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Form Factor

We have the circuitry designed and are about to build a prototype. Our original design was from scratch using a Z80, but doing everything from scratch was going to make the unit way too expensive to build, so we've taken a different direction now. We are instead making a shield for Arduino Mega 2560 and using existing cheaply available modules to buld the system. For example a real-time clock board that is only about $7 and an optoisolated 8 relay board for <$15 (you couldn't buy the parts for either of these for those prices). The shield is designed so you can stack other shields on top of it and passes throuch the ICSP connector so you could still use the ethernet & SD sheild. Or a pH shield, etc. There will still be plenty of pins left for your own usage and additions as well. Any ideas? Please use the Contact Us page or leave a comment... we really want to hear them. The following are from the original Z80 design, now scrapped: You can download a short video of the software running under emulation here: 20121013_Emulator.avi The black console box is what you would normally see if you connected to the unit's serial port with your computer. The LCD box in the main emulator window shows what you would see if an optional LCD screen was hooked up to the AP Controller. What we need to decide on now is a form factor for the motherboard. A lot of enclosures (boxes) are really expensive, so if anyone knows of an enclosure there is a lot of surplus of and available cheap we could design the board to fit it. Another possibility is to design to the screw pattern of a FlexATX motherboard, then it could be used in a lot of regular PC cases. They are way oversized for our needs though, and the PCBs would cost more and have a lot of empty space on them.