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1088XEL Alternative Mother-Board Project

Alernative Motherboard Redesign New Advanced Atari 8-bit

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#1201 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:02 PM

 

Wow!  How did you do the mounting hole inserts?  Looks like stainless steel.  :thumbsup:

 

Yep it does look like that, but no that's just a plated through hole on the PCB  :) .



#1202 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 7:28 AM

Is it too late to get one? Possibly an assembled one without case?



#1203 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 7:33 AM

Is it too late to get one? Possibly an assembled one without case?

 

See the first post in the linked thread below, then contact MacRorie. He's gathering boards, parts, chips, etc. :)

 

http://atariage.com/...nterest-thread/



#1204 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 7:47 AM

 

See the first post in the linked thread below, then contact MacRorie. He's gathering boards, parts, chips, etc. :)

 

http://atariage.com/...nterest-thread/

 

Thanks!



#1205 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 11:34 AM

New and updated files, plus new order info added to: http://ataribits.wee...om/1088xel.html

  • TK-II Firmware now at version 2.1
    • Now features universal support for all systems 400/800, XL/XE/XEGS/XEL (same version fits all)
    • Better handling of repeated same key presses
    • Sustained reset following power-up reduced, with held key recognition taken over by new U1MB BIOS
    • Includes U1MB specific function keys for CF Reset (F9), Launch Loader (F11), Launch Setup (F12)
  • Mouse Port Select and XEL Status Panel board file downloads now available, as well as OSH Park BUY buttons for the bare PCB's

I'm also hoping to have the new Realan H60 custom panels available for download by the end of the year.

 

Edit: There's a considerable amount of information being conveyed, and although I've tried to keep it organized, it's really an eye full to take in.

 

- Michael



#1206 marty OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:48 PM

Hey, Michael.  I just wanted to lay down a quick post to thank you for incredible work on this project.  

 

I've ordered a finished XEL from MacRorie and can't wait to enjoy the heck out of it.  It's amazing to me that you have the skill to create the XEL and even more awesome that you were cool enough to share your work so openly with everyone.  In the short term, what you have created will clearly make a lot of people very happy.  And long term, there's a good chance that you have vastly extended the life of this platform that we all love. 

 

Many thanks to you, Michael.



#1207 seastalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:58 AM

Well said- I also agree that having a new board in 2017 for the Atari line is amazing! HUGE thanks to Michael for this. Of course I don't expect anyone to be obligated to create one, but thought I'd check in to see if there are any active projects developing for converting the board to fit an original case? Just my own wish to have this fantastic new tech usable with my 800xl keyboard.  In a pinch, I suppose a Keyrah device to make my case a USB plug in for the XEL would be pretty close.



#1208 COBRAIP OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:12 AM

Great work guys, Didn't realize that so many were involved until I had read the whole Topic but I don't see where you mentioned you were going to use the dual color switch.  It would be cool to use but you have already finished the project and I don't see a space or use for the switch.  would have been cool for an on/off switch or something like that though.   Just a thought.  I may jump in an get one before they are all gone.  Thanks again for the effort.



#1209 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:08 PM

Great work guys, Didn't realize that so many were involved until I had read the whole Topic but I don't see where you mentioned you were going to use the dual color switch.  It would be cool to use but you have already finished the project and I don't see a space or use for the switch.  would have been cool for an on/off switch or something like that though.   Just a thought.  I may jump in an get one before they are all gone.  Thanks again for the effort.

 

"dual color switch"  :?

 

I don't recall ever discussing something like this, but it is a long thread, and my memory isn't the best. Can you please elaborate?

 

- Michael  :)



#1210 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:27 PM

It was something about a dual colored led if I recall correctly,

twin leads yields two colors three leads yields 3 colors.

It wasn't about changing color modes on the Atari's output or anything like that as I recall

It was probably when you were hashing out the mouse/joystick/ ps2 stuff

 

*edit* maybe this

http://atariage.com/...ject/?p=3894497

*edit* and here http://atariage.com/...ject/?p=3885850


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:42 PM.


#1211 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:26 AM

It was something about a dual colored led if I recall correctly,
twin leads yields two colors three leads yields 3 colors.
It wasn't about changing color modes on the Atari's output or anything like that as I recall
It was probably when you were hashing out the mouse/joystick/ ps2 stuff
 
*edit* maybe this
http://atariage.com/...ject/?p=3894497
*edit* and here http://atariage.com/...ject/?p=3885850


Aw yes that might certainly be the dual color thing that was being referred to. And that did become a reality after going through a couple of revs. Specifically it was aimed at providing an alternative to a toggle switch to select which joystick port was assigned to the PS/2 to ST mouse chip's output. It can be used for either the Realan H60 or H80 case, repurposing the unused USB port that those cases have on the right side. That board is available through my website on the 1088XEL page (link below).

- Michael

#1212 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:09 PM

There currently is a zipped file on my website that has some custom panel files for manufacture by Front Panel Express. In that collection is a rear panel (bezel) with a CF slot (see below). When I originally had one of those made the mounting holes were slightly off in relation to the CF slot. I thought I corrected for that, but now I'm not so sure. Anyway for now, that design is suspect and will need to be reviewed, and possibly corrected. If you did use that to have a panel made, no fear since using a small round file to elongate the holes is always an option.

 

RearBezel.png



#1213 seastalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 6, 2018 1:02 PM

Hi everyone, I got inspired by a recent discovery. I'm a recent big fan of you-tube's "The 8-Bit Guy" channel. [Maybe he's on this forum? If so, hi.]  It's not only a great channel, but recently he also opens his donations on camera for unboxing videos.  His most recent video HERE has a particularly interesting part at the time: 3:15 to 5:02- a prototype of a brand new Apple II case that accepts a standard ATX motherboard. I know, the XEL is Mini-ITX, and also would be deemed blasphemy by most to cross pollinate a brand new Atari with a brand new Apple II case regardless of compatibility. Imagine if someone like this manufacturer could design a brand new case for the XEL Mini-ITX board with a mechanical keyboard?  Hell yeah, sign me up!! We can print Atari character stickers for the keys if need be. If an 800xl design won't fit, I'd even take a 1200 inspired design. 



#1214 marty OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:45 PM

Just wondering if anyone who has completed an XEL has any feedback about how it is in operation?



#1215 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 PM

Just wondering if anyone who has completed an XEL has any feedback about how it is in operation?

For me, it's better than the "real" machines because I am using a wonderful IBM Model M clone keyboard and a mouse, thanks to the built in TK-II mod.  Other than that, there really is no difference, because it is not an emulated system, it's 100% built with original Atari chips.

 

It does have the added benefit of some of the best and newest upgrades, such as Ultimate 1MB and the UAV (for crystal clean video output), it has stereo sound.



#1216 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:52 PM

So I think I might be missing something with the mini pbi interface. As far as I knew, you were supposed to map your rom into the memory spac (using MPD and EXTSEL) on an access to $D8xx. I see the $D1xx, $D6xx and $D7xx lines, but how do you know when an access to $D8xx is occurring?

#1217 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:16 PM

So I think I might be missing something with the mini pbi interface. As far as I knew, you were supposed to map your rom into the memory space (using MPD and EXTSEL) on an access to $D8xx. I see the $D1xx, $D6xx and $D7xx lines, but how do you know when an access to $D8xx is occurring?

 

 

Ok so maybe I've figured it out - I'm assuming that /CI is CASINH, which is the same as EXTENB. From the schematic, it seems that /CI goes into /CE1 for the RAM via a NAND, so that seems to bear that out. In fact I've just noticed the *note saying the same :)

 

So I'm assuming that the Ultimate 1MB module from Lotharek will manage /CI so that when the OS wants to access $D8xx -> $DFFF for a parallel bus device, it drives /CI high, thus turning off the RAM (both standard internal 64k and extended 1MB) output and allowing the data-bus to be driven by a parallel bus device that also drives /MPD and /EXT.

 

Can someone tell me if this is indeed true ? Because I can't quite see how it figures out that the OS wants to see the external bus over the internal RAM/ROM. 

 

Alternatively, I suppose you could work around it by loading a driver which writes to a given address that *can* be decoded, then the PBI disables the math-pack, and the driver-install can then write its "ROM" into the underlying RAM "behind" the math-pack and update HATABS accordingly. With the math-pack disabled, as long as you don't try to use the floating point routines, your code will be called... That's very fragile, though.


Edited by Spaced Cowboy, Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:16 PM.


#1218 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:42 PM

So I think I might be missing something with the mini pbi interface. As far as I knew, you were supposed to map your rom into the memory spac (using MPD and EXTSEL) on an access to $D8xx. I see the $D1xx, $D6xx and $D7xx lines, but how do you know when an access to $D8xx is occurring?

 

MPBI stands for MyPBI (just kidding  :) ), well not entirely. When I decided to put the Mini-PBI (MPBI) on my board, it was for things I had in mind as well some ideas of one of the other guys on the BETA Test Team (Van). It was never meant to be an extension of Atari's idea of what a PBI was suppose to be. Basically it's just a unique Parallel Bus Interface that's specific to the 1088XEL, to be used for expansion of such. There is no specific protocol for it's use other than not stepping on anything that's presently in the system, or in the works. However it's still possible to implement a true Atari type PBI device in the 1088XEL through the combination CART/ECI just like on a 130XE.

 

Edit: Yes /CI is short for CASINH.

 

------

 

A little more background on the intentions behind the 1088XEL and the MPBI. I created the MPBI as an adjunct to the standard PBI because I wanted to go in my own direction and not be weighed down by any considerations for what came before.

 

Since the 1088XEL is already expanded as compared to a stock A8, there were only a few things that were missing which I for one wanted, such as the built-in IDE-CF aspect, which it now has. The other thought was to use the MPBI to provide other sound capabilities, as in Yogi's OPL project. And I could also see creating a parallel bus Wifi device at some point that uses it as well. But beyond including these things, there comes a time where you have all the bases covered, at least from a practical viewpoint. You also run out of room if you want this to fit into the smaller Mini-ITX cases (which was my goal when I first started this project, and still is).

 

So this really brings us back to what the 1088XEL is all about. First and foremost it's an embodiment of all the things I wanted in an A8 system for myself. After all it started out life as my pet project, so it's only reasonable that it would reflect my wishes, perhaps be a little insane (maybe a lot insane  ;) ), and not necessarily cater to anyone else's wishes (not because I'm an A_hole, but I had a dream). So things did veer from the original path and purpose, but in the end it's still my little 'baby' Atari that I always wanted. And although it didn't start out this way, it morphed into something that anyone can build and modify if they so choose.

 

Edit: By the end of the project I did incorporate a lot of other peoples wishes, and I also got a tremendous amount of support by FlashJazzCat in his customizations to the U1MB BIOS in order to fully integrate the unique aspects of the 1088XEL, including totally awesome support for the XEL-CF board.

 

- Michael



#1219 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:36 AM

So I have a "capability" question that I can't believe never occurred to me before until I started building my own board.

 

Can the built in Sparkfun FTDI-based serial-to-USB interface share the SIO bus with real Atari floppy drives? The reason I ask is, my current circa-2014 atari8warez SIO2PC/SIO21050 will work either without real drives *or* connected to a drive but NOT connected to a real Atari, with APE Prosystem running on a host Windows system.

 

Just wondering if I'll be able to copy files from floppies to .ATR files on my computer and vice versa using the 1088XEL.

 

Thanks! :)



#1220 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:41 PM

So I have a "capability" question that I can't believe never occurred to me before until I started building my own board.

 

Can the built in Sparkfun FTDI-based serial-to-USB interface share the SIO bus with real Atari floppy drives? The reason I ask is, my current circa-2014 atari8warez SIO2PC/SIO21050 will work either without real drives *or* connected to a drive but NOT connected to a real Atari, with APE Prosystem running on a host Windows system.

 

Just wondering if I'll be able to copy files from floppies to .ATR files on my computer and vice versa using the 1088XEL.

 

Thanks! :)

 

Last time I checked it co-existed just fine with 'real' floppy drives, or for that matter even virtual ones that interface SD cards via SIO. There really is no reason that it shouldn't using the SparkFun board, although I've heard that some simpler solutions did require a diode to allow for this as well. Basically whatever is interfaced on the SIO bus, needs to follow the rule of not being rigid in doing so, incorporating the means to 'float' (tri-state) when not in active use. Hence the reason for the diode to create the effect of an open collector circuit that will not load down the data line when not actively being pulled low. The FT232RL chip used on the SparkFun board already incorporates this open collector aspect.

 

UPDATE (1/29/2018): it was just recently discovered by DrV that in order for this to work seamlessly with other devices on the SIO bus it's imperative that the small slide switch on the SparkFun board be set to it's 3.3V position, NOT VCC. So if you look at the image below you will see that it shows the switch set to VCC (left side). In the 1088XEL application we want this switch set to 3.3V (right side).

 

12731-02.jpg



#1221 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:25 AM

I was recently asked a question pertaining to the Mouse Port Select Header (J14) and how does the Mouse Port Select board get connected to it. So for starters, let me give just a tiny bit of background information on what this header is really meant to do.

 

There is a PIC microcontroller chip on the 1088XEL board that has been flashed with the Mousetari firmware, thus making it into a PS/2 mouse interface chip. In essence it pretends to be an ST mouse connected to a joystick port. So what the Mouse Port Select Header does is to provide a means of directing which joystick port (either 1 or 2) that will become the ST mouse interface. So in it's simplest form that would consist of a single-pole double-throw (center off) toggle switch connected to pins 3,4,5 of that header (you can see the toggle switch silk screened icon denoting the connections below -- please keep in mind that there is no default selected position for this switch).

 

1088_mouse.png

 

And if you wanted an indication of which port has been selected to be the ST mouse, connection for two LED indicators has also been provided.

 

Note: If the switch is set to it's center off position, then neither joystick port will be designated as the ST mouse. Also if no switch is desired, but you still wish to designate one of the joystick ports as the ST mouse, a shorting jumper block can be used to make the selection (shorting across pins 3 & 4 = mouse on joystick port 1, shorting across pins 4 & 5 = mouse on joystick port 2). However do keep in mind that you can't have it be a mouse and a joystick at the same time.

 

Since having a toggle switch wasn't considered to be very pretty, an alternative solution using a tact switch and a single bi-color LED was implemented and known as the Mouse Port Select board. On the Realan H60 and H80 cases it can be mounted on the side where there formally was a now unneeded USB connector (note: it'll probably take a little bit of filing to allow the tact switch to pass thru the opening).

 

mouseselect_1.jpg?1516741801

 

The Mouse Port Select board uses a very small 8 pin PIC microcontroller chip to reinterpret the momentary presses on the tact switch and provide two outputs that mimic the action of the toggle switch. It also provides feedback through the single LED of what state the board is in (Green= mouse on port 1, Red = mouse on port 2, no color = no mouse), and also stores the last state setting in an on-board EEPROM which gets reinstated on power up. Due to the LED indication aspect being handled by the PIC, the actual interface to the 1088XEL's Mouse Port Select Header is greatly simplified, only requiring 4 wires (see diagram below).

 

post-42561-0-22567400-1508988800.png

 

For future reference, and so that you don't have to dig through this thread, this connection diagram has been provided on my AtariBits website (see signature for the link), and can be accessed by selecting the 1088XEL page, and then scrolling down to the Mouse Port Select info where you'll find a link to this same diagram.

 

- Michael



#1222 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:37 PM

Good news for people wanting to go from the the 1088XEL's DIN-13 to SCART. Cool-Novelties over in the UK and I have been working on the idea of them producing a 1088XEL specific version of this cable (1088XEL-to-SCART), which will already incorporate the mods I made to their stock ST-to-SCART cable a while back (link). It'll support stereo right out of the box, and should also still work on a stock ST computer as well, only giving up the ability to send the MONO signal to both speakers as the original cable did (I believe they'll still make the original cable as well).

 

The new version will look just like the ST-to-SCART cable they presently make and sell.

post-42561-0-00125500-1516244414.jpg

They'll be sending one my way first, so that I can test it and be sure all is ok. When it becomes official I'll be sure to post a link to where you can buy one from.

 

BTW, you'll still need either a Sophia-RevB or a VBXE to produce the RGB output from the 1088XEL.



#1223 leech OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:49 PM

Good news for people wanting to go from the the 1088XEL's DIN-13 to SCART. Cool-Novelties over in the UK and I have been working on the idea of them producing a 1088XEL specific version of this cable (1088XEL-to-SCART), which will already incorporate the mods I made to their stock ST-to-SCART cable a while back (link). It'll support stereo right out of the box, and should also still work on a stock ST computer as well, only giving up the ability to send the MONO signal to both speakers as the original cable did (I believe they'll still make the original cable as well).
 
The new version will look just like the ST-to-SCART cable they presently make and sell.
post-42561-0-00125500-1516244414.jpg
They'll be sending one my way first, so that I can test it and be sure all is ok. When it becomes official I'll be sure to post a link to where you can buy one from.
 
BTW, you'll still need either a Sophia-RevB or a VBXE to produce the RGB output from the 1088XEL.


Awesome! So from what I was seeing, the main difference here to their ST cable, is that one requires the sync line to be connected, right? I bought one of those and while it works briliantly on my ST, it does not work on my VBXE enhanced 130XE.

I will definitely buy one of these.

#1224 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:11 PM

Awesome! So from what I was seeing, the main difference here to their ST cable, is that one requires the sync line to be connected, right? I bought one of those and while it works briliantly on my ST, it does not work on my VBXE enhanced 130XE.

I will definitely buy one of these.

 

It still needs CSYNC on pin 2 of the DIN-13, but no longer needs VSYNC on pin 12 which was probably the issue you were having coming from the VBXE which doesn't have it. By maintaining CSYNC on pin 2 like an ST, still allows this cable to work on an ST. But it does require a jumper be added from pin 2 to pin 9 on the 1088XEL's DIN-13 jack, which is very simple to do on the bottom side of the motherboard.

 

So here's what they'll be building...

 

post-42561-0-64967700-1516922180.png



#1225 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:21 AM

New DIN-13 RGB to SCART Cable Available for 1088XEL

 

Cool Novelties in the UK are now producing and selling a cable based on the schematic shown in the previous post, which fully supports the 1088XEL's somewhat unique stereo audio and sync considerations. It should also work on an Atari ST, with the only caveat being that the mono sound will only be coming out of one speaker.

post-42561-0-00125500-1516244414.jpg

1088XEL Atari 8-Bit Clone RGB Scart Video Cable

 

 







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