Atari Falcon case exchange to desktop

After one and half decade I’ve managed to put my best Atari configuration into a case. Most of the time I’ve spent with bare motherboard, millions of cords, hard drives and a brick like psu’s which occupied alot of my desk space and gathered dust. Moving all of this to another place was always problematic. Until now.
The main problem with Atari Falcon mainboards is that they have nonstandard size, so most people put everything in big tower (to other types of cases motherboard simply doesn’t fit at all). I had such configuration for some time (made by Team Computers), but everything was too big to handle. Hopefully I’ve managed to get C-LAB Mk X case (on eBay), which is tailored for Atari Falcons. As a remainder C-LAB was a german company which, several years ago, modified Atari Falcon motherboards especially for musicians – fixing standard Falcon’s motherboard aliments introduced by Atari, adding extra audio outputs, exchanging internal IDE hard disc to internal scsi drives (which were faster on than IDE on original machines and more suitable for direct to disc recording), removing bass boost from sound output and so on. They rebranded and sold computers as ‘C-LAB’, so Atari logo wasn’t present on cases.

The tools/components which I’ve used:

  • Dremel multitool and sunglasess – no kidding, alot of metal cutting and sparks. C-LAB metal case is hard and thick, metal sawdust is bad for eyes, really.
  • driller with metal drills – some holes has to be made.
  • iron clamps – drilling / cutting some elements in hands isn’t very bright idea
  • glue gun – attaching elements / components / cables to metal case, filling holes etc.
  • soldering iron
  • thin wire – to connect buttons / dipswitch to CT60 board
  • two buttons and one dipswitch – buttons for power on / off, reset and dipswitch (for switching between CT60 / f030 modes)
  • isolation tape
  • superglue and glue for plastic
  • dvi splitter – with DVI and HDMI outputs
  • CompactFlash adapter with IDE cable

Cutting metal was most hardest thing to do, I had to:

  • Rear panel – make two holes for audio input / output minijacks (they were replaced in C-LAB’s with four jacks), SvethLana ethernet port, SuperVidel HDMI / DVI outputs and CT60 / f030 mode dip switch. They are not pretty, I know, I’ve started without proper tools,I’ve learned the hard way and scarred alot rear panel ;).
  • Right panel (from the front) – drill two holes for power / reset buttons.
  • Internal case mount – I had to cut several regions to make possible fitting CT60 with SuperVidel, expose IDE port (my 2,5″->3,5″ converter was little too high), cut fragment to make some space for DVI splitter – I’ve cut some plastic on the bottom of converter to make it fit better and drilled small hole to attach Svethlana with a screw.
  • Attached picoPSU power socket from Kuba Husak (thanks!), which blinds old power cable hole. I had to convert it, because I had another type of socket in my power adapter.
  • Put some isolation tape in two places to not risk short circuit: above RAM and on upper part of case (in area where SDRAM or PicoPSU can touch case).

And that’s basically all.

Further possible modifications (for which I was too lazy):

  • adding additional CompactFlash adapter and exposing it on a rear – this would mean extra rear panel and internal mount cutting
  • adding hdd indicator led – currently only power on is connected
  • adding 4mb / 14mb ST-RAM switch (,but I think this is pretty useless, maybe a little for software testing purposes). This of course depends on ram card you are using, some of them doesn’t have switch like this.
  • mount FDI (Falcon Digital Interface) internally for extra SPDIF / optical sound output, but that means *alot* of soldering. Just count a number of pins in external DSP port..
  • repaint

And some pictures of an end result:

ct60 case

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