Sunday, February 5, 2012

A600: Mounting NMI and USB connector

Well, today I thought of proceeding more to the finalization of my A600 mod :)

I forgotten that I had to put the NMI reset button since I've included the HRTmon module inside the custom ROM that I'm kicking via ACATune utility.

That was one of the easiest mods since it just requires just a push switch wired to a female header.

Since I'm not going to press this button frequently and since I don't want it to be visible I thought of putting it close to my Kickstart 1.3/3.1 switch. So a hole has been drilled...

 ...and here it is mounted and connected to the NMI header of ACA630.

You can see how it looks underneath below. 

So this was the easy part...
The hard part that was twisting my mind was WHERE the heck I was going to mount the USB connector?
Every time that I was trying to think about that, I ended up telling myself that I'm gonna think about it another time.
You see... I don't want to make an ugly mod nor mount it in the top part of the case.

Ok after examining the case carefully I FOUND IT!
There is a small empty space under the Floppy Drive that you can see in the following pic.

Well... cutting the case for just a single USB (due to it's size) was one of the most annoying and boring things I have done for my A600. In the end, it became rather pretty :)

Next part was to create the custom USB connector and the female header that was going to be connected to the Subway.

And presto! USB connector mounted and hotglued in place :) It does look good and it doesn't even get in the way in kipper2k's PSX/PS2 adapter.

Here you can see  how the USB cable was mounted to Subway. 3 more headers are left for future usage.

I had in mind to put an USB-->Ethernet adapter inside which is rather easy, but sadly there is no space available to mount the RJ-45 connector (unless I salvage the top case which I don't want)  alas it won't be installed for now :)

A last panoramic photo of the beasty is presented bellow. I guess the miggy is coming close to completion! Thank God :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A600: Custom audio mixer & mounting MAS-Player inside!

Gotta love free time that weekends give :) Time to tinker my lovely Amigas.

First of all, I had to do the boring stuff of cutting the case above the PCMCIA port just to install the perfect CF2IDE adapter by kipper2k which I had for a really long time :)

OK it's done...

By the way, the last 2 days I was thinking of putting my beloved MAS-Player inside my A600 beast, clearly cause it would be really cool!

Well, easy into thinking, difficult into implementing it though. Such obstacles are the following:
- MAS-Player is mounted on Parallel port.
- MAS-Player requires a +5V wire that by default is drawn from the near Serial Port.
- MAS-Player gives an extra audio out. So in order to have both inputs (Amiga+MAS-Player) you need an external mixer or a dual input amplifier/speakers.

OK... after I figured out what to do, I got all the necessary components from my local electronic store.

My initial thought was using an IDC 25pin connector with a ribbon in order to bring the parallel port inside! Of course I don't want to loose the possibility in using the parallel port in case I need to mount anything else (like a MIDI or Sampler unit).

Yep, it fits really well and whenever you want, you just disconnect  the connector and you can mount everything else you like :)

If you checked clearly the above photos, you must have seen the lack of RCA audio connectors! :O
Where are they? lol

Putting the MAS-Player inside meant that I needed to make a simple dual mixer for audio output. I didn't want to be invasive to the case so I thought of using the default RCA connectors for the job, alas I desoldered them off :)

...and then soldered a cable in it's position.

After checking out Phipscube's Epic A1200D PPC custom mod, I thought of doing exactly the same mod of his Audio mixer that he used for his Delfina!
For whoever doesn't know what he did, he made a custom PCB audio mixer with some Pots per device and channel.
The only extra I putted on the custom PCB was a header for +5V/GND/+12V to be able to mount MAS-Player's juice and perhaps some fan in the future.

As you can see from the picture below, my custom PCB has the following:
  • +5V/GND/12V connector on the left side,
  • The Input angled Pin headers for MAS-Player and Amiga
  • Pin headers for measuring the POTS! I tried without these and it was messy :)
  • The default RCA connectors that are the mixed audio out
  • ...And the POTS per device and channel

Here you can also see the custom power connector that I used. More pics on that later :)

This is what the connector looks like from the back... LOL it looks like robot eyes doesn't it?

And finally a picture from the lower part of the PCB with the cable mess :)

As I said before, I also needed some power that would be drained from the floppy connector, so I used a pico veroboard to mount 3 sets of cables in it and insulated it accordingly.

This is what the system looked like while I was doing the preliminary tests :)

After hot-gluing my custom PCB in place, I had to start dealing with the ribbon! Damn I so dislike ribbons inside the Amigas. They grab so much space and don't allow proper airflow. That's why I decided as always on my Amigas... to convert it to round cable. Easy stuff, just separate each wire one-by-one! :)

...and Presto! Wire rounded, and hot-glued in place for better visibility and airflow :) I also used a bit of hot-glue to secure safely the MAS-Player on kipper2k's CF2IDE adapter.

Looking good doesn't it?

Just before I close this article... one panoramic photo as always. Tidy, beasty and beautiful :)

Stay tuned \o/