Project rePAK

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Shockwav3
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Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:13 am

Just a quick announcement:
I've managed to get my hands on a full set of empty PAK68/3-030A, PAK68/2, FRAK/2, Panther/2 and PuPla/2 boards which most of you might be familiar with.
Considering those boards are 15-20 years old and widely inaccessible nowadays (except for the Panther/2 and PuPla/2 for which remaining stock is actually around), occasionally reach quite hight prices on eBay and considering they still remain the fastest speeders for the ST/STE series I've decided to recreate Gerber files (PCB manufacturing files) for them so fellow atarians can enjoy this great project by Holger Zimmermann and Roland Skuplik originally published in the german c't magazine.

I'm virtually done with the PuPla/2 and FRAK/2 (of which I've created a version [FRAK/2A] which already has all fixes mentioned in the manual in the actual design, so no more jumpwires) and I've started on the PAK68/3 2 days ago and expect to be done with recreating the Gerbers within the next 2 weeks.

But this isn't going to be an announcement only, there's also one remaining "issue" around before one can strip naked and throw PAK PCBs all over the community.
While the 2 original authors have always been _very_ helpful in the past, there's such a thing as copyright around which is valid for 70 years in Germany, therefore before I could release the Gerbers one would have to get the allowance from the current copyright holder, which is most likely the publisher of the c't mag, known as Heise Verlag. Currently spending a decent amount of my free time on the vectorization, I wanted to ask if anyone of you would actually want to get involved in copyright negotiations with Heise (not promising anything, but looking at the story that happened with the "Atari ST Profibuch" that got released as a free .pdf shows copyright holders might actually be cool with such undertakings). Sure one could always go with the "grey area"-approach, but why not do things nice and correctly?

To get you started here are some additional previews of the PCBs I've already finished:
http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/2152/frakclone.jpg
http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/7786/puplaeagle.jpg
Last edited by Shockwav3 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Nikolas » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:30 am

if all will be ok..
I want board maybe without components, lateron i can add components my self, who knows
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Dal » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:36 am

Interesting indeed! You can definitely put me down for PAK68/3-030A + FRAK/2 + PuPla/2. I already have a Panther/2, but may take another depending on price.

What kind of help are you looking for? You might want to get in touch with Darklord as he has established contact with Holgar Zimmerman who will certainly be able to help you.
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Dal » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:41 am

I presume you already know about this site:
http://www.wrsonline.de/atari_index.html
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Nikolas » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:00 am

off topic.
on top cpu board as ide controller for compact flash card slot.
Thats will be great too
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:14 am

Dal wrote:What kind of help are you looking for? You might want to get in touch with Darklord as he has established contact with Holgar Zimmerman who will certainly be able to help you.
I've been in occasional contact with Holger and Roland since *scratches head* 5 years or so ;) Who (like I said) have been incredibly helpful supplying first hand support, advice, clearing up that they don't hold the copyright even tho it's their first-hand intellectual property, etc.

I'm looking for someone to actually approach heise (or possibly emedia who kept some stock of PAK68/2 & PAK68/3 boards til 2010) getting clearance to release the Gerber/.pcb files ... usually e-mailing the right person and a little patience will do the job.
And while I appreciate orders already popping in, I'll have to disappoint you at this point, since I have no interest to produce PCBs myself (except for single prototypes maybe to make sure everything is correct) - but I assume with the gerbers being open to everyone, if this works out, that's one of the least worries (lotharek maybe?). About Panther/2 and PuPla/2 boards, patjomki on here has bought the remaining stock from Roland Skuplik a while ago, pricing is 15€ for a Panther/2 set of 2 boards (CPU and bus board) and 10€ for a PuPla/2 board. He also has Gabi GAL-programmer boards for 10€ each.
Last edited by Shockwav3 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:20 am

Nikolas wrote:off topic.
on top cpu board as ide controller for compact flash card slot.
Thats will be great too
There's already enough other solutions around. Before anyone goes "y u no add 060, ddr-ram, pci-e x16, supervidel support and firebee compatibilty", the aim of this is to preserve a project that's doing exactly what it should while only fixing minor existing issues/bugs rather than adding features.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby DarkLord » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:38 am

Impressive stuff!

My experience with Holger has been most positive as well. Although a very busy
person, he took time out to make a set of modified PAK TOS v3.06 files for me,
in English even. :)

I agree with trying to do things right. Athlord on the forums here helped me a lot
too, and he lives in Germany - maybe he can approach the parties you mentioned?

I also think that this is the kind of (very) interesting project that Lotharek might
be approached about.

Thanks for all the hard work!
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:56 pm

Just a quite update: here's a POVRay rendering of the PAK68/3-030A since today has been very productive with me finishing off the top layer of the board
http://imageshack.us/a/img809/5719/pak.png

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby TheNameOfTheGame » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:55 pm

Shockwav3 wrote:Just a quite update: here's a POVRay rendering of the PAK68/3-030A since today has been very productive with me finishing off the top layer of the board
http://imageshack.us/a/img809/5719/pak.png


Nice work! Very interesting thread.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby qq1975b » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:14 pm

Yes, really interesting. Hope it goes ahead. :)
Trying to learn...

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:45 pm

Like I said ... it's mostly up to you whether I can release the PCB files or not - since I don't intend to do everything on my own and prefer to stay on the technical side of things :) And no, grey-area isn't exactly an acceptable option to me.
So far the feedback has been a mixed bag, everyone seems really enthusiastic and goes "here take my money, pls" but goes into whistle-and-slowly-move-away-mode after leaving a "that's an incredible effort, thumbs up" once they realize I'm also asking for something other than money. As a small extra, you'll get your name on the silkscreen if you get the copyright/distribution-right issue resolved, so go ahead folks :D On the other hand, I'm young enough to actually see the copyright expire in the dawn of my life.
If everything works out nicely and fails in the end due to the lack of someone producing the boards, I might do a small batch (prepayment only) - but that's still a bit ahead since my Panther/2 boards haven't arrived yet and all boards still need a final touch-up once the scans have been retraced (normalizing drills, checking clearance between traces, double-checking no trace got lost/wrong connections added).

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Dal » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:27 pm

For a kick-off, I think it would need to be someone who is fluent in German to be able to track him down. I googled the name and a load of stuff came up but without a firm grasp of the language it was difficult to determine who is the right guy.

Also, if I wrote to him in pigeon/google German, then I'm bound to mess it up. It's not that I don't want to help, I just think it would be better coming from someone who will be able to articulate the case without putting their foot in it or coming across in the wrong tone.

It's a shame Holgar wasn't able to help as he would certainly be perfectly placed given his connection to the products. If you haven't already done so, then a plea on http://www.atari-home.de might be a good idea.
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:55 pm

Dal wrote:It's a shame Holgar wasn't able to help as he would certainly be perfectly placed given his connection to the products. If you haven't already done so, then a plea on http://www.atari-home.de might be a good idea.
I've done so already before posting the "announcement" on here :) Same thing over there - maybe announcing it on the german "Verein zum erhalt klassischer Computer" (club for preservation of classic computers) will help, which is already planned from my side.
I think I've written with Roland of wrsonline.de (and possibly Holger [not Holgar ;)]) about releasing the pcb/gerber files in 2008/2009, basic reply was that the files have been lost and they never held the copyright, as they designed it for the c't magazine (which is owned by heise) - which is common practice in case anyone wonders (just like Atari holds the copyright for the ST, rather than Shiraz Shivji).

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Dal » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:06 am

Shockwav3 wrote:
Dal wrote:It's a shame Holgar ...
(and possibly Holger [not Holgar ;)])


:oops: Ouch! I think this very much proves my point!
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby emcclariion » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:38 am

Put me down for one?
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Top and bottom layers are done, multilayers will be done later today
Image

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Short update: the design for the FRAK/2A has been finalized

Image

Code: Select all

Changelog:
New name: FRAK/2A
Ripped up traces are already reflected in the layout
5.25" Molexsocket moved to top side (fixed swapped trace, added different form, so no more hotglue needed)
3.5" Molexsocket moved slightly
Removed DIP-8 oscillator
All additional parts added by the PCB patches are in 1206 SMD placed on the bottom side
Patch 1 hardwired (bottom layer)
Patch 2 hardwired (both layers) + resistor (68ohm) added
Patch 3a hardwired (top layer)
Patch 3b hardwired + cap (100nf) added (both layers)
Patch 4 hardwired (top & bottom layer (0.4mm trace))
Patch 5 hardwired (bottom layer (0.4mm trace))
Patch 6 hardwired + Resistor added (1.5kOhm, bottom layer)
Patch 7 Via (1mm) added
Patch 8 hardwired (both layers) + resistor (150Ohm) added

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:17 pm

Good news everyone, heise confirmed they're cool with the PCB files being uploaded.
Therefore expect the PCB files some time soon once I confirmed everything is correct with the layout.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby ralcool » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:41 am

That is totally excellent.

Will you be putting the re-design to copper to see if they work?... early days yet.....

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:01 am

ralcool wrote:Will you be putting the re-design to copper to see if they work?... early days yet.....
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if that's going to happen any time soon from my side.
Currently visiting university, 90€s for a single prototype is quite a jab at my wallet.
Conceptually the source for errors was kept as small as possible, combined with great care and doublechecking everything I'm 99.98% certain boards made from the reversed files will work.

EDIT: I'm virtually done with a replica-grade PAK68/3, some internal fixes coming and possibly an optional feature coming.

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Wed May 01, 2013 8:29 pm

I consider the files on the PAK68/3 finished, just not ready for release yet.
If for some reason anyone wants the gerbers never the less, feel free to drop me a PM

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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Dark Willow » Fri May 03, 2013 9:36 am

Hope all goes well with this. I always thought the PAK/Panther/Frak boards were a great idea.
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby DarkLord » Fri May 03, 2013 11:43 am

Me too! :lol:
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Re: Project rePAK

Postby Shockwav3 » Fri May 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Just to tease you a little more, here's a current changelog for the PAK68/3:

Code: Select all

04/28
Slightly upsized the outer dimension border (3.81mm [1.5 DIP rasters] from the outmost solder joint)
Different symbol used for tantalum capacitors

04/29
Moved BS tag (Bestückungsseite/Component Side) to the top copper layer
Moved LS tag (Lötseite/Solder side)
Named IC on the underside U24 for internal use

04/30
Named solderbridge on the underside J13 for internal use
Slightly moved cap C43 and replaced it with a 2.5mm grid one, rearranged 5 tracks.
Started naming signals for internal use/debugging, refered to the names used in c't 11/93
Moved the CON2/U7 tags to better represent their orientation

05/01
Added more ground connections for the FRAK/2 addon (which will get a new revision to reflect these changes)
- GND to CON1 Pin6 (previously unused)
- GND to U20 Pin1 and U21 Pin1 (previously connected to /TWE2, no change in functionality. Switching is still done by Pin19 on U20 & U21)

05/02
Changed line width to 9mil to go with most PCB manufacturer's design rules

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