Author Topic: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)  (Read 3777 times)

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Offline Bryce

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Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« on: 17:24, 12 September 10 »
Hi all,
      for obvious reasons, as a hardware person, I rarely buy other peoples hardware. But I was truly impressed by Jeffs HxC SDCard, so I made an exception to the rule and bought one (OK, also cause I was too lazy to build one myself :) ). Obviously the features and functionality are impressive, but from a hardware point of view, it's a really efficient design keeping parts to a minimum and cramming an unbelievable amount of function into a relatively limited PIC. An awful lot of thought and work must have gone into this project. To Jeff: Congratulations, that's one seriously good piece of design.

Anyway, while browsing the interweb, I came across this Box, which had a really 80's look to it and I decided that this was the (almost) perfect box for my newly acquired HxC:

The Plexi-Glass is dark red and is meant for LEDs, and even the brightest LCDs aren't visible through it, so I had to make a copy in clear Plexi-Glas. The original blue LCD was also too big, so I swapped it for a smaller green LCD a had lying around.

After that, I removed some internal posts that were in the way and added holes for new mounting posts, a power switch, power socket, power cable (to CPC) and the floppy cable.

Then I had to "adjust" the buttons. Ok, call me cheap, lazy or whatever, I could have replaced the buttons with proper angled ones, but I decided  just to unsolder and bend the original ones and add a pin to connect and support the top contacts.

After making an adapter cable for the new LCD (Warning: LCD pinouts are NOT standardised so compare datasheets if you change the LCD on a HxC), it was time to cram everything into the box for a trial fitting.

Then it was just a matter of soldering the power connections and putting it all together.

I may try to source some green Plexi-Glass later, to give it a more retro look.

Bryce.
« Last Edit: 17:43, 12 September 10 by Bryce »

Offline robcfg

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #1 on: 19:07, 12 September 10 »
Wow man, this mod is so great!


Nice retro look and very functional. I'm looking forward to think a design that makes easy to replace the data ribbon because the amstrad one is slightly modified and I'd like to use it with more systems.


Congratulations!

Offline Bryce

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #2 on: 19:25, 12 September 10 »
It wouldn't be too difficult to extend the ribbon cable header to the back of the box, then you could easily change the cable to suit the system you're connecting to. I might do this later, because I also intend using this on several machines.

I also want to tint the plexi-glass a slight green, either with varnish or find real green plexi-glass, the clear glass is almost invisible. I might add some green LEDs behind the LCD so that the whole panel glows green?

Oh Rob, did I mention that I was so busy doing this, that I had no time to make your PCBs :D Sorry. Will make them later in the week, maybe tomorrow.

Bryce.

Offline nurgle

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #3 on: 22:26, 12 September 10 »
Very, very cool! I wish I could do stuff like that instead of piling caseless pcbs around my CPC.


Offline Gryzor

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #4 on: 14:04, 13 September 10 »
Oh wow. Another thing I want and will never get...

Offline Bryce

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #5 on: 15:02, 13 September 10 »
Look, you got the girl. You can't have everything you know!

Bryce.

norecess

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #6 on: 21:28, 13 September 10 »
Actually, sorry to be that dumb, but I dislike your "mod" !


Looks too "retro" for me, does not fill at all with CPC Old gray case,..   :-\

Offline Bryce

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #7 on: 22:51, 13 September 10 »
Hi norecess,
       no it's not that dumb, in a way I'd actually agree with you. The box is the typical cream colour which you'd normally associate with C64 / Atari etc. The annoying thing is, the company who makes the box (Teko) actually do one in almost the CPC dark grey colours (see attached photo), but I couldn't find anyone who sells it. I really wanted to have it in CPC colours, but I eventually gave up and settled for cream. But... I also use Atari, so if I do manage to get a dark grey box, I will make a new one for the CPC and use the cream one just for the Atari :) Either way, the mod stays the same, just the colour varies.

Bryce.

Btw, should anyone find this box (Teko D12) for sale in dark grey, let me know where I can order one.

Edit: Cool phrase by the way, I didn't realise something could be "too retro" :D
« Last Edit: 22:53, 13 September 10 by Bryce »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #8 on: 11:11, 14 September 10 »
Actually, this kind of material is, I think, very easy to spray-paint... why not do that?

Offline Bryce

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Re: Keeping it retro (A HxC Mod)
« Reply #9 on: 16:10, 14 September 10 »
Cos I'm too lazy and it's a messy job, that would probably flake off after a while. I'll just wait until I find a supplier for the dark grey version and be happy with the cream one until then :)

Bryce.