Swimming in Cables!

Boxes of IEC Cables!

It appears I’m now the proud owner of 2600 custom manufactured IEC disk drive cables. Yes, you read correctly. 2600 IEC cables, with 26 AWG 6-conductor wire, shield, and DIN 6 connectors with molded covers. I know, it is insane, but it’s prohibitively expensive to order custom cables in smaller quantities, and it seemed like such cables were becoming a bit scarce. Well, no more! 🙂

1.2M (48") IEC Cables

The shipment of cables arrived this morning via eight 35 pound boxes. The cables are of 2 lengths: 48″ and 12″. Most of the cables were shipped here, but a box of 12″ cables is enroute to Gideon Zweijtzer for 1541U-II orders. Thus, if you’re a 1541U-II purchaser, hopefully this means an IEC cable will be included in your order.

The 48″ cable is already in the store, and I’ll add the 12″ option as soon as I can.

If you’re one of my friends in our neighboring country to the North and you’re interested in a 48″ cable, I’d recommend checking JPPBM‘s store out for a price check, as shipping from the US can be a bear. Currently, Joe’s not requesting 12″ cables, but I have plenty. Thus, if there is CA interest in 12″ cables, I’d recommend soliciting Joe to buy a batch for sale in his store.

0.3M (12") IEC Cables

IEC Cable Order

When people order a uIEC unit, some ask if an IEC (disk serial) cable is included or available. After looking in my stash, I did find a batch of Commodore cables, but two things concerned me. First, I have a number of actual drive units with no cables, and I wanted to ensure that each drive in my possession sported a cable in case it is later sold or traded. Second, when my stock is depleted, I will have nothing to offer.

While searching for other items, I came across a few suppliers who offer newly manufactured cables and could do custom lengths. At that point, I contacted Joseph Palumbo of JP PBM (Products by Mail), as he had expressed a need for additional IEC cables months before. As well, I recalled that Gideon Zweijtzer (of 1541 Ultimate fame) was looking for short (12″) IEC cables for the 1541U-II currently in production. I contacted Gideon and asked if he was interested in a purchase. Both Joe and Gideon were interested in moving forward, so I recently ordered 1300 cables of each size (standard 4 foot length and 1541U/uIEC preferred 12″ length). I can only imagine the number of boxes it will take to ship them here, but we will soon be offering black molded IEC cables in both lengths in the store, and Gideon will be receiving a large order to supply 1541U-II buyers.

I’ve received samples of the cable, and tested them. The cable is shielded, offers molded connectors on both ends, and offers 28 AWG stranded wire with an Aluminum Foil shield in addition to the bare shielding wire spiraling around the signal wires. The cabling is reasonably flexible (not quite a flexible as the original OEM cables, but not stiff) and 5.5mm in diameter. They should look right at home in a Commodore 8-bit setup.

24 Pin and 28 Pin Headers Arrive

Finding economical 24 pin and 28 pin IC headers for adapter boards like ROM-el has been a significant challenge. DigiKey and Mouser stock on forked post headers, which are mainly designed for attachment of wires, not soldering to a PCB daughterboard. Aries Electronics offers the correct product, but they are almost $2.00 per piece, which is not sustainable.

Recently, I ventured into bulk purchasing of some components, like the 22/44 .100″ connector for C64/C128 cartridges, and the 6/12 .156″ connector for the C64/C128 cassette port. Given the success, I recently ordered 1000 each of some 24 and 28 pin IC headers, at much better prices. Of course, since I have no immediate need for so many units and I suspect others have the same issue sourcing these items, I’m soon placing them in the store.

Thus, if you’re in need of 24 or 28 pin IC headers, machine pin, low profile, check the store in a few days.

64NIC+ Ethernet Cartridge Order

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.

Storefront Replacement

Since I’ve continued to battle some issues with the existing storefront solution initially chosen, I have decided to pursue another option. I spent the better part of the holiday researching and evaluating different solutions, and I hope the chosen replacement satisfies our business needs. Initially, I eschewed hosted solutions, due to monthly cost concerns, but I then found a solution that made it truly easy to add products and create a professional-looking storefront with a minimum of effort on my part. In fact, the solution madeit so easy I spent the past evening adding products I had held off adding in the past (because previous product setup was not trivial, so I only added products I thought would sell enough to sutify the effort).

The old link will continue to work, but the new store is at www.jbrain.net. As noted, I added more of the JiffyDOS image variants, the uIEC/IDE, uIEC/SD variants, and the ROM-el line.

Since it’s so new, I am sure there are things I need to tweak. Please let me know if you find anything.