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The Worlds Smallest Atari 8-Bit?

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1 hour ago, slx said:

The city where I live is very "waste-conscious" and operates a huge waste removal/recycling/dump/incineration department. They have a "waste hotline" and when I started 3D printing I asked about the PLA waste. They were not aware of it but after some research got back to me and told me to put it into the regular waste bin where it's either dumped into a landfill (actually a new hill as we live on mostly flat land) or incinerated. 

Yeah PLA is derived from corn, it's mostly sugar. That's why it smells sweet when it burns. It's biodegradable, but the stuff mixed with the raw pellets to create the filament we print with isn't; that's a percentage of ABS, some colouring and other chemicals to help the colour stay even etc. Different brands vary the mix, some sensitive people can't use some brands of PLA (ex Prusament is well known for being quite fumey during printing)

 

Landfill or Incineration is what they do with it when they don't have specific capabilities to recycle it.

 

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:05 AM, mytek said:

Potentially yes. However no where near as bad as if you plugged that C64 PSU into the power jack of an XL or XE ;) . Worst case scenario is that you might blow out the video buffer chip on the NUC, and whatever was connected to pins 6 and 7 on the stereo output side of things (those pins are 9 VAC on the C64). There is even potential of getting into trouble if you plug in your XL/XE PSU into the NUC's DIN-8 jack, although the voltage is only 5 VDC, and it has to transition through 75 ohm resistors in order to get to the buffer. Chances are that this would not be destructive because of the current limiting imposed by those resistors. But definitely something I'll test for, since there is a high probability of someone having one of these Atari PSUs close to their NUC.

 

There are 2 versions of the 8-pin DIN connector, one where the outer pins form 270° and one where they form 262°.

The C64 used the 262° version for the monitor port, presumably so the 7-pin power connector couldn't be plugged in by mistake, if these connectors are available at reasonable cost I would recommend them.

    270°    262°

image.png.b4849f59638ff95c42c7a06a6047a74d.pngimage.png.615ec71e782ac6495ecd6d33a2066b77.png

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, BillC said:

There are 2 versions of the 8-pin DIN connector, one where the outer pins form 270° and one where they form 262°.

The C64 used the 262° version for the monitor port, presumably so the 7-pin power connector couldn't be plugged in by mistake, if these connectors are available at reasonable cost I would recommend them.

    270°    262°

image.png.b4849f59638ff95c42c7a06a6047a74d.pngimage.png.615ec71e782ac6495ecd6d33a2066b77.png

Not going to use the 262 degree version, since we're after compatibility with either a standard Atari style 5-pin DIN audio/video cable or a custom 8-pin DIN when the extra pins are needed. I've run some preliminary tests that show that even if the Atari 7-pin DIN PSU is plugged in, the video driver should survive. And if someone tries to use a C-64 supply... well what can I say, other than that would also be deadly to have around a stock A8 as well.

 

And quite frankly as I've pointed out before, and unfortunately continue to have to do so, is nothing is foolproof - with the caveat being that this system isn't meant to be used by fools 🤪 . So enough of the safety concerns, and please consider the design is now officially locked in.

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5 minutes ago, mytek said:

And quite frankly as I've pointed out before, and unfortunately continue to have to do so, is nothing is foolproof - with the caveat being that this system isn't meant to be used by fools 🤪 . So enough of the safety concerns, and please consider the design is now officially locked in.

Money being available, most of us Atari nerds would probably buy it even if it required connecting two blank live mains wires to boot it up ;)  

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2 minutes ago, slx said:

Money being available, most of us Atari nerds would probably buy it even if it required connecting two blank live mains wires to boot it up ;)  

I wish I had known that from the get go, could have saved some money not having to buy a PSU ;-) .

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6 minutes ago, mytek said:

Not going to use the 262 degree version, since we're after compatibility with either a standard Atari style 5-pin DIN audio/video cable or a custom 8-pin DIN when the extra pins are needed. I've run some preliminary tests that show that even if the Atari 7-pin DIN PSU is plugged in, the video driver should survive. And if someone tries to use a C-64 supply... well what can I say, other than that would also be deadly to have around a stock A8 as well.

 

And quite frankly as I've pointed out before, and unfortunately continue to have to do so, is nothing is foolproof - with the caveat being that this system isn't meant to be used by fools 🤪 . So enough of the safety concerns, and please consider the design is now officially locked in.

Just thought you should be made aware of the alternative, it is up to you what to do with the information.

 

Both 8-pin DIN versions are compatible with the 180 degree 5-pin DIN, it's just the 262 degree and 270 degree versions aren't compatible with each other.

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6 hours ago, BillC said:

Just thought you should be made aware of the alternative, it is up to you what to do with the information.

 

Both 8-pin DIN versions are compatible with the 180 degree 5-pin DIN, it's just the 262 degree and 270 degree versions aren't compatible with each other.

Look I'm really not trying to be rude here, but at this late stage in the design I also wasn't soliciting for any changes either. The sample parts, the PCB footprint based on those parts, and the PCB final schematics, layout, and gerbers have been completed. It's time to go with it, unless the beta testers discover a problem - so far they haven't, other than the non-buffered issue with the GTIA's csync.

 

The risks are now minimal, and as I said there doesn't appear to be a problem with accidentally plugging in the Atari PSU into the video jack as far as my tests have revealed, and that seemed to be the main justification behind your suggestion. Yes we could go on worrying about stuff that isn't worth worrying about, but I'm choosing not to ;-) . When you design your own alternative Atari motherboard, by all means worry as much as you want, but I suspect that level of perfection will only result in either extreme delays, or something that never sees the light of day - there will always be a better way to do things.

 

This will be my 3rd successful alternative Atari 8-bit computer design when released, a process which takes me about 9 months to accomplish. I once told a friend of mine, that my goal is to never take more than 1 year from the initial concept to the production design when it comes to these kind of creations. Well I've found out that my patience is already at the brink by the 9 month mark, so that will likely be my new metric ;) .

 

Edit: I did some back tracking, and it appears that the idea for the 576NUC came into being at the beginning of May, and then about a month later it became the 576NUC+ due to its slightly bigger footprint vs. the Intel NUC. So it'll be 8 months in development this New Years.

 

Edited by mytek
Added project conception date
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17 hours ago, mytek said:

And quite frankly as I've pointed out before, and unfortunately continue to have to do so, is nothing is foolproof - with the caveat being that this system isn't meant to be used by fools 🤪 .

My father used to say that nothing can be completely foolproof, because fools are too darn clever!  😀

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4 hours ago, StickJock said:

My father used to say that nothing can be completely foolproof, because fools are too darn clever!  😀

 

That's why idiot warning labels/signs were created; although they tend to be more about protecting manufacturers/businesses from law suits.

 

warning-label.gif.dd4fdfa647a1a1dafd19184be7f14961.gif

 

remove-child.jpg.e2f0b6ecd83328b9dfbf09651ae56f17.jpg

 

1582447012_warning-myjob2.thumb.jpg.f19495c4042a4874c0fe82bdbef3e878.jpg

 

 

Edited by MrFish
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Can we get a big warning sticker for the back that says don't plug in 24VDC, 48VDC, 96VDC, 120VAC, 208VAC, 240VAC perhaps?

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One suggestion by @BillC that was implemented, was a change in the resistor feeding the 10V precision zener from the original 150 ohms to 1K instead. This made good sense thus reducing the drive current down to a more comfortable 2 ma. This was not done because of concerns about hooking up a 24V supply, but as a way to extend the life of the LM4040AIZ part.

 

I don't remember who first brought up that concern about a 24V supply being accidentally plugged into the NUC+, but this really didn't seem like a real world problem all things considered (24V???  what uses that?).

 

A little history on the subject...

 

When I was specifying the PSU connection for the NUC+, I opted to go with a 5.5 x 2.5 mm jack same size as used for the Atari 9VAC supplies, instead of the more common 5.5 x 2.1 mm that often times is associated with the higher voltage 12 and 24V PSUs. My reason was simple, the 9VAC Atari PSU being plugged into the NUC+ would do no harm because of the incorporated diode protection, whereas if I had used the 5.5 x 2.1 mm version of the 12V supply, then there would have been a risk for the 1088XEL which uses a 5V supply with that same size plug. Note: The 1088XEL got changed to the 5.5 x 2.1 mm jack after it accidentally got plugged into an Atari 9VAC PSU back when it was initially spec'ed to use a 5.5 x 2.5 mm jack.

 

So if you have a mix of Atari products 400/800/XL/XE/XEL/XLD/1050/XF551 and a NUC+, no matter how you tried to plug things in, all would be OK. Well unless you used a hammer ;) .

 

5.5 x 2.1 mm (small diameter inner hole)

 

5_5x2_1_PWR.jpg.5a62cb126c6ccc77820e4e8ace55fd52.jpg

 

 

5.5 x 2.5 mm (larger diameter inner hole)

5_5x2_5_PWR.jpg.66e2f44798e2338881a0b2db536d8147.jpg

 

 

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On 12/27/2020 at 7:10 PM, mytek said:

Well I've found out that my patience is already at the brink by the 9 month mark, so that will likely be my new metric ;) .

Well, it's your baby!

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Barring any last minute disasters the case designs for the NUC+ are now final. I thought the 800/XE case looked a little plain from the front / sides so now it looks like this. 

IMG_4015.thumb.jpg.b814b3c9fb6bb65b903c599c262ad3be.jpg

 

The whole family now looks like this. Two back panels (with/without fujinet), six cases (800/XE, XL & XL 2 Colour, with or without fujinet), eight lids (800, XE, XL & XL 2 Colour with or without SkullFuji logo) 

775793585_SwankyWluff-Bigery(1).thumb.png.03ada437e5b770c0546231734909d28e.png

 

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Please don't make me start doing the "one of each" cost combination calculation.

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OK, so, I'll probably go back through all ten pages of this thread and read up on the 576NUC+, but can someone give it to me in a nutshell? Obviously it's the world's smallest (to date) Atari 8-bit clone, but what are it's features and options?

 

I know the 1088XEL is based around the Ultimate 1MB. I'm assuming this is not. I believe I saw mentioned somewhere that there is no cartridge port and I haven't seen any mention of SIO2PC, at least not a built-in version so it looks like it's 100% SIO based. From what I can gather skirting the fringes of this thread, it sounds like it's a 576 MB, single OS 8-bit Atari clone without all the frills of the 1088XEL or XLD models. What about video output? Does it use a UAV?

 

What am I missing?

 

Thanks.

 

Edited by bfollowell

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6 hours ago, bfollowell said:

OK, so, I'll probably go back through all ten pages of this thread and read up on the 576NUC+, but can someone give it to me in a nutshell? Obviously it's the world's smallest (to date) Atari 8-bit clone, but what are it's features and options?

 

I know the 1088XEL is based around the Ultimate 1MB. I'm assuming this is not. I believe I saw mentioned somewhere that there is no cartridge port and I haven't seen any mention of SIO2PC, at least not a built-in version so it looks like it's 100% SIO based. From what I can gather skirting the fringes of this thread, it sounds like it's a 576 MB, single OS 8-bit Atari clone without all the frills of the 1088XEL or XLD models. What about video output? Does it use a UAV?

 

What am I missing?

 

Thanks.

 

The 576NUC+ is based on the XEGS design, the OS chip can be 27C256/32kB(single OS) or 27C512/64kB(dual OS)

 

There is a special version of the Fujinet which sits above the main circuit board and connects to SIO, it has an SD card slot and also allows connection to network shares via WIFI without a physical connection. 

 

The video output uses a resistor ladder DAC to convert the GTIA 4-bit luma to analog like the original Atari circuit, which is then combined with the color signal using an FMS6400 video buffer IC. The FMS 6400 buffers the chroma/luma signals and also combines them to create the composite video signal, this composite signal and the buffered chroma/luma signal outputs are connected to the monitor port.

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To elaborate, while a 27C256 32K EEPROM could be used for the OS, the baseline design is a 27C512. Because the system is based on a modified XEGS OS, each of those 32K halves hold the OS plus two 8K ROMs. In the original XEGS, these two 8K banks are BASIC and MISSILE COMMAND. On the 576NUC+ one copy of the OS is a stock (non-high speed) plus BASIC and PAC-MAN. The other copy of the OS uses Hias’s HSIO routines, with two banks holding GALAXIAN and STAR RAIDERS. You select which bank you wish to boot into with keyboard combinations (ALT+1 through 4). You can also choose to boot the last-chosen selection with ALT+~, and if you want to boot with stock OS speeds and no ROM selected, CTRL+ALT+~. This last option is for a handful of copy-protected or poorly-cracked titles that don’t crash or fail to load when using an HSIO-enabled OS. 

 

Despite not using an integral UAV, the 576NUC+ produced S-video as good as any UAV-equipped machine including Mytek’s own 1088XEL and XLD machines. 

 

421A09B5-2E06-4B09-B371-7DA7C170781C.thumb.jpeg.ab010cfe1decab74d6cb5a165e7d6817.jpeg

 

273BF510-D039-4704-AF7A-7F9AF6B1AAB1.thumb.jpeg.60fed8480623d3b01bba230469b3be63.jpeg

 

803AD9F4-5557-4EFA-B16D-1C995EA648D1.thumb.jpeg.73b54e47cb59b77c10d6634885033d83.jpeg

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Slight correction.

 

Presently BASIC is on the HSIO enabled bank, so that you have fast disk access from within BASIC as well (Power-Up with BASIC: ALT+1).

 

ALT+~ HSIO OS No BASIC BOOT

CTRL+ALT+~ Stock OS No BASIC BOOT

 

Custom ROMs are possible, where you could even have two versions of BASIC on board, as well as one running from the Stock OS. Not sure what will be offered with the product when sold ???

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6 minutes ago, mytek said:

Presently BASIC is on the HSIO enabled bank

I was going to suggest we change to that :D

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I decided to start a BLOG on my website to cover this project as well as anything else I decide to do Atari-wise in the future.

 

Screenshot.thumb.png.179caac910a4145a1dd97a853679bce0.png

 

The AtariBits Blog

 

These forum topics tend to get real messy, real fast, and quite frankly I'm tired of all the off topic posting that occurs. So blogging brings control back to me.

It's been nice while it lasted, and I met some great people because of it, but I'll be doing a lot less posting in AtariAge from this point forward.

 

Take care everyone :) .

 

- Michael

 

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6 hours ago, mytek said:

I decided to start a BLOG on my website to cover this project as well as anything else I decide to do Atari-wise in the future.

 

Screenshot.thumb.png.179caac910a4145a1dd97a853679bce0.png

 

The AtariBits Blog

 

These forum topics tend to get real messy, real fast, and quite frankly I'm tired of all the off topic posting that occurs. So blogging brings control back to me.

It's been nice while it lasted, and I met some great people because of it, but I'll be doing a lot less posting in AtariAge from this point forward.

 

Take care everyone :) .

 

- Michael

 

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9 hours ago, mytek said:

but I'll be doing a lot less posting in AtariAge from this point forward.

 

Take care everyone :) .

 

- Michael

 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

(also mad that my work blocks Weebly as a whole)

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Blog's a good thing. Presents a comprehensive and more parallel overview of the project. Minus the constant interruptions and low SNR posts.

 

You will gain more visitors since there are folks that have no desire to visit AA forums.

Edited by Keatah

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