Dan Kovacs referred me to some YouTube videos he made of the 64NIC+ in action. Enjoy:
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.
I thought I’d compose a quick note to let folks know that 64NIC+ Ethernet cartridges are in stock once again and the new X-Pander 3 3/4 slot cartridge port expander is finally in stock. I’m working to add 24/28 pin headers and cartridge cases to the store inventory.
When the Cincinnati Commodore Computer Club approached me in late 2008 to design a low-cost ethernet cartridge for the C64/C128, I underestimated the interest. Not only has C4 sold out of their stock, but mine is gone as well.
I’m happy to report another order has been made, and should be available in a month or so. No changes, though I may take the lead time to see if I can source some cheap EPROMs for the ROM slot on the cartridge and see what I might be able to bundle in the ROM.
At some point, I’d prefer to improve on the design, but it may very well be that this design is “good enough” for what people want to do.
The remainder of the 64NIC+ boards have shipped to CCCC for sales and distribution. The 1.0a board sillkscreen looks very professional and calls out not only the Cincinnatti club but also Eric Pratt and Till Harbaum, whose designs I utilized in creating 64NIC+.
The first 20 boards have belatedly arrived from the assembly house. Scheduled to arrive for the C4 EXPO, they were delayed and then sent to my work address instead of the EXPO location.
I am busy making the required minor modification to the 1.0 PCB layout to address issues found during initial testing. These 20 initial boards (+ the 2 prototypes) will be special editions, as the remainder (80) of the units will sport the 1.0a PCB design, which corrects the minor issue with the board. It will be easy to spot a 1.0 board, as much of the silkscreen artwork is missing (an error on my part in creating the files for the PCB house). Still, both the 1.0 and 1.0a boards will function the same.
2 64NIC+ boards arrived on April 20, and I assembled one in the evening. Initial testing with Devia’s NIC-Test was unsuccessful, so I gave up for the night. After work on the 21st, I pored over the schematics and determined I had miscopied a resistor layout from Eric Pratt’s 64NIC design. The resistor must be tied to ground, not Vcc. Dubious that such a small change would make the board work, I nonetheless made the change and …. it did nothing.
I decided I’d ruined one board, so I assembled the second board, taking care to make the resistor mod before plugging it in. Devia’s NIC-Test worked immediately. Later, I tried the apparently ruined board and it also worked, so it appears I did not completely ruin the board.
Given the success, I immediately released the board to production that evening.