Jump to content
foft

Developers/testing required for mini-itx clone system - ÉclaireXL

Recommended Posts

having seen Nir's YT video, this is very impressive stuff

 

will this be compatible with IDE Plus 2.0?

 

and cheeky question - is this likely to be produced in quantity and general sale?

 

if so, would love one

It should be compatible - the full PBI connector exists, as does the cart port. I believe there are a few PBI bugs still being worked on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

but, one thing that's nice about the 1088XEL, is that the current foot-print is small enough, now, that with a few slight changes, say replacing some of the dedicated ports with headers, instead, one can create something that CAN fit within all existing cases, using legacy hard-ware. Just need a little creative tinkering

 

Finding a place to plug in the keyboard might be a bit of a problem...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

but, one thing that's nice about the 1088XEL, is that the current foot-print is small enough, now, that with a few slight changes, say replacing some of the dedicated ports with headers, instead, one can create something that CAN fit within all existing cases, using legacy hard-ware. Just need a little creative tinkering

 

Finding a place to plug in the keyboard might be a bit of a problem...

 

Agreed ;)

 

As I mentioned before, I don't see either of these Mini-ITX creations being a replacement for a stock A8 motherboard in their original cases. Not to say that it couldn't be done, but I really would have to ask the question "Why?". However if this is what someone really wants to do, then I would say go with the ÉclaireXL instead of the 1088XEL. My reason for saying this is simple... since fitting either solution into the stock case will be a challenge, then why not go with the one that gives you the best bang for the buck, and that would be the ÉclaireXL.

 

Out of the box the ÉclaireXL has these distinct advantages.

  1. Beautiful HDMI and VGA output built-in
  2. Turbo up to x32 speed without the hassle and incompatibility of some of the other accelerated upgrades
  3. Built-in USB mouse and keyboard allowing the use of modern 'wireless' solutions for either
  4. Built-in SD storage

In fact to tell you the truth if the ÉclaireXL had been announced at the beginning of this year or earlier, there never would have been a 1088XEL, because quite frankly it would have knocked the wind out of my sails to do so. However with all that said, I do believe there is a place for both Mini-ITX alternatives, I just don't think that'll be inside of a stock A8 case ;)

 

- Michael

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael - I'm incredibly glad you made your board. I have both, and I since you outlined some advantages of the Eclaire, I'll tell you what I like about the 1088XEL.

  1. Ultimate 1MB
  2. Ability to run Sophia or VBXE2
  3. Your power supply solution - the Eclaire when mounted in a case must use the hardware switch at the back of the case, not the momentary pushbutton on the front of the case
  4. Your TK-II upgrade simply blows away the current USB keyboard mappings on the Eclaire
  5. I got to assembly the 1088XEL myself :)

I am glad both solutions exist.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fact to tell you the truth if the ÉclaireXL had been announced at the beginning of this year or earlier, there never would have been a 1088XEL, because quite frankly it would have knocked the wind out of my sails to do so. However with all that said, I do believe there is a place for both Mini-ITX alternatives, I just don't think that'll be inside of a stock A8 case ;)

 

- Michael

I'm suddenly very glad we didn't announce too soon. The last thing I want to do is impact creation of new hardware for/of the original systems - and the 1088XEL is very cool.

Edited by foft
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Ultimate 1MB
  • Ability to run Sophia or VBXE2
  • Your power supply solution - the Eclaire when mounted in a case must use the hardware switch at the back of the case, not the momentary pushbutton on the front of the case
  • Your TK-II upgrade simply blows away the current USB keyboard mappings on the Eclaire
  • I got to assembly the 1088XEL myself :)

We should try to get all these working... Well with the obvious exception of Sophia and self-assembly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We should try to get all these working... Well with the obvious exception of Sophia and self-assembly.

Yeah - no real need for Sophia or VBXE2 in this. The HDMI output is beautiful, and with the awesome 2X and 4X ANTIC modes, it has it's own unique video upgrade. I would imagine that the key mapping is super easy to change, and there's no way I'd want to do any kind of assembly on that board!! The "push to turn" power should be a very simple circuit.

 

The only real change I will make to my setup, is when I decide on a proper case, I will not be using the daughter board, but rather placing all connectors I can on the back plane of the case. That's just a matter of wiring up some cables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PBI seems to be working, I'd make a video but I have a feeling Nir might beat me too it :)

 

Now running Numen in 64KB mode using the turbo freezer ramdisk...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fact to tell you the truth if the ÉclaireXL had been announced at the beginning of this year or earlier, there never would have been a 1088XEL, because quite frankly it would have knocked the wind out of my sails to do so.

 

- Michael

 

Hi Michael.

 

Believe it or not, the design of eclaireXL as is now in both versions, never started as a project. Just happened....

Just happened from my need to have an Atari in ITX case form on my desk, capable to share my VGA/DVI PC monitor. Then it was when I saw for first time what foft had started back in 2013. I came in contact with him, tried and failed to assemble one of his prototype boards, and the rest is just history....

 

At that moment neither me I knew about your project. I don't remember if foft or rdea6 they made me know later.

Though never in the past have done some comparison between these, I see from time to time members to do that. Ok maybe this to be the nature of things, because both projects have a similar objective.

Among them I do not see better or worse, but two different efforts. And that's what counts! :thumbsup:

 

I think that both tries have left their mark in the newer Atari era, with yours to be more feasible and attractive as construction for the DIY Atari user. At the end everyone have some Atari 8-bit computer to extract and use the custom ic's.

EclaireXL will be remain for the fewer because of its high built cost even in 100 or 200 pieces, except of course if someone start to make some thousands... ;-) Or a kick-starter project adding some specialized plastic ITX case and maybe a WASD keyboard? :?

 

I hope this last (keyboard) to come soon thanks to efforts of 917k! ;)

 

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products.html

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Michael.

 

Believe it or not, the design of eclaireXL as is now in both versions, never started as a project. Just happened....

Just happened from my need to have an Atari in ITX case form on my desk, capable to share my VGA/DVI PC monitor. Then it was when I saw for first time what foft had started back in 2013. I came in contact with him, tried and failed to assemble one of his prototype boards, and the rest is just history....

 

At that moment neither me I knew about your project. I don't remember if foft or rdea6 they made me know later.

Though never in the past have done some comparison between these, I see from time to time members to do that. Ok maybe this to be the nature of things, because both projects have a similar objective.

Among them I do not see better or worse, but two different efforts. And that's what counts! :thumbsup:

 

I think that both tries have left their mark in the newer Atari era, with yours to be more feasible and attractive as construction for the DIY Atari user. At the end everyone have some Atari 8-bit computer to extract and use the custom ic's.

EclaireXL will be remain for the fewer because of its high built cost even in 100 or 200 pieces, except of course if someone start to make some thousands... ;-) Or a kick-starter project adding some specialized plastic ITX case and maybe a WASD keyboard? :?

 

I hope this last (keyboard) to come soon thanks to efforts of 917k! ;)

 

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products.html

I've had a WASD Code V2B, Cherry MX Green, 104-key white LED keyboard for years now. Absolutely adore it. Bit of a bummer though - my left shift key has a huge area of the black worn off, and several of the keycaps are starting to lose the blackout on the edges. I'll be breaking out the tiny paintbrush soon.

 

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/code-keyboard/code-104-key-mechanical-keyboard-mx-green.html

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Michael.

 

Believe it or not, the design of eclaireXL as is now in both versions, never started as a project. Just happened....

Just happened from my need to have an Atari in ITX case form on my desk, capable to share my VGA/DVI PC monitor. Then it was when I saw for first time what foft had started back in 2013. I came in contact with him, tried and failed to assemble one of his prototype boards, and the rest is just history....

 

At that moment neither me I knew about your project. I don't remember if foft or rdea6 they made me know later.

Though never in the past have done some comparison between these, I see from time to time members to do that. Ok maybe this to be the nature of things, because both projects have a similar objective.

Among them I do not see better or worse, but two different efforts. And that's what counts! :thumbsup:

 

I think that both tries have left their mark in the newer Atari era, with yours to be more feasible and attractive as construction for the DIY Atari user. At the end everyone have some Atari 8-bit computer to extract and use the custom ic's.

EclaireXL will be remain for the fewer because of its high built cost even in 100 or 200 pieces, except of course if someone start to make some thousands... ;-) Or a kick-starter project adding some specialized plastic ITX case and maybe a WASD keyboard? :?

 

I hope this last (keyboard) to come soon thanks to efforts of 917k! ;)

 

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products.html

 

Yep I agree that there is room for both Mini-ITX alternative Atari motherboards, with some people as you mentioned wanting to build their own, which is where the 1088XEL comes into play. And it was my goal to have something smaller and able to use better quality keyboards not attached to the computer itself that really drove the project. I never really liked the idea of having to drag around all your peripheral cords (SIO, Monitor and Audio out, and power connection) if you simply wanted to move the keyboard into a a more comfortable typing position, or onto your lap (that's where the ÉclaireXL really excels with the possibility of using wireless USB keyboards).

 

I've also been thinking of getting a custom WASD PS2 keyboard done to match up with TK-II's A8/ISO mode (custom keys are still a work in progress).

 

wasd-a8-iso.png

 

- Michael

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple of designs finished including a full-color one styled after the Atari 400. I am also looking into some options that are less expensive than the WASD option. I have been in contact with some reasonably priced sources that do full-color keyboard printing and do have a template from them to work with but so far it is the American-style keyboard which unfortunately Eclaire does not work with very well. I'm not sure if WASD still does full-color keycap printing but I am awaiting their reply to my email asking if they do. One way or another, I am going to have some keyboards (or keycaps) made. I do plan to make my designs available to everybody at some point.

Edited by 917k
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trouble with the American layout is there are only two keys to the right of L.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple of designs finished including a full-color one styled after the Atari 400. I am also looking into some options that are less expensive than the WASD option. I have been in contact with some reasonably priced sources that do full-color keyboard printing and do have a template from them to work with but so far it is the American-style keyboard which unfortunately Eclaire does not work with very well. I'm not sure if WASD still does full-color keycap printing but I am awaiting their reply to my email asking if they do. One way or another, I am going to have some keyboards (or keycaps) made. I do plan to make my designs available to everybody at some point.

 

You really might want to reconsider and use the ISO standard as I've used in my example. It gives you a more ideal layout that comes pretty close to matching the A8's keyboard.

 

Please let us know what you find out about full color printing as well.

 

- Michael

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VGA and HDMI is the real reason I want to purchase one of these, even though I have a 1088 XEL... As Michael and Stephen have both indicated there is room for both.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance there will be more EclairXL's produced?

I'd like to do a larger run in about 6 months once we've powered up the new hardware on these board, found and some more bugs etc.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VGA and HDMI is the real reason I want to purchase one of these, even though I have a 1088 XEL... As Michael and Stephen have both indicated there is room for both.

Well for just getting HDMI we should build a solution for GTIA, like Sophia. I was wondering about using one of the tiny 36 pin MAX10 chips for that. I think it should also drive the Atari clock, since that will need adjusting for compatible HDMI.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really might want to reconsider and use the ISO standard as I've used in my example. It gives you a more ideal layout that comes pretty close to matching the A8's keyboard.

 

Yes, I do understand that... my current designs are made using the WASD ISO template... however, at least here in the USA, the companies I have contacted that do inexpensive (<$40 each) full-color keyboard printing use the American style keyboards... not something I have control over. ISO keyboards in general are not exactly common in the USA.

 

I have been in contact with some reasonably priced sources that do full-color keyboard printing and do have a template from them to work with but so far it is the American-style keyboard which unfortunately Eclaire does not work with very well

 

Deja Vu! ;)

Edited by 917k

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well for just getting HDMI we should build a solution for GTIA, like Sophia. I was wondering about using one of the tiny 36 pin MAX10 chips for that. I think it should also drive the Atari clock, since that will need adjusting for compatible HDMI.

 

After this announcement I can see only "possibilities" for the 1088XEL!!!! ;) :thumbsup:

Edited by santosp
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the WASD vector files completed for two keyboards so far. Here are some mock-ups to show basically what they look like...

Atari 400 inspired...

 

400_keyboard_mockup.png

 

Atari XE inspired...

 

XE_keyboard_mockup_003.png

 

I am working on the Atari 800 and Atari XL style designs next. I will have to wait a bit before getting these made into actual keyboards until some additional keyboard functions are added to the EclaireXL core.

Edited by 917k
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's too bad that the Function Key assignments differ from the XEL which is of course based upon the TransKey and also loosely patterned after the 1200XL. I always thought it kind of odd that the emulators were also different, especially considering that the original 1990 TransKey came before any of them. If I had more room in the TK-II's memory I could have provided an alternate key map, but sadly it's all used up.

 

- Michael

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, shall we match function keys where it makes sense then?

 

I guess you mean start,select,option and reset.

 

We need to implement keymapping in eclair, is your tk2 firmware in c and, if so, can we use it please?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, shall we match function keys where it makes sense then?

 

I guess you mean start,select,option and reset.

 

We need to implement keymapping in eclair, is your tk2 firmware in c and, if so, can we use it please?

I developed the TK-II firmware in a high level visual programming language called FlowCode which does go through an interim C compiler (Boost C) and then into machine code. If you think it will be of any help I can give you the C code, but keep in mind that it won't be commented, nor pretty, or efficient since there is a lot of extraneous code associated with this process. Still interested?

 

- Michael

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...