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Posted (edited)

I always liked the looks of the MAC SE, so I started playing around with an idea. Basically a new game console concept. Something that's small enough that the case could be more easily DIY 3D printed.

 

Because of the built-in console, reset, and help buttons, this could be used without a keyboard for many of the games. Note: will be adding a pause button to the push button switch array (=space bar key).

 

iTari_mock-up.thumb.jpg.65293c1247fd449c4a49c67a3113c056.jpg

 

This will require a custom motherboard, since just like in my previous projects I would want this to be a 'real' Atari 8-bit at heart. However unlike what I've done in the past, this one would be more like a stock system, not requiring a U1MB or a UAV, and would also not have built-in IDE. And it won't be a dual Pokey set-up either, but it will embrace the Pokeymax V2 stereo output, although this will likely require custom installation of audio jack(s). Note: standard mono sound will be available on Atari compatible DIN-5 jack.

 

Extra goodies:

  • PS/2 keyboard (aka: TK-II)
  • XEGS keyboard connector
  • IDC10 header to support an internal keyboard in custom applications (would require separate dual CD4051 key matrix decoding)
  • Built-in LCD display (5.6" diagonal 4:3 NTSC/PAL)
  • Extended 576K RAM via 2 SRAM chips
  • Built-in MIDIMATE compatible interface
  • Built-in PokeyMAX extra mode(s) address header

 

Power Requirements:

Power input will be via a small wall wart 12 VDC switching power supply, and a built-in Li-Ion battery with Boost/Charger would be an option for portability.

 

Serial Input/Output:

SIO will also be standard, since so many cool things can utilize that port.

 

Cartridge Port:

Standard top-loading cartridge port for things like an UNO, Ultimate, or SIDE cart, and of course any other Atari 8-bit cartridge.

Note: To keep to a simple and inexpensive compact design, no PBI or ECI connection will be provided.

 

Will there be multiple PCB's?

I'm planning on having everything on the single motherboard, with the only exception being the push button switches, which will likely have their own independent board with header connection.

 

 

Edited by mytek
Specification Change
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Posted (edited)

please consider around a 13 inch screen...  4 inch diagonal is worse than old tiny tablet and my eyes couldn't take it....

Edited by _The Doctor__
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18 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

please consider an 13 inch screen...  4 inch diagonal is worse than old tiny tablet and my eyes couldn't take it....

This is destined to be an inexpensive mini-system. Probably the largest screen size I would entertain would be a 7", and I'm presently looking for a 5" which I think would be the perfect size for the intended application. I remember having an SX-64 with a 5" Color CRT. If it had been a little sharper and had a better contrast ratio it would have been perfectly fine. That's where the LCD will shine. And for weaker eyes, there's always readers available for a $1 at the Dollar Store ;) .

 

EDIT: updated to 5" screen size on original spec.

 

This project is more of a personal endeavour that I'd like to see happen within the next 2 years, which is when my grandson will likely be old enough to appreciate it. Of course I'm still playing around with the concept, so nothing serious yet. Might not even see the light of day --- simply utilizing my virus 'shelter in place' time to dream up possibilities for future projects ;) .

 

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Posted (edited)

7 inch sounds reasonable since it won't be 16:9 but rather 4:3 and a modern display

 

edit* ah I see you bumped it up 5.... that's light years better than 3 or so :)

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I'd definitely be interested but if it were portable (even if Mac shaped), I'd be really definitely interested.... 

 

Retro Recipes...

image.png.0f3aacc7ba0177b29abaa02fdafff2a7.png

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8 hours ago, mytek said:

I always like the looks of the MAC SE, so I started playing around with an idea. Basically a new game console concept. Something that's small enough that the case could be more easily DIY 3D printed.

 

Because of the built-in console, reset, and help buttons, this could be used without a keyboard for many of the games.

 

iTari_mock-up.thumb.jpg.65293c1247fd449c4a49c67a3113c056.jpg

 

It would require a custom motherboard, since just like in my previous projects I would want this to be a 'real' Atari 8-bit at heart. However unlike what I've done in the past, this one would be more like a stock system, not requiring a U1MB or a UAV, and would also not have built-in IDE or MIDI capabilities. And it wouldn't be a dual Pokey set-up either, although I think it would be nice to embrace the PokeyONE's ability to do stereo through a 3.5 mm audio jack (probably front panel mounted).

 

The only extra goodies: would be a PS/2 keyboard and mouse connection on the rear. And of course it would have a built-in LCD display (likely 3.5-4" 5" diagonal 4:3 NTSC/PAL). In order to make up for the lack of a U1MB or IDE, there will be a standard top-loading cartridge port for things like an UNO, Ultimate, or SIDE cart. And I was thinking of having 576K via 2 SRAM chips as standard. Power would be via USB-C.

 

SIO will have to be standard, since so many cool things can utilize that port.

 

To keep to a simple design, there will be no PBI or ECI connection provided.

 

I dig it and I am sure some people would be down with getting this as well and there are plenty of 8-bit Atari people out there.

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8 hours ago, mytek said:

I always like the looks of the MAC SE, so I started playing around with an idea. Basically a new game console concept. Something that's small enough that the case could be more easily DIY 3D printed.

 

Because of the built-in console, reset, and help buttons, this could be used without a keyboard for many of the games.

 

iTari_mock-up.thumb.jpg.65293c1247fd449c4a49c67a3113c056.jpg

 

It would require a custom motherboard, since just like in my previous projects I would want this to be a 'real' Atari 8-bit at heart. However unlike what I've done in the past, this one would be more like a stock system, not requiring a U1MB or a UAV, and would also not have built-in IDE or MIDI capabilities. And it wouldn't be a dual Pokey set-up either, although I think it would be nice to embrace the PokeyONE's ability to do stereo through a 3.5 mm audio jack (probably front panel mounted).

 

The only extra goodies: would be a PS/2 keyboard and mouse connection on the rear. And of course it would have a built-in LCD display (likely 3.5-4" 5" diagonal 4:3 NTSC/PAL). In order to make up for the lack of a U1MB or IDE, there will be a standard top-loading cartridge port for things like an UNO, Ultimate, or SIDE cart. And I was thinking of having 576K via 2 SRAM chips as standard. Power would be via USB-C.

 

SIO will have to be standard, since so many cool things can utilize that port.

 

To keep to a simple design, there will be no PBI or ECI connection provided.

 

Would be great if someone could even design the right keycaps for the PS/2 keyboard To have a perfect match.

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8 hours ago, Rusto said:

I'd definitely be interested but if it were portable (even if Mac shaped), I'd be really definitely interested....

Because of the high power density of Li-Ion batteries, this would be a must have and very practical inclusion, thus making it truly portable.

 

DFrobot makes a very nice all-in-one Boost Regulated and Charging Module that could serve well for this purpose (MP2636). It's rated for up to 2.5 amps output which is way above my requirements, but for $8 it's a bargain. I'm sure their are numerous devices that could sit in for this one, so don't consider this choice as set in stone. 

 

DFR0446-Power.png

 

2 hours ago, kheller2 said:

If a Mac SE and a Vectrex mated.....

I have a Vectrix, and like it's design very much. However this will be approximately 1/4 the size of that, and obviously leaning towards the look of the classic MAC instead.

 

1 hour ago, Spancho said:

Would be great if someone could even design the right keycaps for the PS/2 keyboard To have a perfect match.

That's a very cool idea. I have a miniature PS/2 keyboard that given a beige paint job and matching key caps would be ideal ;-)EDIT: also be good for a 1088XLD.

 

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6 hours ago, mytek said:

EDIT: also be good for a 1088XLD.

 

 

That would be awesome.

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For part of my proof of concept, I'm getting a used EverFocus EN220/N 5.6" diagonal square Color LCD monitor off of eBay for just under $30 shipped, which looks promising. It appears to have a BNC composite video connection, and I would assume that it'll work for NTSC, just not sure about PAL.

 

Here's the specs...

features.thumb.png.c98eebff099e9c741b6d6531073a7971.png

 

And what it looks like...

EverFocus_EN220.jpg.a6222386739003c36cceefd557f88932.jpg

These go for way too much when new, but I see quite a few used ones on eBay for around the $30 mark. What's interesting is that there is a built-in rechargeable battery and amplified speaker as well. All of which could prove useful in my application. The spec shows it as 'active-matrix' so it'll probably have good brightness and contrast ratio.

 

Going by the screen width and height I come up with something just over 5.6" on the diagonal.

size.png.92d1f0f2903f157c3ef82e0f176a2146.png

 

 

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Hi!

16 hours ago, mytek said:

For part of my proof of concept, I'm getting a used EverFocus EN220/N 5.6" diagonal square Color LCD monitor off of eBay for just under $30 shipped, which looks promising. It appears to have a BNC composite video connection, and I would assume that it'll work for NTSC, just not sure about PAL.

You can buy that kind of screens already disassembled, like this 7" ;)  : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32860242196.html

 

The advantage is that you have more control over which controller it has, and its capabilities. The above one has an RTD2660, you can get the datasheet for that chip and probably modify the board to add an S-Video input (that the chip supports) for a clearer picture.

 

Have Fun!

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6 hours ago, dmsc said:

You can buy that kind of screens already disassembled, like this 7" ;)  : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32860242196.html

The only problem is that the form factor of the one you linked to is wrong for what I'm after. I need a more squarish screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. I've noticed that this is not so easy to find at a reasonable price. Lots of wide screen stuff going for cheap at places like aliexpress and eBay, but that's not what I want unfortunately. As for S-Video, not so important on these smaller screens if you have a high quality composite circuit similar to a UAV, which I intend to duplicate in this project. And not that I'm a fan, but composite will allow for artifacted colors, which several games utilized.

 

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I hate how everything went 16:9 on computers.  Worst aspect ratio ever for doing anything useful (coding, etc.)  Only good for watching movies.

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1 hour ago, Stephen said:

I hate how everything went 16:9 on computers.  Worst aspect ratio ever for doing anything useful (coding, etc.)  Only good for watching movies.

not even good for movies, during discussion, it is still slightly off, per the movie theatre lobby wanting the full ratio and experience still on the big screen.

There are two better ratios.... 16:9 is indeed meant to be a pain in the arse.

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Would you somehow be able to integrate the circuitry of a UNO, etc into the board itself, eliminating the need for an additional cartridge? Maybe something like an S-Drive? 

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15 minutes ago, BoatofCar said:

Would you somehow be able to integrate the circuitry of a UNO, etc into the board itself, eliminating the need for an additional cartridge? Maybe something like an S-Drive? 

Yes that would certainly be possible. However since it wouldn't make sense to not have a cartridge port on an Atari 8-bit game console, using an UNO cart instead of integrating it into the motherboard is really not a big deal. And this allows for choice between all of the possibilities... AVG, MAXflash, The !Cart, Ultimate, UNO, and all of the SIDE variants (did I leave any out?).

 

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Posted (edited)

artifact switch maybe? in the old days some s-video in jacks switch off composite and vice versa... with a switch wire to the svideo socket I could flip between composite and s-video, the switch was at the Atari to keep from dual termination through the cable but one wire was used to remote the tv's built in svideo plug switch.. worked a treat, you can do the same... mono/artifact switch :)    The struggles were real BITD when away from my favorite monitors

Edited by _The Doctor__
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9 minutes ago, mytek said:

Yes that would certainly be possible. However since it wouldn't make sense to not have a cartridge port on an Atari 8-bit game console, using an UNO cart instead of integrating it into the motherboard is really not a big deal. And this allows for choice between all of the possibilities... AVG, MAXflash, The !Cart, Ultimate, UNO, and all of the SIDE variants (did I leave any out?).

 

Very true. I'm happy with my SIDE II, but still awaiting the release of the "one cart to rule them all" :) 

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11 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

artifact switch maybe? in the old days some s-video in jacks switch off composite and vice versa... with a switch wire to the svideo socket I could flip between composite and s-video, the switch was at the Atari to keep from dual termination through the cable but one wire was used to remote the tv's built in svideo plug switch.. worked a treat, you can do the same... mono/artifact switch :)    The struggles were real BITD when away from my favorite monitors

Not a bad idea ;) . All depends upon what monitor I end up going with of course. Not many in the 4:3 form factor came with S-Video, and modifying a composite one could be tricky to near impossible depending upon the circuitry and chips being used.

 

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12 hours ago, mytek said:

The only problem is that the form factor of the one you linked to is wrong for what I'm after. I need a more squarish screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. I've noticed that this is not so easy to find at a reasonable price. Lots of wide screen stuff going for cheap at places like aliexpress and eBay, but that's not what I want unfortunately. As for S-Video, not so important on these smaller screens if you have a high quality composite circuit similar to a UAV, which I intend to duplicate in this project. And not that I'm a fan, but composite will allow for artifacted colors, which several games utilized.

 

 

Is it possible to install this small screen to the output of a UAV?:

 

 

LCD.thumb.jpg.0634ddf025dde152e76d197589c860e1.jpg

 

Ready.thumb.jpg.4083bfd076196cfbde5a58e02e087e22.jpg

 

 

https://github.com/kanflo/commadorable-64

 

https://dirtypcbs.com/store/designer/details/4909/840/commadorable-64-and-aaduino

 

http://johan.kanflo.com/the-commadorable-64/

 

http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/2016/08/pet-lcd.html

 

https://hackaday.com/2016/08/17/nerd-bait-esp8266-ili9341-screen/

 

 

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31 minutes ago, tane said:

 

Is it possible to install this small screen to the output of a UAV?:

 

LCD.thumb.jpg.0634ddf025dde152e76d197589c860e1.jpg

 

Anything is possible with enough resources thrown at it, but unless I'm mistaken the interface for this display is not suitable without some kind of in-between electronical magic.

 

And it's certainly too small for the project I'm working on (just a wee bit over 2 inches?). But it sure is cute 👍 .

 

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