Just trying to get a feel for the demand.
I've been following Mytekcontrol's amazing 1088XEL project thread over the last few months and wanted to weigh on at least one improvement I have to offer.
I feel one of the few limitations of the 1088XEL project by Mytekcontrols is the case choice which by definition limits the ability to expand. I'm speaking specifically that if you want to use a floppy drive such as the XF551, it's going to be an external device. Candle mentioned some time back in the 1088XEL thread that he preferred to have all his power supply inside the case. I agree, and if we are going to drag kicking and screaming the Atari into the 21st century we should also include the floppy drive inside as well.
To that end I am proposing a modified XF551 mainboard that will fit inside a 3 1/2" drive bay. It will draw power from the SIO port on the 1088XEL board. This modified XF551 mainboard will not need SIO connectors or power supply, It will include circuitry for a track display LED, OS and drive # selection on the front facing bezel. The XF551 compatible floppy drive would fit in a standard 5 1/4" drive bay.
The test mini-itx case I am designing for is this one But others might work just as well.
At this time I am leaning towards providing a lean board to keep the costs down, the user will have to provide these items for sure for the board project:
XF551 compatible floppy drive
WD1772 Floppy Drive Chip
Intel 8040/8050 Chip
Currently I am working up a BOM and sourcing parts, so I can't say exactly what the cost would be. A wild guess would be around $60 for the board and ATX PS daughter card for the 1088XEL. Maybe less...... I'm going to try to go SMD as much as possible to save just a little more on parts costs.
I'll try to get a couple of renderings of what I'm purposing up in this thread in a day or so.
At this time I am not planning to offer a 1050 option. For one I don't think a 1050 drive mech will fit inside a standard 5 1/4" drive bay. For another I don't think the 1050 board can be squeezed enough to fit a 3 1/2" drive bay either. Too many parts, too big a drive mech.