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selgus

Atari Portable Project

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I just recently got back my prototype PCBs for my Atari Portable I've been designing. It is based on the Atari XEGS schematics and utilizes all the original custom chips from the XEGS, along with modern SMD components for all the other glue and functionality. I am calling it the ATARI 67XEP. The form-factor I am going for is something similar to the Nintendo Switch, but with a keyboard and tilted LCD display.

 

It includes a built-in MyIDE CompactFlash card interface by Mr. Atari, and a custom BIOS (started from the Revision 4 XEGS OS Source code). It uses a LiPo for power, and I've designed another small board that goes inside the case, that provides a DC boost converter, USB charging and RS-232 communications to a PC. The system has a built-in joystick/fire button for joystick 1, and a mini-DIN7 port for the joystick 2 port.

 

I'm using a 4.3" LCD display, but as I'm finalizing the case design (taking influence from the 130XE case), I am also going to experiment with a 5" display.

 

I have some more parts to arrive, but starting to assemble it now.

 

atari67xep-pcb.thumb.jpg.080536f16fdacf36fd01d79e0b71b1fa.jpg

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Cool!

 

Ben Heck did something similar a while back. I think there's a two-part video of the build. 

 

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I wouldn't go with the original older wasteful myIDE interface when there are so many other options to replicate or ask for permission to use that are far better, faster, and efficient.

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Can't wait to see how this turns out. I hope it comes together as you planned.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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Do you have any sort of a mock-up of what you plan for this to look like when it's done? 

 

Ben Heck's was a neat project, but I wasn't too fond of the final result.  It certainly could've used some refinement.

 

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@phaeron

@MrFish

 

But Jakub and Olivier palettes were somehow incorporated in Altirra as built-in palettes, could the same be done with Rocky's palette (no. 2), that is seen as best PAL palette so far? It would be really great. 

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30 minutes ago, Jacques said:

@phaeron

@MrFish

 

But Jakub and Olivier palettes were somehow incorporated in Altirra as built-in palettes, could the same be done with Rocky's palette (no. 2), that is seen as best PAL palette so far? It would be really great. 

You're in the wrong thread bro.

 

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5 hours ago, jamm said:

Do you have any sort of a mock-up of what you plan for this to look like when it's done? 

 

Ben Heck's was a neat project, but I wasn't too fond of the final result.  It certainly could've used some refinement.

 

I have started working in CAD with the case design now. The keyboard is modeled after a scaled down version of the 130XE keyboard, with a few modifications. I added the F1-F4 function keys from the 1200XL design to the matrix and have them on that first row.

 

Also the joystick D-PAD is on one side, and the fire button is on the other. I designed the joystick as two separate small PCBs, so they could go on either the left or right sides.

 

I've been working on the BIOS, to handle all the CompactFlash support, along with it's other features (i.e. built-in debugger). I've also been removing things from the standard BIOS that are just not supported on my 67XEP (like the self-test routines, cassette, printer, paddles, PBI, international character-set, etc.)

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10 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I wouldn't go with the original older wasteful myIDE interface when there are so many other options to replicate or ask for permission to use that are far better, faster, and efficient.

I really like the MyIDE system, as its very simple design (complexity-wise), pretty straight-forward dealing with from the BIOS-side, and speed-wise, perfect for a handheld.

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I still suggest you look to the others as they aren't all that complex, old myIDE wastes half the storage on your drives among other idiosyncrasies.

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Very cool project indeed 👍 .

 

Nice to see another fellow Atari motherboard creator taking it to this level. Your layout and concept look very well implemented, and I look forward to seeing it in action :) .

 

And although people are comparing this to Ben Heck's creation, yours looks to have been done right from the get go, instead of a rats nest of added wires like most of his other projects.

 

BenHeckPortable800.thumb.jpg.29552ca45450b7e035650e0d607d3828.jpgBenHeckPortable800_back.thumb.jpg.8169c1145391e29ecaa634a7af3ca550.jpg

Ben Heck Portable Atari 800

 

1 hour ago, _The Doctor__ said:

...old myIDE wastes half the storage on your drives among other idiosyncrasies.

Although this is true, in this day and age with 16+GB being fairly cheap and the Atari files being very small, this argument holds no weight.

 

I think what matters most is to use whatever works the best to meet your needs. If the OP likes MyIDE and it meets his needs, that's really all that matters. Besides I haven't seen a thing posted in this topic that even suggests that this is being made for anyone besides the OP, so he's free to do whatever he wants since it isn't about meeting the needs and desires of a customer base. Besides don't you think its kinda late to bring this up, when the OP already has the PCB manufactured and ready to be assembled ;) .

 

This is not meant to be adversarial, but simply stating a fact that the OP made a decision to use MyIDE in his 'personal' project, and as he stated, seems to be very happy in that decision.

 

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8 hours ago, MrFish said:

You're in the wrong thread bro.

 

No clue how this mess happened, I was writing on the phone, or maybe before 1st coffee! 😇

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I had seen Ben's portable videos and it is what inspired me to make my own. My goal was to make something that was portable, used real ATARI parts and would be a fun project.

 

I am sure there are plenty of other ways this project could be done, with other goals.. these just happened to be mine.

 

I did make a bunch of PCBs, as in talked to a few of my friends, they would like one of my systems. I also wanted this to be something I could make more of one of, if I desired. That didn't seem to be the goal of Ben's version.

 

The BIOS has actually been quite fun to write, and getting me back into 6502 assembly level coding again.

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14 minutes ago, selgus said:

I did make a bunch of PCBs, as in talked to a few of my friends, they would like one of my systems. I also wanted this to be something I could make more of one of, if I desired.

Yeah I kinda figured you would have had to at least meet a minimum order and have extra boards. Glad to see you'll be sharing with a few others. My next project will be done in the same way.

 

14 minutes ago, selgus said:

That didn't seem to be the goal of Ben's version.

What??? You don't think that Ben's creation is easily assembled?

 

Ben does some cool stuff, and is very talented, but when it comes to board layouts that isn't one of them :) . The one thing I can't figure out, is that with all the tools and resources he has at his disposal, I would think that an auto-router could have been left running overnight and figured out how to route all the trace paths. No real good reason that I can think of to have all those un-routed signal paths that then had to be hand wired.

 

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34 minutes ago, mytek said:

Ben does some cool stuff, and is very talented, but when it comes to board layouts that isn't one of them :) . The one thing I can't figure out, is that with all the tools and resources he has at his disposal, I would think that an auto-router could have been left running overnight and figured out how to route all the trace paths. No real good reason that I can think of to have all those un-routed signal paths that then had to be hand wired.

 

I really enjoy seeing all the things Ben designs and builds. Like I said, I was very inspired by his ATARI portable, but I understand he just has very different constraints in producing a segment, than I do making this project.

 

My other goal was to have all the components on one side of the board, unlike what he was going after. It was pretty hard routing all the signals and achieving this goal (without the use of an auto-router) :)

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35 minutes ago, selgus said:

I really enjoy seeing all the things Ben designs and builds. Like I said, I was very inspired by his ATARI portable, but I understand he just has very different constraints in producing a segment, than I do making this project.

Yes he probably is in a time crunch when he does those shows.

 

35 minutes ago, selgus said:

My other goal was to have all the components on one side of the board, unlike what he was going after. It was pretty hard routing all the signals and achieving this goal (without the use of an auto-router) :)

Most of my projects have this goal in mind as well. However I use an older simpler layout tool without an auto-router, so it takes me much longer to create a new design as complex as what you've done. In the end I do ok, and the layout looks pretty nice, but as i said it takes time.

 

So when do you think you'll get this assembled and do the first power-up?

 

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I have some parts I still need to order from Mouser, so I've started with removing the custom chips from the XEGS motherboard. Probably going to take me around 2 weeks, if I get enough time and my parts arrive.

 

I also have a stock XEGS machine, with ZIP socket, for testing the flash-rom out. It's hardware is very close to my 67XEP, so I can use my scope on both to trouble-shoot (when needed).

 

I'm still working on the BIOS menu system in parallel too.

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1 hour ago, MrFish said:

What's the significance of "67" in the name?

 

How much RAM will it have?

 

Just what I wanted to call it, "better than a 65 series" :)

 

I kept it at 64K, like the XEGS, but since I don't have a PBI, $D600-$D7FF is enabled as RAM.

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6 minutes ago, selgus said:

Just what I wanted to call it, "better than a 65 series" :)

OK, fair enough...

 

6 minutes ago, selgus said:

I kept it at 64K, like the XEGS, but since I don't have a PBI, $D600-$D7FF is enabled as RAM.

Not a big deal, but I personally think any modern rendition should at least shoot for 128K - 512K.

 

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5 hours ago, mytek said:

However I use an older simpler layout tool without an auto-router, so it takes me much longer to create a new design as complex as what you've done. In the end I do ok, and the layout looks pretty nice, but as i said it takes time.

Auto-routers suck, IMHO. Best PCBs are routed manually. Except for high speed busses, but even then with proper tools you can route those signals manualy and they are automagically of even length (which is important for signal propagation). I think your 1088XEL/XLD boards look as good as they do because you routed them manually :)

 

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Very nice.

 

I wish someone made something like this for running PC-DOS. I've got a tiny Asus netbook with emulators on it, but it's not quite the same as a handheld device.

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19 minutes ago, Asaki said:

Very nice.

 

I wish someone made something like this for running PC-DOS. I've got a tiny Asus netbook with emulators on it, but it's not quite the same as a handheld device.

There is something like this https://www.gpd.hk/gdpwin2 but offcourse it's a modern CPU/GPU , not an 8086/8088/V20 or the later AT family.

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