Author Topic: 6128+ with internal HxC :)  (Read 4845 times)

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Offline emuola

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6128+ with internal HxC :)
« on: 08:13, 27 April 12 »
Hi.


Decided to post a few pics of my project. I can ensure you I am not a craftsman of any sorts, but eventually it turned out to be pretty much ok. I put the lcd on the top, because the hxc would not fit to be accessed from the rear (as I originally planned). So, I decided to put the HxC where the original drive was. I did not remove any of the original "stands" of the floppy. I also wanted only one button for the HxC, because that's thw way I have used it as an external drive for my 6128. So, this is how it came out :) But of course you can decide yourself:



« Last Edit: 08:16, 27 April 12 by emuola »
Amstrad CPC 6128+ and internal HxC floppy emulator

Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #1 on: 10:50, 27 April 12 »
Nice neat job Emuola. Why didn't you put the button on the new side panel where the SD card sticks out?

Bryce.

Offline TotO

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #2 on: 11:49, 27 April 12 »
It's the first time that I see the CPC case cut was clean. Thank you for it. :)
About the button(s), I think it would have been better to put it on the SD panel instead of making a hole on the case.
(always the last thing to do, if no issue, when moding a vintage computer)
« Last Edit: 11:51, 27 April 12 by TotO »
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Offline beaker

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #3 on: 13:46, 27 April 12 »
I like it Emuola,

If you're running the HxC from the software interface and just using the button to reset it back to the autoboot then having the button on the back gives you a clean, uncluttered look on the side of the Plus... nice one :D

Offline MacDeath

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #4 on: 13:52, 27 April 12 »
Classy ! 8)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #5 on: 16:15, 27 April 12 »
I don't think I'd ever have the guts or the will to cut my Plus. That said, it looks superb! If only you could find a better solution for the drive bay instead of cardboard (?)

Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #6 on: 16:23, 27 April 12 »
The best "replacement plastic" for jobs like that is to use the plastic cover of a DVD / PS3 / XBOX game. The plastic is thin enough to be easily cut (even with a scissors) and drilled and can even have a slight curve if required. I've used these covers to mod many new case panels. You can even get white boxes that are quite close to the Plus casing colour.

Bryce.

Offline Zyphon

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #7 on: 16:25, 27 April 12 »
Awesome mod. I like the placement of the LCD.


I would have opted to put the 3 leads on the top of the computer and the 3 buttons in view also. plus sourcing a white plastic to cover the side floppy slot.


Otherwise, simply brilliant. Well done.  :D
Kind regards,
Michael

Amstrad CPC 464 with MP-1 TV Modulator

Offline emuola

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #8 on: 20:30, 27 April 12 »
Thanks guys for the encouraging feedback :)

@Beaker and Bryce: That's exactly what I do (use the software selector) and the reason to put the button to the backside. I know I should not have cut a vintage computer's case, but I thought I would not be so big a sin, when the hole is in the back and it's only 6 mm in diameter.

@ Gryzor: The sidepanel is actually 2 mm thick plastic. For some reason it looks like cardboard :) I tried to find plastic of the same shade of gray as the original case, but could not come up with a better solution.

I hope I have not insulted any serious "plus lovers" with my mod. I tried to respect the legendary "king of 8bits" :)
Amstrad CPC 6128+ and internal HxC floppy emulator

Offline TFM

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #9 on: 21:27, 27 April 12 »
Really great mod!!!
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline OCT

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #10 on: 13:55, 02 May 12 »
Decided to post a few pics of my project. I can ensure you I am not a craftsman of any sorts, but eventually it turned out to be pretty much ok.
Very clean cut (no allusion to Klitschko candy bar commercials intended ;)) - how was it made?

Quote
I put the lcd on the top, because the hxc would not fit to be accessed from the rear (as I originally planned). So, I decided to put the HxC where the original drive was.
Wonder if this could also have been placed under the letters (R)AD to maintain the original drive bay (if only for a 3.5" replacement - BTW, do we have instructions for -triple- ABBA switches on a Plus?), also because many of us will have Bryce's S-Video modulator where you placed the button:
I know I should not have cut a vintage computer's case, but I thought I would not be so big a sin, when the hole is in the back and it's only 6 mm in diameter.
Done to many machines for various good reasons.
Jury's still out on the best place and connector(s) for adding tape support AFAIK: famously finicky 5-pin DIN (not the socket, but the wires breaking in the plug all too often) or rather 2.5mm+2*3.5mm, or (most "non-invasively") a single row of 2.54mm socket strip glued into a ventilation slot underneath?
Quote
The sidepanel is actually 2 mm thick plastic. For some reason it looks like cardboard :) I tried to find plastic of the same shade of gray as the original case, but could not come up with a better solution.
Spare drive bay covers from "traditional" desktop PCs, coming in various shades of "computer gray" (beige pour les initiƩs).

Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #11 on: 14:08, 02 May 12 »
I looked at installing a HxC inside the Plus without removing the Floppy drive, but it wasn't possibe. Even if you put the main HxC board somewhere else, the display is just too bulky and wouldn't fit without the removal or major editing of other parts.

Bryce.

Offline TotO

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #12 on: 17:10, 02 May 12 »
Better to use the external version linked to the floppy port.
It's clean and you get both drives. (keep safe the CPC case)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1EnYHuSVhE&feature=player_detailpage#t=18s
« Last Edit: 17:44, 02 May 12 by TotO »
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Offline TFM

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #13 on: 22:46, 02 May 12 »
Cool vid! Thanks' for sharing.  But... why is it so slow?
 
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Offline emuola

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #14 on: 07:37, 03 May 12 »
Very clean cut (no allusion to Klitschko candy bar commercials intended ;) ) - how was it made?

Thanks, I was kinda surprised tha it turned out so nice :)

Believe it or not...

1. I just made a paper "mold" of the actual lcd-area of the panel and then draw the shape directly to the case with a pencil :)
2. Then I used a standard electril drill (no Dremel here...) with a 6mm drill bit to make holes side by side (but not too close to the edge, just to be safe)
3. Then I used a smaller drill bit (probably 2mm) to drill some more holes closer to the edge of the drawn shape
4. After this the lcd area looked pretty horible, so it was time for some time consuming "uitility knife" tinkering...
5. After several hours of manual work the lcd area looked pretty good.
6. Finished with fine sandpaper (150) to make the edges/cormers a bit smoother

I looked at installing a HxC inside the Plus without removing the Floppy drive, but it wasn't possibe. Even if you put the main HxC board somewhere else, the display is just too bulky and wouldn't fit without the removal or major editing of other parts.

Bryce.


That's exactly why I decided to remove the original drive :)

Better to use the external version linked to the floppy port.
It's clean and you get both drives. (keep safe the CPC case)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1EnYHuSVhE&feature=player_detailpage#t=18s


I understand your point :) However, I prefer the uncluttered look of a "all-in-one" -solution :)
Amstrad CPC 6128+ and internal HxC floppy emulator

Offline TotO

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #15 on: 09:09, 03 May 12 »
After all, the CPC was designed to handle 2 drives. :)

The HxC can emulate A and B drives. Is someone have tested that on a CPC ?
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Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #16 on: 10:35, 03 May 12 »
4. After this the lcd area looked pretty horible, so it was time for some time consuming "uitility knife" tinkering...
5. After several hours of manual work the lcd area looked pretty good.

The time consuming work with the knife and 2mm drill is easier and quicker with a metal file, but don't go too fast, because it eats through the plastic very quickly and you might remove too much. I go straight to the file after making the 6mm holes skipping the smaller drill step and then finishing the edges with sandpaper.

Bryce.

Offline emuola

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #17 on: 12:22, 03 May 12 »
The time consuming work with the knife and 2mm drill is easier and quicker with a metal file, but don't go too fast, because it eats through the plastic very quickly and you might remove too much. I go straight to the file after making the 6mm holes skipping the smaller drill step and then finishing the edges with sandpaper.

Bryce.

Yes, the file would have been great, if I'd had one ;)  I wanted to get the job ready in the middleof the night, so I had to manage without the file :) In the future, I'm gonna buy a kit of small files for the job.
Amstrad CPC 6128+ and internal HxC floppy emulator

Offline OCT

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Re: ABBA switches
« Reply #18 on: 02:33, 04 May 12 »
BTW, do we have instructions for -triple- ABBA switches on a Plus?)
For double ones, yes: ABBA switch - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia!
ABBA switch - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia!
 I gather from it that this is a comparatively simple modification of cables and connectors on the Plus, requiring none of the chip-level tinkering as on the old 6128?
 
 Triple ABBA switches, of course, as the name implies, allow two external drives and the internal one, each of which can become A or B (i.e. any combination).

Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #19 on: 10:33, 04 May 12 »
Possible, but rather complicated, it would need the entire floppy bus to be doubled first, then you would need to add a switch to decide which internal drive is active and a second switch as the standard ABBA switch. Is this worth all the bother, when two drives probably don't fit inside the CPC anyway?

Bryce.

Offline OCT

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Re^2: Triple ABBA switch
« Reply #20 on: 21:14, 04 May 12 »
Possible, but rather complicated, it would need the entire floppy bus to be doubled first
Why, no, there can be up to 4 drives (at least) on the bus AFAIK.
Quote
then you would need to add a switch to decide which internal drive is active and a second switch as the standard ABBA switch.
Actually, all the one convenient(ly) rotary switch does is send each of DS0 and DS1 to only one drive at a time:

Took me a long time to find the photo again which shows my triple ABBA on an old-generation 6128, but here it is (clickable to enlarge) from this 2010 thread:


Quote
Is this worth all the bother, when two drives probably don't fit inside the CPC anyway?
Sure, as seen above (with the combinations just about visible, I know), only one extra wire goes out of and back into the CPC (in addition to the floppy lead), whereas each of the 3 drives (2 of them external) can be either A or B, eliminating a great number of incompatibilities with programs "aching to be on A".
« Last Edit: 21:26, 04 May 12 by OCT »

Offline Bryce

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #21 on: 23:36, 04 May 12 »
With "doubling the bus" I meant exactly what you've done, ie: you need another connector on the flat cable, which is what you've done here (just externally). Of course 4 drives are possible.... (waiting for TFM to tell us that FOS is the only OS that can address all 4 :) ) but are there situations where you would need it?

Bryce.

Offline OCT

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Re: 6128+ with internal HxC :)
« Reply #22 on: 00:25, 05 May 12 »
Only if you have stacks of 3", 5.25" and 3.5" disks (in order of appearance on the CPC) and would like to add an HxC.
Then again, who around here doesn't? ;)