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.
Since before Guus Assmann released his beautiful 1050 Mega Speedy I have been wanting to design a bezel that would fit the 1050, be as original as possible and be modifyible. It’s not really realistic that the bezel could be mass produced since there is probably only about a thousand or so 1050s that would need something like that and injection molding would still be out of sight cost wise. But I thought that maybe the bezel could be 3d printed on an individual basis with what ever modified design to accomadate the various 1050 external mod controls.
When Guus released the Mega Speedy, he also kicked that project out of the closet and into high gear. Over the last few weeks I have been plugging away, fighting with Solidworks to come up with a prototype design. This is initialy just going to be a vanilla design of the bezel. Once the fit is tweaked and then confirmed, any modifications can be done to the model. Then printed out on a 3d printer.
Wouldn’t you know Murphy would make an appearance. I do have a Flashforge Creator Pro 3d printer. However I have had problems with the dual extruder nozzels. They are not level. As long as I only did small objects that wasn’t a problem, but the bezel is almost at the max of the printer’s build size, so when I go to print, the nozzel that hangs a few hundredths of a mm lower drags across the print area, destroying the build. The set screws controling the level of the nozzels are frozen and not adjustable. I have ordered a replacement nozzel mount and am waiting for it’s arrival.
In the meantime I have decided to release the prototype .stl file. This will allow anyone with a 3d printer to print their own. You need to make sure that your build size is large enough. Dimensions are at least 200mm L X 100mm W Be advised that although I have measured and remeasured, I would be surprised if the bezel is an accurate replacement yet. What would be nice is if you can report back how much off it is.
This is a work in progress so all the dimensions are subject to change. I will be printing a prototype once my printer is up again.
Well….. the new year is nearly two months old now. I’ve been in my new house for a little over three months. Things are beginning to settle into a routine. Things are becoming comfortable. 🙂
I am toying with several ideas for my next projects. They seem to be a split between electronics and 3d design/print. I suppose I’ll add to and edit this list some. But for now….
Electronics 3d design/print
[column size=”1/2″] Reimaged SDX cart, Pass Through Cart [/column]
[column size=”1/2″] SIO Connector, Atari 8bit cartridge shell, 1050 Front Bezel [/column]
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the first time ever I am going to try putting the XF551 boards on sale. Suffice to say the sales of the original boards have been poor. In spite of the voting for original board on Atari Age. I have sold only three or four.
Development on the addon board has stalled. I am waiting on the testing results from my cohort.
I realize that the cost is a stopping point for some. But when you are dealing in ones and tens for parts, there is no cost savings to speak of. I am literally giving my time away and barely paying for the parts.
Sale starts tomorrow. I am putting a 15% sale on the original board variations and a 10% on the modern boards, of which I have only two left. It will last a week or until sold out.