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Supercharger Demo Unit Video


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#1 kevtris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:49 AM

I noticed that there's not much information on the internet about the Supercharger demo unit. There's an old thread about it and a few pictures floating around, but not much else.

Kind of a shame since it's a slightly insane feat of coding. The demo's around 8.5 minutes long and shows off half of the Supercharger game library or so, and even lets you play two of the games for a short time.

I posted a video of it running on my FPGA Atari 2600 (the demo unit, 2600, and Supercharger are all inside the same FPGA).

The entire video's here:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=MKEQ0aaYXWQ

A bit of technical background for those that like that sort of thing...

The demo unit's composed of no less than 9 EPROMs (8x 2764 and a 2732), a 6805 CPU (motorola?! heresy!!), and some other miscellanious hardware. It plugs into the joystick port and the 'charger's audio cable plugs into the device.

It first loads a bootstrap through the audio cable, then it uses the joystick port to transfer data 4 bits at a time. It can load an entire 6K block of data in about 1/4th of a second.

#2 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 1:23 AM

Thanks!

I'll add this video to our database.

8)

#3 cvga OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 8:41 AM

That was great! Thanks for posting. Any idea of how many demo units exist?

#4 kevtris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 10:34 AM

That was great! Thanks for posting. Any idea of how many demo units exist?


I don't know, but it's probably around 200-300ish. The black plastic box it is in was just a stock project box with a white label stuck on the top. I have only seen two personally. One was broken, and one was working. I fixed the broken one. The problem was one of the EPROMs was bad (something was loose under the window banging around which broke a few of the bond wires). Replaced the EPROM and it worked good.

#5 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 11:01 AM

Thanks for posting that up! What a great demo, and so early on too. The Starpath guys really had a great vision. Sure wish more would have come of it.

#6 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:20 PM

Ditto!

Really wish more arcade translations were made with this awesome peripheral. Frogger is incredible, but imagine a better Donkey Kong and Pac-Man alternative back in the day. A better Tutankham is another I'd liked to have seen. Zookeeper and Bagman would have been a cinch too.

Would be nice if homebrew developers would start supporting the Supercharger...

#7 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 12:44 PM

Well, there isn't a lot of point today. Harmony exceeds it's capability.

#8 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 1:26 PM

Well, there isn't a lot of point today. Harmony exceeds it's capability.


While I forgot about Harmony's Supercharger-like capabilities, it would still be nice if there was cross-platform compatibility that way. But you're saying the logical assumption today would be that nearly all Supercharger owners would likely own a Harmony... and vice-versa?

Okay, so lets put it this way... who's taking or plans on taking advantage of the extended RAM in Harmony then so that we may have more Supercharger (or better) like gaming on our 2600's? :P

#9 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 1:33 PM

Okay, so lets put it this way... who's taking or plans on taking advantage of the extended RAM in Harmony then so that we may have more Supercharger (or better) like gaming on our 2600's? :P


SpiceWare is making good use of the ARM chip in Harmony/Melody with his upcoming homebrews.

#10 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 2:25 PM

Exactly.

The extra CPU works like the PITFALL II game did, only it's generally applicable. In terms of basic improvement, the RAM access on the SC isn't as flexible, and large as the RAM on Harmony is.

I like the device, and I own one, and the idea at the time was ballsy and cool as hell. All good.

However, targeting it specifically today doesn't make a lot of sense, unless somebody wants to do that. Anyone interested in playing games on real hardware can easily get a Harmony cart, and given the added potential, likely will. Not everybody will be able to get a Supercharger.

Love loading games via MP3 player, etc... But, I like SD card or USB better still. For development / testing, a Harmony is hard to beat. Before that combination, a SC was a nice option to run things on the real deal. Still is, but not as nice as a Harmony cart is.

The one downside is for purists, where a modern CPU violates the idea of "how it could have been done back then." There are merits to that, but I really don't see a lot of issues, particularly given there were "boosts" put into the cart back then too. Overall, the extra CPU really doesn't change the flavor of the machine enough to be at issue.

#11 CPUWIZ ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 3:20 PM

I noticed that there's not much information on the internet about the Supercharger demo unit. There's an old thread about it and a few pictures floating around, but not much else.

Kind of a shame since it's a slightly insane feat of coding. The demo's around 8.5 minutes long and shows off half of the Supercharger game library or so, and even lets you play two of the games for a short time.

I posted a video of it running on my FPGA Atari 2600 (the demo unit, 2600, and Supercharger are all inside the same FPGA).

The entire video's here:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=MKEQ0aaYXWQ

A bit of technical background for those that like that sort of thing...

The demo unit's composed of no less than 9 EPROMs (8x 2764 and a 2732), a 6805 CPU (motorola?! heresy!!), and some other miscellanious hardware. It plugs into the joystick port and the 'charger's audio cable plugs into the device.

It first loads a bootstrap through the audio cable, then it uses the joystick port to transfer data 4 bits at a time. It can load an entire 6K block of data in about 1/4th of a second.


Welcome to the board Kevin.

I posted a picture and some videos of this unit almost 10 years ago. :D

http://www.atariage....store-demo-unit

#12 kevtris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2012 6:40 PM

Welcome to the board Kevin.

I posted a picture and some videos of this unit almost 10 years ago. :D

http://www.atariage....store-demo-unit


Thanks for the welcome :-)

Yeah I did run across that picture and video set in my travels, but there was no video of it up on youtube. Heck, there's not very many Supercharger videos to speak of at all.

Speaking (hehe) of videos, are there any videos or MP3s of what the atarivox sounds like while playing some of the newer homebrews like Strat-o-gems or Go Fish?


Also if anyone wants some videos posted on youtube of some 2600 stuff lemme know, I can run it on my FPGA and capture it and post it. I can run literally anything at this point other than Compumate and I'm working on getting that going too.

#13 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2012 9:25 AM

I noticed that there's not much information on the internet about the Supercharger demo unit. There's an old thread about it and a few pictures floating around, but not much else.

Kind of a shame since it's a slightly insane feat of coding. The demo's around 8.5 minutes long and shows off half of the Supercharger game library or so, and even lets you play two of the games for a short time.

I posted a video of it running on my FPGA Atari 2600 (the demo unit, 2600, and Supercharger are all inside the same FPGA).

The entire video's here:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=MKEQ0aaYXWQ

A bit of technical background for those that like that sort of thing...

The demo unit's composed of no less than 9 EPROMs (8x 2764 and a 2732), a 6805 CPU (motorola?! heresy!!), and some other miscellanious hardware. It plugs into the joystick port and the 'charger's audio cable plugs into the device.

It first loads a bootstrap through the audio cable, then it uses the joystick port to transfer data 4 bits at a time. It can load an entire 6K block of data in about 1/4th of a second.


Welcome to Atari Age and thank you for the video!
I sure would love the code to run this off of my Harmony someday and blow some minds!

#14 kevtris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2012 8:02 PM

thanks for the welcome! Yeah, it might be runnable on there. I posted full hardware documents in the programming forum if someone wanted to give it a shot. (it's in the mappers doc)

#15 batari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2012 11:47 PM

thanks for the welcome! Yeah, it might be runnable on there. I posted full hardware documents in the programming forum if someone wanted to give it a shot. (it's in the mappers doc)

Looks like it's possible to run on Harmony. Only thing missing is ... um... the ROM dump...




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