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AuthorTopic: Building a new 500++  (Read 888 times)

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Offline blanning

Building a new 500++
« on: March 04, 2021, 02:22:40 AM »
I have just about everything I need on its way here to do a new 500++ build.  I have a few items that still need to be worked out though.

New 500 cases are in the works for around may apparently.  So I could wait for one of those.  But I was thinking about a tower case for the 500++ motherboard.  Is anyone making a compatible tower case these days?  Or maybe there's a regular AT or ATX case that are ideal modding candidates?  I'd probably prefer a desktop case if there is one. 

I'd love to have the checkmate case.  And while it appears to be high quality and worth the money, it's really expensive.  I've thought about just sandwiching the motherboard between Plexiglas or aluminum plates.

Also, should I bother with the shielding?  Is there any downside to skipping it?

For the power supply I'll probably just make one.  For the keyboard, I ordered the USB interface that goes under the CIA.  Although I'll have to locate a real 500 keyboard if I go with the repro case.

Offline Matt_H

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 04:35:46 AM »
Hey, it’s your system so you should house it however you want. :)

Personally, I prefer the original cases for that authentic look and feel, although I think the Checkmate achieves that, too. But I don’t see much point in a larger case for the wedge Amigas unless you’re also adding a Zorro or PCI busboard. That’s what all that extra space was meant for! If there are replica original cases on the horizon I’d wait for those.

Also, unless something's changed in the last few years, I don’t think there’s been an A500-compatible tower case produced in decades (other than one-off custom ones), so finding one is going to be tough tough tough.

Offline blanning

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2021, 05:15:31 AM »
Hey, it’s your system so you should house it however you want. :)

Personally, I prefer the original cases for that authentic look and feel, although I think the Checkmate achieves that, too. But I don’t see much point in a larger case for the wedge Amigas unless you’re also adding a Zorro or PCI busboard. That’s what all that extra space was meant for! If there are replica original cases on the horizon I’d wait for those.

Also, unless something's changed in the last few years, I don’t think there’s been an A500-compatible tower case produced in decades (other than one-off custom ones), so finding one is going to be tough tough tough.


Yeah, I like the feel of the original 500 case.  Even the 1200 case doesn't feel the same to me.  But in the PC world, I have a thing for slim desktop cases.  So putting the motherboard in a slim desktop case, assuming it's the right case, has the potential to be inexpensive and just as cool as the other options.  Here's someone who did something like I had in mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu_ECEZoqaw

The checkmate case would be better than that.  But with the expansion bus adapter, keyboard, a few options, and shipping, it's approaching $500.  That would pay for some serious upgrades.  But the ability to have a zorro slot is also very attractive.

I guess I could try to track down an old 500 case and clean it up.  The new ones will never yellow though.  And they have a 1200 style mod-friendly window in the back under the floppy drive... and those metal screw inserts...



Offline TribbleSmasher

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 05:00:55 PM »
If you doin a great job with soldering you might want to use a plexilaser case for it...
https://www.plexilaser.de/Acrylgehaeuse-fuer-Amiga-500-Teilesatz

Offline Pat the Cat

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 04:30:54 AM »
It looks very good but I'm wary of laser cut clear acrylic. Broken a few bits and bobs made that way. OK I superglued them together but you can always see they was busted.

If you know the technique it wouldn't be that hard to get them cut in polycarbonate. The tricky part is designing a case.

EDIT: And making sure all the dimensions are accurate for every hole and corner cut for each piece.

There are some places that will cut an odd angle on an edge for slanted joins, but most don't offer that. Means sanding done edges for slanting edges. You can't get them perfect but you can get acceptable (with the right equipment like... lots of grades of sandpaper.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 04:58:06 AM by Pat the Cat »
"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
A500, Vanilla, A570, Rev 5, KS 1.2/1.3 Testbench system
Rasp Pi, UAE4ARM, 3D laser scanner, experimental, hoping for AmigaOS4Arm, based on Watterott Fabscan Pi
 

Offline blanning

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 04:41:55 AM »
If you doin a great job with soldering you might want to use a plexilaser case for it...
https://www.plexilaser.de/Acrylgehaeuse-fuer-Amiga-500-Teilesatz

This is a great idea also.  more to think about
 

Offline blanning

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 04:48:49 AM »
It looks very good but I'm wary of laser cut clear acrylic. Broken a few bits and bobs made that way. OK I superglued them together but you can always see they was busted.

If you know the technique it wouldn't be that hard to get them cut in polycarbonate. The tricky part is designing a case.

I thought about making my own a desktop case.  I would make the bottom and back from 1/8" aluminum plate.  Then the top, sides, and front could be plexi.  I thought about tying it all together with 1/4" aluminum bar stock.  It would be easy to drill and tap holes into that.  Then put it in the corners of the case with flush mount screws through the panels into the bar stock.

One project I want to tinker with...  there are gerber plans for an a500 interface that allows you to connect a full size raspberry pi in the trapdoor slot.  It creates a shared memory area between the amiga and the pi.  It includes software that provides a few interesting features.  But it would be relatively easy to attach some kind of display to the pi, like 2" tall and 4" wide.  Then I could mount it in the front left side of the case.  It would be sort of a light up LCD full color animated case badge.

Offline Pat the Cat

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 05:05:07 AM »
I don't know how small but I know you can get touchscreens for Pi that are dinky too!

EDIT: Thinking about it, polycarbonate is kind of wobbly in big sheets.

How about an internal steel frame made out of threaded rod with printed plastic corners?

Wouldn't be cheap but would be very hard to break from impact. I don't know cost pf sheets of quarter inch ally. Might be cheaper (and much stronger).

If you're going to do something better than a Checkmate, fragility is an issue.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 05:21:55 AM by Pat the Cat »
"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
A500, Vanilla, A570, Rev 5, KS 1.2/1.3 Testbench system
Rasp Pi, UAE4ARM, 3D laser scanner, experimental, hoping for AmigaOS4Arm, based on Watterott Fabscan Pi
 

Offline blanning

Re: Building a new 500++
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2021, 08:10:44 AM »
I don't know how small but I know you can get touchscreens for Pi that are dinky too!

EDIT: Thinking about it, polycarbonate is kind of wobbly in big sheets.

How about an internal steel frame made out of threaded rod with printed plastic corners?

Wouldn't be cheap but would be very hard to break from impact. I don't know cost pf sheets of quarter inch ally. Might be cheaper (and much stronger).

If you're going to do something better than a Checkmate, fragility is an issue.

I've seen postage stamp sized oled screens for the pi.  You can get them in all shapes and sized with varying degrees of monochrome or color.  A lot of them are really inexpensive also.

As for the case, maybe I could make it from bent aluminum angle stock.  You just notch out triangular pieces and it folds up into nice squares. 

It's probably quicker and easier to just find a slim desktop case and drill out the rivets holding in the back and replace it with a custom piece of steel or aluminum.  I'll have to give it some thought.