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Old 23 July 2014, 15:27   #1
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Lightbulb Hardware Expansion ExoCase Crowdsource Design for A500/A600/A1200

Hi everyone,

This thread is an attempt to see if there is interest in the Amiga community to crowdsource and consequently crowdfund a unified ExoCase for hardware mods for the A500, A600 and A1200. I'll just start out by recognizing patterns and offering some starting points for this discussion. If you are good with 3D modelling and want to model something that approaches the descriptions, that would be awesome.

Even if the ExoCase never comes out, getting involved in the thought process can unravel new interesting ideas.


I love the aesthetics of integrated keyboard models (500, 600 & 1200) and at the same time I would love to expand my current A500+ gradually without destroying the original case. I.e., I want to be able to revert it to stock condition if necessary. At the same time, a good number of recent hardware expansions make it difficult, if not impossible to have many expansions cooperating without something dangling out.

Basic Design

Since there is a trapdoor connection underneath the Amigas, having a slim ExoCase sitting mostly underneath the Amiga seems like a valid constraint to start designing around. Also, the trap door opening offers a large passageway for internal cables inside the machine to reach the underneath expansions, such as for overriding chip sockets and internal connectors. On the left, a connector extender would rise up to connect to the left side expansion.

I'm quite aware an ExoCase would be incompatible with many current expansions on the market. Currently, I suggest just sticking to brainstorming without worrying too much about that factor for the moment, so we can first get the great ideas out.

A constraint for the underneath design is if you already have a height limit where you currently have your Amiga in operation (such as a slideout keyboard tray, or a monitor sitting partially on the Amiga). Alternatives are to expand the Amiga more on the sides and rear.

Overriding Rear Connectors

For some mods, such as emulating external floppy drives, intersecting the connectors' pins and overriding them, can be cumbersome inside the machine, so having a pass-through/override mechanism at the back of the Amiga (externally), might be an important part to consider for the case's design. Besides, if you don't remove the ExoCase frequently, you reduce the wear and tear on the original ports attached to the Amiga's motherboard, since you would wear and tear the pass-through ones in the expansion case.

The unavailability of new 23-pin connectors could pose an issue for this idea.

Other Ideas

I have some other ideas in stock for the ExoCase, but I'll avoid cluttering up the initial post and let other people take some credit on some ideas or steer it someplace I haven't thought of yet.

Have fun! (And happy 29th Anniversary, Amiga!)

Last edited by djukon; 23 July 2014 at 18:00. Reason: "Croud"? Seriously?!? Ah, "cloud" influence
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