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README.md

Tactical 6502/portable

My 2020 project.

Let me call it #6502portable.

It closes the loop between my starting point in 1986 and now. Like a Terminator time line, just backwards.

It's an Atari 800XL on a USB powerbank, video output captured into a Raspi on a 2nd powerbank.

Visuals inspired by Alien movie where computers look like they should. Released in 1979, the year of Atari 800.

I have rarely felt more satisfied.

#retrocomputing #retrohardware #atari8bit #cyberdeck

Atari 800XL in a box, portable

Goal

Work on the Atari with the real feeling. But be independent of the place in the living room.

The idea

Two epiphanies: there is an Atari 800XL power cord to be fed with USB on the other side. Power bank anyone? And there are video grabbers to provide captured video as USB device readable by VLC. The rest is history. Display on a Raspi. Put everything into a mobile suitcase.

Challenges

  1. Power support via USB is fragile when fed from a power bank. Every additional USB hub or cable makes it worse. Especially when driving raspi and display from a single powerbank.

  2. Cable routing in limited space. Big respect to the first laptop builders.

Where's the punk?

If this is cyber then where is the punk, I hear you ask.

My grandfather was a carpenter grandmaster. When he tried to teach me when I was 10 he quickly gave up - I was not qualified. Carving the front plate from wood anyway nearly 40 years later - that's my punk.

VLC cmd line

vlc --crop=444x271+20+52 --video-wallpaper --aspect-ratio=4:3 --no-video-title-show v4l:///dev/video0

Open topics

  1. No sound yet. Does the monitor output it, too?

  2. GPIO not yet accessible at the front plate.

  3. The video sometimes glitches. Interferences? Weak power? Looks great but irritates real work.

Diary in pictures

Power from USB:

Power from USB

Monitor to s-video:

Monitor to s-video

Video grabber:

Video grabber

Raspi 3B+ and 7-inch touchscreen:

Raspi 3B+ and 7-inch touchscreen

Atari 800XL:

Atari 800XL

Powerbank:

Powerbank

Sio2sd from Lotharek, SD card with disk images:

Sio2sd from Lotharek, SD card with disk images

Raspi 3B durign prototyping, later 3B+, and back to 3B again because 3B+ takes too much power and struggles at boot:

Raspi 3B durign prototyping, later 3B+, and back to 3B even later because 3B+ takes too much power

syslog video grabber:

syslog video grabber

/dev/video:

/dev/video

VLC:

VLC

Proof of concept:

Proof of concept

ATMAS-II booting:

ATMAS-II booting

ATMAS-II:

ATMAS-II

Suitcase:

Suitcase

Front plate, initial max size:

Front plate, initial max size

Front plate, shrunk for deeper position:

Front plate, shrunk for deeper position

Screews to wood, glue to plastics:

Screews to wood, glue to plastics

Heavy Metal, we are in space after all:

Heavy Metal, we are in space after all

Foam nearly ruined from too many experimenting:

Foam nearly ruined from too many experimenting

Protect the innocent:

Protect the innocent

Wear a mask:

Wear a mask

Thin foam base:

Thin foam base

If in doubt use the big powerbank that normally starts The Last V8:

If in doubt use the big powerbank that normally starts The Last V8

Stencils:

Stencils

Inner usb hub, soldered switch to be shut off devices:

Inner usb hub, soldered switch to be shut off devices

Big switch to disconnect inner usb hub (where video grabber), eg. for power saving:

Big switch to disconnect inner usb hub (where video grabber), eg. for power saving

GPIO prepared, but not yet outside:

GPIO prepared, but not yet outside

The Switch

ATMAS-II

Additional keyboard mountable for longer Raspi work:

Additional keyboard mountable for longer Raspi work

Cutting stencils manually:

Cutting stencils manually

Blutooth mini keyboard place:

Blutooth mini keyboard place

DATA, POWER, USB OFF:

DATA, POWER, USB OFF

Mig Alley Ace:

Mig Alley Ace

License

(c) 2020 eiZen https://mastodon.social/@eiZen

Instructions, text and images can be used freely.

Attribution 4.0 International - CC BY 4.0