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Atari compatible hardware eclaireXL, in mini form.


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#1 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:54 AM

Hi to all. :waving:  

Finally after many pcb redesigns and 3 limited productions in China for developers, the last version of eclaireXL as
mini hardware is a reality. After a year and half with the parts and pcb's to wait in my closet, thanks to foft's help  :thumbsup:  ;) 
it has been possible to built one here local in my house.

Its design and purpose isn't to stand on a mini PC or original Atari enclosure, but in a specialized box. I have plans
to built one in the near future, using as material the plexiglass or 3D print. :idea:

Starting this thread my intention is to share with you its existence through the photos, and not to start a preorder poll.

As it look in photos is a all in one implementation in the smaller possible form. To reduce the cost and the PCB dimension,
I have remove some not so useful / needed functions, which are located on its previous "big brothers". :-D

So we not have here available the audio input, usb2pc serial connection, VGA/15khz Scart / Svideo output, and two other futures
(a oscillator and EDID ic's). The two last parts is only for development whenever it starts. | :)

What we have here is

1. Standard jack for power from a 5 volt PSU.

2. Classic Atari power switch

3. HDMI / DVI video output for monitors or TV's.

4. Ready placed connector with expansion port behind it, for future upgrade to VGA 31Khz, Scart / VGA 15Khz and Svideo outputs.

5. Stereo audio output.

6. 2x USB ports for peripherals like keyboard and joysticks.

7. SD card socket for OS and software. Very soon will be usable only to load software.

8. Classic Atari parallel port.

9. Classic Atari cartridge port.

10. 4 joystick ports from which two support paddles and Atari/Koala tablets.

11. Classic Atari SIO port.

12. JTAG connector for initial firmware programming, or if someone succeed to brick his hardware. Now is possible all the firmware
upgrades to be done within SD card.

13. Second 40 pin miniaturized expansion connector, for any future updates. This connector include all the remain pins of FPGA.

14. 1GB SDRAM which support all the known schemes of Atari memory upgrades.

15. And last but no least the heart who is the Cyclone V -CEBA2 (first version like the earlier eclaireXL models). Just for the history
is possible the placement of the bigger series FPGA -CEBA4, but this will increase the final cost.

I think all these features and the constant efforts to develop by the foft and others, plus what they have done so far,
are enough to keep it here worthily as the Atari most compatible hardware.

Ok enough with me. Enjoy the pictures.

Panos

 

https://photos.app.g...zsgBBLtuuXGHrp7


Edited by santosp, Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:54 AM.


#2 xrbrevin ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:10 AM

very desireable!



#3 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:17 PM

Awesome!  So so so glad to see the SIO and joystick ports are included on a single motherboard, rather than that huge daughter card on the beta version.  I hope you guys sell tons of these!



#4 kenames99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:21 PM

very nice santosp!



#5 Atari030 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:37 PM

Now that is exciting stuff.



#6 toddtmw OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:57 PM

How much?

#7 Frankie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:07 PM

Why #7, to load software only?

#8 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:43 PM

Why #7, to load software only?

I was referred to OS mainly. This will be stored in Flash ROM ic directly, so the board can be boot without the need of SD card there.

 

Also in line #14 right value is 1Mb. Thanks Mark. :thumbsup:



#9 ijor OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:35 PM

So we not have here available the audio input, usb2pc serial connection, VGA ...

 

Sounds great. But I am wrong or the pictures show a VGA connector?



#10 917k OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:12 PM

Great work my friend, I love the all-in-one design! Outstanding work.

#11 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:49 PM

It looks great  :thumbsup: .

 

I was originally thinking of doing something similar with the joystick ports on my 1088XEL project, but was talked out of it because it wouldn't work in a standard Mini-ITX case. Speaking of which, what's the plan for an enclosure?



#12 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:43 AM

My apologies in advance for the rather dense question...

 

Am I right to assume this is basically an A8, reworked with modern components? Like the 1088XEL perhaps?

 

If so then absolutely excellent work!!!



#13 foft OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:51 AM

Sounds great. But I am wrong or the pictures show a VGA connector?


It is populated here but not connected to anything, it requires an expansion board to support analog video.

#14 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:24 AM

How much?

 

I have not calculated it accurately with today's data... :roll: Another issue is the availability of parts.

 

It looks great  :thumbsup: .

 

I was originally thinking of doing something similar with the joystick ports on my 1088XEL project, but was talked out of it because it wouldn't work in a standard Mini-ITX case. Speaking of which, what's the plan for an enclosure?

 

This is my first priority for now.  I'm thinking of discussing it with a plexiglass processing company. In the end all have to do with the final cost per piece..

 

 

Sounds great. But I am wrong or the pictures show a VGA connector?

It is populated here but not connected to anything, it requires an expansion board to support analog video.

 

I would like to add complementary here, that have to do with a small  2.5 x 2.5 cm PCB,  which will be placed on the white mezzanine connector, behind the blue VGA connector. For me does not add anything of importance to today's data, but  I have already start to design this as a add on for the lovers of the VGA output. :D



#15 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:54 AM

Are there some current specs from you or foft?  For instance, I remember the early description that it would run in accelerated mode -- maybe 20 MHZ or so?

 

Any thoughts about what kind of case this might fit in?

 

10-pin header is for printer port (or)?

 

5 Volt PS -- how many amps needed?  3, maybe?

 

Looks amazing!

 

-Larry



#16 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:00 AM

That is looking very nice :D



#17 foft OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:17 PM

Are there some current specs from you or foft?  For instance, I remember the early description that it would run in accelerated mode -- maybe 20 MHZ or so?

It runs internally at 56MHz, but the RAM takes a few cycles to access. So effectively its about 28MHz in turbo mode. This is only for the base 64KB, extended RAM is effectively capped at about 8MHz.
XL mode/800 mode.
1MB expansion with lower memory modes (8K/16K/32K/48K/52K/64K/128K/320K/576K compy/rambo...)
SD drive built in.
Cartridge emulation built in.
PBI/cart/SIO support.
Joystick/paddle support.
2x/4x pixel clock mode.
Turbo freezer built in
 

10-pin header is for printer port (or)?

It is pure general purpose IO, for future expansion. So ... nothing yet. For now just handy for debugging. Could use it for connecting an Atari keyboard etc.
 

5 Volt PS -- how many amps needed?  3, maybe?

I suggest a 2A PSU, though honestly I use a 500mA one since the board uses maybe 200-300mA! Depends on how many peripherals you want to connect though, since it also needs to power them.

Edited by foft, Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:18 PM.


#18 ndary OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:24 PM

looks amazing.. can you fit this inside an Atari 600XL case?



#19 BigBen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:36 PM



looks amazing.. can you fit this inside an Atari 600XL case?

 

Here is a really good implementation from Gideon of a FPGA in a C64II package.

Simply remove the original board and replace with the FPGA. The keyboard remains original.

I have been waiting for this for a long time for the Atari.



#20 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:52 PM

Another great design! I have an original board but if these go to a bigger run I would likely buy another



#21 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:47 PM

It is pure general purpose IO, for future expansion. So ... nothing yet. For now just handy for debugging. Could use it for connecting an Atari keyboard etc.
 

 

I think that he ask for the JTAG, not the expansion connector. The expansion connectors here although have the same dimensions with the classic IDC 10 pin, is constructed as 2 rows x20pins = 40 pins total each! Last word on connectors from TE/AMP corp. :)



#22 IndusGT OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:00 PM

any idea when it will be up for pre-order ?



#23 Spaced Cowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:22 PM

If you're looking around for cases, you might do worse than look at this place - it's where I'm planning on getting my case done when the board has been proven. 

 

They do plastic cases without needing the expensive up-front cost of a mould, so it's cheaper for smaller runs (less than several thousand). The price per part is higher than injection moulding, but since there's no mould (the really expensive part) it works out cheaper. Basically they CNC and bend plastic into shape.

 

Just FYI :)



#24 Dropcheck OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:23 PM

Excellant! ;-)

 

Just a question.... have you thought about using stacked connectors?  USB, DB9 etc.  Might free up some edge space.  Maybe for the next version...



#25 santosp OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:42 PM

Excellant! ;-)

 

Just a question.... have you thought about using stacked connectors?  USB, DB9 etc.  Might free up some edge space.  Maybe for the next version...

Hi Lenore. :)

Yes I know about their existence, but I didn't do it because of their height, especially for the Joystick ports. I wanted this to be as lower possible, thinking the height of an enclosure later.

 

@Spaced Cowboy

Thanks I will take a look there. :thumbsup:






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