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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a couple weeks now since the discovery that there is a problem with previously released XF551 boards. I have heard from four people. One said he wasn’t having any problems no fix needed. Great!
One said he was having problems with both his modern and original power supply boards. He robbed the correct part off one of his original XF551 and place it in his modern power supply remake and it seemed to solve the problem. The board now will read/write/format disks. Then he indicated that he was now getting intermittant garbling in his SIO2SD video display when my board was connected but not when he used an original XF551. And no problem with normal computer video with either XF551 connected w/o the SIO2SD. Not sure what’s going on there. Trying to nail down exactly what’s connected and how it’s configured. Even the slightest thing could be creating a problem there. His original power supply remake board seems to be having more problems after the fix parts I sent. Again trying to nail down what it is or is not doing. The time difference between Europe and the USA slows down communication.
The third has two original power supply remake boards and while one has the fix and the other doesn’t he is saying both are supposedly having SIO errors that is slowing reading and writing down by a third. I cannot duplicate his issue on my test board. I may have made an error on the first board I sent him, but I tested the hell out of the second since that was when I discovered the write/format problem.
The fourth person is unwilling to troubleshoot and simply wants me to retrofit the fix. I have advised him to send the board back and I would fix/verify that the drive board is functioning properly.
The fix works. But…. Thirty plus years of wear and tear on moving parts and electronics, 3rd party devices never dreamt of when the Atari computers were first manufactured and simple human error are conspiring to create a confusing picture.
Just when you think you are riding high and taking no prisoners. (Yea, I shoulda known) I have discovered a fatal error on my XF551 boards. I believe it affects both versions, modern and original.*
It’s not that it can’t be fixed, but it’s the loss of trust and extra expense I hadn’t counted on that’s going to hurt me most. Not to mention the hassle to my customers. I have posted on AtariAge.com and will try to send notification to those who have purchased via the email used when they purchased.
Any new boards sold will include the fix.
*Update….. At this time it seems to be only affecting the original power supply boards. Possibly a consequence of the anemic power supply design for the original Atari XF551. Anyway some people are reporting the problem, others are not having a problem. To date noone has reported the problem with the modern power supply model.