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Atari 64K Memory Card (Atari 64KMR) for 1090 xl expansion system

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9 minutes ago, MrFish said:

 

One potentially beneficially aspect of this is that all upgrades can be moved to any one of your machines, simply by plugging the 1090 into the machine's PBI/ECI port. Compare this to people who own 3 or 4 machines and have internal upgrades installed in each one of them.

 

Yes, I think that's why so many people were so excited when @candle announced he was working on a PBI port U1MB/SIDE 3 expansion.

 

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Just now, bfollowell said:

Yes, I think that's why so many people were so excited when @candle announced he was working on a PBI port U1MB/SIDE 3 expansion.

Maybe he can be convinced to do one for the 1090 as well, or better yet add a standard Cart/ECI slot in the box ;)

 

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1 minute ago, mytek said:

Maybe he can be convinced to do one for the 1090 as well, or better yet add a standard Cart/ECI slot in the box ;)

 

Awesome idea! I'm starting to like the idea of the 1090 more and more, and that's not necessarily a good thing. A new project, or set of projects, is the absolute last thing that I needed. Maybe in six or seven years when I finally pull the trigger and retire but Toyota keeps wanting to throw more money at me and I keep making excuses. Eventually, I'm just going to have to hang it up and take what time I have left for myself and my family, and we all know that we never really know how much time we have left anyway.

 

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20 minutes ago, mytek said:

But I had a change of heart, not wanting to dictate how I thought it would be better used. So now that the cat is out of the bag, I was going to suggest using a U1MB instead, which kills at least 3 or more birds with one stone, and leaves the 1090 slots free to do other things. Such as video enhancement, ethernet, fast serial or better yet buffered USB. Just seemed like such a waste to pack it full of memory expansion boards and have no room for anything else. Just because Atari was going to create a 64K card BITD, doesn't mean that makes sense to still do so now days, other than for pure nostalgia and trying to exactly mimic what they were doing back then.

 

Yeah, there are a few different viewpoints from which a 1090 could be interesting to work with. The historical isn't uninteresting to me, giving the opportunity to realise Atari's initial vision for the product and what would have been realistic back in the day. From a modern standpoint, there are host of cards that would be desirable -- including the ones you mention.

 

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34 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

All very good points.

 

Another thing the 1090 does is eliminate the need to design a new enclosure for each upgrade.

 

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20 minutes ago, MrFish said:

Another thing the 1090 does is eliminate the need to design a new enclosure for each upgrade.

 

[I'll counterpoint my own comment here]

 

On the other hand, the 1090 is a pretty large edifice to have standing next to your setup. So, you'd better have enough worthwhile upgrades inside to justify its presence -- unless you're looking at it as a showpiece, which is equally as valid, especially given the history and monetary weight of an original proto. I guess that partially depends on how good the chassis ends up getting replicated.

 

I also suppose a lot of things could be stacked on top of it (would a 1050 fit there?).

 

Edited by MrFish

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2 minutes ago, MrFish said:

[I'll counterpoint my own comment here]

 

On the other hand, the 1090 is a pretty large edifice to have standing next to your setup. So, you'd better have enough worthwhile upgrades inside to justify its presence -- unless you're looking at it as a showpiece, which is equally as valid, especially given the history and monetary weight of an original proto. I guess that partially depends on how good the chassis ends up getting replicated.

 

I also suppose a lot of things could be stacked on top of it (would a 1050 fit there?).

 

This makes me think of something else (not sure if this has been talked about yet). Given the ability to miniaturize electronics these days, a mini version of the 1090 would be cool, less cumbersome on the desk, and ultimately more cost effective.

 

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2 hours ago, mytek said:

Yep you guessed correctly ;-)

I also thought that that may have been where your reply was headed ;)

2 hours ago, mytek said:

But I had a change of heart, not wanting to dictate how I thought it would be better used. So now that the cat is out of the bag, I was going to suggest using a U1MB instead, which kills at least 3 or more birds with one stone, and leaves the 1090 slots free to do other things. Such as video enhancement, ethernet, fast serial or better yet buffered USB. Just seemed like such a waste to pack it full of memory expansion boards and have no room for anything else.

Speaking as the guy who asked the 4x256K card question in the first place: totally agreed :-D

 

Having said that, I am interested in the possibility.  Not because it's the best way of doing it, or even what Atari may have intended BITD, but because I was just wondering if it could be done successfully.  An academic exercise, really.

2 hours ago, mytek said:

Just because Atari was going to create a 64K card BITD, doesn't mean that makes sense to still do so now days, other than for pure nostalgia and trying to exactly mimic what they were doing back then.

Also agreed.  My interest is in building an item that Atari never released to the public, and seeing what can be done with it.  While there are certain things that I see as immediately-beneficial (additional RAM, 80 column cards), nostalgia doesn't really enter into it since it's not something I ever really had.  Curiosity, definitely, but not nostalgia :-D

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5 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Speaking as the guy who asked the 4x256K card question in the first place...

 

Having said that, I am interested in the possibility.  Not because it's the best way of doing it, or even what Atari may have intended BITD, but because I was just wondering if it could be done successfully.  An academic exercise, really.

 

I assumed this to be your reason. The only reason I brought it up was that people seemed to be taking Michael's redacted comment too generally.

 

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33 minutes ago, MrFish said:

I assumed this to be your reason. The only reason I brought it up was that people seemed to be taking Michael's redacted comment too generally.

Understood. My comments weren't aimed at anyone in particular, but were provided to give some background as to why (as the person who asked the question) I found his edit totally understandable: my mind-reading skills were evidently at 100% that day, and the points I thought he raised were a) in line with my assumptions and b) totally valid :-D

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Hello guys

 

10 hours ago, MrFish said:

Given the ability to miniaturize electronics these days, a mini version of the 1090 would be cool, less cumbersome on the desk, and ultimately more cost effective.

 

IIRC I've seen a 1090 in real life once, decades ago.  So I'm not sure how big the 1090 is, but...

 

My guess would be that width and depth (of the original 1090) wouldn't be the problem, biut height might be.  Maybe it would be possible to design the housing in such a way, that that walls would exist of two square rings.  If you only want to use old style, full height 1090 cards, you'd use both rings, but if you'd only want to use newly designed more modern cards, you'd leave out one of the rings.  With just one ring, the top would be low enough that you could put a monitor on top of the new 1090.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

PS taking this a step further, you could use a case of a Megafile (or recreate something similar) and create a ring that would raise the top of the Megafile case to create enough height of the 1090 cards.

 

 

Edited by Mathy

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Eventually, it could be redesigned as the 1091, for example, and have cards installed horizontally.  This would lower the height and change the footprint to be more along the lines of a megafile/pc1 that could maybe support a monitor.  Thin and wide as the XL wouldn’t be too bad.  Heck, I’m seeing a docking station now in my mind.  

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39 minutes ago, kheller2 said:

Eventually, it could be redesigned as the 1091, for example, and have cards installed horizontally.  This would lower the height and change the footprint to be more along the lines of a megafile/pc1 that could maybe support a monitor.  Thin and wide as the XL wouldn’t be too bad.  Heck, I’m seeing a docking station now in my mind.  

Half-height cards would be another option.

 

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14 hours ago, MrFish said:

On the other hand, the 1090 is a pretty large edifice to have standing next to your setup. So, you'd better have enough worthwhile upgrades inside to justify its presence -- unless you're looking at it as a showpiece, which is equally as valid, especially given the history and monetary weight of an original proto. I guess that partially depends on how good the chassis ends up getting replicated.

Adding the corollary to the counterpoint :-D :

 

BITD, expansions typically went one of two ways: in a chain out of - usually - the rear of the computer, or in a chain off of one of the sides.  Sure, the Apple ][ range had internal card slots, but those were more the exception than the rule for home computers.

 

One of the things that's appealing about the idea of a modern 1090 is that it has the potential to give the A8 what are effectively internal card slots, but with the ability to be physically-located just about anywhere by attaching the unit to the A8 by cable.  If it could only attach directly to the PBI port (à la the 1064), I'd literally have no room for the 800XL.  But by being able to give it six feet of flexibility, everything is hunky-dory.

14 hours ago, MrFish said:

I also suppose a lot of things could be stacked on top of it (would a 1050 fit there?).

Not sure they're that big.  I suspect a 1050 could go under one, but the top would likely only fit a 1010 or 1020.

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5 hours ago, Mathy said:

Maybe it would be possible to design the housing in such a way, that that walls would exist of two square rings.  If you only want to use old style, full height 1090 cards, you'd use both rings, but if you'd only want to use newly designed more modern cards, you'd leave out one of the rings.

 

1 hour ago, kheller2 said:

Eventually, it could be redesigned as the 1091, for example, and have cards installed horizontally.  This would lower the height and change the footprint to be more along the lines of a megafile/pc1 that could maybe support a monitor.  Thin and wide as the XL wouldn’t be too bad.  Heck, I’m seeing a docking station now in my mind.

 

47 minutes ago, MrFish said:

Half-height cards would be another option.

 

Taking all of the above into account, this comes back to the question of how close to the original design a modern version should be.

 

While I see absolutely no reason to not take advantage of modern technology and the space savings it can offer, to my mind the end goal of building a modern 1090 is to replicate as best as possible an unreleased piece of hardware.  This means keeping to the original form factor for both the cards and the unit itself.

 

However, that doesn't mean that multiple case options aren't a possibility, either.  A 1450XLD-style case with the cards mounted internally on a backplane-connected card cage that can be slid in and out as needed would be pretty slick.  It also doesn't mean that cards can't be designed for either form factor, provided that they're pin-compatible between sizes.

 

The trick would be to avoid having cards that are only available in full height.  A half-height card should always fit in a full-size enclosure, but the reverse may not always be true and it's not something that should be permitted to become a shutting-out factor depending on the size of enclosure in use.

 

Just my $0.0166 after taxes.

 

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Yeah, I'm just thinking out loud about practicality and cost. An exact replica is desirable, and probably easier to implement. I was thinking more about a longer term goal/option; but there's also the negatives that go along with having two standards.

 

I'm quite happy to see a 1090 in any form, really.

 

Edited by MrFish
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48 minutes ago, kheller2 said:

Heck, I’m seeing a docking station now in my mind.

 

You got something here, docking station that doubles as monitor stand, has internal power supply and space for SIO devices. Like VIC-1020

 

VIC-1020_a.jpg

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The current size lends itself to developer sized hacked up cards and devices... shrinking stuff down is often realized later in that process. It's all good.

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1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

One of the things that's appealing about the idea of a modern 1090 is that it has the potential to give the A8 what are effectively internal card slots, but with the ability to be physically-located just about anywhere by attaching the unit to the A8 by cable.

Since this device would be connected directly to the bus, you would have to be VERY careful to avoid adding capacitance and screwing up bus timing. Fast modern devices like SIDE3 are already problematic in some machines due to timing issues - many reports of people having to replace the 74LS08’s in their systems with faster 74F08’s to improve the BPhi2 signal enough to allow those machines to boot. Adding a long cable and multiple cards may not work out in practice. Issues like this at the prototype stage may well be what got the project killed in the first place. 

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Wasn't there talk already about the use of some type of buffered/buffering cable?

 

Edited by MrFish
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A docking station would eliminate cables, since 600/800XL computers could be inserted directly into 1090 pcb. The whole thing would be the size of 1200XL or a little longer to double as a stand for 14" CRT monitor.

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3 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

A docking station would eliminate cables, since 600/800XL computers could be inserted directly into 1090 pcb.

One small detail: the 600XL and 800XL don't have their PBI slots in the same place relative to centre; there's about a 1" difference between them with the 600XL's port set closer to the right-hand side of the machine.  Unless the PBI connector on the docking station was somehow moveable, one machine or the other would be offset from the sides of the docking station's case.

 

And that's without considering ECI, and how to tackle that.  Basically, we're back to the cable equation, and @DrVenkman brings up a good point about replacing 74LS08s with 74F08s in some cases (I did).  @MrFish also has a good corollary to that, though.

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  • Julia FIFO buffering cable...

The idea being to put the buffer as near the port as possible... buffering at the box was also done.

using the proper hardware a benefit as the signals can also be shaped (schmidt triggering)

 

You can see this today on  SIO splitter such as lotheriks offering.

 

no reason this can't be extended back into the 1090 project since that's where we were going...

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I'm aware of the differences between 600XL and 800XL. The solution would be simple adapter plate/pcb with PBI connector and plugs for power, video and SIO that will go into 1090 mainboard.   

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much of the specs for the Atari were violated due to cost cutting and folks coming on board thinking that's the same function we'll use this cheaper chip or transistor... this is why you see so much variation in what's in there... lets not also forget manufacturer subbing parts to get the job done. You can mitigate only so much before you have to put in what should have been. That means chips with proper drive or darlington transistors in your video circuits... so I can only say... what came from the factory isn't always 'stock' or correct. Part of the Atari fun is putting things right. So Atari itself put in some boo boo's either by engineers not knowing what they broke, or the problem getting baked in the cake by bean counters and manufacturing.

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