A new backplate showed up at my door today...

General discussions related to the Altair 8800 Clone

Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » June 27th, 2018, 10:13 pm

toml_12953 wrote:You can put me down for one if you're making up a list.


Cool, cool. Once I get some time back home to sit down with the calipers and adjust a little (It works but needs some wiggling), I'll be working on putting in an order for 5 of them and I'll probably set up something on eBay to get them out. August timeframe, maybe?

If all 5 are used up, I'll do it again.

TomXP411 wrote:Ouch. Yeah, I don't need one quite that badly.


Haha yeah, it was hard to swallow but I think it will be worth it in the end.

TomXP411 wrote:I have been actually using this system with a Raspberry Pi as a terminal; I just leave the Pi inside the case. So I will just try to locate some port adapters to mount an HDMI and USB jack in two of the DB25 socket openings.


That's reasonable. The company I ordered this one-off from, protocase, has a solidworks-ish design software (protocase designer) in which it would be pretty easy to create something like that. They were really easy to work with (but expensive for one plate). I mocked up close to what I wanted in the software then a designer on their side and me tossed dimensions back and forth until it was ready, then about a week later it was at my door. Doing a DB-25 blanking plate or two with some cutouts should be pretty cheap. If your search comes up empty.
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » January 27th, 2019, 8:03 pm

Not to resurrect too dead of a thread, but real life kind of got in the way of my backplate project. Busy at old job, get new job, move, busy at new job, what have yous. I finally had the chance to sit down and revisit, but I've realized that the backplate is just fine the way it is. I'm not going to change anything.

The last thing I had to check was whether a cassette interface fit. Short answer: It does, but with some modification. Long answer: Where I decided to put the cassette interface left a motherboard standoff right in the way of the circuit board. Luckily, that corner of the board didn't have any electronics in it, so it met with the Dremel tool. And like just about everything else, it just BARELY fit. But it sill loads 8K Basic, so I think no harm, no foul:

From the back:
20190127_161838 (Large).jpg


So I am going to call the design complete:
  • A Micro-ATX Motherboard fits (20mm motherboard standoffs must be used).
  • An ATX Power supply fits. Barely. Case screws may have to be shortened depending on power supply model. My fanless power supply lets the screws poke into vent holes.
  • Using Mike's 5V modification, the clone circuitry runs just fine off of the ATX power supply standby voltage.
  • Two 92mm cooling fans fit. One of the 92mm cutouts is large enough for an Asetek 545LC 92mm liquid cooler.
  • PCI expansion cards fit in the vertical cutouts (motherboard acts as the inside anchor)
  • The two Altair serial ports have space, the internal wires reach, and there's enough room for a fairly large db-25 cable to plug into both of them simultaneously.
  • The Altair cassette interface fits, the internal ribbon cable reaches, and there's plenty of room for 3.5mm headphone jacks top to bottom.

So for the good stuff: I've sent off a request for quote for 5 more of these. For those that are interested, I'm going to sell them, at cost, on ebay (apologies in advance, its my first time selling on ebay).

When I got the quote for the first one, for five they were $120 apiece + a "setup fee" of $70. My guess is I'll get them out for around $150 + shipping. When they get back to me with the quote I'll keep everybody up to speed.
Attachments
20190127_161744 (Large).jpg
Last edited by steve_a on February 24th, 2019, 12:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » January 27th, 2019, 8:49 pm

I've realized that last set of pictures was pretty crappy. I spent a little time putting the dummied-together unit back together and snapped a few more photos (my serial number sticker didn't survive the transfer):

The main event, the backplate:
1_dummied_back.jpg


Tape interface:
2_tape_int.jpg


Serial Ports:
3_serial.jpg
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » January 27th, 2019, 8:52 pm

I can only attach 3 photos, so here's a second post.

Except the stock fan (can't run with the 5V mod), everything hooked up inside:
4_hookups.jpg


Tape interface squeezed in under the motherboard:
5_clearances_1_tape.jpg


Clearances around the serial ports:
6_clearances_2_serial.jpg
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » January 27th, 2019, 8:53 pm

Last post of photos:

Clearances around the fans:
7_clearances3_rest.jpg


The whole thing, dummied up and running.
8_running.jpg


(small edit: After flipping through my own photos I plugged the PCI-e power cables up to that GTX 780 and it did fit with the top cover on. Hopefully the newer cards have the same dimension constraints)

Now just waiting to hear back from the backplate fab shop if anyone else wants one, and to purchase *actual* micro-atx equipment.

Cheers!
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby AltairClone » January 30th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Looking good!
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby Synoptic » February 3rd, 2019, 4:25 pm

I want one please !
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » February 3rd, 2019, 5:21 pm

AltairClone wrote:Looking good!

Synoptic wrote:I want one please !


Thanks!

The quote for the first batch went out last week. I should be hearing back from the fab shop in the next couple days (they were closed Friday). Current list is $138 apiece when I order five. I did wind up modifying a tad so that may move. We'll see what they come back with.

When I have them in hand, off to ebay!

I'll start another thread on here with some of the installation nuances when they arrive.
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby steve_a » February 7th, 2019, 12:27 am

I have just purchased the first five production backplates. They have a bit of lead time on them, so it may be a couple weeks before I can get them up on ebay.

They'll be $95 + shipping (however that works, I have never done ebay before).

Just FYI.
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Re: A new backplate showed up at my door today...

Postby TomXP411 » February 8th, 2019, 12:01 pm

EBay can give you a shipping quote based on the size and weight of your package. So your best bet is to box and pack them before listing them, then use the weight and size of the finished package to get an estimate.

Obviously, it really helps to have a postal scale for this, since a 1lb difference can mean a few dollars price difference.

Ebay takes a 10% cut of your sale price, then PayPal takes another 2.9%. So that's roughly $47.50 for EBay and $15.28 for PayPal.

If it was me, I'd sell direct if possible and skip the EBay experience. =)
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