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ProtoCache1 - IIsi/SE/30 PowerCache Adapter Prototype Development


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Okay, well, I knew all about the whole 10cm*10cm being the whole ya know you explained it well. I just didn't expect the price to go up THAT much. Looking at it though, it looks like the 'normal' price for 10cm*10cm on SEEED is $10, so not as dramatic, but it appears to be permanently(?) discounted to 4.90.

 

Great graphics too, THX!

 

The smaller the PCB the better. Thank goodness IIsi forces us to scale it down. At the same time though, we have to be mindful of the drive bays in the SE/30, which puts us at making a taller (and much more expensive PCB). I can already hear folks complaining that "WHY IS THE SE/30 VERSION MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE THAN IISI!" ::)

That being said, it must be wide and tall enough to work well.

Also, no CoPro socket for IIsi, we hope you have one on your accelerator :D

 

 

Also regarding quality, noticed I selected some sort of quality certifications in my PCB compare search. It's not much, but it is something.

 

 

P.S. I'm going to need a IIsi for this, to test all these boards in.

Edited by Themk
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cart-horse [:P]]'>

 

There is a VERY long road ahead before anyone will be testing anything outside the ProtoCache1 phase. I've gotta get feedback from all the players to refine the pinouts of their boards and I have to reverse engineer my two boards. That all has to be analyzed before we even start thinking about implementing, much less trying active conversion. I'd sort of like to keep the magic smoke contained inside my 50MHz 030 PowerCache card.

 

We're not even thinking about final design yet, though the SE/30 card will wind up looking at least something like the DiiMO card. After successful testing with the prototype, I'll be pushing really hard to fit a pair of passthru slots on the production version for the SE/30. Replacing the HDD/cage assembly with a 2.5" HDD or SCSI2SD mounted to the top deck of the FDD cage would almost certainly be a requirement for using a second PDS slot passthru. If someone wants to keep the HDD/cage stock, they could leave the connector below the IIci Accelerator Slot unimplemented.

 

 

edit: let me clarify that. The setup on the proposed prototyping blank has the pair of PDS Passthru slots tied together at the top of the card, connected to one set of wire wrap pins. Shoehorning that second passthru/PDS card horizontally below the PowerCache slot will probably be the only way to go. Haven't really studied that cart yet. [;)]]'>

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Yup. I would love to put a 2nd PDS pass through too. Unimplemented for some people, or implemented for others. All boards will have the holes though for economies of scale (and for upgrading later if desired). I don't know if there is any sort of PAL work required to build a 2nd PDS slot, or if it's just straight-through. I'll take your word though.

 

 

 

Shoehorning that second passthru/PDS card horizontally below the PowerCache slot will probably be the only way to go. Haven't really studied that cart yet. [;)]]'>

Um, well, it's possible to put it above the cache slot, and above the first PDS slot. It's all about how giant we want the card to be... I agree though, we should put it below the accelerator/cache slot, and then if people want it they can hack their drive bays. Lots of people already have SCSI2SD, so it shouldn't be a big issue.

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I don't know what's possible or not, those are just thoughts off the top of my head, we'll cross that bridge if we ever get to it. Right now I'm trying to get the pinouts correct for MB and CI Connectors and everything together into one full size scale reference drawing. After that's done, it's easy enough to swap rows A & C for the PDS passthru connectors.

 

MB<->PDS<->PDS is a simple bus if no CI slot is involved, no components at all unless we might need some kind of termination. But I'm setting it up so that the CI connection is wire wrapped in series as it is on all the adapters. Connections get shuffled around from MB to CI and then get shuffled back around from CI to PDS_PDS. That way I can test the lashup using one of my several RCPII/IIsi cards before installing the PowerCache card. If the passthru won't run the cheap VidCard I'll know something is wrong. If everything is working the way I'm hoping it will in passive mode, then we start implementing the active mode. Anytime the VidCard stops working on a pre-test of active mode. Switch back to passive to make sure nothing is borked there and then bug hunt the active setup.

 

Passive setup will look kinda like this:

 

MB___|||------|||___CI___|||------|||___PDS___PDS

 

Underscores are traces between connector and headers. Headers = ||| and Wrap Wires = -----------

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Really quick cheap dirty 3D mockup that took me only 3 minutes to make:

 

post-7749-0-35751000-1496096509_thumb.png

 

 

 

I used 96-pin euro-dins as that was what was available in the library right off the top of my head. It gets the point across though. Also, the 3D footprint looks slightly shifted, but don't worry, it won't affect the quality of the PCBs when done. Also, I will fix that error before I do a production design. As I said earlier, I spent more time writing this post then actually making the 3D mockup.

Edited by Themk
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Never mind the final design mockup, Cart-Horse! Swap the two center connectors so the PDS slots are on top and the IIci slot is in between MB and the paired PDS passthru slots the way it will be for the protoboard. ;)

 

I've made some good progress today on roughing in the IIci slot and its I/O header setup headers. Power and ground buses will be heavier wires soldered into vias. There won't be any wire wrap pins for Power/Ground/Reserved/n.c. to make it easier to keep straight when wrapping the rest of the connections.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Who me? ;) Nah, I just like to kid you about being a bit overeager when it comes to this project. It's only been in the works something like five years and running now.

 

post-902-0-79102500-1496114095_thumb.jpg

Pretty sure I'll be switching my mode to Keep It Simple, Stupid! Only one PDS Passthru on the ProtoBoard is necessary for my tests, so that's what it'll have. I've got the IIci Cache slot worked out. The heavy dark Red and Green lines are heavier gauge wire Power & Ground buses. PDS will be a lot easier.

 

Lots of pretty colors when I "select all" across so many layers in IIllustrator. [:D]]'>

 

HiRes .PDF peek: ProtoCache1-pinout-C-000.PDF

 

 

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Yeah, I get over zealous sometimes.

 

Nice PDF. I love vector graphics because I can zoom in on-screen and everything is still legible, rather than an unintelligent pixelated mess.

For the final product, however, I'll need the pinout schematic in a form that makes drawing it in KiCad easy. Tracing the wires with my eyes to read it works, but a nice layout table would be somewhat helpful. I'll be doing plenty of my own pushing-and-shoving on this later :wink.

Edited by Themk
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How about laying out just six connections for the baseline bus parts.

Modify six copies with legs connecting them to Power and Ground Rails

 

Stretch three of them to raise the wire wrap headers for the Mobo Connector above the deck.

Modify two of them with antennas connecting them to Power and Ground Rails.

 

post-902-0-65387200-1496205493_thumb.jpg

 

How's that for simple? ProtoCache1-pinout-H-000.PDF

 

 

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We can scratch the two antenna variations for individual power and ground connections from MB to its wire wrap headers. It got late and adding the "antennas" was the last thing I did. I forgot all about ground loop turning them into real antennas!

 

I'm hoping autorouting will tighten up the distances between the connectors and headers. That eats up a lot of real estate, leaving little room for my switching circuitry I don't want to add another Centimeter to the height if at all possible. Hopefully I can drop the MB wire wrap headers a bit, I did a generous guesstimate.

 

Physical layout is a bit better, the IIci connector no longer interferes with the front mounting tab. the rear tab disappears with the chassis sections that need to be removed for the estbed bucket/chassis mods. I added a centimeter to the width of the board for elbow room. It's necessary to prevent the connectors from overhanging the edge of the ProtoBoard. It also gives me room to clear the mounting tab with the Cache Slot connector and for routing the Power buses. It's edging closer to the DiiMO adapter's form factor.

 

16cm high x 13cm wide is looking like a hard number for another spread of price quotes.

 

post-902-0-69470600-1496250620_thumb.jpg

 

Trace modification count is way down. We're looking at the original basic stretching of three connections and adding P&G drop legs to just four connections. I'll see if I can trim any more fat from the spec in downtime at work tonight.

 

ProtoCache1-DELTA-A-000.PDF

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Gotta do it, all the puzzle parts have to fit together between my ears. Did breaking it down to the number of traces involved work for you. With the buses all on the page at once it looks really complicated, but it's as simple as can be. Next up is modeling the reference card in Illustrator.

 

Should have remembered this one, it gives a good indication of the relationship of the card to the chassis deck.

 

post-902-0-14811100-1496290826_thumb.jpg

 

These two are from the page that's the gold standard of card design for the SE/30 in DCaDftMF3e:

 

post-902-0-51832900-1496290859_thumb.jpgpost-902-0-76856900-1496290869_thumb.jpg

 

Overlaying the info on the largest sanctioned PDS card will be easy. I've always wondered about the top pair of mounting holes? Has anyone seen or heard about a frame that might use these seemingly redundant/impractical features? Lots of cards have the holes and my DayStar COLORCARD has them implemented EXACTLY as specified with the divits dutifully designed and in place.

 

post-902-0-28636000-1496290882_thumb.jpg

 

What the heck could be the purpose?

 

Anyhoo! What CAD file types can KiCAD import for the board shape, reference points and drill points for mounting holes and the MB connector in the diagrams above?

 

 

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Before I start this, I thought it would be a good time to ask for assistance. If anyone is an experienced mechanical CAD user, this would be a much appreciated contribution to the project. My experience is limited to creating a few designs back in the early nineties from scratch. It never included reading a mechanical drawing to input data as in this process.

 

I could do it in illustrator as a graphic for cutting a rubylith or silk screen stencil on my plotter, but those files would likely prove to be ineffectual for this purpose. Importing a CAD file format for use in Illustrator works in my graphic design process for laser printed etch resist film which was my original intent. However the precision drill file type data required for KiCAD or the like is lost in my process. Exporting the object oriented graphics as .DXF etc. from Illustrator (running them through Corel Draw for doing the translation) won't cut it for a KiCAD file import by PCB layout application for creating Gerber/drill file process boards.

 

TIA for any help.

 

< tangential TLDR mode >

 

It's a bit ironic that CAD files for PCB production were developed by Joseph Gerber and here's why:

 

In high school I considered myself a fine artist, so much so that when I went into full on stubborn mode when I took Art III and found out it was for commercial design. I sat at my table refusing to participate, accepting the fact that I would fail the course if I wasn't allowed to transfer to another elective. The very stubborn Daughters of Charity had met their match, relenting and allowing me to take Sociology for the balance of the semester. I never let on that they'd actually gotten the better of me because I'd rather have taken that F than sit through those classes, which I found to be the second most aggravating experience of high school and college put together. But that's another story. The sendoff the Vice Principal gave me was well and truly sweet. The last  of the many things she'd said to me was "I hope you like what you do in college, because God help them if you don't!" [:D]]'>

 

Somewhere in the process of taking enough fine arts electives (mostly printmaking) to qualify as a second major if there's been a degree program, I decided that I wasn't truly a fine artist after all. I loved the processes for every medium for making drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures. But not finding a "voice" to say anything of import (that's a bit ironic too) I decided that craftsmen (like my grandfathers) don't starve, they eat three square meals a day and make payments on a house. They offered me a "One Man Show" during final quarter before graduation and I took them up on it if they'd let my friend participate. By then I insisted to the faculty that I wasn't an artist, I was a craftsman and I wound up in the sign business. Not bad, on that path I beat my goal of owning my own screen printing business by age 30 by a couple of years. 

 

I'd found the process apprenticship aggravating enough that I almost packed it in to take up a sales job at Burroughs that my Mechanical/Systems Engineer dad had lined up for me in September. While dejectedly sweeping the floor one day, I came to the realization that "The're gonna automate this sh*t!" 8-o So I stuck it out with dad's approval, finishing my apprenticeship at the company I'd wind up owning in NYC.

 

Enter Joseph Gerber/Gerber Scientific and the Signmaker III, the first mass produced vinyl letter cutting system. I waited it out until they offered the second generation "Sprint" which had a TTL display replacing the neolithic LED readouts of the III. When Gerber introduced a closed system for logo design based on a digitizing tablet, an Apple IIe and proprietary software I went into full on stubborn mode again until I sourced the MacSignMaker video to vinyl system. It was still proprietary software, but it didn't fully closed. Longer tangent short, I found myself using the Gerber Sprint to prototype an emulator/reader for Gerber's closed font format ($300 per typeface) and doing the large scale polyline plots that led us in breaking Gerber Scientific's proprietary font cartridge format. This let us import Type Three PostScript fonts created on the Mac in Fontographer into CorelDraw as "Readable Postscript." Those, long with CorelDraw's bundled fonts and any Type Three font available for DTP could be used in emulation mode with Gerber's proprietary machines. We did a translator for graphics exported from CorelDraw as the character "A" as well.  This was the first "Postscript Translator" for producing signs and I was the only one doing it in the greater metropolitan area at the peak of the DTP revolution, beating Gerber Scientific and everyone else in the industry by a little over a year! But I'm now letting on that Gerber, like the nuns had, may have finally gotten the better of me.

 

Now I need to use Joseph's Gerber System Corp's file format for this, my second crazy reverse engineering/emulation electronics project.  ::)  At least this one's an open standard paper tape format for industrial use, long predating the SignMaker III. So maybe I'm still ahead of Gerber after all!  :rambo:

 

If that you've read this drivel, I hope you've found it entertaining. Sweet irony, I'm definitely enjoying it!

 

< /tangent >

 

Little help?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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Anyhoo! What CAD file types can KiCAD import for the board shape, reference points and drill points for mounting holes and the MB connector in the diagrams above?

I have illustrator CS2 (even if I can't produce anything meaningful in it), which will open your Illustrator 8 files, and save it in a myriad of file formats. One has got to work, but I'll have to figure what that one is. BTW: Thanks for PDFing your illustrator files for viewing on the web. It retains its vector graphics element, while making it easy to view on my phone, or my computer without having to open any other program. 8-) Rasterizing it as PNG or JPEG or any other raster graphics format is a BAD idea. CS2 will open your PDF files you have been posting here, but, it is better if you can send me the Illustrator files.

I will probably do the drilling layout myself in PCBNew, KiCad's PCB layout program. Gerbers are always nice to have.

 

Board Shape is easy to do, and will take me all of 3 minutes to layout in PCBNew. Drilling points are easily added. KiCAD's PCB component footprint will layout the drilling holes for the connectors.

Funny how this all comes full circle :lol:

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Sounds to me like now you're it in the production circle tag game. Building the board in KiCAD by inputting Apple's dimensions from origin (the rear mounting hole of the specified PDS EuroCard DIN connector) will be the way to go. You can export the file to me via CS2 for further playtime. I'll be dropping the angled cutoff in the DiiMO form factor and sticking to Apple's spec, minus the redundant mounting holes on top along with the rear hole.

 

You're the first to comment of the PDF attachments. I do them for myself for going over them at work in HiRes and printing details for markup during downtime.

 

Tag, you're it! [:D]]'>

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post-902-0-51984300-1496532296_thumb.jpg

 

Looks like I'm about done. No wire wrap for power or ground which are in red and green, that's in copper. Board's within Apple Spec other than the missing mounting hole for the rear tab that's going to wind up in recycling. Much that side of the chassis of my incomplete SE/30 will be removed. I'll likely build a Plexi case with easy access, been wanting to do that, don't wanna hack up the /30 bucket or the VisiblePlus bucket I already did. Its side is too high for the wire wrap pins for the soldered MB connector. The setup without the chassis that I've been using for testing cards isn't up to this project.

 

IIRC, something like half a dozen control lines (Purple) and a couple of address lines (Yellow in the layered AI file) are involved in the active adaptation circuit. Anything heading through that (yet to be developed) setup will be in black and white wires. Data lines are a simple bus that'll be wrapped first in Brown wire because it doesn't change.

 

Dunno, time to think about things for a bit and line up info on pinouts. The modeling in AI8 was a lot of fun, but it's sorta garish when the Yellow and Brown aren't knocked back to gray. Thick traces are Component Side, thin traces are Solder/Wrap Side.

 

ProtoCache1-DELTA-A-102.PDF

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post-902-0-13311900-1496605840_thumb.jpg

 

This one is Solder Side only. A few corrections need to be made to Row B of the MB connector, but it's pretty darn close to being finished.Do you need me to do the Component side?

 

Hopefully I can get the  text in for the silk screen layer before too long and that you'll be able to import that into your layout. We'll be treating what's normally the Solder Side as the component side so the silk screen layer will be on the Wire Wrap side. Thank goodness the text can be tiny! Having all the pinout/signal info printed on the board for wire wrap prototyping will be incredibly helpful. The areas between the connectors and the wire wrap headers will remain free of rats nested wires. I'm not implementing thruholes/pads for P/G/n.c. which will make it even easier to keep everything straight while wrapping! [:)]]'>

 

What's easiest for you to import? Board outline and text together in .EPS .PDF or .AI8? I need to include the origin point now that I think of it. Maybe I should wait to see what you shoot back at me and I'll add the text to that?

 

 

 

ProtoCache1-EPSILON-A-000.PDF

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post-902-0-48361000-1496678901_thumb.jpg

 

Little help please!

 

Testing 1.25mm Text. How well will this print on in SEEEDlike PCB process? Minimum type size is 1mm. Is the text imported and printed in a specified typeface at that size or is it imported as outlines/formatted text as in the case of a custom logo?

 

 

ProtoCache1-EPSILON-A-004.PDF

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