RETRO Innovations

Archive for November, 2010

Announcing QuadPortIEC

by on Nov.21, 2010, under Hardware Design

QuadPortIEC PCB

QuadPortIEC PCB

While true innovation might be lacking in this project design, it serves a valuable need.  Many months ago, I helped a forum reader with a design for a multi-port IEC hub that allowed individual ports to be “disabled” to disconnecting the ATN line for that IEC port.  Months later, Jim Peters, another enthusiast, started conversing with me about a vanilla multi-port IEC hub project he was attempting to design.  I brushed off the earlier design, showed Jim the results, and solicited feedback.  After revamping the design to fit in a standard Hammond Black 1591XXCSBK or Translucent Blue 1591XXCTBU case, I submitted the design for prototype production this evening. Though I’m happy with my current board manufacturer, there’s not as economical on prototype runs, and I thought I’d try a new company.  The finished units should arrive in 2 weeks.  I’m only ordering 10 units, but if there is sufficient interest, I’ll consider a production run.

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64NIC+ Sale

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Storefront

Though I rely on the storefront for sales management, I have not tried out some of the features of the system.  I’ve noticed for quite some time that the storefront offers coupon management, and I’ve wanted to put on a sale during the Holiday season.  Thus, I’m trying out the coupon system by offering a sale from now until the end of December 25th, 2010 (or until specific stock runs out) on 64NIC+ cartridges.  Use coupon ‘NICSALE” during checkout to receive $10.00 off each 64NIC+ purchase.  Buy 2 or more and see if it correctly applies a $10.00 reduction for each NIC purchased.

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ZoomFloppy Production

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Hardware Design

ZoomFloppy PCB

ZoomFloppy PCB

After a couple rounds of final tweaks by myself and Nate Lawson, I’ve released the ZoomFloppy PCB to production.  The board has been designed to fit inside a standard Hammond 1591XX Black ‘S’ or Translucent ‘TBU’ case. In addition to the normal IEC connector and the Mini USB Type ‘B’ connector, you’ll find a number of additional connection options:

  • A DB-15 “Parallel” socket.  This uses the defacto standard pin mappings
  • A 2×8 Header.  This uses RapiDOS/ProfessionalDOS pin mappings
  • 2×20 Debug Header.  This provides access to each pin of the interface and was designed to allow use of industry standard IDE cables
  • 2×12 IEEE-488 Header.  Since the IEEE-488 Centronics connector can be hard to source and expensive, this connector offers a much cheaper alternative.
  • IEEE-488 24 pin Centronics connector.  The industry standard GPIB/HPIB/IEEE-488 connector.
  • User Port Edge Connector.  This allows the use of older parallel drive cables that assume a connection to the C64 user port.

Only the Mini USB, IEC, and DB-15 connectors will be populated standard.  The IEEE-488 connectors will be stocked when ZoomFloppy adds IEEE drive support, though they will be optional.

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