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XEL-CF Compact Flash Adapter for 1088XEL (formerly XEL-I3)

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Okay, I've been following this thread with half an eye ...

 

Now that I have a 1200XL with an Ultimate 1MB installed in it (and even better, it appears be stable and doesn't corrupt the settings with power cycling and resets!), I'd love to put in a compatible PBI flash-based disk device inside it. I have a SIDE2 cart but that shell Lotharek uses is just not suited for a 1200XL at all. Is there any way to install this device inside a U1MB-equipped XL machine such as my situation? If so, what do I need to order to make it work? I don't mind soldering (obviously) but surface-mount stuff is definitely not my forte.

Thanks. :)

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That's similar to my situation. IIRC, there was talk of an under CPU adapter. I sure hope it happens.

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I have a SIDE2 cart but that shell Lotharek uses is just not suited for a 1200XL at all. Is there any way to install this device inside a U1MB-equipped XL machine such as my situation?

I took the case off of the Side2 I use with my 1200XL. It’s not the best solution, but it works well.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Although primarily intended for attachment to the 1088XEL's MPBI port, I'm pretty certain the adapters (or a variation thereof) can be used on actual Atari machines. A special build of the U1MB PBI BIOS drives the CF card (or cards: you can have master/slave) and your cartridge port is left unoccupied.

 

As for the SIDE2 shell: shave about 0.5mm of either side of the casing with a flat file/fine grit sandpaper and it fits fine.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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XEL-CF to 1088XEL Mounting Details

 

Dz13Ixp.jpg

 

1hYa93J.jpg

 

lVqexUe.jpg

 

I chose to use Stainless Steel Pan Head Screws with the nylon hardware to achieve insulation from the board(s) as well as strength. If an 11mm threaded nylon stand-off could be found, then only two washers would be needed (I couldn't find one in the size that I required).

 

Mounting Parts...

 

M2.5x7mm SS Pan Head Screw (minimum purchase 10 pieces)

M2.5x10mm Nylon Threaded Stand-Off (minimum purchase 50 pieces)

M2.5x1mm Nylon Flat Washer (minimum purchase 10 pieces)

 

BTW, flashjazzcat has been hard at work creating a BIOS upgrade for the U1MB that will recognize dual CF-to-IDE44 card adapters on the same ribbon cable connected to the XEL-CF-][ board. So now the ][ part of the model number comes into play.

 

- Michael

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*** BOARD MANUFACTURING FILE RELEASE for DIY ***

 

Production Gerber Files: XEL-CF-II_Rev1_0_production_gerbers.zip

 

I've done two test batches of these through EasyEDA, and both times they came out fantastic and for a very reasonable price. If you use that link, you can simply drag and drop the zipped gerber file, and then fill out the details on the order form.

 

IMPORTANT: Chose 74 mm x 66 mm, 2-Layer, 2 for different designs in panel, and the number of boards you wish to order. All other options can be left at defaults, unless you wish to customize things like solder mask color and/or surface finish to your preference.

 

Note: Since this board is composed of two distinctly different break-away parts panelized together (interface/CF mounting board), it does not qualify for any current discounts that I am aware of.

 

Enjoy :) !!!

 

- Michael

 

Note: You can do combined shipments by adding multiple boards to the cart, so this might be a good one to toss in with another order such as the 1088XEL.

 

 

Latest Schematic: XEL-CF-II_Rev1_0_9-18-2017_schema.pdf

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*** BOARD MANUFACTURING FILE RELEASE for DIY ***

 

Production Gerber Files: attachicon.gifXEL-CF-II_Rev1_0_production_gerbers.zip

 

I've done two test batches of these through EasyEDA, and both times they came out fantastic and for a very reasonable price. If you use that link, you can simply drag and drop the zipped gerber file, and then fill out the details on the order form.

 

IMPORTANT: Chose 74 mm x 66 mm, 2-Layer, 2 for different designs in panel, and the number of boards you wish to order. All other options can be left at defaults, unless you wish to customize things like solder mask color and/or surface finish to your preference. Right now they are running a special on the first set of 5-10 boards for $2+shipping (yep you heard that right).

 

 

 

 

 

Why "two different designs in panel"? I only see one design/ More importantly, then it does not qualify for their offer.

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Why "two different designs in panel"? I only see one design/ More importantly, then it does not qualify for their offer.

 

Actually there are two pieces panelized together (check out this link and scroll down to get the full story), but yes you are right that it doesn't qualify for the discount because of that. But the 2 pieces really do go together, kind of a Part-A/Part-B sort of thing. The mounting board aspect really adds a lot of stability and ease of mounting for the IDE44-CF Adapter.

 

- Michael

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The XEL-CF is what I would consider to be SanDisk certified, and I currently wouldn't recommend using any other brand.

 

For playing streaming video files here's a player that FJC did a quick fix for the XEL-CF specific reset register location: Xmovplay.xex

 

So far I know it works quite well with the Sandisk Ultra 25 MB/sec cards.

qxqtieyjrtb_394x.jpg?v=1506167684

And I just got a couple of these the other day which are considerably cheaper (about $9 a piece), which seem to work fine for FAT and APT usage, but I'll need to test with the video streaming app as well. TESTED and it streams video just fine.

41SA05YRY3L._SY355_.jpg

 

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols
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I've placed an order today for 10 (Green) XEL-CF-][ for which I will only need 3. So, I will be selling the other 7 at cost ($3.50 each + shipping) to any DIY folks. If interested just PM me.



Mike


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WARNING Do Not Purchase SanDisk CF Cards From China

 

I just discovered that the ten 1GB SanDisk cards that I got for a great deal on eBay, turned out to be fakes (not such a great deal after all :( ). They still work in a PC as far as I can tell, but they won't work in the XEL-CF or likely a SIDE2 either. First indication that there was a problem happened when I performed an FDISK and the card ID came up blank, when it should have said: SanDisk SDCFJ-1024. Then the next problem was that I could not initialize the card. And finally I noticed that the labels were all bubbled, which I've never seen on any of my other SanDisk cards. All of these discoveries applied to all ten cards I had purchased.

 

Then to add insult to injury, when I initiated a return with eBay the customer refused to pay for the return postage. And yes as the header to this post says, these came from China. Not to say that all things from China are bad, but it's also not a big surprise either that someone over there would pass off some generic brand CF card as a NEW SanDisk card figuring that all of that ocean between us would protect them from an unhappy customer like myself. And since these seem to work fine in my PC, most people wouldn't know the difference anyway.

 

So moral of the story is only buy SanDisk cards from a trusted source.

 

And to reiterate, ONLY USE Genuine SanDisk Cards in the XEL-CF, no other brand will likely work (including fake ones with SanDisk labels pasted on ;) ).

 

- Michael

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WARNING Do Not Purchase SanDisk CF Cards From China

 

I just discovered that the ten 1GB SanDisk cards that I got for a great deal on eBay, turned out to be fakes (not such a great deal after all :( ). They still work in a PC as far as I can tell, but they won't work in the XEL-CF or likely a SIDE2 either. First indication that there was a problem happened when I performed an FDISK and the card ID came up blank, when it should have said: SanDisk SDCFJ-1024. Then the next problem was that I could not initialize the card. And finally I noticed that the labels were all bubbled, which I've never seen on any of my other SanDisk cards. All of these discoveries applied to all ten cards I had purchased.

 

Then to add insult to injury, when I initiated a return with eBay the customer refused to pay for the return postage. And yes as the header to this post says, these came from China. Not to say that all things from China are bad, but it's also not a big surprise either that someone over there would pass off some generic brand CF card as a NEW SanDisk card figuring that all of that ocean between us would protect them from an unhappy customer like myself. And since these seem to work fine in my PC, most people wouldn't know the difference anyway.

 

So moral of the story is only buy SanDisk cards from a trusted source.

 

And to reiterate, ONLY USE Genuine SanDisk Cards in the XEL-CF, no other brand will likely work (including fake ones with SanDisk labels pasted on ;) ).

 

- Michael

If the item wasn't as described then the seller is supposed to pay return shipping. IMO counterfeit SanDisk CF cards should qualify.

 

Following is from eBay:

 

When the item isn't as described:

If you return an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund is:

imgReturnsnad.jpg

In these situations, the seller can't charge a restocking fee and the seller pays the return shipping charges.

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If the item wasn't as described then the seller is supposed to pay return shipping. IMO counterfeit SanDisk CF cards should qualify.

 

Following is from eBay:

 

Thanks Bill :) ,

 

Since time is money, all the more reason not buy something like this who's spec requires that it be authentic, and not generic. I left negative feedback pointing out the fact that the cards were knockoffs (fakes), as well as letting eBay management know, and most importantly letting people know on these forums. That is all the time (and more so) that I wish to give up out of my life in regards to this. So I consider it lesson learned and case closed.

 

But thanks for the info you posted, since that might help someone else as well.

 

- Michael

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Update on PCB's

 

I decided that it might be desirable to offer two choices :) .

 

IDE Interface Without CF Adapter Panel Mounting Board

xel-cf-ii-ide44-intface_orig.png

 

IDE Interface With CF Adapter Panel Mounting Board

xel-cf-ii-panel_1_orig.png

 

The gerber files for both choices are now available from my website.

 

- Michael

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Is there a limit to the size of CF card that can be used? I see all the 1GB and 4GB cards in the pics here but 16GB cards are actually cheaper.

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Is there a limit to the size of CF card that can be used? I see all the 1GB and 4GB cards in the pics here but 16GB cards are actually cheaper.

 

I don't believe there is a size limit to the FAT32 side of things, but certainly there would be on the APT side due to how many distinct partitions could be created, with each one representing a virtual disk drive.

 

So having a bigger card just means you could have room for a hell of lot more xex and ATR files for the Loader.

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I don't believe there is a size limit to the FAT32 side of things, but certainly there would be on the APT side due to how many distinct partitions could be created, with each one representing a virtual disk drive.

 

So having a bigger card just means you could have room for a hell of lot more xex and ATR files for the Loader.

 

I have a relatively ancient 512MB card in my SIDE2 and even with 8 x 8MB disk image APT partitions, plus every .XEX and .ATR file I have in the FAT32 loader, I still have more space than I possibly need.

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FAT: as big as the file system allows. APT: currently SDFS partitions are limited to 32MB each, so there's no point in making the APT bigger than 100MB or so if you want a few partitions (although you might allocate more for future expansion). SDX provides a read-only FAT driver which you may use to access "external" partitions, which are created in the APT but link to existing FAT partitions outside of that space.

 

Note the FAT loader on the new firmware supports 250 long filename entries per folder (all instantaneously alpha sorted on reading), so you'll want to employ a sensible folder structure which you can then recursively search if desired. The loader also supports multiple FAT partitions so there's a lot of flexibility as to how you can organise space. ;)

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OK, thanks!

 

So with a 16GB CF card I could have the max number of APT partitions (126) each the max size allowed (32MB) and still have a 127th partition formatted to FAT32 of ~12GB to use for XEX and ATR files? And everything would happliy read this? I ask because on the Amiga side there is a 4GB limit on the CF cards you can use.

 

I'm not much bothered by the amount of space, As DrVenkman says, "everything" fits in less than a GB. But a 16GB card is $16, a 4GB card is $40!

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Based on an idea that Fuji-Man came up with, I decided to try a different female MPBI pass-thru connector on the XEL-CF board. So here's what that looks like.

 

post-42561-0-19275600-1516742694_thumb.jpg

 

post-42561-0-00979400-1516742724_thumb.jpg

 

What this is in reality is yet another one of those extended SparkFun headers that gets used for the U1MB mating connectors on the motherboard, only in this case I've removed the 2 plastic insulator strips (I'll provide more details in a bit on how that's done). Suffice it to say that these headers have much more robust pins and are actually at the preferred length for what we are trying to accomplish.

 

BTW, the originally spec'ed part is perfectly fine, and much easier to implement, but I just like having actual square pins and the extra strength that they provide.

 

WARNING: You must install and solder in this connector before any of the other components get stuffed. Failure to do so, will make it nearly impossible to solder the inner set of pins because of the other components blocking the way.

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About the MPBI pass-thru connector Assembly. how do you get from here:

post-26874-0-66333300-1516822754_thumb.jpg

 

to here?

post-26874-0-50115300-1516822942_thumb.jpg

 

just extract the pins from the IDC Socket and push the IDC Socket onto the board or ?

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You steal the plastic part off of a standard 34 pin box header. Reason I did that was to add a bit more strength to the pins. Of course it also insures that a ribbon connector only goes in one way, and not accidentally 180 degrees flipped. However there might not ever be anything that connects to this port via a ribbon cable, so that last consideration is probably without validity. To clarify... this is a non-buffered bus so I don't think it's wise to add the capacitive coupling that is inherent with a ribbon cable between conductors.

 

In the case of the XEL-CF, the connection to the MPBI is made directly to the board, whereas the IDE44 is fully buffered and therefore safe to connect via ribbon cable. I have actually tested this up to 18" without a problem.

 

But it is not necessary to add anything to the female header that is spec'ed in the BOM. I just did it as an experiment.

 

Also in my recent post I'm showing yet another experiment using a modified SparkFun header, but it takes a considerable amount of patience and modification to the header to make that work. So not really recommended (better to stick with the originally spec'ed part).

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Since I’ve cluttered up the 1088XEL Build thread enough lately, I decided I needed to clutter up another one. :P

 

So here’s something that is now relevant to me: when using the new custom U1MB BIOS and Loader with the XEL-CF-II, without an external button (such as on the SIDE2 cartridge), what’s the toggle for swapping/rotating tagged disk images for multi-disk games? I presume I’m simply overlooking something while I’ve been busy with other stuff, since Jon has pointedly left the ability to tag multiple disk images and set the desired drive identifier for each in the Loader.

 

Thanks for a point in the right direction. :)

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