Author Topic: Amstrad CPC Expansion Port Raiser with multiple edge connectors, any interest?  (Read 3072 times)

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Offline LambdaMikel

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You shoud start like others with a topic that explain the project you want to design.
Peoples will show their interrest by themselves. And you can show your progress first by prototyping.

But in a sense, this what we did with LambdaSpeak, right? We got advice from Bryce, more and more iterations, still not cheap enough. Features were suggested by the community - for example, DKtronics mode and Amdrum emulation by zhulien. Anyhow, in the end after all the refactoring,  and a year of engineering etc., it is still not cheap enough. But remember that the first version used the Emic 2, which is a 60 $ board left alone! Hence the original price of > 120 $. So we got it down by at least 60 $ for the kit, which is quite good I think.

Maybe Bryce will find some time at some point to do the LambdaSpeak 2.0 SMD version with reduced chip count, but even Bryce was skeptical that it can be made cheaper than current LS 1.95 price, so I think we scrapped that plan altogether, and there will be no LambdaSpeak 2.0.
« Last Edit: 23:24, 12 July 18 by LambdaMikel »

Offline ikonsgr

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Imo. people can charge whatever they want for their product, if people want to pay the price, it's up to them.
For a product to be successful, the price has to be right too, so in the end it will even out.

In general i would agree with that, but specifically for retro computer markets-communities,i must say, i object strongly!
It was exactly this justification towards the attitude of:"seller has any right to sell at any price he wants" , that at one point, made the amiga market a feast for "easy money" (attracting  many totally strangers to the amiga commuinity ,"seller"-vultures, who just "smelled" easy money), and exploitation of  the few that had the bucks (and were willing-and stupid?- enough to be exploited by paying INSANE prices for hardware -at one point i remember some amiga accelerator to be sold up to 1500+$ ...) .This had DEVASTATING consequneces in the market, as it practically excluded most of the amiga hobbists (that obviously couldn't afford for the ridiculous high prices for hardware), and thus converting something that ought to be a fairly priced tool for the retro computer hobbyist and enthusiast, to a petty means for vanity satisfaction and social recognition for the rich... Amiga hardware became somewhat like an i-phone, a status for the "Retro-geek" society... :)
In the end,i believe that, this matter has to do, NOT only with anyone's "rights" but also with the moral of things, if you start with the seemingly "innocent and logic" tollerance and acceptance of a seller that obviously goes for "easy money", you will surely end up to a "drag market" for the few.
Of course amstrad's community is far smaller and so with far less potential of attracting "vultures", still i felt the need of stating that.... ::)
« Last Edit: 23:48, 12 July 18 by ikonsgr »

Offline ikonsgr

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Ie. do a proper USB pcb for the joystick port, so you could use modern USB mice (wireless aswell) instead of ps/2 and amiga/atari and usb gamepads aswell.




For the usb joystick/gamepads adapter for 9pin atari port , i tried that, but unfortunately even at prices of ~20euros (e.g. sell with marginally loss, and when competitive products were sold at 35+euros) i couldn't sell more than 1-2/motnh. So, either the price is too big for such an adapter, or (and i think, this is more the case) ,there is no big interest in such adapters, very few retro computer enthusiasts/hobbyists/users, have, or willing to use a usb gamepad with their amiga, atari st,c64 etc, at least for now (maybe in a few years things will change...)
:) 

 As for the usb mouse adapter, i'm afraid there is already a rather large offer of quite some designers/sellers, with very decent prices, so little room for that too i'm afraid....  ::)
« Last Edit: 23:50, 12 July 18 by ikonsgr »

Offline Duke

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For the usb joystick/gamepads adapter for 9pin atari port , i tried that, but unfortunately even at prices of ~20euros (e.g. sell with marginally loss, and when competitive products were sold at 35+euros) i couldn't sell more than 1-2/motnh. So, either the price is too big for such an adapter, or (and i think, this is more the case) ,there is no big interest in such adapters, very few retro computer enthusiasts/hobbyists/users, have, or wiiling to use a usb gamepad with their amiga, atari st,c64 etc :) 

 As for the usb mouse adapter, i'm afraid there is already a rather large offer of quite some designers/sellers, with very decent prices, so little room for that too i'm afraid....  ::)
I could be wrong of course :) - But for me, it seems good joysticks are getting hard to find and expensive (competetion pro anyone?), but there is lots of good (and cheap) USB gamepads.
As for USB mouse, I don't think true USB mouse via joystick port exists for CPC (it has to be PS/2 compatible), it may have less interest as not much software needs it.

You have a link for your USB gamepad to joystick adapter? - Don't think I've seen it.

Offline Duke

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Quote from: ikonsgr
In general i would agree with that, but specifically for retro computer markets-communities,i must say, i object strongly!
It was exactly this justification towards the attitude of:"seller has any right to sell at any price he wants" , that at one point, made the amiga market a feast for "easy money" (attracting  many totally strangers to the amiga commuinity ,"seller"-vultures, who just "smelled" easy money), and exploitation of  the few that had the bucks (and were willing-and stupid?- enough to be exploited by paying INSANE prices for hardware -at one point i remember some amiga accelerator to be sold up to 1500+$ ...) .This had DEVASTATING consequneces in the market, as it practically excluded most of the amiga hobbists (that obviously couldn't afford for the ridiculous high prices for hardware), and thus converting something that ought to be a fairly priced tool for the retro computer hobbyist and enthusiast, to a petty means for vanity satisfaction and social recognition for the rich... Amiga hardware became somewhat like an i-phone, a status for the "Retro-geek" society...
I haven't been following Amiga or other scenes closely, but to me it would seem that such high prices would indeed create a market for fair priced products most people can afford, even if it had to be less spec'ed than the higher priced ones.
Ie. C64 has something called "1541-ultimate" which is a bit pricey (but awsome specs) and there's SD2IEC which is fairly cheap. I think SD2IEC is more popular/sold.

Offline ikonsgr

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As for USB mouse, I don't think true USB mouse via joystick port exists for CPC (it has to be PS/2 compatible), it may have less interest as not much software needs it.
I make and sell a cheap adapter to use any amiga/atari st mouse as joystick. But in order to use it with amstrad (as any adapter too), you will also need this adapter too, as cpc's joy port doesn't provide the required 5volt for the adapter to function.

You have a link for your USB gamepad to joystick adapter? - Don't think I've seen it.

This was the link of the usb joy/gamepad i had on ebay. I used this board  to make the "hard and dirty" job of usb hosting, and attach a small pic mcu to the serial output of it, in order to convert it to joystick signals.  As you can see, i made pretty extensive tests with many usb gamepads/joysticks but unfortunately the project was a "comercial disaster".  :)  I had to sell with a bit of loss, in order to "get rid" of the usb host adapters, and still, took me ~year to "get rid" of 20 items!
« Last Edit: 00:08, 13 July 18 by ikonsgr »

Offline ikonsgr

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Ie. C64 has something called "1541-ultimate" which is a bit pricey (but awsome specs) and there's SD2IEC which is fairly cheap. I think SD2IEC is more popular/sold.

Well, the "secret" is how exactly you define "pricy". In case of serious amiga hardware (mostly accelerators and ram expansions), we were  not talking for 30,40, or 50euros. Not even 100 or 200 euros. We were talking of 500,600, 1000+ euros! :o   Forunately in recent years, some amiga hardware designers emerge with very good hardware and decent prices, so the "time of the vultures" seemed to ended. I guess, the situation ended up like you said, "would seem that such high prices would indeed create a market for fair priced products most people can afford," :)
« Last Edit: 00:16, 13 July 18 by ikonsgr »

Offline Duke

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I make and sell a cheap adapter to use any amiga/atari st mouse as joystick. But in order to use it with amstrad (as any adapter too), you will also need this adapter too, as cpc's joy port doesn't provide the required 5volt for the adapter to function.
This was the link of the usb joy/gamepad i had on ebay. I used this board  to make the "hard and dirty" job of usb hosting, and attach a small pic mcu to the serial output of it, in order to convert it to joystick signals.  As you can see, i made pretty extensive tests with many usb gamepads/joysticks but unfortunately the project was a "comercial disaster".  :)  I had to sell with a bit of loss, in order to "get rid" of the usb host adapters, and still, took me ~year to "get rid" of 20 items!


Pretty neat, didn't know about that USB host do it all chip. Sorry to hear it failed selling.

Good I left mine on the drawing board then :)


Offline ikonsgr

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Well, if you can sell it at ~15euros (and ofcourse have some profit too at this price), might worth a try!
 I remember that when i sell my adapter ~25euros,i didn't sell almost nothing. It had to drop to ~22euros to sell ~1/month, and only when i dropped it to 19.5euros, i managed to sell ~15pcs in ~4-5 months!

Offline Duke

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Well, if you can sell it at ~15euros (and ofcourse have some profit too at this price), might worth a try!
 I remember that when i sell my adapter ~25euros,i didn't sell almost nothing. It had to drop to ~22euros to sell ~1/month, and only when i dropped it to 19.5euros, i managed to sell ~15pcs in ~4-5 months!
It could, probably less too. But you know too many projects, so thought it might be an idea for someone else ;)

Offline LambdaMikel

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"seller"-vultures, who just "smelled" easy money), and exploitation of  the few that had the bucks (and were willing-and stupid?- enough to be exploited by paying INSANE prices for hardware -at one point i remember some amiga accelerator to be sold up to 1500+$

I had no idea that it had gotten that bad on Ebay in the meantime... I bought my Blizzard 1230-V for the Amiga 1200 in 2002 or so, and then it was 140 EUR I believe. I no longer have the 1200, but I just got myself an Amiga 500 with an ACA500Plus and the budget accelerator ACA1221ec. And they are very fairly priced, even though this is a company (somehwere they also say on their website that one does not need to pay these "vulture prices" on Ebay for an accelerator card). One of my favorite retro computer companies:


https://icomp.de/shop-icomp/en/news.html


You probably know them anyway. Great company, and even Jeri Ellsworth worked with them at some point.


I have no relationship with the company whatsoever. Just a fan / customer. So, there are still fair companies around for the Amiga that make great products AND have very fair prices and ethics / moral and are also making profit it seems (ACA500plus and accelerator are already sold out again).
« Last Edit: 01:32, 13 July 18 by LambdaMikel »

Offline ikonsgr

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Indy are a bit pricy too (and most of their hardware unavailable too,at least for now that i've checked  :)  ), but ofcourse nothing like of the "free amiga market" previously described.
 The problem i think (besides the "useful morons"-buyers with big bucks, as, they are the ones, who "permitted" the vultures to make easy money and destroy the amiga market ... ::) ), was created when, a significant number of "vultures" intervene in the usual exchange of amiga hardware between amiga hobbiysts. For years,the relative few who are interested in amiga hardware, exchange it, in fair prices, as almost noone of them was interested in making "Easy money", so price "inflation" was relative small (reselling of an item was made after years of usage and many times in the same price it was bought,maybe a bit higher). But ,as the years passed, more and more vultures came in the market, destroying this situation bit by bit, as the only thing they constantly did, was: buy some hardware, and INSTANTLY resell it in fairly higher price!(i personally witnessed this phenomenon, quite a few times ,on various amiga forums in the past). So, more and more amiga hardware ended up in the hands of vultures at increasingly higher prices!
And because their numbers amongst true amiga hobbiysts was constantly rising, we ended up to a situation were very often, the reselling of an item was made between two "vultures", leading ofcourse to a very rapid raise in prices of hardware! And to make things even worst, many amiga forums, instead of crticize or even ban these vultures ,in order to protect the community, they did EXACTLY  the opposite, by "Defending seller rights", and "punishing" anyone complained.... :( 
So, now i think you can understand why a board that you bought for 100$ in 2002 might be cost 500$ ,600$ or even 1000$ after 10-12 years (btw the same thing happened with cheaper hardware too, maybe in smaller degree though, you bought an adapter for 20$-30$ and after a few years the same adapter costed 50$ or 60$)
And this is what happens in a community (and perhaps to the real society too...) when we only care about "seller rights" but NOT at all about moral obligations (of sellers AND buyers too)...  :(
« Last Edit: 11:25, 13 July 18 by ikonsgr »

Offline TotO

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It is mainly why I have left the Amiga community.
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