Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Atarieterno »

I think the important issue is that the Lightning ST device includes two excellent options: IDE and USB ports; therefore other existing storage options are very respectable but they are different.
My request is to build two ST options, the STf/fm range and the STe that the Mega STe could also use.
I have an STfm and of course I will reinforce it with that device, but I also have STe and I think it is more important to reinforce this computer model with the advantages it has over the STfm.
I have Thunder, Storm, and Lightning VME on two computers; I'm happy with those creations, the STe also deserves that expansion.
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Bikerbob »

stormy wrote:Mega STE has internal ASCI, so you can use the UltraSatan either externally or internally. I don't see the requirement for IDE when there is such a solution available.
That is a funny response. ..because the exact same thing could be said about any ST machine they all come with an external asci port.. so why do they need IDE. Why need USB or hdd.. floppies and original mice work.

The why is because... because it's a hobby. Because if it could be done for the TT and the ST.. WHY NOT the megaSTE.

Instead of telling me what I can do or not.. why not if your part of the design group just explain the decision. . Was it too difficult? Was the plcc cpu an issue?

I fork over money no issues for items.. if I want them I don't complain about costs. But just being told to be quiet and use what you have ... well I don't appreciate that much thanks.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by guus.assmann »

Thanks for the efford of making this hardware. :-)
Veru curious about the price......

As for the question of IDE for all models: It would enable me to take one CF-card and use that on all models.
This is a very nice way to exchange a lot of data at once.
So use a relatively small card to boot from and a second (big) one to have the data to be exchanged.
For me, it would make testing a program on all models a lot easier.
For now, I can start doing this using a USB-Stick. (However I have more CF-cards....)

BR/
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by stormy »

Bikerbob wrote:
stormy wrote:Mega STE has internal ASCI, so you can use the UltraSatan either externally or internally. I don't see the requirement for IDE when there is such a solution available.
That is a funny response. ..because the exact same thing could be said about any ST machine they all come with an external asci port.. so why do they need IDE. Why need USB or hdd.. floppies and original mice work.

The why is because... because it's a hobby. Because if it could be done for the TT and the ST.. WHY NOT the megaSTE.

Instead of telling me what I can do or not.. why not if your part of the design group just explain the decision. . Was it too difficult? Was the plcc cpu an issue?

I fork over money no issues for items.. if I want them I don't complain about costs. But just being told to be quiet and use what you have ... well I don't appreciate that much thanks.

James
Well it's obviously the plcc cpu making the design more complicated, and then secondarily you would want to release hardware for the largest amount of user base. I am not part of the design team, just a spectator.
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

As mentioned in the past, we (the Thunder, Storm, Lightning development team) also have other obligations (job, family, etc.) and therefore only have the resources to work at one project at a time. So, how do we chose what do to?

1. We go to Atari/retro meetings and talk to the people there about what they're missing the most for their computers. Same thing we do on forums.
2. A project needs to cool and challenging. Remember, a certain motivation is required -- let's say after a 10 h work day -- to sit down and work on a project until late in the night.
3. It has to be financially viable. While we're extremely grateful for users like James ("I fork over money no issues for items.. if I want them I don't complain about costs."), by far not everyone thinks that way. We've already had people telling us they'd buy if only the product was cheaper. We incur significant costs during product development. While we don't mind advancing this money from our own pockets, we very much like not to make too much of a loss with our projects. Therefore, it's hard to justify projects that would end up so expensive to make that only a handful of really committed buyers remained.

Regarding IDE on a MegaSTE: It's indeed a bit of a challenge to make a fully-working IDE interface for it. E.g., see this thread http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 09#p311109. Although this would arguably fulfill point no. 2. But also the PLCC plug poses a mechanical problem. I'd really like to know where Alan sourced the PLCC plugs for his MonSTer cards, considering that they seem to work reliably.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by joska »

czietz wrote:The Lightning ST is an addon board for Atari ST/STm/STf/STfm/MegaST and it offers...

1. USB interface compatible to the Lightning VME:
- Drivers for TOS, MagiC, MiNT.
- Supported devices: USB mice, keyboards, storage (like USB flash drives), printer.

2. IDE interface with the same features as the Thunder IDE:
- Falcon-compatible interface usable with all hard-disk drivers
- Smartswap feature allows fast access to PC-compatible (i.e. byte-swapped) media for easy data exchange

3. TOS decoder for TOS 2 or EmuTOS 256k:
- Note: ROMs are not included on the board, needs external TOS ROM board (or flying wiring)
Interesting piece of hardware, but... I have MonSTer cards in all my (usable) ST's. Is it possible to disable the Lightning IDE so it can be used together with existing IDE interfaces?
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

joska wrote:Interesting piece of hardware, but... I have MonSTer cards in all my (usable) ST's. Is it possible to disable the Lightning IDE so it can be used together with existing IDE interfaces?
IDE can be disabled via a jumper.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by TXG/MNX »

@czietz can you build an adapter board with this plcc

https://nl.rs-online.com/mobile/p/plcc-sockets/2446896/

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

TXG/MNX wrote:@czietz can you build an adapter board with this plcc
https://nl.rs-online.com/mobile/p/plcc-sockets/2446896/
Someone could presumably build an adapter with that, yes. Do you know whether Winslow plugs make reliable contact, for many years?

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by guus.assmann »

Frank Lukas has (almost) made an adaptor like this.
It should not be difficult to change the PCB he made, to use the plug.

BR/
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by tuxie »

Hi,
as czietz already mentioned, we all have Family and also an Job where we have to work. The ST version was one of the version what we preferred because there are more ST out then STe. The ST isn´t in our focus for extensions. In our focus is the stepmother treated Atari TT, and we already working on new extension for the TT. If someone want build an adapter to bring it To STe... can do it.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Atarieterno »

I hope that any dialogue or opinion is not interpreted as a criticism or an attack on the volunteer work of the developers (we all have family, work, problems, achievements, failures, joys, penalties, a pet ...).
I will try to express myself in English, to see if I can get you to understand me:
- I am going to buy the Lightning ST, of course, I have an STfm and I also buy everything that is going on in the Atari scene, I actively collaborate at my enthusiastic user level and spend my money on Atari things. I think it's a great device and it's a great initiative, I thank you for that.
- I have almost all Atari models of 16 and 32 bits, but the last one I will use frequently is the STfm because it is weaker (obviously) than the STe with 4 Mby and other improvements, so I would like a Lightning STe version.
- I suppose there are more STfm than STe, but Thunder / Storm for TT has also been created and it has not been done because it is the most widespread computer in the Atari community; We are only asking about the possibility of adapting the Lightning ST for the STe model, we are not insulting the developers or demanding anything.
- Maybe one day a conversation thread can begin without degenerating into preventive defenses, direct attacks or nuclear tests ...
Greetings to the entire community, developers, users and collectors.
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

Atarieterno, I don't take any offence when you and others want a Lightning STE really bad. But please understand that right now there's no such thing -- and it's nothing we could make in a couple of days, anyway. If someone wants to make an adapter board, we're of course interested in seeing how that works out, particularly in terms of mechanical design (height, reliability of the PLCC plug contacts, etc.).

But please let's keep this thread focused on the upcoming release of the Lightning ST.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

See the Lightning ST in action here: https://youtu.be/Lb41v0ZSMGA

PS: If everything goes according to plan, we'll announce the price and start taking orders within a week or so.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Timnaber »

This is fantastic.
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by dhedberg »

Absolutely fabulous! Awesome work!
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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by dma »

Great piece of hardware to come.

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by wongck »

Wow looks a very well made nice piece of PCB. Great that ST will have proper USB.
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Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs - Ready to order!

Post by czietz »

I'm happy to announce that the first batch of the Lightning ST (USB & IDE add-on card for STs) has been manufactured and tested. Thus, the Lightning ST is now ready to be ordered!

Price: 110 EUR (incl. worldwide shipping), for which you will not only get the card itself but also accessories (USB bracket, IDE cable, power cable, etc.).

Please place your orders via email: thunderstorm@tuxie.de. (Do not post you orders in this thread, instead, as the email address is our official channel for orders.)

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Re: Pre-announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

PS: See the photo for everything included in the delivery when you order your Lightning ST:
Lieferumfang.JPG
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Re: Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by fiveofive »

Wow, that looks like an awesome product. Thanks for the great work for our community!
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Re: Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Atarieterno »

I have already ordered it.
Where are the assembly instructions?
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Re: Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by czietz »

Atarieterno wrote:I have already ordered it.
Where are the assembly instructions?
A README text is on the floppy, a guide with photos will be posted to the newtosworld wiki.

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Re: Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Atarieterno »

czietz wrote:
Atarieterno wrote:I have already ordered it.
Where are the assembly instructions?
A README text is on the floppy, a guide with photos will be posted to the newtosworld wiki.
OKAY.
Now I am waiting for the answer for the payment method and give my address.
I guess the delay is normal.
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Re: Announcing the Lightning ST - USB & IDE for STs

Post by Fujiyama »

Wow! Great work Czietz!
A quick question: will it allow USB keyboards and mice to be attached, or is this only for USB memory sticks (for transferring files between the ST and other computers)?

Also, are you considering adding ALT-memory (like the MonSTer) to it, or will this demand a complete redesign of the board?
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