In my last big order from a ubiquitous Chinese e-commerce site, I ordered FIVE Gotek drives, earmarked for a variety of systems, including my Amiga 1200 (when it gets built), my Amiga 600 and the Atari STᴱ.
I had a cunning plan, and one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet recently was that I’ve been working on the plan.
You see, one of the things I don’t like with the Gotek is, by default, it has only got a 3×7 segment display, and a pair of buttons to run things. I wanted upgrades in the form of a nice big OLED display and a rotary dial. But where to put them? When I’d been working on the Archimedes, I’d had the clever idea to mount the screen on a cable, and that seemed to work well. I wanted to take that to the next level, so I’d been thinking about the design for a while.
The long linear connector of the design for the Archimedes took up space and was not very elegant. A better design was needed. I knew I only needed 7 wires.
“Seven you say? Surely the rotary encoder needs 5 and the OLED needs 4. Isn’t that nine?”
Aha! you’ve been fooled! The GND and +3.3V pins are shared between the Rotary encoder and the OLED, and the Rotary encoder actually only needs 4 pins not 5.
I decided on using a DuPont connector for the computers and Pin Header for the OLED Display. I settled on a pin being removed to make sure the connector couldn’t be plugged in backwards and from there a 2×4 row of pins was the logical size.
I sat down with the Wiki and carefully plotted out my pins. Then I looked at them again and rearranged the pins completely to be more logical 😀
Grabbing out the crimper I made up the socket in about 40 minutes. Note to self, next time use multicoloured “rainbow” wires. They’re a lot easier to keep track of what pin goes where.
At this point I made the other half. This consisted, on the connector side, of some experimenter’s board, some pin header and a zip tie for strain relief. I soldered on some nice flexible 8 core cable and soldered on the OLED and rotary encoder to the other end.
At this point I tested everything and it worked as planned.
I’d already flashed the Goteks with FlashFloppy, but I needed to get some more pin header, with 2 rows and a right angle, as if the pins stick straight up, you can’t close the case. A quick trip to Altronics fixed that. Now the connectors could lie flat inside the case.
Next I 3D printed two different styles of bracket (one for the Amiga 600 and one for the STᴱ to hold the DuPont connectors in place. A dab of super glue and the whole things were done on the computer side.
Next up I printed up a nice case for the OLED and the Rotary dial. It’s almost good enough for release. I need to tweak some dimensions but it still looks good.
Finally, having accidentally shorted two wires and severed a third, I resoldered the connector, covered it in hot glue, then a piece of cloth that I’d impregnated with hot glue, then finally gently heated the whole thing so everything hot glue bonded together. THis gives me an incredibly strong connector I can easily remove.
I’m very happy with this!