3rd August 2021
Oh no! We hit a snag with ROMXe. My mainboards (here in Australia) are international Apple //e's and the spacing between the CD and EF ROM sockets is 0.7". That is what I designed the ROMXe board layout around, stupidly assuming that the US mainboard would be the same, and not bothering to ask Jeff to check it. Well, it turns out that the US boards are 0.6" spacing between ROMs! The slot width between the main ROMXe board and the EF adapter is only 2mm, so even after breaking the boards and clipping back the bridges we are 0.54mm too wide.
Only one thing for it - Rev 2!
Rev 2 totally separates the main ROMXe board from the EF adapter, using micro connectors and 50mm cables to link them. When installed in a US board there is approx 0.5mm spacing between the boards which stretches to just over 3mm in an international model. And of course for a platinum (single CF ROM socket) you don't install the EF adapter at all.
Now there are actually a few manufacturing advantages with this layout such as 20 boards on a panel versus 12 (although there will also be a separate 20 board panel for the EF adapter, but that one can be done in 2 layers versus 4 for ROMXe), so in retrospect we should have gone down this path in the beginning - live and learn!
So does this delay sales of ROMXe? Yes - a little. A couple of weeks maybe. I've just about finished the new panels and hope to submit them for manufacture later this week. Does it delay Beta testing? Not really - we will run with the Rev1 boards and run some wires to the EF socket. There are only 2 signals used in the EF socket (well, 3 in a Rev A board but we wont be beta testing Rev A) so we will likely just run some wires from the main board to pins that can be pushed into the EF socket to pick up the required signals.
We also took the opportunity to clean up the layout and I think it looks better because of it.