neff
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:46 am

Atari RISC Workstation

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:40 am

So, I've had this Raspberry Pi for a little over six months now, and it's been hanging around. Quite literally, I would often find it hanging on one of the plugged-in wires. Transporting it, plus the usual peripherals of choice was also a spaghetti mess as well. Then I dug out an old, dusty external hard drive I had leftover from my pile of Atari ST stuff I sold long ago.

Image

The 30MB ST-238 hard drive inside died long ago, and I haven't any Atari stuff left to use this old thing with, so I tore out the logic board, the hard drive, and everything else but the LED panel and the power supply, which I decided to reuse. I've had some issues with stability and peripheral devices using the 700mA Blackberry charger, and with 3A available on the 5v side of this power supply, I should have plenty of current to spare from now on.

Image

Preparing it to feed my pi all the juice it should ever need...

Image

Image

This was a start, but still a bit on the light side. After all, that case was mostly still empty! So I dug around and found an external drive with a dead hard drive in the casing. I tore out the controller board and mated it with a working 320GB drive I had laying around. I initially tried to mount it in the metal cage the external was packed in, but the drive ran a bit hot for my comfort in there, so I opted for removing the cage later on. In addition, the drive, plus controller demanded more amperage than was available on the Atari power supply's 12v side, so I ended up popping the circuit board out of the power brick, moving it inside the case and wiring it in parallel with the Atari board, after the power switch. A power LED was wired in, and the HDD activity pads on the controller were wired to the activity LED on the front panel. By this time, I was ready to call it a night. I slapped the lid on, wired it into my bedroom TV and fell asleep watching Bill Hicks on the Atari.

Image

Image

Today, I found myself with some free time, and looked the thing over again. More like, picked it up and heard loose boards rattle inside. It was meant to be a test fit anyway. And it was awfully dirty, still. I felt it was time to tear it back down, give the case a good bath in the dishwasher, and perhaps have a second go at organizing the inside and stabilizing everything.

Image

Image

Finally, it was clean inside and out, cleanly laid out, and secure enough to be held upside down and shaken with the lid off. I had the slight misfortune of having the top half bend slightly in the dishwasher, but once it's screwed on, it pulls down to lay flat as it should. The HDMI and RCA cords are tucked out one of the back holes (Hey, that's how we did it in the Apple II days...) after being looped around one of the internal pillars for strain relief. For now, it's finished. It's exclusively used over SSH, for now. But there's room for future upgrades! (Internal USB hub is certainly planned in the near future, and perhaps proper panels on the back with plug-in ports, rather than the tails it has now.)

Hope you enjoyed :)

freeman
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:57 am
Location: European Union
Contact: Website

Re: Atari RISC Workstation

Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:06 am

Very good work. I am impressed. I am ATARI fan, and want to insert raspberry into old ATARI 800XL box. Do you know any web resources about it?
-----
Tomas Freeman

NuIotaChi
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:15 pm

Re: Atari RISC Workstation

Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:42 pm

freeman wrote:Very good work. I am impressed. I am ATARI fan, and want to insert raspberry into old ATARI 800XL box. Do you know any web resources about it?
I'm sure it's doable. The only real difficulty would be the keyboard. You'd have to find an old USB keyboard (not the capacitive type) and work out the keyboard matrix. Then hack the wiring on the 800XL keyboard to the new matrix. Fiddly, but possible.

ramstrong
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:14 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Atari RISC Workstation

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:02 pm

Or you can cheat and use a wireless keyboard instead. That way, you don't have to mess around with keyboard wires at all!
Raspberry Pi Journal: http://simpletongeek.blogspot.com/p/raspberry-pi-journal-directory_4.html

cabe
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Atari RISC Workstation

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:12 pm

That's a cracking case for the Pi, plenty of room for expansion and other toys. Nice!

As I think others will also wish to re-case Pi's into classic hardware, people should investigate cleaners/whiteners such as retr0brite or other cream peroxides to restore their former glories.

Caveat, these are chemicals folks, used "other than directed". Be sensible and do your reading :)

Frogrocker
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:18 pm

Re: Atari RISC Workstation

Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:05 pm

This is really cool, reminds me of an Atari project of my own which I hope to start soon.

Return to “Other projects”