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Merry Christmas: Beta 3D Atari Cartridge Files

XF551s

As promised here are the beta 3D Atari Cartridge Files.  I say beta since unfortunately my 3d printer is being cranky and I am not able to print out a prototype.  So I advise you to do that before you send these files for production.  I’m not responsible for that 1500.00 bill from the plastics manufacture.  🙂

Inside the zip file you’ll find the source Solidworks model file, a pdf with the max pcb dimensions, various .jpg views and a .step and .stl versions of the source file.  Your 3d printer should be able to do a resolution of at least 1 mm.  I think I took out any critical less than 1mm dimensions.   This is a generic shell.  I am still working on a shell that will allow a top pass-thru.  It should follow this version closely, but will have some differences of course.

I give you permission to use these files to produce cartridges for commercial sale and private use with the stipulation that you attribute authorship to me and send me 1 complete item you are selling and 1 empty cartridge.  You can modify and distribute these files only if you also include the source zip from me and again attribute me as the source for the modified files.

View3View2FullPCBSmallPCB

After a request to add post and hole snap together, I played around and came up with the first modification.  Not sure how well it will work.  Please post any comments to this here.  Changes, requests etc

View8View6

View7

 

 

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Two Versions of the Super SpartaDOS cartridges

XF551s

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

 

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Super SpartaDOS Cartridge/PCB is almost here!

XF551s

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:

PanosVersionSpartaDOS  PanosVersionSpartaDOS2

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?

SpartaDOSOriginal2  SpartaDOSOriginal2back

Final preparations are underway.  Until then hang onto your horses!  🙂

 

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SDX Cart Reimaged update

XF551s

Great news!

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:

20151110_212427 20151110_212451

20151112_201540sdxcartbacksdxcartfront

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 Passthru

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.

 

 

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XF551 Mod board update others too

XF551s

Yes, I know it’s been more than a month since my last update.  Sorry about that.  Life kinda got in the way.  Finances are starting to get a little thin too.  So I am having to spread out the testing, board orders and parts purchases etc.  I am really close now.  I have what I hope is a small production order into the board house ITead now.    They go on holiday in a few days and the pcb fabricator will shut down for about a week.  I hope I made the cutoff.  If I did I should recieve my board order by the end of next week.  If not then I don’t expect the order to come in until the middle of Oct.  I’m crossing my fingers.  🙂

I will have various board configurations depending on which version of my boards you purchased, currently three versions are out in the wild now.  I’ll also have a generic board for anyone adventurous enough to attempt soldering on the original Atari XF551 board.

This is actually a kit.  It will include the main board and two smaller boards to be fitted to the left front side of the case and in the drive faceplate.  This board will allow front panel selection of a dual OS configuration, front panel display and selection of the drive number, front panel drive CPU reset and a LED dual digit track # display.  Definitely some assembly required.  I am trying to keep the case modifications, soldering etc to a minimum.

Pictures will be forthcoming as soon as I have fitted the boards into the case.

I also have two other projects on going right now.  I am closing in on a reimaged Super SDX cart that I hope will include not only the original ability to stack carts but also have battery backup included too.   It’s a joint project with tf_hh from AtariAge and myself.   This order hopefully will produce a working version sans the battery backup.

The second project is still in testing phase.  I am venturing into the 1050 drive world with it.   Guus Assmman and I are working on reimaging CSS’s Bitwriter board with the Super Archiver chip builtin.   This board will be the first prototype and mostly likely will be pretty rough around the edges, if it works at all.

That’s all for right now.

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XF551 Mod Board update

XF551s

 

Yes it’s been awhile since my last post.  Not that I haven’t been busy.  Far from it.  Over the last few years along with developing the reimaged XF551 main board I have also been working on a secondary board that would add additional nice features.  At times I explored adding various leds, switches to change drive # and OS, reset drive, adding SDrive option, USB2SIO, CSS’s XF551 Enhancement etc.  I’ve had productive email/IM sessions with several others active in the Atari community, Igor Gramblicka, Pasiu, 1050, Bob1200XL and Larry.  I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had without their involvement.  At this point I am reaching the final testing and refinement of that mod board.  Hopefully in the next month, I’ll be able to offer it for sale.  Nothing earth shaking here, but I wanted to give an update.

 

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Reimaged XF551 Disk Drive Controllers v2.0

XF551s

 

It’s been a long time coming.  I apologize.  This is the final version of the original reimaged XF551 boards.  I am considering doing a proto XF551 in a 1050 case, but I doubt I’ll produce it for sale.  I have all but used up the SIO connectors I could find.  I could use a DB9 or DB15 or sell the board without the SIO connectors.  Not really what I want to put my name on.   🙁

I have fixed the issue with format and write that cropped up on the reimaged version 1 original power supply board.  The modern power supply version was a simple fix and not always needed.  Some owners never had any problems.  The reimaged version 1 original power supply boards were a little harder to fix,  requiring a redesign of the board.

I am in the process of finalizing the mod board long promised.  Testing proceeds.

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Today 20 years ago

Years ago I was thinking about doing some pyrography on guitars.  So I went into Photoshop and started playing around with bits and pieces of photos I had scanned/copied from the net,  just trying to get an idea of how to position and manipulate images.  I came up with a few designs that I liked.   I actually had a Johnny Cash tribute design that I took to Nashville to have a guitar maker put on a custom tele I had bought off Ebay.  It came out okay and I still have the guitar, but the interest kind of cooled and I never did much more with the ideas.

One other design that I came up with was another tribute.  This time to a horrific event in my adopted home town of Oklahoma City.  I was away in the Navy at the time, but I can still remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as the radio reports started filtering into the shop where I was working.  I saw it mirrored in the faces of my co workers as they too listened to the shop radio and heard the news reports over the next few days.

No one I knew directly was hurt or killed, but the senseless slaughter of so many by a man who had worn the same mantle of military service as I had left it’s mark on me just the same.

Today is a day to remember,

OKCMemorialSwampAshRearRoutedTele copy

and to never forget.

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FlashForge 3D Creator Pro Sensor Cable part 1

XF551s

Last year I took the plunge into 3d printing.  It was terrifying and intoxicating at the same time.  I jumped at every strange sound the printer made, sure that box of wires and exposed moving gantry of hot spewing plastic was going to jump it’s tracks and shoot it’s guts around the room.  You laugh…..   I swear I believed.  It made all kinds of weird noises and smelled… well….. hot!

Little by little I got use to it.  It didn’t run off it’s tracks and it didn’t come apart.  I began to leave it alone while it printed.  Only a few minutes mind you at a time.  And then the time came when I started it up and went off for 30 minutes or more.  Then one time when I came back from the kitchen and found it had printed a stringy mess of a test 8bit cartridge shell.

That turned out to be the x axis belt that was extremely loose.  Once I tightened it up everything was fine.  Time went on and I eventually moved to my new home.  After several weeks of unpacking and sorting things out I finally tried the printer again for the first time since the move.

Gremlins had found my printer.  I swear…  Horrible sounds issued from the inside as the extruders approached the far right rear.  It stuttered and ground, then seemed to clear and prepare to print.  But everytime it got close to the far right rear unholy noises spewed forth.  Print aborted with power switch forced into off position.  Some frantic searching on Youtube and Google turned up a possible cause.  The X axis wire harness was bad.  But I only had about 40 some hours on the printer I wailed….

I assure you that printer didn’t blink an eye.  It just didn’t care.

Well this wasn’t the first time something inanimate had turned a cold eye on me.   I fixed that right up with ordering 2x x axis wiring harnesses from Flashforge, cursing at the shipping charges all the way to the commit button.  They came in and I took the hex wrench to the side and bottom covers.  Off they came and after much turning and upside down viewing (not the printer mine you) of the cable pathway I had the harness installed.  The covers went back on and everything plugged back in.   I powered the printer back on, leveled the bed and started a print.

The extruder traveled closer and closer to the far right rear and then began to studder and grind.  Oh *&(#(&%(@!

Off went the power switch again.   Now what?  There was one other cable that connected to the x axis motor.  It was the sensor cable.  From somewhere in my memory I recalled a cable that came packaged with the printer.  So I dug in the box with the printer parts and came up with the cable.   Off came the covers again, I spent more time practically on my head threading the cable through the guides again.  All plugged in and buttoned up finally again.  Power went on and I bed leveled again.  I initiated the print again.   And waited for the fatal noise again.

It never came.  Instead the extruder moved through it’s paces like a race horse.  I danced a victory dance, oh yea……  Oh yea…..   🙂

Two days later I came back into the hobby room and prepared the printer for another session.  I had printed two proto parts and after making some adjustments to the 3d model I wanted to print a hard copy to see what else needed to be changed.  Print initiated and I turned to my workbench to do some soldering.  Behind me came the sound of studdering and grinding.

(!*&#($!&Y%!

I shut the printer off and stewed.  And regrouped.

Stay tuned for part two.

 

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XF551 Issues Update 2

XF551s

Okay another couple of weeks gone and some clarification.  The person who was having problems with his SIO2SD when connected to my XF551 remade board has reported that it is happening randomly when not connected, so that seems to clear my board of that issue.  He also is still having problems with his XF551 original power supply.  His XF551 modern power supply is working.  The other person who was reporting SIO slowdown and misreads on both his reimaged XF551 original power supply boards is still having them and I still cannot duplicate it on my test board.  The individual who just wanted to return his boards to be retrofitted seems not to have sent them yet, at least I haven’t recieved them yet.

I see that Igor Gramblicka has tested the XF551 board and daughter board I sent him some time back before I went public.  I am using a Google translation of his post and from what I can determine his test board is also working.  Some issues with the daughter board, but I expected that.   I did find some minor issues myself and one major that seems to be affecting some and not other people.  I will be working to implement fixes and upgrades to version 2 of my board and daughter board.  Test boards are currently at the board house being made.  They should arrive here in another two weeks.

I am also working on a version that will fit a 1050 case, an XF551 in a 1050 so to speak.  You would need to do some mods to the 1050 housing to accomodate the drive mech.  But those mods would normally be internal to the case, not seen on the outside.  Of course all fixes to the original design will be implemented on this new project.  This will be sold as a DIY kit, because of the needed mods on the case.  More info after I finish testing my fixes.