Some time ago I was asked by another member to see if I could come up with a simple cartridge slot extension so he could embed an 800XL computer inside another container, but stil have access to the cartridge slot. I scrounged around and came up with something that I believed would work, but I was not really satisfied. It was clunky and the ribbon cable had to be very short. Over the last week or so I've been fiddling with something I felt would work better and would solve the remaining critical gotcha with the 1088XEL board.
I got with tf_hh to work out a buffering setup for the cartridge signals and set about measuring and laying out the two pcbs needed. It is untested as yet. I haven't sent the pcb files to the board house yet, because I wasn't sure there would be much demand.
Essentially there are three parts to this cartridge slot extension set. These are kind of rough renderings, and probably will change as testing reveals problems.
Cartridge board that provides the buffering and transfer of signals from the motherboard cartridge slot to the ribbon cable. Size 75 X 50 mm
Ribbon cable carries the signal with a length of upto 12" to the remote pcb.
Remote pcb that functions as the receptor for Atari cartridges and translate the signals onto the ribbon cable. Size 100 X 41 mm Should fit in a 5 1/2" drive bay, but may also fit other spaces in a pc case with case cutting. I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. A nice feature is the ability to snap in a 600XL/800XL cartridge guide cover. That makes inserting brown Atari cartridges a breeze.
I did work up a rough cost estimate based on two options.
Fully populated, tested set with a 12" ribbon cable ~ 35.00 plus shipping (if you want the cartridge guide cover too, I'd have to check with Best Electronics to see what that cost would add)
Bare board set ~ $15.00 plus shipping BOM would be available on my site.
Again I haven't tested it yet. I don't see a big problem, but unexpected usually does happen.
This is a project that I expect to take about a month or so for prototyping and testing, before being offered for sale.