every with several chips burnt and useless PCB (also the keyboards are unrecoverable). Belive me, I have too many cases to play and I think this kind of mods gives them another chance to come back to life. In fact, you'r right: this case was not very very nice to say, even me are not so happy with the result. So I think change it later. ;)

One change I would have done is to get a smaller CPU heatsink with a fan. Cutting up the case is not my idea of fun.

But if already put two fans, one for the power supply and another to the CPU. Sorry, I just miss the pics. ;)

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The last saturday I present my Atari-PC for first time in the annual Atariada, by retrogames.cl. And works twelve hours!! Without any temperature problem. I have to say, before the event I have several concerns about this item, but my atari-pc was aproved with honors. :)

And, at this point I want to give my excuses about some 'mistakes' in my writing. In my country we don't speak or write English, but always do my best try.

Edited by ZZTOP SOFT, Tue May 8, 2012 12:17 AM.


#17 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 8, 2012 4:30 AM

Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.


Now that would definitely upgrade a Packard bell, although to be fair throwing a pocket calculator in there with dead batteries would be an upgrade to a PB so it's hard to find a scenario that wouldn't be considered an improvement.

#18 ZZTOP SOFT OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 8, 2012 10:25 PM


Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.


Now that would definitely upgrade a Packard bell, although to be fair throwing a pocket calculator in there with dead batteries would be an upgrade to a PB so it's hard to find a scenario that wouldn't be considered an improvement.

relax, relax, think the quantity of people who lives in the world, all with its own ideas. Some are good, some are bad, but, without ideas, nothing can't exist. And, in case, everything can be improved.
When my friends see me doing this kind of mods say me ¿why you do this that way? ¿why no this way?
And I ask myself ¿why this guy dont go to the hell? And then, suddenly, I start to think on his sugestion and I found something who can be good, then I twist his idea and improve my proyect (and I keep the credit ha ha ha).
So, my middle name can be "there's not bad ideas, just ideas"

#19 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 12:51 AM

I am relaxed, or at least as relaxed and sane as anybody possibly can be after providing technical support for packard bell PCs for 2 1/2 years of their life - hence the joking :).

I do like the idea - I'm just starting to wonder now how much PC you could get into a broken commodore PET

#20 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 6:39 PM


Maybe an idea to do it the other way around. Fitting an Atari 8bit motherboard + 1050 drive in a PC case.


Now that would definitely upgrade a Packard bell, although to be fair throwing a pocket calculator in there with dead batteries would be an upgrade to a PB so it's hard to find a scenario that wouldn't be considered an improvement.


That PB keyboard is better than £150 Apple junk :lol:

#21 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 6:41 PM

I am relaxed, or at least as relaxed and sane as anybody possibly can be after providing technical support for packard bell PCs for 2 1/2 years of their life - hence the joking :).

I do like the idea - I'm just starting to wonder now how much PC you could get into a broken commodore PET


The whole lot including 14" CRT XGA monitor.

I would never chop PET/A1000/128D cases though as they are too rare! It's just wrong.

#22 bf2k+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 7:11 PM

Nice!!

#23 Fox-1 / mnx OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 10, 2012 12:11 PM

I would never chop PET/A1000/128D cases though as they are too rare! It's just wrong.


Within an eye blink...

#24 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 3:27 AM

I hate PC... The only computer I like is my Atari 8bit computer. Although it is a cool project, it is not my cup of tea.

Atari 800XL is a fabulous case to see, so I can imagine why you want to use it.

One serious point:
You have spend SO many hours on doing this right, why didn't you pay a little more attention to the looks? That DVD thing looks terrible (to me) and that I/O panel too. For a proto-type ok... but I'd say: do it again, but now nicely. It looks like my melted 'i had not time, and I really WANTED to make it NOW' CF-slot on the backside of my Atari 800XL. I did that with my Solder-Iron (what a terrible SMELL and SMOKE) ....

Haha.

#25 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 5:50 AM

You could have made a combo system, i.e the PC that is actually also an Atari (i.e actual h/w not an emulator)....Just get a bigger case (or extend the XL's case so it's deeper (so you can stick more stuff in, like a proper PSU)




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