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Old 11-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
TheRogue
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Default New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Hey guys,

So, here's the news. I'm currently tooling up for PCB and enclosure production. I have decided to give back to the community by offering a different sort of service. I am going to be offering on demand production of a variety of classic computing hardware. Production will start with boards, and enclosures will follow shortly. I am going to offer many different open source pieces of hardware to start with, and I may attempt recreation or cloning of certain devices as time goes on.

Products that will be available initially and as time goes on include things like IEC2SD, SIO2SD, IDE interfaces for various machines, C64/VIC RS-232 interfaces, NetUSBee, UltraSatan, MSX slot expanders, BBC SD adapters and sideways ROM expansions, Thylacine USB (redesigned to eliminate the vast amount of wasted space!), clones of out-of-production cards (will have some delaminated and mapped for cloning), high-spec power supplies for a variety of systems including discounts for sending in old enclosures, ATX adapters for various older machines including regulators for any voltages not available from an ATX2.x supply, blank prototyping cards in various form factors (Zorro half and full length, A500 bus, Apple ][, Commodore 64 cart/userport, VIC-20 cart, Atari 8-bit cart, etc), various ROMs, GALs, and the like, repair services for certain hardware, full upgrade services for certain hardware (such as a CPU, ROM, Oscillator, GAL, and Cache upgrade for a TransWarpGS), affordable IDE/SATA/CF/SD to SCSI boards, STF RAM expansions, custom cabling, full service one off boards (send a schematic or layout and a parts list, get a finished board back) and much much more. For now, I'd like to hear from you what devices you guys would like me to offer initially so I know what components to stock up on.

The inspiration for this project when ReactiveMicro (formerly GSE-Reactive) shut down a while back. I saw how stranded the Apple II community was, and I thought, why not pick up where Henry left off, but since I'm a proud user of many classic platforms I figured it should be for every classic platform what ReactiveMicro was for the Apple II.

Also, just to be clear, this is not wishful thinking, a pipe dream, or vapour. I recently lost my day job, and I have already started purchasing equipment for this venture. The ROM/PLD programmer arrived today, the EPROM eraser is on its way, the PCD equipment will be here by the end of November, the electroplating gear (for through-hole plating) is being constructed, the box break and sheetmetal equipment will be purchased in short order, the vacuum pump desoldering station is in the shop, the rework station is on its way, and so on...

Let me know what you think. Questions, comments, and suggestions requested! Let's hear what you have to say! Also, if anyone wants to help me name this venture, I'd be glad to hear your suggestions!
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Sounds really good my man. If you recieve any trolling or cynicism from anyone here just ignore it.Imo and do yer thing.

I have just recently got back into amiga and have a cdtv en route to me any day now. I personally am only interested in classic systems or clones of those systems, fpga arcde etc. Hope to buy some of your products in the future too as I want to upgrade my amigas as much as possible.

When you say 'new enclosures' do you mean full enclosures for classic amigas/computers etc?
I think a classic amiga brought to a more modern standard with a new amiga style enclosure and running AROS would be the way to go.
If such a system could be designed with long term thinking in mind and be designed so as to be relatively easy to evolve over time. an fpga core that can be built on incrementally. perhaps the fpga arcade/minimig core could be evolved if practical.
Anyways I wish you the best of luck with your venture.
names? Timeless tech? Key-Player? Excelsior computing? Silvern?
Do you know aros?http://aros.sourceforge.net/
Fpga arcade? http://www.fpgaarcade.com/
keep posting here and please keep us updated it sounds exciting.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

We need an 060 card with 1GB+ ram soldered on. If u can't get 1GB cheaply then 2GB is 100% ok. Thank u.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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We need an 060 card with 1GB+ ram soldered on. If u can't get 1GB cheaply then 2GB is 100% ok. Thank u.
100% agree
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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We need an 060 card with 1GB+ ram soldered on. If u can't get 1GB cheaply then 2GB is 100% ok. Thank u.
A standardized form factor with the ability to adapt it to differing processor expansion slots would be awesome as well
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

I really like the idea of an FPGA core Amiga in a new Amiga-esque enclosure. This is something I would really like to work towards. The sheetmetal equipment I am looking at would handle something like that no problem. I'm not going to promise something like that immediately when the doors open, more like something to work towards over the coming months. I also have to say I like the idea of a new accelerator, an 060 one. The idea of having a core that is adaptable for multiple systems is brilliant too. Its another thing I would love to work towards. Again, don't expect miracles, there must be time for development, even as a full time endevour. I am going to be offering what I can as soon as I can, and original hardware will follow. I am looking at having some multilayer cards delaminated and mapped to make future cloning efforts much easier. I have to say that a new PowerUp board is something I'll bet people would climb over eachother to acquire, although I don't know that its realistically possible. Certainly a clone of the older hardware is probably impossible, due to component sourcing issues, but a new board compatible with the standard may be possible farther down the line. For now though, what do you all see as the piece or pieces of hardware you would like to see clones/successors of? Like I said I will be offering the Thylacine immediately or shortly thereafter, but it will be redesigned to eliminate all the empty space to lower production costs and as such deliver you a cheaper product. You'd be surprised how much of a savings you can get when you cut down on all the dead space on that card. Anyway, keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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Originally Posted by TheRogue View Post
I what do you all see as the piece or pieces of hardware you would like to see clones/successors of?
We want an updated board like an Apollo 060 or Blizzard 060 for A1200 but instead of being limited to a tiny little 128MB stick, make it use 1GB or 2GB. And instead of a 50Mhz 060 it could use one of those newfangled 90Mhz 060s. The 90Mhz 060s can allegedly be tuned to 100Mhz or 110Mhz. But I write 90Mhz for safety.

All Amigas throughout history have been starved of memory. They can all easily address 4GB of memory but nobody makes anything to give us a lot of high speed RAM.

And no, plugging RAM into super slow motion Zorro 2 slots does not count as "high speed RAM".

We need 90Mhz RAM feeding a 90Mhz CPU.

We need 1GB so we can run stuff like 7zip and any random modern web-browser.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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Originally Posted by ChaosLord View Post
We need an 060 card with 1GB+ ram soldered on. If u can't get 1GB cheaply then 2GB is 100% ok. Thank u.
Hmm if it works with everything from a 1000/500 up it would be a huge seller. Add a tower case/separate keyboard and mouse kit and it would sell like hot cakes.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLord View Post
We want an updated board like an Apollo 060 or Blizzard 060 for A1200 but instead of being limited to a tiny little 128MB stick, make it use 1GB or 2GB. And instead of a 50Mhz 060 it could use one of those newfangled 90Mhz 060s. The 90Mhz 060s can allegedly be tuned to 100Mhz or 110Mhz. But I write 90Mhz for safety.

All Amigas throughout history have been starved of memory. They can all easily address 4GB of memory but nobody makes anything to give us a lot of high speed RAM.

And no, plugging RAM into super slow motion Zorro 2 slots does not count as "high speed RAM".

We need 90Mhz RAM feeding a 90Mhz CPU.

We need 1GB so we can run stuff like 7zip and any random modern web-browser.
Ok, the people have been heard. The arrangements will be made and the project will be started as soon as possible.

I can personally comment on the new mask revisions of the 68060. I have one in my Atari Falcon and you really can successfully run them at 100MHz+. Mine has been clocked at 100MHz for ages and it runs rock solid.

Quote:
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Hmm if it works with everything from a 1000/500 up it would be a huge seller. Add a tower case/separate keyboard and mouse kit and it would sell like hot cakes.
I love it, love everything about it. Tower upgrade kits are something I love. I have built several of my own using all the wrong tools, and they still turned out pretty good. Using the tools I'm buying now, I think I could do something pretty cool in this department, so let's add that one to the list: Tower upgrade kits for a range of platforms including the complete line of Amigas!

Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Wow, well ill sign up for a few adapters but as others said a 060 board for my 1200 with 1GB+ ram would rock
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Thylacine is great!
Can you do a low cost Lan card, 10/100 RJ45... nothing fancy, zorro2 and cheap

Az
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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Ok, the people have been heard. The arrangements will be made and the project will be started as soon as possible.
Wahoo!!!!

I will buy 2! One to use in my A1200T and 1 just to love and admire.
No wait! I will put the other one in my desktop A1200! Can u can make an 060 accelerator small enough to fit into a desktop A1200?



Quote:
I can personally comment on the new mask revisions of the 68060. I have one in my Atari Falcon and you really can successfully run them at 100MHz+. Mine has been clocked at 100MHz for ages and it runs rock solid.
Good job!

If you can fit 2 or 3GB on the board it would be really great! It could be The Final Accelerator(tm) If u can get 3GB on it then nobody can ever make one better than yours. I know that 3 is an odd number so 2GB could be "good enuff". I donno how big 1GB and 2GB ram sticks are these days. I am just a lowly software guy.

I have been told that something like 1GB of the Amiga's address space is reserved for hardware addresses and addons and stuff. So we can only ever make use of 3GB of RAM just like Windows XP 2003.

Elbox was nice enough to make us drivers for a 256MB gfx card. It just seems silly for so many ppl to keep buying slow 030 accellerators and only using 16MB fastram or 32MB. I have an A1200T with Apollo 060 32MB and I constantly run out of ram and its freaking annoying. Once I finish my keyboard project then I am about to upgrade my Amiga to 128MB. Which is the same amount that many of my friends have had since around 1999. I would really rather upgrade to a "proper" amount of ram like 2GB or 1GB.

The Amiga has a lot of really kewl gfx software that can totally make use of 1 to 3 GB of ram. If we just had an accelerator with GBs of ram on it.



Quote:
I love it, love everything about it. Tower upgrade kits are something I love. I have built several of my own using all the wrong tools, and they still turned out pretty good. Using the tools I'm buying now, I think I could do something pretty cool in this department, so let's add that one to the list: Tower upgrade kits for a range of platforms including the complete line of Amigas!
Elbox already sells a tower upgrade kit, at least for A1200. I donno if it works for A500 or not, never really looked. It is definitely approved for use with A1200 + Mediator PCI slots addon + sticking lots of cards into the PCI slots + having your accelerator plugged in.

I have an old Elbox Power Tower (I think that is what it is called). It only just barely fits my Apollo 1260 accelerator. I think the new Elbox Power Towers have more room in them but I am not 100% sure on that since I don't have one.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

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It just seems silly for so many ppl to keep buying slow 030 accellerators and only using 16MB fastram or 32MB.
Not if that's all you need. Also, '030s make coding more challenging than '060s when it comes to getting things fast, and that can be fun. Don't be so quick to dismiss the '030
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

Will you please consider something for the CD32, we also need some loving.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: New project for the benefit of all classic computing!

A PPC card that will boot both aOS 4.x and MOS...
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