After I’ve worked on a project for a suitable amount of time, it’s important to let it sit for a few days to allow the design to “mature”, so to speak. Sometimes, nothing changes, but other times, you come up with a great idea that solves lingering concerns with the existing design.
With the uIEC/SD daughtercard design “n the shelf”, an email exchange with customer Ken Page caused me to rethink parts placement. I was unsatisfied with the vertical arrangement of the uIEC/SD main board in the v2 design, but could find no other way to mount the board. However, during the conversation, I came upon the idea of moving the IEC connectors to the bottom of the board. That solved two problems. One, the board needs “standoffs” when plugged into the VIC/64/128 cassette port, or else the board will flex when buttons are pushed or SD cards are inserted. Bottom mounted IEC connectors provide the required height positioning. With them mounted under the unit, I can now offer a horizontal mounting option. In addition, I was able to add 2 more connection pinouts. This means that one can use the daughtercard as a miniature “backplane”, attaching up to 3 uIEC/SD units to a single daughtercard.
I also took the opportunity to put a 7805 voltage regulator pinout on the board and a “barrel plug” wall power adapter option. I do not intend to populate those items, but customers can easily add them.
I realized that no amount of restructuring this design will appeal to everyone. Some people want the smaller board with the single IEC connector. So, I decided to offer both options. The older design is harder the manufacture, so I will price accordingly.