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Albert

Does anyone make new Atari 8-bit cartridge shells?

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Those OSS Atarimax carts fit all models, and there is no through-hole or screws. Who wants a hole in the middle of their circuit board? It takes away precious space for traces and components.

 

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On 7/12/2019 at 12:39 AM, sixersfan105 said:

Al, a little while back you asked everyone for feedback on our favorite 8-bit homebrews, now you say you're in the market for a large number of 8-bit shells...am I reading too much into this or do you intend to begin selling a larger number of A8 games in the AA Store?!

I don't see Al's response. I think I can smell "Adventure II XE" release here, but I'm not sure about other games ;)

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1 minute ago, +Adam+ said:

I don't see Al's response. I think I can smell "Adventure II XE" release here, but I'm not sure about other games ;)

I will say my inquiry isn't revolving around just a single Atari 8-bit game...

 

 ..Al

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5 minutes ago, Albert said:

I will say my inquiry isn't revolving around just a single Atari 8-bit game...

Great to hear it :)

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5 minutes ago, Sikor said:

Shells will be availaible probably in december. Stay tuned.

Excellent, thank you!  One question: will the shells be compatible with Atari's original cartridge boards, or will they require a new design?  (I ask because I'm looking into designing new boards for them.)

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Excellent!  Interesting to learn about the other new board as well.  I'll probably make a new board of my own anyway, because I don't think the other board will also work in the original brown 400/800 shells (some of the chips appear to extend into the dust door's travel area).

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Well,

 

there is one nice picture of the two XEGS cart. variants that also shows the difference regarding the length of the pins (the cart on the left has shorter, the cart on the right longer pins):

 

XEGS_pins.thumb.jpg.a3846d59c47775763bdc2ccb5c8e6a62.jpg

 

It would be nice, if the pcb you are using (compatible with the Taiwan cart. on the left) would have pins that are a few mm longer (similar to the length of the pins of the Hong Kong cart on the right). All my 800XL computers do have connection problems with the Taiwan carts (with shorter pins) and I always have to plug them in 2-3 times until they work, whereas the Hong Kong carts always work immediately (so I am quite sure, the cart. connectors of my XL computers are not defect)...

 

[On the other hand, a friend noted, that the problems with all the Taiwan carts. and my XL computers maybe do not come from short pins / connection problems, but may have something to do with timing and it might be possible, that Atari corrected the timing in the later/newer Hong Kong cart design. I absolutely do not know if that is true or not, I can only see that all Hong Kong carts. work great and immediately with my XL computers, whereas the Taiwan carts do not work so great and have to be plugged in several times until they work...] 

 

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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8 minutes ago, CharlieChaplin said:

It would be nice, if the pcb you are using (compatible with the Taiwan cart. on the left) would have pins that are a few mm longer (similar to the length of the pins of the Hong Kong cart on the right). All my 800XL computers do have connection problems with the Taiwan carts (with shorter pins) and I always have to plug them in 2-3 times until they work, whereas the Hong Kong carts always work immediately (so I am quite sure, the cart. connectors of my XL computers are not defect)...

What I want to do with my new PCBs is to make them as compatible as possible with the original brown 400/800 shells and the newer XEGS shells (which you refer to as the Taiwan carts), which will presumably also make them compatible with Sikor's shells.  I don't want to make the card edge pins so long that they won't fit behind the 400/800 cartridge dust doors, but I'll certainly make them as long as possible.  I've seen several examples of third-party cartridges that have given me trouble because they don't sit deeply enough in the cartridge slot—Activision's cartridges for the 5200 are among the worst culprits—so I'm certainly aware of that problem.

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30 minutes ago, jaybird3rd said:

WI've seen several examples of third-party cartridges that have given me trouble because they don't sit deeply enough in the cartridge slotActivision's cartridges for the 5200 are among the worst culprits—so I'm certainly aware of that problem.

So that explains why my one Activision 5200 cart (plain ol' PITFALL) is such a pain in the ass to get running and recognized when I boot up the system. Ugh. All the more reason I should quit stalling and just suck it up for an Atarimax 5200 cart.

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1 minute ago, DrVenkman said:

So that explains why my one Activision 5200 cart (plain ol' PITFALL) is such a pain in the ass to get running and recognized when I boot up the system. Ugh. All the more reason I should quit stalling and just suck it up for an Atarimax 5200 cart.

Activision 2600 carts are the same way.  They are notoriously flaky.  I don't know if it's for the same reason, but it's quite common to pop in an Activision cart and have it not work.

 

  ..Al

 

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11 minutes ago, Albert said:

Activision 2600 carts are the same way.  They are notoriously flaky.  I don't know if it's for the same reason, but it's quite common to pop in an Activision cart and have it not work.

 

  ..Al

 

Yep, almost all of mine are like that. They're terrible, especially if the system hasn't had the cart slot cleaned really well recently. The closest to "sure fire" method I've found to help is to clean the PCB contacts by spraying Deoxit onto both sides and swabbing well with a Q-Tip, then spraying more into the system cart slot and inserting the cart immediately, removing and reinserting several time and then letting everything air dry for about 10 minutes. 

 

But even after my usual "fix" for 2600 carts, PITFALL on my 5200 still only boots up maybe once out of 5 tries without repeated reinsertions and do-overs.

 

EDIT: Just remembered/realized I also have RIVER RAID. Weirdly, it booted right up. But PITFALL? Just lines on the screen for four consecutive attempts to insert, power on, power off, remove and reinsert cycles. And then the fifth time it worked. *sigh*

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I haven't measured them, but Activision's 2600 boards have always looked just a little too thin to me.  It may not be a big difference, but it might be enough to cause trouble with certain cartridge slots.  I've also had Activision boards which work fine when loose, but not when mounted in an Activision cartridge shell, so the finger length might also be an issue.  Looking at one of my spare Activision boards now, it seems that the cartridge contacts only wipe the bottom ~30% or so of the fingers, so they could probably stand to be a little longer.

 

I actually want to make some new Activision-style 5200 boards as well, specifically for repairing/restoring original cartridges.  Besides the length problem, Activision's 5200 boards seem to suffer from worse corrosion than most other boards I've seen.  Maybe it has something to do with the lack of a dust door, but even in NOS cartridges directly from sealed boxes, the card edge fingers are almost always badly pitted and tarnished.  I think some new replacement boards would be useful for solving both problems.

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Sorry for google translation this time, but my english is poor so...

This is how the casing of my product will look (attachments, 3D printout).
Now the specifics:
- fixing tiles identical to the one indicated earlier in the XE GS cardridge
- closing cards with four pins instead of tabs (on the ToDo list to change - thin elements can be strengthened)
- the basket inside is 5mm wide, which makes it possible to design longer tiles (cutting base - until cutting out)
- the middle mounting on the plate will be (supported) adapted to add an additional screw, if someone breaks the catches or wants to use, for example, a suspension, a warranty seal (a hole for the screw to be made, which covers the scope, but it is possible)
- on the upper part of the housing, on the inside will be marked (to-do list) where to drill for any screw
The best news - even after breaking the pins, available in the test version - the insert closes well and holds (ABS - such a filament I had for testing).
Now yes: if someone wants to mention a project or have a test casing for their projects - I can prepare a 3D printout (PLA - gray or white to choose from), but with remarks on printing time and overheads - I decided to divide it into three possibilities (plus shiping cost):
- 0.3mm layer thickness, 10% filling - 6usd/5EUR / item
- 0.2mm layer thickness, 10% filling - 7USD/6EUR / item
- 0.1mm layer thickness, 10% filling - 8USD/6,75EUR / item
If someone uses the purchase (I remind you - 3D print for now) - I would like information or an e-mail. Any printouts according to the report. Enclosures must be printed with corrections appearing, but the surface for PCB  does not change, so you can laugh at using prototyping or fixing bare PCBs.

Next weeks I try add PLA photo with inside details

SAM_2278.thumb.JPG.395d00e0e086a03b8761b123873da39c.JPGSAM_2279.thumb.JPG.c93b0747409ba49ed20b1f1632eab418.JPGSAM_2280.thumb.JPG.2f8703647934a7285f0078aea623dc63.JPGSAM_2281.thumb.JPG.1f0986e6bffbdaa22ccad7ce775b0733.JPG

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How about ones that fit original 2 chip orange cart OSS boards?

I love those. Lots of board space and compatible with original OSS.

:)

 

Edit: They wouldn't necessarily need to be orange.

Edited by Kyle22

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Hello Kyle

 

12 hours ago, Kyle22 said:

How about ones that fit original 2 chip orange cart OSS boards?

Like this?

 

image001.jpg image002.jpg

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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The current design looks like the attachments and it will be a rather final version (of course there will be space for stickers). As you can see - there is room for a screw, because the pins are not completely stable. Now a bit about this project:
- latches for the disc as in the original cartridge
- the whole is closed with bolts, but due to the fact that they must be thin (unfortunately the form as for blocks out of reach - different injection method, different pressures) it is possible that they will not hold until the end (rather at first closing - from 3D print rather they burst, but this is the specifics of the print and the strength of it)
- for those who like to rummage - extra space for a screw (1 piece) on the bottom side (we do not damage the sticker as if)
Closing with a screw is optional, the housing can be glued or not opened, but for some reason I added it in the production version (I mean the designer from the company where the injection molds will be made). And why so? Because drilling is different. The place is slightly depressed (countersunk head), so publishers can confidently give a warranty seal there.
Now notes for testers:
- the test version (3d) has quite delicate tabs on the PCB, which is due to the specifics of 3D printing (layer per layer), yet they allow you to dimension the project (carefully with tabs)
- no internal dimension will change
SAM_2304.thumb.JPG.f29cee81c0226a8c3d65b0b3d5009e75.JPGSAM_2305.thumb.JPG.a1f2fb0b1479940b9a65575a65623d27.JPG
 
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It’s pretty incredible how much stronger 3-D printed things are along the X and Y axes compared to Z. 

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I'm back at University next week to start my degree. I plan do some work on creating silicon moulds for some low quantity runs of various items as and when the opportunity arises for project work. 

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