MOCKING UP THE . DESIGN

Before starting the modifications to the Atari case, we’ll connect all the components together outside the case to make sure they function properly and without conflict. By mocking up the system like this, it will help you figure out if you need extra components and what parts (if any) you can discard. Also, by installing and configuring all the necessary software now. you’II find that when it’s time to stuff all the components into the case, the computer will be ready to power up right away. Mocking up the design also acts as an early “burn-in» test, so if there are any faulty components, they’ll hopefully fail now instead of once everything is fitted into the case.

Fitting all the components together is pretty straightforward and will vary depending on what parts you are using. If you have ever assembled a PC from parts before, the following steps should look familiar.

HARDWARE HARM. Be sure to take proper antistatic precautions before working with electronic circuitry. All electronics should be handled only at a static-safe workstation with electrostatic discharge mats and grounded wrist and ankle straps.

Fit components together.

1. Insert the DRAM into the DIMM slot.

2. Attach the power supply module to the ATX power supply connector.

3. Connect the CD/DVD to the primary IDE connector using ATA133 cable supplied with Mini-ITX. This is after you connect the slim-to-standard ATAPI/IDE adapter.

4. Connect the hard drive to the secondary IDE connector using the 2.5-inch laptop IDE hard drive cable adapter.

5. Attach the power cables to the hard drive and CD/DVD.

6. Attach the USB/FireWire backplane to the yellow USB connector on the motherboard marked with “USB» on the top silk screen.

7. Connect the USB hub and 802.11b wireless USB network interface card (NIC) to the USB ports on the back¬plane.

8. Connect the two Stelladaptors and the Logitech wireless mouse/key¬board receiver to the USB hub.

9. Attach a standard monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

10. Connect the DC power supply to the power connector.

Turn on the computer. You’ll need to use a jumper or screwdriver to momentarily short pins 6 and 8 of the F PANEL connector located near the PCI connector. The F PANEL connector is shown in the user’s manual provided with the motherboard. When we eventually fit the computer into the Atari case, those two pins will be soldered to the momentary Power On/Off switch on our control panel.

If the computer successfully powers on. the CPU fan will start spinning and you may hear your other devices conning to life. If the system does not start, immediately remove the power supply connection and recheck your connections to make sure they are all in the right places.

To enter the VIA BIOS configuration screen, hold down the Del key on your keyboard as soon as you power up the system. You will briefly see the logo and then be prompted with the screen for the Phoenix- AwardBIOS CMOS Setup Utility (see below). You might want to check the VIA for the latest BIOS revision before you get started. From the BIOS menu, you can set the time, ensure that the motherboard is detecting your devices, and configure the motherboard for your particular specifications.

The process of configuring Windows and installing software applications is not covered in depth here. The applications you choose to install depend on how you intend to use the system. For my system. I split the 60GB drive into two partitions. The C: drive, aptly named Boring, is 10GB and will hold the Windows OS and all other applications. The E: drive, aptly named Fun. is approximately 50GB and will be used to store my movies, emulators, and game images.

To prepare the original Atari circuit board for use in the Atari 2600PC. we first need to swap the toggle switch from the Power On/Off button (S201) with the momentary switch from the Game Select button (S203). This will give us the desired functionality described earlier. Having a spare Atari to use as parts can come in handy, in case you damage the switches while removing them from the board.

a. Remove two switches from the Atari control panel. Before the switches, remove the four circular pads from the tops of each switch and place them aside. They are easily lost and you won’t need them again until it is time to put the entire system back together.The two switches denoted with arrows should be removed.

b. Remove vertical traces from the switch pads. Before soldering the new switches into place, you need to cut two traces on each side of the circuit board. On both the front and back sides of the switch, marked S201 on the top silk screen (the right-most switch if you are looking at the bottom of the circuit board, as in the photo¬graph in step 6a). use an X-ACTO knife to cut the two thick vertical traces that connect the two sets of pads. This will allow a momentary switch to be used in place of the original toggle switch.

c. Bend the leads of the momentary switch to fit into the S201 foot¬print. The S203 momentary switch that is going into the S201 footprint is slightly too wide and won’t fit in with¬out modification. Simply use needle- nose pliers to bend the pins inward so they fit into the pads, and then solder them into place.

d. Insert the toggle switch you removed from the S201 into the inner pads of the S203 footprint and solder it into place.

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