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eclaire XL P.C.B. aka "Atari on FPGA project"


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#1 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:16 PM

I suppose to most of you is known the fantastic work :thumbsup:  of Mark (foft) in "Atari in fpga" project.
To be honest wasn't to me... :( I actually accidentally fell in it before two weeks. Reading the most of the responds on their public thread, I see cause 
this run back from 2013! At least officially, because Mark maybe work in this more years.
 
Visiting his website, my gaze fell upon a dedicated construction of hardware about this project. He give it the name "eclaire XL".
Ok, this is a specific PCB designed by him, in order to bypass the restrictions or even the unneeded / unused / not enough :?  hardware limitations, of existing development tools. In my personal view he did it, although I believe cause a fully populated board versus three, will be a better thing.  :thumbsup:
But I not forget cause for Mark wasn't a ready working project so all to have to do was a new PCB, but a "work in progress" project. 
 
I am not fun of naked boards on a bench, even if they make wonderful things like this. Unlike, I liked the idea my lovely Atari computer to be hosted in a slim sweet box. This side by side with my laptop PC, surrounded by a today small keyboard, and connected on the same monitor via the second HDMI input.
 
Of course, I like to have the opportunity to connect also my ancient hardware like SIO devices, cartridges, and why not also a Atari cassette corder!!!!
But enough with this... ;-)  :P
 
So before two weeks I contacted Mark, voicing of my interest on his PCB. Mark respond positive from the first moment, and send me some unpopulated pcb's and parts. Most important an almost fully populated PCB free of charge, to save any parts from it.
Mark for one thing to be sure! I will save "every part" from this!! ;)
 
Below I post some pictures from the magic parcel which came here, and from time to time any progress with it. I wait first some parts for the rest of boards plus the Cyclone FPGA to arrive, before I begin my journey... :D
Although my first priority is to complete the construction of the rest of Ultimate Cartridge preorders, maybe I work partially on this as waiting the FPGA from time to time to arrive.
 
main top.jpg  main bott.jpg broken.jpg  cart_pbi.jpg  sio_joy.jpg  conn.jpg  stencil.jpg  3015-4.jpg
 

Edited by santosp, Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:41 PM.


#2 Grevle OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:42 PM

So This FPGA will then supposely support Atari Paddles and lightgun (in 15khz mode) ? Well if its HDMI only then the lightgun wont work cause it needs 15khz RGB Scart and CRT tv to work..

 

 

Interesting Project :thumbsup:



#3 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:52 PM

Hi Grevle,  :)

the pcb have the option for composite video plus s-video, but I don't know if it supported by some "core" now. And as you said, someone will need  a CRT monitor also!



#4 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:22 AM

A more explanatory picture of main board by me, and a direct answer from Mark the inventor about the video core.  :)  :)  :thumbsup:

 

For video out there is a dac, which is connected to the vga, svideo
and composite. The rgb pins are dual purpose.
There is a core for:
vga
svideo and composite
 
eclaire XL.jpg


#5 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:08 AM

1 broken pcb naked.jpg  2 extracted parts.jpg  3 extracted parts on new pcb.jpg



#6 venom4728a OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:14 AM

I hope these will be for sale sometime soon.

 

 

Robert



#7 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:41 AM

I hope these will be for sale sometime soon.

 

 

Robert

Hi Robert. :)

From my side is just for fun.... for now.  ;-)  The goal is to work and to be placed on a micro ITX case.

But believe me, I work together with Mark for something better and more practical for anyone. Let's let time to show.....  :thumbsup:



#8 TheEditor OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2016 4:32 PM

Santos,

 

Once again, you have my interest.  I will be watching developments carefully on this.  Also consider adding Montezuma's Bluetooth capability to it :)


Edited by TheEditor, Tue Nov 1, 2016 4:37 PM.


#9 foft ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 2, 2016 2:44 PM

Its exciting to see this. Your (de)soldering skills are so much better than mine! Incredible.

#10 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 3:35 AM

Update....  :)

Things finally go bad trying to complete this PCB. :(  Reason was the main ic of Altera.  To solder BGA ic's special equipment needed and I haven't.

 

So, maybe I loose some money and time with this, but the result did me stubborn like a mule!! :P

 

Therefore after many sleepless nights, me and Mark hope and wait to arrive something better before Christmas. So for one more time "Let's let the time to show..."  ;)


Edited by santosp, Thu Dec 1, 2016 3:37 AM.


#11 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 7:07 AM

Hope things get better, looking forward to a big reveal, sounds really interesting..

 

Paul..



#12 Firedawg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:42 PM

Bump!  Santosp.  Did you have to acquirer a re-flow oven to solder the BGA to the board?  Sorry if this information is else where.  



#13 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:54 PM

Hi Firedawg.

 

No I had tried to do with hot air and a preheating system. I believe that I burn the internal layers of pcb doing this. After -for a batch of five pieces-  I decide to ask from a factory to do this and the rest of solder work for me. They have the proper tools like accurate re-flow ovens, X-RAY for optical inspection below the BGA etc.

 

Meantime this thread have a physical continuation here. 

 

http://atariage.com/...stem-eclairexl/



#14 Firedawg OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:13 AM

Ok, thanks. :)



#15 foft ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:26 AM

For the few I made I used a T962A reflow oven, fitted with an estechnical controller.

#16 Firedawg OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:37 AM

Thanks for the information foft.  I have a Re-flow Oven ControLeo2 kit arriving soon.  Was interested how you guys were managing the BGA component soldering.  I've completed some projects like the Amiga 500 clone Minimig which required a Xilinx Spartan-3E to be soldered.  My eyes not being as sharp as they use to be required the aid of large magnification which allowed me to complete 3 of those boards.  Many of these new DIY projects coming down the line have smaller components that I believe a reflow oven would be a valuable resource to have.  Any way, I'm following your project with much interest.  

 

Thanks, Mike






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