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DINA system: some questions


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#1 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 12:37 AM

I've got some questions about this system I'm hoping some of you might be able to answer:

1.) Does anyone have a scan of the Telegames Personal Arcade manual, or any paperwork associated with the DINA/Personal Arcade?

2.) The system's video processor is a TMS9918A. I'm pretty sure mine got cooked at some point (when I first power the system on, I get a black screen with a white static line or two across the middle; eventually, you can make out garbled graphics, and even more eventually, the video display will be correct...sometimes). I have some spare TI99/4a systems I could cannibalize another 9918A from, and I have a semi-working Colecovision I could pull a 9928A out of. I want to do a video mod (actually I have to; I tried to retune the RF output to Channel 3 and I think I broke the adjustor...it's stuck somewhere between Channel 6 and Channel 7 now). Would you recommend the 9918A or 9928A for this?

3.) Could the DINA's Taiwanese BIOS be swapped out for Colecovision one? I think I'd just leave it the way it is, but I'm curious. I thought the green splash screen with the Chinese logo* was odd at first, but it's kind of grown on me.

4.) Is it possible to mod the Pause button to work with Colecovision cartridges? Or would that require additional components, as with the Atari 2600 Pause Kit?

5.) There are two spaces on the board near the BIOS/ROM where it looks like ICs were designed/intended to be placed, but were not. I read somewhere that some Colecovision controller ICs could go there, allowing full use of the Colecovision controller (and, presumably, the Roller and Super Action Controllers as well) and keypad. Can anyone confirm this?

6.) What the heck is the expansion port for? Apparently no expansion devices for either the Colecovision or SG-1000 are compatible with it. Was Bit Corp. planning to release an expansion for the DINA themselves?

Thanks!

:)



*I understand this to read "Chuang Zao Zhe 50," which was the original name of the DINA console as conceived by Bit Corp.

#2 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 9:46 AM

TMS9918A gives good picture on composite
audio on Dina in another story though...

there are differences in bios with colecovision,
still the ultimate sd cart does not work on the 2 in 1 :mad:

Edited by fernando marrin, Mon May 7, 2012 9:46 AM.


#3 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 10:56 AM

TMS9918A gives good picture on composite
audio on Dina in another story though...

there are differences in bios with colecovision,
still the ultimate sd cart does not work on the 2 in 1 :mad:


I never had a problem with the DINA's audio, aside from the faint static that sometimes came through with the poor RF signal. And that's a fault of the RF box, not the audio itself.

As for the BIOS, couldn't you just pull the BIOS out of a Coleco and stick it into a DINA though (with much desoldering/resoldering, of course)? I don't have a Ultimate SD cart and don't plan on getting one, so that's a nonissue for me. I wonder why it won't work with the DINA BIOS though; my understanding is there are no Colecovision cartridges that are incompatible in and of themselves, only games rendered unplayable by the keypad-on-console scheme or the inability to use special controllers.

#4 the.golden.ax OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:02 AM

If you were willing to make the effort I don't see why a Dina can't be all that you want it to be. It was always my understanding that you can build a CV from scratch from off the shelf parts (some are modern equivalents now).

#5 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:52 AM

I wonder why it won't work with the DINA BIOS though; my understanding is there are no Colecovision cartridges that are incompatible in and of themselves, only games rendered unplayable by the keypad-on-console scheme or the inability to use special controllers.


Actually, I've tried Gulkave and Girl's Garden (the CV versions) on my Dina last year and neither of them worked. So the Dina may work with "legacy" CV carts, but it's not a sure thing with newer CV homebrews. If I had the time, I would test all the commercial and homebrew carts on my Dina 2-in-1, and perhaps give this info to NIAD so he can update his CV cart list with it, but alas, I have no time to spare at the moment. :)

#6 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 4:07 PM


TMS9918A gives good picture on composite
audio on Dina in another story though...

there are differences in bios with colecovision,
still the ultimate sd cart does not work on the 2 in 1 :mad:


I never had a problem with the DINA's audio, aside from the faint static that sometimes came through with the poor RF signal. And that's a fault of the RF box, not the audio itself.

As for the BIOS, couldn't you just pull the BIOS out of a Coleco and stick it into a DINA though (with much desoldering/resoldering, of course)? I don't have a Ultimate SD cart and don't plan on getting one, so that's a nonissue for me. I wonder why it won't work with the DINA BIOS though; my understanding is there are no Colecovision cartridges that are incompatible in and of themselves, only games rendered unplayable by the keypad-on-console scheme or the inability to use special controllers.



bios is incompatible so ultimate sd cart crashes,
as some new hombrews

the static in sound is present even after modding the thing

#7 frankodragon ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 4:20 PM

I used to have a Telegames Personal Arcade-now it's junk. At times the screen would turn black and white with static noise. I bought the game Alacazar and had to return it due to glitches-now I believe it the machine's fault- not the cartridge. The pause button was probably made for the SG games but cannot test- I fried the thing after trying to replace a cap and gluing a heat sink on one of the chips. I even broke the power connection and thing just went south.

#8 hardhat ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 4:45 PM

I would say that before desoldering anything, I'd strongly recommend testing the output voltages on the power supply. The fact that it shows a picture after the "power supply warms up" suggests a bad solder joint or defective power regulator in the power supply. I'm not qualified to fix a power supply like this, but I've seen it often enough that I know the symptoms (and once upon a time I had the ColecoVision technician repair manual, so somewhere in the back of my head I have a list of diagnostics and the corresponding symptoms and maybe even fixes -- boy I wish I scanned it at the time).

My brother Neil talked with the Telegames rep during the introduction of the Dina and they had a vision to eventually make some expansions for it, but I suppose they never did.

Edited by hardhat, Mon May 7, 2012 4:46 PM.


#9 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 8:43 PM

I would say that before desoldering anything, I'd strongly recommend testing the output voltages on the power supply. The fact that it shows a picture after the "power supply warms up" suggests a bad solder joint or defective power regulator in the power supply. I'm not qualified to fix a power supply like this, but I've seen it often enough that I know the symptoms (and once upon a time I had the ColecoVision technician repair manual, so somewhere in the back of my head I have a list of diagnostics and the corresponding symptoms and maybe even fixes -- boy I wish I scanned it at the time).

My brother Neil talked with the Telegames rep during the introduction of the Dina and they had a vision to eventually make some expansions for it, but I suppose they never did.


Thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of that, I just figured the problem was the video processor...it's like the VDC needed to warm up. Would a faulty power regulator or solder joint explain garbled graphics? The garbled graphics tend to be the same patterns, eventually improving to a clear picture before going "back" to columns of dots on the game screen and game option screen.

That's a cool tidbit about the expansion! Never heard that before. It sheds some new light on this system.

#10 hardhat ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 9:27 PM

Well as in the ColecoVision and the Adam, the VDP chip is the most sensitive to improper power and that garbling is typical. So there are youtube videos on how to take apart a ColecoVision power supply. I don't recall what the Dina power supply was like, but if it is like the Coleco one it would have +5, +12, -5, ground.

According to http://www.colecovis...olecovision.htm the ColecoVision power supply is wired as:
pin 1 +5v 9A
Pin 2 -5V 1A
Pin 3 +12V 3A
Pin 4 Common

Edited by hardhat, Mon May 7, 2012 9:30 PM.


#11 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 10, 2012 10:03 AM

I used to have a Telegames Personal Arcade-now it's junk. At times the screen would turn black and white with static noise. I bought the game Alacazar and had to return it due to glitches-now I believe it the machine's fault- not the cartridge. The pause button was probably made for the SG games but cannot test- I fried the thing after trying to replace a cap and gluing a heat sink on one of the chips. I even broke the power connection and thing just went south.


replacing the video chip and a good heatsink fixes this

Edited by fernando marrin, Thu May 10, 2012 10:06 AM.


#12 ApolloBoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 11:39 AM


I used to have a Telegames Personal Arcade-now it's junk. At times the screen would turn black and white with static noise. I bought the game Alacazar and had to return it due to glitches-now I believe it the machine's fault- not the cartridge. The pause button was probably made for the SG games but cannot test- I fried the thing after trying to replace a cap and gluing a heat sink on one of the chips. I even broke the power connection and thing just went south.


replacing the video chip and a good heatsink fixes this

Perhaps the biggest flaw with the DINA is that there's no heat sink at all on the TMS9918, even though it's a required component.

#13 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 12:08 PM



I used to have a Telegames Personal Arcade-now it's junk. At times the screen would turn black and white with static noise. I bought the game Alacazar and had to return it due to glitches-now I believe it the machine's fault- not the cartridge. The pause button was probably made for the SG games but cannot test- I fried the thing after trying to replace a cap and gluing a heat sink on one of the chips. I even broke the power connection and thing just went south.


replacing the video chip and a good heatsink fixes this

Perhaps the biggest flaw with the DINA is that there's no heat sink at all on the TMS9918, even though it's a required component.


there were heatsinks on both my Dina and Telegames personal arcade

#14 ozma wars OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 23, 2012 4:00 AM

I have two for sale.
One is new, Telegames version, box as new, no ac adapter ( was not supplied) no manual ( was not supplied )
the other is also Telegames version, no adapter, no controllers
I do not remember which of the two need the adapter with Commodore64type cord port.
all two were running last time I tested them ( approx. 2011 summer )
coming from no smoking house
offers are welcome

#15 ApolloBoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:52 PM


TMS9918A gives good picture on composite
audio on Dina in another story though...

there are differences in bios with colecovision,
still the ultimate sd cart does not work on the 2 in 1 :mad:


I never had a problem with the DINA's audio, aside from the faint static that sometimes came through with the poor RF signal. And that's a fault of the RF box, not the audio itself.

As for the BIOS, couldn't you just pull the BIOS out of a Coleco and stick it into a DINA though (with much desoldering/resoldering, of course)? I don't have a Ultimate SD cart and don't plan on getting one, so that's a nonissue for me. I wonder why it won't work with the DINA BIOS though; my understanding is there are no Colecovision cartridges that are incompatible in and of themselves, only games rendered unplayable by the keypad-on-console scheme or the inability to use special controllers.

Just thought I'd bump this as I'm modding a DINA for someone and I was wondering about a BIOS replacement. Has anyone tried the CV BIOS or even the no-delay CV BIOS in a DINA?




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