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AuthorTopic: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)  (Read 3084 times)

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Offline Rebel-CD32

The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« on: August 27, 2012, 07:56:44 AM »
Here is my idea for a new CD32 expansion which is small enough to fit inside the CD32 and have the expansion bay cover placed back on and screwed in (maybe not pushed all the way on, but enough to cover the hole).

I have named it the Redback, after one of Australia's deadliest spiders, known for hiding up behind things out of sight and biting you in the backside, which I thought was fitting for a small expansion which hides up the back of a CD32 and packs quite a bite itself.



The Subway USB plugs directly into the female Clockport and floats inside the bay area the same way it does from an A604, an IDE-CF adapter with a CF card would be attached via a ribbon, as would any Clockport expansions connected to the regular Clockport. For Clockport expansions that are designed to press directly onto the A1200 motherboard (they don't use a ribbon) a small adapter with two male headers plugged into a ribbon should do, or use a 4-port Clockport expander on a ribbon.

There is plenty of room for all these expansions to hang and float around inside the CD32's expansion bay area since the Redback itself won't fill any of that space.

This way your CD32 gets 8MB FastRAM, IDE storage (which can be broken out to a Master and Slave device if you want to feed a ribbon out, perhaps to a faster CD/DVD drive), and expansion possibilities for USB, 16bit Audio + MP3, High-Speed Serial and Parallel, Battery-backed Clock, and possibly more expansions in future, like a Funnelweb Wireless Clockport Card.

There should be a header that a switch can be connected to, so the expansion can be completely disabled for when you want to play The Chaos Engine or some other game which refuses to work with expansions. The switch could be attached inside the plastic expansion bay cover, hidden away at the back.

I don't know anything about the circuitry involved but I wanted to share this idea with anyone who could potentially design the PCB and build them. I noticed Kipper show some interest once, and Jens has the tooling to produce the CD32 expansion connector and may be willing to help if we go through official channels.

I think this expansion would be very appealing to any CD32 owner, even those who already have a SX-1 or SX32, since it offers further expansion options with the Clockports, and since the design is so simple compared to older ideas it should be cheaper to produce and purchase.

So which looks better, the red PCB and black connector, or black PCB and red connector? Personally I prefer a red connector on a black PCB since it resembles the animal its named after more, and it just looks a bit different.
Amiga user forever.
 

Offline mendark

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 08:19:15 AM »
Ok, let me be the first one: WANT!

Offline Digiman

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 08:24:14 AM »
Same 14mhz 020? *pass*
 

Offline psxphill

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 11:35:36 AM »
Quote from: Rebel-CD32;705454
I don't know anything about the circuitry involved but I wanted to share this idea with anyone who could potentially design the PCB and build them. I noticed Kipper show some interest once, and Jens has the tooling to produce the CD32 expansion connector and may be willing to help if we go through official channels.
 
.......................
 
So which looks better, the red PCB and black connector, or black PCB and red connector? Personally I prefer a red connector on a black PCB since it resembles the animal its named after more, and it just looks a bit different.

The colour is irrelevant as it's going to be hidden away. You're not going to get more sales because of the colour and it could increase manufacturing costs, leading to a higher selling price.
 
I had an idea to produce an agnus replacement in an fpga for a500/a2000 that had 8meg of on board ram. It would require a connection to either gary or the 68000 for the extra address bits and you would be limited to 2mb of 16bit fast ram. However the chip ram would be as fast as 16bit fast ram, even when displaying the highest bit depths. It would also feature a header for a denise cable, you would remove the denise from the socket and replace it with the cable from the fpga board. This would then give you 8 bitplanes in super high res. Unfortunately you'd still be limited to 4096 colours on the 23pin video port, but otherwise you'd be able to run all AGA software and it would run faster than AGA. Most AGA software would assume 020, but we can worry about that in the next project.
 
I would also give it chunky pixel modes and a nice texture mapper. It would become the must have accessory. An a500+/a3000 version and an a1000 version would also be possible, but possibly not financially viable. Unfortunately an a600/a1200/a4000/cd32 would not be practical at all because of everything being surface mounted.
 

Offline Rebel-CD32

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 03:01:35 PM »
Quote from: psxphill;705480
The colour is irrelevant as it's going to be hidden away. You're not going to get more sales because of the colour and it could increase manufacturing costs, leading to a higher selling price.


You'd be surprised how much a decent name and good looks go towards marketing a product, even in the Amiga market it wouldn't hurt to spend a few cents extra for something that'll have more resell value for the one who buys it. When someone is bragging about their system to a friend, a well-named card is easier to remember and go searching for, and a more noticeable card stands out well in photos, drawing attention to the mystery and coolness of having such an expansion added to the CD32.

I have seen Jens mention that he is able to produce his expansion connectors in any colour you desire, and I doubt it would add significantly to the cost. Often during these small production runs there is a choice of PCB colour, something that also barely changes the cost either. We're talking about the difference of cents per board, if that, so I don't think too many people would be unhappy with the colour choice if it only bumped up the cost of the product less than a dollar.
Amiga user forever.
 

Offline yssing

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 03:17:22 PM »
Black PCB and red connector.
I don't have a CD32, always wanted one, but this is an awesome idea.
 

Offline vox

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 03:21:47 PM »
Quote from: Rebel-CD32;705454
Here is my idea for a new CD32 expansion which is small enough to fit inside the CD32 and have the expansion bay cover placed back on and screwed in (maybe not pushed all the way on, but enough to cover the hole).

So which looks better, the red PCB and black connector, or black PCB and red connector? Personally I prefer a red connector on a black PCB since it resembles the animal its named after more, and it just looks a bit different.


Very nice idea, but since CD32 is crippled A1200, even expanding it back to A1200 with fast mem is low specs Amiga. Small HDD and 030 would be most welcome to have a real usable computer
Future Acube and MOS supporter, fi di good, nothing fi di unprofessionals. Learn it harder way! http://www.youtube.com/user/rasvoja and https://www.facebook.com/rasvoja
 

Offline tone007

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Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 03:35:16 PM »
I like the red pcboard.
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Offline Matt_H

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 03:02:06 AM »
Hmmm, I might buy one of these. Color is of zero importance to me, so do whatever you want there. I would advise leaving enough clearance around the IDE port so that an IDE->CF adapter could be connected directly with no cable.

Too bad the supply of Subways has dried up. I wonder if we could convince/commission Jens or E3B to do a new clockport USB card with modern parts of sufficient supply...
 

Offline Sparky

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 07:29:12 AM »
Quote from: Rebel-CD32;705516
You'd be surprised how much a decent name and good looks go towards marketing a product, even in the Amiga market it wouldn't hurt to spend a few cents extra for something that'll have more resell value for the one who buys it. When someone is bragging about their system to a friend, a well-named card is easier to remember and go searching for, and a more noticeable card stands out well in photos, drawing attention to the mystery and coolness of having such an expansion added to the CD32.

I have seen Jens mention that he is able to produce his expansion connectors in any colour you desire, and I doubt it would add significantly to the cost. Often during these small production runs there is a choice of PCB colour, something that also barely changes the cost either. We're talking about the difference of cents per board, if that, so I don't think too many people would be unhappy with the colour choice if it only bumped up the cost of the product less than a dollar.


Maybe having an actual product to market might be the better place to start than the colour of the PCB ?
If you start learning electronics now you might be able to produce something in about 5 years .....
 

Offline Rebel-CD32

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2012, 09:42:04 AM »
Quote from: Sparky;705625
Maybe having an actual product to market might be the better place to start than the colour of the PCB ?
If you start learning electronics now you might be able to produce something in about 5 years .....


After reading the whole thread, you think this idea started with the colour of the PCB? I may not have a solid product to market but sharing ideas is better than nothing, and I'm already doing my best to contribute to the Amiga community with my other projects. Have you anything else to add other than smarmy critique?
Amiga user forever.
 

Offline Megamig

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 10:01:44 AM »
This is a excellent idea. For those who want a 030+ buy a big box Amiga or upgrade your A1200. I believe the target market would be those interested in creating a Amiga with WHDload on a CF/SD to IDE card.
Too many A500s
2x A1200 (3.1 DKB Cobra inc. Ferret)
A2000 HD
 

Offline Leffmann

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 11:16:27 AM »
Looks cool :) I would prefer the black board with red connector. I think it's great to see ideas like these, that's how things get started.
 

Offline Sparky

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 12:24:58 PM »
Quote from: Rebel-CD32;705638
After reading the whole thread, you think this idea started with the colour of the PCB? I may not have a solid product to market but sharing ideas is better than nothing, and I'm already doing my best to contribute to the Amiga community with my other projects. Have you anything else to add other than smarmy critique?


I wasn't trying to be smarmy just realistic and in the back of my mind I know I'd seen this post before somewhere else ....

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=39114

It's been 2 years to the day since you last bounced your idea ... and the only change I see is you've drawn a picture.

I'm all for ideas, but if you are so keen on it why not give it a go rather than cling onto the hope that someone smarter will do it for you ?  Pick up the books, buy a soldering iron, grab the CD32 schematics and see what you can whip up ?
 

Offline jackflash

Re: The "Redback" CD32 Expansion (8MB + IDE + Clockports)
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 02:04:22 PM »
actually that is 4 years
such an expansion would but nice but I think it should have an FPGA for softcore cpu and use SD or CF cards instead of IDE