Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

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Faucon2001
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Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:43 am

Hi,

I have started to work on a desktop case for my STE in order to fit inside the H&N and VGA board.
I have found an interesting supplier doing prototypes to small series.
This is the first sketch I sent for a quote, which fits a STE motherboard + H&N board + VGA card + ultrasatan + ICD SCI converter and IDE SSD, and there is still room for a floppy full size and a little bit more.
The size is 455*270*62, it's build in 18 gauge steel, painted and digitally color printed
Image
Image
Image
The price including shipping (from the US to Mexico, should be more or less the same for Europe) is 260$ + 40$ setup fee + 40$ printing setup
Not cheap but 80$ are one time costs, so if we order multiples, it's becoming more interesting, and I have not negotiated small series price yet.
Of course this is still in conceptual stage and I am also working on a desktoper style top and a 19" 2U rack specifically sized for ST / Falcon motherboard. I won't go for the 3 of them but have not decided yet.

Is there any interest to join this project?
Philippe

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Atari030 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:57 am

Very cool. Just a thought, but you could have a solid open strip along the back rather than punched port cutouts. That way you could accommodate any Atari, including Falcon, as long as you leave the lower shielding on the board.

My tower is pretty rough, but you should get the idea.

Image

If it could accommodate a Falcon I'd be interested. Fan, Slim CD support and ZIP drive or CF space would also be nice. :D

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:54 am

Good idea. I am not sure if it can be done on all the length as it will surely weaken the back panel, but I should be able to a common denominator and keep some parts for rigidity.
The eight on this first draft is 62 mm, it should be increased to 70 mm in the end.
Philippe

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby ctirad » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:01 am

I appreciate your effort, but I don't thik there will be much buyers for that price. Also a special version for each Atari machine would be needed, because of different conector layout.

Personaly, I would focus on a desktopper style "lid" that would reuse the bottom part of the Atari case with the connectors and thus would fit on any machine. I would also use moulded plastic. The moulding form would be quite expensive, but the case itself will be very cheap and for 100+ cases the price should be very reasonable.
Last edited by ctirad on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Zarchos » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:02 am

ctirad wrote:I appreciate your effort, but I don't thik there will be much buyers for that price. Also a special version for each Atari machine would be needed, because of different conector layout.

Personaly, I would focus on a desktopper style "lid" that would reuse the bottom part of the Atari case with the connectors and thus would fit on any machine. I would also use moulded plastic. The moulding form would be quite expensive, but the case itself will be very cheap and for 100+ of the the price should be very reasonable.


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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby joska » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:03 am

ctirad wrote:Personaly, I would focus on a desktopper style "lid" that would reuse the bottom part of the Atari case with the connectors and thus would fit on any machine.


I agree, that would keep the costs down and you'll have far more potential customers.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Zogging Hell » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:18 am

I'd be almost up for either (with a preference for the desktopper style if it is strong enough to support a monitor), I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that I'll never get the time to do my own build, and the Falcon lies gathering dust :(. A grill in the top would be quite nice, as it would be more in keeping with the original style :)
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby ldv-01 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:24 am

Nice project. I am interested in one for my Falcon CT60. Remind me somehow the Falcon CLab MKX case. BTW, the CLab case has an internal metal layer to support floppy / hard drives and other internal HW and openings in the front panel for a floppy and a CD. I agree with Jo Even on having a separate back panel to support both ST and Falcons..

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby cyberish » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:21 pm

Definitely interested! What about color codes ?

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby simonsunnyboy » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:23 pm

I would prefer a DDD looklike top shell instead of a complete case. It should provide some means to use PC keyboard and mice too.
Of those I would certainly buy one or two.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby rpineau » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:13 pm

i think most of us have the same issue. The bottoms of our machine are fine but we need replacement for the top to allow us to put all the nice extension we can find nowadays.
I would like just a top too as it would fit ST/STE/Falcon. I might also want one for MSTE/TT to have more space for my own extensions.
As for 3D printing.. you'll need a large printer (mine only does 15x15x15 cm so not big enough) or a way to print the design in multiple parts and may be glue them together after.
I'll definitely be interested in a new top case for STFM and Falcon.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby ryan » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:46 pm

If this case could be fitted with rack ears to fit in a 19" rack, I'd be game, even at that high price.

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:35 pm

Ctirad : Price is high, that's the issue with small personalized series, but if it is produced 10 pieces together it should lower around 250$ (TBC). Remember also that it includes international shipment and that the case weight 2,3 Kg.

Regarding the Desktoper case, I agree this will be the most universal and cheaper solution and that's why after this first sketch I am working on it. More to come.

Molded plastic may look attractive, but an injection mold cost between 10k to 100K$ (or more), difficult to pay it back with 100 pieces.
If you refer to heat formed or bended plastic sheets, I have localized a company doing this kind of prototype, I can ask for a quote, but I doubt that the case will withstand the weight of a monitor, and my LCD weight 8 kg !

Zarcos : I haven't find any 3D printing solution for such a big size : the case is 455 mm wide and many printer won't do more than 300 mm. An alternative option would be to print it by parts and glue them together, but I doubt it would resist the weight of a monitor, and 3 D printing is not especially cheap.

Ldv-01 : Well, difficult not to be influenced by the Falcon Clab MKX case, such a nice design. I agree, I definitely need to look at a back panel solution in order to limit the number of model. Regarding floppy, I didn't think to keep one at the beginning but in the end it should come back. Now I have an issue with what model to punch in. I know at least 3 different types of floppy fronts and sizes, between the STF shaped front with full size drive and big rhomboid button, STE shaped front with small height drive and small rhomboid eject button and Falcon squared PC type front. I guess I will go with the Falcon one as it is more universal, but that means that many will have to change the drive. Regarding CD ROM, 5"1/4 size or laptop size? You are pointing one of the limit of this project, which is personalization vs price. As it is prototype everything can be personalized, and I will provide different drawings, but in this case the 300$ won't be reduced. I will come back later on that.

For the case color : http://www.protocase.com/products/mater ... r-coat.php
Printing is digitally done and in color, front and back.

Simonsunnyboy : can you be more precise? Do you mean punched holes for an Eiffel interface for example? So far I have just put an Atari keyboard connector on the back. As I don't know any still produced interface for PC keyboard, I guess no, but if you know a solution, you are welcome.

Ryan : The case shown is not compatible with a 19" rack ( 3 mm too wide). But I have like 10 mm margin inside the case that I can optimize in order to have space put rack ears. Good point, it will reduce the range to 2 models.

Thinking about it ,another option could be with the desktoper. The Atari base case if 475 mm wide, so do the desktoper, space between screw on a 19" rack are 465 mm, so I have 5 mm both sides to set bolts, may be tight but it seems possible. The only issue is that you may need to place case behind the 19" rail as the space between rails is 452 mm. I am going to dig into this direction

Just to be clear, I am proposing to design different type of cases, find a supplier, negotiate production and shipment costs, and try to group as much order as possible in one run to decrease cost. After everybody will deal directly with the supplier for payment, options, color and delivery. I won't buy a stock, won't finance anything and I won't receive 1 cent from the supplier I have been working with ; I am not even married with him so if you know better ones, please fill free.
As many of you have pointed out, the name of the game is to design a standard model which can fit most of the needs.
So far I got :
9 interests
Desktoper appears to be the preferred option, with racking option
floppy drive cut in the front,
keyboard connector in the back,
support for 3" 1/4 HDD
18 gauge folded rolled steel
Powder coated with personalized tint
Digital printing front and back panel

Should you need additional holes or options, and don't want to cut it yourself, the 40$ setup fee will apply to the case. I will provide different options in drawing.

Thanks all for your feed back : it confirms the interest for a Desktoper style case. So I go back to my drawing board and work on it.
Philippe

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby TheNameOfTheGame » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:59 pm

Have you any industrial or university large 3-d printers local? May be an option to get a 1-piece desktopper type produced, although I admit I have no idea if it would be cost prohibitive or not. :shrug:

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby bugs » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:07 am

There have been so many case projects over the years that never came to fruition. I hope this one sees the light.

If making 1 giant slot at the back changes the structural integrity is it possible to have the back plane as an insertable plate? The rack housing is common and you select your falcon, ste, stfm backplane. ?
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:18 am

Unfortunately I haven't found big 3D printers in Mexico. Max size was 300 x 300
This project will come to life because I need 2 cases for me. Now that I opened the idea it's going to put more pressure on me, better :-)
Afterward, would people really join and would we reach a better price, I don't know.

The removable backplate is the best solution. I am more thinking at a bolted plate. With 6x M3 screws it will bring back rigidity the box.
Remember that I will work first on the desktoper which doesn't need backplate.
Philippe

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby joska » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:15 am

Faucon2001 wrote:Regarding CD ROM, 5"1/4 size or laptop size? You are pointing one of the limit of this project, which is personalization vs price. As it is prototype everything can be personalized, and I will provide different drawings, but in this case the 300$ won't be reduced.


WIth all the stuff available now, people are replacing harddrives with CF/SD storage, and floppy drives with Gotek or HxC. I think very few people would want to "ruin" this by sticking a huge, powerconsuming optical device from the 90's in there. Yes, some will but IMO this option will occupy a lot of space (both inside and on the front of the case) that most people will never use.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Atari030 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:20 am

I could probably source quite a few cheap slimline (server/laptop) IDE DVDroms for cheap if needs be. If I could donate them to you, Faucon, I'd be happy to do so if you want to cover postage. Post from Aussie might be a bit prohibitive though.

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Maeke » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:24 am

bugs wrote:There have been so many case projects over the years that never came to fruition. I hope this one sees the light.

If making 1 giant slot at the back changes the structural integrity is it possible to have the back plane as an insertable plate? The rack housing is common and you select your falcon, ste, stfm backplane. ?


Don't forget that french stes don't have the rf module, so it will need a removable metal part here to avoid an unused hole on this stes, same thing for the stf, with a removable metal part it will ensure compatibility with stfm (in fact we could have only one back plane for stf/fm/e (if you wan't to understand my plot, look at pc motherboards with optional ports)).

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby catmando » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:49 am

I would be interested in just the top section, no need to complicate things by producing a base with all the different port holes across all the machines.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby spiny » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:24 am

I'd go for the swappable back plate - with bolts it'll be plenty strong enough, plus as a flast pience it should be cheap to (literally) stamp them out.

slightly off topic, but I'd like 'case' for a standard STFM keyboard, so I can use one as an external unit.

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:49 pm

I am on a trip now for a week. I will answer in detail later.
Keyboard case is feasible to reuse the actual keyboard, it won't be very nice (industrial case) but rock solid.
It's on the todo list when I'll be back home.
Philippe

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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:35 pm

The keyboard connecting solution could be made with an Arduino acting as the IKBD. It would be less compatible but ok for most things I guess.
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:40 pm

BTW DDD case looks like this, basically a cover for the old keyboard to make the Falcon look like a desktop box with power switch in front:
Atari Falcon DDD side view.JPG
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Re: Project : desktop case for ST and Falcon

Postby Faucon2001 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:08 pm

Thanks, I didn't remember that the DDD was only 1/2 of the cover.
The desktoper I develop will replace the top cover as I need more height to fit the H&N board + VGA card. Roughly 2 cm higher. Otherwise the concept is similar v
Philippe

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