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1200XL Cart Port Extension


Larry
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Several folks have inquired about the PBI extender from Metalguy66 which is no longer available. In fact, I had a spare and sold it. I also have one of Dropcheck's cartridge port breakout boards, and it can serve as an extension for the 1200XL.

 

Here it is (and note the low price):

https://www.bitsofthepast.com/?product=atari-8bit-cartridge-slot-breakout-pcb#

 

It is just long enough to be useful as an extension for plugging in the cartridges. It does leave the cartridge unsupported and "dangling," so a small redesign would be beneficial. But it does eliminate trying to insert carts into the "hole" in the side of a 1200XL, and makes virtually any cartridge usable.

 

The pcb does need to be supported and anchored to the 1200XL so that it does not keep pulling out of the jack when you remove a cartridge, but that is a quite simple fix. I tested several carts this AM, and it works fine here. With a slight redesign, making the extender a little longer and mounting the cart jack vertical, it would be absolutely excellent. Maybe in one of her future projects...

 

Here are a couple of pics (not very good photos this time). This shows the breakout board inserted and also compares the breakout board with the previously available PBI extender.

 

-Larry

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post-8008-0-31872800-1474207575_thumb.jpg

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definitely cool for people who haven't modified their 1200XL cartridge port. I've modified mine. I just used a Dremel to shave a bit off the cart port housing, so now any cartridge that wouldn't fit, now fits fine, and they are easy to insert and remove. I prefer the cartridges be hidden from view myself, so I chose to do the modification. The problem with the extension board is a lack of a proper cart port cover, with the pins that open the doors on original Atari cartridges from the 800 and XL lines.

 

So while it helps with the few cartridges that wouldn't fit before, you will have to remove it to use Atari brand cartridges anyway. This was an issue with Dropcheck's Super SpartaDOS X cartridge too, but I had an old 600XL laying around that is broken and I use it for salvaging parts anyway, so I used the cart port cover from it and modified the SSDX cart by Dropcheck so I could use Atari brand cartridges without removing the SSDX cart if I prefer (though like the extension, I don't care much for cartridges hanging out of the bay rather than hidden inside. The cart port cover can be purchased separately from Best Electronics too, so you don't have to steal one from another computer if you have one.

 

You can see my modified SSDX cart here at the link below. This method should also work with the cart port extender.

 

http://atari.boards.net/thread/695/fixing-flaws-super-spartados-design

Edited by Gunstar
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A week or so back there was a discussion on cart/multi-cart extension/expansion for both the 1200XL and the 130XE computers. I've been working on a fairly simple design to use the RA cart extension piggybacked onto a cart extension board for the 1200XL. I'll have the test boards back from Itead hopefully in another week.

 

I'll put up pics as soon as possible. We'll see if it's a complete dud or something to work with. ;-)

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Update:

 

I recieved the boards a couple of days ago. My initial ideas and design turned out to be pretty close to what I think is needed. But as usual there is always room for improvement. Sadly I'm not quite ready for prime time yet. For one major thing I am still working on a form of support for the extension, which it sorely needs. The other is the issue of Atari Cartridge Trap Door entry. I am trying to perfect a 3d printable case that mimics the 800XL/130XE cartridge port.

 

On the 1200XL extension I think I'm going to go with an option for straight or RA single cartridge port. If you chose the straight then it is possible to use the 130XE RA cart port if you have the space.

 

DSC_2182.jpgDSC_2183.jpg

 

 

DSC_2184.jpgDSC_2190.jpg

 

DSC_2188.jpg

 

I'm looking at a range of $10 - $15 for the cost. The 1200XL single straight or RA cartridge port will be $10 or so, once I locate the right support mix. The dual RA 130XE cartridge port will run $15 with the right support mix.

Edited by Dropcheck
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I have seen it mentioned before that screws through the mounting ears of the card-edge connector, filed flat, would open the door of the brown Atari cartridges.

 

This is the type:

http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/te-connectivity-amp-connectors/5530841-2/5530841-2-ND/1121984

STANDARD-63F-SERIES.jpg

Edited by BillC
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Could you detail just what and where you Dremeled on the 1200XL cart port housing?

 

Bob

 

definitely cool for people who haven't modified their 1200XL cartridge port. I've modified mine. I just used a Dremel to shave a bit off the cart port housing, so now any cartridge that wouldn't fit, now fits fine, and they are easy to insert and remove. I prefer the cartridges be hidden from view myself, so I chose to do the modification. The problem with the extension board is a lack of a proper cart port cover, with the pins that open the doors on original Atari cartridges from the 800 and XL lines.

 

So while it helps with the few cartridges that wouldn't fit before, you will have to remove it to use Atari brand cartridges anyway. This was an issue with Dropcheck's Super SpartaDOS X cartridge too, but I had an old 600XL laying around that is broken and I use it for salvaging parts anyway, so I used the cart port cover from it and modified the SSDX cart by Dropcheck so I could use Atari brand cartridges without removing the SSDX cart if I prefer (though like the extension, I don't care much for cartridges hanging out of the bay rather than hidden inside. The cart port cover can be purchased separately from Best Electronics too, so you don't have to steal one from another computer if you have one.

 

You can see my modified SSDX cart here at the link below. This method should also work with the cart port extender.

 

http://atari.boards.net/thread/695/fixing-flaws-super-spartados-design

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Could you detail just what and where you Dremeled on the 1200XL cart port housing?

 

Bob

 

Yes. I opened up the 1200XL case, removed the 1200XL side case piece that covers the cart and joystick ports, and then removed the black plastic cartridge port housing that is hooked to the motherboard. I then used the cone shaped grinding stone attachment on my Dremel and I ground down the inner side walls (not top or bottom) of the black cartridge housing, and the inner side walls (again not the top or bottom) of the side case piece where it meets the black cart port housing. I ground off half the thickness of the side walls on these two pieces. On the black housing all the way in and on the side case just the inner part up until it starts to flare out.The SSDX cartridge and any other tight fitting or not quite fitting cartridges will all now insert and remove just as easily as standard Atari cartridges. This could also be accomplished by hand with some sandpaper too, but it would take a lot longer than the Dremel tool.

 

I generally just leave the SSDX cartridge in now, since it has the on/off button and plug all other cartridges through it with it's modified case as shown in the link above. One other thing I did for stability was to glue a piece of rubber onto the bottom of the SSDX cart to brace the underside where the 1200XL case flares out. That way nothing sags when I have another cartridge plugged into the SSDX cart.

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