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March 8, 2009:
Atari Carcass New Mainboard
I made a promise to my son, AJ, that I would get this done before his birthday (June 5th). So, I am going to make a valiant stab at it.

I have everything except for the DC-DC power supply and I will get that ordered by this weekend.

I had to go back and use the orginal Atari case that I had purchased. The first layout attempt suffered from a lack of planning. This time it should work out fine. And this one, once I cleaned it up, looks a lot better.

The new mainboard is significantly smaller and more powerful to boot. I only set off the fire alarm once gutting the insides of the case.

New Mainboard

Here (to the left) is the new mainboard. All of the drives will be SATA, so it should be fairly speedy.

To the right is the original Atari mainboard. The dasThe Atari Mainboardh marks are where I am going to cut the top part off. I will then remove all of the switches. I will wire the on switch to the on switch on the top of the unit and the reset will go to the reset switch as well. I don't have any plans for the other switches at this time.

I have cut out all of the bottom supports so that the mainboard can fit all the way down to the bottom. Be careful when cutting plastic. The fumes are nasty and they will set off a smoke alarm. A bit more trimming and it will be ready for the mainboar to be mounted.

Base with supports removed.March 10, 2009: Got a bit more cutting and fitting done. The picture to the left Atari Mainboard salvaged bitsshows the initial cutting I did yesterday removing the inner supports. The picture to the right shows the bits I salvaged from the old Atari mainboard. The thin strip is to just fill the holes in the back of the unit. I may not use this unless I have room. The black piece in the middle is the cartridge receiver. Again, it will only be used if there is room for it. I will stick a gutted cartridge into the slot either way and use it as an exhaust port.

New main board in placeThe picture to the right shows the new main board in place holding the back plate in place as the styrene strip across the top dries. I temporarily held it in place with hot melt glue, then went back with plastic cement for a permenant bond. I will take a picture of the back after I finish cutting about an inch of plastic from the back, box it in with some more styrene. After I am happy with it, I will paint all of the exposed white styrene black.

Trimmed out back panelI finished up the back panel, finishing trimming up the back plastic. I decided against painting. I used different technique for cutting the plastic. I drilled a line of holes then cut between the holes. I finished it off with a knife and sanding. There were a lot less fumes and smoke!

Inner layoutAfter I finished off the back, I then went to work on the CDRom drive. I ended up with a USB enclosure for a laptop DVD/CDRW drive. The atom mainboard only has sata and I couldn't find a reasonably priced one. I will connect it to an internal USB header connector. I will also mount the wireless keyboard/mouse dongle internally as well.

The internal arrangement is shown to the left. I mounted the 160GB SATA hard drive on a set of rails I fabricated from sytrene then hot melt glued it down. The SATA data cable is connected in the picture. The power cable will have to wait (that is the part that I have to order).

Side View
Side View lid off

Top view with CDRom installed
Top view with CDRom installed
Side View
Side view with top on


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