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New Hardware Offering: XF551 Control Board Bundle Pre-Order

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Just when you thought the XF551 couldn't get any better...... Announcing the XF551 Control board bundle pre-order. This add-on board will work with both my re-imaged XF551 Main Boards and the original XF551 Floppy Drive boards from Atari. Here are some pictures: Actual boards maybe slightly different.


controlboard.jpg

DSC_2278.jpg

DSC_2193.jpg

Unlike previous upgrades this will require some modifications to the XF551 Case. I have tried to keep these to a minimum. There is a left hand panel cutout for the controls and I am offering two different positions for the track display LED.

Position One is preferred in my opinion. It is the easiest to do, requiring only a small rectangular cutout on the right hand front panel.

Position Two is more complicated to do and has the added problem of visibility depending on what angle you are looking at it. It requires partial disassembly of the drive faceplate and more precise cutout and placement of the display board. It can be done and if you enjoy a challenge may work out well for you.

ModPlacementSmall.jpg

On the original XF551 Floppy Drive board you will need to solder up to 11 wire connections for the needed signals. On my re-imaged boards depending on the version you may only need to solder 1 to 4 wires.

In the near future I plan to offer an upgrade drive board that will connect to this control board. The drive board upgrade will add a second index sensor, density sensor, and write protect switch. These additional options will require the HyperFX Rom upgrade and require somewhat major drive mechanism modification and are not required for normal operation of this bundle.

As with my previous offerings ordering should be done on my website. Not through this thread. At this time assembly will take place in the US.

The cost will be $40.00 plus shipping.

I plan to do an minimum initial run of 10 bundles, with the option depending on the demand for multiples of 10.

Flat rate domestic shipping will be $8.00 while international shipping will be $22.50 for up to four.

Ordering will go live on Cyber Monday and be open for at least two weeks.

Parts ordering and assembly should take two to three weeks. Shipment will take place by Jan 20th or sooner.

 

 

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Looks great! Does the LED track display support tracks 00-79 when used with a 720k mech?

 

I would think so since it's just converting the step # coming from the WD1772 chip to a numeric display. The display is in the 0-9 range Unfortunately I don't have a 720K mech to verify with.

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Hello Lenore

 

What exactly does this board do? What does it ad to the XF551?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Hello Lenore

 

What exactly does this board do? What does it ad to the XF551?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

It adds of course a dual digit track number display. Also it adds a front facing drive id switch, a front facing OS switch and a reset button. That should help mostly eliminate the need to access the rear of the drive. :)

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Hello Lenore

 

And it ends the need to add a power LED. :D

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

I am thinking about adding a power LED...... But yes, the track display already shows if power is off/on, so it might be overkill.

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I dont understand the OS switch.. so you have multi OSs built into the board?? I would think that would be a feature to list?

 

James

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Hmmm,

 

how about a power on/off button (or switch) on the front ?

 

I thought about it, but the real estate on the two side panels is limited and it would have required a major alteration to both the original and my reimaged boards. Essentially you would have had to desolder the six pin power switch (three pin on my reimaged Modern Power Supply board) to break the circuit and then wired up an equivalent switch and circuit for the left front panel.

 

The Atari original main boards are already so fragile that it could turn into a nightmare real quick. Just soldering the 11 wires to various points on the one sided original board is enough to test my experience, let alone someone with less putting that much heat to the traces for long enough to desolder the switch legs. :?

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I dont understand the OS switch.. so you have multi OSs built into the board?? I would think that would be a feature to list?

 

James

 

My reimaged XF551 boards have the dual OS feature builtin, but terminate at a three pin jumper on the board. This extends it to the front panel. You can setup a similar circuit by doing this on the original boards.

 

Remove current chip from U6 on main board

Burn 2in1 rom file into blank 27c64 eprom

Bend pin 2 up and insert eprom into U6 socket so that pin 2 is left out of the socket

Solder one end of a wire to exposed pin 2 on eprom

Connect other end of wire to the OS connector on the control board

Now you can take advantage of the OS switch w/o the reimaged boards

 

Full instructions with pics will be available on my website when ordering goes live.

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Looks great! Does the LED track display support tracks 00-79 when used with a 720k mech?

 

Sure, it will work. This type of track display uses STEP and DIR signal of FDC and resets if TRACK0 is active low. It will work with any drive at any system and can count up to 99 :)

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Nice looking upgrade!

 

FWIW, I've had a front power switch (and LED) on my XF551 with 720K mech for years. Having a 3-1/2" mech is an advantage since the drive adapter (faceplate) it makes an ideal place to mount the switch. Desoldered nothing that I recall. If anyone is interested, I'll open it up and see what I did (it's been a long time since I did this mod). My only regret is that I could only find a crappy-looking switch at the time.

 

-Larry

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Hello Larry

 

You wrote: "If anyone is interested...". Do I need to say more? :-D

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Nice looking upgrade!

 

FWIW, I've had a front power switch (and LED) on my XF551 with 720K mech for years. Having a 3-1/2" mech is an advantage since the drive adapter (faceplate) it makes an ideal place to mount the switch. Desoldered nothing that I recall. If anyone is interested, I'll open it up and see what I did (it's been a long time since I did this mod). My only regret is that I could only find a crappy-looking switch at the time.

 

-Larry

 

I would be interested in how you wired the on/off switch without desoldering/breaking the original power circuit. ;-)

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Post deleted.

 

Doing some more checking on the underside of the board, I see what Dropcheck is saying about needing to desolder the switch or cut the main trace.

 

-Larry

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Hi Larry,

 

That's what I was afraid of. Your example is what it is. Obviously it does work. ;-)

 

But you definitely have to make a permanent trace cut on the pcb in the power switch circuit in lieu of de-soldering the switch. And while the 3 1/2 drive adapter faceplate gives you the extra room needed for the substantial sized power toggle switch, a 5 1/4 original drive doesn't have that extra space.

 

It's not that it can't be done. Don't get me wrong. It's just that I've tried to stay away from permanent changes to the XF551 main board as much as possible, believing that the less you change the original main board the better off you are. Sure you should be able to revert the trace cut, but on the original board that isn't going to be easy. Nothing's easy on that board. Except messing it up. :-D There's also the increased chance of frying yourself/and/or the board when you start messing with the power circuit. :skull:

 

The case cuts are a given since at present there's no economical way to add switchs/buttons etc to the top case by making an entirely new top case with the cutouts engineered in. :(

 

I will look into seeing if the left front panel will have enough room for a power toggle switch. I'll even look at moving it to the right front panel, but It doesn't have as much usable space due to the Atari logo. The only other place that might work is the lower left and right tabs, but again not much space for the unseen internal body of the switch.

 

Give me a couple of days. Gotta do the Thanksgiving dinner thing, and celebrate the Cowboys win over the Redskins today. :D

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Yes, the Cowboys will probably win today, and I'm a Cowboy fan, also...

 

Sorry to be dense, but I don't understand a couple of things. Hasn't this mod (cutting the rail) broken the power to all the drive internals? I can find no voltage anywhere with the front switch set to OFF. Admittedly, this is a hack, so I certainly would understand that you would want to do it "right."

 

Don't understand your comment about "fry yourself." With 10.5 VAC?

 

-Larry

 

 

I would assume it has cut power to all drive internals, if you cut the traces to the switch. :) I wasn't saying it doesn't work. My point was that you would have to make a major change to the original circuitry to do this mod and it is not easily reverted back on the original mainboard due to the fragility of the board traces. You definitely can do this mod, but it is most likely going to be pretty permanent.

 

"It's not the years, it's the mileage......." It's not so much the voltage as the amperage. You are looking at the potential of over an 1 amp of current if the ground and positive get together in the wrong way. I've seen the damage in electronic boxes when someone soldered the wrong lead to a terminal. I've shocked myself a number of times when I wired something wrong. It doesn't take more than 1 wire in the wrong place. I believe in Murphy's law. :-D

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I think I've worked out a way to route all controls to the front panel. Building on the example that Larry showed, I believe I've been able to incorporate a power switch option into the left front panel as such:

 

 

LFPWRPanel.JPG

 

 

This will be the board that every who orders the bundle will get. It does not include the switch or wiring to the rear power switch connection. But you are free to add your own at a later date. The idea is to from the back slide the shaft of the switch through the hole, hot glue it, then when mounting the board to the case you should still have the top of the shaft showing on the outside of the case. The hole is the standard 1/4 in diameter so most normal size toggle switches should fit. The problem will be to locate a toggle switch that has a body narrow enough to fit between the inside of the case and the drive mech side and the bottom edge of the case and has a shaft long enough to poke out through about 5-6 mm of board and case thickness. Don't forget you need to have a DPDT switch rated for 20V AC 1.5A. From my research I can tentatively recommend either E-Switch 100DP1T1B1M1REH or C & K 7201SYZBE. They are very close to the needed body size and shaft length while meeting the switch function and power rating. Others may work as well. :)

 

I can add an optional item that will provide both the switch mounted in the left front panel board and wired at that end. You will still need to cut traces on the board and wire that end of the switch into the main board power circuit. But there will be an additional cost. Right now I'm not sure exactly how much extra that will be, but I'm planning on not more than $10 and probably less.

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Did you ever release and sell the re-imaged XF551 boards?

 

Sure, Off and on over the last two years I have offered both the modern and original re-imaged boards. :)

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Just curious -- how many hours would you estimate you have invested in this project up to now? Looks like a pretty involved offering.

 

-Larry

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