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ScreamingAtTheRadio

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About ScreamingAtTheRadio

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    Space Invader
  • Birthday May 21

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    Bellevue, WA
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    Open Source, Retro computing, Atari, 3D printing, Electronics, Video Games

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  1. In fact that should be fine if unlike me, you use the proper cable, that is one that has the contacts on opposite sides, such as this: https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/molex/0151670424/3281677
  2. I've finally received my FFC connectors, and I found out that the adapters are wired backwards for FFC. I think I'll have to redo them. Sorry about that. I think I'll make separate FFC and IDC adapters in fact, so I can make them smaller and easier to fit on any motherboard.
  3. Here's what you'll need to do if you have the circular version of the XE key caps and you received a Rev. C aluminum plate from me. First, here are the two original Atari keyboards on top of one another, which can help you determine what version you have. The circular version is on top, the square version is on the bottom: Here are the places where you'll need to make adjustments. A simple drill with a good sample of bits and a set of files should be sufficient. Please be careful, aluminum is an easy metal to work with, but there will be dust and various debris flying around, so wear eye and hand protection. Specifically, the function key holes need to be made larger, and a second one, symmetrical to the existing one, should be added: The space bar's stabilizer is much wider on this model, so some space must be made for it. You have a choice here to setup your space bar upside-down and use the existing stabilizer hole, like in the photo below. In this case, drill to the bottom of the keyboard to make way for the T-shaped legs. Alternatively, you may be able to keep the correct orientation for the space bar by using the larger cross-shaped holes next to the original ones to set-up your stabilizers. Since those holes are larger however, you will have to either modify the design before printing it so it's longer, or fill with hot glue. I'd recommend modifying the design, it's very easy to do: look for `total_length` and `hole_length` and add the necessary additional length to both. You'll also want to add half of that value to `rod_hole_offset` so the rod hole stays close to the edge. The right shift and control key have stabilizers, but since these keys are 1.75 units wide, they're superfluous. We do need to make a little more room for the plastic supports to go through: With the square keys, the left shift stabilizer has the rod above the key. In the case of the circle variant, we need to do two things: remove the separation between the two rectangles to make way for the plastic column to go through, and make the outer rectangles wider towards the center so we can put the standard Costar stabilizers in that rectangle, but closer to the center so the rod still has enough space to travel. Note that in this configuration, the rod should be under the key, not above, so orient stabilizers accordingly. This key is the trickiest part to get right, because that hole was not designed originally to receive stabilizers. Once you get this right, the stabilizers will probably have more wiggle room than they should, so setting them in place with some hot glue is not a bad idea, and should make them stable enough. The PCB, including fabrication files, has already been revised to accommodate for both versions: The SVG file for laser-cutting has not been revised and probably will remain square-only.
  4. Great. Very interested to see how it works for you. I realized I used the bottom of a resin bottle so there's that that could account for variations. I'll also try again this week-end with new resin. On the new batch of PCBs, here's some additional info that will interest you if you asked me to send you a sample: The plates are pretty nice. I had them done in aluminum, and I have to say, this may be the cheapest and maybe the proper way to get a milled aluminum plate done. They have a black surface with white silkscreen on top, as you can see in the photos above, and bare aluminum on the bottom. The precision of the milling is not fantastic, if you look closely you'll see plenty of deviations from the design, but they do the job very well and at a price that I doubt can be beaten. Basically, it's the price of a regular PCB, with a supplement (that you would also have to pay on regular PCBs) for having a lot of drilling to do: it's basically all holes. The cost before taxes and shipping is around $5 a piece, as compared to $70 for a laser-cut steel plate. The holes for the stabilizer wings of the right shift and the control keys are positioned too high. I had to dremel them a little bigger to ensure the keys would move properly. Not a huge deal, but that means you'll have to do some work when you receive your plates. The design on GitHub is already updated for bigger holes, so if you want to have the updated design made, feel free. Rev C.1 should be readable on the silkscreen. I made a mistake and ordered the adapters in 1.6mm instead of 0.6mm or 0.8mm, so they won't fit in the standard Atari connector. If you no longer want them because of that, let me know. I tried mounting them with header pins, and that works, but the clearance is extremely tight if using the IDC connector, especially on Santos' new XE PCBs as there are chips that need to fit underneath. I'd recommend going for the FFC cables instead, in which case there should be plenty of space above (haven't verified that configuration yet as I'm still waiting for my connectors). The Pi Pico can in theory be surface mounted, but then the USB plug is almost unusable unless you have a very thin cable. I've mounted it on headers, and it looks great. Haven't yet tested it on the PC. That's it for now. Next are connection tests and experimentations with the plates and the circle-shaped type of key cap. The space bar stabilizers are very different. I'll start shipping PCBs this week-end.
  5. Not something I intend on doing on my own 130XE, but if you want to do it on yours, all the files are on GitHub under a friendly license, so it's perfectly doable. There are even a few free GPIO left on the Pi Pico and space for some headers.
  6. The new boards have arrived. There are some minor issues on which I'll make another update later, but here's a preview of what it all looks like:
  7. Today I printed two versions of the stems for the second kind of cap that's around, with the circular footprint. They seem to fit perfectly on the side of the key, but for some reason the ones I printed don't slide properly into the bottom part of the switch and I don't know why yet. It's weird because I didn't change that part, so it may be a fluctuation of the print quality. Here are some photos. The design is already on GitHub, so if you have a printer you can try it out now.
  8. All right, so I met with @wildstar87 who kindly lent me his keyboard so I can study it and adapt my design to be compatible with it. It seems completely doable as far as the stems are concerned, but there are other differences that may be additional challenges. So far, we noticed: The different key cap footprint, round instead of square Those keycaps are more cheaply made: the square ones are doubleshot, those are not The function keys have two legs instead of one. That means people who get the Rev C plate ad want to use it with these caps will have to drill 5 new holes into it. The right shift key has stabilizers that the square variant doesn't have. You should be able to just ignore this one, the key's under 2 units wide. The space bar stabilizer is a different shape. Not sure how much of a problem that will be. Worst case, you may have to build a new one from wire. I'll get started on the round stems.
  9. Oh wow, yes, Redmond. OK, then that's quite excellent. Let's set-up something so I can take precise measurements and I can send new prototypes your way. Can you reach me via PM so we can exchange contact info?
  10. Thanks, that doesn't look like the box switches would work with that. If you have some openscad skills, you should be able to make a new option for those. I'm interested in covering both revisions if possible. A first approach could be to do a scan of the bottom of the cap (scanners work astonishingly well as measuring devices) plus some caliper measurements. Or, if somebody on the thread has one of those that they would be willing to lend me for a little while... The plate footprint for the functions keys have one hole on the bottom-left for the support, yes: I'm assuming the matrix wiring is the same, right? I've never seen a schematic other than the one I used for XE computers.
  11. Please let me know in PM how many you need of the main PCB, the adapter, and the plate PCB. Of course. Noted. I finished a first draft of the PCB plate. I'll order all three batches of PCB once I've verified everything fits. Last orders!
  12. Fabrication and assembly instructions are available: https://github.com/bleroy/3d-junkyard/tree/main/Atari130MX There will be additional photos and videos later.
  13. Here's what the adapters will look like... Let me know in PM if you want one (or more) with your Rev C PCB(s). This was a tight fit, very difficult to route on 2 layers, but they will be very inexpensive to manufacture. They can be made in 0.8mm thickness, which I think should allow for insertion into unmodified Atari keyboard motherboard connectors, and it's less than the 16mm clearance between the MB and the bottom of the keyboard in a standard XE case, but worst case it's easy to replace the connector with some pin headers and fit it horizontally. You can then choose to solder either a surface-mounted FFC connector, pin headers, or a through-hole 2x12 connector. So all options are available, which is nice.
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