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This Ti-99/4a pic always makes me laugh


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#26 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 17, 2014 9:55 AM

The Amiga 500 also uses the side car system. I have a hdd/8 mb memory expension and a action replay mkII in the side of my Amiga.

#27 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 17, 2014 3:49 PM

There were actually five sidecar units produced by TI in the two years before the PEB was released in mid-1982. The RS-232 (two ports, no parallel port as that was introduced with the PEB card), the 32K memory, and the Disk Controller (up to 3 SSSD drives) wre the most common (I have all three). The other two were very difficult to find. I know of about three Video Controller sidecar boxes and two Video Controller PEB cards in the wild. They are rare. The other one was the p-Code Peripheral--I've only ever seen one of them, but they were sold for about a year. Then you have the Speech Synthesizer, the Thermal Printer, and lastly, the Hex-Bus Interface. I have a wide array of third-party sidecars too (including one of those Myarc MPES-50s), from the US and from Europe.



#28 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 18, 2014 4:49 PM

I have a disk controller sidecar and a second one, I think it's the 32k, but might be rs232. Neither worked when my dad sent 'em my way. He bought them in the mid-80's at the huge flea markets down in Mesa, AZ. I dinked around with heavy eyeballing and some metering, but knowing nothing about 'em, I boxed them up for storage.

 

With lots of board fabrication, enclosure-cloning and mold-making expertise here on the board, I wonder if there's some untapped potential inside that roomy box?

-Ed


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Sun May 18, 2014 4:52 PM.


#29 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 18, 2014 7:36 PM

I have a disk controller sidecar and a second one, I think it's the 32k, but might be rs232. Neither worked when my dad sent 'em my way. He bought them in the mid-80's at the huge flea markets down in Mesa, AZ. I dinked around with heavy eyeballing and some metering, but knowing nothing about 'em, I boxed them up for storage.

 

With lots of board fabrication, enclosure-cloning and mold-making expertise here on the board, I wonder if there's some untapped potential inside that roomy box?

-Ed

 

O Yeah!  Lot's of potential, for what future project, I have no clue.  Now, getting someone interested in taking on a project like that will be harder than herding cats.  Good luck.



#30 jmetal88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 18, 2014 8:27 PM

I would really like a disk controller sidecar for my TI-99/4a.  I'd love to be able to read and write floppies, but I don't want to commit the space to a PEB when the disk drive is likely all I'd use it for.  Well, that and maybe memory expansion, but I've read about some internal mods you can do for memory expansion, and I'd probably rather try that than go for an attachment.  I am also looking into the CF7+ and NanoPEB, though.  I e-mailed the person making them, and they're surprisingly more affordable than I would have thought, so I might go for one of those and settle for disk images rather than the more authentic experience, but this is probably the only one of my vintage computers I'd be willing to do that with (though I was almost willing to do it with my CoCo 2 and 3 via DriveWire until I found a cheap controller PCB for sale on eBay that I was able to modify to suit my purposes).



#31 Mobsie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 21, 2014 3:15 AM

One of my CreatiVision, not as strange as the Ti but not bad.
CV1.jpg


#32 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 21, 2014 8:55 AM

 I'd love to be able to read and write floppies, but I don't want to commit the space to a PEB when the disk drive is likely all I'd use it for.

 

I have limited space too, but one day it came to me... "turn the box on it's side" (like a tower case).  It worked for me!

 

gallery_35324_1064_1499393.jpg



#33 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 21, 2014 11:14 AM

 

I have limited space too, but one day it came to me... "turn the box on it's side" (like a tower case).  It worked for me!

I've been doing that too since we moved.  I think I like it better that way because the box is closer at hand - and it saves space :).



#34 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 26, 2014 9:17 AM

I've been doing that too since we moved.  I think I like it better that way because the box is closer at hand - and it saves space :).

 

I've actually been toying with the idea of getting some rubber feet (LIKE THESE) to attach to the side.  



#35 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 26, 2014 11:37 AM

 

I've actually been toying with the idea of getting some rubber feet (LIKE THESE) to attach to the side.  

Not a bad idea - just make sure that you put it on a side you plan on keeping the PEB on for a while (I keep mine to the left of the monitor, so the PEB sits on its right side, with the disks at the bottom).  Otherwise, if you change your mind, you'll either have feet on the 'top' of the PEB, or you'll have to look at the bottom of the PEB, which is hardly its better looking side ;).



#36 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 26, 2014 6:20 PM

Not a bad idea - just make sure that you put it on a side you plan on keeping the PEB on for a while (I keep mine to the left of the monitor, so the PEB sits on its right side, with the disks at the bottom).  Otherwise, if you change your mind, you'll either have feet on the 'top' of the PEB, or you'll have to look at the bottom of the PEB, which is hardly its better looking side ;).

 

So true!  I have it sitting on a small towel at the moment because that one bloody screw scratched the surface of the armoire.



#37 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2017 8:19 PM

Boy am I glad I found this thread.  Ever since I read about the video controller, and the potential ability to read/write to VCR tapes, I have been intrigued, but everything I had ever read heretofore had suggested that the video controller was never actually produced.

 

And yet, lo and behold.

 

Mad Hatter, I see you are still occasionally active on the boards.  Did you ever get your video controller up and running with a VCR?  Why is it only compatible with certain VCRs?  Any VCR I have ever seen has certain standard inputs and outputs and that's it, so I'm curious.  Does your video controller have a serial number?  I wonder how many were, in fact, produced.

 

I would LOVE to play with that thing (not asking, just a fond wish!).



#38 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2017 9:25 PM

As a note, I personally know of about 7-8 of the sidecar video controllers in the wild (I own one), along with a similar number of the Video Controller cards for the PEB. These cards were intended more for the industrial market as opposed to the consumer market, so most of the ones sold back then were probably landfilled by the companies that bought them once they had been appropriately amortized. Based on the schematics (I posted them in the documentation project thread a couple of weeks ago), the Sony and Panasonic drives they were designed to use had different cabling requirements. There was also supposedly a laser disk cable set for them. The drives were a lot more proprietary at that point in time too, as these weren't your typical VHS or Beta-max drives--they were the wider, industrial tapes that preceded them.  Those connections hadn't standardized across the industry yet either, so you really had to have the right cables to connect them to anything. I think I have a set of Sony cables with mine--but I don't have one of the Sony 1" machines to play around with.



#39 kl99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:01 AM

Boy am I glad I found this thread.  Ever since I read about the video controller, and the potential ability to read/write to VCR tapes, I have been intrigued, but everything I had ever read heretofore had suggested that the video controller was never actually produced.

 

And yet, lo and behold.

 

Mad Hatter, I see you are still occasionally active on the boards.  Did you ever get your video controller up and running with a VCR?  Why is it only compatible with certain VCRs?  Any VCR I have ever seen has certain standard inputs and outputs and that's it, so I'm curious.  Does your video controller have a serial number?  I wonder how many were, in fact, produced.

 

I would LOVE to play with that thing (not asking, just a fond wish!).

 

Afaik the compatibility is only established, if the VCR can be controlled via a port. So the commands for STOP/PLAY/PAUSE/FORWARD/REWIND can be triggered from external.

Every company had its own standard for such a port, therefore you required to match their standard by getting the right cable/box.

Since such a port increases production costs, only a few models are equipped with it.

 

I imagine the TI Video Controller as an early version of such stand alone devices:

http://www.oldvcr.tv.../98-NV-A500.jpg

 

However since it's programmable, it's more powerful from that side. On the other side I guess a stand alone device has the advantage of nicer way to input.

 

My PEB Video Controller Card doesn't have any serial numbers. It's propably from the Prototype Labs from TI.
http://www.ti99.eu/?...id=1223&lang=en

http://www.ti99.eu/?...id=2447&lang=en


Edited by kl99, Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:09 AM.


#40 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:12 PM

Ksarul and kl99, where did you get your controllers from?  Are you the "original" owners?



#41 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:16 PM

I purchased mine from the original owner two years ago. He bought most of his stuff firectly from the TI Employee store back when the TI was still being manufactured. I know that the PEB cards did actually make it into retail stores (if in very limited numbers), as Dhein's identified PHP1290 as being in stock and available in their 1985 catalog. I have to look, but I'm also pretty sure my sidecar is a production box, not a prototype. I also have a production p-Code sidecar--which is even harder to find than the Video Controllers (I know of exactly two that survive, mine and a prototype that MDUDE sold about ten years ago).



#42 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:30 PM

You know? Until I read through this thread I had forgotten that I have seen a video controller in the wild functioning. Back in 1989, I was at the US Army recruiting center in Anaheim and the recruiter had me go through a video course on learning about the army, it was a laser disc controlled by a TI-99/4a, I remember mentioning to the recruiter that I had one of those computers at home and was impressed that it could control a laser disc player. I haven't thought about that at all until I came across this thread.

 

It's not the only consumer system I ran into in the army

 

During basic training we had rifle range simulators that ran on Commodore 64's called MACS, they later switched to super nintendos, basically it was a decommisioned M-16 with a light gun attachment and a solenoid to simulate bolt action, so you could practice for your rifle qualification

 

http://oai.dtic.mil/...ifier=ADA217593

 

http://retrogamersoc...ys-macs-system/

 


Edited by LASooner, Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:32 PM.


#43 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:18 PM

I wonder how well that translated into real shooting accuracy given the fuzziness of the light gun targeting...



#44 AuTomato OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:26 PM

 

I have limited space too, but one day it came to me... "turn the box on it's side" (like a tower case).  It worked for me!

 

gallery_35324_1064_1499393.jpg

That is a damned fine looking joystick you've built there.



#45 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:15 PM

I purchased mine from the original owner two years ago. He bought most of his stuff firectly from the TI Employee store back when the TI was still being manufactured. I know that the PEB cards did actually make it into retail stores (if in very limited numbers), as Dhein's identified PHP1290 as being in stock and available in their 1985 catalog. I have to look, but I'm also pretty sure my sidecar is a production box, not a prototype. I also have a production p-Code sidecar--which is even harder to find than the Video Controllers (I know of exactly two that survive, mine and a prototype that MDUDE sold about ten years ago).

 

Here is what "ninerpedia" has to say about the video controller, FWIW.  They seem to think the sidecar version never made it out of prototype stage:

 

The Video Controller allowed connection of several models of videotape recorders and laser disk players to be connected to the TI-99/4A. It was designed to allow interactive instruction using a combination of computer software running on the machine and video instruction materials retrieved from the tape or laser disk as part of the lesson. The Video Controller was listed on TI price lists in 1981, but the device failed the necessary FCC certification, and so could not be sold to consumers. It could be used in industrial environments, but was apparently never put into production for that market. Only a few prototypes survive. It maintains full forward compatibility with the Video Controller


#46 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:21 PM

Same Site suggests the p-Code sidecar you speak of may be "vaporware," so if you have one you may want to edit it: 

 

http://www.ninerpedi...decar_expansion

 

What is the p-Code sidecar anyway?



#47 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:42 AM

They seem to think the sidecar version never made it out of prototype stage:

 

Hint: "They" is mostly "us", many authors are also active here in this forum. Use "View History" to see who contributed which text. If you want to participate (it's a Wiki, yes), you can create an account, and I'll be happy to activate it for you. :)



#48 mozartpc27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:37 AM

I should have figured there was "cross-over," but I am - I confess it - a dabbler in the TI-99/4A community, as you can probably tell by my sig.  My main interest is Commodore, but I picked up a TI-99/4A at a retro convention near Philly a couple of years ago and I have played around with the machine.  Need to get a storage device so I can REALLY play around with it, but I prefer 5.25" disks to tapes and that gets a little pricey/difficult with the TI-99/4A, it would seem.



#49 schmitzi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:35 PM

This controller still lives in Germany:

 

Attached File  TI-Video-Controller-SideCar-DSCF9706.jpg   72.42KB   2 downloads Attached File  TI-Video-Controller-SideCar-DSCF9707.jpg   75.08KB   2 downloads

 

Attached File  TI-Video-Controller-SideCar-DSCF9708.jpg   59.77KB   3 downloads Attached File  TI-Video-Controller-SideCar-DSCF9709.jpg   103.42KB   3 downloads

 

 



#50 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:31 PM

A 1:10 ratio? Wow.

The PEB is what separated the casual from the serious(I refuse to use the word "hardcore") users.

 

The rich from the poor is more like it.






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