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1088XEL Alternative Mother-Board Project

Alernative Motherboard Redesign New Advanced Atari 8-bit

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#1026 pajero_pn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:21 PM

Under the yellow color is difficult to see copper



#1027 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:00 PM

Nice write up (with pics) about the various PCB colors and their (dis)advantages....

 

http://andybrown.me....05/pcb-colours/



#1028 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:25 PM

Yes. Now I know why Incognito is white.
:)

#1029 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:29 PM

Yes. Now I know why Incognito is white.
:)

 

You do? The article linked says white's a terrible choice for just about every reason. :P

​Yet I notice nearly all the commonly-available Atari upgrade boards out there are white: the U1MB, VBXE, UAV ... 



#1030 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:32 PM

To make it difficult to trace. It looks beautiful, though.

#1031 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 PM

I think I'm partial to the black-on-green of my Telegames Heavy Sixer. :)

 

heavy_board.jpg



#1032 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:03 PM

Yes. Now I know why Incognito is white.
:)

I hate to say it, but the white Lotharek produced boards are absolute shit when it comes to having to re-work them.  Never in my life have I seen a board discolour so quickly.  It's easier to re-work an XF551 or bad quality 130XE than these things.



#1033 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:43 PM

I think the author mentioned that white will discolor with excess heat, or if reflowed/reworked. So perhaps it is a quality check reason that Lotharek uses it, in order to verify that the board assembly house isn't overheating the board. But yes I agree with you Stephen that it doesn't stand up well to any rework. Actually I like the yellow, but as pointed out, the silkscreen is usually fixed at white which doesn't contrast well. And lets face it unless you plan to mount this in a clear case, you aren't going to see the board anyway. So green really is the best and cheapest cost, and allows for easy inspection and/or rework.

 

- Michael



#1034 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:54 PM

About cost: I just ordered 5 PCBs at Elecrow and I could choose any color I liked for the same ridiculous low price.
5 PCBs of about 5 by 7 cm. For 8,71 euro shipped to Europe....

I chose black but since it's a prototype still I should have went with plain green for checking stuff....o well too late now :)

About white lotharek PCBs:
you can already see at the connectors that indeed the white boards brown very quickly from heat. (Also the soldering is not exactly perfect at the connectors ...too many "bulbs" IMHO but then again...hand work....

Yeah it's all just a stupid detail.....almost like fashion.....first it was blue, then red, then purple.....I'll take two boards whatever color they will come in :):)

Michael what software did you use for the PCB design ? I noticed you have a nice logo on it......which is an absolute nightmare to achieve with Eagle CAD..... I tried DIPtrace which seems a lot user friendlier than Eagle but the autoroutes seems a lot less intelligent....and yes I used the autoroute......it actually did a pretty damn good job.....manually corrected what needed to be corrected (thicker traces for power and routing those smartly etc.)

Edited by Level42, Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:57 PM.


#1035 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:03 AM

I think I'm partial to the black-on-green of my Telegames Heavy Sixer. :)
 
attachicon.gifheavy_board.jpg


Anyone notice that this PCB was already designed using computer software.....pretty damn early. Look at the first Sinclair Spectrum board which was hand-routed.....(which has its charm IMHO....but that's probably because I remember designing a PCB with clear sheets, vinyl sticky traces and rub-off symbols. )
The very first arcade PCBs are hand-routed too but they were pretty quick to switch to computers....late 70s...

#1036 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:13 AM

About cost: I just ordered 5 PCBs at Elecrow and I could choose any color I liked for the same ridiculous low price.
5 PCBs of about 5 by 7 cm. For 8,71 euro shipped to Europe....

I chose black but since it's a prototype still I should have went with plain green for checking stuff....o well too late now :)

About white lotharek PCBs:
you can already see at the connectors that indeed the white boards brown very quickly from heat. (Also the soldering is not exactly perfect at the connectors ...too many "bulbs" IMHO but then again...hand work....

Yeah it's all just a stupid detail.....almost like fashion.....first it was blue, then red, then purple.....I'll take two boards whatever color they will come in :):)

Michael what software did you use for the PCB design ? I noticed you have a nice logo on it......which is an absolute nightmare to achieve with Eagle CAD..... I tried DIPtrace which seems a lot user friendlier than Eagle but the autoroutes seems a lot less intelligent....and yes I used the autoroute......it actually did a pretty damn good job.....manually corrected what needed to be corrected (thicker traces for power and routing those smartly etc.)

 

I've use Diptrace pretty heavily now for the last two or three years.   In the schematics module you can go into the Objects menu and chose Net Classes.  It opens up a window that you can define various net classes for trace width and clearance.  Then right click on a wire in the schematic and chose properties, in the window that pops up change the class of the wire to what ever net class you want.  Once you are ready to do the board layout, you've got it defined already and it will honor that class property when it goes to route.  Advanced class properties can be and should be setup in the board layout module. 



#1037 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:34 AM

Michael what software did you use for the PCB design ? I noticed you have a nice logo on it......which is an absolute nightmare to achieve with Eagle CAD..... I tried DIPtrace which seems a lot user friendlier than Eagle but the autoroutes seems a lot less intelligent....and yes I used the autoroute......it actually did a pretty damn good job.....manually corrected what needed to be corrected (thicker traces for power and routing those smartly etc.)

 

I used ExpressPCB for the schematic and PCB layout. Xcheck for the netlist and DRC checks. And Copper Connection for the ExpressPCB and logo import, as well as gerber file export. All free packages except for Copper Connection which unfortunately now belongs to ExpressPCB. I'm glad I bought it when I did.

 

I've used Eagle in the past for doing up to 4-layer board designs, but never really liked the interface. If I recall correctly, Eagle first started out as a MSDOS application and was then migrated over to Windows, which probably accounts for the odd interface. Although ExpressPCB lacks all the bells and whistles other applications have, it is extremely easy to learn, and as can be seen by the 1088XEL board, quite capable of taking on large projects. It also runs very reliably under Wine in my Linux box, and should do so in a MAC as well, so you really aren't limited as to what computer you wish to use. And it is a ROCK SOLID app, never ever locking up. No auto-routing, but I don't miss that. The biggest obstacle was lack of Gerber export, which I worked around by purchasing Copper Connection a year ago for $49. So basically my entire suite of Schematic Capture and PCB Layout software cost me just under $50. It's sad that Copper Connection is now under ExpressPCB's control, who pulled out the Gerber export feature unless you pay them a much larger fee.

 

- Michael



#1038 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:38 PM

I'm looking forward to see the types of cases people choose and create. I was putting a few things up on Ebay, and for this Fisher Price toy it dawned on me that it would be a cool case for the 1088XEL. It has plenty of room inside, could house a 7" lcd panel, and the movie slot fits an Atari8 cart perfectly. 😀20171016_202013.jpg

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  • 20171016_195159.jpg


#1039 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:51 PM

:?  :thumbsdown:

 

Grow up!



#1040 marty OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:56 PM

FisherPrice case aside, I’d love to see the XEL go portable (ie. screen, battery)!

What do you think, MacRorie?

#1041 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:10 PM

Of course there's always "The Big Box" from taco bell.

 

TburTby.jpg

 

Fit's pretty nice.

 

nRHqSAL.jpg

 

Just kidding  :P

 

Now for a bit of seriousness...

 

First board assembled from final test batch appears to work good right out of 'the box'  ;) .

 

2m3iND9.jpg

 

4uA4Wtd.jpg

 

And it works even better if you put the chips in (and I'm not talking tortilla)   :) .

 

I'll post a video in a few days with the CF Card adapter (XEL-CF) and flashjazzcat's new 1088 specific BIOS on board.

 

- Michael



#1042 frogstar_robot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:37 PM

The Fisher Price Movie Theatre as case isn't completely ridiculous.  We had this in 1975:

 

1975-IBM-Portable-Computer-750x529.jpg

 

That was a $20k item and no toy at the time.    The toy case very much lends itself to the small built-in screen portable form factor we used to have before the laptop was invented. The A8 has even been made to display movie clips so there is that too.



#1043 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:27 PM

Actually, what would really be cool would be to house it in something similar to this Dolch PAC 64.

 

I used to own a custom Dolch machine with this same form factor and they're really quite nice to use.

Lots of room inside for upgrades/cards, as well as drives (internal and external); nice keyboard and screen too.

 

dolch.jpg


Edited by MrFish, Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:36 PM.


#1044 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 PM

The Fisher Price Movie Theatre as case isn't completely ridiculous.  We had this in 1975:
 
1975-IBM-Portable-Computer-750x529.jpg
 
That was a $20k item and no toy at the time.    The toy case very much lends itself to the small built-in screen portable form factor we used to have before the laptop was invented. The A8 has even been made to display movie clips so there is that too.


Although I really like the potential of this case, at the same time I feel it's too big. After all, this is a Mini-ITX motherboard and we have an equally small HDD aspect in the XEL-CF MPBI adapter. What would be very cool is to find a suitable LCD monitor that could also house the 1088XEL for an All-in-One system. Even cooler still if it were patterned from the original Apple MAC, but with a smaller form factor. The CF card could be inserted from the front just like the original floppy. But of course it would have Atari branding, and a perhaps the 800XL color scheme. Sounds like a good 3D printed case project.

- Michael

#1045 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:45 PM

Actually, what would really be cool would be to house it in something similar to this Dolch PAC 64.
 
I used to own a custom Dolch machine with this same form factor and they're really quite nice to use.
Lots of room inside for upgrades/cards, as well as drives (internal and external); nice keyboard and screen too.
 
attachicon.gifdolch.jpg


Now that's also quite nice!

Edit: do you think that keyboard speaks PS2?

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols, Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:46 PM.


#1046 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:08 PM

Edit: do you think that keyboard speaks PS2?

 

I would guess; everything it used was standard (PCI slots, memory, drives). The connectors were unique in some cases, but otherwise standard. This thing used what was probably an RJ11 for the keyboard connector.



#1047 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:11 PM

Now that's also quite nice!

 

Yeah, that one I linked to went for $40. That guy got a great deal for one in that condition and including the bag.



#1048 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:02 PM

2m3iND9.jpg
 
4uA4Wtd.jpg


That looks fantastic! I'm all fired up to start assembly tomorrow. :)

#1049 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:42 PM

*** BOARD MANUFACTURING FILE RELEASE for DIY ***

 

Production Gerber Files: Attached File  1088XEL_Rev1_1_production_gerbers.zip   98.72KB   45 downloads

 

I've done two test batches through EasyEDA, and both times they came out fantastic and for a very reasonable price. If you use that link, you can simply drag and drop the zipped gerber file, and then fill out the details on the order form.

 

IMPORTANT: Chose 170 mm x 170 mm, 4-Layer, 2 mm Thick Board and the number of boards you wish to order. All other options can be left at defaults, unless you wish to customize things like solder mask color and/or surface finish to your preference.

 

There are two shipping options depending upon where you live. DHL is very fast, but not cheap. However you'll get your boards in approximately 1 week choosing that option.

 

I still have some tweaks to do with the PIC firmware files, but i should get that done and uploaded here in about a week from today.

 

Enjoy  :) !!!

 

- Michael

 

Please note that today marks exactly 9 months since this topic and first post were made. I also highly recommend going in on a group buy such as the one MacRorie is putting together. And once again let me warn you that assembly of this board requires an individual with excellent soldering and electronic assembly skills, and should not be attempted by a beginner.



#1050 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:49 PM

 

Please note that today marks exactly 9 months since this topic and first post were made.

A decent time for gestation :)







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