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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

RCA Studio II Interview

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#801 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:24 AM

... oh my, you're right, and I hadn't even noticed that! Only the earlier "Home TV Programmer" name is mentioned. Another indicator that this is some sort of pre-production/early sample that never got mass produced.

 

Well looking through photos I have the only other game to semi-do this was  Biorhythm  which only mentions "Studio II" on the box but not on the cart or instructions.

 

Biorythm along with Bingo were designed for the "Studio III"


Edited by TLD1985, Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:41 AM.


#802 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:41 AM

 

Well looking through screenshots I have the only other game to semi-do this was  Biorhythm  which only mentions "Studio II" on the box but not on the cart or instructions.

 

Biorythm along with Bingo were designed for the "Studio III"

Confirmed- I just checked two copies I have. Also checked the other games, and while all the rest do indicate "Studio II" on their manuals and cartridge labels, the "TV Casino Series" variant of Blackjack, along with Speedway/Tag and Gunfighter/Moonship Battle do NOT have "Studio II" on the sides of the outer box, as all the other games and the "TV Casino I" Blackjack variant do.



#803 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:54 AM

Crowd funding? Someone with the capacity to dump and perhaps even make replicas later on could be the receiver, and those who chipped in get a discount on the latter.
 
As for the Channel F, I remember that article last year which described that project starting off on an Intel 8008 and possibly moved to an 8080 before signed by Fairchild and adopted for the F8. Quite possibly they also had early, cartridge based prototypes so both systems would still be in the run for who was first. Having something to sell to customers surely is a stronger "first" than having an early prototype that takes a long while to finish up.


Yeah, there's no question on who's the first commercially released one.

I think the interesting-but-utterly-useless discussion is wich one was ready first. IIRC RCA Studio II was sold only 3 months later than Channel F. And if it was being privately testes for a full year it probably was ready, as a commercial product, first.

(And even the hardware specs suggests that RCA Studio II was an older, almost obsolete when released, product)

But I agree, Channel F is obviously the first commercially released ROM-based videogame.

#804 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:15 AM

well I've noted down the part numbers of the game labels and Bingo does seem to be the last one made

Part #          Game (Side)             Copyright
1808517-24	TV Bingo (front)	none
1808517-23	TV Bingo (back)		none
1808517-22	Biorhythm (front)	1977
1808517-21	Biorhythm (back)	1977
1808517-20	Demonstration Cart (f)	none
1808517-19	Demonstration Cart (b)	none
1808517-18	Blackjack (front)	1977
1808517-17	Blackjack (back)	1977
1808517-16	Math Fun (front)	1977
1808517-15	Math Fun (back)		1977
1808517-14	Gunfighter/Moonship (f)	1977
1808517-13	Gunfighter/Moonship (b)	1977
1808517-12	Speedway/Tag (front)	1977
1808517-11	Speedway/Tag (back)	1977
1808517-10	Baseball (back)		1977
1808517-9	Baseball (front)	1977
SPS-3122	Tennis/Squash (front)	1977
SPS-3121	Tennis/Squash (back)	1977
SPS-3070	School House I (back)	1976
SPS-3069	School House I (front)	1976
SPS-3068	Fun with Numbers (b)	1976
SPS-3067	Fun with Numbers (f)	1976
SPS-3066	Space War (back)	1976
SPS-3065	Space War (front)	1976

Edited by TLD1985, Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:16 AM.


#805 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:00 AM

 

well I've noted down the part numbers of the game labels and Bingo does seem to be the last one made

Part #          Game (Side)             Copyright
1808517-24	TV Bingo (front)	none
1808517-23	TV Bingo (back)		none
1808517-22	Biorhythm (front)	1977
1808517-21	Biorhythm (back)	1977
1808517-20	Demonstration Cart (f)	none
1808517-19	Demonstration Cart (b)	none
1808517-18	Blackjack (front)	1977
1808517-17	Blackjack (back)	1977
1808517-16	Math Fun (front)	1977
1808517-15	Math Fun (back)		1977
1808517-14	Gunfighter/Moonship (f)	1977
1808517-13	Gunfighter/Moonship (b)	1977
1808517-12	Speedway/Tag (front)	1977
1808517-11	Speedway/Tag (back)	1977
1808517-10	Baseball (back)		1977
1808517-9	Baseball (front)	1977
SPS-3122	Tennis/Squash (front)	1977
SPS-3121	Tennis/Squash (back)	1977
SPS-3070	School House I (back)	1976
SPS-3069	School House I (front)	1976
SPS-3068	Fun with Numbers (b)	1976
SPS-3067	Fun with Numbers (f)	1976
SPS-3066	Space War (back)	1976
SPS-3065	Space War (front)	1976

Nice work there :)

 

I had not thought to check the part numbers, but from that list it looks as though everything is accounted for, with the exception of the Tester I cart- what part numbers would that be? Curious too as to why the first few numbers at the bottom use a different numbering scheme, and why RCA switched.

 

An extrapolation from that might also be to look at the part/board numbers of the various overseas exclusives, such as Pinball (which was programmed and intended for release here in the US). I wonder where those would fit into this numbering scheme, since it does seem as though those overseas releases use US boards, per a few pages back...



#806 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:01 AM

Yeah, there's no question on who's the first commercially released one.

I think the interesting-but-utterly-useless discussion is wich one was ready first. IIRC RCA Studio II was sold only 3 months later than Channel F. And if it was being privately testes for a full year it probably was ready, as a commercial product, first.

(And even the hardware specs suggests that RCA Studio II was an older, almost obsolete when released, product)

But I agree, Channel F is obviously the first commercially released ROM-based videogame.

Didn't Marty Goldberg's article in Retrogamer a little while back about the Studio II state that the system had been in development since '71 or '72 and went through various forms as a personal computer and an arcade platform? IIRC many of the Studio II's games were coded as early as 1974.

(I unfortunately don't have that issue so I can't confirm.)



#807 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:19 AM

Didn't Marty Goldberg's article in Retrogamer a little while back about the Studio II state that the system had been in development since '71 or '72 and went through various forms as a personal computer and an arcade platform? IIRC many of the Studio II's games were coded as early as 1974.

(I unfortunately don't have that issue so I can't confirm.)


Do you know what issue it was? I think I have The complete collection and could grab it and send here.

#808 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:22 AM

Do you know what issue it was? I think I have The complete collection and could grab it and send here.

Issue 139, I think.



#809 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:31 AM

^ Yep, that's the issue. Ii actually have a spare copy or two if anyone here would want it for the article :)

 

It isn't the only source for the Studio II tech being an arcade test unit for sometime prior to retail release. Joyce Weisbecker indicated it also was, and the head of the Swannanoa RCA plant told me he'd actually seen and observed the functions of one such arcade unit at a NJ mall during a business trip around '75.



#810 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:35 AM

Nice work there :)

 

I had not thought to check the part numbers, but from that list it looks as though everything is accounted for, with the exception of the Tester I cart- what part numbers would that be? Curious too as to why the first few numbers at the bottom use a different numbering scheme, and why RCA switched.

 

An extrapolation from that might also be to look at the part/board numbers of the various overseas exclusives, such as Pinball (which was programmed and intended for release here in the US). I wonder where those would fit into this numbering scheme, since it does seem as though those overseas releases use US boards, per a few pages back...

 

 

Probably have to look at other RCA products at the time and see if there was a change in numbering across all their products.

 

Other Part numbers for instructions/manuals  that I am aware of

Part #    Paperwork
3E4796    TV Bingo Instructions
3E4589    Service Manual Instructions
3E4573    Biorhythm Instructions
3E4572    Gunfighter/Moonship Instructions
3E4571    Speedway/Tag Instructions
3E4331    Math Fun Instructions
1E4475    Blackjack
1E4393    Baseball Instructions  (Might be  IE4393)
SPS-3120    Tennis/Squash Instructions
SPS-3075    TV School House Orange Series Instructions
SPS-3074    TV School House Yellow Series Instructions
SPS-3073    Fun with Numbers Instructions
SPS-3072    Space War Instructions
SPS-3071    Unknown / Might Be Unused
SPS-3013    Studio II System Manual

Edited by TLD1985, Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:37 AM.


#811 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:53 AM

Issue 139, I think.


You are right. Just downloaded it again. And some of the games were made in 73-74.

I'll try to send the 4 pages here later.

#812 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:03 AM

Fun fact: I'm actually in the RetroGamer article. ;) :-D  That's my system Marty photographed, and IIRC a shot of my wife and I (or at least our hands) playing it made it into the article.



#813 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:21 AM

Fun fact: I'm actually in the RetroGamer article. ;) :-D  That's my system Marty photographed, and IIRC a shot of my wife and I (or at least our hands) playing it made it into the article.


Nice! :D

There's indeed a "multiplayer photo" over there.

#814 flip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:25 AM


I had not thought to check the part numbers, but from that list it looks as though everything is accounted for, with the exception of the Tester I cart- what part numbers would that be? Curious too as to why the first few numbers at the bottom use a different numbering scheme, and why RCA switched.

 

Posted above somewhere: the test cart part number is 5009339, and the power supply it needs is 5008333. Source of that info is the service manual...



#815 ekeefe OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:43 AM

Hello,
 
I don't know much about the history of the Studio II or its games, but the CDP1802 processor used in it wasn't created until 1976. 
 
It is based off the CDP1801CUD (TA6889) and the CDP1801CRD (TA6890) chips created in late 1974. They were combined in 1976 to create the 1802.
 
The CDP1861 (TA10171) video chip wasn't created until early 1977.
 
I hope this was helpful.
 
ED


#816 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:49 AM

 

Hello,
 
I don't know much about the history of the Studio II or its games, but the CDP1802 processor used in it wasn't created until 1976. 
 
It is based off the CDP1801CUD (TA6889) and the CDP1801CRD (TA6890) chips created in late 1974. They were combined in 1976 to create the 1802.
 
The CDP1861 (TA10171) video chip wasn't created until early 1977.
 
I hope this was helpful.
 
ED

 This is actually extremely useful, and really makes me want to obtain that system and games the seller had. If the RCA engineer really had this at home way before the retail launch, the internals might well be different!



#817 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:36 AM

 

Posted above somewhere: the test cart part number is 5009339, and the power supply it needs is 5008333. Source of that info is the service manual...

 

 

its not the label sticker part number tho :P (how nerdy are we getting when we're wondering THOSE numbers) XD



#818 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:04 PM

   Here´s the Retro Gamer Magazine article regarding RCA Studio II.

 

   Short (6 pages) but definitively a great read. Enjoy!

 

http://www.lazzeri.o...A_Studio_II.pdf



#819 ekeefe OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:12 PM

Hello,
 
Thank you for posting that article.
 
I actually own the little Blue computer on page 5 of the article. Here is a picture of it with some other RCA boards:
 
OldRCASystems.jpg
 
ED


#820 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:20 PM

 

Hello,
 
Thank you for posting that article.
 
I actually own the little Blue computer on page 5 of the article. Here is a picture of it with some other RCA boards:
 
 
ED

 

 

   That is just amazing. Congratulations! :)



#821 awcleanout OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 11:48 AM

Hi,

Just got turned on to this site by one of your members and I apologize that I dont know his name or even his user name. I came across a very rare TV Bingo cartridge for Studio II and thought I would share some photos as he thought other members would enjoy seeing it.

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#822 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 12:10 PM

Hi,
Just got turned on to this site by one of your members and I apologize that I dont know his name or even his user name. I came across a very rare TV Bingo cartridge for Studio II and thought I would share some photos as he thought other members would enjoy seeing it.


Greatest first post ever!

Do you have any pix of the manual, both sides?

#823 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 12:13 PM

Yeah, that's an amazing find you got there. :)
I would also like to see pics of the box sides.

#824 ekeefe OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 12:24 PM

Hello,
 
@awcleanout: I curious why you don't have pictures of the game actually running.  
 
ED


#825 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 12:38 PM

He's added more photos to the auction  which show sides/few more of the cards/back of cards/other side of manual...  Manual doesn't seem mention anything about the "tune" it made but it might have been an "undocumented" feature. As on the Studio II it would have just beeps at one note/frequency.

 

 

Hi,

Just got turned on to this site by one of your members and I apologize that I dont know his name or even his user name. I came across a very rare TV Bingo cartridge for Studio II and thought I would share some photos as he thought other members would enjoy seeing it.

 

Hi, yep very nice find. :) However I think should perhaps cancel the auction for now and help the retro-preservation community help preserve this gem.  After that.. well you're free to do what you want with it.






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