Matej thank you for writing such a nice introduction of both the XEL and the EclairéXL projects
As the XEL prototype enters into it's final testing phase, it's looking pretty solid and other than a few minor fixes that will be incorporated into the final board release, a Summer 2017 release into the wild is imminent. So for those that are interested in building their own, buying a complete kit, or possibly even purchasing a fully assembled board we are within a few months of seeing that happen.
Some people have been concerned about the cost, but keep in mind a pretty good chunk of that is because of the required Atari LSI chips having gone up in price over the years. If you can source those chips from an old A8 that you no longer use, the cost drops by $60. If you already have a U1MB and have the skills to desolder the headers and replace them with vertical ones (or know someone that does), you can knock an additional $60 off the total cost.
Looking at it from a modular standpoint the cost breakdown goes something like this...
- $75 --- XEL board and all discrete components (minus Atari LSI chips and the other items listed below)
- $60 --- CPU, ANTIC, GTIA, PIA, POKEY(x2)
- $60 --- U1MB
- $25 --- UAV
- $15 --- SparkFun BOB-12731 (SIO2PC-USB)
Note: This is only the cost of parts and does not include assembly labor and shipping. The XEL board cost is predicated on a minimum build of 10 pieces.
So in the grand scheme of things, the XEL board by itself is not that costly. But yes you will need most all of that other stuff to make a complete working system. However some things can be left out initially, such as the 2nd POKEY or the SparkFun board. And as I already pointed out some items like the Atari chips can be recycled from older unused equipment. And obviously if you are skilled enough to assemble your own, there will be no labor costs added.
After next week, I'll try to get some more demo videos posted showing off the various aspects.
Edited by mytekcontrols, Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:32 AM.