PRE-ORDER is open! $98 each. Go!
Well, the day (or night, depending) has come! I'm finally going to get off my duff and get these out! For the first run I need to do pre-orders to cover the parts and manufacturing costs. The price is $98 per unit. I was hoping for a little less, but that's what is all worked out to be. So, let's see how bad everyone really wants this... :-) 100 is the minimum batch size.
For the impatient, head over to the CodeHackCreate Store (http://codehackcreate.com/store
) and place your pre-order. BUT, please read the whole description before placing an order! I don't want to deter anyone, but I don't want anyone to be surprised either. The order page contains a lot of information that I will, for the most part, repeat here.
PLEASE use the store to check out. Yes it required PayPal, but that's really the only viable option for me right now. If you *absolutely* have to send me a money order, then fine, PM me, but please consider the CHC store checkout first. Thanks.
RETURNS IN CASE OF PROBLEMS
There is a $6.30 non-refundable fee in case there is a problem getting the boards made. That cost is essentially the fees to refund the money back to you. Obviously this is not a situation I want to get in to, but in the event things go for the worse, everyone needs to be aware that a 100% refund will not be possible.
Since the F18A uses an FPGA, it is not possible for the F18A to power-on as quickly as the original VDP. In some instances when a system is turned on and comes out of power-on reset before the F18A is ready, the system may hang or not start correctly. Usually a simple power-off / power-on will correct the problem, or if your system has a real reset button, that should also remedy the problem. The F18A needs about 100 milliseconds to come ready after power is applied, compared to the original 9918A's power-on requirement of only a few microseconds.
Most systems use an resistor and capacitor as an RC-time constant to control the power-on reset time, and in systems with known fast power-on reset times, a simple modification to make the resistor or capacitor lager will extend the reset time and make a reliable power-on for the F18A enabled system.
Information will be available soon for systems where the power-on reset time might need to be extended.
This is a PRE-ORDER for the first run of F18A V1.3 video boards. The cut-off date will be February 24th, or when a quantity of 100, 250, or 500 has been reached.
Turn-around time is approximately 3 weeks, but may vary. Updates will be posted as I get more information during a run.
In the event where some number of pre-orders between those numbers listed above is obtained, I will try to fund the balance to bump to the next level. If I cannot, the lower amount batch will be run and I will push for a second batch to fulfill the remainder. If that does not work, refunds (see above) will be issued.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!
The F18A is a pin-compatible replacement for the TMS9918A, 9928, and 9929 Video Data Processors used in classic home computers and game systems. The F18A has been tested in the following systems:
TI-99/4A Home Computer
ColecoVison Game Console
ColecoVision Adam Computer
Toshiba HX-10 MSX1 Computer
SpectraVideo 328 Computer
Tommy Tutor (by Feb 24th)
The F18A is functionally compatible with the 9918A and works in both NTSC and PAL systems. In the case of PAL, your system interrupt will function at 60Hz with the F18A installed. 50Hz operation is not an option. The output is a standard 640x480, 60Hz, analog VGA signal. The composite output of your system will no longer be active.
Note that certain systems require the original VDP to be desoldered and a socket put in its place. Systems known to require the installation of a socket are the ColecoVision (and Adam) and SpectraVideo 328. The F18A does NOT come with a socket, although kits for various systems may be available in the future. Please make sure you have the means to replace your original VDP with a socket if necessary.
The F18A CANNOT be "piggy backed" on to the original VDP. Do not try this, it will not work and will probably damage your system and the F18A.
The F18A is not currently field upgradable. If a bug is found, an upgrade service will be available for the cost of return shipping, which is about $5 U.S., and $15 everywhere else. There may be a European upgrade option via the Beta Testers, but that has yet to be set up.
Each board will be programmed and tested in a real computer system prior to shipping. If your board does not work, it can be returned for a replacement as long as there is no obvious physical or electrical damage due to mishandling or improper installment.
While I have done everything possible to ensure the F18A is 100% compatible with the original 9918A, I make no claims or guarantees that the F18A will work with every system or software where the original VDP works. It is possible I got something wrong and some software may not run properly. I will do everything I can to correct any bugs that are found after the boards are shipped.
Yes, there are currently a few remaining bugs that I hope to have worked out by the time the boards come in. At least now I have a fire under my ass.
There are some additional features I'd like to get in as well, so we will see what happens. I also hope to make some install videos, as well as programming information for the enhancements.
Edited by matthew180, Thu Feb 9, 2012 9:23 PM.