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phoenixdownita

SIO2SD quandary

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The SIO2SD "bare" version is 27.49 EUR, the SIO cable lite 5.29 EUR, both on Lotharek site.

The SIO2SD "cased" version is 71.99 EUR (it includes cable) also at Lotharek.

 

I can likely find a decent enclosure and probably come up with a reasonable rewire for the buttons etc etc .... a DIY project for sure.

 

So the question is: are the extra ~40 EUR for the "cased" version justified?

 

It seems a little steep (it doubles the price) and it is so far what stopped me from the purchase.

 

It would likely take me an afternoon of tinkering to get "an enclosure" up and running or wire the thing directly inside my XEGS with proper holes for the display, displaced push buttons and a DPDT switch on Vcc and GND in case I'll ever need real SIO access (unlikely).

Keep in mind that I find it a lot of fun to tackle this kind of projects although I usually budget 1 or 2 Hs I now know better and I know it'll suck up at least a whole afternoon because you know ... shit happens ... all the time.

 

Given Lotharek products are all CNC made why does the plastic casing costs so much?

Am I missing something? Is the "cased" version a different, more advanced release?

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Likely the lite version is almost entirely produced by automated process.

 

The cased version you have the cable, case, manual assembly and likely the design is such that the switches are probably mounted on another board.

Sure, the price difference does make the lite one attractive if you are able to modify it yourself.

 

Putting it inside a machine takes away from versatility in that you can only use it on that one computer.

Having a power switch for inbuilt - not entirely sure that's needed. Via the menu you should be able to take all emulated drives offline so it becomes a passive device in the SIO chain.

At most anyway, you'd only want to switch the +5V - leave the GND connected anyway, it seems that people have bricked their SIO2SD and the cause if often due to the +5V connecting before GND.

Edited by Rybags

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Thanks for the reply.

Regarding the versatility aspects given I only have that 1 Atari and don't plan to buy another one it doesn't really matter.

 

Likely I should buy the "lite" version and have a go at it myself with an off the shelf enclosure to see how it pans out. Those 40EUR extra really bug me, if the lite version wasn't so much cheaper that is.

Edited by phoenixdownita

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Note also the way the SD card installs. You should be able to make a ribbon cable up which would allow seperating the display from main board.

I've got one of the earlier variants, it's still uncased - one of these days I'll put it into a case.

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If you DIY, can you get all the holes, openings, etc. done so that it looks nice? In fact, can you find a case that it will fit into nicely? Lotharek's sure looks professional all the way. If it were me, I'd spend the extra money up front, knowing that I'd be happy with the outcome.

 

-Larry

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I struggled with this too before buying. What's your time worth to make up an enclosure and fit it all together? I wound up buying the cased version and am very happy with it. The fit and finish is spot on and it does indeed look professionally manufactured as a consumer product. If the case color matched the console, even Atari would have been proud to call this their own. Well worth the extra $$ IMHO.. :)

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I was not saying that Lotharek casing is not professional.

 

I just struggle with the fact that the "functional" part is only ~30 EUR, while the "aesthetic" piece is ~40 EUR.

So for me the "functional" part is actually cheap, but having to more than double the total cost for basically a piece of plastic is quite against my mantra.

 

Given it is not a piece of clothing, I don't think that form over function applies.

 

Regarding the "what's my time worth" I don't think it applies either as first and foremost it is an hobby and second if I "waste" my time playing with a 30Y old system then I can also "waste" doing some DIY for it (it adds to the fun).

 

I was hoping Lotharek had a cheaper variant when it comes to casing, say a 10/15 EUR version of it.

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I bought my SIO2SD before I learned about the Lotharek cased version and also find the extra 40 for the case intimidating. Seeing that I didn't get around to build a case myself after several years of occasional tinkering with my Atari, I'd probably opt for the cased version nevertheless if I had to choose again.

 

There is another thread that explains why it's not so easy to find a well-fitting case for the SIO2SD.

 

I saw a SD2IEC mounted in a plastic 10-3.5"-floppy box recently and found that rather stylish and clever as you could flip open the lid to operate the buttons and see the display through the transparent lid.

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I know what you mean, I had the same issue and went for the bare bones version.

 

If I could do it again though, I would have bought the case. Sometimes the wiring on it feels a bit fragile when there isn't a case and I am always concerned about breaking it.

 

I also use it in fads, so it doesn't get used for a long time. Then I forget what each button does, but you can have this on the case.

 

It depends on your finances. If you're average to well-off, buy it. Otherwise, don't.

 

Consider 71.99 or whatever it is as the full price and that is the standard.

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yes, i would also go for the cased version, i bought mine as a bare board and built a case for it.... im not proud! lothariks is a lot nicer!!

if you are considering building it into your atari then un cased is the way to go.

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I have both a cased and an uncased version. I like the cased version better, but there is a caveat: Lotharek uses blobs of epoxy to set it into the case and it's kind of messy. In addition, there are tons of thin ribbon cable wires going to the buttons on the front panel that seem pretty fragile.

 

I guess ideally I would have preferred some nice screw posts to which the board could easily be removed from the casing, but that's not what it is. I ended up reflashing mine with JTAG at one point... the unit has a JTAG header but the pins are not populated. It would have been super-easy to add the required pins if it was easy to take out (I suggest that the JTAG pins should actually be populated by Lotharek--he doesn't want to support jtagging, I think, due to the risks). I didn't want to even try pulling the unit out of the case,

 

So if you never have to open the case and do anything, it's fantastic, but otherwise I'd recommend the bare board. I just love the idea of building the unit into a computer or drive enclosure, but I don't think I have the finesse to do it well.

Edited by bbking67

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That is completely awesome. I was thinking of cannibalizing my 1010... but rather than destroy a good piece of equipment I might install it inside of an old hard disk enclosure.

 

Like I said, my skills are meager, so I bought the cased version.

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I ordered the "lite" version + cable (so no internal installation this time around) and I'll figure out a way to get an enclosure for it.

 

I really couldn't swallow the 40EUR for plastic and epoxy globs .... mind it this is just my opinion, it does not mean Lotharek works is bad, actually quite the contrary, it is my personal preference and I actually admire Lotharek for offering both options as it gives customers more power.

Edited by phoenixdownita
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That is completely awesome. I was thinking of cannibalizing my 1010... but rather than destroy a good piece of equipment I might install it inside of an old hard disk enclosure.

 

Like I said, my skills are meager, so I bought the cased version.

 

Yeah, I have an XM301 laying around here for future projects. It's a good fit for the device. I know some people don't like killing the hardware, but I seriously think there are enough of the XM301's out there that they're not going to die off because of a few individuals making use of them in this way.

 

I suppose you could use anything for an enclosure, but there are a lot of places selling decent project boxes of all sizes, and at reasonable prices, if you don't won't to harm any Atari gear.

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I never felt much guilt about killing XM301s, and I bought in and butchered a good dozen of them. :) It's one peripheral which strikes me as entirely useless today, and it gets a good second chance at life with an SIO2SD inside.

 

There was an ST peripheral which used the same moulded case as the XM301 (was it a PCMCIA reader?). I have one here and have been trying to think of something to put inside it (it has a wide card slot at the front and a gaping hole at the back where the backplate went).

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I never felt much guilt about killing XM301s, and I bought in and butchered a good dozen of them. icon_smile.gif It's one peripheral which strikes me as entirely useless today, and it gets a good second chance at life with an SIO2SD inside.

 

Murderer.

 

 

There was an ST peripheral which used the same moulded case as the XM301 (was it a PCMCIA reader?). I have one here and have been trying to think of something to put inside it (it has a wide card slot at the front and a gaping hole at the back where the backplate went).

 

Yeah, I've wanted to pick one of those up. I thought it was some sort of a CF card reader though. Maybe we are talking about two different devices?

Edited by MrFish
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Yeah, I've wanted to pick one of those up. I thought it was a CF card reader though. Maybe we are talking about two different devices?

Ack... you made me go look for it. :) It's an HPC301 Card Drive, and the slot on the front is a good 2" wide (I forget where the PCB went).

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It was used in conjunction with the portfolio and and another device I can't remember the name of just this second... please don't muder the slotted box and reader... I need one to replace one that was stolen(with a bunch of other ST stuff, 8bit and Commodore. I am sure ebay, craiglist dirtbags made a killing) Anyway I prefer to canabalize meaningless other enclosures from chineses cheap crap to enclose stuff with...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Nooooo you didn't lose them..... you must find them... I will send The Terminator after you... Arnold is not amused!

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I was not saying that Lotharek casing is not professional.

 

I just struggle with the fact that the "functional" part is only ~30 EUR, while the "aesthetic" piece is ~40 EUR.

So for me the "functional" part is actually cheap, but having to more than double the total cost for basically a piece of plastic is quite against my mantra.

 

 

I was hoping Lotharek had a cheaper variant when it comes to casing, say a 10/15 EUR version of it.

 

 

Molds cost money and if he isn't manufacturing the cases himself minimum order quantity costs, plus tooling costs to change the mold out for each run.

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Ack... you made me go look for it. icon_smile.gif It's an HPC301 Card Drive, and the slot on the front is a good 2" wide (I forget where the PCB went).

 

Yeah, that's it. Shows what I know about ST stuff. No matter though, it should still be workable.

 

post-6369-0-86465300-1418071121_thumb.jpg

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please don't muder the slotted box and reader... I need one to replace one that was stolen...

I'll try to find the innards. You're welcome to the thing: I doubt I'll ever do anything with it.

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Finally got the time to play with SIO2SD, I received it first week of Jan but didn't have time.

 

First mistake: I inverted DataIn and DataOut while wiring the thing .... took a while to figure it out.

Second mistake: didn't know that SIO2SD.XEX of the Configurator35 package has to go in the root and not in ATARI subdir, with exactly that name "SIO2SD.XEX".

Third mistake: I set HS to 0/1 for max speed and it was so slow with same games, (Summer games was an agony) unbelievable, once put it back to 6 all was fine (and with HighSpeed OS still very fast).

Fourth mistake: didn't know that copying the HLP file of the Configurator35 package in the ATARI subdir activates HELP key support in it.

Fifth mistake: even with HELP the physical device keys combo (like SHIFT + K3 to cycle virtuals) are not documented there (someone should amend the HLP and add the device key usage as well so it will be one shop stop, something tells me is a simple ATASCII file with proper alignment)

Sixth mistake: didn't know to put SIO2SD.XEX also in the ATARI subdir and always map it to some virtual (9 for me) so that via SHIFT + K3 and U1MB cold start support there's no need to power cycle to get the configurator back.

Seven mistake: got bitten quite some by not knowing if the game would require to boot it with Option pressed, learnt it the hard way.

 

Struggled quite some times with Virtual, Mapping, Physical (called LCD in the configurator).... was confused at the beginning, still I am a little.

 

Anyway managed to play "Seven Cities of Gold" for the first time .... yeahhhh.

 

Now I need to case the thing and I'm a happy camper.

 

Side note: those little push buttons don't always work at the click, my K1 (ouch!!!) only works if I press it in a certain way, the click is not indicative, same for the SHIFT albeit with higher success of click = work .... not a biggie as I need to take the signal and put in other buttons anyway.

 

I know that there are 3 leds on-board, what is the 3rd for? I've never seen it on.

[i understand that the other 2 are Rd/Wr for SIO or SD or simply SIO/SD activity depending on config, but the 3rd is a mystery]

 

 

All in all a nice peripheral but fidgeting with the button gets old soon, nonetheless this should allow me way better compat for those few atr games with custom SIO (which neither SIDE2 + U1MB nor MyIDE2 support).

OS Note: HighSpeed OS seems to make quite a big difference, when using Stock XEGS the load speed is probably a third or less ... nice bonus.

Edited by phoenixdownita

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