New look. Cleaner, newer theme. The old theme was creaking and finicky about updates. Hopefully will be more stable now.
Get in, try the controls, get out and kick the tires once or twice. See how it goes.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been putting the finishing touches on several small projects that have been sitting on the sidelines. I plan to have these projects up for sale by Cyber Monday.
One project was started over two years ago, but I kept stalling out on it, or my time got switched to other projects. I’m finally now going to offer it up for sale. That’s the long rumored and promised XF551 Control board. This modification will allow on both my re-imaged boards and Atari’s original XF551 floppy drives to have a track display and some front panel controls. More info will be available on it’s product page.
Another offering will be a simple 1200XL cartridge extension board. I’ve always been aggravated by Atari’s funnel shaped cartridge port that was too narrow to allow the Polish cases to be inserted. I finally got off my duff to do something about it. Further info is also on it’s product page.
Something that came up on a AtariAge.com thread a few weeks back also sparked my creative juices. Some people were grousing about the problem of the Atari 130XE’s cartridge port being awkward to use because a person sitting in front of the computer couldn’t see the connector when he/she was inserting the cartridge. It seemed to become a feel_to_insert situation. It became a particular irritation when someone frequently changed cartridges. While it’s not a perfect solution, I decided to try a dual right angle cartridge extension board. With it you can insert two of your most commonly used cartridges and switch between them without having to physically remove the cartridges. You still will have to reboot the computer after the switch. tf_hh was invaluable in developing a functioning prototype. More info is also on it’s product page.
Another thought I just had was a modified RA SDX cartridge. Essentially instead of the horizontal cartridge slot at the end of the internal pcb, put a vertical cartridge slot there. It should be doable. The tricky part’s going to be the cartridge case design. But it might help the unstable stacking effect on 1200XL/800XL/130XE computers. Since I already have functioning prototypes, hopefully I can have a preliminary rendering up by Cyber Monday as well.
There’s still a few small projects on the drawing board so to speak. Hopefully while waiting for the parts and boards to come in for these projects, I can finish them as well. At this point I am only planning one big project for next year, the 1090XLR. Not sure yet just what shape it will take, but hopefully I can come up with a prototype box by mid year 2017.
Today is a mismash of things. I partnered with mytekcontrols to bring to simi-mass market his creation TK-II Stereo Bundle. Essentially it is a PS/2 keyboard/Atari 8bit interface with the added feature of a stereo Pokey feature. With the price of Pokeys rising to new heights I decided not to include the necessary 2 Pokey chips, but otherwise the bundle is complete.
Also I am testing the 3D printer files for the Ralf David reimaged Eprom Burner board. Surprisingly the XYZ Printer Pro is behaving itself for now. There’s two files, one for the bottom and one for the top portion. I’ll be printing both today (I hope) for a preliminary fit test. The bottom should take about 5hrs. Not sure how much the top will take, hopefully a few hours less since it’s only about half a inch tall. Same size as the bottom, but not as tall.
I’m also doing some testing of smaller projects that have been sitting, waiting patiently on the side. Maybe I can finally get the XF551 track display project done, a 2364 2in1 adapter. and when the board order arrives a couple of other cartridge adapters for the 1200XL and 130XE. I’ll also be working on a software/hardware mod for the eprom burner project that I hope will allow moving the disk-based software to rom. We’ll see.
On the website arena, I will begin the process of upgrading and modernizing the website theme. It’ll go on behind the scenes until it’s ready to be activated. I’m shooting for Nov 1st. That’ll be the three year anniversary.
I doubt there’ll be any major projects the rest of the year. Refinements and small projects only.
Well another summer has come and almost gone. Just have to get through the dog days of August. 🙂
Today I get to announce new hardware for sale. It’s literally amazing what the Atari 8bit computer was able to do some thirty years ago. And the ability of some genius engineers to pull the most out of her. I’d been looking for as much info as I could on CSS products, specifically the Super E and Gang E programmers when I ran across this gem. I didn’t even know it existed. I got to know it well, at least the hardware side. It may not be a polished as the Thompson Pro Burner or as well known as the CSS product, but this Atari 8bit computer based eprom burner rocks. Check out the product page for the Ralf David XL/XE Eprom Burner Bundle.
After spending so much time on the burner, I almost forgot the other smaller projects I was working on too. In the coming weeks I should have several more new hardware pieces to offer. So stay tuned. :))
I have been sent a cease and desist request from a Steve Cohen. He is claiming he owns the copywrite on the Wizztronics 256k memory upgrade boards for Atari 800XLs and that he has licensed the rights to an unnamed third party. He is demanding I discontinue offering my reimaged boards for sale immediately.
While I have no way to know if this is true, it doesn’t matter. I am in no position financially to resist. I have taken the product from my website. I will still offer the memory chips necessary to actually upgrade the memory until my stock is exhausted. Also I will offer the additional three chips necessary to upgrade the version of the board for the newer Antic to work with the older Antic (CO12296) until the stock is exhausted.
I wish I could say I made any money on this, but I didn’t. The items did not sell very well. I still have 75% of the boards made. Still it wasn’t my intention to make money anyway. From all appearances this board appeared to be abandonware. I didn’t want it to only be available to a few collectors and a museum or two.
This Steve Cohen should get with this third party he claims has licensed the rights and find out why the product is not being actively produced and supported. The only other place I ever found original boards was Best Electronics. This was about five years ago now. At that time I was told I had purchased the last one in stock and the owner did not expect to recieve any more stock as the item was no longer being made. This may have changed, but I don’t see the item on Best website for sale.
Well….. it’s a new year now. Hopefully a better one than last year. 🙂
I’ve started a short sale of some of my older works. Unless there is considerable demand I don’t plan to restock once I sell out. Eventually I’ll post the schematic and board files to reproduce them, but I’ll hold onto them for awhile longer.
I’ve also settled on an Super SDX pcb and cartridge design. At least it’s in beta. I guess I’ll have to get my 3D printer up and running again to test it. :0 I’ll also release it for dl. You should be able to find it as the last dl link to the right.
I may also redo the first two cartridge designs. But I’m gonna work on some other things for awhile. 🙂
Starting today in a few minutes you can own a Super SpartaDOS cart for your very own. There are two versions: For those who already own the original SpartaDOS cartridge shell check out this version Super SpartaDOS PCB
For those unfortunate enough not to own the original do not dispare. Check out this version: Super SpartaDOS Cartridge
I know you’ve been chomping at the bits for this and I hate to keep torturing you with delays. I want the process and the boards to just work. So we are taking the time to cross our t’s and dot our i’s so to speak. I can give you a look at what we believe to be the final boards. We will be offering two versions. One will be the full shelled cartridge and the other is just the pcb for insertion into the SpartaDOS original cartridge shell.
Here’s the KM-20 shelled printed circuit board:
and here’s the pcb that will fit into the original SpartaDOS cartridge shell. Sorry if it’s missing some parts. Eagle wants to charge to convert their board format to 3d. And the roundabout SketchUP method is tortorous beyond belief. I’ve decided I don’t like SketchUp. Who needs another 3d Cad program that won’t allow import of parts in any other format in the free version?
Final preparations are underway. Until then hang onto your horses! 🙂
The SDXCart reimage project I’ve been working with tf_hh has finally hit a milestone. And what a milestone. We have a fully functional prototype now. Here are some pics:
Now the next step is developing an enclosure. I’m going to be offering the KM-20 shells heavily modified of course. But I will also offer the pcb without a shell. I have a quote out with Itead to see what they will charge to make the boards and partially assemble them at least as far as the SMD parts are concerned.
The current features are fixed:
Current version SDXDos 4.47
Flashable with Ultimate1MB and UFlash flashers
GALs and ROM are socketed for future upgrades and easier repairs
RTC with replaceable CR2032 battery backup
Cartridge Reset Button
External and SDXCart on/off button
Stay tuned. I’ll have some more info on the XF551 Control board and display in the next few days too.