RETRO Innovations

Archive for June, 2011

Continued uIEC/SD Delays

by on Jun.28, 2011, under Hardware Design

uIEC/SD 3.2 PCB Design

uIEC/SD 3.2 PCB Design

My plan to ship uIEC/SD units by end of June was evidently overly optimistic.  It took longer than expected to modify the uIEC/SD PCB design, and the design had to be checked more thoroughly since I will not have time to assemble and test a sample before ordering the SMT stencil (a metal “mask” laid over the PCB that is used to force solder paste to only deposit on the exposed PCB pads)  and a production PCB run.  Thus, I am crossing my fingers that the redesign is correct.  The new design looks very similar to the older, though I have designed the PCB to fit a small Hammond 1551 enclosure (the 2 half-present holes on the corners of the board).

At this point, I’ve moved the expected ship date to July 12, and alerted customers about the delay.

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ZoomFloppy IEEE-488 Support

by on Jun.22, 2011, under Hardware Design

Thanks to the hard work of Thomas Winkler, ZoomFloppy now supports Commodore IEEE-488 devices.  Many thanks also to Nate Lawson for incorporating Thomas’ changes into the ZoomFloppy base firmware image.

Existing units require a firmware update and the population of the IEEE-488 connector fr operation.  As there is not a simple firmware update utility at present, users may wish to wait until an official upgrade solution is available.  However, users who wish to download some programming SW and follow a step by step tutorial can upgrade immediately (disclaimer:  RETRO Innovations takes no responsibility for upgrade issues, though there is no way to completely brick the unit.  At worst, RETRO Innovations can reprogram the unit and ship back to the customer).  All newly ordered units will contain the updated firmware.

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ZoomFloppy Units Back In Stock

by on Jun.17, 2011, under Hardware Design

ZoomFloppy PCB (Assembled)

ZoomFloppy PCB (Assembled)

Given continued high demand, existing ZoomFloppy stock sold out mid-May.  I’m happy to announce more stock is now available in the store.

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New uIEC/SD Connector Found

by on Jun.07, 2011, under Hardware Design

SD Card Socket

SD Card Socket

Though I tried for weeks to source a few more of the connectors used on the current uIEC/SD design, the effort proved fruitless.  In parallel, I started asking suppliers for other options.  As the hope for more old stock dwindled, I decided to source a new connector.  I selected a connector that is both less expensive than the older option and can be sourced from multiple companies.  This should alleviate my dependence on a single supplier for such a critical component.

I also purchased a stock of Micro SD sockets.  The price was right, and I think it’s time I designed something using uSD.

Of course, this decision implies I have to finish the new uIEC/SD board design, spin a new board, and create a new surface mount stencil.  Still, the total cost compares favorably to buying old stock SD connectors, even if they were available.

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VIC X-Pander 3 Closer to Reality

by on Jun.03, 2011, under Hardware Design

I just finished the order for 1000 22/44 .156″ card edge connectors.  These will be used to create the 3+1 cartridge “slots” on the VIC version of the X-Pander 3 cartridge expansion system.  Now, so secure more switches for the signal configurations.

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