464+ Mod

Started by Bryce, 15:34, 08 June 12

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Bryce

Hi All,
      this morning this arrived in the post :) The plan is to mod it to it's limits. To start with it will be brought up to 6128+ level with the additional 64K and the floppy controller / separator. After that I have obtained a slimline 3.5in Laptop floppy which I will try to squeeze inside the case somewhere (without removing the tapedeck).
Then I will try to install a MegaFlash, additional 512K RAM, S-Video output, a USB Port for AMX Mouse, a reset switch, an ABBA switch all internally and depending on the space that's left (if any), I may look at adding a few other bits and pieces later.

I'll be documenting the lot and posting it all here. Stay tuned...

Bryce.

All information regarding the 464+ to 6128+ conversion can now be found on this wiki page:  http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/464Plus_Conversion

Gryzor

A shame such things don't magically arrive with *my* post.


Stickying this, should be very interesting.

arnoldemu

Could you make an auto eject for the tape player top so you can use it to launch things at people?
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource

Gryzor

A friend of mine had such a stereo deck; tape was inserted vertical to the deck (which means, horizontal, like a car's tape player). This+a very strong spring+feather touch buttons=fatalities.

MacDeath

it's in perfect mint condition... truly sad those had so many missing components... and tapes.


128K and CD-Rom could have been perfect (also add the FDC inside...)  :P

BiNMaN

there was one recently for sale on ebay from Ireland, only one bid went on it (I was tempted) nice peice of kit you've got there

I 'consoled' myself by getting a couple of GX4000's, may decide to mod one of them one day
proud owner of a 464, 6128 and GX4000

mr_lou

Quote from: BiNMaN on 19:22, 08 June 12there was one recently for sale on ebay from Ireland, only one bid went on it (I was tempted) nice peice of kit you've got there

The one from Ireland is the one Bryce is working on. ;-)
I was the only bidder. Some day in the future when Bryce is done with this, it'll be my new main CPC.  :)

Gryzor

  You lucky b@st@rd.

BiNMaN

proud owner of a 464, 6128 and GX4000

Badstarr

OOoo! Sounds like a great project, strangely enough your plans aren't a million miles away from my next GX4000/Plus Project! I even have the slimline FDD sitting waiting in the spare room, I also have a couple of dead laptops with slimline drives so if you need one I might have one for you but I'm unsure about model/make as I haven't removed them yet.


I also had a delivery today from the bay of E. A (sold as) faulty 464 first generation I was going to gut to use for my next project for the princely sum of £10.50 including delivery. I was quite amazed though how great the condition of this machine is, if you ignore the crack on the cassette drive and the sticker on the left of the case. It's near mint and I can replace the cassette door as I have a spare. The keys are like new, bright with no yellowing! Could all just do with a bit of a clean. It also works perfectly! And it appears to have a very low serial on it--- 2502. Here is a photo, which to be honest doesn't do it justice at all...


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I have to ask as I am also planning a 512k memory expansion, are you designing your own upgrade or are you using a extant schematic? I was intending to use the Inicron 512k Upgrade (as listed in the wiki) in my mod but if you have a better idea I would be interested to hear about/steal it  ;)  I am also planning a built in MegaFlash and an HxC docking port for an external cased HxC  but I'm not sure about how I intend to deal with the cassette unit as I'm quite keen on having a sawn off 464 case but I'm undecided right now. I'm going to have a crack at building the MegaFlash unit myself (just to say I did) if it all goes horribly wrong I may have to buy another from you!


I will be watching this thread very closely! Good luck!  ;D
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

steve

If you do saw the end off your '464, add a new side panel to the cassette part and try to keep the cassette drive as an operational unit so you could load cassettes if you wanted to.

Personally, I prefer the look of the '464 as it is.

Bryce

I have made my own design 512K RAM expansion. I haven't built one yet, but it should be a bit smaller than the MegaFlash and easily fit inside the 464+. As soon as I have tested it, I'll be releasing the plans for that too.

I have a 3.5in slimline drive (also salvaged from a dead laptop), which I will start converting this weekend hopefully.

Bryce.

mr_lou

Then we just need to figure out where to put it. :-)
The disk drive I mean.

Bryce

The only sensible place at the moment seems to be in the middle between the cartridge slot and the tapedeck with the slot for the floppy at the rear. There's not enough space under the tapedeck or the keyboard, so there's nowhere else (internally) available.

Bryce.

mr_lou

Quote from: Bryce on 14:54, 09 June 12
The only sensible place at the moment seems to be in the middle between the cartridge slot and the tapedeck with the slot for the floppy at the rear. There's not enough space under the tapedeck or the keyboard, so there's nowhere else (internally) available.

I'm wondering if another option is to mount the drive on top of the machine with the slot facing sideways the same direction as the cartridge slot. It probably won't look great, but would probably be more handy?
If it was externally almost the same could be achieved of course, except you'd have the wired too.

Bryce

You mean just "glued" on top??

Bryce.

rexbeng

#16
This looks very interesting! I myself have thought about how you could manage to fit a full set of upgrades inside a CPC, but only in regard to the modding of the case, as the electronics' bit is not my league.

So, one vague idea would be to raise the back side of the Plus' case. This would result in widening the angle of the keyboard a little bit and would also mean that the upper part of the casing (where the logo and tape deck are) would not be parallel to the desk but have an angle as well.

The goal would be to essentially make room in the bottom, and place everything under the motherboard itself. Of course this would mean that you need to modify the mounting holes for the screws for the existing hardware AND the holes to screw the case back in. And on top of that, this would be the more challenging part I think, you need a custom designed extra piece of plastic for the casing that will fit between the upper and the lower parts of the original Plus case.
This custom case part will raise the back side for as much as you want and should have some mounting mechanisms of its own for holding the new hardware AND support the existing hardware. And at the same time not-look-awful  :P

Needless to say that for modding an old gen 6128 you have to make a new box if you want to fit new hardware in it :P

rb

trocoloco

I'm dribbling just thinking about the whole idea, sounds great man! .If someone can pull such a project, that's you Bryce

mr_lou

Quote from: Bryce on 16:25, 09 June 12You mean just "glued" on top??

Yes. As I said, not pretty, but more practical than the rear solution.

Not saying that's what I'd like though. Just trying to think up more options.

Bryce

At the moment, I'm still waiting for parts to arrive, but that's no reason to sit around staring at the wall, so today I converted the Slimline Floppy drive. It's a Mitsumi D353G which was used in many Laptops over the years. Other than it being tiny: 12.5mm high and not much bigger than the disk itself, it also has some other advantages.

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Laptop floppies use the 26way Shugart standard, which gives separate /DSKCHG (not needed for the CPC) and a READY signal (required for the CPC). They also only need 5V. The only dis-advantage is that they are usually connected with an FPC cable, so an adapter is needed. Unfortunately, the PCB is embedded inside the frame, so you need to disassemble quite a bit.

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Once it's apart I removed the FPC connector and soldered some wires to connect to the adapter.

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This is the adapter:

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Soldered it all up and put it back together.

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Then I connected it up to my 6128+ for a quick test. All was fine, ready to be installed into the 464+ when the rest of the parts arrive. When I get a chance, I'll put this all in the Wiki, including the pinouts for the Floppy to Adapter.

Bryce.

ralferoo

Quote from: Badstarr on 00:47, 09 June 12
I'm not sure about how I intend to deal with the cassette unit as I'm quite keen on having a sawn off 464 case but I'm undecided right now.
Heh, I'm considering doing the very same thing to use with my FPGA project. :)

I even have a 464 with a completely destroyed motherboard thanks to an over-enthusiastic modder as its previous owner... (best part of the story is he claimed it was working before he put it into storage, so obviously it's the storage elves that can't be trusted!)

Bryce

You can use almost any cassette player on a CPC, it doesn't have to be a CPC one.

Bryce.

MacDeath

What about adding a counter on the tape driver ?

also I've heard the 464PLUS' tape driver is not connected to the sound output so you can't hear the bit flow, nor audio tapes while playing...

Badstarr

Quote from: ralferoo on 09:47, 13 June 12
Heh, I'm considering doing the very same thing to use with my FPGA project. :)

I even have a 464 with a completely destroyed motherboard thanks to an over-enthusiastic modder as its previous owner... (best part of the story is he claimed it was working before he put it into storage, so obviously it's the storage elves that can't be trusted!)


Ah yes those little "storage elves" sometimes I hear them at night singing as they dance their way through the attic. Fortunately they rarely damage any of my things. As for over enthusiastic modding, I have seen some weird goings on in some of the faulty items I have bought from ebay. +5v Shorted to the cassette chassis due to bare twisted wire connections, a power supply connection soldered (badly) to a VCC pin on a Logic IC which it would appear made friends with a nearby pin it seems blixing out nearly every component in a 6" radius. Sometimes my own "quick fixes" can be a little "ghetto" but when I have seen what other people have done it really makes me wonder if screw drivers and CPCs should be issued only to people who can prove they can be trusted !  :laugh:
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

mr_lou

Quote from: MacDeath on 22:15, 13 June 12
What about adding a counter on the tape driver?

I suspect that will be very difficult. Not a bad idea, but most likely way too troublesome.

Quote from: MacDeath on 22:15, 13 June 12also I've heard the 464PLUS' tape driver is not connected to the sound output so you can't hear the bit flow, nor audio tapes while playing...

Not a bad idea either, and probably one that can actually be done. What do you think Bryce? One of them small flat speakers attached somehow?

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