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New Hardware Offering: XF551 Control Board Bundle Pre-Order

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I was looking at your site. Confused on how this new board get installed. Why do you have to install the heatsync and regulator?

 

There's an install doc in the dropdown under the Product Docs heading. Basicly there's a screw that holds the +5V regulator against the heatsink. It's head on most XF551 boards is not accessible on the outside of the heatsink. It's inside. Getting to it to unscrew it is difficult if you do not have a right angle screw driver and not that easy even then. It's easier to unsolder the regulator or cut it the legs.

 

Now you run into the same issue when you install the reimaged board, only in reverse. I go ahead and pre-solder the +12V regulator because it's relatively easy to screw the heatsink to it. It's screw head is outfacing. I leave the +5V regulator unsoldered so that you can screw the regulator to the inside of the heatsink and then insert the heatsink onto the board. Then solder the +5V regulator in and trim the legs.

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Also, at the risk of beating the dead horse, my idea was that the pcb(s) would need to be reshaped to fit underneath -- long and narrow as opposed to the current shape. Maybe smaller track displays? Sort of like the little control panel & PCB on the Rana? Might well be too much work to do it. Just a thought as to another possible way. (Or maybe not...)

 

I presume all the rotary switch does is to change the OS? So if you didn't want/need that feature, then it does not need to be installed? Just an IMO, but I would think the most popular features would be the track display and maybe the power switch.

 

-Larry

 

The rotary switch changes the drive #. The sub miniature toggle switch switches between OSs The track display is already the smallest I could find that could be seen more than 2 feet away and it's smaller than the one on the Rana drive. I have no clue what the shape of the main mod board has to do with the need to run cabling through to the control and display boards. Regardless of the dimensions of the display and control boards you will have to cut the case to get customer facing access to the LED display and the controls. It doesn't matter where they are placed. Or are we back to the idea of trying to squeeze the ribbon cable between the drive mech faceplate and bottom case lip? :?

 

On the Rana drive, the motherboard contains the majority of the circuitry for the LED display and controls. You still have the small LED display and control board at the front just like mine. In their case they designed the cutouts in the case necessary to hold these boards. If you look at the area the makers of the Rana drive set aside for the display and controls, it's double and triple what the XF551 has. ;)

 

Atari just never planned for anything like that to be placed on the front of their XF551 case. Their goal appears to have been make it as cheap as possible, and put it in the smallest of cases they could. They succeeded, and now we have the problem we have. :(

 

The only optional control I see is the reset button. Everything else is somewhat needed. Maybe you won't switch OSs very often, but the only way to do that without the switch is to open the case and move the jumper on my reimaged board. The drive # id is also not used all that often, but when you do, you have to practically dismantle your setup and stand on your head to change the id if you don't turn the drive around to see the back.. The power switch is going to be the biggest control whether it shows on the outside or it's main bulk is hidden behind a panel. It has to be somewhat hefty to handle the power from the power brick. I'm growing to like the idea more and more. ;-)

 

I can understand a desire not to cut the case. Once it's done, you can't go back. Don't buy the mod. ;-)

 

I can understand the desire to have these mods. Buy the mod. Make the case cuts. :thumbsup:

 

You really can't have both. At least until someone rich can afford to have the XF551 case redesigned to incorporate these external display and controls. :(

 

Otherwise prove what you are saying by doing a prototype yourself. I can send you the mod control board. All you have to do is design and make the LED display and controls prototypes. Remember no cutting, no gaps(everything sits flush) and it has to work with a original XF551 case and drive mech. ;-)

 

I know I sound defensive, but just because you want something to be a certain way doesn't mean that's the best way, the only way or even possible. Prove me wrong. :twisted:

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User kheller makes a good point, just go with a floppy enclosure that the guts of XF551s can be installed into.

 

This way you can use bent aluminum, and don't have to mess about with plastics. You could make a prototype in an evening by just hacksawing the middle section out of an obsolete PC case & chasis, only retaining the 5.25" drive bays and the base of the computer case

 

Actually, I was trying to say that since DropCheck has already done all the internal electronics in the reimaged XF board and the display, and *IF* making cases were cheap, she could sell the whole thing as one unit, a new XF model, but just requires your own mech. Yes that would probably be way to expensive for the average Atarian, and then you have your old XF case and guts and nothing to do with them.

 

I see a tipping point where you go from actually modding a drive to basically building a new drive. I don't mind cutting in the case of my XF for the mods, and I didn't purchase an XF551 board to replace one (but rather build it into an all in one Atari computer case). So for those who want to build floppy towers from generic cases these upgrades are fantastic. :)

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I know I sound defensive, but just because you want something to be a certain way doesn't mean that's the best way, the only way or even possible. Prove me wrong. :twisted:

 

Just an idea and suggestion, as I specifically said. But I would also say that the AtariAge "market" has already given you an answer for the existing design. :twisted:

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Sorry it didn't make it.

 

FWIW, the "turn-off" to me was cutting those holes in the case and dealing with the attachments and connections on the removable lid. Just a thought -- the XF551 has a nice recess below the drive mech. & upper case area. Would it be possible to put part or all of the displays in an add-on "bar" that would fit below the mech. Sort of like the MegaSpeedy control panel (but would look a bit 'cleaner") and eliminate most all of the cutting?

 

-Larry

 

Just an idea and suggestion, as I specifically said. But I would also say that the AtariAge "market" has already given you an answer for the existing design. :twisted:

 

Larry,

 

Don't forget the hundreds of other reasons like running out of hobby money before the end of the year, the need to spend for Christmas for other people, don't have an XF551, can't afford it, etc. ;-)

 

My remarks dealt with the suggestions you gave, not the reason you gave for not buying. You didn't want to cut your case. That's a legit reason. I'm not keen on cutting cases either, but if you wanted the mod, you had to accept the reality of cutting. And that due to the case design of the XF551 you were limited in where to make the cuts

 

I debated with you that trying to put the display at the bottom had it's own problems, namely height space. And would still require cutting the case, but in a more difficult area to cut in than the front side panels of the top lid due to the uneven stair step design on the bottom front.

 

The XF551 case is not the 1050 case. It doesn't have a small removable front piece that makes it easier to cut. You're example of the MegaSpeedy is dependent upon additional housing that the user would have to devise. Or I or someone else would have to design a 3d printable housing that the user may or may not have the ability to print. The need to open the case up I felt was so infrequent that disconnecting the two wire connectors from the back of the two control/display boards would not be a major issue. Or I guess three wire connectors including the power switch.

 

I want to make this mod as easy to install as possible. Even for people who are fumble fingers like me. ;)

 

I challenged you to develop a better way, even offering to send you a main mod board so all you had to do was figure out a way to do it better without cutting the case or the additional housing. I wanted to see if you're way would in fact be better. The last line of my post that you quoted applies to me as well.

 

I wasn't trying to piss you off. ;-)

 

Take care...... Merry Christmas

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the power switch is cake... just leave the one in the back of the xf in the on position and make a jumper barrel plug to put in the power jack and have a jack on the add on board.... no cutting and all that crap, plug and play

Edited by _The Doctor__

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the power switch is cake... just leave the one in the back of the xf in the on position and make a jumper barrel plug to put in the power jack and have a jack on the add on board.... no cutting and all that crap, plug and play

 

Suppose your theory about the power switch works, and I don't know if it would or wouldn't, ( :) ) the power switch is not the only control. There are three other controls for the mod.

 

Even if all you add is the LED display which is the heart of the mod, you are going to have to cut.

 

The only question is how much and how difficult the cuts will be to make. And what else will need to be done to make the final results look nice. :(

 

The only other option I can think of is a flat plastic insert for the left front panel. It would be sized for the various controls to stick out of. The requirement then would be to completely cut out the same space on the case and hot glue the assembly in that space. Same for the right front panel. Fewer cuts maybe, but still cuts.

 

Of course now you are talking about adding a 'housing' for the controls, which I was negative about before. And you are putting the controls and display in the top lid which Larry doesn't like. :(

 

Seems like I said, there's no easy solution. Only what you are willing to do. :)

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Ideas and thoughts,

 

I was able to fish flat ribbon cable thru the slits in the bottom case no cutting problem there, there is enough room in the back to allow a decent two conductor cord to pass thru for power, so cutting the case isn't necessary the angled add on for the control and led will still fit nicely across the front bottom edge. Tight fit but putting the power switch on the bottom left like a 1050, led segment next to that, followed by switch/ push button and finishing with nob to the right. As far as cuts to the pcb, it only saves you a couple in terms of power etc. sheets of gun metal grey plastic sheets can be had at hobby shops for a couple to a few bucks. With as touchy as the XF pcb can be the less we diturb the better.

 

I am a sick puppy, how about going whole hog and have a sector display as well, they look awesome watching them spin through the numbers!

 

I am looking at the size of that segment display board and have a hard time seeing how the pcb would sit easily in any location.... smaller or having pcb same height as led segment display might help. the squareness is make it tough.. maybe it looks bigger than it is...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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