Author Topic: Greetings!  (Read 8620 times)

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Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #25 on: 21:26, 06 July 13 »
Ahh it's 2013 we don't use keyboards now!!!  ;D
So firstly the waffle-  the first unit I built was a chipboard cabinet with a jumble of wires tucked away inside. Vey basic.
Technology has evolved and the age of wood is over. What I have planned for the 6128 is a metal open frame design. All the components will be 19" rack mount. Google MAME and everything is MDF boxes!! I have a blacksmiths nearby and intend to submit a more useable plan for them to work from but here's a couple of basic pictures to show the look I'm after (tron artwork optional!!)


 

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #26 on: 21:28, 06 July 13 »
@ Gryzor - lol  ;D
 
about to post up internal gubbins pictures

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #27 on: 21:30, 06 July 13 »
...are you really going to build that?


wow.  :o

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #28 on: 21:57, 06 July 13 »
looking at the mock-up pics the actual 6128 blackbox will be mounted on rackstrips at the middle point of the Z shape, along with Amstrad speakers, amp and a patch unit. The top panel will have arcade sticks and buttons with a reconditioned 6128 keyboard lifted out of the donor unit (I could write a whole article on keyboard fluff with all what I had to go through to get it nice and shiney!)
Another key point to the build was to incorporate as many styling cues as possible from original Amstrad CPCs, (hence the use of an original Qwerty board) take a look at the rear view of the 6128 box for another subtle retro touch
 

 
internal speaker grille with speaker from a 464 and actual serial number sticker from main 6128 donor unit
sockets on the right are for video out to a LCD panel, and a 44 way bad boy to take all 18 keyboard wires and 2 joysticks plus 12 & 5 volt DC lines to the patch unit, audio out jack and a re-mounted volume control for the internal speaker

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #29 on: 22:30, 06 July 13 »
ok here is a selection of internal box shots. This thing took some going to complete, yet is only the beginning of the cabinet as a whole - much tea drinking (and vodka!) was required to get thus far.
*warning* controversial and confusing material is included!


 
front panel switches are for FDD ready, side A/B, and system pause. I'll let you guess what the one under the led does  ;)

yep a donor MP2 modulator does the powering, I did try using some modern fangled thing from china - but it went bang after 20 minutes of use!! Best to stick with what works. I cut out the power transformer section and cut the DC circuit away from the video UHF bit that has no use. (I think I can hear users howling in pain at the thought of dismantling such hardware!)
Piggy-backing off the main transformer is a neat addition, the PSU for the video convertor.
 
Here's a cool addition to the main pcb, as featured in Amstrad Action 33 page 16.......

also clear is the point where the 18 keyboard wires are attached, the original membrane sockets I de-soldered will be used in the keyboard panel (which I ain't built yet!)
 
Ok who's scratching about for AA33 yet?   :laugh:

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #30 on: 11:18, 07 July 13 »
A joystick splitter? Looks nice and tidy :)


The whole thing is a thing of beauty - I love the label at the back :D But if I were you I'd probably switch the speaker with something better...

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #31 on: 11:36, 07 July 13 »
yeh there was room for a bigger & better internal speaker, but as its only ever going to be used in the testing stages of the project, sound quality isn't a priority, I just added that one because I could!
the jack socket on the back is for stereo line out & will be using a 30 watt PA amp 2x 5 inch mid-range cones and 2x 3 inch tweeters - all lifted from my first arcade cabinet (yes she's due to be scrapped.... shhhhh I never said that bit)

Offline Bryce

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #32 on: 10:49, 08 July 13 »
A really nice and tidy build there LazyDude. However, that powersupply is an accident waiting to happen! If anything on the 230V side fails you could end up with a live chassis, even more critical now that you've moved from wood to metal. You really need to house it in plastic and cover the live joints better.

Bryce.

Offline Munchausen

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #33 on: 11:45, 08 July 13 »
A really nice build!


Where did you get that nice small VGA converter? I've got one of these: replace Amstrad CPC 464 664 6128 old Monitor to LCD video converter , in UK. |, but it's a much bigger board.

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #34 on: 23:48, 08 July 13 »
@ Bryce- hint taken, will look at what I can do for insulation. At least the bottom part is the original MP2 plastic casing that's attached to the metal case. There's plenty of electrical insulating stuff laying around just waiting to be used!!
 
@Munchausen- it was an Ebay find, made and sold by Ambery Corporation USA. After testing and seeing it work well with my 6128 and a 17" LCD I then took the product out of its plastic housing to pop in my new box.

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #35 on: 18:07, 30 July 13 »
Exitement: postie delivered new stuff and I spent last weekend hammering things into shape!
so far I have remounted the keyboard into a 3u panel and wired to a D-sub connector.
Dynamic pic for dramatic effect!-
 

 
practical pics to see detail-
 



 
happily I gave the membrane strip space to curve into the fitting, slotting them home before carefully turning the connector assembly over to mount on the board.
Next comes the arcade sticks and buttons...

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #36 on: 20:46, 30 July 13 »
That is one brand-new looking keyboard!

Offline Bryce

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #37 on: 22:33, 30 July 13 »
That is seriously professional looking! Very nice work, very clean and thought out.

Bryce.

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #38 on: 21:54, 31 July 13 »
cheers guys   :D
a fair bit of it is down to my "just in time" hardware delivery app (aka ebay!!) for panels & bolts etc
had a good session in the shed earlier using my new 30mm hole cutter prepping the arcade panel
also popped into the blacksmiths to chat about getting the main cabinet knocked up
lots to do & no time to think about it!!!

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #39 on: 00:41, 27 June 14 »
Blimey it's been almost a year since we saw some action on this thread.....
proper lazy dude  :laugh:
well time for some updates, and share the continuation of my Amstrad 6128 arcade

console project - scuse me while I get my stuff organised here!

Bit of waffle first then some juicy pics.

So I left off at the point of creating an arcade style control surface to complement

the 6128 keyboard, 2 player with joysticks and an autofire circuit like whats featured

in the latest AA mag (AA 34 page 27!) so I went ahead and bought the autofire

components as listed using the given Maplins catalogue numbers - yep after all those

years 99% of the cat nos were the same, great!
Then I built it as it shows - ok not rocket science, works great. Then switched from 9v

battery to the CPCs own 5v DC power - result was a screen full of random characters -

after many hours of swearing etc.. I discovered that the circuit has one of the

transistor legs bridged to the power neg line (wtf - its what the plans say to do!) so

one track cut later and presto all good.
Never happy with leaving stuff standard I then went on to redesign the circuit, made it

available for 2 player and shrunk it by 50% - cool.
Pics of auto fire plans old & new-



wired up pics-





all good then I wanted to design a button/ sticks layout that had a nod to the CPCs

look. My solution was to use the 6128 colour logo next to the power led as the styling

cue.
pic of early plans-



mmmm... it's all CAD planning you know!!
pic of final result on a 3U panel-



and an underside shot partially wired, showing reinforcing bars bolted on-



ok more on the way, its all go.....

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #40 on: 00:44, 27 June 14 »
just a short post on the speaker system I'm using (mainly to keep Gryzor happy, cos he

didn't like the weedy internal speaker in the 6128 box lol!)

again 19" standard panels, using 1980s Amstrad Hi-fi components. 2x8" bass/mid cones

and 2x 3.5" tweeters (they big enough mate?!!)





no pics of the amp, my friend told me amps are boring (she's a girl though!!)

It gets more exiting next........

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #41 on: 00:51, 27 June 14 »
Ahh so whats it all about I here you say.
Quick recap of my project- to design an Arcade console using a CPC 6128 pcb as the

guts. To be sited in my entertainment room, and replace the old crap as shown on page 1

:( because life is not all about MDF/chipboard arcade cabinets!

the concept images for an open frame 19" wide steel frame-





Not many arcade consoles look that wacky I think!
the proportionally correct plans (original side view drawn at 1/4 scale)-



so it now takes into account height of control surface, LCD monitor size and viewing

angle  etc...
Worked up onto a computer image to get a feel for overall look-





right so armed with plans/ sizes coloured pics and its off to the local blacksmiths to

have a chat with a man named John Long.


Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #42 on: 01:00, 27 June 14 »
6 months later! and a shape has appeared (oo I hate waiting!)

2 side profiles in 2"x1" mild steel complete, tack welded upright with bars and an

awful looking front curve-



1 week later I returned to see the final shape (cool, but still rusty!) rolled it into

my workshop and nailed in some 19" rack stripping-



Next up the stripping was removed and I had the frame shipped off to the local paint

shop for shot blasting and powdercoating - got any RAL numbers? who the hell knew there

were so many shades of black to choose from!
A friend suggested midnight black - I told him to go f....

2 weeks later and a bubble wrapped shape appears outside my pad. Neat!
I instantly get to work installing the hardware.
So here we get some up to date pics of how Arnie looks so far-







note: monitor overlay Perspex not yet fitted (its still in the workshop!)
pretty sick huh! oh and one more pic for the benefit of Bryce the hardware health n

safety guru-



so did you spot the chassis earthing lead? good!
Its been a mission getting it this far (it feels a mission posting it all up for you

guys to check out too!)
Still lots to do as theres sod all in the way of wiring. Looms are looming, I have

plans for a patch unit to get the arcade panel to play ball with the CPC....

An thats all for now folks- any questions or comments and I'll happily chat away!

Offline pelrun

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #43 on: 08:45, 27 June 14 »
Wow! Double Wow!


Any plans I ever had for making an MDF mame cabinet just got permanently cancelled :)

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #44 on: 09:26, 27 June 14 »
 :P  yeh I was shocked at how much wood there is when u google image MAME projects. It shows no design flair banging together a box. The only great thing to come of old style arcade cabinets is the cool graphics on the sides.
I think my idea came from looking at military spec workstations - an olive green finish was optional!!

Offline Bryce

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #45 on: 11:25, 27 June 14 »
Seriously good work and you also take the title for worlds heaviest CPC! :D

Bryce.

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #46 on: 12:16, 27 June 14 »
 :D yeh maybe carbon fibre is the next step!!

Offline kribjo

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #47 on: 13:20, 27 June 14 »
Hi,

What an impressive make. :-)

Do you remember the model no# for the vga converter?
Would like to get one myself.

Regards,

Bjørn

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #48 on: 15:27, 27 June 14 »
its an American product, so it has a very complicated model number-

it's an Ambery AV-1      ;D

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #49 on: 11:54, 29 June 14 »
Whoa... seriously cool. And yes, those speakers should do the job :D Not really sure about Amstrad sound quality, but they should be enough for the poor AY. If they were in a traditional arcade cab you'd get much oomph from it acting as a chamber (not sure about the English term) but even so it should be superb!