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Hxc Floppy Emulator - Where to mount the LCD?


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#1 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:32 PM

Hi,

I've pretty much finished upgrading my STFM now. It's got 4Mb switched, done the TOS upgrade, added a blitter, replaced PSU caps etc, and now finally I need to mount the LCD for the Hxc somewhere... I've put 3 buttons to the left of the STFM badge and that looks fine and because I mounted 6mm buttons directly onto breadboard it fits perfectly - ie. the buttons are about 1mm above the surface of the case and when the lid is down I dont even need to worry about permenantly fixing the breadboard to the inside of the case - a bit of that rubbery glue just holds it when you take the lid off.

The question now is where to mount the LCD and how to approach cutting the hole... I've seen a video or picture somewhere but I cannot for the life of me find it now... The picture showed the LCD mounted between the number pad and the main key section but looking at the LCD I cannot see how it would fit there - unless I remove the pin header and re-solder it sideways on? Alternatively the person who did that mod maybe cut into the keyboard or something to make a bit of space?

Has anyone else done this on an ST yet - ie. added the LCD somewhere in the case?

#2 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:25 PM

Someone posted this picture - but I'm not sure what thread I got it from.

I believe its the LCD for the Eiffel interface though.

Still, maybe it can give you some ideas. HTHs. :)

LED in ST cast.jpg

#3 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:19 AM

Thanks, that similar to the pic I was thinking of - its mounted in the same place. Ouch at the whole he's cut, pretty jagged around the edges =/ That's exactly why I am looking for someone that's done this before lol.

I've read suggestion somewhere about using a 'hot blade' to cut the initial hole, and then sand it down. I might just not bother with the LCD module as its not essential anyway.

#4 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:27 AM

If it came with a small snap-in bezel, or if you could find one, it might ease the difficulty
of trying to cut an "exact fit" hole...

Just a thought. :)

#5 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:16 PM

LED in ST cast.jpg


Argh... my eyes! :D

#6 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:04 PM

Argh... my eyes! :D


You know, there are actually ways to work with the ST's case. You can use this:

Floppy drive faceplate mod01.JPG

It works well. You can see in the following pics where I had to modify the STacy's
normal 720k floppy drive faceplate to fit the 1.44 meg unit/upgrade that I added.

Floppy drive faceplate mod02.JPG

Floppy drive faceplate mod03.JPG

Floppy drive faceplate mod04.JPG

And here you can see the results once it was sanded down and painted:

Floppy drive faceplate mod05.JPG

STacy - 1.44 meg floppy and Ultrasatan.jpeg

I was very happy with the results. :)

I'd imagine that you could do something similar with an LED/LCD or
anything else you wanted to add to the ST's case. I honestly think
that your imagination is the limit here.

If nothing else, find the local auto body shop in your area, bet they
would be right at home with this. :D

#7 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:59 PM

Simply cutting straight edges and using a file can stop case mods from looking like vandalism. ;) But yes: Epoxy putty is great stuff with a dozen uses and I use it frequently. And thanks for those detailed pics: a great project and lovely workmanship. :)

#8 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:53 PM

I tell you, with our Atari's, it's not about what we can't do - there's
no such thing. The only limits to our machines are self-imposed...

But as the author of a certain eagerly anticipated piece of software
that many thought "nigh un-doable", you already knew that, didn't
you? :)

#9 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:19 AM

Heh... yeah - the only limit is the reach of our imagination. :)

As I just wrote somewhere else, though, I think when it comes to the hardware, we owe it to the legacy of the machine to preserve as much as we can. I'm all for having at least one machine with everything including the kitchen sink fitted to it, but I can just imagine in ten or twenty years' time, machines appearing on eBay with gaping holes in the case where upgrades were fitted and then later casually removed. I'm modding an 800XL for a guy in the UK who wanted an LCD fitted in the top of the case, and I must have asked him three times by email if he was absolutely sure he wanted me to cut that hole. :) He was... and it looks smart... I just hope it stays there for good.

Edited by flashjazzcat, Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:21 AM.


#10 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:20 AM

I understand what you are saying. When I got my STacy and decided to try some pretty radical stuff on
it, one of my goals was that if any Atarian walked by it, they would still recognize it as a STacy. Most of
the mods have actually been internal. Now if I opened it up for them to look at.... :)

Reminds me of my CT60 powered Falcon. I recased it in one of those Wizztronics rack mounts. They
are awesome cases, built like the vaults at Fort Knox. I really needed one too, with all the things I added
to my Falcon, ATX power supply, DVD drive, IDE hard drive, etc,...and I really like it. However, I have to
admit it doesn't look anything like a stock Falcon any more. Just as soon as I posted pics of it online, I
started getting comments about how it wasn't a "real" Falcon any longer.

http://www.darkforce.org/index2.html

Well, what the heck is it then? :D

#11 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:52 AM

Nice! :) That's the kind of all-out project I'm talking about. Wouldn't mind a stock Falcon just to gaze at, mind you! Beautiful machines.

#12 krupkaj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:22 PM

I like this version with small LCD

Posted Image

#13 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:27 PM

HxC External.JPG

I thought about it, but I just can't stand cutting up the case. With my lack of experience, I'm likely to screw it up, anyway.

Pic is Amiga, but I do the same with ST. Lotharek's case, and floppy and power extensions means there's nothing modded, and can put the floppy
drive back in, at will.

#14 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:14 AM

Finally got the nerves to hack my ST case:-

Posted Image

#15 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:36 AM

It's a tight location to mount it btw (see pic above) because it sits right on top of the keyboard. Used a mask first - drew a line around the LCD onto a bit of paper, then cut the mask out, then checked it against the LCD to make sure was exact size, then used the mask to draw a line on the inside of the case. Then used a dremel to cut on the inside of the line (to make it marginally smaller than the LCD), dremeled all 4 sides but had to hack a little with cutters to nip the joining corners (otherwise you will over cut each side and have slot marks). Finally, around 2 hours of using needle files to get it just the right size and to straighten every side.

On the LCD screen you have to desolder the pins and solder wires flat to the PCB - there's no room in there to leave the pins that come fitted on the bottom of the LCD board. Used hot melt glue gun to hold the LCD in place and to hold the buttons in place. The buttons btw are 3 x 12mm buttons from EBAY, soldered onto a tiny piece of breadboard with wires extending to the main floppy emul board located in the normal drive location. The button assembly is also held in place with hot melt glue but there's no room under either the buttons or the LCD for movement anyway. I've got to take it to bits again when I can be bothered because despite checking 3 times I still seemed to end up with my next and previous buttons the wrong way around =/ Just need to unsolder the two (or 4) wires and swap them that way - easier than messing with the glue etc.

EDIT: Also, you have to cut off the little lumps of plastic under the top part of the case which are getting in the way of where you are mounting the LCD - just little ridges and edges / molding points etc. Flatten them all, and if you want it perfectly level like mine is in every direction, shave a recess under where the LCD light is - it sticks out from the board a little bit, so in order to get the board flat level with the case you have to use a sharp edged file and dig a 0.5mm hole the size of the white plastic part of the LCD backlight. Be careful if you do that you don't dig the recess too deep and come through the case completely.

Edited by GadgetUK, Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:40 AM.


#16 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:13 PM

Looks like you did a good job to me. Congrats!

I went through the same thing when I replaced
the stock 720k floppy drive with a 1.44 meg unit.
Atari's non-standard faceplate gets in the way.
I "squared" it up, then filled in the eject button
part with repair putty, sanded it down and then
painted it. Like you, I was afraid of the squared
corners, so I just left them rounded. That was
okay for the drive, since it sets behind the
opening, unlike your LCD, which I assume is
flush.

Like the colors on the LCD too! :)

#17 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:35 PM

Thanks, yes it went really well - the key is patience and starting with a hole 1 or 2mm smaller. I will post some more pics I took at different stages later.

Edit: Blue LCD looks the best I think, although orange or green would go ok with other LEDs,

Edited by GadgetUK, Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:36 PM.


#18 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:41 PM

Right, and just switch your desktop background color to match the LCD.

Color coordination! :)

#19 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:28 AM

Here are some of the photos taken at different stages:-

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#20 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:16 PM

Nice! I always like lots of pictures when people do projects. I
try to post as many of them as I can when I do stuff. It's very
fascinating, always.

Thanks. :)

#21 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:52 AM

Thanks! Just a little update. After I powered it up again during the week for the first time I noticed the buttons were the correct way around so I was mistaken in thinking the previous and next needed flipping - thank god.... To protect the LCD (since I had removed the little clear tab that comes with it from new as it wasn't perfectly transparent), I cut a 3DS screen protector down to the exact size as the LCD and fitted that. If you do it carefully you will end up with a couple of really small bubbles, it's hard to get it perfect when mounting those screen protectors, BUT if you leave it for a day or two the air seeps through the plastic and it ends up perfect. It now looks like part of the LCD, you cannot even tell theres a screen protector over it.

#22 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:07 AM

I can remember people having trouble with the aftermarket tint on cars. I believe you were
supposed to use soap to put it on, and the theory was that the soap would evaporate and
all would be well.

Recently watched my wife trying to put a protector like that on her cell phone. She wound
up with a lot of little bubbles. :)

#23 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:28 AM

Here are some of the photos taken at different stages:-


That's really nice work! I wish I had your skills. Bravo!

#24 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:20 AM

That's really nice work! I wish I had your skills. Bravo!


Thanks, anyone can do it, you just to take your time, measure carefully, and use the right tools. Dremel to cut the rectange out (but the don't meet the corners or you will over cut), and a set of needle files, flat ones for the edges, and round file to round the corners off. If you do it slowly and keep measuring things and comparing the LCD to the hole its only a matter of time before the hole is exactly the right size and shape. I have to admit I was sweating a fair bit lol.

Edited by GadgetUK, Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:20 AM.





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