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Jaguar Cartridge port riser?


oracle_jedi
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I know this has come up before, but I wanted to bring it up again.

 

With the slew of new releases from AtariAge and Piko, plus re-releases from Orion, for our Jags it seems to me the cartridge ports will be getting more use. The imminent release of the JagSD card will only add to this wear and tear, since I am guessing the JagSD won't be able to emulate a Skunk, nor will we be seeing Another World, Rebooteroids, Xenon 2 nor any of the other more recent releases being made available for it.

 

Recently I crushed a pin on my Jag's connector. This happened when inserting a Rev 2 Skunk. I am surprised and disappointed by this, not only for the inconvenience, but my Jag was a NOS unit purchased in late 2014, and has really not be used that much. I am also very careful with all my retro equipment. Yet I still managed to damage the connector with nothing more than a typical cartridge insert operation.

 

I've read about beveled and non-beveled edge connectors. Looking at the Llamatron release, and Alice's Mom's Rescue, they don't look to be beveled, at least not to the same extent that original Atari carts were.

 

Replacing the cartridge connector is not trivial. Not only is the challenge to de-solder the dozens of tiny pins, but also to do so without damaging the pads on the Jag mobo.

 

As retro prices continue to skyrocket, the opportunities to acquire cheap bone-yard units from yard sales or thrift stores to practice on are rapidly vanishing.

 

So my question is two fold.

 

1. Is there any interest - beyond me - for a Jag cartridge port riser to move the wear and tear to an easily replaced part.

 

2. How hard would it be to design and manufacture such a unit? I am guessing the Jag's cartridge port connector is not a stock item, and only Best Electronics has any left in stock.

 

In my ideal world such a riser would include a 3D printed case to hold it firmly in place and prevent wobble. The cartridge port connector itself and the pads to which they are soldered should be designed to be tolerant to future desoldering for when the port wears out again, unless Al would commit to keep new Jag risers in stock at the AtariAge store.

 

The riser could be designed so that carts are inserted horizontally, thus reducing the total height of the unit with a game inserted. The JagCD obviously might have some issues with such a design, but if the JagSD renders the CD unit obsolete would we care?

 

In case it isn't obvious, I have no clue about what it takes to design and make something like this, but that's where my head is at.

 

Now I have to contact Brad and organize shipping my unit back to him for repair, which he tells me includes a 10 week turnaround time.

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I would be interested in one. Sometimes I insert a cartridge and it feels like it goes in wrong and I cringe as I hit power. Sometimes I pull a cartridge out and it feels like it pulled a pin a out and I cringe as I examine the port. Playing my Jag is stressful. ;)

 

I don't have a JagCD. Looking forward to the SD Cart so I can play those CD games. ;)

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Looking at the Llamatron release, and Alice's Mom's Rescue, they don't look to be beveled, at least not to the same extent that original Atari carts were.

I don't know about those games in particular, but games that use original Atari boards or Jagtopus boards should be beveled properly. For other boards, I don't know. The best would be to ask the developers of the game(s).

 

2. How hard would it be to design and manufacture such a unit? I am guessing the Jag's cartridge port connector is not a stock item, and only Best Electronics has any left in stock.

It would be pretty easy to design (only pads and straight tracks on the board, and the 3D printed part isn't very complicated either).

But indeed, the connector is only available from Best Electronics and isn't particularly cheap.

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Why is this necessary? I've never broken a console cart input in any console, with thousands of carts swapped.

Slightly thicker boards with non-beveled edges = potential for disaster if not careful. Seeing it across nearly all platforms these days. In fact, had to file down my TI FG99 board before it would even fit in the cartridge port. And I even pressed super hard, knowing if I broke the port, I had a spare. lol

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Why is this necessary? I've never broken a console cart input in any console, with thousands of carts swapped.

Same here BUT the Jag cart slot seems touchy. Games don't just slide right in. I admit I find myself wondering if the cart is in all the way often. Add no dust flaps & it's a different beast than others. I've also heard of 15+ Jag consoles across forums with bent pins. I've heard of maybe 1 Genesis outside of the loose NES pins. It does seem to be more problematic on the Jag.

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I do see the desirability in this riser concept, but wouldn't it still put stress on the actual cartridge slot? Think about it: the Jag carts fit fairly tightly. If you had a riser in there, even if you held it down as you removed the cartridge from the top, it would be hard to keep the bottom of the riser from moving around in the actual cartridge slot while You did so. You would still be putting wear on your Jag.

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I do see the desirability in this riser concept, but wouldn't it still put stress on the actual cartridge slot? Think about it: the Jag carts fit fairly tightly. If you had a riser in there, even if you held it down as you removed the cartridge from the top, it would be hard to keep the bottom of the riser from moving around in the actual cartridge slot while You did so. You would still be putting wear on your Jag.

 

Moving the port 90 degrees would put even more lateral stress on the connector.

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Wait I thought all Jag carts were PCI cards. Is this not the case?

Sure it is! And for this next little trick: get yourself a PCI Y-splitter, plug an accelerated video card on one end and your favorite Jaguar game that's lacking in FPS, like Checkered Flag or AvP in the other and watch them fly! :grin:

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