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Atari JagDuo PCB discovered!

Clint Thompson

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It's really amazing when you see negativity in these threads, lol. Honestly, who wouldn't want to see a new piece of Jaguar hardware? Especially one that didn't see the light of day...back in the day. Sure, the CD is part of it...but it doesn't mean it has to be as "unreliable" as the original, right? I've not had any problems with my Jag CD's, but I bought them all new, and treated them kindly. :)

actually from understanding a major fail point for the jag CD is the cartridge slot connection. So you cut out that issue.
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  • 2 months later...

Over the past few months, I've decided to branch out and have the remaining obstacles resolved that were halting progress with this reproduction (finalizing the main board files and various bits) so it doesn't standstill for eternity. With that said, a ton has actually happened over the past year and I'll re-cap the status and progress of this project as a whole while sharing some of my research notes along the way that others may find of interest since it is Jaguar-related after all.


The JagDuo Name:
There are no internal references that I could find coining this as the JagDuo, anywhere. This was further confirmed by Leonard and Sam being puzzled in regards to my questions recently regarding the existence of JagDuo prototypes and their state of production/functionality. Since the JagDuo is what we know it as, that's what we'll continue to call it. Though, it's a lot easier to research and get answers to specifics when you actually know what the hell you're asking about or looking for and how to reference it internally as Atari did. In this case, it was called Dexter. ******This is further confirmed by a part master inventory report "Thanks Dietz! ;-) " from April 1995, as it's listed and coincides with the Gerber files sharing the same exact date, which were pulled from two different sources (Monday February 6th, 1995) plus the assembly part numbers match up as expected from the design files:





Status Updates:

JagDuo Prototype Main Board (also known as Dexter Console) - Assembly P/N 700103:

The PCB for the JagDuo "Dexter Console" has been fully re-created from the original files for modern day manufacturing. I've had some sample boards manufactured already which has allowed me to physically inspect the board and will have another sample run produced next month that should resolve any possible lingering issues before attempting to populate with components to test. This has been the biggest hurdle of course. Words cannot emphasize just how much time, effort and research that has gone into pushing this thing along to the point of producing a PCB that will hopefully prove to become a fully functional JagDuo.

It does look gorgeous in black though!

***Click below to check out my shiny new Atari Mouse Pad! ;-) ***




Research Notes:

The components from the Jaguar 1 base are mostly identical to what is found on the JagDuo board and labeled/matched accordingly. Very thankful to whomever designed the board this way, makes life a lot easier. The original BOM file is also a tremendous help for sourcing and placing the needed components:




JagDuo Dexter CD-ROM Interface - Assembly P/N 700102:

The PCB for the JagDuo "Dexter" CD-ROM interface has also been fully re-created from the original files. There are a few dimensional things I'm working out in an attempt to ensure they match up properly with the main board but for the most part, it's good to go and is manufacturable as well. A sample run of those boards should arrive early next month for physical inspection to make sure everything looks right.




Research Notes:

Thankfully, just like the original Jaguar, the CD interface is very similar to that of the original Jaguar CD design as you can see below and I now have the BOM / original PCB files for these as well to cross-reference:




Tom and Jerry GPU/CPU Chips:

200 NOS chips are available to populate the boards once a few are verified to be fully functional. Regardless, I'm having the Netlist files evaluated by several people to determine the possibility of modernizing for manufacturing, since the NOS will eventually deplete entirely. Not pushing as hard to have this done as quickly since chips currently exist but they will need to be updated at some point.


Orbit CD-ROM Interface Chip:

The files provided to me were said to have been the Butch ASIC (custom Orbit chip) files. Further digging around, it appears to be a dev version in FPGA form, so if it comes to that, it will also need updated as well. In the meantime, I will be using chip pulls from dead Jaguar CD units. If anyone would care to donate a completely dead Jaguar CD board for the cause, please send me a message, it would be sincerely appreciated! In trade, I can provide one of the JagDuo pre-production doorstop PCB samples for your contribution.




JagDuo Case Design and Molds:




This is the final and probably most expensive step for the entire project. Only after several boards are built and proven to work will I proceed to have the JagDuo case design files re-created (hopefully) from the schematic drawings. Have a contact that works with casings/housing CAD designs currently and is available for this type of stuff. After that, producing some high quality 3D printed models to better match something that would appear to have been plastic mold injected, especially with the advancements of 3D printing in recent years.


Research Notes:

Ira Velinsky was the designer of the JagDuo case who has sadly passed away in 2000. Fun fact: Ira also designed the Sega Nomad case. You can find more information about Ira Velinsky here! I've tried reaching out to the last known owner of the JagDuo prototype case that was purchased from Curt Vendel, Tim with Beta Phase Games - aka BuddyBuddies, but Jonathan responded to my message simply to state that he is no longer active in the community. No idea if he even has the prototype case anymore as it was neither confirmed or denied.


So what's next?


The next step after tidyup is to have both the JagDuo and CD interface PCB boards manufactured for populating and testing sometime in the next month or two. Immediately after the final boards are received, sourcing/purchasing the majority of new components from the BOM to fulfill the needs of the board so they can actually be built will follow, many of which I've already verified as available. I'm absolutely certain there are going to be a few kinks with that, as to be expected with a design using components from 20+ years ago but will work through them accordingly. Expecting this to take quite a bit more time/work before everything is completely ironed out.


To end things on a rather positive note, all the required accessory components to go with the main system are now available: cart shells/pcbs, new pro-controllers, new A/V cables, new Power Supplies, etc. Granted there are a few things I haven't addressed yet but that's further out: things like the BIOS chip recompile and will undoubtedly need assistance with, CD laser assembly (new units are currently available), etc. I'll try and post updates more frequently as I have them to share.


Huge shoutout to thank John Hardie, Curt Vendel, Clay Cowgill and Glenn Bruner for additional help and support along the way!

Edited by Clint Thompson
Pictures deleted from thread, re-added
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I'd be interested in just a board. Just for coolness.  Have you thought about selling some of the repro-boards to help fund / offset cost. And maybe speed along development? Saint said he was interested trying to populate. It could be a good way to beta test board. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sample PCB of the CD assembly arrived today. Placement with everything on it appears to be good but will need one more re-work to be considered final.


So now you can picture this:




Going into this:




Another revision of the main board (or what should be the final revision in the state that Atari had this created) will be on its way soon and proper for populating. Now that it's actually progressing, I'll be spending the next few weeks going through the entire component list and ordering what I can new, pulling what I can't find new and scouring whatever remaining bits necessary to get the first board built.


It would appear as though Atari sat on the design files for almost 5-6 months from when they were completed in early February and didn't have them manufactured until July. Have to keep in mind that the Jaguar CD wasn't available until September of 1995, so there are multiple reasons as to why they could have held off pushing forward with the JagDuo, only for it to halt completely and most likely due to the state of health both Sam and Atari was in at the time. By that point, they had cancelled the Jaguar VR, sales of the Jaguar was further declining (naturally) and the Jaguar CD seemed to have been Atari's last hardware hoorah, with reported units of only 25,000 being produced.


In the unlikely event that the Jaguar CD laser assembly support bracket is still available, that will need to be re-created and 3D printed, including the support studs for the PCB assembly. But before worrying about any of that, the next order of business is getting a few of the final boards in, components pieced together and actually built to bring it to life. Maybe will have another update by the end of the month...


Research Notes:

I found the company that did the prototyping foam/case molds of the JagDuo but they were bought out by a much larger company in early 2000 and re-located about 200 miles away from the original location. Also interesting to note is that the power LED is on the left side at the front of the board. It may require an LED light flute for the red power light in the middle of the console. 

Edited by Clint Thompson
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13 hours ago, Clint Thompson said:

Research Notes:

I found the company that did the prototyping foam/case molds of the JagDuo but they were bought out by a much larger company in early 2000 and re-located about 200 miles away from the original location. Also interesting to note is that the power LED is on the left side at the front of the board. It may require an LED light flute for the red power light in the middle of the console. 

Could do what was done on the model 1 Genesis. Just use a small wire harness and attache the LED physically to the lower center of the top shell. Only unlike Sega, make it with a disconnect so you can remove that top shell easier. I'm sure that would be less expensive compared to a lucite light pipe being made?


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