Jump to content
mytek

1088XEL Alternative Mother-Board Project

Recommended Posts

VBXE2?

I believe the 2 was put on boards after candle began making them. IIRC it booted faster than the original model. It's what Lotharek now sells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the 2 was put on boards after candle began making them. IIRC it booted faster than the original model. It's what Lotharek now sells.

Ah, for one moment, I was thinking, that everything just got more expensive ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is more "icing for the cake", but have you given any thought to having some sort of I/O Shield/Backplate?

 

They're not made out of much at all. I have no idea what a custom job might run.

 

If they're too much, SuperMicro makes a blank plate with no holes. The part # is MCP-260-00011-0N

 

If you do a search for the part #, you can find them from a number of places, as cheap as $2.99 from CDW (not sure what shipping is though).

 

Amazon has it for $7.99 + Free Shipping, etc.

 

[Note: I'm assuming mini-ITX plates are the same as ATX.]

 

post-6369-0-59221300-1492816796_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by MrFish
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is more "icing for the cake", but have you given any thought to having some sort of I/O Shield/Backplate?

 

They're not made out of much at all. I have no idea what a custom job might run.

 

If they're too much, SuperMicro makes a blank plate with no holes. The part # is MCP-260-00011-0N

 

If you do a search for the part #, you can find them from a number of places, as cheap as $2.99 from CDW (not sure what shipping is though).

 

Amazon has it for $7.99 + Free Shipping, etc.

 

[Note: I'm assuming mini-ITX plates are the same as ATX.]

 

attachicon.gifbackplate.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the source and link to the blank plate. Yes it would be fantastic to have a custom plate, but other than Front Panel Express (FPE), I really wouldn't know where to have them made. FPE would be kind of pricey and it would need to be made of aluminum for their process to work (wouldn't be able to snap in place, but it could be made with a lip and glued in).

 

Do you have any ideas about who could either make or modify the blank?

 

- Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for the source and link to the blank plate. Yes it would be fantastic to have a custom plate, but other than Front Panel Express (FPE), I really wouldn't know where to have them made. FPE would be kind of pricey and it would need to be made of aluminum for their process to work (wouldn't be able to snap in place, but it could be made with a lip and glued in).

 

Do you have any ideas about who could either make or modify the blank?

 

- Michael

Do you have a rough image of what the backplate would need to look like with all cutouts? Very small chance I might be able to punch out a few.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the source and link to the blank plate. Yes it would be fantastic to have a custom plate, but other than Front Panel Express (FPE), I really wouldn't know where to have them made. FPE would be kind of pricey and it would need to be made of aluminum for their process to work (wouldn't be able to snap in place, but it could be made with a lip and glued in).

 

Do you have any ideas about who could either make or modify the blank?

 

It might be cheaper to have someone stamp the blanks, IDK.

 

AK Stamping looks like they will make them (maybe just stamp them too), but who knows what kind of minimum they may require. They'd have to be contacted.

 

Here's their brochure/listing for Computer/Electronics Solutions, which mentions that they do various types of related I/O shields:

 

AKS Computer Electronics Solutions.pdf

Edited by MrFish
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a rough image of what the backplate would need to look like with all cutouts? Very small chance I might be able to punch out a few.

 

I'll have to export my PCB layout to DXF then import it into my CAD program. That will give me X axis dimensions, or in other words the connector hole centers. Then I'll need to do some measuring to extrapolate the height of those holes and enter them in. So probably won't have that today, but maybe sometime next week. I need to make this dimensional drawing no matter what, so if you can't punch any plates that's ok. EDIT: although if you can do one from a blank, that would be a great double check of my drawing's accuracy before submitting it to someone to make a bunch.

 

 

 

It might be cheaper to have someone stamp the blanks, IDK.

 

AK Stamping looks like they will make them (maybe just stamp them too), but who knows what kind of minimum they may require. They'd have to be contacted.

 

Here's their brochure/listing for Computer/Electronics Solutions, which mentions that they do various types of related I/O shields:

 

attachicon.gifAKS Computer Electronics Solutions.pdf

 

Thanks MrFish :thumbsup: :)

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess most users would not mind if the backplates were made of plastic, 3D-printed.

 

That's also a very good idea :thumbsup: :)

 

- Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would also allow for embossed labelling :)

 

Yes that would look very nice :thumbsup:

 

What I think I'll do is post the dimensioned CAD file when I get that put together (and upload a DXF), and see if we can get a volunteer to create the STL file from that for doing a 3D print. I think this will be a better way to go than doing it in metal for economic reasons, and could still look very professional.

 

- Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess most users would not mind if the backplates were made of plastic, 3D-printed.

 

I had given this idea some thought too, but was thinking it might be too thin and brittle. I suppose if it was printed thick enough and doesn't obstruct the connectors it probably would be fine. Plus, I guess it's just going to be put in place and left alone for the most part. It probably will be more economical, although a person could drill and cut the holes on the $2.99 metal plate themselves if they wanted to. It's thin enough that it would be able to be cut with a utility knife, and then the circular holes could be drilled. I'd be interested to see what could be done with a 3D printer though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had given this idea some thought too, but was thinking it might be too thin and brittle. I suppose if it was printed thick enough and doesn't obstruct the connectors it probably would be fine. Plus, I guess it's just going to be put in place and left alone for the most part. It probably will be more economical, although a person could drill and cut the holes on the $2.99 metal plate themselves if they wanted to. It's thin enough that it would be able to be cut with a utility knife, and then the circular holes could be drilled. I'd be interested to see what could be done with a 3D printer though.

I believe there is room to make it fairly thick, since the motherboard mounting allows space between it and the back of the enclosure. I'll check this out better when i actually get around to creating the CAD file.

 

------------------------

Project Update

------------------------

The Version 1.1 PCB file which contains fixes for the problems such as the transposed 6520 PIA address lines and the Power-Up Reset, has now been completed. I'll be making a small run to verify everything, but will be holding off on doing so until my beta testers have had time to run their own tests. I'll also hold off on posting the updated schematics until things look pretty solid and locked in, no sense in having multiple sub version documents of this production version out there in the wild.

 

One of the highlights of this new version will be a slightly expanded MPBI connector, which allows for adding a couple more signals that will prove very useful for later upgrades such as the Covox sound generation device that was talked about earlier. Here is a sneak peek at the new improved version (added Left and Right Audio Inputs and the /RST signal).

 

XFnFFf2.png

 

Also fixed the MMU and OSROM mis-routed signals, which wasn't an issue for the U1MB, but might have impacted a replacement daughter board. Speaking of which there has been talk on the Polish forums about possibly having a simple daughter board that would contain the standard MMU and OSROM (or some facsimile thereof). I also had this same thought, and will be looking into doing something like this down the road, once I figure out if I want to approach it in a simple way (just plug in Atari ROM and MMU) or maybe allow for multiple OS switching. However the idea is to keep it simple and inexpensive, thereby being a poor man's substitute for the U1MB board and not try to make it actually do what the U1MB does (what would be the point, the U1MB is a bargain for all that it does).

 

 

- Michael

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching and waiting.. I will be bugging Stephen lots to hear how his testing is going .. ##atari baby!

 

This is very exciting.. and I think I will build it myself from a purchased board. I have an 800xl I can desolder (not socketed). I am using the case and keyboard for a 800xl PC anyway(I will be documenting it online as well) - putting a micropc I5 windows machine in an 800xl case - keeping and using the 800xl keyboard! :)

 

So I am looking forward to the summer and an address to send my money to :P

 

James

Edited by Bikerbob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching and waiting.. I will be bugging Stephen lots to hear how his testing is going .. ##atari baby!

 

This is very exciting.. and I think I will build it myself from a purchased board. I have an 800xl I can desolder (not socketed). I am using the case and keyboard for a 800xl PC anyway(I will be documenting it online as well) - putting a micropc I5 windows machine in an 800xl case - keeping and using the 800xl keyboard! :)

 

So I am looking forward to the summer and an address to send my money to :P

 

James

 

Hi James :)

 

Not sure what the situation will be on buying just the board, but I do know that there will be a pre-order in the works come Summer assuming that MacRorie is still game for doing that. It would be good if that can be piggy-backed with orders for just the bare boards for people that want the DIY experience, thus making the per board cost very cheap.

 

- Michael

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi James :)

 

Not sure what the situation will be on buying just the board, but I do know that there will be a pre-order in the works come Summer assuming that MacRorie is still game for doing that. It would be good if that can be piggy-backed with orders for just the bare boards for people that want the DIY experience, thus making the per board cost very cheap.

 

- Michael

Well, don't want to jump the gun and not knowing MacRorie's plans (or wanting to interfere with his efforts) I would be up for doing a limited group buy of PCBs, thinking cost + shipping. But like I said don't want to interfere with his effort which with a larger group would lower the PCB costs.

Yogi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I had given this idea some thought too, but was thinking it might be too thin and brittle. I suppose if it was printed thick enough and doesn't obstruct the connectors it probably would be fine. Plus, I guess it's just going to be put in place and left alone for the most part. It probably will be more economical, although a person could drill and cut the holes on the $2.99 metal plate themselves if they wanted to. It's thin enough that it would be able to be cut with a utility knife, and then the circular holes could be drilled. I'd be interested to see what could be done with a 3D printer though.

If anyone has the skills/tools/friends to drill a metal plate, it could be glued or screwed on to the plastic backplate for more sturdiness and better look. It would surely be much easier to customize a flat metal plate than make an intricately shaped one that would hold there on its own.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the XEL prototype enters into it's final testing phase, it's looking pretty solid and other than a few minor fixes that will be incorporated into the final board release, a Summer 2017 release into the wild is imminent. So for those that are interested in building their own, buying a complete kit, or possibly even purchasing a fully assembled board we are within a few months of seeing that happen.

 

 

Not sure what the situation will be on buying just the board, but I do know that there will be a pre-order in the works come Summer assuming that MacRorie is still game for doing that. It would be good if that can be piggy-backed with orders for just the bare boards for people that want the DIY experience, thus making the per board cost very cheap.

 

- Michael

 

I'm crossing my fingers that someone steps up to offer fully assembled (unpopulated) XEL boards. I can solder a few wires but there's no way I could handle entire sockets without melting the board and burning my house down lol. :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OH.. guess thats more what I am meaning and I think thats what MacRorie is looking to do. I want to buy an unpopulated but has all the sockets/resistors etc.. on it. I assume we would get that manufactured that way?? someone would not do that by hand and only sell it for 80-100 or something thats insane.

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone has the skills/tools/friends to drill a metal plate, it could be glued or screwed on to the plastic backplate for more sturdiness and better look. It would surely be much easier to customize a flat metal plate than make an intricately shaped one that would hold there on its own.

 

Yep I agree that a flat plate would be much much easier to deal with, than a stamped one like how the bezels normally are done. However although it'll be expensive, I was also thinking of doing one in Front Panel Express as a machined aluminum anodized panel, giving it a flange (easily done), and just adding a dab or two of glue to hold it in place. But this will be an expensive proposition, although it would look great.

 

 

I'm crossing my fingers that someone steps up to offer fully assembled (unpopulated) XEL boards. I can solder a few wires but there's no way I could handle entire sockets without melting the board and burning my house down lol. :grin:

 

I'm suspecting that's what MacRorie is proposing to do -- sell fully assembled boards. But I could be mistaken. We'll have to wait for him to chime in ;)

 

 

OH.. guess thats more what I am meaning and I think thats what MacRorie is looking to do. I want to buy an unpopulated but has all the sockets/resistors etc.. on it. I assume we would get that manufactured that way?? someone would not do that by hand and only sell it for 80-100 or something thats insane.

 

There has not been a price set, or mentioned, for an assembled board or kit. The pricing that was shown (which was an estimate) was for the cost of the parts only (no assembly labor or shipping included). I have no idea what the price would be for an assembled board. And a lot is dependent upon how many units are to be built, although I think the initial pre-order might possibly be for 50 pieces. Speaking of which, I was able to get my hands on 50 NOS SIO Jacks for that build from an old acquaintance of mine from the early days of Atari. He donated them to the cause, so at least that part comes without cost.

 

Anyway I think it'll be best to stop speculating for the moment, and wait for MacRorie to jump in here.

 

- Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think that backplate can be 3d printed.But on other hand iron backplate is more solid, stronger solution.

Try find lasercutting service near you.Its not very high priced.One meter for 50 cents or so.Try mechanical engineering companies or advertising companies with laser cutter (they are using them for company logos and so).So 1meter will be 10x backplate or so...Personally I have 2 PCs and both have no backplate (for better air circulation) only my MAC has backplate...So for me its OK to have just ports...

Edited by Matej

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think that backplate can be 3d printed.But on other hand iron backplate is more solid, stronger solution.

Try find lasercutting service near you.Its not very high priced.One meter for 50 cents or so.Try mechanical engineering companies or advertising companies with laser cutter (they are using them for company logos and so).So 1meter will be 10x backplate or so...Personally I have 2 PCs and both have no backplate (for better air circulation) only my MAC has backplate...So for me its OK to have just ports...

The issue is that lasercutting won't cut it (pun intended :D) for a full-featured backplate as also some intricate bending of the edges has to be done. See the image of the blank backplate in post #513.

Edited by pseudografx
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I have 2 PCs and both have no backplate (for better air circulation) only my MAC has backplate...So for me its OK to have just ports...

 

Actually, it doesn't necessarily provide better airflow by leaving off the backplate in a modern PC -- unless you have some type of system that uses no fans at all or you insure that fans are drawing and exhausting air in such a way as to make good use of the large opening created by leaving the backplate off. Cases are designed (some being designed better than others, and unfortunately some not being designed well at all in this respect) for best airflow via the vents and fans. If you leave open the backplate, air flowing through it can provide less cooling in some cases. For instance, with a fan that is in the back near the backplate itself, air can enter through the backplate and then quickly exit through that fan, impeding air from flowing in through the openings that the fan is intended to draw air through.

 

Having said that, cooling is obviously a different issue for Atari machines -- although I'm not entirely sure how hot some of the modern hardware gets (i.e.: U1MB, VBXE, etc.). In the case of a machine with no fans, leaving the backplate open will of course add to the airflow/cooling. But since modern cases like this typically provide a means for having one or more fans, it's certainly wouldn't be a bad idea to have one hooked up. I don't know if a spot has been provided on this board for powering one though.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least with the enclosure I intend to use, convection cooling is no problem, and probably better than any stock Atari. And with all the glue logic replaced with CMOS, utilization of SRAM instead of dynamic (also enabling less glue logic), and lots of headroom (no keyboard) my system stays very cool without fans. Heat will not be a problem.

 

For those that want to purchase 5 unstuffed PCB's, even without a group buy the price is very reasonable through ALLPCB, but I would bump that quantity up to 10 pieces for a far better price per board cost. Go to the website and do an instant quote for a 170 x 170 mm, 4-layer board, and try it both at 5 and 10 pieces and you'll see what I mean.

 

- Michael

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...