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1088XEL Alternative Mother-Board Project

Alernative Motherboard Redesign New Advanced Atari 8-bit

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#1151 Standard User OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 11:18 AM

PC keyboard doesn't bother me in this scenario, as I frame it with the idea in mind, that if Atari were in the position of diversifying  their designs into different markets, like industry, research, putting out a reduced-cost model, or even realizing that to have a foot-print in the changing market-place, they would need to accommodate established standards, as they did with their IBM-compatible clone line, they might opt for an external keyboard arrangement. And then, even if they offered their own, others would likely create after-market adapters for to use those other standards. That's more or less what's happening here. icon_smile.gif



#1152 Level42 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 1:04 PM

Oh no........definitely don't want the XE keyboard I fully agree about it being the worst keyboard ever (apart from the Commodore 64 keyboard of course (but that's no wonder as we know).

I was more thinking about a project to come up with a keyboard that has more the original look and lay out. Of course it can be improved (separate cursor keys etc.)

I guess the actual interfacing isn't all,that important. But I wouldn't mind designing/creating something that matches more the original.

I want separate real option, select, start reset buttons with the originell position, not some F5,6,7 to remember where is what like with emulators.

#1153 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 4:17 PM

Oh no........definitely don't want the XE keyboard I fully agree about it being the worst keyboard ever (apart from the Commodore 64 keyboard of course (but that's no wonder as we know).

I was more thinking about a project to come up with a keyboard that has more the original look and lay out. Of course it can be improved (separate cursor keys etc.)

I guess the actual interfacing isn't all,that important. But I wouldn't mind designing/creating something that matches more the original.

I want separate real option, select, start reset buttons with the originell position, not some F5,6,7 to remember where is what like with emulators.

PM member 917k - I believe he did the custom WASD keys in a style to match the 400.



#1154 Bikerbob OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 4:32 PM

Michael, I was just looking on your site, I dont see the files for the custom top or backpanel for the case? are you releasing those?

 

We can get the case, and I know you used FPE for the panel manufacture.

 

James



#1155 Standard User OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 5:14 PM

^It's down the page a wee bit, beneath all of the other goodies. Open the wanted files, each in it's on window. (you'll see them as tabs along the top) and click order under the menu up top. It's pretty intuitive and you should be able to figure it out - bug us if you need to or you just feel like it. ;) Fill in the needed information dialogue prompts and you'll be good to go.icon_smile.gif

 

http://ataribits.wee..._case_parts.zip



#1156 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 5:19 PM

^It's down the page a wee bit, beneath all of the other goodies. :)

 

http://ataribits.wee..._case_parts.zip

 

That page is getting rather busy lately, but everything that has been released is there someplace. i did try to categorize stuff to make it easier to find what you are looking for, but a project this size really has a lot of facets. Thanks for providing that upload for Bikerbob, but i just want to remind people that it's always best to go straight to the 1088XEL page in order to be sure you have the latest files. Some of this stuff might still be in flux, but I'll try to always provide a date or a version number on the files to differentiate from older versions.

 

- Michael



#1157 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 5:27 PM

BTW, here's my quick solution to the Function key aspect...

 

Customized Dell Keyboard for TK-II.JPG

 

- Michael



#1158 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 6:52 PM

Got the first batch of Mouse Port Select Boards today. I also changed the firmware for the on-board PIC MCU to give a feel more like flipping a toggle switch, where there is a center OFF position. These boards although meant for the Realan H80 case, could also be utilized in other cases by drilling 4 holes (2 for mounting, one for the switch, and one for the bi-color LED). Select state is stored in non-volatile memory within the PIC MCU, and restored on the next power-up. A black sticker with two holes could possibly be used to give an even cleaner look. Or a bit of flat black spray paint might do the trick. On other cases where holes would need to be drilled, the look would be even better (in reality with normal room lighting it looks pretty good).

 

Connection Side (I'm thinking of switching to a right angle header).

MS1.JPG

 

Panel Side (showing two different button lengths).

MS2.JPG

 

Low Profile.

MS4.JPG

 

4 wires to connect to the 1088XEL board.

MS3.JPG

 

A little demonstration...

 

- Michael



#1159 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 11:34 PM

This is interesting for those that like real hard drives, but still want to keep the case size reasonable.

 

http://www.geeekstor...-mini-itx-case/

a20-overview-1.jpg

 

a20-overview-3.jpg

 

a20-overview-4.jpg

 

Edit: And look there is a slot opening on the back for a possible CART/ECI PBI board's external connectors to go  :ponder:

 

 

- Michael



#1160 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 12:26 PM

The idea of using a piece of dual wipe socket for the X1 crystal is a bust. It just got horribly loose after several insertions, which I tend to do during testing. So I'm back to using a piece of precision machined pin socket instead (back to square one).


This (pin socket) is what I used for the crystal as well when converting my C64C to be 'switchable' between NTSC/PAL. So far it's held up well without issue.



#1161 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 12:33 PM

This (pin socket) is what I used for the crystal as well when converting my C64C to be 'switchable' between NTSC/PAL. So far it's held up well without issue.

 

I think you forgot the link.

 

- Michael



#1162 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 12:39 PM

Ah, I mean rather that I had used that same solution rather than a specific part.  That being said, I think this was the ones I used :)

 

https://www.ebay.com...NG/260527720833

 

 



#1163 Standard User OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 12:50 PM

The A20 was on my short-list for awhile, but they seemed to be out of stock for a few months, as I was considering options (liked the clear window, though one can get a clear top for the Realan ,through FPE, by choosing that option when ordering the custom top, as well),  so I kind of gave up on it. Good to see it hasn't been discontinued. Does remind me of the XL series...  *scratches chin*



#1164 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 1:35 PM

Ah, I mean rather that I had used that same solution rather than a specific part.  That being said, I think this was the ones I used :)

 

https://www.ebay.com...NG/260527720833

 

 

 

Thanks  :) .

 

I just ordered one set to sample.

 

- Michael



#1165 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 4:25 PM

For the budget conscious, Micro Center has two mini-ITX cases with $20 rebates.  Shipping is high ($15) so it is a better deal if there is a store near you.  They are definitely larger than what is needed (compared to the Realan H80), but if an XF551 mech can fit in the Elite 130 model I may try it for my second XEL.  Also, the cartridge port would have to be relocated.

 

Cooler Master Elite 110 mini-ITX case for $44.99 - $20 rebate = $24.99.

Elite110.jpg

Cooler Master Elite 130 mini-ITX case for $42.99 - $20 rebate = $22.99.

Elite130.jpg

 



#1166 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 4:39 PM

Hi Brent  :)

 

That case looks beefy. And it also reminds me of a little sub-woofer  :D ,

 

For the CART, this buffered extender from Dropcheck should do the trick...

 

https://www.bitsofth...ot-extender-set

DSC_2403.jpg

 

I have one, and can say it works very well  :thumbsup:

 

- Michael



#1167 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 9, 2017 7:58 AM

So quick question - will a cheap TL-866CS USB flash programmer work with the PIC’s used to build the 1088XEL? Thanks!

#1168 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 9, 2017 8:31 AM

Got a TL-886CS here and couldn't find exact matches for one of the PICs, so was just going to use JOY2PIC. Wondering if the programmer supports "compatible" PICs, though, if not exact matches.



#1169 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 9, 2017 8:49 AM

So quick question - will a cheap TL-866CS USB flash programmer work with the PIC’s used to build the 1088XEL? Thanks!

 

I know of two possible compatible programmers.  The Joy2PC by Mytekcontrols and the PICKit2/3 Microchip Clone programmers.  I picked up my PICKit3 from this Ebay seller

 

I've been relatively happy with it, once I learned it's quirks.  It does require a Windows/Linux/Mac computer, the MPLAB software and an adapter board of sorts to program the various chips needed.  The MPLAB software is a free download.

 

Even with Mytekcontrols current Joy2PC version you will need an adapter to program the chips out of circuit.  His newer version, (not released yet) has the adapter board builtin.

 

MacRorie should be recieving my PIC Adapter pcbs from the board house that will work with either the current version of Joy2PC or the PICKit2/3 programmers.  I don't know if he has been able to procure the ZIF sockets yet.  My order is on the way,  but I don't expect it until Friday at the earliest. 

 

The first post on this page is a link to further info on how to program with the PICKit3, including a schematic to build a down and dirty one shot breadboard adapter board. 


Edited by Dropcheck, Thu Nov 9, 2017 8:54 AM.


#1170 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 9, 2017 9:02 AM

Got a TL-886CS here and couldn't find exact matches for one of the PICs, so was just going to use JOY2PIC. Wondering if the programmer supports "compatible" PICs, though, if not exact matches.


Each PIC chip version uses a unique ID which needs to match during the programming cycle, so it's unlikely that using something other than the exact match would work.

However other than using another programmer, including the JOY2PIC, I believe MicroChip Direct offers a programming service when ordering PIC's from them. If I recall correctly Van used this one time and it wasn't much more than the cost of the chip, but I forget if there was a minimum. Also thinking out loud here, I wonder if MacRorie would be interested in selling preprogrammed chips???

Anyway due to some of the firmware still being in flux (i.e., Mousetari), it would be good to have the means to re-flash the chips yourself. The new JOY2PIC-STIK which I'll be receiving test boards of today, would be an inexpensive DIY way to go since it also incorporates a ZIF socket, so you can just drop in the chip, run the autobooting flash ATR, and press START to program the chip, all from your A8. No chip adapters, jumper settings, or cables required  :) 

- Michael



#1171 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:49 AM

 
I know of two possible compatible programmers.  The Joy2PC by Mytekcontrols and the PICKit2/3 Microchip Clone programmers.  I picked up my PICKit3 from this Ebay seller
 
I've been relatively happy with it, once I learned it's quirks.  It does require a Windows/Linux/Mac computer, the MPLAB software and an adapter board of sorts to program the various chips needed.  The MPLAB software is a free download.
 
Even with Mytekcontrols current Joy2PC version you will need an adapter to program the chips out of circuit.  His newer version, (not released yet) has the adapter board builtin.
 
MacRorie should be recieving my PIC Adapter pcbs from the board house that will work with either the current version of Joy2PC or the PICKit2/3 programmers.  I don't know if he has been able to procure the ZIF sockets yet.  My order is on the way,  but I don't expect it until Friday at the earliest. 
 
The first post on this page is a link to further info on how to program with the PICKit3, including a schematic to build a down and dirty one shot breadboard adapter board. 

It looks like that link takes me to MacRorie’s order/interest thread. If there’s a link on how to physically interface the PICkit3 to a chip to program it, I can’t find it. Sorry!

#1172 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:18 AM

Sorry, I was trying to link to an AtariAge thread by MacRorie on his 1088XEL offerings.  Didn't quite work the way I intended. :(

 

This is a pdf with some links to various helpful sites and to the two videos I did on using the PICKit3 and MPLab X IDE. 

 

The one link for the PIC Adapter Board is to MacRorie's order thread.  If you want the PIC Adapter just let him know and he can tell you what he's selling them for. 



#1173 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:26 PM

I'm going to drop this here since this particular project was done to better facilitate programming (i.e., flashing) the multiple PIC MCU chips required on the 1088XEL.

 

NEW JOY2PIC-STIK (first board assembled tested and demonstrated)

 

JOY2PIC-STIK_assembly.png

 

JOY2PIC-STIK_using.JPG

 

 

I finished the website updates, so head on over to check it out: http://ataribits.wee...om/joy2pic.html

 

There is a BUY button to get the boards from OSHpark (the minimum order of 3 bare boards can be bought from OSHpark for $15.65). However if you are doing this as part of a group effort, it would be worthwhile to use the gerber files in the zipped file download to have them made at EasyEDA for a discounted price.

 

- Michael



#1174 Level42 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:37 AM

Michael...now that's how I like stuff to work. That's also what I like about the good old computers I guess....no drivers...no unreliable layers and layers of software....no dodgy Chinese electronics with a myriad of adapters.....just drop in, boot and go.......awesome !!!

#1175 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:11 PM

More news on Mouse Port Selection Board.

 

Final board version almost ready for release. It's funny how something so small and simple takes multiple revs to get right, with this being the 3rd or possibly 4th revision.

 

Anyway it just turned out to be one of those things that kept evolving, with new ideas popping into my head as I was holding the previous prototype in my hands. So not being content with having a gaping hole, and really trying to make this be a truly better solution over the original toggle switch idea, the idea of a fill panel came to mind. Could have been made from metal, or 3D printed in plastic, but then I thought why not just make it as part of the PCB that can be snapped off and used. Of course to make this nice the board ended up getting a black solder mask specified.

 

Both versions will be made available. One with the fill panel, and one without.

 

MouseSelect.png

 

And of course it needed to be prototyped first (the finished version should be even nicer).

 

MouseSelect_cover_proto.JPG

 

It will attach to the tactile switch with a couple of small drops of glue. Doesn't need a lot of strength, since it's well protected inside the hole.

 

- Michael







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