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.
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.
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.