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1088XLD - Custom A8 Computer in 1050 Drive Case

Alternative Atari Motherboard Piggybacks 1088XEL tech Repurposing a 1050 case

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#1 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:42 PM

Disclaimer
 
This is a totally weird self serving project that quite frankly just shows what happens when the frantic gears spin out of control in my bored little brain. Nothing you see here was born out of necessity, nor does it fill a niche that needed filling. And most likely there will be those that will scratch their head and wonder WTF is this good for! And for those devoted Atari hardware preservationist, I'll warn you now that 1050's will die before this project is done (and many more, if this spreads). So if you can't stomach the thought of that, it's best that you stop reading this immediately, curl up into a little ball, and pretend the world is sane.
 
Are you still here?
 
Good, let's proceed.
 
As some of you may already know, this all began a few days ago when I proposed putting a 1088XEL motherboard into a 1050 floppy drive case.
 
msg-42561-0-10817100-1531783037.jpg
 
Well that was going to get very messy real fast, with lots of wires and dangling bits holding it all together. So like any reasonable and somewhat lazy person would probably conclude "I decided no way was I going to do that!" But the idea wouldn't die. And to add fuel to this, a posting in a PM suggested designing a new motherboard for a few dead 1050s they had laying around gathering dust. Stupid me latched onto 'new motherboard', and at first I thought that was totally crazy, after all I just finished a big project like that earlier this year, and I just wasn't feeling it. Little did I realize that they weren't on the same wavelength as me, and were really talking about a custom XF drive board that would fit into a 1050 case. Not a bad idea in itself, but that's a whole different story, for an entirely different thread.
 
Anyway the gears kept turning, and I thought that would be kinda cool and somewhat awesome to have a A8 computer motherboard that would drop into a 1050 case, with no, or very little modification. And even better still if it could piggyback on the 1088XEL project with an internal CF drive that could utilize flashjazzcat's 1088/U1MB Bios to make that CF drive really purr.
 
I started getting excited, and the ideas just came pouring forth, a dangerous phenomena to say the least  ;) . So suffice it to say a new alternative motherboard project was born.
 
 
Please welcome the 1088XLD
 
1088 - Total amount of RAM memory due to built-in U1MB.
XL - Because we are packaging this in a 1050 case, it'll take on the style of this iconic series.
D - Just like the 1450XLD it'll sport an internal drive, although a much faster and more capable solid state one.
 
 
post-42561-0-94869500-1533541516.png
 
Obviously I have a long ways to go. But it's a good start, and since it will re-purpose a lot of the 1088XEL design, it should go much more smoothly through the development process.
 
PCB Image UPDATED On August 8th 2018, now much closer to final layout
 
Features

  • U1MB
  • UAV (routed to standard DIN-5 rear panel video jack)
  • Will support PAL or NTSC configurations
  • Integrated XEL-CF3 electronics (will leave MPBI+ expansion bus free)
  • Rapidus, VBXE, and P-Covox interface control signals to be provided by independent header
  • 9 VAC power derived from stock 1050 PSU
  • Internal 5 VDC and 12 VDC regulation via cool running switching regulator ICs
  • MPBI+ (same as the 1088XEL MPBI expansion bus, but also sporting the missing upper address bits for a full interface, and added 12 VDC)
  • PS/2 Mouse and Keyboard front panel jacks
  • Front panel Joystick ports and 3.5mm Stereo audio output jack
  • Dual Stereo Pokeys with electronic Mono/Stereo switching via the U1MB
  • V-Gate chip to kill video overscan
  • Dual SIO ports
  • Front access cartridge port

 
The journey begins  :)



#2 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:08 PM

Love it, love it, love it! :) 

 

However, heads up on the UAV - Bryan is out of them and not planning another run that I'm aware of. I think mentioned something about a new Rev E or a whole new design, one that would also offer audio out for use in 400s, 5200s, 7800s, etc. Not sure if he's firmed up those plans or not though. 



#3 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:58 PM

Yep Bryan mentioned that to me on my last UAV order, but I've got 4 or 5 in stock which will easily get me by for quite sometime, especially since this project probably won't even go to a PCB house until the end of the year.

 

--------------

 

So just a heads up. Since the 1050 comes with two SIO ports I opted to not integrate an SIO2PC, and instead will be going with an external one like the one Lotharek makes (got 3 of those). Other than that small omission, the 1088XLD will come with everything that the 1088XEL has except for the following...

  • No DIN-13 Video Pass-Thru
  • No ECI (although those signals are on the MPBI header)


#4 adam242 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:35 PM

Doing the same with an 810 would offer more room for expansion... and leave room for a half-height 5-1/4" floppy drive if a custom front panel was created.



#5 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:03 PM

Doing the same with an 810 would offer more room for expansion... and leave room for a half-height 5-1/4" floppy drive if a custom front panel was created.

 

True, but I've never been a big fan of the 810's looks. Plus it would take up more desk space then I like. But I could see it being another way to go, especially if you want an integrated floppy drive.



#6 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:27 PM

Eeeeeexcellent. (pets Landseer puppy instead of a white cat, while spinning in a swivel chair)...



#7 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:04 AM

Obviously I have a lot of components left to drop into the layout. And that will happen in due time, but I really should conjure up the schematics first before I take the layout much further.

I just needed to see how the big items might fit, and to get a feel for the land so to speak. On the plus side, there's a lot more breathing room with this footprint vs. the 1088XEL, but things will likely be tight on the front panel that will be replacing the original floppy drive mechanism. I'm looking at some changes to the TK-II chip to better accommodate that. First off, I'll give up the 2nd PS/2 keyboard port which will give me back two I/O pins on the PIC chip. Those can then take the place of physical switches (swap button and mouse port select). I can then use the 'Windows' and the 'App' keys to control those aspects. So it will require an XLD version of the TK-II firmware, but it will free up space on the front panel in the process.
 
So here's what's presently allocated...

  • Cartridge Port
  • CF Drive
  • Joystick Ports 1 and 2
  • 3.5 mm Audio Output Jack
  • LED Status Indicators
    • Active Mouse Port (1 LED above each Joystick Port)
    • V-Gate Enabled
    • Stereo Enabled
    • CF Drive Activity

Quite a bit for such a small panel  :) .



#8 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:04 AM

Sign me up as a beta tester ;-)



#9 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:31 AM

You can 3d pint a 1050 case... :) .... I've seen some 3d printed face plates too...



#10 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:00 AM

You can 3d pint a 1050 case... :) .... I've seen some 3d printed face plates too...

 

I've never seen something 3D printed at this size that looks anywhere near as good as injection molded plastics, not unless it's done professionally which would still cost bucks, although no where near as much as creating the molds for injection. However a lot of people probably have or know where they can get dead 1050s (I have 3), so that looks like the better option at least for me  ;)

 

On a side note, a dead 1050 also brings the required SIO connectors with it.



#11 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:02 AM

this is evil genius worthy. ;)

 

-Thom



#12 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:53 AM

 

I've never seen something 3D printed at this size that looks anywhere near as good as injection molded plastics, not unless it's done professionally which would still cost bucks, although no where near as much as creating the molds for injection. However a lot of people probably have or know where they can get dead 1050s (I have 3), so that looks like the better option at least for me  ;)

 

On a side note, a dead 1050 also brings the required SIO connectors with it.

 

 

I actually have one of these but have never used it :) ! I funded the kickstarter, got less into 3d printing by the time it was shipped, and when it arrived it went into the black hole (my wife calls it the garage, but we all know what it is). 

 

At some point, I really ought to get my act together and at least try it out :)

 

Simon



#13 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:17 PM

Nice printer, and a cool idea with the acetone vapor polishing, but still not the same look of a stock Atari XL peripheral case. I'm just not into glossy plastic, but if it could do a brushed metal look, I'd be sold!

 

------------

 

So here are the parts you want to keep and reuse from the original 1050 motherboard.

1050_parts.jpg

 

I was also kicking around the idea of reusing the 6532 RIOT chip, but unfortunately it's a 1 Mhz version. It could have been mapped into an unused area of memory and given us an extra 16 bits of latched I/O and 128 bytes of RAM. Oh well  :( .

 

Wait maybe I could build in a 2600 mode using that part  :-o . Just kidding  :grin: . Although truthfully both the 6507 CPU and RIOT chip would give you a good start at that.



#14 foft OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:33 PM

Perhaps you can reuse the really annoying drive select switch! Ntsc vs pal?!

#15 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:37 PM

Perhaps you can reuse the really annoying drive select switch! Ntsc vs pal?!

 

 

:-D 



#16 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:46 PM

Perhaps you can reuse the really annoying drive select switch! Ntsc vs pal?!

 

Arggg!!!!  Of course you are kidding  :) .

 

-----------

 

An initial look at MPBI+ signals.

 

1088XLD_MPBI.png

 

If anyone sees something useful to be added, I can substitute whatever signal that may be for some of the extra GNDs.

 

 

BTW, I updated the board preview image at the beginning of this topic by running it through a gerber viewer and also adding some descriptive text. Check it Out



#17 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:53 PM

I'd certainly beta test this too!  Now that I think about it, I even have a broken 1050 that I never did get working.



#18 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:18 PM

 

Arggg!!!!  Of course you are kidding  :) .

 

-----------

 

An initial look at MPBI+ signals.

 

attachicon.gif1088XLD_MPBI.png

 

If anyone sees something useful to be added, I can substitute whatever signal that may be for some of the extra GNDs.

 

 

Not sure what 'M1', VB and '/CI' are ? Maybe they perform something similar to some of the below ?

 

If you want cartridges to be able to be plugged into the thing that plugs into the MPBI+, you'll need S4,S5, RD4 and RD5.  

 

I see /EXT but I'm not sure if it's /EXTSEL or EXTENB. EXTENB would be nice, but /EXTSEL is needed for the PBI to work well.

 

I don't see /REF, which is useful for pretending to be Antic and possibly taking over the bus. It's possible that /HALT might be sufficient for that, but the Antic schematics are different for the two pins, and I'm not sure if /HALT will work the same way.

 

Looks good to me, though :)

 

Cheers

   Simon



#19 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:19 PM

I'd certainly beta test this too!  Now that I think about it, I even have a broken 1050 that I never did get working.

 

Depending on timing and funds, this looks great. My 3rd 1050 is just a paperweight. The mech has been physically-altered in the past by a prior owner in an attempt to "repair" it. Ugh. 



#20 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:29 PM

Not sure what 'M1', VB and '/CI' are ?

 

M1 and VB come from the U1MB. They are outputs that can be used for the VBXE (VB) and for the Rapidus (M1). /CI = /CAS INHIBIT.

 

If you want cartridges to be able to be plugged into the thing that plugs into the MPBI+, you'll need S4,S5, RD4 and RD5.

 

Yes those would be useful, and can be added.

 

I see /EXT but I'm not sure if it's /EXTSEL or EXTENB.

 

It's /EXTSEL.

 

I don't see /REF, which is useful for pretending to be Antic and possibly taking over the bus.

 

That can be added as well.

 

That's pretty much a full boat, although I guess I could give up the extra +5V connection, but it would be nice to keep the additional GND.



#21 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:24 PM

Hello Michael

 

Somebody has entered a replacement PoKey with dual Pokey mode into the ABBUC Hardware Contest this year.  That might save some space.  Or you could put two of those in, to get Quad PoKey...

 

Why don't you integrate Brian's UAV design into your motherboard?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 



#22 kheller2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:32 PM

I think you should shrink the 1050 board and then have both the 1088 and 1050 in the same case (with the real floppy) for us magnetic media freaks.



#23 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:33 PM

Not sure what 'M1', VB and '/CI' are ?

 

M1 and VB come from the U1MB. They are outputs that can be used for the VBXE (VB) and for the Rapidus (M1). /CI = /CAS INHIBIT.

 

 

Is there any functional difference between /CI and /EXT in that case ? Not that it really matters because they're all part of the standard MPBI so you wouldn't be changing them anyway.



#24 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:34 PM

 

Why don't you integrate Brian's UAV design into your motherboard?

 

 

That's an interesting idea. Didn't the designer of the Supercolor card get permission to do that recently? Though both the UAV and the Supercolor card use SMD components to save space and cost, don't they?



#25 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:47 PM

Hello Herb

 

Not sure.  But the UAV can't have a lot of components on the PCB as it's kinda tiny.  So integrating it shouldn't be that hard for an electronics guy like Michael.  And since the UAV kinda replaces some original parts, which if I understood correctly become useless when installing a UAV, Michael would save some extra parts (plus the headers/sockets he'd need to piggyback the UAV onto the new motherboard) and therefor some space on the new MB.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy






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