First development board rendered

May 22, 2019
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I like this design. My first thought is that this looks like it's the same size as a µATX motherboard, so we can use standard PC enclosures to hold it.... and my second thought is to wonder about the expansion ports.

Those ports don't have enough pins to address the system bus, plus various control and status lines. Will these ports be tied specifically to just the I/O area?
 
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The8BitGuy

The 8-Bit Guy
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May 16, 2019
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I like this design. My first thought is that this looks like it's the same size as a µATX motherboard, so we can use standard PC enclosures to hold it.... and my second thought is to wonder about the expansion ports.

Those ports don't have enough pins to address the system bus, plus various control and status lines. Will these ports be tied specifically to just the I/O area?
Yes, the goal is to eventually use a standard case. As for the expansion ports, they do not break out the entire address bus. The way it is setup is that each expansion header has 32 bytes of addressable space that is unique to that expansion port. This should make it easy to add other chips, such as a SID chip for example.
 
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May 22, 2019
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Thanks, David. And that makes a lot of sense - limiting each port to a 32 byte range is a great idea. This makes it possible to always know the addresses an I/O device will use, and prevents all the problems that C64 expansion port splitters have had (ie: this device won't work with that device because they both use the same I/O addresses.)

And I'm totally on board with using a standard ATX/ITX form factor. I'm still holding out hope that I can use my C64X chassis for something other than a paperweight. =)
 

exile

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Jul 26, 2019
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A small question why you have chosen AY-3-9810, what I can see is that production has ceased (wikipedia). Sure is on ebay right now in over flow but in 2 years?
And why do you have two 65C22?
Component cost looks to be quite high? over $ 50 if I guess.
Which makes it difficult to meet the price ceiling mentioned in the video "Building my dream computer - Part 1"


Wouldn't you be able to move some functions to FPGA / CPLD that you use for video?
 

The8BitGuy

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A small question why you have chosen AY-3-9810, what I can see is that production has ceased (wikipedia). Sure is on ebay right now in over flow but in 2 years?
There are still companies manufacturing clones in China. And we have suppliers here who have quoted to have over 100,000 in stock. So, it is still an "off the shelf part" as far as we're concerned.
And why do you have two 65C22?
Why wouldn't we? All Commodore machines have two of them. We needed them as well.
Component cost looks to be quite high? over $ 50 if I guess.
Which makes it difficult to meet the price ceiling mentioned in the video "Building my dream computer - Part 1"
I think you haven't been keeping up with the flow of information. We decided to build the computer as a fully DIP package system for the first go around. And yes, the parts count for this board is at around $65 and counting at this point, not to mention labor and shipping, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if the final board is over $200. However, the plan is to start shipping this board at whatever price point is needed. Then, over time we will continue to cost-reduce it by using surface mount parts, integrating more things into programmable logic, etc. And eventually, someday we'll get the whole thing condensed down to a single FPGA with a RAM chip or something, so that the cost can be more affordable. But at least at that point we aren't emulating a fictional computer, it will be a real computer.
 

exile

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Jul 26, 2019
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Thanks for your reply
I think you haven't been keeping up with the flow of information.
Sorry but don't have facebook or is there more information on another page?
Frankly, I haven't looked around much about the development for Commander X16. Sorry:oops:

Why wouldn't we? All Commodore machines have two of them. We needed them as well.
Since you were going to use a PS2 keyboard, I thought you could do it with just one.
To reduce the cost. But since cost is no longer a problem, it does not matter.


I hope it succeeds :)
 
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May 22, 2019
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Will the Commander X16 be available as Kit or Turn-key?

Sorry if this was answered on FB, but I really can't stand FB.
There will definitely be a fully assembled computer product - probably more than one model. I don’t think they know yet whether they’ll be able to offer a kit version, but David did note that a kit version would actually be no cheaper than the turnkey solutions.

I guess once you engage an assembly house to build systems, it’s cheaper to ship fully assembled units than to deal with the logistics of packing and shipping discrete components.
 
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Ironnerd

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Seems reasonable enough. I was mostly just curious. But it just seems like the kind of project that would appeal to the do-it-yerself crowd.

There will always be those weird few for whom saving money is not the goal of buying a kit. It is the satisfaction of building it that drives the desire. For most of use, however, plugging it in and flipping the switch is nearly as satisfying. Were I looking to bring such a thing to market... I would go fully assembled as well.
 

Leon

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Sep 13, 2019
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Like the idea of a new 8-bit computer, my 2-cents after watching the video is don't get rid of the clock divider but make it programmable. Jumpers are for fixed settings that make sense to be fixed although for the prototype phase they are ok now. If you need any help, i have developed 8-bit SBC's for a profession back in the days.