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SDrive NUXX


c0nsumer
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This looks great. For $20 each, I will definitely take a couple boards. (maybe a couple more to build for people here since there seems to be a large demand for populated units). However at $80 total for front and rear panels, I am not sure if I would want any. Maybe I would take one set at that price. With the enclosure and front/rear end panels, the total cost is about $150, correct? I guess that may be part of the reason projects are so often done without an enclosure.

 

Your estimate for price with Front Panel Express panels seems accurate. That said, I'm still waiting to get some quotes back from alternate panel suppliers which will hopefully have considerably cheaper prices.

 

Please note, of course, that prices for the PCB and such aren't final. While I have ordered a small prototype board run, I have not completed quoting for a production run. I currently believe the $20/board (shipped in the US) estimate to be accurate, but there's always a slight chance that could change.

 

Also on a (sort of) unrelated note, are you a big fan of Underworld? I know I am. :)

 

Yep, that's where the whole NUXX / nuxx.net thing comes from. :)

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No. However, upon completion of the SDrive NUXX project specifically I will be releasing the PCB CAD files, so you're free to do so. However, you will need an appropriate CadSoft EAGLE license for doing that layout.

 

That said, the XM301 modem case will be a bit problematic because it doesn't have the button/tactile switch, LED, and SD holes in it.

 

Hmmm... I actually like the XM301 case idea. I've got a spare one here that's waiting to be Dremmeled.

 

Advantages:

1) you can get XM301's new for $15 from B&C, so the case is much less expensive that a new enclosure and panels.

2) they come with a SIO cable with a strain relief clip; just cut it from the PC board them solder it to the SDrive PCB. No need to destroy a cable or use a DB15 adapter.

3) there is a slot up front that will let a power LED shine through. It's got red plastic on it, but you probably could still see different colors if you used a bicolor LED to indicate R/W.

4) genuine Atari look and feel :)

 

The case is setup to handle a 122mm x 62mm PCB with notches in the back and two support holes. I just traced my own PCB and measured the dimensions. The telephone port on the back is large enough to support a MicroSD slot, but that's a pain to work with as it's surface-mount with the contacts under the shield! That means having to do reflow for that one. However, there's room on the back for mounting buttons and a real SD slot, you just want to be careful to avoid cutting away too much plastic.

 

I'll probably go ahead and build one from the NUXX PCB to try out the device. Then, I'll make my own PCB and try that too. Then, it looks like I could probably sell my original one, as there's a market for prebuilt units :) This sounds like a fun way for me to get into PCB layout too. The freeware version of Eagle CAD can only do 100mm x 80mm boards, but I figure one that size will fit OK in the XM301 case, it just won't reach to both sides.

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Hmmm... I actually like the XM301 case idea. I've got a spare one here that's waiting to be Dremmeled.

 

Advantages:

1) you can get XM301's new for $15 from B&C, so the case is much less expensive that a new enclosure and panels.

2) they come with a SIO cable with a strain relief clip; just cut it from the PC board them solder it to the SDrive PCB. No need to destroy a cable or use a DB15 adapter.

3) there is a slot up front that will let a power LED shine through. It's got red plastic on it, but you probably could still see different colors if you used a bicolor LED to indicate R/W.

4) genuine Atari look and feel :)

 

The case is setup to handle a 122mm x 62mm PCB with notches in the back and two support holes. I just traced my own PCB and measured the dimensions. The telephone port on the back is large enough to support a MicroSD slot, but that's a pain to work with as it's surface-mount with the contacts under the shield! That means having to do reflow for that one. However, there's room on the back for mounting buttons and a real SD slot, you just want to be careful to avoid cutting away too much plastic.

 

I'll probably go ahead and build one from the NUXX PCB to try out the device. Then, I'll make my own PCB and try that too. Then, it looks like I could probably sell my original one, as there's a market for prebuilt units :) This sounds like a fun way for me to get into PCB layout too. The freeware version of Eagle CAD can only do 100mm x 80mm boards, but I figure one that size will fit OK in the XM301 case, it just won't reach to both sides.

If someone will build an Sdrive in an XM301 case I will surely buy it!

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The case is setup to handle a 122mm x 62mm PCB with notches in the back and two support holes. I just traced my own PCB and measured the dimensions. The telephone port on the back is large enough to support a MicroSD slot, but that's a pain to work with as it's surface-mount with the contacts under the shield! That means having to do reflow for that one. However, there's room on the back for mounting buttons and a real SD slot, you just want to be careful to avoid cutting away too much plastic.

 

If you're referring to the surface mount SD slot on the SDrive NUXX, I actually selected a part which has all the contacts visible and easy to solder. There are no through-hole SD slots available, so I went with the easiest to solder one. The SD slot also fits into two drills on the PCB, which will ensure that it remains aligned while soldering. I expect soldering this part to be particularly easy.

 

I'll probably go ahead and build one from the NUXX PCB to try out the device. Then, I'll make my own PCB and try that too. Then, it looks like I could probably sell my original one, as there's a market for prebuilt units :) This sounds like a fun way for me to get into PCB layout too. The freeware version of Eagle CAD can only do 100mm x 80mm boards, but I figure one that size will fit OK in the XM301 case, it just won't reach to both sides.

 

That's a good plan. I can see it being kinda neat to have a PCB available which will fit an XM301 case, but the reason I didn't take an approach like this is because having to hand-modify an enclosure was one of the things that I specifically wanted to avoid.

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Any idea on when you may be opening up the PCB orders?

 

Most likely mid-March.

 

The prototype PCBs are currently being manufactured, and I expect to receive them right at the end of February (~2 weeks). After that I'm going to build one or two up, finish up the case design, finalize pricing, then open up orders. Presuming no glitches, I think that all of this will take about two weeks, leading to my mid-March estimate.

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Hmmm... I actually like the XM301 case idea...

 

Thanks. I like my projects to look as Atari as possible. Can you send me the PCB files when you get it done?

 

Yeah, I'd follow NUXX's lead and have all the design files in the open. I may end up using ExpressPCB -- they do three boards for $51+shipping and the size is pretty close to perfect for the project. What PCB house are you using?

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After some more digging into front panel designs and shopping around for quotes, I've found that I can likely offer sets of PCBs and end panels (both front and rear) for US$35, shipped. These front and rear panels would be made using a photolithographic technique known as Metalphoto during which the artwork is anodized into the panel in black and silver. This is the same technique often used for extremely permanant / durable industrial marking, such as is used on vehicle control panels, serial number tags, etc.

 

This is far, far cheaper than the Front Panel Express cost of ~$40/panel, and these would look considerably nicer as they wouldn't have etch lines and tearing from the milling.

Edited by c0nsumer
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After some more digging into front panel designs and shopping around for quotes, I've found that I can likely offer sets of PCBs and end panels (both front and rear) for US$35, shipped. These front and rear panels would be made using a photolithographic technique known as Metalphoto during which the artwork is anodized into the panel in black and silver. This is the same technique often used for extremely permanant / durable industrial marking, such as is used on vehicle control panels, serial number tags, etc.

 

This is far, far cheaper than the Front Panel Express cost of ~$40/panel, and these would look considerably nicer as they wouldn't have etch lines and tearing from the milling.

 

At that price, put me down for at least two!

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After some more digging into front panel designs and shopping around for quotes, I've found that I can likely offer sets of PCBs and end panels (both front and rear) for US$35, shipped. These front and rear panels would be made using a photolithographic technique known as Metalphoto during which the artwork is anodized into the panel in black and silver. This is the same technique often used for extremely permanant / durable industrial marking, such as is used on vehicle control panels, serial number tags, etc.

 

This is far, far cheaper than the Front Panel Express cost of ~$40/panel, and these would look considerably nicer as they wouldn't have etch lines and tearing from the milling.

That's great news! Certainly interested.

 

Stephen Anderson

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sdrive_panel_test_3.png

 

While waiting for the PCBs I've been working on a new design for the front and rear panels, which will hopefully be embodied in some far cheaper (and more attractive) panels. I'm pretty happy with it, but I do think it still needs some tweaking. I think that the Atari-ish font looks good, and the label font looks dated without feeling contrived. The credit section at the bottom of the rear panel doesn't sit well with me, but I'll work on that tomorrow.

 

(If these panels are the ones I end up using, black will be black, what is 50% grey will be aluminum colored, and white will be holes / drills / countersinks. Click here or on the image above to see a 600dpi version.)

Edited by c0nsumer
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sdrive_panel_test_3.png

 

While waiting for the PCBs I've been working on a new design for the front and rear panels, which will hopefully be embodied in some far cheaper (and more attractive) panels. I'm pretty happy with it, but I do think it still needs some tweaking. I think that the Atari-ish font looks good, and the label font looks dated without feeling contrived. The credit section at the bottom of the rear panel doesn't sit well with me, but I'll work on that tomorrow.

 

(If these panels are the ones I end up using, black will be black, what is 50% grey will be aluminum colored, and white will be holes / drills / countersinks. Click here or on the image above to see a 600dpi version.)

Looks great, I am really excited about being able to get one! Thank you for you efforts! This will be a very handy device! :D

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Looks great, I am really excited about being able to get one! Thank you for you efforts! This will be a very handy device! :D

 

Sure thing. I love doing this stuff. I just can't wait until it's working... I really wish I had the prototype PCBs so I could finalize that design, but all in good time, eh?

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Looks great, I am really excited about being able to get one! Thank you for you efforts! This will be a very handy device! :D

 

Sure thing. I love doing this stuff. I just can't wait until it's working... I really wish I had the prototype PCBs so I could finalize that design, but all in good time, eh?

Oh yeah, it'll be great, kind of a Cuttle cart for Atari 8 bit :cool:

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Looks great, I am really excited about being able to get one! Thank you for you efforts! This will be a very handy device! :D

 

Sure thing. I love doing this stuff. I just can't wait until it's working... I really wish I had the prototype PCBs so I could finalize that design, but all in good time, eh?

Oh yeah, it'll be great, kind of a Cuttle cart for Atari 8 bit :cool:

 

Yeah, with a 8 gig card you can probably fit every commerical game ever made on one....

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Looks great, I am really excited about being able to get one! Thank you for you efforts! This will be a very handy device! :D

 

Sure thing. I love doing this stuff. I just can't wait until it's working... I really wish I had the prototype PCBs so I could finalize that design, but all in good time, eh?

Oh yeah, it'll be great, kind of a Cuttle cart for Atari 8 bit :cool:

 

Yeah, with a 8 gig card you can probably fit every commerical game ever made on one....

That's the plan! :cool:

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Yeah, with a 8 gig card you can probably fit every commerical game ever made on one....

 

Just so you know, this caps out at 2GB cards. It's a repackaging of SDrive by C.P.U., and you might want to read the documentation to understand exactly what it does.

 

The most obvious difference with my implementation, besides the case, is that instead of four jumpers on the front panel, I made RW/RO a toggle switch on the front, and hid the ID and SD Card Lock Override in the back. Oh, and the SIO connector.

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Yeah, with a 8 gig card you can probably fit every commerical game ever made on one....

 

Just so you know, this caps out at 2GB cards. It's a repackaging of SDrive by C.P.U., and you might want to read the documentation to understand exactly what it does.

 

The most obvious difference with my implementation, besides the case, is that instead of four jumpers on the front panel, I made RW/RO a toggle switch on the front, and hid the ID and SD Card Lock Override in the back. Oh, and the SIO connector.

 

Thanks for pointing it out. It’s ok. I already have other atari mass storage systems and I typically use 1 gig devices (even though they also support more) and find that to be more than enough.

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Thanks for pointing it out. It’s ok. I already have other atari mass storage systems and I typically use 1 gig devices (even though they also support more) and find that to be more than enough.

 

I actually had to pick up a 2GB SD card this past week so that once the boards arrive I'll be able to test things. Prior to this all I had was microSD and CF cards, neither of which I wanted to use for this project. On the upside, it was only $5.99 at MicroCenter for a decent one. (Kingston, or something.)

 

Data storage sure is getting cheap these days.

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Thanks for pointing it out. It’s ok. I already have other atari mass storage systems and I typically use 1 gig devices (even though they also support more) and find that to be more than enough.

 

I actually had to pick up a 2GB SD card this past week so that once the boards arrive I'll be able to test things. Prior to this all I had was microSD and CF cards, neither of which I wanted to use for this project. On the upside, it was only $5.99 at MicroCenter for a decent one. (Kingston, or something.)

 

Data storage sure is getting cheap these days.

 

Wow, great price. SD are usually more expensive but that beats what I pay for CF....

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